Saturday, July 21, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts sounds the alarm

WASHINGTON, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.

Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."

"The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said, adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.

I think it's time to start thinking about the possibility that we are in a Civil War, and it's being prosecuted against the American People by their government - or at least, keep that possibility in the back of your mind.

In practical terms, you might wish to consider converting some of your assets into a portable form, such as gold, investment diamonds or bearer bonds. From now on, I would suggest assuming that your conversations are probably monitored, if you are the sort of person who has a reasonable belief they pose a political threat to the Government.

Meanwhile, I think it's about time for us to start reaching out to our state and local governments to see if they are as alarmed as we are, and if not, why not.

Orcinus also has a lot to say, and says it better:

If we accept the forcible removal of our property without due process, forcible removal of our lives will not be far behind. And there are people eager to accomplish this: according to Barna Research, there are about 50 million hardcore fundamentalists who have been eagerly awaiting the day, training and planning and praying for the chance to do just that -- to take out their frustrations on the liberal traitors whom they have been taught to believe are responsible for everything that's wrong with their lives. They believe, in their bones, we have stabbed God's America in the back; and they are out for vengeance. This is the edict that will provide "legal" support and justification for their first tentative steps toward mob rule.

Are we there yet? Not quite. But Bush has just put the capstone on the doorway leading to the coming fascist state. Whether your own B clause is a passport or a gun, it's probably time to make sure both are in good working order.

Update: Thom Hartmann did a long interview with far-right economist Paul Craig Roberts on Friday that sheds more light on the implications of this. (There are plenty of people on the right who are at least as concerned about Bush's intentions as we are.) You can go hear the audio here.

Paul Craig Roberts sounds the alarm

WASHINGTON, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.

Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."

"The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said, adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.

I think it's time to start thinking about the possibility that we are in a Civil War, and it's being prosecuted against the American People by their government - or at least, keep that possibility in the back of your mind.

In practical terms, you might wish to consider converting some of your assets into a portable form, such as gold, investment diamonds or bearer bonds. From now on, I would suggest assuming that your conversations are probably monitored, if you are the sort of person who has a reasonable belief they pose a political threat to the Government.

Meanwhile, I think it's about time for us to start reaching out to our state and local governments to see if they are as alarmed as we are, and if not, why not.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Put on your clenched acceptance face, we're going to Sorrytown!"

Ah, John Stewart, the master of the throwaway one-liner:




"I'm not a fan of personal vendetta gotcha-style politics," said Jon Stewart on Tuesday's Daily Show. "But there can be exceptions. Take Louisiana Senator David Vitter ... who came to prominence in the 90's demanding President Clinton's impeachment for the Monica Lewinsky affair. Well, it seems the condom is on the other foot."

"Last week, Vitter became the highest profile john implicated in the DC Madam scandal-gate," Stewart explained. "Kind of reminds you of the old saying, 'The only thing I trust less than a Louisiana senator sleeping with a hooker is one that isn't.'"

The video can also be found here.

Now, I of course would never stoop to mere "gotcha" blog entries either. (What, Never? Well, Hardly Ever..).

In this particular case, I think this is a remarkably apt insight into what Republican values actually are. That is to say, you can pretty much assume that whatever public stance they take will be taken purely for personal political advantage and will have little or nothing to do with personal values or conviction. It's kinda like the Catholic Church in that way. How many folks out there still think it's a good idea to leave their child alone with the parish Priest?

Well, folks, that goes for anyone who seeks a position of unquestionable moral authority and access to either your children, your vote or your wallet.

While that observation may well be true of political figures in general, Republicans in particular have been particularly active in trying to demonize, regulate and restrict YOUR libido, YOUR sexual practices, Your definition of family, and indeed, your reproductive choices, while undermining your right to privacy and your right to access information without trace or record. I don't see very many examples of Republicans living by the values they espouse - so to speak. On the contrary.

So perhaps all these protestation of high moral standing are mere pretexts and postures, not just in exceptional cases, but in general.

Any large group of people will have a few bad apples, a few "isolated incidents." But these are NOT "just a few" and they all share something similar; the overwhelming majority of these sexual crimes involve practicing the opposite of what they preached. That is to say, they violated the law purposefully and deliberately, and in the way that was most vile on the basis of their own public standards to demonstrate to themselves and to one another that they were above that law and could get away with violating it. Indeed, there seems to be the perverse drive to enact laws for the purpose of violating them!

Another disturbing theme of near equal weight is a consistent pattern of abuse - sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and the abuse of power in general - toward those who cannot fight back.

