Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Air America advertiser blacklist

No wonder they're having financial problems.

ABC memo reveals Air America advertiser blacklist

An internal ABC Radio Networks memo obtained by Media Matters for America, originally from a listener to The Peter B. Collins Show, indicates that nearly 100 ABC advertisers insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates. According to the memo, the adverstisers insist that "NONE of their commercials air during AIR AMERICA programming." Among the advertisers listed are Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, General Electric, McDonald's, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Navy.

Elect a Republican, kill Social Security?

Social Security Is on the Ballot Next Week
Dean Baker
t r u t h o u t

With the Congressional elections fast approaching, one issue that has received remarkably little attention is Social Security. While it is understandable that the public would attach a higher priority to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Social Security has barely registered a blip in public opinion surveys on the list of issues on voters' minds.

Perhaps this is because the public thinks that the battle to protect Social Security has already been won. Two years ago, President Bush put the full political force of his administration behind an effort to privatize Social Security. Thanks to a massive organizing drive led by the AFL-CIO, AARP, the Campaign for America's Future and thousands of local groups around the country, the drive to privatize Social Security was beaten back...

...But this story is history at the moment. Over the last few weeks, President Bush has repeatedly said that he intends to bring back his plans to privatize Social Security if the Republicans maintain control of Congress. Since he has raised this issue on several different occasions, in different contexts, presumably it was not a slip of the tongue. We should take President Bush at his word - if the Republicans win the elections next week, then he will again try to privatize Social Security.

Voters must understand this fact when they go to cast their ballots. They should know where the candidates stand on Social Security privatization. Toward this end, the media should be pressing candidates to present their view of Social Security privatization, and the activists who led the campaign in 2005 should again be raising the issue in every public forum available...

Read the whole thing.

Hubble telescope deep field

"The Most Important Image Ever Taken."
Need to feel humbled today?

This bit of video shows the vastness of the universe and our little bit of place in it. Overlook the dramatic narration and flute music and it's an excellent look at how small we are in the cosmos. The Pink Floyd intro is good and the images fantastic. I recommend going right to Youtube and going to full screen view, and just sit back for the few minutes. 78 Billion Light Years!

Fiore | Freedom From the Press

Mark Fiore has a new cartoon up:

Freedom From the Press.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tom Tomorrow

We're going to the country in the morning. Will be back Sunday. Anyone who happens by have a great weekend. Stay safe.. Enjoy the independent thinking of Joe Lieberman.


The War of the Words


The War of the Words
The Story of the 101st Fighting Key boarders.

"Dave's Not Here Man!"

Bush stumps for Jeff Lamberti, keeps calling him “Dave.”
Watch the video.
or at Think Progress.

Stem Cell Lies and the Liars Who Peddle Them

A nice rebuke to those crazy extra chromosone conservatives(cough, Rush drug addict, cough) trying to attack Michael J. Fox for his pro-stem cell research ad. Digby also has a good post up with comments. Lot's of people have good posts up on this insanity. The crazy Rightwing nuts wave a shiny bauble(Michael is ACTING) and to the retarded media whores THAT becomes the story. Not M.J.F.'s desperate condition, not the amazing possibilities of this research, but that maybe Michael is like them (in their heart of hearts), just deceitful and manipulative.
Also here's The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
L’Infâme: Retardants
Stem Cell Lies and the Liars Who Peddle Them
Pierre Tristam/Candide’s Notebooks, October 26, 2006

There’s never been better spokesmen for stem-cell research than those who oppose it. They’re living proof of debilitated thinking that stem cells could one day cure, along with other ravaging diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s, reactionary conservatism. What better poster-boys for the cause than regression in the flesh? Rush Limbaugh. President Bush. Jeff Suppan. Suppan is the baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals, the pitcher who took the mound in the World Series against Detroit Wednesday evening, and who appeared in a television commercial
badgering stem-cell research. The ad was broadcast during the game for Missouri viewers as a counter-hit to Michael J. Fox’s ad supporting stem-cell research and Claire McCaskill, a Democrat running for Senate in Missouri. Michael J. has had Parkinson’s since the 1990s. He now shakes pretty much uncontrollably, as he does in the ad, and when he attempts to control himself (as he has in recent appearances on “Scrubs” and “ Boston legal”), the strain is obvious. His ad drew this comment from Rush Limbaugh on Monday: “He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.” Maybe, just maybe, Rush didn’t take his meds. The utter idiocy of his comment backfired Limbaugh into an apology. Michael Fox isn’t the sort of man you can easily ridicule and win. Even as Alex Keaton, even as a raging Reagan lover, he was an American favorite. The Rush apology turned into another insult: “All right then, I stand corrected. . . . So I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologize to Michael J. Fox, if I am wrong in characterizing his behavior on this commercial as an act.” But is it an insult when the man uttering the words is, to put it in strictly clinical terms, in an intellectual state of arrested development dating back to Salem, Mass., circa 1692?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

United States falls to 53rd in Press Freedom

Really not much of a surprise here. I already knew we don't have a "free" press anymore and what we have is a corporate press anyway. I suspect our media polices themselves as much as the government does. Seems that way anyway. 53rd-I think dubya can take us far lower than that. He's still got a few years for squashing dissent and freedom.

