Saturday, April 29, 2006

Neil Young - Living With War

Neil Young - Living With War - Full album, free for a listen.

Howdy, Neighbor! http://www.livingwithwar.blogspot.com/
Mr. Young half-jokingly describes "Living With War" as his "metal folk protest" album. It's his blunt statement about the Iraq war; "History was a cruel judge of overconfidence/back in the days of shock and awe," he sings, strumming an electric guitar and leading a power trio with a sound that harks back to Young albums like "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Ragged Glory."

Some songs add a trumpet or a 100-voice choir, hastily convened in Los Angeles for one 12-hour session. During the nine new songs he sympathizes with soldiers and war victims, insists "Don't need no more lies," longs for a leader to reunite America and prays for peace.

In a song whose title alone has already brought him the fury of right-wing blogs, he urges, "Let's Impeach the President." It ends with Mr. Young shouting, "Flip, flop," amid contradictory sound bites of President Bush. But Mr. Young insists the album is nonpartisan. Click HERE to continue reading...
It's a damn good listen. Go do that thing.

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Capitol Hill Blue's The Rant: Follow the money...


Capitol Hill Blue's The Rant: Follow the money...
:
"In 1987, as Vice President for Political Programs at the National Association of Realtors, I ran the county's largest PAC, a multi-million dollar monster that dispensed money to politicians like Mad Dog 20/20 to winos, feeding their political campaign fundraising habits with frequent fixes.

So it was inevitable that VanderJagt and I would meet in public debate - a televised one on PBS.

The Congressman from Michigan repeated his charge that PACs, in his and his party's opinion, were 'nothing but a bunch of whores.'

'There's a problem with your analogy,' I replied. 'Where I come from, whores aren't the one who pay. Whores are the ones standing there, with their hand out, asking for money in advance for something they are, at that point, only promising to deliver. I think we all should remember that when one pays money under those circumstances, the very best one can get is screwed.'"


He includes a few modest proposals for campaign reform.

CAP THE COSTS OF CAMPAIGNS: Perhaps no more than $500,000 for a House race, $1 million for a Senate campaign. Require newspapers, television and radio stations to provide space or time, pro-rated equally, for candidates to present their positions. Eliminate political ads.

ELIMINATE OUTSIDE MONEY FROM CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS: Candidates should be required to raise money only within their districts. No donations from interests or individuals who have no connection to a state or district.

BAN OUTSIDE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: This means 527 organizations or others from inserting themselves into a Congressional or Senate campaign. The late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once said "all politics is local." Let's make it that way again.

This is just a start of the more comprehensive ideas for campaign reform that we will be offering in coming weeks as part of a new non-partisan, grassroots educational organizations that launches on May 1.

Stay tuned. The fun continues.


I'm down with that.

Feel Safer?

AOL News - FBI Investigated 3,501 People Without Warrants

WASHINGTON (April 29) - The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said Friday.

It was the first time the Bush administration has publicly disclosed how often it uses the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.

Friday's disclosure was mandated as part of the renewal of the Patriot Act, the administration's sweeping anti-terror law.

The FBI delivered a total of 9,254 NSLs relating to 3,501 people in 2005, according to a report submitted late Friday to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In some cases, the bureau demanded information about one person from several companies.


Now, if we could just get the names, we'd know who the terrorists are. Or rather, who the Administration thinks of as "terrorists." Democrats, in other words.

Barking at the Moonbats

End Conservative Whining

O'Reilly opined on why Fox News is not "a right-wing enterprise"

O'Reilly claimed right wing doesn't "smear"


Bill O'Reilly asserted that while "on the left, it's all about the smear," "the propagandists on the right" are "not smear merchants"; "they're not trying to smear anybody." He also said, "[M]aybe I'm naïve," but "when I tune in to [the] programs [of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Laura Ingraham], I hear ideology."


Yep. I hear his "idiology" on those programs too. His bigoted, intolerant, simpleminded idiology in which everything is somebody else's fault. Of course, I don't confuse "idiology" with "willful ignorance."

A Very Fine Rant Indeed

d r i f t g l a s s: Behold the Amazing Jebusaurus!

