Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Definitely deserves a Cheer

Via Kos:

CHEERS to the Greatest Moment in World History. Atari was founded
33 years ago today by Nolan Bushnell, who also gave us the world's first
videogame, "Pong." Go ahead...
knock yourself
(click on the ball with your cursor and be a kid again...or,
for you young 'uns, a gleam in your parents' eyes).

If Breakout and Combat aren't the best games ever...I dont know what is. Just sit back, and picture your tank, mano y mano (or however thats spelled), bullets on ricochet...boop...boop...boop...bang!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What I hope to see tonight

First I'll start off by saying that I won't be watching tonight. I have school and most likely this speech will be over by the time I get home. I probably wouldn't watch anyway. I find it much more tolerable to read the transcripts of Bush's speeches.
I'm not looking for a pullout of troops and I'm not expecting Bush to offer that. I don't support that. We have a vested interest in the stability and future of Iraq at this point and pulling out the troops is not the option. I am looking for a strategy. I'd say new strategy, but I'm not at all convinced we ever had one to begin with. I feel the President should offer some new strategical goals, broadly go over how we hope to accomplish them and let the American people know exactly what needs to be done in Iraq before we do pull our troops out.
Most importantly, I'm looking for some straight talk and I don't expect to get it--maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. This President can't talk about leading this country while he lets his chief political strategist paint 1/2 the country as weak in the knees. I don't want to hear 'we're making progress' unless it is followed by concrete examples. I'd like to hear the areas where Bush feels we need to make more progress, including some straight talk on the insurgency and confirmation on whether or not we are negotiating with them. I'd like to hear that abuses won't be tolerated. I'd like to hear some vision, not empty rhetoric.
Yes, I'm expecting a alot, but I'm not giving up hope, I'm just fairly cynical.
If it is just another press conference with hollow memes like 'things are going well' and 'I think about Iraq every day', I think I'll throw up my dinner because re-runs of House were pre-empted for that bullshit.
If you expect the American people to support you, give them something to support.

Lots of stuff to not care about...

As John Cole says, who the hell cares?

The way to electoral empowerment for the Democrats is to follow
Arianna's lead and try to make a big stink about the Vice Presidents

As I said yesterday, don't we have monumentally more important things to care about at this particular time?

Related item-- other things to not care about.

Its only by not caring that we can get the media to focus on whats important.

McCain bitchslaps Norquist

Thats gotta hurt (via TCR). John McCain responding to Grover Norquist calling him 'the nutjob from Arizona' and then 'the gun grabbing tax increaser from Arizona':

"There's never been a shortage of blowhards and bores in this town. I'm
sure Grover is comfortable in their crowded ranks, but that hardly merits the
attention he craves. I assume he wants to provoke us, but it's hard to work up
much interest for someone who in his continued warm embrace of Jack Abramoff is doing a more than adequate job of marginalizing himself.
Most Reagan revolutionaries came to Washington to do something more patriotic than rip off Indian tribes."

Hopefully, the Indian tribes corruption story will start getting more press, especially since one of its chief beneficiaries, Ralph Reed, is running for elected office.

For more on the scandal, turn to the esteemed Bull Moose, who has been covering it for months.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Oh Ricky....

Stop talking! If you needed one more reason why he needs to go, here you go. Damn, sometimes I wish I lived in PA so I could vote him out of office. Sometimes I wish he wasn't Catholic, so people didn't think he speaks for Catholics like me.

It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most
disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral
relativism by sanctioning "private" moral matters such as alternative
Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture
is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this
scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political
and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the

I'm not sure there is anything more "private" than who is sleeping in your bed with you, but apparently, not for Rick. Private needs "quotes" in that sentence. Then, of course, the gem that liberlism is to blame for the clergy abuse scandal. Yet another reason for why priests abuse children. We can add that to the list of reasons which include celibacy and sexual orientation. Any other reason BUT the fact that they are sick, and have chosen to seek out a profession which allows them unsupervised access to children.

I'll tell you what I think is more damaging than anything to the Church; even more so than so-called moral relativism. The Church refuses to acknowledge and account for the clergy abuse scandal. When the Church covers up claims of abuse, re-assigns priests accused of abuse and fails to investigate claims of abuse, it has created a culture in which its followers are told to adhere to that age-old adage: do as I say, not as I do.

Well, that doesn't work for religion. The church teaches homosexuality is wrong. How are we to accept that premise, when the sexual antics of a large number of priests is systematically covered up by the Church. Is their 'sexuality' not wrong? The Church teaches that life begins at conception and should be protected. When a child is born, does that protection expire? Shouldn't the Church be working to protect the children they purport to educate?

There is only one reason that priests abuse children. They are sick, and that is all. It is not celibacy. Exactly how long does one have to be celibate before children start looking good? It is not sexual orientation. Homosexuals are sexually attracted to members of the same sex, NOT children. Child abusers seek out positions where upon they can have unfettered access to children. A priest, a boy scout leader, camp counselor, etc--it is not rocket science. It has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. However, the coverup does, and Santorum makes yet another excuse for the Church, which in turn, will end up pushing away more of the faithful. The exact opposite of his intent. He does us Catholics no favors and does not represent Catholics as a whole.

Liberals: sissy, tree-hugging, traitorous, child abusing bastards right?

Hat tip Atrios. For more on this subject, see the great posts and articles of Andrew Sullivan. A gay Catholic who refuses to leave the Church and pushes to hold the Church responsible. His point of view is excellent on this issue.

Update: This piece is from 2002, but the point remains the same. But it pre-dates some of the more vile rhetoric towards liberals lately. Just an FYI.

Sports wrap-up

More Wimbledon:

Serena out, Henman out, Safin out. Lots of seeds fell this weekend, but thats a grand slam. Serena again proves she doesn't know when to shut up in post match press conferences.

Serena Williams: As shabbily as she played, it was in her postmatch
remarks that she really disgraced herself. "[Craybas] didn't do anything -- she
didn't have to do anything exceptionally well today. She just pretty much had to
show up."

Serena makes a habit of statements like these. She really needs to have a bit more class--and this is coming from someone who likes both the Williams sisters. If you aren't familiar with tennis, this type of statement--basically not giving your opponent credit for beating you--is a major faux pas in tennis, and most individual sports.

The new "Henman" is alive. As Jon Wertheim points out, his reward?

Scottish teen reaches round three before running out of petrol against
David Nalbandian. His reward? A dozen or so more years of carrying the hopes of
a nation.

Its hard for Americans to grasp, but when you are from a smaller country, with a lack of atheletes in the top echelons of sports, when you have talent, the pressure is immense.

