Saturday, June 14, 2008

Graphictruth Party Swag: Help me pervert the political process.

I have come to the conclusion that there is an insufficiency of satire at Cafepress - and of course, just in general. I think that if we take this upcoming election too seriously and too personally, we may all strain something vital.

Well, to that end - and to the end of "building a residual income" - I have started a new Cafepress Store with the aim of not praising Caeser.

While my first victim was John McCain... well, that image was a gift from God, and if it's good enough for Colbert, it's good enough for me.

And yes, there ARE t-shirts. But don't you think that yard signs are more fun?

The Green Monster Yard Sign - Introducing GTparty

If you love it, please give this a thumbs up on Stumbleupon. But of course, the best single response of all is a large number of Derivative Imitators.

Design and Sell Merchandise Online for Free


Celebrate! Rep. Ted Poe (R, TX) Gets It Right.

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed'' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents "interests,'' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
-Barry Goldwater

In my mind, there is a natural balance between political parties and the wings thereof, and it's very important to illustrate how that balance should with good examples. I yield the floor to Rep. Ted Poe who brings all that is good and fine about being a Conservative thinker to bear on a "solution" to our energy crisis that may well be worse than the problem it will supposedly solve.

The natural role of the Republican is to take the negative, to ask the hard questions, to demand that all the numerical ducks are in a row and both the obvious and hidden costs are documented.

It's not simply to oppose all ideas that are (variously) Democratic, Liberal or just Overenthusiastic. It could be stated that, traditionally the first question should be first (as Rep. Poe points out) - "Is it Constitutional?"

Any truly worthwhile idea can be achieved in a Constitutional way, if the focus is on ends, rather than a means by which that end will be achieved. Indeed, since those means are usually tied to various special interests that are either economically or idiologically biased it's fairly usual for the means to achieve the exact opposite of the sincerely intended end.

The War On Poverty. The War on Crime, The War On Drugs. And of course, the latest and greatest: The War on Terror. In each case, the means preclude the end.

The ultimate Republican question in the face of such outcomes is "And how is that workin' out for ya?"

In a positive sense, the various progressive, liberal, populist and activist movements are the ones that bring things before us and say, often with great moral force, that Something Must Be Done.

But the devil is in the details, therefore, any real solution has as few details as possible and is as an elegant solution as can be found, or it will tend to produce unintended consequences that cost us more stress, wealth and liberty than which provoked us into Doing Something. This is where Conservatism really shines, with the ruthless application of Occam's Razor. Indeed, for an excellent illustration of the principle at hand, I refer everyone to the Robert A. Heinlein tale in
Time Enough for Love, The Man who was Too Lazy to Fail.

Heinlein, I am morally certain, will one day be considered one of the greatest conservative philosophers of this age. But that personal belief aside, Sir, I am sure that Barry Goldwater would have approved greatly of this speech.

I have a couple little nits to pick with Rep Poe's conclusions regarding his ideas of what resources we should be developing but let us gloss over that in the spirit of celebration and to the end of not missing the more important point.

It is so freaking refreshing to be in a position where a useful criticism of a sitting Republican may be more nuanced than "what the hell were we thinking when we elected this empty suit?"

Then, of course, there's the related question that Congress must seriously address for the sake of it's own credibility: Was he actually elected? Or is that just the apparent result produced by the Sierra Systems voting machines we are blessed with? You see, it is not enough for the wife of Caesar to be chaste; she must be seen to be chaste! Otherwise, all that tedious honor and propriety is for naught, and - as the current crop of republican functionaries and fools doth prove - the ruling principles are "Make hay while the sun shines" and "One may as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb."

Rep Poe; I do you the courtesy of pointing out that one does not direct such observations toward the obvious rule - but to presumable exceptions. In the light of this, I do not think anyone could reasonably criticize you for being unelectable save for an electronic Deus Ex Machina.

However, noting that you have a fine sense of the absurd, and in recognition of all the corn now rotting on the banks of the Ohio River, corn that was most inappropriately destined to be a poor source of ethanol instead of an excellent source of food - may I suggest that there is an opportunity to speak to that here and now?

Rotting corn, husks, stalks and agricultural waste can be fermented. A floating crop is easy to corral - ask any cranberry farmer. All you need are two boats and a rope.