Like Colonial Williamsburg or South Dakota, Americans had manufactured another wholly fake community for some socially intriguing reason that our descendents (or the descendents of the people we speak to when we call the 800-number on the back of our major appliances when they flake out) will theorize cleverly about.

That rather that efficiently generically engineering the incapacitating disease of conservative fundamentalism out of our blood, we humanely gave them their own s-l-o-w children’s camp. It was a dim-but-cheery place with its own, comforting fake history of the planet, its own cartoon God, and even its own new network that told the stupid people that God loved them better than anyone else. That they didn’t need sense enough to pound sand or as much compassion as God gave a Pitcher plant, as long as they were “Saved”.

And anyway, they weren’t really stupid.

The “elites” were stupid.

And maybe these “Flowers For AlgernonLand” designers even had a few chuckles at the expense of their devolved fellow citizens; perhaps once in a while laughing themselves to tears as the dense denizens of the place scared themselves over and over again scampering down “The dimly lit Corruption galleries, by comparison, will feature videos of pain and suffering, noxious odors and the heat, literally, turned up.”

Dumbing down by several orders of magnitude a complex allegory about the inherency of pain and loss in a dualistic Universe within the field of Time…into God’s own a Pull-My-Finger joke.

At least I hope that’s the tale they’ll tell themselves, because the truth is so much simpler and sadder.

The truth is that for all of its think tanks, fake media and Small Gummint bluster, the Republican Party would evaporate tomorrow like dew in a firestorm if it were not kept lavishly stocked with bigots and idiots. Without its bumper crop of racists yielded from the Southern Strategy, its millions of fanatically anti-Enlightenment Christopaths and the millions of garden variety stupids, the GOP would be one dead fucking parrot…and the people running the Party like a Long Con damned well know it.

Which is why every strategy is aimed at creating more stupid people.

Because the more logic-intolerant the base, the easier everything gets.

You are SO blogrolled!

Senate Republicans Wake Up and Smell the tyranny

via My Buffalo River Home:

Backgrounder from Jurist PaperChase:
[JURIST] US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], said Thursday that he is considering proposing legislation that would suspend funding for the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] if the Bush administration continues "walking all over Congress."

Specter said that he is unsatisfied with the answers on the program that administration officials have provided during public hearings and said that he is considering proposing an amendment to a spending bill currently being debated by the Senate. Specter also questioned whether the administration would comply with increased congressional oversight, saying "we have no assurance that the president would follow any statute that we enact."

We can only applaud Sen. Specter's defense of the Constitution and the Constitutional mandate of the Congress, late though it is, it is not overlate.

I'll take one in Red.

Photo


Yahoo! News Photo:| Students in England Show Off CLEVER Car AP - Wed Apr 26, 7:27 PM ET
This handout file photo issued by the University of Bath shows a graphic of the Clever (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport) vehicle on Monday April 24, 2006. The vehicle's strengthened frame protects the driver in a crash. The car, designed for cities has been developed by a team of European scientists and is designed to combine the safety of a micro car, the maneuverability of a motorbike while being more fuel efficient and less polluting than other vehicles. The vehicle can run on conventional fuels or CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). (AP Photo/University of Bath, HO)
All the fun of a motorcycle without the chapped face! The milage bonus (quite high) is ALMOST an afterthought.

Now, make it a two-seater and give me room for four bags of groceries.

A profit is without honor in it's own land.

The Arianna Huffington: George Bush: Foreign Policy from God, Energy Policy from Big Oil

The winger excuses for Big Oil profits don't pass the most basic fact check, as Arianna gleefully shows.

But perhaps the simplest check is the "gut check" of common sense.

Sales minus cost of production equals profit. If the claims made by wingers were true, oil company profits would be stable, even with higher costs at the pump. Any "proof" to the contrary has to account for this, and it doesn't. It's pure bafflegab.

"Figures don't lie, but liars can sure figure."

And you can take THAT to the bank.

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A Conservative Suggests a Solution to the Immigration Problem.