My picks? Federer to win as I think most of the competitors who can and have beaten him, have been eliminated. For the women, I'd love to see Davenport pull another major out late in her career, but Sharapova is looking good. Its a tough call.

A good decision...

As I've stated many times before, I'm no lawyer, but this is a good decision. At our courthouses, anything that doesn't represent every person in this nation, should NOT be there. I honestly don't really believe that people should swear on the Bible. The courts are the one place in this country where the principle that every person who enters is protected by rights (in which they all believe) must be upheld. To have a display of religious import, any religion, is fundamentally non-inclusive. Witnesses should swear on the Constitution, its really the document that is more applicable and beyond reproach. No other document is needed.

A split Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in
courthouses Monday, ruling that two exhibits in Kentucky cross the line between
separation of church and state because they promote a religious message.

As Long as we're focusing on whats important!

I can't believe our Congressional representatives actually have time to worry about stuff like this (disclaimer, you need subscription service to get to Roll Call, so the link is to a blog entry linking to the original story).

One of the groups interesting in buying the Nationals baseball team from MLB has a certain liberal investor who is making Republicans very angry.

[T]he very prospect that Soros could have a stake in the team is enough to
irritate Congressional Republicans.
"I think Major League Baseball
understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), the
Northern Virginia lawmaker who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings.
"I don't think they want to get involved in a political fight."
Davis, whose
panel also oversees District of Columbia issues, said that if a Soros sale went
through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt.
I think it's Major
League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions" from
anti-trust laws.

Indeed, Hill Republicans could potentially make
life difficult for MLB in a variety of ways. In addition to being exempt from
anti-trust rules, baseball is still under scrutiny over the steroid issue. The
Nats, meanwhile, hope to have a publicly-funded stadium built soon, though money
for that venture is expected to come through the sale of bonds rather than a
federal outlay.
Still, Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), vice chairman of the
Appropriations subcommittee that covers the District of Columbia budget, said if
Soros buys the team and seeks public funding for the new stadium or anything else, the GOP attitude would be, "Let him pay for it."

Its a baseball team. It is not vital to national security, domestic agenda items, foreign policy or anything that remotely resembles business that should be taken up in Congress. Focus people, we have lot we need to be focused on right now.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

One Sentiment worth linking to

In reading through all of the talk tonight--righty blogs, lefty blogs and all the comments contained within--it struck me, really struck me for the first time that people are never going to be able to come together. We're so far apart, there really is not reason to even justify who said what about whom. I can't think of a thing in recent history that is so important to the survival of America, that single-handedly causes the most vicious, vile and partisan rhetoric. I truly think that if we can't overcome it, we will cease to be. 9/11 happened folks. NO ONE has a patent on 9/11 and what it all 'meaned'. The victims of 9/11 were not one political party or religion, or sex, or ethnicity or sexuality and the things that are said and done in their name, by both parties, are frankly, vulgar.
There should be a moratorium on any comments containing the phrase "9/11" or "September 11th" or any reference to that tragic day that purports to know what the victims would think or want or do. In that vane, I'll echo the one sentiment I read tonight that is the most important and has the most value:

As families whose relatives were victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, we
believe it is an outrage that any Democrat, any Republican, any conservative, or
any liberal stakes a "high ground" position based upon the September 11th death
and destruction. Doing so assumes that all those who died and their loved ones
would agree. In truth, some would and some would not. By definition the conduct
is divisive and, because it is intended to be self-serving and politicizes 9/11,
it is offensive.

I dont understand...

this ruling by the SCOTUS. I guess that kind of goes along with me not understanding 'eminent domain' and really, to get down to it, homeowners association.

If I bought my property legally, pay my mortgage, who is anyone to tell me what to do with said property? Let ALONE taking it from me against my will. Let ALONE taking it from me to build commercial office space!

I'm no lawyer, but on the face, this seems to be a terrible ruling.

Long Arm of the Law

They are really starting to crack down ever since the decision a couple of weeks ago.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that at least 13 people
were arrested as part of an alleged organized crime operation that used the
clubs as a front to launder money.
In Sacramento, Dr. Marion Fry, 48, and her
husband, attorney Dale C. Schafer, 50, were arrested on a sealed indictment
handed down a week ago. It charged them with conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana between August 1999 and September 2001 from their storefront California Medical Research Center in Cool, a Sierra foothill community
northeast of Sacramento

Do they really live in a place called "Cool"? I can only imagine the other 'goings on' in a place with that name.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

New Feature

I'm excited to announce a new feature here at the blog...Sports wrap up! Ok, so it will just really be sports that I'm a fan of (most sports) and I've already touched on some sport related topics...but hopefully, it will grow!

Ok, so today...Wimbledon. Quick PSA...its pronounced Wim-bul-don. Not Wim-bul-ton. Ok, pet peeve, sorry to be a know it all, but c'mon ESPN! Some interesting developments:

Federer and Safin advance. I like Federer but I tend not to root for the favorite. I never rooted for Pete Sampras either, though I like Federer more than I ever liked Sampras. Anyway, he advanced easily. Safin, the last man to beat Federer in a Slam final, also advanced in straight sets over Phillipousis. This is a pretty big win as Phillipoussis is talented, has a monster serve and was once considered an up and comer.

In a big result, Gael Montfils, the talented French phenom, upset Dominik Hrbaty. Montfils is new to the tour, but not new to winning. He was the junior world #1 and rocked every junior out there.

The women advanced pretty much routinely after the ouster of Henin-Hardenne yesterday. Now, its anyone's tournament. Who knew Henin-Hardenne hadn't played on grass in two years...not a good idea Justine. Maybe Clijsters and Mauresmo can get that 'head case' monkey off their backs sometime soon.

Lastly, a big good luck to Timmy his game, like his personality and ya gotta root for the home town hero who makes a much bigger play here than anywhere and anytime else on the tour.

Good news...

is always good to hear.

Brennan was found safe Tuesday by a searcher driving an all-terrain
vehicle and was taken to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake
Doctors released him early Wednesday and he returned to his family home
in the suburb of Bountiful. His parents said the boy appeared to be fine, but
wasn't talking much about his ordeal.

As always...

John Cole is right on target. Go read the whole thing. Smoke & Mirrors people, smoke and mirrors. Happy Birthday John.

Politics everywhere...

You gotta love that special skill that Michelle Malkin possesses; being able to find politics in anything:

Once in a blue moon, the Associated Press does something right.
Props to Shelia Byrd for mentioning the affiliation of the slain civil rights
workers who got justice yesterday. All three brave young men were field workers for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a conservative -- yes, conservative -- civil rights group. Small wonder the CORE affiliation was ignored by the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

Phhewww...thank God they weren't liberals, otherwise the headline would have been "What were those workers REALLY doing there?"

