Saturday, January 05, 2008

A Black Border for Major Olmsted


THE DEATH OF ANDREW OLMSTED
Major Andrew Olmsted, who posted a blog since May 2007, was killed in Iraq on Thursday, Jan. 3. Major Olmsted, who had been based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, began blogging after his unit was sent to Iraq with the mission of helping to train the Iraqi Army. No official details have been released on his death, but reports say that he and a second member of his unit were killed during an enemy ambush in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. Olmsted was determined to make a difference in Iraq. "The sooner the Iraqi government doesn't need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave."
Obsidian Wings: Andy Olmsted: "Andrew Olmsted, who also posted here as G'Kar, was killed yesterday in Iraq."

Andy was a wonderful person: decent, honorable, generous, principled, courageous, sweet, and very funny. The world has a horrible hole in it that nothing can fill. I'm glad Andy -- generous as always -- wrote something for me to publish now, since I have no words at all. Beyond: Andy, I will miss you.

My thoughts are with his wife, his parents, and his brother and sister.

What follows is Andy's post: a bit here; the rest below the fold. [UPDATE: I'm adding links to Andy's last post at his Rocky Mountain News blogs, from about a week ago, where friends and family are expressing support in comments; to an article from yesterday that I believe is about his death; and to a post he wrote on his reasons for going to Iraq last June.]



There are so many blogs so many things worth reading and so many people who write them that it's impossible to know everyone, and it is therefore inevitable that sooner or later, someone you wish you had known dies before you have the chance to know them in even a virtual sense.

Whatever my feelings about the Commander In Chief or the wars he has chosen, this is not the time for that, and I choose to honor Maj. Olmstead's wishes that his death NOT be politicized.

I shall do only this - to take the time to read the words of a man who has damn well earned our attention the hard way.

And second: I ask that whatever status and situation in life, whatever view you have about wars and soldiers, that you honor his choices and do him the courage of "Piping him Out" as he would have wished. I have no Coke on hand, so my toast will be in good Kentucky whiskey. I have plenty of eighties music, though - and so first I shall spin up Leonard Cohen's "Closing Time," and then re-read a bit of Kipling, who should be read more often, and not always at times such as this.

[My comment at Obsidian Wings is perhaps the post I should have made here, but let it stand.]

Friday, January 04, 2008

If your husband told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

Salto sobrius: Jim Benton on Fundies vs. Gay Marriage

A very interesting article on why gay marriage upsets the fundie applecart. Turns out said apple cart is hauling horseapples anyhow - the rationale for opposing gay marriage hinges on the despicable abomination of a man submitting to another man.

a heterosexual marriage that deviates from "God's plan" can be condemned as such, and there is always hope that through "good Christian example" teaching, preaching, and prayer, these "misguided sinners" can be shown the proper path. (And the true dominionists can hope they will have the power of the state at least to teach students properly, and even have laws that will correct the poor, deluded "equalitarians".)

But there is no way that a gay couple can choose to conform to these teachings. The roles, in the minds of the radical Christians are biologically and theologically based. The question of which gender should be submissive is not a matter of choice. It is rooted in the idea that "man was created first and woman sinned first" in Eden. Yes, a woman may (and should, according to voices like Stormy Omartian's) freely choose to submit to her husband and act according to God's plan. But that is because she is a woman. A man who should choose to submit to his wife, in the same way, would be an unnatural abomination.

And, obviously, same-sex marriages either do not have a woman to "willingly submit to whomever it is we need to be submitted to", or they lack a man to be submitted to. No amount of preaching can change this, no amount of Christian example will change this. Any gay marriage, by existing, challenges this idea of a proper, "traditional" marriage.
Well, you know MY methods, Watson. Not only should gay marriage of all sorts be recognized - to the extent that I admit that the state has any business recognizing any relationship at all - but more heterosexual couples should make a point of giving the horselaugh to this nonsense:

For a similar view let's look at the Southern Baptists. In an article on subjugation of women in that denomination, Dr. Bruce Prescott & Dr. Rick McClatchy (who have become "Mainstream Baptists", a group which split from the Southern Baptists as a protest against the emergence of extreme and rigid conservatism in the older group) write in Baptist Faith and Message, a Baptist "Confession of faith"):
"subjugation of women extended to the privacy of Baptist homes when a statement on the family was added to the BF&M. In line with the chain of command made explicit in the 1984 resolution, the 1998 family amendment advised wives that they must ‘graciously submit' to their husbands."