Then you need a fermenter. That is to say, a large tank, filled with enough water to start, and either the natural yeasts, or some more aggressive yeasts developed by the brewing industry. For that matter, sir, I'm sure Texas A&M has a few good mycologists who could whomp up a practical publication with pointers to online sources pretty much in their sleep.

It makes enormous sense from the perspectives of both agricultural and energy policy to make farms as self-sufficient in energy as is possible. A diffuse energy supply is a secure energy supply. Further, the more diffuse it is, the less energy it takes to get the energy you have to where it is needed. That's actually better than conservation.

It also serves as a buffer against commodity fluctuations. And it is a solution that depends upon an obvious profit center and simple procedures, rather than burdensome regulations.

You see, Sir, when you pointed out the regulations regarding Chinese compact fluorescent bulbs, you did not point out the most obvious criticism. Rather than seeing that it was an inherently bad idea to mandate or even encourage this technology, Congress in complicity offloaded the the responsibility consequences onto the American people by means of a set of regulations that will never be complied with in any widespread way. As it did with DDT, 2,4,D and of course that Superfund Favorite; PCB. I mention things that we really should have been more suspicious about, but I suppose I should also point to Asbestos as having given us a century or two of unintended consequences due to unappreciated risks. Indeed, I wonder to what extent the fall in lung cancer may be attributed to a sharp drop in environmental asbestos, rather than the liberal presumption that anti-smoking campaigns are due the credit.

(Not that we object to the outcome, of course.)

But I think I speak for many when I say that Americans are really really tired of having the responsibility for the consequences of government and indeed a far greater than reasonable compliance duty offloaded upon us without any compensatory medical or retirement benefits comparable to your own.

And speaking to you and your colleagues, Sir, the very point of a representative democracy is to put the people who do not suck at governance at work so that we can go about doing the things we do not suck at.

It's not so much that the taxation levels we cope with are burdensome, it's rather that instead of using that money and mandate to make us more secure, comfortable and productive, it seems to always bring us an extra boil on the ass, like this one you so ably point toward.

I think we have a right to expect good governance, intelligent governance; a governance that does as little as possible, as lightly as possilbe, in order to do that little as professionally as possible and with all regard and courtesy towards those it interacts with.

In this, you beautifully illuminate an example of the complete opposite, Congress has signed off on environmental mercury poisoning as an acceptable price for having appeared to achieve something. It's also the price of allowing "industry experts" to blow sunshine up your butts instead of asking for the expertise of constituents. There is certainly no state caucus that does not have at least one well-staffed state university with all sorts of expertise there for you to presume upon, at little or no cost to the taxpayer, direct or indirect.

Such an institution will tell you there are many ways to produce light - and there is one technology that is USA made, or can easily be, is more efficient, produces better light and has even lower costs in terms of energy and supply chain issues.

Light Emitting Diodes. Congress could create a demand simply by becoming an early adopter of LED lighting and participating in getting it down to a price that is acceptable to those of us doomed to live in trailers by years of the sorts of policies you so pointedly ridicule.

But a regulatory mandate for LED's would be just as foolish, other than as a research and development project. Good regulations set targets for overall system efficiency without restricting how those efficiencies should be achieved. And then, they set positive rewards for beating those standards.

I do not believe that I've said one thing here that is not an inherently conservative thing. Indeed, the entire thing may be summed up with Franklin's observation that "a penny saved is a penny earned."

It's very foolish to mandate a technology that will inevitably turn every single landfill into a Superfund site, EPA regulations be damned.

Regulations that are not read and are easily evaded are worse than useless, if policy assumes general compliance. How much non-compliance can we afford? Would it not make far more sense, if a risk exists worthy of such regulations, to demand that lighting devices be both non-toxic and easily recyclable, either at the curb or the landfill?

Mercury vapor is not the only gas that fluoresces - assuming RF pollution and the madding subliminal flicker are issues you find acceptable on my behalf. I do not, by the way.

Here the EPA - and I'm criticizing the same thing from a different angle - has committed the greatest sin any government can. It has issued a law in full knowledge that it cannot and will not be fully complied with. And who is to blame? Well, clearly from the perspective of the EPA and Congress - those unaware of regulations they did not read, probably due to the fact that they did not realize there was anything to read.