CasperL.dk - Republicans & Conservatives Political News and Oponions

Annex Mexico

Friday, April 28, 2006

From Praguetwin
"..a lot of my right-wing friends are quick to point out that the old "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" doctrine, which ostesibly led to these gigantic blunders in foreign policy, is no longer in use.

That may be true, but I must have missed the press conference when they announced that and admitted that it had all been a terrible, terrible, mistake.

How does anyone expect us to be taken seriously considering the past?

When exactly is the cutoff date for the US support of terrorism? 1989? 1992? 2000? No, it is clearly September 11th, 2001 when the United States finally realized that terrorism was bad news. Before then, as Hamas would say, it was a perfectly legitimate response to aggression.


Or if I might amplify; "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you."

When you have utterly intractable problems of any sort, that generally points to a situation where the people controlling the situation have no interest in resolving the situation. So playing the "blame game" is simply a smoke screen.

Of course, terrorists should pay for their crimes. But that response is a day late and a dollar short. The issue is not the odd terrorist here or there; the issue is that terrorism is seen as the logical response to whatever. As a broad generality, that is due to there being a lack of other options.

Sun Tsu observed in the Art of War that it was important to always allow your opponent an avenue of escape; the opportunity to choose to not fight.

If you wish to "win" any meaningful prize in war, or war by other means, you have to make it profitable for the other side to blink first.

Other observations about cornered rats and rabbits are to be taken as given. In order stem the plague of terrorism - don't terrify people. It's wrong. And it's wrong because of... (Bob waves vaguly towards the Middle East.)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The "internets" beg to differ.

A Letter to the Verizon/AT&T Five

I've been asked for background, so here goes. This post refers to a vote on internet freedom (or 'net neutrality') that took place in a House Committee today. Right now your broadband ISP isn't really allowed to block legal web sites or services to their customers. A law that passed in a House Committee today lets them. It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the gist. Pretty soon your broadband provider will be allowed to block Google, Vonage, or your favorite blog if a competitor pays them, if they develop a competing service, or if they just don't like you. This sort of undermines the whole internet thing, and I'm fighting against it. More info is at Savetheinternet.com. These five people I'm highlighting are the Democrats who voted against a free internet, and I'd like you to call them up and let them know that their vote against the Markey Amendment (that's what the amendment was called) is simply outrageous. They need to know people are mad.

Dear Verizon/ATT Five,

I know how much you enjoy getting campaign contributions from telecommunications interests, and I hope that you find yourself swimming in contributions. I mean, you've earned it, since voting against freedom on the internet isn't going to get you many fans. I'm also glad you're so accessible to your constituents, and I've taken the liberty to list the amount of money you received from cable and telephone interests, as well as your office's phone number.

  1. Ed Towns (NY-10) received $22,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-5936.
  2. Al Wynn (MD-04) received $19,100 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-8699.
  3. Charlie Gonzales: (TX-20) received $16,500 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-3236.
  4. Bobby Rush: (IL-01) received $21,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-4372.
  5. Gene Green: (TX-29) received $12,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I'm glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-1688 tel.

It's hard work to make hundreds of thousands of internet users really really mad. But you persevered, and in all likelihood your reelection campaigns will be that much richer. Congrats, guys, you made Santa's naughty list.

Oh yeah, and incidentally Blogpac is making a list of people to primary and people to make nice with in 2008. You know, the PAC for the internets, which is raising money here.

love,

The Internets

PS. And as an aside, we didn't include Eliot Engel (NY-17) and Bart Stupak (MI-01) on this list, because they changed their votes and decided to protect freedom on the internet. The other Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Republican Heather Wilson of New Mexico, voted to protect the internet as well. Thanks. They can be thanked and should be thanked here.


Now, go call them. Make sure you blog about it, even if you have to start a blog to do it.

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commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

"Goodby Mom, he's off to drop the Bomb..."

Test Blast in Nevada: A Nuclear Rehearsal

Two articles presented at truthout underline the urgency of this issue - and ironically, point out the sheer lack of data about the effectiveness of nuclear weapons against hardened military targets.
The detonation, called Divine Strake, is intended to "develop a planning tool to improve the warfighter's confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage," according to Defense Department budget documents.