"The unconditional nature of the wife's subjugation became clear at the official press conference following the statement's adoption. Dorothy Patterson, wife of Paige Patterson and a member of the committee that drafted the family statement, said, ‘When it comes to submitting to my husband even when he is wrong, I just do it. He is accountable to God.'"
But these groups are relatively liberal. I could go on and on -- oh, you've noticed -- but I'll end this by requoting Tedd Tripp, from my article on baby beating.
"You must provide examples of submission for your children. Dads can do this through biblical authority over their wives, and Moms through biblical submission to their husbands." p. 142

"Don't waste time trying to sugarcoat submission to make it palatable. Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement. Submission necessarily means doing what you do not wish to do. It is never easy or painless." p. 145

"Your children [and by implication, your wife] must understand that when you speak for the first time, you have spoken for the last time." p. 151

Yep. Funnymentalism; the last refuge of the bull asshole - and those to weak and stupid to lead a household without violence. But nonetheless, I support the right of those who wish such relationships and are above the age of consent to enter into them.

However, raising children to behave this way is, I think, child abuse. Not to put too fine a point on it, I think that the widespread abuse of children by people who loudly adhere to such beliefs is all the force this argument against it being either Christian OR American needs.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Zombie Lies, Conventional Wisdom and Whiners

From the Department of If Youda Ast Me, I Coulda Tolja.


Arianna Huffington: I Am Conventional Wisdom: An Unstoppable Zombie Wreaks Havoc On America - Politics on The Huffington Post:
"In this real-life horror, the conventional wisdom about the war in Iraq came back from the dead, reasserting the absurd notion that the more wrong you were about Iraq, the more credibility your opinion has about anything having to do with terrorism, the Middle East, Islam, or national security.

Accordingly, conventional wisdom has it that the main 'beneficiaries' of the turmoil in Pakistan are Rudy Giuliani, who has yet to utter a critical word about the Bush strategy in the Middle East, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate who took the longest to separate herself from that strategy.

You might think that the one positive thing to come out of this tragedy would be the opportunity it gives us to reassess not only our strategy in the Middle East, but the conventional wisdom that gave rise to this strategy and continues to sustain it.

But, sadly, you would be wrong. Because the conventional wisdom is composed largely of what Atrios calls 'zombie lies.' They cannot be stopped. For a moment or two, it may seem like you've killed them, but back they come over the horizon. Again and again and again."
Such as the yearly trope of the "war on Christmas" by Godless Atheists (and of course blacks with their Kwanzaa and Jews with their Hanukkah). God forbid we should note with a cheery "happy holidays" that few indeed of us are actually at work, and that whatever one's religion or the lack, one ought to be happy, considering how much good food and family there is about to happen. (Or for some of us, how few of our family show up!)

The Zombie Liars and Conventional Wisdomeers are particularly evident in response to all things Ron Paul, who I'm following primarily as an anomalous phenomenon pointing to a brave new informed consensus reality. It's amusing to see their heads explode as Paul starts to look good for making serious primary gains - or perhaps even taking Iowa.

Atrios's deft framing of the obvious oversupply of Big, Obvious Lies as "zombie lies" and watching the inept, screaming frustration of those invested in dismissing Ron Paul share one important factor.

Unlike in the days of my youth, when it was possible to control the media so closely and pervasively that it was impossible to really notice, the lies of commission and omission by various authorities and authoritarians have become unavoidably conspicuous.

It's not that the zombie lie technique is new. It's that the stench is newly conspicuous.

This new informational commons advantages truth-tellers over liars, for lies only work if you can't easily fact check. Well, anyone with computer access can fact check the hell out of anyone these days, and that's why the "conventional wisdom" - one part lie, two parts guess, three parts sheer ignorant bliss - seems suddenly so foolish. It always was, of course. But it took a lot of heavy lifting to prove it.