Here's a particularly odious example of such an authoritarian circle-jerk.

Don Haidl, Assistant Sheriff of Orange Country, in violation of California's rape shield law, led a smear campaign against the child his son poisoned and then violently gang-raped on videotape, adding up to 24 felony counts. He said that his son "acted accordingly" because the child was a "slut". The full gruesome story, with many newspaper articles.

And here's one that just reeks of depraved irony:

Earl Kimmerling, from Indiana, sentenced to 40 years in prison after he confessed to molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her. Anderson, IN, Mayor Mark Lawler and Republican State Reps. Jack Lutz of Anderson, IN, and Woody Burton of Greenwood, IN, supported him. Source
Then there's the largest and highest reaching sex abuse scandal ever, probably in any nation, since roman times - and you have probably never heard of it. Read it and be amazed by The Franklin Credit Union Child-Sex Ring Scandal.

This sort of thing isn't anything new, in other words; it's actually part of long established Republican political culture. The blackmail operations detailed in the link above may well partially explain the spineless behavior of our current Congress's Democratic majority, and I'm SURE it explains the "dead-ender" behavior of a great many Republicans who can't be so politically tone-deaf as to think the President's lame-duck agendas in any way serve the cause of their own re-election to orifice office. Blackmail is about the only thing that could explain such a sudden and inexplicable altruism on the part of those who's focus has been squarely upon th main chance up to now.

What we need to do is to purge all levels of government of corruption, and we also need to send - as a nation of outraged and unforgiving Citizen-activists - a resounding message. Remember that the Republican majority came out of the so called "Republican Revolution" pledged to END corruption and cronyism - and has turned out to be more than willing to wallow in a system as corrupt and lawless as any Byzantine court and indulging in graft on a level that would embarrass Tammany Hall.

So, if you are a Republican - repent! Register as an Independent, or a Constitution party member. Get your name off their sucker list. This is especially true if you have ever been a "values voter." These are the values your votes supported. So either repudiate the party for it's lack of interest in values when it might affect a Republican in power, or consider yourself complicit in all the crimes that have been committed in the name of pure, unchecked and unaccountable power. Because that's the way ethics works - you are accountable for the choices you make and the messes you contribute to.

As for myself, I'm a registered Libertarian. I have no illusions that it's a party composed of inherently better people - but it is a party of strong essential principles that may work against the accumulation of personal power for a time. It's not a party that attracts as many authoritarians and opportunists, and it will take those folks some time to figure out how to subvert it to their own ends.

Likewise, I'm going to make a choice about where my money goes. My money is going, in terms of consumer goods, toward companies that do not support the Republican cause. Likewise, I will not enter any place of business that has a fish by the door - a device almost exclusively used by Religious Conservatives, unless I see something in the window that indicates they are opposed to the moral choices this government and this party have made.

What can you do?

You can spread this around. You can digg it up, stumble it, email it to your fundy family members. You can blog about it, create fliers to stick in your church's brochure box, you can wear a t-shirt or put a poster in your store window. You can talk to strangers at bus-stops. You can call in to talk radio. Hell, you can slip Air America a few bucks. Grab your video camera and vlog it onto YouTube and Google Video.

I'll tart this post up later with links to the most vicious and apt t-shirts, bumper stickers and any particularly useful and usable photos and graphics I can find.

Together, we can change the world. As long as enough good people refuse to stand by as evil is done, we cannot help but do so.

Over 800 Fully Operational Concentration Camps in the USA, Still Empty

Everything is in place to round up all those troublesome "liberals" that O'Rielly hates so much. All it takes is a suitable pretext and a Presidential signature. The fact that all this is in place, waiting for such a pretext disturbs me.

read more | digg story

Welcome to the Blogosphere, AlphaMale. Buy a cup.

AlphaMale has made an interesting debut into the Blogospere, with a premise and post that's like to get him in a face off with a lot of sistas doing "that thing" with their heads.

There is a growing number of sisters that have purchased into the theatrical theme "Something New" (whereas the ideal mate for a sucessful independent black woman is a white man), which suggest that black men are all uneducated, unsucessful, unloving or sex crazed. Believe it or not, there are websites and blogs galore that support this idea along with the mass media. Personally, I am liberal and feel that a person should be with whomever they choose. But, the reason that these themes suggest getting a man of non-color is almost always justified by the degradation of black men as a whole. I recently read a blog on this site where black men were accused of being the creators of racio-misogyny (the hatred of a race of women). I can say in all honesty that SOME black men are perpetuators of this evil, but the belittling of black woman began long, long before them. I'm not going to go into the history but with very little research you should find supporting evidence like uhh....slavery and jim crow laws.