It is certainly not reasonable to assume that congress would mandate a more hazardous technology with greater long-term costs and risks. I cannot imagine that any genuine conservative would think that a still largely conservative government would.

Actually, it's such a violation of plain common sense and obvious due diligence that I cannot imagine any reasonably competent government of any political philosophy doing such a silly thing.

You may reasonably ask, Sir, what do you expect of one state representative?

I respond, Sir; read every bill, and if you cannot, forward every bill to a selection of constituents with expertise you trust. PRESUME, Sir. Demand a little of us. Expect more of us, in a mindful way, rather than inflicting upon us the consequences of not reality-checking the Washington Wisdom.

But first of all - continue to do exactly what you just did. This is the first step, the most important step, to notice such things and call attention to them. And I point out to you sir, as you may have noticed based on this little viral video, that the voice of Representative speaking on the floor of the House is no longer just a fart in a high wind.

One routine speech, one small, pro-forma speech had a significant impact, because your voice got out, was heard and thought upon.

That, Sir, is real power, and it transcends the threat of armed force (c.f. Patriot Act) by several orders of magnitude. There is a reason the Second Amendment does not come first.

In conclusion, Sir, do not take this as being in any way anything other than the best sort of critique. Having seen what you set out to do, and having seen that it is done well I, - and I hope I speak for a broad selection of persons of all political stripes and all walks of life - wish to encourage you to do it more and suggest that you seek out help with any heavy lifting involved.

Oh, and one final note:


This, Sir, is what a REPUBLICAN does. This is HOW a Republican should act. Observe, study and learn, for there will be a quiz.

Illustration: The Goldwater Standard
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Starke County deserves a Hellride for Hope.

When outlaw bikers feel moved to write an open letter to you about your system of justice - something is truly fucked. And not just ordinarily fucked, not merely fucked up in the situationally normal way, but truly FUBARED in the way that only the unholy congress of politics, power, patronage and public indifference to abuse can bring about.

Canton - Everybody gets the government they deserve. You, apparently, deserve a sheriff who gets off on strip-searching fifteen year old girls.

The Big Bend Bikers for Freedom were kind enough to not point it out explicitly, but in context, they are saying that Canton, Ohio would be better served by turning to the local chapter of the Hell's Angels.

Not only am I unkind enough to say it - I fully believe it. The Hell's Angels have far higher standards than the sheriff's department of Canton, Ohio. Even the dimmest wannabe in the least respected outlaw group is smart enough to know what side of the law they are on at any given point in time.

So just a shout-out to the hairiest bad-asses out there. Would YOU ride with this Sheriff's Crew?

Remember Hope Steffy and Canton Ohio? It gets more absurd: "Remember Hope Steffy and Canton Ohio? It gets more absurd

(the 'duh, I can get a woman if I jail em' sheriff with the 'look how many allegations I got now ma' Attorney General )
And how she was forcibly strip searched by male deputies in Starke County, Ohio. We do because we wrote a letter to the States Attorney about it. See here posted on 2-4-08:
Open Letter To Ohio Govenor, AG, Sheriff on behalf of Hope Steffy
And then we find out Hope Steffy wasn't alone. Starke County law enforcement apparently enjoyed making teen girls strip down for 'trespassing' which we wrote about here posted 2-5-08:
Could it be that there is a lot more going on in Canton Ohio than just Hope Steffy
Well we never heard anything back from our letters. But then what the hell, the only thing we ever get back from Florida Legislators is a generated thank you for writing note, if that.

But I am guessing the reason the Ohio Attorney General never wrote back was because he was busy. Busy doing what you may ask? Lets see,"
You gotta follow the link.

Related Stories:
Sheriff Tim Swanson likes to make sure none of them pretty girls are suicidal.
Hope Steffey; Starke County's Internet Fueled Nightmare.
Hope Steffey: "Rape without Penetration."

John Ensign must REALLY hate The Gleaner.

Click the image to see it in full-screen glory. Swipe it if you like it.