Not so much these days. (Atrios)

Why We Say "Fuck" A Lot

Jane has more on the latest nonsense from the Post. The problem really is that no matter how many times we try to kill right wing horseshit (or as Media Matters delicately calls it, "conservative misinformation") it keeps coming back to haunt us. It infects the media bloodstream. We politely ask for corrections. They don't happen. We start screaming for corrections. They still don't happen. Eventually some half-assed weaselly blame-the-uncivil-critics statement is released. We scream louder. And, then, the horeshit pops up again on CNN.
I think you meant to say "whoreshit," big guy...

Even when you wish to agree with the conventional wisdom, it's difficult to pretend - despite all the yammering to that effect - that the conventional wisdom is anything other than the minority wishful thinking of culturally privileged spoiled brats.

It's whining - and if there's anything us "Ahumurikins" hate even more than "socialism",
it's whining.

Yesterday in Des Moines, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee hosted an event thanking “roughly 700 bloggers who, he said, were responsible for keeping his campaign alive.”

Calling them his “secret weapon,” Huckabee urged the bloggers to “clog” up the wireless system in Des Moines so that reporters couldn’t file any more “bad” stories about him. He added that by blocking the free press from doing their jobs, bloggers were “doing the Lord’s work”:


Actually, that's even worse. That's Preemptive Whining. "The bad old media is going to say bad things about me. WHO will rid me of this troublesome media?*"

I am not suggesting, of course, that all seven hundred of the blogger supporters Huckabee credits for keeping his campaign afloat are such daft and depraved sorts. Nope. I merely point out that in expecting them to be willing to commit such an unethical, immoral and frankly Un-American act, he shows that HE believes that of them - and also that his ideas aren't up to being seriously examined by the "unwashed and unconverted."

Since he isn't sure about "owning" the MSM, he's trying to create a pocket MSM, or possibly a perfectly loyal and uncritical counterpart to Ron Paul's volunteer hordes.

My unconventional wisdom says that you don't want to draw to an inside straight when there's a high pair showing. That's the hand that Huck seems to be playing - and moreover, in pulling a stunt that seems to be ripped from the Libretto of The Music Man, we start to grasp on a national basis how he earned his nickname: "The Huckster."

Illustration: End Conservative Whining by webcarve Get this custom shirt at Zazzle

Huckabee: Supportive Bloggers Are ‘Doing The Lord's Work'

I just noticed this: blogging it for followup: "Calling them his “secret weapon,” former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee urged bloggers to “clog” up the wireless system in Des Moines so that reporters couldn’t file any more “bad” stories about him. He added that by blocking the free press from doing their jobs, bloggers were “doing the Lord’s work."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Voter to donor metric says Paul can win Iowa

Supporters of Paul point out that a potentially unbiased metric of a candidate’s support is the number of donors to the campaign in relation to the number of votes a candidate will get. On a post on the LewRockwell.com Blog the issue of the voter donor ratio in Iowa is examined pointing to the possibility of a Ron Paul upset victory.

read more | digg story
(Please digg this story at the above link.)

Here's what they say at Lou's place:

There has been some speculation out there that counting the number of donors to a campaign can determine and multiplying it by a given voter-to-donor ratio, the number of votes can be determined. According to Jim Babka, Paul would need a voter:donor ratio of 22:1 to 28:1 in order to capture 1/3rd of the caucus vote and win (22:1 at 80,000 GOP caucus-goers, and 28:1 with 100,000 GOP caucus-goers). Although voter:donor ratios are hard to come by, I looked at the number of donors prior to the 2004 Democratic Iowa caucus and the number of votes that candidate received (via OpenSecrets.org).

In the '04 Iowa Democratic Caucus, the candidate with the worst (lowest) voter:donor ratio was Dennis Kucinich, with 49 Iowa donors prior to the vote -- which yielded him 1588 votes and a voter:donor ratio of 32:1. If Ron Paul even achieved this low ratio (with his ~1,200 Iowa donors), he would win hands down.