But being politically incorrect about race allows one to say things that cannot otherwise be said - so stop and consider if there might be something to it. I was moved to comment from my own perspective and with a light touch. But on a more serious note, many of the problems associated with the Black struggle are cultural, and some of those cultural struggles and limitations are part and parcel of Black Culture itself.

On the other hand, speaking from an external perspective, it's a damn rich and valuable culture, commanding more influence over our general national culture than mere numbers would suggest. So when I say there are problems with Black Culture, I'm not saying adopt WASP solutions. Those "solutions" have their own costs and I, personally, don't think they are all that great a trade-off.

Besides, Whiteface is just as offensive and inherently undignified as Backface.

But I see AlphaMale's concerns to be not so much an example of racial perspective, but "in the box" perspective. And I'm a member of a minority who's distinguishing feature is the inability to see boxes.

More to the point, though, there has never been a better time to do business and succeed as a minority anything; the internet makes it possible to detour around racial and cultural chokepoints a nearly automatic process. It's lowered the capital barrier, and it's certainly lowered the research and education barrier.

That is to say, it is now as possible to become truly self-educated as it was in Jefferson's day for someone with access to a library, except that it costs a hell of a lot less to get into the library in the first place.

Let me show you two ways - just off the top of my head - where an urban kid of any color and the ability to hustle can make some decent money, as a path toward building their own urban empire. Seriously.

Cafepress.com and Zazzle.com are two examples of online business opportunities where the only requirements are willingness to work hard and either your own talent or access to talent and inspiration.

My sites are here and here. I'd appreciate your patronage, especially if you become rich and famous. And of course, if you are a musician, you probably know all about Myspace and YouTube as maketing venues. There are probably thousands of other opportunities out there, from online marketing to small-scale import-export.

But I'd advise against dedicating your life to becoming rich. I'd rather advise you to dedicate your life to taking what you have and who you are and using that to make the space around you just a little better. That alone tends to generate capital, not just money, but more importantly, it generates social capital. Now that's a form of capitalism you won't hear much about from most capitalists. Just the really smart ones, like Warren Buffet.

I mean, it should be a shame when you die, don't you think?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

O'Rielly promotes idea that "liberals are more dangeous than terrorists."

I blogged earliler about this,working just from a bare description. I still haven't found a transcript, but the reaction and outrage continues to spread.

The article linked below points out that Bill'O is very fond of Hate Speech, Nazi-style eliminationist rhetoric and conspiracy theories himself.

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Bill O'Reilly Compares Progressive Bloggers to Nazis and KKK: "O'Reilly Promotes Violence and Conspiracy, But Condemns Deliberative Debate

In this quote from the end of the book, D'Souza sent his 9/11 conspiracy theory a careening over the cliff of violent language and logic, making an argument plain and simple enough for even Bill O'Reilly to understand (emphasis mine):

In reality, the left already has a foreign policy and a strategy, and it is called working in tandem with bin Laden to defeat Bush. As we have seen, the left and the Islamic radicals operate like the two sides of a scissors, each prong working separately, but toward the same end. Conservatives need to identify the enemy at home and show its tacit relationship with the foreign enemy. Not only is there a close parallel between the rhetoric of the two groups, but they have the same goal of defeating Bush in Iraq, and they need each other to accomplish this goal. In short the left is the domestic insurgency that provides a counterpart to the Iraq insurgency. It is at least as dangerous as any of bin Laden's American sleeper cells.
(Dinesh D'Souza, The Enemy at Home, p. 269)

Now, at this point--most Americans would read this passage and think: Oh, my, god. This book accuses the "cultural left" of being "at least as dangerous" as terrorists plotting to kill Americans with poison gas and nuclear bombs. Yep. That is exactly what D'Souza argued in the book. Not satisfied with floating a crackpot theory about liberals causing 9/11, D'Souza drives right into crazy town--redefining liberals as terrorists. The result, for those who actually take D'Souza seriously, is the idea that America should be hunting down liberals in the same way that they are hunting down terrorists--to be a liberal is to be a violent enemy of America, the only rightful end for which is death. Although wrapped up in the niceties of academic language, D'Souza's book is essentially a 300-page call for the death penalty against anyone identified with the left in America.


I have already blogged about this sort of hate speech - and what needs to be done about it.

Graphictruth: "Why Do You Hate America, Mr. King?": "We don't 'hate America,' Willhelm. There are certain people who claim to be patriotic Americans, while disparaging the values expressed by our Constitution and the Inalienable Rights recognized by it, that we could frankly do without.