There doesn't seem to be any serious question as to whether this is intended as a nuclear test, apparently of a surface detonation. The only question is, well, why, and why now. Although it would be a blast fifty times larger than our largest conventional weapon, we have the capacity to deliver fifty conventional weapons, and weapons that do more things, much more effective and lethal things than simply going "boom" in a conventional way.

There has been a concerted effort from the military to develop non-nuclear options to deal with threats that, fifteen or twenty years ago, would have had commanders and their troops hanging their butts out waiting for Washington to decide if the political fallout was worth a front-line battalion. This is because nukes are the only class of weapon that requires presidential authorization for use.

Needless to say, no commander likes the idea of being in an untenable situation, dependant on the political calculation of a fickle beltway boy.

That is why any number of weapons systems have been developed to precisely deliver all kinds of shock and awe. And if they are not so large as a nuke, well, precision counts. That has been the second fork of weapons development, the idea that killing lots of people in order to kill the right people is not such a good idea as it is to create the smallest possible zone of total lethality, and put it in the right place.

Objectively, we do a damn fine job of that. While this is, and should be cold comfort to Iraqis, compare Baghdad to Dresden, or any other major target city in WWII; even London.

The difference to the target area between nuke and non-nuke - particularly Dresden - was moot.

Our capability to lay waste to any given populated area is no less today, at least, given the same level of effort.

So we must assume along with the world in general – that GWB wants to actually use a nuclear weapon. That is the only safe assumption for anyone to make that is concerned with the National Security of any nation, such as this one, for instance.

Nukes have the advantage of being directly controlled by the president, under the control of forces repeatedly drilled to accept his command authority without question.

Now, we also know from his history that all his decisions are political decisions; that is the only concept of "fallout" that he has any hope of understanding. I find it disturbingly possible that nuking Iran might just be his idea of an "october surprise." I hope that whatever your politics, the idea of unleashing nuclear hell in order to win a midterm election strikes you as sheer lunacy. It does me too, and it's not a thought that would cross my mind in regards to any other President, no matter how little I thought of them, or what their politics were; there are some lines that are not to be crossed, assumptions you can bet on.

But - and I'm speaking to sane Republicans and Conservatives here; have ANY of your assumptions based on good conservative, republican values come to pass after GWB promised he'd bring them to the fore?

I presume that you, like I, have some passing interest in not being suddenly vaporized, poisoned or infected with some horrid biological weapon. I would think that to be a genuinely non-partisan concern!

And while I have a far more realistic appreciation of the risks of nuclear war than your average “nuclear winter and mutant tomatoes” concept, I know that “duck and cover” is all we will be offered by our department of “Homeland Security.”

That, and duct tape.

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Conyers to sue President over Budget Bill

Daily Kos: Taking the President to Court:

"Taking the President to Court
by Congressman John Conyers
Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 12:46:24 PM PDT

As some of you may be aware, according to the President and Congressional Republicans, a bill does not have to pass both the Senate and the House to become a law. Forget your sixth grade civics lesson, forget the book they give you when you visit Congress - 'How Our Laws Are Made,' and forget Schoolhouse Rock. These are checks and balances, Republican-style.

As the Washington Post reported last month, as the Republican budget bill struggled to make its way through Congress at the end of last year and beginning of this year (the bill cuts critical programs such as student loans and Medicaid funding), the House and Senate passed different versions of it. House Republicans did not want to make Republicans in marginal districts vote on the bill again, so they simply certified that the Senate bill was the same as the House bill and sent it to the President. The President, despite warnings that the bill did not represent the consensus of the House and Senate, simply shrugged and signed the bill anyway. Now, the Administration is implementing it as though it was the law of the land.

Some good Christian Cluebyfouring

Council of War » Hot air, or burning tongues?: "If every Salvationist gave everything to God then he would change the world! (Just as he did through our movement once before)

All too often we want;

· Morality without compassion.
· Revival without repentance.
· Power without Pentecost.
· Ability without submission.
· Purpose without humility.

Dear friends it isn’t going to happen. We are in exile and God is not listening to us, he has actively turned his back towards us."