The Gleaner is one huge reason why I needn't bother with local politics. There is someone else out there that actually likes politics and can write a slugline like this:

Senator Sunshine gets his panties in a bunch

After expressing his "extreme disappointment" with the SEIA for having the ill-advised temerity to support of a bill that he, the Magnificent Hairdo, opposed, Sen. McWedgeshot accused the organization of being partisan, and warned the solar energy bidnesses that "following a partisan playbook is not a proven or wise track."

Yes. A Republican wrote that.

Then Ensign showed that beneath that splendidly coiffed and cute-as-a-button exterior lies a bitchy little thin-skinned primadonna:

"It is rare to have such overwhelming bipartisan support in today's partisan climate" (yes, again, that'd be a Republican complaining about a partisan climate), but the solar industry had it and your association's leadership squandered it. Decisions by the staff at SEIA caused serious harm to the same industry they are charged with representing. Instead of capitalizing on this opportunity to achieve your goals, SEIA wasted it."

"As a result of this short-sighted and blatantly partisan advice, your association alienated many of the key supporters you rely on to meet your goals..."

In other words, if it comes down to a choice between promoting renewable energies to help stimulate Nevada's economy, wean the nation from fossil fuels and help save the planet, on the one hand, or show some smallish Washington interest group that John Ensign is far, far more important than they are, on the other, rest assured that in the future, Ensign will be doing the latter.

Any constituent - and I am unfortunately one of them - who has had occasion to write to Ensign expressing concerns about tiny little matters like, oh, civil liberties or the Patriot Act is probably already aware of what a self-important asshat he is.

Every single communication from his orifice - I mean office - starts with the pronouncement that it is an official pronouncement from on high. I keep meaning to scan one, but somehow they always end up crumpled and/or shredded.

Yep. An authoritarian who is clearly unsure that without having been told that he is An Authority In All Caps By God, we would not recognize the fact that he Knows Better Than We Do.

In that view he is pathetically correct. Ain't it a shame that the ploy works as well as it does?

On the other hand, one does shudder at the thought of him returning to his former trade as a Vet and inflicting his manifest Authority upon helpless puppies and kittens. You see, according to Republican theology, the Mantle of Authority magically transforms manifest idiocy into Revealed Word.

But that ain't any sort of new idea, alas. The current crop of Republicans have, however, stampeded across the subtle, yet well-marked line that separates a cynical and affectionately patriarchal appreciation of the ease with which The Rabble may be manipulated, past the no-man's land of The Divine Right of Kings and has has sprawled into terratory formerly reserved to those who were gently confined for their Napoleon Complexes

Who knew that when Regan emptied the asylums, it was to the end of populating the House and Senate with the feeble-minded?

Ensign is utterly useless to us even by the standards of corrupt Senators.
You see, here's what had the Gleaner after The Hairball's ass along with probably everyone with a pulse and a stake in the Nevada energy sector.

Earlier this week, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) sent out apparently state-by-state-tailored press releases blasting senators, including the 'Do, for opposing legislation that would extend tax breaks for solar and other forms of renewable energy, and that would pay for the breaks by closing tax loopholes enjoyed by hedge funds and transnational conglomerates.

Hairdo "will have to choose between job-creating solar power for Nevada" or standing with the Bush administration policy "that protects the off-shore tax havens of billionaire hedge fund managers," said the SEIA in a release Monday.

In what will no doubt come as a shock to Nevadans, Ensign the next day sided against sense, sanity and his state and with Bush and the hedge funds, voting to filibuster, and effectively kill, the legislation (Grist).

I must find a way to state this so that even people who voted for Bush, Gibbons and Ensign can understand the ESSENTIAL point here.

The pork flows THIS way, dipshit!

Even Ted Stevens understands this, and he thinks the Internet is a hydraulic system.

Sir, when Sen. Ted Stevens makes one seem ineffective and incompetent by comparison, one should really consider a change of career. Perhaps something in The Green Zone, Sir. After all, you are one of the many who's efforts have earned such a reward.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I strongly resemble Richard Wawrow

In fact, I would have looked almost exactly like this as a child as I was learning to draw. It was my grand obsession and I have little awareness of my surroundings or much concern about how I look. Furthermore, I was profoundly nearsighted. Alas, no longer - I had cataract surgery and now my cheap fixed focus lenses allow me to navigate without glasses. But I can't see in the way I used to without a binocular microscope. Anyway, I do have the right focal length for a computer screen.