Yourself, for example. [There's more...] You are not representative of core American values, as expressed in the Federalist Papers, the letters of Franklin, the writings of Adams, or worthy of citizenship when you can speak about 'knowing our place.'

Sir, 'our place' is in the Militia, defending the Constitution against all threats, foreign and domestic. You - and your self-deluded, authoritarian ilk - are precisely such a threat.

THIS - right here - IS such a 'well regulated militia,' using the power of the press under the aegis of the First Amendment. But if need be, we citizens are charged to do the same under the Second, should it come to pass that our government is suborned and becomes indistinguishable from any other Tyranny.

A Militia is any group of citizens coming together with their skills , talents and ability in common cause and without need to be told by some self-styled 'Commander in Chief' what to do or how to do it.

However, I do not actually hate you. Strong emotion can spoil your aim."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Size Really Does Matter


Online file sharing isn't a new idea and with all the free resources scattered about the web, some folks might be skeptical about paying for such a service. Surely you'd have to pay to park a 500MB file long enough for a friend or colleague to review it or collaborate with you?

Apparently not1

Furthermore, there doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of files. It's a startup and things are bare and spare at the moment, but eventially they intend to support the service with a mix of premium service levels and "unobtrusive" advertisements.

I will be making use of this. Image files can be gigantic, and this may be the only way - short of burning a DVD - that I can reasonably show off many of my files.

Score another PayPerPost discovery!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

AP Poll: GOP pick is 'none of the above' - Or maybe Ron Paul,,

AP Poll: GOP pick is 'none of the above' - Yahoo! News: "Among the legions of undecided Republicans is Barbara Skogman, 72, a retired legal assistant from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She isn't at all excited about any of the prospects. At one point, she favored McCain. At another, she was open to Giuliani. Now, she's leaning slightly toward Romney but says she's far from sold on him.

'I'm looking for a strong, honest person. Do you know of any?' she joked. She had an easy time detailing why she was queasy about each of the most serious contenders. 'Isn't that sad?' Then she reached a conclusion: 'I just don't know.'"


Ron Paul.

The only thing that makes him "less credible" is that every other Republican and all the usual suspects within the MSM and the partisan noise machine are unanimous in not talking about him.

That alone is enough of a reason. Send money.

If you can't get a credible candidate for free, there's a free-market solution. BUY one!

Update: Two realy interesting things I stumbled across. First, this article from LewRockwell.com
A recent Gallup poll finds Paul at the head of the so-called second-tier candidates (i.e., the candidates the establishment hasn’t anointed), though still with a ways to go. Yet Justin Ptak recently made the important point that at this stage in the election cycle, national polls reflect only name recognition, not respondents’ assessments of the candidates. Consider the statistics, drawn from the LewRockwell.com blog:
  • In early 1975, Jimmy Carter was polling at 1% (he went on to win the presidency).
  • In early 1987, Michael Dukakis was polling at 1% (he went on to win the Democratic nomination).
  • In early 1991, Bill Clinton was at 2% (he went on to win the presidency).
  • In the spring of 1999, John McCain was polling at 3% (he went on to win the New Hampshire primary).
  • In early 2003, Joe Lieberman was leading the field for the Democratic presidential nomination (he failed to win any primary).

So Paul is doing well and reaching more and more people. But just as interesting is the recent news that fully 50 percent of all the money donated to Republican candidates in the second quarter by employees of the United States military went to – wait for it – Ron Paul!

Now that doesn’t make any sense at all, if the neoconservative crazies who dominate conservative media are to be believed. Since Ron Paul criticizes U.S. foreign policy, and since he has this oddball idea that bombing and starving people can make them angry, he isn’t a "patriot" like them. So resolutely have they bought into the silly fiction that "we are the government," these cheerleaders for the warfare state actually seem to take personal offense at Paul’s criticism of U.S. government policies.


And then there was the MSNBC poll regarding the California Republican Debate. Like Fox viewers, MSNBC viewers thought that he won handily.