There's a great deal more and it's worth reading, for Christians and Non-Christians alike; it's a succinct statement of what is expected of Christian Evangelists. It's a direct and pointed summation of what Jesus did, and what he asked of Apostles and Deciples.

And there is even more here, from a different Christian perspective entirely.

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"Mary Magdeline, I've got a little task for you. Wear the RED dress."

Via ImpeachPAC:

"The White House needs to be disinfected
Dave Rossie / Commentary
One day last week a wire photo found its way into this newsroom as I suspect it did in just about every newsroom in the country. I'm also quite sure it never made it into any newspaper.

Will somebody please....

The undatelined photo from wherever it was our nominal president happened to be that day showed a woman holding up a sign bearing the following message: “Will Someone Please Give Bush a B--- J-- So We Can Impeach Him?”

The message was a subtle reminder that it was a sexual act that got Bush's predecessor impeached, and a not so subtle reminder that Bush's numerous and far more egregious impeachable acts that have cost America thousands of lost and ruined lives and billions in treasure have so far gone unpunished.

That's what a lockstep, one-party majority in both the Senate and House can do for you. The intensely moral Tom DeLay, and those two adulterous frauds, Henry Hyde and Dan Burton, who pushed the House to impeach Clinton have been silent as the Sphinx on Bush's abuse of his office and the Constitution.

In DeLay's case it may be because God has yet to tell him if lying and spying rise to the level of oral sex. "


There's more at the link.

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They talk about State's Rights - but I bet they weren't thinking of this one!

I'm looking forward to the Texas resolution, myself.

States Start Impeachment

Resolutions


For Immediate Release: April 24, 2006
http://www.impeachpac.org/resolutions

State Legislators in 2 States Introduce Impeachment Resolutions - More States Expected Soon


State legislators in Illinois and California have introduced resolutions (details below) to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.


The Jefferson Manual of rules for the U.S. House of Representatives allows state legislatures to initiate impeachment proceedings by submitting charges to Congress.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm The Decider

I'm The Decider
(Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo)

And the point to it was...?

It's becoming clear that the republican noise machine has been repeating itself to no real end. Even as it tries to expand into the more "liberal" media - the ones that require reading, writing and the ability to tell which end of the battery to insert first - we are given to wonder what, if any results have come from these several years of near total Republican domination of the political process and the National Dialogue.

Two Babes and a Brain: Hot Air...cuz we needed more of that:

"...all the pretty packaging and shiny FLASH whatever won't change the fact that the conservatives have had six years with control of almost everything and they couldn't execute and get any of it done.

We aren't any safer.

We aren't any better off financially--at least not most of America.

We are more divided than ever before.

It is nice though that many public meetings are now allowing prayers at the beginning--(as the conservatives so desperately wanted to be able to do)--because with this government, prayer is really all we have left."
It's been observed that even the evangelical right are dissatisfied with the administration, in that none of their agendas have been given more than token and futile attention.

Token legislation that is clearly intended to fail the constitutional sniff test (CDA, COPA, etc) was no more than a cynical ploy to not deliver on promises and blame "activists courts" and "liberals" for the failure, depending on the political and personal ignorance of most evangelical theocrats to cloud their minds long enough to get away with the theft of power.

But we have to wonder aloud who, if anyone, benefits?

It appears that multinational corporate fatcats may be the beneficiaries - but I wonder if even they are making out as well as it seems. Perhaps it would be more accurate to consider the CEO's of some "favored" corporations as benefiting - but at the expense of an economy and a regulatory climate that would actually promote real corporate growth and shareholder value.

The more I look into the rationales for doing things, the defenses for choices, the approaches to problems, it seems to me that the entire point to gathering power has been to gather power to the administration, and deny power, influence or input to anyone else.

Not just "Liberals."

Anyone. The means by which stockholders are appeased, diverted or placated depends on the group - but I cannot think of one single "bread and butter" issue of the left, right, up or down that has been advanced. A great many problems have been made more severe - and that has advanced the cause of exactly one faction.

George Bush and the Busharus.

It has a Faux ring to it...

Fox News's Snow to Become New White House Press Secretary

And the appropriate comment need only be "The President doesn't do nuance."