No wonder Faux News is excluding him from the debates. And frankly, I think the smartest thing that could be done at this point would be for the DEMOCRATS to invite him to theirs.

Not sure it would be smart of Paul to accept - but damn, what a publicity coup THAT would be. As I pointed out in an earlier post today, this is not a voting bloc that is going to go home after the primaries. Either the Dems as a whole fight for it's attention - by paying homage to what it's demanding of Paul and expecting him to do - or they may as well kiss a brand new, largely unexplored voting bloc goodbye.

That - or if Paul doesn't get the Republican nomination, it either mounts the largest write-in campaign in US history, or falls in step with whoever is smart enough to say "Ron Paul is right - or at least, largely correct." Right now, that's Kucinich.

This presages another, even more important thing. Political apathy, which both political parties have relied upon for the best part of fifty years, is a thing of the past for a large chunk of the public, left, right, center and variable.

As a Centrist Libertarian, I'm not at all happy with a number of Ron Paul's ideas, because I believe that what little government that exists, should exist for the people as a whole, maximizing liberty across the board. That requires some things - such as universal, single-payer, transportable health care and a robust and unified unemployment/welfare system that is transportable from state to state, so that labor can actually keep up with shifts in demographics.

I also tend to think that a work force that is backed that way will tend to be more productive and far less stressed than our current one, while US companies will be far more competitive than they are now. In other words, it will reduce the necessity to offshore jobs.

But of course Paul and I differ on those points - as well as the far more important matter of the separation of Church and State.

So, while I can no longer personally support Ron Paul - it's absolutely impossible to ignore the most interesting political phenomenon in my memory - what amounts to a peaceful, political revolution, lead by a man as bemused by it as his opponents are. Ron Paul has gone viral - and whatever happens to Ron, it's a hardy virus that isn't likely to respond well to repressive remedies.

Ron Paul - the strength of ten, for his support is pure.

Donklephant » Blog Archive » Ron Paul: Will Online Turn Into Offline?: "
“I think that’s what’s the most fascinating … how Ron Paul will do,” says Julie Germany, deputy director of George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. “His supporters have overwhelmingly been on the internet,” where blog rankings, YouTube videos and enthusiastic forum participation make his support appear “two or three times what it really is.”


Again, I think this could either be a turning point for Paul or a sign that he may need to think about running on a 3rd party ticket. Somehow I think it’s going to be the latter, given how much Romney is spending…"


The comments show something I've been noticing for some time now; even the reasonable political junkies simply do not understand that whatever you think of Ron Paul, his support comes from what may as well be an unseen paralell universe. While his polling may be low, there are two factors that make those numbers questionable at best - first, many RP supporters don't have landlines. Second, a huge percentage are not and never were "Likely voters."

For myself, I tend to analyze things like this from a different perspective; I figure for everyone motivated enough to go out and stand in the cold waving a sign, there are probably ten that will be motivated enough to vote for Ron Paul in a nice warm voting booth- if only as a seeming "none of the above" vote.

Hell, it's about the only choice for Republicans that want to be able to sleep at night - and he's attractive to Conservative Democrats as well. The accusations of racism haven't hurt him at ALL in that quarter. Sadly, it's quite possibly a very significant quarter.

Read the comments at the link above; this is a voting bloc that is not going away. It won't fade out, and it will continue to strongly impact the political process, whatever the "politics as usual" folks think about it. If Ron Paul drops out, the movement will pick someone else - and it could easily be Dennis Kucinich, seeing as Paul has all but personally endorsed him. This is a movement that concentrates on principles, not "opportunity politics."

And overwhelmingly, it demands wholesale, PRINCIPLED reform of the political and governmental process.

From my perspective, Ron is far from my ideal candidate, and I'm on record stating why, but the Ron Paul Revolution itself is largely independent of candidate, campaign, and established parties, which is it's power and it's saving grace.