From Reporters Without Borders:
Press Freedom Index 2006

North Korea, Turkmenistan, Eritrea the worst violators of press freedom

France, the United States and Japan slip further Mauritania and Haiti gain much ground
New countries have moved ahead of some Western democracies in the fifth annual Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index, issued today, while the most repressive countries are still the same ones...

...The three worst violators of free expression - North Korea, bottom of the Index at 168th place, Turkmenistan (167th) and Eritrea (166th) - have clamped down further. The torture death of Turkmenistan journalist Ogulsapar Muradova shows that the country’s leader, “President-for-Life” Separmurad Nyazov, is willing to use extreme violence against those who dare to criticise him. Reporters Without Borders is also extremely concerned about a number of Eritrean journalists who have been imprisoned in secret for more than five years. The all-powerful North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, also continues to totally control the media...

...The United States (53rd) has fallen nine places since last year, after being in 17th position in the first year of the Index, in 2002. Relations between the media and the Bush administration sharply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.

Freelance journalist and blogger Josh Wolf was imprisoned when he refused to hand over his video archives. Sudanese cameraman Sami al-Haj, who works for the pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera, has been held without trial since June 2002 at the US military base at Guantanamo, and Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein has been held by US authorities in Iraq since April this year...

...Lebanon has fallen from 56th to 107th place in five years, as the country’s media continues to suffer from the region’s poisonous political atmosphere, with a series of bomb attacks in 2005 and Israeli military attacks this year. The Lebanese media - some of the freest and most experienced in the Arab world - desperately need peace and guarantees of security. The inability of the Palestinian Authority (134th) to maintain stability in its territories and the behaviour of Israel (135th) outside its borders seriously threaten freedom of expression in the Middle East...

Iraq | "Like a level from Dante's Inferno"

Here's the letter from that marine officer that's been going around the Internets. Go read the whole thing. It'll give you a new appreciation of our troops. I really hope this marine can be talked into writing a book.

One of my favorite quotes:
"Biggest Outrage — Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest Offender: Bill O'Reilly."

The Secret Letter From Iraq
A Marine's letter home, with its frank description of life in "Dante's inferno,"

I haven't written very much from Iraq. There's really not much to write about. More exactly, there's not much I can write about because practically everything I do, read or hear is classified military information or is depressing to the point that I'd rather just forget about it, never mind write about it. The gaps in between all of that are filled with the pure tedium of daily life in an armed camp. So it's a bit of a struggle to think of anything to put into a letter that's worth reading. Worse, this place just consumes you. I work 18-20-hour days, every day. The quest to draw a clear picture of what the insurgents are up to never ends. Problems and frictions crop up faster than solutions. Every challenge demands a response. It's like this every day. Before I know it, I can't see straight, because it's 0400 and I've been at work for 20 hours straight, somehow missing dinner again in the process. And once again I haven't written to anyone. It starts all over again four hours later. It's not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno.

Rather than attempting to sum up the last seven months, I figured I'd just hit the record-setting highlights of 2006 in Iraq. These are among the events and experiences I'll remember best.

Worst Case of Deja Vu — I thought I was familiar with the feeling of deja vu until I arrived back here in Fallujah in February. The moment I stepped off of the helicopter, just as dawn broke, and saw the camp just as I had left it ten months before — that was deja vu. Kind of unnerving. It was as if I had never left. Same work area, same busted desk, same chair, same computer, same room, same creaky rack, same... everything. Same everything for the next year. It was like entering a parallel universe. Home wasn't 10,000 miles away, it was a different lifetime.

Most Surreal Moment — Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. We had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."

Worst City in al-Anbar Province — Ramadi, hands down. The provincial capital of 400,000 people. Lots and lots of insurgents killed in there since we arrived in February. Every day is a nasty gun battle. They blast us with giant bombs in the road, snipers, mortars and small arms. We blast them with tanks, attack helicopters, artillery, our snipers (much better than theirs), and every weapon that an infantryman can carry. Every day. Incredibly, I rarely see Ramadi in the news. We have as many attacks out here in the west as Baghdad. Yet, Baghdad has 7 million people, we have just 1.2 million. Per capita, al-Anbar province is the most violent place in Iraq by several orders of magnitude. I suppose it was no accident that the Marines were assigned this area in 2003.