I've always been an artist, it's literally how I think. What I can discern of Wawrow's process is eerily similar to mine. If I used crayons much at all, I would look exactly like this. Like him, I never refer to a source or didn't until I started making art directly from photos. He moves the way I did before taking up martial arts, as if a body was a not terribly convenient means of moving a head and hands from one place to another.

Looking at his quality of line, I note that he has similar impairments with fine motor control, and uses a similar variety of dodges. For him, it's crayons - because of the inherent imprecision and the blending qualities of the professional crayons he uses. For me, it's the use of watercolor pencils, or earlier, pencil crayons. Earlier than that, as a child, I used ez-erase paper and number two pencil as well as a white eraser for both erasing and blending.

Now I use a computer, both for original work and for works that are done, Warhol-like, as variations on a photograph. I of course was working to overcome a disability - but the disability was not my appearance as I worked, and that's the point that struck me as I watched this video. That, and the fact that his parents chose to concentrate on celebrating what he could do and not stressing over what he could not do. What I would have given for a moment of celebration as is shown when he completes a picture!

Instead, my art was seen as simply another form of "escapism" and a dangerous reliance upon "imagination," a thing that would be no help in "the real world."

Ironically enough, it's that very capability that would have set me apart; that would have been a real asset to me in finding my own way had it been celebrated and encouraged. It's only now that it's become clear to me how much of our civilization depends on the relatively few people who really can dive into their imaginations and come up with things that are needed. Of course, we don't think of these people who do this as being "disabled." Geeks, perhaps. Or we say, "well, you understand, he's an engineer" as if that explained why that person lacks social graces and all but rudimentary hygiene.

Don't Poke The Aspie! shirt For myself, I've always felt that if you can notice such trivia as hunger or anything less than a true "potty emergency," you aren't concentrating, and I've always been completely baffled by the inability of those who consider themselves "normal" to cope with the idea that one can be utterly unaware of their presence.

I could ascribe my parent's inability or unwillingness to cope with this trait - much less value it - to the fact that both were ... to use my broad technical vocabulary ... fuckin' nuts.

But nuts though they were, it seems to be a very common belief among the neurotypical that if I fail to notice them, on some visceral level, they feel they don't exist.

I had to isolate and hide just to get time to do a drawing, and I had to learn to work very quickly indeed - so many techniques which I loved were abandoned because I would never be permitted the time it took to complete a work.

I now suffer from a learned impatience and I feel shame for "wasting time" any time I fall out of contact with temporal reality. It's only been lately that I've started to respect my process and the way my mind works - and in part, this respect comes from seeing how people who, apparently suffering from greater degrees of autism, are able to function better as they aren't wading through spools of "old tapes" to get anywhere.

I am starting to dislike the term "Neurotypical." First, the term tends to be used in a bigoted way by all "sides." Second, it contains the presupposition that there is, in fact, some sort of standard wetware configuration, and I've come to suspect that such a proposition is not only unwarranted, but that it could easily be disproved - if the implications of the idea that there is no true "normal" did not scare the crap out of everyone who can somehow manage to get by without being singled out as "abnormal."

But study history for five minutes and you will find that there are damn few people who have achieved any notice that were not some variety of whackadoodle. "Normal" people seem to leave no trace of passage themselves, but they do strongly influence those who will have no choice in being some variety of exceptional.

I could never have been normal. But I could have been a cause of pride instead of an object of shame - that was the choice of my parents and equally, the culture I grew up in. Fortunately, I had Science Fiction and various other counter-examples of contexts both real and imaginary where things made sense and people like me would be normal, while the sorts of people I saw myself surrounded by were... not.

Yes, I have a barely noticeable tendency toward arrogance. But with a touch of lime and a sense of humor, many find it to be a charming accent to the confusion that is me.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Perhaps 60% of today’s oil price is pure speculation

The price of crude oil today is not made according to any traditional relation of supply to demand. It’s controlled by an elaborate financial market system as well as by the four major Anglo-American oil companies. As much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds.

read more | digg story

Wexler and Kucinich introduce Articles of Impeachment

One wonders if Bush will return from his European trip, or just head straight for Dubai?