Given that the overall results of the election will likely put a solid majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress, possibly even a Progressive plurality, Ron Paul is likely to be even more attractive to Independents as being a solid Constitutional Conservative and a natural check on the "tax and spend" governance that many fear, reasonably or not.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

No Confidence in MSM

Glenn Greenwald - Political Blogs and Opinions - Salon: "I would never dream of coming to this blog and just start making assertions that 'Americans believe X' or 'Americans oppose Y' unless I had actual evidence to support those claims. That's because I would not expect readers of this blog to view what I write as being credible if I just spewed assertions with no empirical basis like that. No credible blogger would do that. Why don't pundits on MSNBC -- including the Managing Editor of Time Magazine -- recognize those same basic constraints?"

That's Glenn's concluding paragraph after taking the media to task in two trenchant posts, both well worth reading, even if they are a bit dated.

The most revealing three-minute YouTube clip ever

[Followup]

The main thrust is that Beltway pundits are just making stuff up about what "Americans want" when in fact there is solid polling data showing that a majority of Americans want the exact opposite.

Karl Rove's head on a pike sworn testimony before Congress being the particular case in point. And please note that as far as I am aware, no such sworn testimony has occurred.

I have to add that there are a great many conservative and liberal blogs that have, in my mind, credibility that surpasses above all but a very few US MSM outlets. The more "access to power" that these outlets have, the more unreliable I find them.

Of course, this is nothing new, and your humble scribe has only to point to this:

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The President makes decisions, he's the decider. The Press Secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home.

Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know, fiction.
Steven Colbert to the White House Press Corpse. I mean, corps. I wonder what credibility "ordinary Americans" assign the Mainstream Media after ceaseless and baseless cheerleading for the war and the President's policies?

Pew Research Center survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2007. N=1,018 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.5.







.

"Now thinking about the 2008 presidential campaign -- In general, how would you rate the job the press has done in covering the presidential campaign: [see below]?"







.



Excellent Good Only Fair Poor Unsure


% % % % %

9/28 - 10/1/07

6 35 32 21 6






.

Gee. It wasn't that hard to find that survey. It makes me wonder how hard you have to work to find nothing at all to contradict an idiotic presumption. Indeed, one wonders if they read the reports from their own research and polling efforts.

Of Mice, Men and Issues.

Road to Nowhere - New York Times:

"The Republican Party is more unpopular than at any point in the past 40 years. Democrats have a 50 to 36 party identification advantage, the widest in a generation. The general public prefers Democratic approaches on health care, corruption, the economy and Iraq by double-digit margins. Republicans’ losses have come across the board, but the G.O.P. has been hemorrhaging support among independent voters. Surveys from the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, Kaiser Foundation and Harvard University show that independents are moving away from the G.O.P. on social issues, globalization and the roles of religion and government."

Obviously, while you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, you can't fool all of the people, all of the time.

Frankly, with the singular exception of Ron Paul, I don't think there's a single Republican candidate who has not already managed to pre-position themselves for a sure loss in the general election, where Independants will (as always) determine the outcome. Gulianni may be another, less obvious exception, but in the sense of being relatively less UNpopular, rather than commanding a great deal of popular support.

But the real problem - and one that includes Dr. No himself - is that the Republicans do not command a single positive idea. Not a one. It's all about who's fault things are, what things should be eliminated, how taxes are bad and how "godless liberalism" is leading to the downfall of our culture. Yeah, well, some of us think that the superficial godbothering and pearlclutching of the REPUBLICANS has lead to the downfall of our culture - and the credibility of the Christian faith.

Fast-teks: On Site and In Home Computer Support

I dunno about you, computer troubleshooting is not my area of competence. I simply can't keep up with the latest issues. Heck, I'm doing good if I keep my virus software up to date.

And that's automated.

Admit it - even if you are a geek yourself, you probably are not that kind of geek. So get a pro; I mean, it's YOUR productivity and data on the line. Don't risk it. Get someone who's insured against screwing up. :> That's where Fast-teks comes in. Think of them as plumbers for them "internet tubes."

Aggravated Gun Fondling Caught on Tape

From Texas, naturally.