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province — Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech). How'd you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who's just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Google Bomb the election?

Share these links with your friends and family, and plaster the links all over your blogs and web pages! From Chris Bowers at MyDD:

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

The 13 Scariest Americans

They're not only scary I'd say they deserve even more adjectives, like: Greedy, loony, disgusting, immoral and hypocritical. I don't know all their politics but just from the adjectives I'll say 98% Republican. Anyway here they are(PDF file):
The 13 scariest Americans.

Scary judge Edith Hollan Jones: Is only number 3.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Audio

Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Audio. In many languages with links to more.Thanks to Boingboing

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. It defines the fundamental rights of individuals, and exhorts all governments to protect these rights. The UN has translated the document into over three hundred languages and dialects. This audiobook includes readings in 21 languages, by LibriVox Volunteers.
Listing of UN translations

Skidboot | World's smartest dog

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Olbermann blasts GOP fearmongering

Keith Olbermann on the GOP party of fear mongering.
Transcript is at Crooks and Liars.

Where Negroponte Goes Death Squads Grow

Related point on the previous post. Remember John "death squads" Negroponte appointed by Bushco as ambassador to Iraq? A perfect example of the banality of evil as you'll find. You can be sure the Hondurans remember ol' Mister Death Squads. The Iraqis are being taught who and what he is these days.

The Nightmare Continues: From Central
America to Iraq

...A UN human rights report released September last year held interior ministry forces responsible for an organised campaign of detentions, torture and killings. It reported that special police commando units accused of carrying out the killings were recruited from Shia Badr and Mehdi militias, and trained by U.S. forces.
Retired Col. James Steele, who served as advisor on Iraqi security forces to then U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte supervised the training of these forces.
Steele was commander of the U.S. military advisor group in El Salvador 1984-86, while Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to nearby Honduras 1981-85. Negroponte was accused of widespread human rights violations by the Honduras Commission on Human Rights in 1994. The Commission reported the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers...

Into the abyss of Baghdad

Heckuva job dubya!

Into the abyss of Baghdad
By Patrick J. McDonnell-LATimes

BAGHDAD — I keep seeing his face. He appears to be in his mid-20s, bespectacled, slightly bearded, and somehow his smile conveys a sense of prosperity to come. Perhaps he is set to marry, or enroll in graduate school, or launch a business — all of these flights of ambition seem possible.In the next few images he is encased in plastic: His face is frozen in a ghoulish grimace. Blackened lesions blemish his neck. "Drill holes," says Col. Khaled Rasheed, an Iraqi commander who is showing me the set of photographs.He preserves the snapshots in a drawer, the image of the young man brimming with expectations always on top. There is no name, no identification, just a series of photos that documents the transformation of some mother's son into a slab of meat on a bloody table in a morgue....

...People are here one day, gone the next. Those who do go out often venture no farther than familiar streets. In the sinister evenings, when death squads roam, people block off their lanes with barbed wire, logs, bricks to ward off the killers.
Many residents remain in their homes — paralyzed, going slowly crazy. "My children are imprisoned at home," says a cook, Daniel, a Christian whom I knew from better times, now planning to join the exodus from Iraq. "They are nervous and sad all the time. Baghdad is a big prison, and their home is a small one. I forced my son to leave school. It's more important that he be alive than educated."
But homes offer only an illusion of safety. Recently, insurgents rented apartments in mostly Shiite east Baghdad, filled the flats with explosives and blew them up after Friday prayers. Dozens perished.
Even gathering the bodies of loved ones is an exercise fraught with hazards. A Shiite Muslim religious party controls the main morgue near downtown; its militiamen guard the entrance, keen to snatch kin of the dead, many of them Sunni Muslim Arabs. Unclaimed Sunni corpses pile up...

Thanks to digby for the link.

Home inspection nightmares

Home inspection nightmares with photos. People do some crazy things out of ignorance or to save money. This Old House has photos to prove it. Here's two of my favorites:

This bathroom outlet is not a GFCI. Thank providence, this homeowner had the presence of mind to leave all of the tags on, advising of potential shock hazard, should one carelessly remove the tags.