Congressman Wexler just signed on as co-sponsor of Dennis Kuchinich's articles of impeachment, as shown in the text of this letter that I just found in my in-box.

Our effort to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable has taken another dramatic step forward. Last night, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the first Articles of Impeachment ever to be introduced against President Bush. It includes, in total, thirty-five Articles detailing this Administration's blatant abuse of power. Today, I enthusiastically co-sponsored this vitally important bill.

I am grateful for Dennis' leadership on this issue and for the steadfast support that countless Americans have given to both of our efforts to redeem our government and expose the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

I will now expand my efforts to secure impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee for these new Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush.

Many of the charges against President Bush are well known – and would shock the conscience of everyday Americans if only the national media would be willing to report on these stark facts.

The Articles present a stunning narrative of offenses that have go well beyond previous crimes committed by any US chief executive. In fact no President or Vice President in history has done more to undermine our constitution.

These charges are broad, with 35 separate allegations including the deliberate lies regarding WMDs that led us to war and the approval of illegal wiretapping of American citizens. The Articles also include new allegations of high crimes – including the explicit approval for high Administration officials to violate treaties and US law banning the use of torture.

The Democratic Party gained a majority in the House and Senate due in large part to our promises to end the corruption of the Republican majority and to hold the Administration accountable to the law. This courageous bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise, but – like the Articles against Cheney – they require your support to convince Democrats and open-minded Republicans to support this bold but necessary action.

Time is running out so we must work together to spread the message and apply pressure.

First, please encourage your friends and family members to sign up at – as it will allow us to keep in touch with you and speak to a wider audience. If you haven't yet put in your phone and address, please sign up again, as we will be doing telephone town halls in the near future.

Second, call your representative and urge them to support Impeachment hearings.

Finally, contact newspapers, news stations, and your favorite bloggers and urge them to report on this movement. We need to keep Impeachment a significant news story until the Democratic leadership sees the value in it.

McClellan Agrees to Testify:

I was pleased to inform you yesterday that Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers met my call to have Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testify under oath. I am thrilled to inform you that McClellan has agreed to testify on June 20th at 10AM. This will be the first step in what we hope will be ongoing and deepening examinations of the stark evidence and charges against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Thank you for your continued passion and advocacy. Your support means so much to me.


Congressman Robert Wexler

So far, blog reaction has been muted and MSM reactions - well, I've not found any. (Contrast that with the first rumors of Clinton's impeachment.) That could change with your help.

Ralph Nader says:

Volumes can and will be written, about what can go down as the most serious abdication of impeachment responsibilities by a Congress in its history. No other president has committed more systemic, repeated impeachable offenses, with such serious consequences to this country, its people, to Iraq, its people and the security of this nation before, than George W. Bush.

It is never too late to enforce the Constitution. It is never too late to uphold the rule of law. It is never too late to awaken the Congress to its sworn duties under the Constitution. But it will soon be too late to avoid the searing verdict of history when on January 21, 2009, George W. Bush escapes the justice that was never pursued by those in Congress so solely authorized to hold the President accountable.

It's damn important to go through this process now. Why? Because that will put the next president - whoever they are - on notice that we will not tolerate this, nor will we allow them to put the powers Bush illegally, immorally and unconstitutionally claimed in their pocket.

So, if you are a Republican and don't see the point to this - think of what a Democratic president could do using these powers to track down and punish "alleged war-criminals" and "co-conspiritors." If one can be detained without trial on suspicion of terrorism, certainly it's even more reasonable to detain those who have arguably committed or facilitate treason.

So, let us do this right, by the book. And do it now before either "side" is surely in power. Right now, Nancy Pelosi has a duty to the Republic - and that duty comes before her duty to party or personal ambition.

Hail Dubya, ITMFA sticker

Hail Dubya, ITMFA

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While I'd love you to support myself with a few sales of these designs, if you want to make a lot to support this campaign, I would rather you set up your own store, or printed them out yourself. This version is approved for that use.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Meet the New Smirk; Same as the old Smirk.

It's important to remind our leadership that our support is conditional, and contingent upon performance. We have had eight years to savor the burn of leadership that could not care less about such "intangibles" as honoring promises or even living up to the most minimal expectations. That's why I made this shirt template. YOUR reasons go into the design. Wear it (or your own design) often, so that everyone knows that your support is conditional on performance.