California Republican Debate Poll

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18436681

Archived to the WVP Forum on 06 May 07 @ 0830 EDT

-----------------------------------------------------

MSNBC Live Vote

Who stood out from the pack? * 60357 responses

Sam Brownback 2.5%
Jim Gilmore 1.3%
Rudy Giuliani 17%
Mike Huckabee 3.7%
Duncan Hunter 1.9%
John McCain 7.8%
Ron Paul 38%
Mitt Romney 22%
Tom Tancredo 2.8%
Tommy Thompson 3.4%

Who showed the most leadership qualities? * 59573 responses

Sam Brownback 2.4%
Jim Gilmore 1.9%
Rudy Giuliani 17%
Mike Huckabee 3.7%
Duncan Hunter 2.1%
John McCain 12%
Ron Paul 33%
Mitt Romney 21%
Tom Tancredo 2.7%
Tommy Thompson 3.6%

Who was the most convincing candidate? * 59329 responses

Sam Brownback 2.9%
Jim Gilmore 1.8%
Rudy Giuliani 15%
Mike Huckabee 4.5%
Duncan Hunter 2.2%
John McCain 9.9%
Ron Paul 36%
Mitt Romney 21%
Tom Tancredo 3%
Tommy Thompson 3.8%

Who had the most rehearsed answers? * 58168 responses

Sam Brownback 4.3%
Jim Gilmore 1.7%
Rudy Giuliani 22%
Mike Huckabee 2.6%
Duncan Hunter 1.7%
John McCain 31%
Ron Paul 6.4%
Mitt Romney 24%
Tom Tancredo 2.3%
Tommy Thompson 4.2%

Who avoided the questions? * 56611 responses

Sam Brownback 6%
Jim Gilmore 3.2%
Rudy Giuliani 36%
Mike Huckabee 3.4%
Duncan Hunter 3.1%
John McCain 18%
Ron Paul 6.3%
Mitt Romney 13%
Tom Tancredo 4.2%
Tommy Thompson 5.8%

Who had the best one-liner? * 56527 responses

Sam Brownback 3.4%
Jim Gilmore 1.7%
Rudy Giuliani 14%
Mike Huckabee 7.4%
Duncan Hunter 2.4%
John McCain 14%
Ron Paul 31%
Mitt Romney 16%
Tom Tancredo 4.2%
Tommy Thompson 5.5%

But the comments about the debate are very, very interesting. Here's one example - sorry, no permalink to give you...

This fear mongering has unfortunately become the standard trademark of the far right and is EXTREMELY disturbing. According to John Dean's book, about 25% of the human race are known to be just such "authoritarians." We actually see this play out in the blind support for the war as there is always 25% who support it no matter what. Authoritarians (according to EXTENSIVE psychological studies conducted since WWII) are almost always likely to be the far right conservatives. Only 1% are likely to be liberal.
UPDATE 2:

clipped from a.abcnews.com
The 10 Republican candidates running for president jousted over the issues and with each other Tuesday night at the second debate of the primary season.

blog it
:


tag: , , , ,

Is George Bush an agent of a Foreign Power?

clipped from news.yahoo.com

BAGHDAD - Nearly half of the foreign detainees held in Iraq are Saudi citizens, and lists of their names were given to Saudi officials during a recent visit by an Iraqi delegation, national security adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie said in remarks aired Monday.

Last week, al-Rubaie said before leaving for Saudi Arabia that the majority of the suicide bombers and "those who drive the vehicles to blow up our innocent civilians, Iraqis, are Saudis." Al-Rubaie, who headed the delegation, said then "we need to stop the flow of suicide bombers, we need to stop the fatwas (religious edicts) coming from Saudis to justify the killings of innocent Iraqis."

In the interview with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, al-Rubaie said that he raised the issue of fatwas with officials in the kingdom and "we heard very good news." He did not elaborate.


blog it

I think that really should ring some alarm bells about who is behind this war, and who’s going to benefit by it. Seeing as the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi, Bin Ladin is Saudi, Al-Queda is Saudi funded - and Bush wants to attack their mortal cultural and religious enemy, Iran? People have gone to the gallows on thinner evidence. The Rosenburgs, the "Haymarket Martyrs" - and just a whole lot of Texans while Bush was Governor.



I think at the very least, Bush should have to go to the Senate to defend himself against impeachment. While Al Gore's argument against impeachment is persuasive IF you are looking at this as the malfeasance of one man, it is in fact about the subversion of our Republic by a coterie of conspirators over a period of 50 years. Bush is their sock-puppet, no more, but someone has to be the fall guy, to be held accountable for the desecration of the Constitution. If there "is no consensus" about Bush, per se, I think that as testomony illuminates under the slimy rocks that composes his power base, that a consensus will emerge.

However, even if it does not, and literally divides the country in two, that might not be such a bad thing. If there are those who truly prefer tyranny, let them go in peace to explore that path.