Not only did the homeowners install the water heater on its side, but they replaced the TPR valve with a large pressure gauge. Fortunately, the house was vacant and the heater not pressurized at time of inspection.
Photos 1
Photos 2

Richard Dawkins | The American Taliban

Richard Dawkins has a new book out "The God Delusion". An essay released about the same time is aptly titled "Why There Almost Certainly is no God",
(he threw an "almost" in there).

Richard Dawkins: Why There Almost Certainly Is No God

..America, founded in secularism as a beacon of eighteenth century enlightenment, is becoming the victim of religious politics, a circumstance that would have horrified the Founding Fathers. The political ascendancy today values embryonic cells over adult people. It obsesses about gay marriage, ahead of genuinely important issues that actually make a difference to the world. It gains crucial electoral support from a religious constituency whose grip on reality is so tenuous that they expect to be 'raptured' up to heaven, leaving their clothes as empty as their minds. More extreme specimens actually long for a world war, which they identify as the 'Armageddon' that is to presage the Second Coming...

..Does Bush check the Rapture Index daily, as Reagan did his stars? We don't know, but would anyone be surprised?
My scientific colleagues have additional reasons to declare emergency. Ignorant and absolutist attacks on stem cell research are just the tip of an iceberg. What we have here is nothing less than a global assault on rationality, and the enlightenment values that inspired the founding of this first and greatest of secular republics. Science education - and hence the whole future of science in this country - is under threat. Temporarily beaten back in a Pennsylvania court, the 'breathtaking inanity' (Judge John Jones's immortal phrase) of 'intelligent design' continually flares up in local bush-fires. Dowsing them is a time-consuming but important responsibility, and scientists are finally being jolted out of their
complacency. For years they quietly got on with their science, lamentably underestimating the creationists who, being neither competent nor interested in science, attended to the serious political business of subverting local school boards. Scientists, and intellectuals generally, are now waking up to the threat from the American Taliban..
Stephen Colbert interviewed Richard Dawkins on his show, here's the link for that. It requires Quicktime player. If it doesn't work go here to Youtube.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Something to remember

one of many things to remember when you go vote:

June 14, 2006:
The GOP House accepts $3,300 pay increase.
June 20, 2006:
The GOP House defeats first minimum wage increase in 10 years.

Safari Club Hero

From Jesus' General comes this excellent outing of those virile Republican animal killers. Kind of reminds me of our old buddy Troy "Cubby killer" Gentry of the crappy country music(CCM) group Montgomery/Gentry. I bet ol' Troy is a member of Safari Club International. He seems like their kind of boy. Kill 'em while they're licking your hand and then slip a trophy tag on 'em.
Here's the General:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Richard Pombo: Safari Club Hero

Safari Club International (SCI) members bring a Republican ethic to hunting. They hunt like they do business. They don't allow silly things like federal law to get in the way of their objective. If shooting an endangered species will get them one step closer to winning a coveted SCI Grand Slam or Inner Circle title, they'll do it without hesitation. It's as second nature to them as insider trading.
And it's the end that matters, The means is simply process, something about which one doesn't give a second thought. Shooting Biff the elderly bison while he's tethered in his pen gets your card punched just as surely as if you'd faced a buffalo in the wild.
That's why there are so many SCI members in Our Leader's circle. Go to the Interior Department and you'll find David P. Smith, the brave man who bagged Biff. At the US Fish and Wildlife Service, you'll find Matthew J. Hogan, a former SCI lobbyist, Attend an SCI dinner, and Tom DeLay will talk dirty to you. These guys are the GC3R's backbone.And they know who their friends are. No congressman hates endangered species more than Richard Pombo. Not only has he worked tirelessly to legalize the hunting of elephants, turtles, black-footed ferrets, and whales, he's not above shooting domesticated buffalo as a fundraising gimmick.

Short film | Iraq the Real Story

From The Guardian: Sean Smith's film
The Guardian video:

Sean Smith, the Guardian's award-winning war photographer, spent nearly six weeks with the 101st Division of the US army in Iraq. Watch his haunting observational film that explodes the myth around the claims that the Iraqis are preparing to take control of their own country.

Geoff Davis-How many soldiers killed Congressman?

Geoff Davis can't even be bothered to know how many soldiers his man dubya got killed this month. Here he is on Youtube showing his ignorance:

Scientists Take Step Toward Invisibility

Scientists Take Step Toward Invisibility

Invisibility has long been the stuff of fantasy, from Plato’s story of the ring of Gyges to Harry Potter’s mischief-enabling cloak. But scientists led by a team at Duke University have demonstrated a technology that could be a small step in the right misdirection.
The system, a set of concentric copper circles on fiberglass board, deflects electromagnetic waves of a specific frequency that strike it, without much of the scattering and absorption that make reflections and shadows.
A result is that the microwaves slide around the structure like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream, said David R. Smith, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke and an author of the paper published today in the journal Science.
The exact structure of the circles was described in an earlier paper by Sir John Pendry of Imperial College in London, who worked with the Duke group to see his theory etched into a working model by means of the process used to print circuit boards. In the recent paper, researchers said they had successfully cloaked a copper cylinder.
Continue: NYTimes

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kevin Tillman writes a letter

Here's a bit of that Kevin Tillman letter that's been turning up everywhere.