Texas Police officer walking away from a successful arrest is shown shooting himself due to fondling his Taser. It's far funner than if it had been his Glock - but one wonders if he should be carrying either weapon!

35-Year-Old Woman Tasered In Front Of Customers At Best Buy - News Story - WFTV Orlando

35-Year-Old Woman Tasered In Front Of Customers At Best Buy - News Story - WFTV Orlando: "'The woman is repeatedly told to cease and desist her conduct and activities. As the officer is trying to approach her, you can see her throw her hands up and her arms flailing. The taser is designed for incidents like that,' Chitwood said."


There are several videos that I could have embedded here; this one seems to be the best in terms of clearly showing the incident, as well as preserving a particularly astonishingly authoritarian statement by the Daytona Police Chief in defense of what is pretty clearly an indefensible use of force.



The next video includes direct and even-handed analysis by Cop Watch activist George Crossley.



After reviewing the cop-watch blog, I have come to believe that despite obvious "left of center" associations, they are scrupulously fair about this effort.

In other words, I don't think this is a source you should automatically discount, even if you reflexively disbelieve "liberal" sources.

Besides, a camera is not a "liberal" or "conservative" source. It's very clear in the video that the officer initiated and esculated a confrontation; while the suspect may well have been loud and profane, she never once touched or physically resisted the officer. While the Chief of police attributes the entire incident to "a lack of respect" on the part of the woman, it's pretty clear that no such respect for the civilian was on offer, so my response to both the officer and the chief is "sit on it and rotate."

Oh, and I do hope this one goes to a jury of your civilian peers.

Despite the charges laid against the "suspect," Elizabeth Beeland, it seems fairly clear to me that this is in fact a case of assault by an officer on a civilian. It's also quite clear from the video that the officer spent no time whatsoever attempting to assess or investigate the situation before - quite literally - throwing her weight around. See for yourself how very few seconds transpire between confrontation and tasering.

Her first response was to intimidate Beeland, it's pretty clear that the officer was uninterested in any response other than immediate submission to her authority.

In other words, the cop made the disastrously unwarranted assumption that Beeland was "a perp," even though Beeland had not behaved as a person fleeing arrest would have - continue to her car and flee. And needless to say, as it was her card, and she was distraught due to perfectly reasonable circumstances, it was entirely predictable that she would be both upset and confused.

Of course, one of the many hollow-sounding justifications for this incident is that Beeland was "disrupting business," and that may well be the real reason for this chain of events.

I have been unable to find any evidence of a statement on behalf of Best Buy regarding this incident, or what they might do to prevent such issues in the future, but customer relations do not seem to be a high priority with the firm., despite slickly produced protestations promises of Corporate Responsibility.

In the absence of any reassurance to concerned potential customers, I think it wise to assume that this is as much a product of store policy (though possibly that of a local or regional manager) as it is a matter of evident police over-reaction.

In particular, I would like to know exactly what the clerk said to the cop that may have predisposed her to such a precipitous and reckless use of force. In hopes of learning this and whatever else Best Buy might have to say about this incident, I've forwarded this story to NewsCenter@bestbuy.com, their public relations contact address.

tag: , , , , , , ,

Offshore Rx Escrow firm saves you money; perhaps even more.

Cheaper prescriptions from DrugDelivery.ca.

As we all get older, our prescription costs take a larger and larger chunk out of our disposable incomes, such as they are - and no thanks to George Bush's cozy relationship with Big Pharma.

Well, in Canada and much of the rest of the world, the relationship between Government and Big Pharma is altogether different, and that's the main reason why worldwide drug prices are lower than they are in the United States. DrugDelivery.ca, an Online Pharmacy escrow service, is one way to get cheaper offshore drugs without taking a day-trip to Canada. That's rather impractical for most of us, when you think of it. Further, as they operate under the laws of Mariatus, you have a greater assurance of privacy than you would with a US or even Canadian based company.

But, can you trust them?