A link worth mentioning...

Via Environmental Republican, here is a link slamming the new Hillary book (subscription required).

These are curious words to be publishing in 2005, when Klein and the
world know that her book "Living History" was a phenomenal success and has
earned its author more than the $8 million in royalty payments advanced to her.
Curious and revealing. Because if any book in recent memory reads as though it
has been written out of greed — a greedy hunger to separate millions of
conservative book buyers from their hard-earned 25 bucks — it is Ed Klein's "The
Truth About Hillary." This is one of the most sordid volumes I've ever waded
through. Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I
wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive
stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another

I'm glad to see more conservatives slamming this book but I think I should clarify my earlier rant on this book. This smear job goes way beyond politics. Bill Clinton raped Hillary to conceive Chelsea? It is that story that lead to my rant.
It was disheartening to me that, for many bloggers, the only criticism offered was that this book was bad politics and that it will backfire. No condemnation of the actual claim and how it had gone too far. I mean, drugs, crime, indiscretion in youth...all attack the politician, not their children, let alone reaching the heights of telling the child she was conceived from a rape.
That, to me, is hypocritical. Especially in the light of the ruckus over Mary Cheney, especially in the light of the ruckus over everything Howard Dean says. I don't defend Howard Dean, but you would think he was stabbing conservatives in the heart with his rhetoric. I don't hear 1/8th the criticism of this book as I've heard of how 'mean' and 'untruthful' Dean's comments were/are. Again, that to me is hypocritical. All the Hannity's of this world who blame the tone of incivility in Washington on liberals. They, are hyprocrites.

I'm glad to see some conservatives are seeing this book for what it is, and while I'm glad O'Reilly isn't having him on the show, if its anyone's motives I question, its his.

Environental Republican responds to my response:

Kerry shamelessly highlighted that Cheney is a lesbian simply to score
political points at the cost of bringing her sexual preference into the the
open.Was it known that Mary Cheney is gay prior to Kerry bringing it up? To
people who follow politics, yes it was. Did the majority of Americans know it?
No way.

All about Mary Cheney:

After graduating from Colorado College, Cheney went to work as a gay
community liaison for Coors Brewing Company, where she was instrumental in
ending a 20-year boycott by the gay community of that company. Cheney left
Coors in 2000 to work with her father and the Bush campaign. In 2002, Mary
Cheney served on the advisory board of the Republican Unity Coalition, a
gay-straight alliance formed within the Republican party to help increase
tolerance within the party for gays and lesbians, and others.

Exactly who is it that didn't know? Anyone even slightly interested in gay marriage would have known. The people that Kerry was supposedly trying to score political points with, those against gays and gay marriage, would certainly have known already. As I said over in his comments, I'm still willing to concede the point that Kerry was trying to score political points--with who, I have no idea. It still is a monumental difference between that and saying the daughter of a former President was concieved when he raped her mother, the former first lady.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

And so I'm refreshed...

Just when I thought I was tired, I am refreshed and inspired. Barack Obama, as he did at the convention, delivered an inspirational speech to the Class of 2005 of Knox College. Readers, it is SO worth the read. Just when you think as a country, we might be lost forever to partisanship and red state/blue state, you read something by someone who makes you say, 'maybe we aren't lost yet'.
Please go read the speech, and even if you don't agree with what he says, you must agree that the only way out of the current problems in America, is to do it together.

Hat tip, Carpetbagger Report.

As Promised...

UPDATE: I apologize for any confusion regarinding the quotes and whats what. I am currently working through Blogger trying to figure out why when I dont italicize, things are in italics, not to mention why all my sentences cut up the way they do. In the mean time, anything with an asterisk (*) is comments by Shakespeares Sister and anything not, is text from the memos.

Here is a post about the Downing Street Memos. Doing a little research, the best and most concise explanation of them that I find is here. Personally, I find the arguement "its old news" somewhat offensive. I am not a person who thinks we should pull unilaterally out of Iraq. I believe an exit strategy is needed and it is PAINFULLY obvious the any 'strategy' is something we are sorely lacking, and have been from the beginning. The completely ignorant rhetoric from the White House about 'last throes' and 'making progress' is an insult. Just level with the American people. They are more likely to support something that they have a truthful account of; and less likely to support an effort they feel they are being lied about. Note: Quotes are indented, text from the memos is italicized, commentary from Shakespeare's Sister is not, and as always, emphasis is mine.

I said you would not budge in your support for regime change but you
had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion... Condi's
enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed.... Bush has yet to find the
answers to the big questions:... what happens on the morning after?

Hmmm...I thought the main reason was WMD's and national security?

*The memo from the UK’s ambassador to the US, the aforementioned Christopher Meyer, to David Manning, summarizing his (Meyer’s) lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, dated March 18, 2002, includes the following:

On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi
Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and
failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell for us domestically, and
probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go it alone if it wanted to.
But if it wanted to act with partners, there had to be a strategy for building
support for military action against Saddam. I then went through the need to
wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs and the critical importance of the MEPP as an integral part of the anti-Saddam strategy. If all this could
be accomplished skillfully, we were fairly confident that a number of countries
would come on board.

*This indicates that the process of going to the UN was a sham for Blair’s sake
and that disarmament was not an option; regime change had already been chosen as
the singular goal. The memo from the UK’s political director, Peter Ricketts, to UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, dated March 22, 2002, includes the following:

For Iraq, "regime change" does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraqi WMD... US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al [Q]aida is so far frankly unconvincing.

Now, if the idea that the entire process in the run up to war with Iraq is old news, what is it that we are admittiing? That we knew Bush put on a show for us? That we already knew that regime change was the only goal? I'm sorry, being lied to in order to enlist support for the war does not sit well with me, no matter how old the news. Corraborative proof, of which Tony Blair, when confronted with, refused to deny, is pretty important stuff. Sorry conservatives, the call that they are fake I think is a reach:

Q Thank you, sir. On Iraq, the so-called Downing Street memo from July
2002 says intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy of removing
Saddam through military action. Is this an accurate reflection of what happened?
Could both of you respond?

PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Well, I can respond to that very easily. No,
the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all. And let me
remind you that that memorandum was written before we then went to the United Nations.
Now, no one knows more intimately the discussions that we were conducting as two countries at the time than me. And the fact is we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution, to give a final chance to Saddam
Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the
reason why we had to take military action.

And just for a little comic relief, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The assault on Science Part II

As if Phillip Cooney wasn't enough. As if his new job at ExxonMobil, just annouced last week, wasn't enough evidence who he was really working for. Here is the Bush administration AGAIN editing out scientific studies and doing whatever they damn well please. These studies are paid for by your tax dollars? Does anyone even care anymore? My God, I'm starting to get fatigued with all this stuff, thats when you know its bad!