General Orders No. 11

HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868


The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion. " What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

  1. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
  2. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of

JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN,
Adjutant General

Official:
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.





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Wear The Bloodstar this Memorial Day : GraphicDesign : CafePress.com

GraphicDesign : NOC NOC, Who's There? : Wear The Bloodstar this Memorial Day

I have a humble proposal for a CIA Memorial Day Project.

It is explicitly not endorsed by the CIA. It is the initiative of one grateful citizen.


The BloodstarI propose that this graphic be adopted to use to represent in person all those who have fallen in secrecy and silence to protect us from secret and silent attacks. Please buy or create as many of these as you can and pass them out to friends this May 15, and show up at your town's Memorial, wearing black.

I would also suggest the thought of affixing a tile to the memorial with the same design.

The "outing' of Valerie Plame by the President has reminded me, and should remind you of those who work in precarious secrecy to ensure that wars do not occur in the first place. "National Security" should not be a catch-phrase for those in power to avoid accountability; it is, ultimately, the idea that the job of our government, and most especially our clandestine services, to maintain and expand the security of all citizens. For this, they deserve our respect, and a place of honor in our hearts.

Bloodstar Black Cap

Bloodstar Black Cap
$20.99

Bloodstar Trucker Hat

Bloodstar Trucker Hat
$16.49




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Reading between the lines

Test Blast in Nevada: A Nuclear Rehearsal

Two articles presented at truthout underline the urgency of this issue - and ironically, point out the sheer lack of data about the effectiveness of nuclear weapons against hardened military targets.
The detonation, called Divine Strake, is intended to "develop a planning tool to improve the warfighter's confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage," according to Defense Department budget documents.

There doesn't seem to be any serious question as to whether this is intended as a nuclear test, apparently of a surface detonation. The only question is, well, why, and why now. Although it would be a blast fifty times larger than our largest conventional weapon, we have the capacity to deliver fifty conventional weapons, and weapons that do more things, much more effective and lethal things than simply going "boom" in a conventional way.

There has been a concerted effort from the military to develop non-nuclear options to deal with threats that, fifteen or twenty years ago, would have had commanders and their troops hanging their butts out waiting for Washington to decide if the political fallout was worth a front-line battalion. This is because nukes are the only class of weapon that requires presidential authorization for use.

Needless to say, no commander likes the idea of being in an untenable situation, dependant on the political calculation of a fickle beltway boy.

That is why any number of weapons systems have been developed to precisely deliver all kinds of shock and awe. And if they are not so large as a nuke, well, precision counts. That has been the second fork of weapons development, the idea that killing lots of people in order to kill the right people is not such a good idea as it is to create the smallest possible zone of total lethality, and put it in the right place.

Objectively, we do a damn fine job of that. While this is, and should be cold comfort to Iraqis, compare Baghdad to Dresden, or any other major target city in WWII; even London.

The difference to the target area between nuke and non-nuke - particularly Dresden - was moot.

Our capability to lay waste to any given populated area is no less today, at least, given the same level of effort.

So we must assume along with the world in general – that GWB wants to actually use a nuclear weapon. That is the only safe assumption for anyone to make that is concerned with the National Security of any nation, such as this one, for instance.

Nukes have the advantage of being directly controlled by the president, under the control of forces repeatedly drilled to accept his command authority without question.

Now, we also know from his history that all his decisions are political decisions; that is the only concept of "fallout" that he has any hope of understanding. I find it disturbingly possible that nuking Iran might just be his idea of an "october surprise." I hope that whatever your politics, the idea of unleashing nuclear hell in order to win a midterm election strikes you as sheer lunacy. It does me too, and it's not a thought that would cross my mind in regards to any other President, no matter how little I thought of them, or what their politics were; there are some lines that are not to be crossed, assumptions you can bet on.

But - and I'm speaking to sane Republicans and Conservatives here; have ANY of your assumptions based on good conservative, republican values come to pass after GWB promised he'd bring them to the fore?

I presume that you, like I, have some passing interest in not being suddenly vaporized, poisoned or infected with some horrid biological weapon. I would think that to be a genuinely non-partisan concern!