If there is no such purge, no such broad cleansing of the government, no widespread dismissal and ultimately prosecution of those involved, no return to the Constitution and the rule of law, there can be no credible government. With all due respect to Al Gore, that leaves us in a position where violent revolution is not merely possible, but the exact situation that caused our Founders to "cross the Rubicon" themselves.

Should we consider ourselves lesser men? Do Democrats and Republicans alike presume we have all been neutered?

Without some sign to the contrary, I must presume that Democrats are all in favor of this handy new concept of a "Unitary Executive" and an impotent, irrelevant Congress. I must further presume that Democrats, as well as Republicans, consider the Constitution a "quaint" and inconvenient limitation on the power and scope of magesterial authority. In short, we will be ruled by a King, with fewer checks upon him than King George III.

I don't believe I can stand for that. How about you?

Speaking of Funnymentalism

clipped from www.bloglines.com

blog it


There's more...

None dare call it "hate speech," and perhaps it is not, per se, but there's rather a long history of papal utterances being translated that way for the common folk.

Anyway, former Cardinal Ratzenberger, or "Ratzi" to his many detractors, is now officially on record as being on equal moral ground than, say, Jerry Falwell and Sun Myung Moon.

I am not, and never have been Catholic, but I was educated by Catholics and I have a great deal of respect for Catholicism and it's general support for human rights, at least in recent decades. Well, no more of that, if Ratzi has his way.

I support the fine American viewpoint towards the authority and Primacy of the Pope. "Only to the extent that it does not contradict scripture and common sense."

It would be uncommonly sensible for Catholics to ignore the hell out of the Bishop of Rome.

BREAKING: Our Harry to Republicans: Stand Up or Shut Up.





UPDATE! Harry is taking it to the mattresses!

Apparently Harry is out of patience with Republican procedural obstructionism! Yay, and it's about damn time, says almost everyone referring to the Think Progress alert.
Think Progress » BREAKING: Reid To Force All-Night Filibuster On Iraq Withdrawal: "Moments ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that in response to conservative obstructionism, he plans to force war supporters to physically remain in the Senate and filibuster Iraq withdrawal legislation.

Reid accused conservatives of “protecting the President rather than protecting our troops” by “denying us an up or down vote on the most important issue our country faces.” He said that if a vote on the Reed/Levin Iraq legislation is not allowed today or tomorrow, he will keep the Senate in session “straight through the night on Tuesday” and force a filibuster."


OpenLeft, Firedoglake and others have also called for Congress to call the conservatives’ bluff and force them to filibuster the Levin-Reed Iraq bill.



Here's Reid's reasoning, which I support, for what it's worth.

So the record here is clear. The President’s decision to stubbornly cling to the current course leaves this body no choice but to enact binding language.

He has failed to lead us out of Iraq. We are ready to show him the way.

M. President, my worst fears on this bill have been realized. We have just seen the Republican leadership again resort to technical maneuver to block progress on this crucial amendment.

It would be one thing for Republicans to vote against this bill. If they honestly believe that “stay the course” is the right strategy — they have the right to vote “no.”

But now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end.

They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops.

They are denying us an up or down — yes or no — vote on the most important issue our country faces.

I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down.

If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin/Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday.

The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up or down vote on this amendment to end it.

Given the Republican leadership’s decision to block the amendment, we have no choice but to do everything we can in the coming days to highlight Republican obstruction.

We do this in hopes of ultimately getting a simple up or down vote on this and other important amendments that could change the direction of the war.

All Senators will be welcome to speak their mind. Those of us who are ready to end the war will make our case to the American people. Those who support the status quo are welcome to equal floor time to make their case.

Let the American people hear the arguments. Let them see their elected representatives engaging in a full, open and honest debate.

Let them hear why Republicans are obstructing us on this amendment.

Whenever Republicans are ready to allow a vote on this most crucial legislation, we stand ready to deliver the new course that has been so long in coming.

So, it's already tomorrow and if everything is going well, individual Republicans will have to be on record as "Supporting the President instead of supporting the troops." Sooner or later, one or more will break and , as detailed below, cloture will be invoked and a vote will follow, as Bob Geiger explains below.
The Reed-Levin amendment to the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization Bill requires George W. Bush to "commence the reduction of the number of United States forces in Iraq not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act" and mandates a withdrawal of most combat forces by April 30, 2008.

The legislation, S.AMDT.2087, has bipartisan support and is cosponsored by Gordon Smith (R-OR), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

In making this move (based on my understanding of Senate rules), Reid is invoking the provisions of Rule 22 (Precedence of Motions) of the Standing Rules of the Senate, which provides, at the Majority Leader's discretion, up to 30 hours of debate if a filibuster is initiated -- as the Republicans will most certainly do, knowing that Reed-Levin may very well have the 51 votes needed for passage.