I support Obama, but in doing so, I intend to hold him to a much higher standard than I applied to George Bush or, for that matter, Bill Clinton. Frankly, we haven't had our eyes on the ball since Ronnie Ray-Gun took office.

I happen to think that Obama can live up to high expectations. But I also expect him to understand that in any area in which he feels less than totally sure of himself - he has a telephone. He should pick it up and call a citizen in whom he does have confidence due to evident competence. In other words, Sir; we are Citizens. And it is both the honor and the duty of a Citizen to serve at the pleasure of the President, regardless of their politics. Or it should be.

I do not shill for myself. There damn well ought to be a long list of more obvious choices, in and out of political life. And that, Sir, is my point.

Presume, Sir, that you have not just the right, but the duty to lead as broad a mandate as possible, and to continue to broaden it pro-actively for as long as you have the privilege to shape this nation.

You are the Democratic nominee for sure, and the outcome of the floor fight 'twixt Ron Paul and John McCain is going to be interesting, but the ultimate outcome isn't in doubt. I suggest very strongly to you that Ron Paul himself and those of the Ron Paul Revolution have earned a place in history as significant as your own.

Forcing Principle and Reason upon Republicans, one nickel and one hand-painted banner at a time, in service to the Constitutional principles you will be pledging to uphold - Sir, I think that deserves acknowledgment.

At the very least, I very much hope you will be insisting on him being included in any candidate debates for as long as he is still a candidate - whatever the other side may feel about it. It would be great politics - but aside from that, people might actually watch the debate and learn something from it.

Indeed, I think he (and a great many of the citizen-activists behind him) should be on the very top of that pile I mentioned earlier.

Let's get down to specifics. I support you, Barack Hussein Obama for President. Why?

That hurt to watch, even given the mercifully brief excerpts between the stunned honesty of pundit reactions. I've seen more of the actual speech, and I have to honestly say - the editing was not unfair to McCain.

Quentin Tarantio could not have come up with a good cut of that speech. And the content - "Change is Scary," delivered to a roomful of senior citizens in Louisiana - well, clearly, the professionals are sitting this election out. Change may be scary - but only if the way things are remains tolerable. Bet there weren't many supporters there from the Big Easy.

The "heir apparent" to Bush's "legacy" is no better at expressing and projecting his ideas in a compelling manner and persuading a tough room that he's worth supporting in his endeavors than was Bush. No - though it pains me to say this - he's not as good as Bush. He has a marginally better command of English, and at least he's not too proud to pretend he doesn't need a teleprompter, but, on his best day ever, Ronald Regan couldn't have made that reeking pile of crap work, and even Bush would have asked for a do-over.

Mercifully; I now have a positive choice running against a positively idiotic choice instead of a duel between mediocrities.

Barack, we are all fortunate that you had the chance to prove yourself against a truly remarkable slate of competing positive choices, coming down to the wire in a down and dirty slugfest with Hillary.

Our Republican friends had to decide, really, which candidate would be the least embarrassing representative for a carpetbag filled with broken promises and the reeking tissues used to mop up the aftermath of Imperial fantasies. Since Ron Paul wan't going to carry that sack of shit, they simply ignored him and are still ignoring him - even though he's the least worst choice.

Coulda been worse. Could have been Romney. But he and every other alternative stood for something - and whatever something you picked, it was intolerable to some other "core constituency."

So they settled on the candidate who somehow managed to be least offensive to the fewest members of the Coalition of the Damned.

I used to respect John McCain a great deal. But I'm afraid that he's lost his way; while politics is the art of compromise, it is not supposed to be the art of compromising one's principles to the end of gaining power.

He's now forthright for torture and supports the police state tactics that the Bush Cabal desires - most lately endorsing warrantless wiretapping "In this time of war." A "war" will last just as long as needed to justify the "emergency procedures" Karl Rove desires.

Whatever the orthodoxy of the Republican Party thinks, whatever their media machine believes, McCain's actual chance of winning an even somewhat honest election at this point, with the Bush Albatross around his neck and a ringing promise of a hundred more years of war in the middle east if that's what it takes to "win" is that of a urinal puck in a Texas Honky-Tonk.


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