And while I have a far more realistic appreciation of the risks of nuclear war than your average “nuclear winter and mutant tomatoes” concept, I know that “duck and cover” is all we will be offered by our department of “Homeland Security.”

That, and duct tape.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

"Protection of Marriage" - Tell it to the Marines!

American Agenda: Marriage: The Great Divide Between Legal Fact & Religious Myths!:
"Fear has always worked to create hate in America.

Fear builds towering walls between reason and logic. Hate obliterates what we know in our hearts to be right, and covers all with ignorant rage.

That is the path we are on in the name of God. I see this as the ultimate sin. This is an act of faith that judges in place of God and takes his name most assuredly and inappropriately in vain.

In any event, it is a path we must turn away from for our own salvation as American citizens held under the Constitution.

So many don't understand that rights in America are to be universal; guaranteed to every citizen under the law. Equal under the law is the other way it is expressed. Somewhere along our journey a percentage of Americans got confused, brainwashed, left-behind, whatever...And began to think of marriage as a religious doctrine not a civil construct.
This misunderstanding of the nature of marriage is what has gotten us to this point. Combine our need for salvation with our hate for things we don't' understand, and you have a straightforward American debate; rooted in puritanical history, conflated by individual moral superiority.

This is a classic cycle we have played out over and over in our history. Whenever we are afraid of something or someone we do"


I would say something... but someone in the comments section said it better:

My parents were married in a civil ceremony in 1965 just weeks before my dad left for Parris Island to become a Marine. They never had a church ceremony b/c my mom is Romanian Orthodox and my dad is Catholic and neither church would give on the issue of 1 of them converting.

Over Easter dinner the topic of gay marriage was brought up and everyone at the table agreed that the next move for these Theocratic Thugs will be chipping away at civil marriage once they are done with getting "marriage protection laws" on the books for every state.

My dad looks up from his Easter ham and says: "Well, if they want to declare our marriage as invalid after all of these yrs I'll be quick to dig out my Vietnam combat boots and kick some hypocritical divorced evangelical ass. Jesus didn't say a word about homosexuality, but he said plenty about divorce."....... Amen Dad.

And this is exactly why gay civil rights should be just as important to us straight folks. If you let them chip away other's human & civil rights they will eventually get around to chipping away at your own human & civil rights.
tina | Homepage | 04.20.06 - 6:38 pm | #


HOO-Rah!

"I'm the Decider!"

American Agenda: refers us to Mr. McCorley at DailyKOS for this delightful bit of vicious whimsy.

'
Well, it took me awhile, but I finally realized what 'I'm the decider' reminds me of. It sounds like something a character in a Dr. Seuss book might say.

So with apologies to the late Mr. Geisel, here is some idle speculation as to what else such a character might say:


I'm the decider.
I pick and I choose.

I pick among whats.
And choose among whos.

And as I decide

Each particular day

The things I decide on
All turn out that way.

I decided on
Freedom
For all of Iraq.
And now that we have it,
I'm not looking back.

I decided on tax cuts

That just help the wealthy.
And Medicare changes
That aren't really healthy.

And parklands and wetlands

Who needs all that stuff?
I decided that none

Would be more than enough!

I decided that schools

All in all are the best
The less that they teach
And the more that they test.

I decided those wages
You need to get by
Are much better spent
On some CEO guy.

I decided your Wade
Which was versing your Roe
Is terribly awful
And just has to go.

I decided that levees
Are not really needed.
Now when hurricanes come
They can come unimpeded.

That old Constitution?
Well, I have decided
As"just goddam paper"
It should be derided.

I've decided gay marriage
Is icky and weird.
Above all other things,
It's the one to be feared.

And Cheney and Rummy

And Condi all know

That I'm the Decider -
They tell me it's so.

I'm the Decider

So watch what you say

Or I may decide

To have you whisked away.


Or I'll tap your phones.

Your e-mail I'll read.

`cause I'm the Decider -
Like Jesus decreed.


Yes, I'm the Decider

The finest alive

And I'm nuking Iran.

Now watch this drive!

Click here to send kudos.

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