The Bush administration altered critical portions of a scientific
analysis of the environmental impact of cattle grazing on public lands
announcing Thursday that it would relax regulations limiting grazing
on those
lands, according to scientists involved in the study.

A government biologist and a hydrologist, who both retired this year from
the Bureau of Land Management, said their conclusions that the proposed new
rules might adversely affect water quality and wildlife, including endangered
species, were excised and replaced with language justifying less stringent
regulations favored by cattle ranchers.

Grazing regulations, which affect 160 million acres of public land in
the Western U.S., set the conditions under which ranchers may use that land,
guide government managers in determining how many cattle may graze,
where and for how long without harming natural resources.

The original draft of the environmental analysis warned that the new
rules would have a "significant adverse impact" on wildlife, but that phrase was removed.
The bureau now concludes
that the grazing regulations are "beneficial to animals."

Eliminated from the final draft was another conclusion that read: "The
Proposed Action will have a slow, long-term adverse impact on wildlife and
biological diversity in general."Also removed was language saying how a number
of the rule changes could adversely affect endangered species.

As taught in seventh grade and onward, scientific study goes in this order:

Hypothsis/Objective, Method, experimentation, CONCLUSION.

Science in the Bush era? Conclusion comes first and then if the science doesn't follow, just lie.

Smoke & Mirrors

I've been following and not posting specifically on Senator DickDurbin's comments the other day. I'm sure, by now, we're all aware of them:

When you read some of the graphic descriptions of what has occurred here --
I almost hesitate to put them in the record, and yet they have to be added
to this debate. Let me read to you what one FBI agent saw. And I quote from his
On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a
detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair,
food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been
left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had
been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the
barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air
conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated
room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor,
with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his
hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature
unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and
had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the
fetal position on the tile floor.
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others
-- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.

Now, I'm not going to get into the semantics of the arguement. It was a monumentally stupid statement to make for no other reason than the beating EVERYONE has been taking when Hilter, Germany or Nazi's are even mentioned. I mean, if someone handed me a speech or wrote a speech containing any of these metaphors, I would simply say "find another way to say it". Its that easy.
What cracks me up is the complete looney-fest that is going on in the right wing blogosphere. I mean, first it was "he should apologize" and then it was "he should be censured" and now its "he should resign". I mean, give me a break! Just as an exercise, lets show how many on the right have done this as well...but the difference is, its not our soldiers, its just, ya know, Democrats. To be fair, should they all resign? Or is it all right to call political opponents anything, you just can't intimate that about our soldiers, which, with any 5th grade reading comprehension skills, you can see that Durbin is not doing that. But like I said, I have no desire to defend him, it was completely idiotic.

Thank God some conservatives still have a sane bone left in their body. Daily Kos makes a good point referring to comments made by Powell, Hagel, Graham and Specter critical of actions at Gitmo:

Want to know what's interesting about that list of Republicans above?
Colin Powell, Army general. Chuck Hagel, two purple hearts and a bronze star in
Vietnam. Lindsey Graham, US National Guard Judge Advocacy Group. Arlen Specter, US Air Force. Of the conservative bloggers, the one that seems to get this is
John Cole, also a veteran.
This truly shouldn't be a partisan issue. So why is the other side
reacting the way they are?

I truly think this is a case of smoke and mirrors. If they can distract you enough from the real issue, they are winning. The real issue is torture, prisoner abuse and lack of due process. Its time to draft a real policy. Its time to hold those accountable, accountable. If only the right wing bloggers would spend half the amount of time bringing to light these hopefully isolated instances of abuse as they did to Durbins comments, we'd be back on track to the moral highground--where we belong for God's sake.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I thought we agreed...

Environmental Republican has his new post up on the Schiavo autopsy released today. Once upon a time we agreed that the government was going to far in this case. Apprently now I'm in for, and I guess most of the other bloggers besides him, yet another round of 'shame'. You might recall the last time I should have been ashamed of myself. My loyal readers know, I don't take very kindly to being 'shamed'.

The autopsy results were released by the M.E. regarding Terri Schiavo. The
left and right are doing their usual dance about what it all means. The left
side of the blogosphere is
ecstatic and the right is still defending their positions.

That link is to my post concerning the story wondering if any of the users of the Schiavo family was going to apologize. I didn't even realize that I had such a latent feeling of ecstacy while I was writing that. Here's what I said:

Should I hold out hope...
that one of those commentators,
protestors, SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN...anyone who used this case to further their own agenda...will apologize.I guess I won't hold my breath (emphasis

Then I quoted the story concerning the autopsy and a quote from Bill Frist at the time. Then I said:

I feel very sad for her parents. I truly believed that they thought she
could be rehabilitated, and that in itself is not something to sneer at. But
they were used, by everyone, to further an agenda that had nothing to do with
them. Yes, they took advantage of it, but I'm sure it was out of love and a
sense of loss.

I know alot of conservatives don't recognize a little compassion when they see it, but c'mon. In fact, when I expressed a similar statement concerning the protestors and the government intrustion into the private matter I believe a somewhat reasonable bloggers once said

I agree with the affable Katinula!

But you see, that was then and this is now. We, mind you WE, should be ashamed of ourselves to have even taken sides in the whole issue.
Shame on all of you

In fact, WE "got so caught up in politics that they lost their remaining humanity."

Pheeww...I'm glad I didnt get caught up into politics like this guy did (emphasis mine and links removed):

The left side of the blogosphere is ecstatic
and the right is still defending their positions.

the simple fact is that a woman was allowed to die a slow death and her
husband, while appearing to me to be a low-life, was unabashedly

Dems and Libs who should be ashamed of dredging up the death of Tom DeLay's mother and other assorted unseemly things

Second, the Democrats are in the position (again) that they are crowing
about a 'win' for starving a young woman
. How come a Liberal win always leaves me with the feeling that I need a two-hour hot shower. These people are

Michael Schiavo is such a dirtbag that

The news media showed that they have yet to reach the bottom.

Now for any and all phrases which represented the conservative/right wing position in the debate:

people are with me that the government overstepped its bounds and
disagree with the conservative blogosphere

This is not the Republican party that I know, one of limited government and states

I was appalled that the government of the US met in a midnight session
and enacted a law that was not directed at the greater good of the

The various courts as a whole and the judges in particular had some
tough decisions to make and erred on the side of the law and not emotion.
They've taken a beating on this wrongly in my view.

No one looks good and everyone looks bad.