Pat and Kevin Tillman
After Pat’s Birthday
By Kevin Tillman

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Read the whole thing:

Bob Lassiter R.I.P.

Bob Lassiter:
September 30, 1945 – October 13, 2006

I'm blogging this partly because I'd heard of Bob Lassiter before but hadn't heard his show and also because I want to preserve these links so I'll have them handy. I also wanted to pass them on (especially the recordings of his shows) to anyone who may pass through. Thanks to Mykeru for the heads up. Go read his eulogy to Bob it's excellent. Here's Bob's Blog and here's classic calls.

An excerpt from Bob Lassiter's last Blog post:

...It is hard to imagine feeling much worse than I do now – the constant foul taste that makes me sick to my stomach, the back pain as the neuropathy eats away at nerves and muscle tissue, the inability to eat solid food, the resignation that my illness brings on. In short, I am miserable, consumed
with, overwhelmed by it all.
I have chosen to keep what amounts to a diary that you will not see until the end. I am no longer able to function in the world you live in – I am no longer able to pretend that I have anything in common with everyday people. I am dying – I know it, am not at all happy about it, and have retreated into my own world – a world that has no escape.
I always thought that I would live until I died – I did not realize that it could take so long, be so hard. In some respects, it’s amazing how a body that clearly is failing clings on to life – fighting a losing battle, refusing to give in to the inevitable....

Riverbend is back

If you haven't already heard Baghdad Burning is finally back at Riverbend. She's commenting on that Lancet study.

It's good to know she's still there. I can't imagine the horrors the people of Iraq are going through. I just hope they know that we're not all bloodthirsty imperialistic neo-cons.

Je suis desolé

Thursday, October 19, 2006

U.S. soldiers charged with rape and murder

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of creeps. I think I'd pull the switch myself on these mutants.
From CNN and Infowars.
Four U.S. soldiers charged with rape and murder

Four U.S. soldiers accused of raping and killing a 14-year-old girl and slaying her sister and their parents will face courts-martial on murder charges,
military officials say.
The commander of the 101st Airborne Division has referred murder charges against the soldiers for the alleged crimes that occurred in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, in March. Two of the soldiers could face the death penalty if convicted.
According to a written statement, Maj. Gen. Thomas Turner made the decision after reviewing a report of the investigation and receiving recommendations from the investigating officer, the appointing authority who directed the investigation and his staff judge advocate.
One of the soldiers, 23-year-old Army Spec. James P. Barker, told an Army criminal investigator that after the killings he poured kerosene on the girl's bullet-ridden body, according to testimony in August at a military hearing. The girl's father, mother and five-year-old sister were also killed, according to military officials.

Judge orders Cheney visitor logs opened

Well this is interesting.

Judge orders Cheney visitor logs opened
By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ordered the Bush administration to release information about who visited Vice President Dick Cheney's office and residence, an order that could spark a late election-season debate over lobbyists' White House access.
While researching the access lobbyists and others had on the White House, The Washington Post asked in June for two years of White House visitor logs. The Secret Service refused to process the request, which government attorneys called "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency."
U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said Wednesday that, by the end of next week, the Secret Service must produce the records or at least identity them and justify why they are being withheld.
The Secret Service can still try to withhold the records but, in a written ruling Thursday, Urbina questioned the agency's primary argument — that the logs are protected by Cheney's right to executive privilege.

Bush Guts Posse Comitatus, Grabs National Guard!

Speaking of Elections, Diebold & October surprises. Just what could this be about?

Bush Guts Posse Comitatus, Grabs National Guard!
by Major Danby: Dailykos

I'm not really all that much of a states' rights guy. I fall more on the "strong federal government" side of the spectrum. So when someone like me starts screaming about a massive sneak attack on federalism, you might want to pay attention.
If I told you that Congress was considering passing a law that gives the President -- this President -- the power, in the event of any "disaster, accident, or catastrophe" that he deems to require it, to:
- involuntarily take National Guard troops from State A and- require them to work in State B for up to a year,- in law enforcement rather than just traditional areas like disaster relief,- over the objection of both state's governors
would you believe it? Probably not. And you'd be right. Congress is not considering such a bill.
It's important that we understand what the Bush Administration has done here, because they've done it in a sneaky, underhanded, and almost invisible way. We need to start with some basic concepts. I am indebted to two diaries by Cedwyn (
here and here) and a previous diary by Rusty1776, as well as sources such as Sen. Patrick Leahy, whom I quote in my previous diary on this subject, and to a great blog post by Sarah R. Carter on her father's Senate campaign website.