Here's what they say about themselves:

We want to be seen as the one place to come for all your pharmacy needs. We want to be the one company people think of when they want to order their prescriptions online safely and know they will get what they pay for – no fraud – no worries. In a business where there are so many shady businesses who will be happy to take your money and run or send you fake medicine it is really hard to position ones self as legitimate but we have been in business since 2004 doing just that, and that’s how we want to continue.
There's a great deal more about them on this page, and they have clearly invested a great deal in a great many online assurances.

Now, from my viewpoint as a Libertarian and as an opponent to all things supporting George Bush - this is a twofer.

First, you excercise your right to spend your money where it will do the most good - and without "sharing" that information with one of George's "privacy-enhanced" NSA-audited pharmacy databases.

The second, of course, is that it's taking walking-around money out of the hands of Big Pharma - and so out of the pockets of politicians in this election cycle. That could be a very, very big deal, so if you have no drug coverage, or your insurance company encourages lower-cost sourcing, consider this firm seriously.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bush must be ON drugs to appoint this Drug Warrier...

AlterNet: Drug Warrior's Shadow Looms Over California's Pot Clubs:

The appointment has many in California's medical-marijuana community wondering if Russoniello would intensify the crackdown on the state's cannabis clinics. As federal prosecutor for the Northern District from 1982 to 1990, he was a cofounder of the CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) program, an annual series of paramilitary federal-state raids on pot farmers and their neighbors. He also accompanied Nancy Reagan to the Oakland elementary school where she first intoned her anti-drug mantra, "Just say no," in 1984.

Russoniello fitted in well with the Reagan administration's crime policies, which switched enforcement priorities from white-collar crime to drug offenses. (In fact, Rudolph Giuliani, then the third-ranking Justice Department official, interviewed him for the job.) The Reagan "war on drugs" whacked marijuana farmers and small-time black crack dealers with five-year mandatory minimums and intensified forfeiture laws so that someone caught copping $50 worth of dope could have their car confiscated. In a 1994 interview with Smoke and Mirrors author Dan Baum, Russoniello recalled that he was happy that the department was going to get tough on drug users as well as on dealers; that he believed drug treatment was a government-sponsored crutch, that methadone maintenance merely prolonged addicts' dependence; and that the widespread pot farming in Northern California was like "an open wound on our prayer hand."



Oh, well that sure as hell flushes California's electoral votes down the toilet for any Republican OTHER than Ron Paul. And probably Oregon, Washington and maybe more than half of Nevada.

All these years and I am still being amazed by Bush's amazing political tone-deafness.

Or doesn't he realize just how much small grower "pot money" is going to go to Democrats, statewide, at all levels?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Former CIA: Evidence Abounds for Impeachment of Bush & Cheney

clipped from www.fosters.com
The evidence for impeachment of the president and vice president is overwhelming, former CIA analyst and daily presidential briefer Ray McGovern told a room full of people at the Portsmouth Public Library
McGovern, who provided daily briefings for former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as well as other high ranking officials during his 27 year CIA career, said he has witnessed a "prostitution of his profession" as the Bush administration lied to the American people about the evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
"Don't let anyone tell you the President was deceived by false intelligence ... they knew," McGovern said
For the next 40 minutes, he relayed a series of events leading up to 9/11 which illustrate the President's desire to go to war with Iraq well before 9-11, that reliable CIA evidence showed that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and was presented to the administration and the "facts were fixed" in order to legitimize the invasion
Picture

Veteran CIA

 blog it
The recent report detailing Iran's stopping its nuclear weapons program four years ago, is an example of how the administration knows it can no longer hide such "incontrovertible evidence" from the American people in the fallout from the misinformation they received on the Iraq War, McGovern said. He added that he had almost given up believing their were people still working at the top with a conscious and enough people at the top willing to let analysts do their job and accept independent analysis.

McGovern also addressed the reasoning he believes is behind the threat of war with Iran. He believes Israel thinks they have a pledge from the White House to deal with Iran before Bush leaves office and relayed the story of the U.S.S. Liberty, which was attacked by the Israelis in 1967 and covered up by the U.S. Thirty-four U.S soldiers were killed and about 170 were seriously injured.

"On June 8, 1967 Israel realized it could literally get away with murder," McGovern said.

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