But apparently, 'everyone' is not him. I report, you decide.
Scott, I love ya, but sometimes man...sometimes, you are just wrong.

Oh my holy God this funny! Hat tip Andrew Sullivan
Go get 'em Triumph. If you could think of one place where Triumph the Insult Comic Dog would belong, its the Michael Jackson Trial.
This is worth the wait for download time if you have to wait! Just click 'watch it now'.

Lots to check out...

Just a wrap up...commentary to come later.

TCR has a new weekly feature, started last week, which unfortunately seems to be gaining momentum. Definitely some interesting 'pay to play' type stuff.

Atrios has an interesting post about the Downing Street Memo. I've steered clear for a while but plan to educate myself on the topic.

Another O'Reilly meltdown. Here's a fun drinking game. Count how many times that jack-ass calls Al Franken a name, including 'vile, smear merchant' without actually citing one piece of evidence. Or ya know, count how many times Franken has offered to be on the show with O'Reilly not taking him up on the offer. Either way, you'll be drunk in 4 minutes.

Rick Santorum, as everyone knows, is an idiot and more than likely, is not going to have a job soon. Here, speaking of the Schiavo case:

"If a state court decides to take the life of someone, there should be a
federal review."

As Andrew Sullivan says:
So the feds now have jurisdiction over all death penalty cases, all
end-of-life decisions under state law, and on and on? When someone as fanatical
as Santorum is so dominant in the Republican party, you know that conservatism
as we have known it is essentially over.

Environmental Republican is right. Most in the blogosphere agree it seems.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Agree or disagree...

This is just hysterical.

Ruh-roh Raggy, I think what I consider to be hysterical got me in trouble before. Don't worry, this one doesn't contain anything sexually explicit.

Flavor-Flav...Political Opportunist

Liberal indoctrinator? Is that even a word?

Sadly No has a hysterical piece on a College Republican's 'review' of a Flavor-Flav concert in Myrtle Beach during spring break (a little late?).

With slogans like "F*@^ Bush," "War is not the answer," and "He ain't
my president," Flava-Flav brought on a new wave of liberal indoctrination in the
21st Century.


If liberals are so desperate that they must resort to attempted
brainwashing of students in clubs, liberal indoctrination has reached a new

Umm...Hi dorky college republican. I call you that because apparently you were unaware of who Flavor-Flav is. I would call you a honky ala George Jefferson, but I'm trying to be nice. You see, back in the day (80's and 90's) Flavor-Flav was part of a pretty popular rap group called PUBLIC ENEMY. They were popular with the youths of the time with songs like 911 IS A JOKE, F*&K THE POLICE and BRING THE NOISE.
In case you hadn't noticed, they were considered somewhat radical in their time and WERE ALWAYS and their members CONTINUE TO BE extremely political.

What a jack-ass. Get a clue.

I'd laugh if it weren't true...

Via Horatio:

But in England, you can spend about $14.50 for a quart bottle of mud to
apply to your vehicles to give them the always popular grunge look.And the
product, Sprayonmud, doesn't cater to just any vehicle. According to the
company's Web site (, the target buyers are owners of
sport-utility vehicles.Why?"To give your friends, family and neighbors the
impression you've just come back from a day's shooting or fishing, anything but
driving around town all day."

This, in a word, is classic.

Should I hold out hope...

that one of those commentators, protestors, SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN...anyone who used this case to further their own agenda...will apologize.
I guess I won't hold my breath (emphasis mine).

She died from dehydration, Thogmartin said. He said she did not appear to
have suffered a heart attack and there was no evidence that she was given
harmful drugs or other substances prior to her death.
He said that after her feeding tube was removed, she would not have been able to eat or drink if she had been given food by mouth, as her parents' requested.
"Removal of her feeding tube would have resulted in her death whether she was fed or hydrated by mouth or not," Thogmartin told reporters.
He also said she was blind, because the "vision centers of her brain were dead," and that her brain was about half of its expected size when she died 13 days following the feeding tube's removal.

Keep in mind (via Atrios) what Bill Frist said. Damn those videotaped diagnoses:

"I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an
hour or so looking at last night in my office,” he said in a lengthy speech in
which he quoted medical texts and standards. “She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli.”


..."The brain weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of
a human brain," he said. "This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons."

I feel very sad for her parents. I truly believed that they thought she could be rehabilitated, and that in itself is not something to sneer at. But they were used, by everyone, to further an agenda that had nothing to do with them. Yes, they took advantage of it, but I'm sure it was out of love and a sense of loss.

Flag Desecration

This story I find a bit disturbing.

The Senate may be within one or two votes of passing a constitutional
amendment to ban desecration of the U.S. flag, clearing the way for ratification
by the states, a key opponent of the measure said Tuesday.

I am 100% against an ammendment outlawing the desecration of the US Flag. Now, that opinion has nothing at all to do with the level of respect I have for the flag or the level of respect I have for this country. This is a free country. The flag is a symbol of this nation--a symbol, and that is all. People should be free to fly it or burn it, whatever they feel makes the statement that they would like to make. I might disagree with it, but that doesn't mean it should be banned.
We can not continue to try and legislate good taste/morals in this country and least of all can we legislate mandatory respect for the symbols of this country.

Post won't work

I can't get the post below "Happy to Report" to work. Go to Ballon Juice ( to read about it. It was, at best, a gross exaggeration.

Could we have waiting a week for the announcement?

Just when I thought PR was trumping all, a monumental lapse occurs.

Philip A. Cooney, the former White House staff member who repeatedly
revised government scientific reports on global warming, will go to work for
Exxon Mobil this fall, the oil company said yesterday.

I mean, couldn't ExxonMobil have waited a week for this story to get somewhat cold before announcing his hiring? I have to wonder just how much access to the White House this 'lobbyist' will have.

Happy to Report

I'm very happy to report that the story about Marine recruitment tactics which I posted about to last week seems to be, at best, a gross exaggeration. Go to Ballon Juice ( see the story. Every time I link to it, something screwy happens with the post.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I second that emotion

Ezra Klein has a great post concerning the raising of the retirement age. I can't tell you how sick I feel when some genius out there starts talking about raising the retirement age. Let me clue all you desk jockeys in on something (this includes myself too)--all you "I'm not retiring at 62, I plan to work for my whole life" people. People who work their ass off everyday in the heat, cold, rain, snow...people who spend their lives working and missing out on family events...people who spend their entire lives working at a job which gives new meaning to the word 'servitude'...ya know those people NEED RETIREMENT!