NBC/WSJ poll: Big Democratic Wins Likely On Election Day

Say what you want the Republicans still have Diebold, etal.
Big Democratic Wins Likely On Election DayNBC/WSJ poll: Public's opinion of GOP hits record low

By Mark Murray, Political reporter NBC News
WASHINGTON - Just 20 days until Election Day, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds approval of the GOP-held Congress is at its lowest mark in 14 years, the Republican Party's favorability rating is at an all-time low and president George W. Bush's approval rating remains mired in the 30s -- all ominous signs for a party trying to maintain control of Congress.

In fact, according to the poll, Republicans are in worse shape on some key measures than Democrats were in 1994, when they lost their congressional majorities. "There is not a single number in here that would suggest the Democrats will not have their best showing in a decade -- and maybe two decades," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff.


In the survey, Bush's approval rating is at 38 percent, a one-point decline from a previous NBC/Journal poll released earlier this month after the Foley news first broke. Perhaps more revealing, only 16 percent now approve of the job Congress is doing -- its lowest mark since 1992.

Both sets of numbers suggest that the Republican Party is on more unstable ground than Democrats were in 1994, when they lost 52 House and 8 Senate seats. In October of that year, President Bill Clinton's approval rating among registered voters was at 46 percent, and 24 percent approved of the job the Democratic-controlled Congress was doing.

Thanks to Bluegrass report

Good doggie!

From Ugly overload via Thumbmonkey.

Keith Olbermann | A voice of sanity amidst a sea of Media Ho's

Keith Olbermann may be well advised to not fly in any small planes. I also think he may well be the canary in the mine testing Bushco's "enemy combatant" powers. If Keith "disappears" some night heaven help us all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Net at Risk

Tune in to PBS tonight to see the SavetheInternet.com Coalition featured in "The Net at Risk," a documentary produced by award-winning journalist Bill Moyers.

Tonight at 9:Watch "The Net at Risk"
On the Web:Join the Debate at PBS.org

Rolling Stone: The Worst Congress Ever

Rolling Stone can still do some hard hitting journamalism.

The Worst Congress Ever

There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?

They also have a Top Ten Worst.

Olbermann farewell habeas corpus

Keith Olberman with constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley: R.I.P. habeas corpus and 200 years of American Democratic law.

Or just go to Crooks & Liars.

Top 10

Many you could have guessed. Enjoy.
America's Dumbest Congresscritters

Only one snark, I thought my senile ol' boy Jim Bunning should have been at least #5.

The Smirkster given power to "disappear" opponents

The smirk is in full bloom in the signing ceremony. At one point during his signing of the bill that lets him torture whomever he decides is an "enemy combatant" the shrub was believed to have had an orgasm. Which I assume was quickly cleaned up by the White House Press Corps.

Bush signs torture bill; Americans lose essential freedom
Edward M. Gomez-SFGate

The provisions of Bush's new torture law mean that Americans have lost the key, constitutional right on which Anglo-American criminal law (and criminal-law procedures in true democracies in general) is founded; that's the basic right of an individual to know why he or she is being apprehended and detained. Now, technically, as in Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia, anyone labeled an "enemy combatant" - again, by whom; by Bush? - can be whisked away and never heard from again. That kind of authority, in the hands of corrupt or untruthful politicians, may or may not be an effective tool in some kind of "war on terror," but it certainly can be a useful tool when it comes to silencing their opponents.
"Officially, the Military Commissions Act protects detainees from blatant abuses during questioning, such as rape, torture and 'cruel and inhuman' treatment, but it does not require that any of them be granted legal counsel....Bush said that it was 'fair, lawful and necessary.'" (
Times) During the bill-signing ceremony yesterday, religious groups protested outside the White House. Demonstrators declared, "Bush is the terrorist"
and "Torture is a crime." In an Orwellian pronouncement dutifully reported by
Voice of America, the taxpayer-funded "news" service that acts as a mouthpiece for the administration, Bush said: "The United States does not torture....It is against our laws and it is against our values. By allowing the C.I.A. program to go forward, this bill is preserving a tool that has saved American lives." Bush's claim flies in the face of numerous reports of torture conducted by American officials at U.S. military prisons or secret locations overseas. (See Human Rights Watch)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Long Walk Home

Neil Young's "Long Walk Home"
America, America, where have we gone?