Sixty votes are needed to achieve cloture (end debate) and move legislation to a full, deciding vote.

Reid will be using the provision of Rule 22 that allows for up to 30 hours of continuous debate once it's made clear -- in this case, by Republicans trying to avoid an up-or-down vote on Reed-Levin -- that there is a desire to continue debating the issue.

In other words, the Majority Leader is saying "You want to debate? We'll stay all night and debate."

Read Reid’s full speech HERE.


202-225-4965 = Pelosi’s office
202-224-3542 = Reid in D.C.
702-388-5020 = Reid in Nevada

Faux Outrage: Ellison under fire for comparing 9/11 to Reichstag fire.

The only thing worse than comparing Bush to Hitler is to point out that history and behavior make those comparisons inevitable and unfavorable to George Bush and Dick Cheney.

When they cannot argue the facts or reasonable conclusions drawn from the facts, Faux Noise targets the messenger.

clipped from www.foxnews.com
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is defending himself Monday after comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler and leaving the impression the administration may have rigged the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Speaking to an atheist group on July 8, Ellison said that the president acted much the way Hitler did when the Reichstag, or German Parliament building, was burned in 1933 ahead of elections that pitted Hitler's Nazi Party against others, including the Communists. Hitler, who was suspected of ordering the fire, declared emergency powers that helped him launch his dictatorial and murderous reign.
"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Ellison told the group, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

blog it
Faux is actually quoting a favorable article in The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box -- dismiss you." [emphasis mine]
Note that Ellison is refusing to say anything abut 9/11 or government involvement in it. If you are left with the "impression" he did, read what he said again. What he's speaking of is something in the realm of facts on record - the behavior of the Bush Administration in response to 9/11. He wasn't trying to leave the impression that the administration may have planned 9/11, but he was and is directly stating that the Administration took the opportunity presented to militarize, gut the Constitution, concentrate power within a "Unitary Executive," attack a foreign enemy, silence dissent and, yes, set various groups of Citizen against one another.

Muslims, for example, are not unreasonably concerned that they might be targeted by thugs, literally, or as above, figuratively.

Now, I happen to believe that Administration behavior tends to lend some credibility to the idea that there was some sort of foreknowledge of the attack, especially given a wide variety of disturbing gaps in the record and unexplained issues. But an unexplained issue is just that - unexplained. When I see a UFO, I do not leap to the conclusion that it is an intergalactic spacecraft. The "U" stands for "Unidentified."

I can be pretty sure I wouldn't like the facts being hidden from us, that they would not reflect well on Bush or Cheney, there integrety oor capacity for leadership, without going out on a limb and saying "They PLANNED 9/11." In many ways, it doesn't matter, so why confuse the issue? There are plenty of perfectly respectable facts in evidence to work with that, in my humble opinion, should lead to both men breaking rocks at Levenworth after a fair and speedy trial.

Rep. Ellison was careful to limit his comments to what is and pointedly avoid what might be, apparently in response to a direct question, Faux was reduced to one of the oldest tactics of propaganda, which is to attempt to discredit the messenger.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is defending himself...
Let us suppose I were writing a similar article, say, about something Sen. Lieberman had said regarding the Middle East situation, and it happened to be an accurate observation that I'd very much like to go unconsidered.
Democratic Senator Lieberman, a Jew with a long history of commitment to Zionist causes, is defending himself...

When you see this phraseology used anywhere, check around to see if whoever it is is actually having to defend himself against anyone other than the writer. Odds are rather good it's either the first shot, or one shot of a pre-arranged volley in an orchestrated smear campaign.

This article really says little against Rep. Keith Ellison, but it speaks volumes about Faux News, and what it doesn't want you to think about. And that, by the by, is the way to read and source Right-Wing propagandists, such as Faux News, "Newsbusters" and Freep. Consider the source and it's intended message along with what any particular message it might have.

That and a good fact-checking will keep your credibility intact when opining upon such matters.

Edit: I found this article at Right Web just after I hit "publish."

"A Great Little Racket": The Neocon Media Machine

Not by any accident, the neoconservatives' time of greatest influence on U.S. foreign policy coincided with the explosive growth of mass media outlets from which they could promote their policies. The omnipresent fluttering American flag on Fox News exemplifies the new ├╝ber-patriotic packaging through which the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, and the escalation of tensions with Iran are marketed packages.