You know what? I'm sorry, I recant my entire above statement. I'm going to ask my father to get his lazy ass back to work. I mean, he only worked from the time he was in 8th grade, in a series of back-breaking jobs so that we could afford our extravagant middle class lifestyle. I mean, who doesn't want a couple of more years of worrying about getting laid off and being faced with the humiliation of unemployement? And Mom, don't think you are getting off so easy either. So what if you worked your entire adult life, never had time to do the fun things parents get to do like the PTA and soccer games. I mean, who do you people think you are??

This just reminds me of those sanctimonious parents out there these days, with their McMansions and their mini-vans who look down their noses at moms who aren't in the PTA and whose kids aren't in a freaking activity every season of the year. News flash: Not everyone lives like you!

Raising the retirement age throws shit right in the face of the saying 'respect your elders'. You know what, if you want to work, be my guest. Lets institute a law that says you won't get your SS until you retire. But don't force everyone to live the life you want to live. If so, the only justice would be for you to spend 40 years living their life. Lets see how quick you'd want to retire then.

Ok, rant over!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Just Imagine

Just imagine for once second that this was about a republican/conservative. Just imagine for one f'ing second the outrage. This is sick. F'ing hypocrites.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton turned furious and considered legal
action after learning bestselling author Ed Klein would allege in a new book:
Bill Clinton raped her -- resulting in the conception of daughter Chelsea
Clinton!"[Author] Klein is going to rot in hell for this," a well-placed source
close to Hillary said over the weekend. The explosive charge comes in THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY: WHAT SHE KNEW, WHEN SHE KNEW IT, AND HOW FAR SHE'LL GO TO BECOME PRESIDENT -- set for release next week.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Good ole' public relations

I guess he was becoming too much of a PR nightmare for the administration. Last week I intimated in my 'WTF is happening to science' piece about Phillip Cooney, the government employed lawyer who was editing scientific research to downplay the links between fossil fuels and global warming.

Have we forsaken respect for science this much that we are willing to
let a lobbyist and lawyer edit passages from scientific research?

You see, Cooney is a lobbyist, but not just any lobbyist. He once lobbied for the American Petroleum Institute. Yes, thats right.
Now, he's resigned. Why? Why of course, to spend the summer with his family. Orwellian isn't it?

Friday, June 10, 2005

A must read

This is beyond interesting (via Crooks and Liars).

"He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999," said author and journalist
Mickey Herskowitz. "It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being
seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My
father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of
Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade·.if I had that
much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that
I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." Herskowitz
said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the
shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the
opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow. The moment, Herskowitz said,
came in the wake of the September 11 attacks. "Suddenly, he's at 91 percent in
the polls, and he'd barely crawled out of the bunker."

This is a must read and I'll be very interested in how the bloggers respond. Will it hold up to scrutiny? There are many more interesting tid-bits in this article...explore!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

O'Reilly really is a Jackass

As if we needed more proof, he's now run out of his own fantastical ideas and is stealing others...that is, other Democratic ideas.

Wow...where is the outrage?? Damn that liberal media. Thank God Fox News is out there keepin' it real. But as Dave Chappelle once asked, 'what happens when keepin it real goes wrong"?

I guess I'll wait and see...I'm predicting a big fat nothing.

More on the memorial

Sadly no has a great piece on the memorial...ok well really, a piece tearing Michelle Malkin to pieces (via Crooks and Liars). I'm always happy to link to pieces like that.

As I said before, I think its a mistake to make the 9/11 memorial about anything but 9/11. No freedom center, no lessons taught. Just a solemn remembrance of the victims and the tragedy. That is message fact, just thinking about it is message enough.

I also took issue with Malkin (and other right wing bloggers out there) whose only criticism is that it is supposedly financed by left-wing 'radicals'. What, their money isn't green? That IS NOT reason enough to oppose the center. You make yourself look like an ass if your only complaint is that its George Soros' money.

I'll do my part get this story out there (via Horatio):

I don't think there was anything racial about it. These guys were
drinking, and this guy [Johnson] liked to dance. I'm not surprised when they get
to drinking and use the n-word. The black boy was somewhere he shouldn't have
been, although they brought him out there.
Note that the "boy" is 42 years old.
Witt also reports on what seem to be two relatively
fresh lynchings, neither leading to prosecution:
There was the case in 1994 when a black man who had been dating a white woman was found dead from a gunshot to the groin. And another in 2001, when a black man who had been dating a white woman was found hanging from a tree. Local officials ruled the first case a hunting accident and the second a suicide, despite the persistent doubts of family members and civil rights officials.

As they say, read the whole thing. Only by knowing can we stop the insanity.

Come to think of it

Why don't we just cut all funding for stuff like this. I mean really, who needs to learn anything about other planets and moons in our solar system. Whats that you say? We can learn alot about Earth this way. Listen, I don't want to learn anything about earth that isn't already in the Bible. As far as I'm concerned, that is the only science I need.

Titan is the only moon in the solar system that has a significant
atmosphere made up of nitrogen and methane. Its atmosphere is similar to that of
primordial Earth and scientists believe that studying it could provide clues to
how life began.

How life began. Hhmmmm...very interesting. Paging Kansas Board of Education. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If, in infinite space, one other planet has life but no Bible, are they still alive?

Please say its not true

I really hope this article is not true and is a case of the evil MSM making shit up.

Axel's father, a Marine Corps vet who served in Vietnam, died when Axel was 4.

Clearly the recruiters knew all that and more.
"You don't want to be a
burden to your mom," they told him. "Be a man." "Make your father proud." Never mind that, because of his own experience in the service, Marcia says enlistment
for his son is the last thing Axel's dad would have wanted.
The next weekend, when Marcia went to Seattle for the Folklife Festival and Axel was home alone, two recruiters showed up at the door.
Axel repeated the family mantra, but he was feeling frazzled and worn down by then. The sergeant was friendly but, at the same time, aggressively insistent. This time, when Axel said, "Not interested," the sarge turned surly, snapping, "You're making a big (bleeping) mistake!"

The article goes on the describe the kidnapping (yes, kidnapping) of Axel. Is this what we've come to? God, I hope not.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hey now!

Its all fine and well in South Africa and Australia--well, not really, but you know what I mean. But in South Jersey???? At a beach I've been to??? Nooooooo.

If I needed just one more reason not to like swimming in the ocean, here it is!

Solemn remembrance

Why oh why can't everyone just get on the same page with the World Trade Center Memorial. New outrage has emerged over the recent op-ed by Debra Burlingame over just who controls the strings at Ground Zero. Its a very moving piece, but I think the most enraging part of it is not just about what is planned by the IFC. Burlingame goes on the describe the chief partners in the IFC, most of whom are seen by the right wing as America-hating commie bastards (or some such nonsense). Please keep in mind that as Michelle Malkin points out, "...the driving force behind the IFC is Tom Bernstein, a longtime pal and business partner of President Bush.".