The ghosts of American soldiers

wander the streets of Balad by night,

unsure of their way home, exhausted,

the desert wind blowing trash

down the narrow alleys as a voice

sounds from the minaret, a soulful call

reminding them how alone they are,

how lost. And the Iraqi dead,

they watch in silence from the rooftops

as date palms line the shore in silhouette,

leaning toward Mecca when the dawn wind blows.

--Sgt. Brian Turner

Dealing with trash left by Wingnuts

Digby at Hullabaloo makes some important points on what the Democrats MUST remember if they get a majority in this election. I've tacked on some excerpts here but go read the whole piece it's excellent.
Taking Out The Trash

That "majority of the majority" is especially important when looking at this period of Republican rule. In one of the most cynical decisions of their reign (and there have been many) they consciously governed without any support from the opposition, even to the point of scuttling popular bipartisan legislation rather than allowing the opposition to participate in any meaningful way. There has never been a case of partisanship so severe in American history.

Throughout this period they successfully manipulated and co-opted the media in a thousand different ways. Their decades long project to mau-mau the press about its alleged liberal bias and the emergence of rightwing media served to obscure this story as it was unfolding. The leaders of the political media became ensconced in the new Republican political establishment and reflected their attitudes and biases.

Probably the starkest illustration of that was
this famous comment about Bill Clinton by the dean of the Washington Press Corps:
"He came in here and he trashed the place," says Washington Post columnist David Broder, "and it's not his place."

He was ostensibly speaking about the president having an affair but it is redolent of the common Republican view that after Ronald Reagan, the Republicans had a permanent lock on the presidency that was rudely foiled by this interloper. Republicans constantly mentioned that Clinton won with a 43% plurality and therefore, 57% of the nation had rejected him. Oliver North even said "he's not my commander in chief," during his unsuccessful race for the Senate. Senator Jesse Helms said [Bill Clinton] "better watch out if he comes down here [to North Carolina]. He'd better have a bodyguard."


The kind of "bipartisanship" that the old lions are constantly going on about was killed in the 80's and 90's by a political machine that consciously set out to demonize first liberals and then Democrats. David Broder and his friends in
Washington can't wrap their minds around the fact that there was a deliberate right wing strategy to kill bipartisanship because they reluctantly went along with it, were duped by it or embraced it themselves.

--So, why am I taking this little trip down memory lane of which most of you are all too well aware and need need no reminding? Because we are very possibly going to win this election and you can very confidently place a large bet in Las Vegas that the cries to end the partisanship will be deafening. I have little
doubt that the entire Washington press corps is gearing up for a full scale vapor-fest if the Democrats attempt to demand even the slightest bit of accountability for the past six years of corruption and failure. The Democrats have to accept that they will once again be fighting the entire political establishment.

We may win this one but we are basically the janitors, winning the contract to clean up after the conservative frat boys trashed the place for the last few years. And Daddy Broder believes it when his boys tell him it was the cleaning people who caused all the damage because he just can't bring himself to admit that they are out-of-control misfits because they come from good families and dress so nicely when they come to the club. We need to make sure the dean and all his friends have their noses rubbed in what their boys have been up to all these years before we can ever hope to do anything but take out the garbage and change the sheets every few years.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Freddy Fender's gone

While I'm thinking about it I want to say bye to Freddy Fender. I liked his music back in the day.
He died on October 14, 2006 of lung cancer at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas with his family at his bedside. He was 69 years old.
Freddy Fender (June 4, 1937October 14, 2006), born Baldemar Huerta in San Benito, Texas, USA, was a Mexican-American Tejano, country, and rock and roll musician, known for his work as a solo artist and in the groups Los Super Seven and the Texas Tornados.
Here's Freddy & Youtube:

Quote: The Brits aren't happy in Bushopotamia

"I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them. We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear. As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we weren't invited ... by those in Iraq at the time. The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. [We should] get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems".-
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the British Army

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Willie's Stash

This is what the cops took from Willie Nelson's tour bus

a "routine traffic stop" turned into a drug bust. Louisiana state troopers found more than a pound and a half of marijuana (0.7 kg) and more than three ounces (91 grams) of psilocibin mushrooms.
Found at BoingBoing, Blooming Ideas, The Smoking Gun and other fine sites.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Lenny Bruce!