When asked why the Weekly Standard and Fox News have increased in popularity over the past few years, Matt Labash, a senior writer at the Weekly Standard responded that it was "because they feed the rage. We bring the pain to the liberal media. I say that mockingly, but it's true somewhat. We come with a strong point of view and people like point of view journalism. While all these hand-wringing Freedom Forum types talk about objectivity, the conservative media likes to rap the liberal media on the knuckles for not being objective. We've created this cottage industry in which it pays to be un-objective. It pays to be subjective as much as possible. It's a great way to have your cake and eat it too. Criticize other people for not being objective. Be as subjective as you want. It's a great little racket. I'm glad we found it actually."

If Irving Kristol intended to start a revolution with his writing on the culture wars and U.S. Cold-War foreign policy, he certainly laid the groundwork in academic journals and periodicals. What may never have entered his imagination at the time was the degree of success the second generation of neoconservatives would experience in marketing neoconservative ideas to a mainstream audience. The original network of journals and think tanks has been amplified by a powerful, streamlined media machine. The neoconservative revolution has, quite literally, been televised.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Free the iPhone : Support wireless freedom!

If you've ever accessed the web with your phone, you have probably realized two things: it's ungodly expensive and of dubious utility - in part due to carrier choke-points and built-in incompatibilities. It's not the web you get, per se, it's "the mobile web."

Here's a thought; what about some radical entrepreneur - possibly named Branson - coming up with a truly portable device that could surf networks, possibly on a pay as you go basis? Possibly one that would sort through competitive bids for access, taking the ones that match user priorities. And what if it could actually browse the whole web?

Free the iPhone : Support wireless freedom!: "Apple touts the iPhone as the “Internet in your pocket” — but it’s not. You can’t use it without signing on with AT&T, and once you do they cripple services, limit what you can do and restrict where you can go on the wireless Web.

We need Wireless Freedom — and our elected officials are the only ones who can give it to us: the freedom to use all Internet devices on any wireless network in a market that offers true high-speed Internet and real consumer choice.

Take action today. Demand that the FCC and Congress free the iPhone — and future gadgets like it — and put the Internet in the hands of everyone."


Attention,Gutless Democrats - Time to grow a spine.

Some reluctant MSM truth-telling....

The decision by the Democratic majority to strip the measure of a timetable for troop withdrawal has raised the prospect that it could be approved mainly by Republicans with scattered Democrat support. The idea that many Democrats would be left on the losing side in a consequential vote has exposed a sharp divide within the party, drawn scorn from antiwar groups, confused the public and frustrated the party rank and file.

...

Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break — the second recess since the financing fight began — and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush.

...

But scores of other Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, say they have no intention of voting for the more than $100 billion sought by the White House for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan because Mr. Bush refused to accede to timelines, readiness standards and other conditions. They have said repeatedly since taking control in January that they will not turn over more money for the war without some movement toward a withdrawal.
The "price" for this bill seems to be Republican support for and a Presidential agreement to $17 billion in new domestic spending and a minimum-wage increase.

Whatever I think of these trade-offs matters little compared to what appears to be a widespread revulsion toward the idea of personal benefit at the expense of leaving our boys and girls in the field. I can only hope that my own disgust for those who's core principles are clearly negotiable is equally widespread. Nor am I willing to let this situation become the status quo ante, in the touching belief that a dictitorial executive will somehow be more benign in Democratic hands.

This comment from a "clipper" is indicative of the growing backlash against a Congress that an increasing majority see as spineless; far too concerned with the minutia of politics and partisan goals and far too willing to "horse-trade" on matters of principle.

Clipmarks - Progress in iraq Clipmarks: "AineMacDermot says:
'Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break — the second recess since the financing fight began — and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush.'

Scared of being called names by a man who lacks ethics? They fear Bush more than they fear losing support from the people who put them into office. Tsk, tsk... who do you represent?"

Ultimately I must go with the facts on the ground. This is an illegal and starkly immoral war, it is being waged for profit - and not even for the profit of the American people in general, but for a tiny fraction of the population who believe they have the right to manipulate the population to their own advantage. Furthermore, it is being waged as a means to the end of stripping the American people - and their Congressional Representatives - of their Constitutional rights, authorities and duties.

This is no time to be playing pattycake. It's not time for business as usual. It's time to "go to the mattresses" and initiate procedures to impeach both the Vice President and the Sock-Puppet in Chief. And those of you up for re-election in 2008 had best take this mandate very damned seriously, because an unwillingness to support the obvious, Constitutional solution means you have no more respect for that sacred document than any neocon bushista.

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