So now that we got out of the way that the 'hijacking of Ground Zero' is being done by both right wingers and left wingers, let me ask an obvious question. Why in the hell is there anything to the monument other than victims names, pictures, artifacts and other memories from that tragic day. I know I'm weighing in after the horse has already left the barn (huh?), but lets take a page out of the Oklahoma City memorial. Nothing belongs at Ground Zero but a monument to the vicitms. Not a freedom center, not a picture of Iraqi's holding up their purple finger, not anything other than what happened on that fateful day and who were the victims.

Simple, eloquent and moving. I ask, what more is needed than that? Political statements? Oh God no.

And to top it off...some righties still claim this absurd notion:

Burlingame says that the center is practically being turned into
what Bill Maher has wanted: a Why They Hate Us Pavillion.

Yes, there are actually people still out there that don't think there are any lessons to be learned from 9/11 but violent ones. Having said that, those lessons shouldn't be taught at the memorial.

Another great post

A great post from the Poorman (via Atrios).

Its hard for me to understand how the average American isn't interested in what is being done in his/her name. To actually use the Geneva Conventions to justify what is going on at Gitmo and other places seems to be more a way to win the argument rather than doing what is right.

For example, the other day on the O'Reilly Factor, Bill harrassed his guest concerning treatment of those at Gitmo . To paraphrase, O'Reilly read the passage to his guest (a lawyer) in which it is stated that the Geneva Conventions only apply to those who wear a uniform or other symbol which is recognized as part of an army. Therefore, those at Gitmo can't be considered POWs.

O'REILLY: All right, and what is the defining thing that you have to have,
if you're captured?
BROOKS: You have to have a fixed symbol, recognizable at
a distance.
O'REILLY: Right, you have to have a uniform.
BROOKS: Yes. Well, it doesn't say uniform, actually.
O'REILLY: Yes, it does. It says...
BROOKS: You got it in front of you? It doesn't say uniform. Uniform
or a fixed symbol recognizable...
O'REILLY: Now you just made a mistake. OK, the members must wear a uniform or other fixed distinctive emblem.
BROOKS: That's absolutely right.
O'REILLY: They have not.
BROOKS: Not necessarily. But that's -- if they're not members of...
O'REILLY: But what? Here is the treaty.
BROOKS: The civilians...
O'REILLY: They didn't do it.
O'REILLY: There's no "but." Here's the treaty. They
didn't do it, you want them to give them the treaty.

Now, O'Reilly is right. He's happy to have won the arguement. But the question I want to ask that jackass is, is he happy that there are people at Gitmo who have been there for upwards of three years, not charged, no contact with family, no lawyers and no access to any of this? Does he find that morally acceptable?
The United States sets the standard around the world for prosecuting crime. Yes, we get it wrong many times. The accused have rights (some crazy guy once said that all people have 'unalienable rights'). Yes, these people are not American citizens (Jose Padilla excluded), but are we as a nation not willing to hold ourselves up to the highest standard of human rights?

Ask yourself this, if these people at Gitmo know anything, wouldn't we have found it out in the three years that have passed? If evidence was procured, wouldn't we be charging and prosecuting them? Wouldn't this make a great story for the Bush administration about what information we have procured from these inmates?

Why aren't Americans pushing for that higher standard? Forget the arguement that it would generate positivity in the Middle East (though I believe that). It is the RIGHT thing to do. If you imprison someone, they should be charged with a crime. Why don't Americans care anymore?

What is more important? Winning the argument or doing the right thing?

Sometimes, its not a good idea to get out of bed

I read this story this morning with GREAT disbelief. I mean, is this where we are as a nation? Have we forsaken respect for science this much that we are willing to let a lobbyist and lawyer edit passages from scientific research?
Not only this, but we are about to let public schools teach 'intelligent design' in SCIENCE classes. We are telling our children (with tax payer money) that condems won't protect them during sex. We are diagnosing mentally incapacitated people based on video tapes from 5 years ago.

I have never seen an administration have such a disdain for the world of science. Such an utter disrespect and polarization for what science produces. I have never seen a time when science was under such attack. As a scientist, this is sad!

Science: 1 : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

There are times when I question the blame I want to lay. I say, "am I being too partisan"? I say, "am I blaming Bush because I hate him so much"? But I'm sorry, I lay this rejection of science squarely at the feet of the Republicans. Science is not partisan. When you use science in a partisan way, you trivialize it and you marginalize it and you compartmentalize it. Science is for study, reflection and education. Ask yourself this...what has this administration done to educate anyone?


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This is what happens...

when you restrict access to abortions. I don't want to hear arguements for and against abortion. Abortion is legal in this country. This is what happens when you do everything in your power to get around that legality and restrict access to it.

What liberal media?

In a true view of the 'liberal media' here is a snapshot of Yahoo's headlines at this exact moment...2:42pm EST.

GM plans to cut 25,000 U.S. jobs by 2008
Senate ends Brown nomination filibuster
Spanish judge wants to question U.S. troops
World military spending nears Cold War peak
Despite drop, experts say euro will stay strong
Jury deliberates again in Jackson trial
Kerry's grades at Yale similar to Bush's
NFL suspends Vikings' Smith for the season

Emphasis mine.

A great read

This Q&A is a must read for those on the right and the left (hat tip Andrew Sullivan).
Taking down Michael Moore and the Right Wing in the same session. Wow.

Q: In my experience, it’s almost impossible to persuade people on the
Left to look at the allegations made against Moore. How have your friends on the
Left reacted to the details of fabrications, etc, you have listed? Do you now
expect to be "excommunicated"?
A: I must say that this has not at all been
my experience. The idea of Moore as the universal darling of the Left is, I
think, a product of the right-wing media. There's been quite a lot of criticism
of Moore in the left-wing press--or what passes for it--off the top of my head I
can think of pieces in Dissent, The New Republic, Salon, Slate, LA Weekly,
Blueprint, Open Democracy, and numerous left-wing blogs. Believe it or not,
there are great numbers of thoughtful liberals who despise Moore and consider
him very bad for the left. Most of my friends are on the Left, and none of them
respect him. Well, maybe one or two, with reservations and caveats. Far from
"excommunicating" me, my friends have encouraged me by saying that what I'm
doing is important for the health of the Left, and wished me success.


Republicans have to rein in their own viciously partisan manipulators.
You asked why Michael Moore is loved by some on the Left, and what the Democrats
should do about him. I could ask the same question in regard to Rush Limbaugh,
Michael Reagan, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Boortz, G.
Gordon Liddy, Tucker Carlson, Jay Nordlinger... The list goes on and on and on
and on. It's quite fair to criticize Jimmy Carter for inviting Moore into his
box at the convention; what about the radical Congressional Republicans of '94
naming Rush Limbaugh an honorary member of the House? What about the Right's
embrace of Coulter and Savage, who routinely refer to Democrats as traitors and
terrorist sympathizers? What about Richard Mellon Scaife generating rumors that
Clinton was a murderer and a drug dealer? Don't recall any Republicans
denouncing that.

Out of Place

This is disturbing. While I certainly don't ascribe to the belief that George Soros is the root of all evil in the world, I do think that anything that isn't a memorial to the victims of 9/11 is out of place at the monument.
However, I do take issue with the idea that anyone who has criticized efforts subsequent to 9/11 has no place at the monument. Space for human rights abuses around the world? NOOOOOO.
Not at that particular space. But to say that their motives are suspect JUST because of their disagreement with policies after the tragedy is a little ridiculous.

Apologize? I think not.

John Kerry's military records have just been released and guess what they show?

The records, which the Navy Personnel Command provided to the Globe,
are mostly a duplication of what Kerry released during his 2004 campaign for
president, including numerous commendations from commanding officers who later criticized Kerry's Vietnam service ..."Many of the records
contain praise for Kerry's service. For example, the documents quote Kerry's
former commanding officers as saying he is ''one of the finest young officers
with whom I have served;" is ''the acknowledged leader of his peer group;" and
is ''highly recommended for promotion."

Reaction starting from here and here.

I wonder if the Republicans/conservatives will apologize for calling into question Kerry's service. I won't hold my breath. It bears repeating that all the bitching and moaning about supporting the troops from people like Hannity and O'Reilly is total bullshit. Support the troops! Well, unless they disagree with the war, then...ya know, don't.
I will be checking right wing blogs for one mention of this story.


As the Bull Moose predicted, some Conservatives are covering the 'real' story released in the same issue of the Globe. Typical. Get ready for some more smear and slime of our troops by those who purport to support them.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Up is down, right is left

In an amazing display of idiocy, Bill Frist continues on board the crazy train (emphasis mine).

The majority leader said the judicial impasse would have never been
broken had he not forced the issue by threatening to prohibit filibusters and
engaged in an extended buildup to the vote, creating pressure for a
"Without that sort of leadership, there is no deal to be cut,
there are no brokers to deal, there is no deal to be brokered," he

I've decided that my life has had a glaring lack of moments where I could be given credit for solutions to problems that I've caused. So I've decided to do the following:

1. Climb a bridge and threaten to jump. When I'm talked down by the chief negotiator in a heroic display of compassion, I'm going to claim that without my risk-taking abilities, that negotiator would never have been able to save my life and be called a 'hero'.
2. Cause a car accident. Then, when the other car is totalled, let everyone know that without me, that person would never have gotten a new car!
3. Attempt to rob a bank and be a miserable failure at it. Then, when caught, claim that without my initiative, the police would never have been able to show their crime-busting abilities.

If anyone has any other ideas of incidents that I can cause out of sheer stupidity and lack of respect for the rules, please feel free to leave them in the comments. Please make sure that a solution to the problem that I cause is demonstrable and easily attainable.

Time to re-focus

Yet another blow to the effort to legalize medical marijuana.
The War on Drugs is an utter failure, particularly in respect to pot.
This seems to me to be a bi-partisan issue, yet somehow we haven't been able to do anything about the obscene amounts of money spent on a failing enterprise.
Many bloggers, both right and left have commented about this.
In a time when we are cutting funds from everything including healthcare and the military, can't we start by stemming the loss of blood from this obsolete program?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Good to see

One of my favorite shows could possibly be back on track...
and for's one of my favorite skit...Black Bush.


Poor Bret Schundler...can't he dig up some of his own enthusiastic supporters?

More peak oil discussion...Well Z, I think you've done some good.

More reaction from conservatives over Peggy Noonan's assertion that Mark Felt has some complicity in the Cambodian slaughter and the fall of Vietnam.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It boggles the mind...

Talking Points Memo has a good post taking down Peggy Noonan. Whether or not you agree with Nixon's impeachment, I think its a pretty GIGANTIC leap to blame the collapse of the Vietnam effort and Pol Pot and the slaughter of millions in Cambodia on Mark Felt. I mean, a little common sense here? Maybe if Nixon was more concerned with Vietnam and less concerned with Democrats, it wouldn't have happened.

Money quote from Peggy:

What Mr. Felt helped produce was a weakened president who was a serious
president at a serious time. Nixon's ruin led to a cascade of catastrophic
events--the crude and humiliating abandonment of Vietnam and the Vietnamese, the rise of a monster named Pol Pot, and millions--millions--killed in his genocide.
America lost confidence; the Soviet Union gained brazenness. What a terrible
time. Is it terrible when an American president lies and surrounds himself by
dirty tricksters? Yes, it is. How about the butchering of children in the South
China Sea. Is that worse? Yes. Infinitely, unforgettably and forever.

Money quote from Josh:

I guess, though, we owe Peggy et al. thanks for stipulating for the
record that they don't think anyting of any consequence was done wrong in
Watergate because that provides a helpful context for understanding why they
keep carrying the water of this administration, knowing as they do that many of
the same things are happening.

I think he's being easy on her. I mean, it truly boggles the mind.

UPDATE: Powerline agrees. Some conservatives aren't that crazy (well, some of the time anyway).

Back in the game...

This makes me sick...

Personally, I reject the notion that any book is 'dangerous'. Whether the book is offensive or contains ideas that could adopted by dangerous people, a book can never be dangerous--with the possible exception of the Anarchist's Cookbook. I mean, if just saying the phrase "10 Most Harmful Books" doesn't send you into a fit of rebellion against censorship and limited discussion, you are beyond help.
Having said that, taking a look at the list, just purely going on themes, it seems a couple of books are missing...the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. But then again, I guess they weren't from the 19th and 20th centuries so no big deal.

As if the top 10 list weren't disgusting enough (including titles like The Feminine Mystique and Democracy and Education, the list of honorable mention (garnering just a few votes) was even worse: Silent Spring, Origin of the Species and of course Unsafe at any Speed.
It seems ideas such as rampant destruction of wildlife and vegetation by pesticides (Silent Spring), evolution (of course!), and the safety of motor vehicles (Unsafe at any Speed by Ralph Nader) are harmful.
The theme of this list appears to be don't read books which could make you 1) think for yourself; 2) possibly think about or adopt another political or philosophical belief; or 3) distrust men, corporations or your government.

Hah, let freedom ring right?

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