Happy Birthday Lenny. Such honesty was not allowed.
Lenny Bruce
October 13, 1925 – August 3, 1966

They said that he was sick `cause he didn't play by the rules
He just showed the wise men of his day to be nothing more than fools.
They stamped him and they labeled him like they do with pants and shirts,
He fought a war on a battlefield where every victory hurts.
Lenny Bruce was bad, he was the brother that you never had
--Bob Dylan

Lenny Bruce had an incurable disease. He saw through the pretense, hypocrisy, and paradoxes of our society. All he insisted on was that we meet it straight ahead and not cop out or lie about it. "If something about the human body disgusts you," he said, "complain to the manufacturer." He was one of those who, in Hebbel's expression, "have disturbed the world's sleep." And he could not be forgiven.
- Ralph J. Gleason

Free Hugs?

Free Hugs. C'mon you know you need one.

Thanks to Bob Harris.

MediaMatters Debunks the Media Foley Myths

You mean Katie and the rest of our "news" Media would spread dis-information? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! next you'll tell me that they helped get us into a war built on lies, and have covered Bushco's rear since 2000. Oh, wait..Never mind.

“Despite the complete saturation of coverage on this scandal there is still an enormous amount of misinformation floating throughout the media,” said David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America. “Time and again these assertions have been proven inaccurate yet the media has failed to effectively challenge those who insist on spreading these falsehoods. As a result the American people remain uninformed when it comes to the true facts of this case. This report sheds light on the more persistent examples of conservative misinformation surrounding this story so the media and those who rely on the media to report the facts can see the truth for themselves.”

To View the Full Report

Don't get Wolcott mad

James Wolcott is very ANGRY, and rightfully so. It's delicious.
Go read.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Life in Bushopotamia

"Imagine the worst day you’ve ever had in your life, add a regular dose of terror and you’ll begin to get an idea of what it’s like every day for a lot of people here."

From Blogging Baghdad:

I’m more puzzled by comments that the violence isn’t any worse than any American city. Really? In which American city do 60 bullet-riddled bodies turn up on a given day? In which city do the headless bodies of ordinary citizens turn up every single day? In which city would it not be news if neighborhood school children were blown up? In which neighborhood would you look the other way if gunmen came into restaurants and shot dead the customers?

Day-to-day life here for Iraqis is so far removed from the comfortable existence we live in the United States that it is almost literally unimaginable.

It’s almost impossible to describe what it feels like being stalled in traffic, your heart pounding, wondering if the vehicle in front of you is one of the three or four car bombs that will go off that day. Or seeing your husband show up at the door covered in blood after he was kidnapped and beaten.

I don’t know a single family here that hasn’t had a relative, neighbor or friend die violently. In places where there’s been all-out fighting going on, I’ve interviewed parents who buried their dead child in the yard because it was too dangerous to go to the morgue.

Imagine the worst day you’ve ever had in your life, add a regular dose of terror and you’ll begin to get an idea of what it’s like every day for a lot of people here.

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow.

650,000 Iraqi's blood on dubya's hands?

Regarding that Lancet study which says there could be as many as 650,000 Iraqis dead thanks to dubya's(Worst President EVER!) disatrous useless invasion.
Here's the study(pdf):
"In Iraq, as with other conflicts, civilians bear the consequences of warfare. In the Vietnam war, 3 million civilians died; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, conflict has been responsible for 3.8 million deaths; and an estimated 200,000 of a total population of 800,000 died in conflict in East Timor. Recent estimates are that 200,000 people have died in Darfur over the past 31 months. We estimate that almost 655,000 people -— 2.5% of the population in the study area —- have died in Iraq."
For more here's Juan Cole:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hastert's House to investigate themselves

The members of the House Ethics Committee are going to investigate their own House starting with the guy who hired them for the job?

HufPo--Hastert says everyone should rest easy, because the Ethics Committee -- the same committee he revamped to ensure that it got back under control (his control) -- has launched an investigation into the Foley scandal. Oh, by the way, USA Today points out that Hastert's political action committee has contributed to Hastings and the other Republican on the subcommittee, Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois.

Here's Daily Kos.

Russian Journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead

Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated this past Saturday. The Russian journalist was known for her critical reporting on the government of Vladimir Putin and its handling of the Chechen conflict.

More at BoingBoing.


“We have a unique opportunity to preserve something that is in danger of vanishing—a whole and natural place, a true wilderness, where the birds are at home and we are visitors.”
--David Allen Sibley


“The refuge is so remote and untamed that many peaks, valleys, and lakes are still without names and shall remain that way. Marsh fleabane cluster along the lakeshore, while Nichenthraw Mountain and spruce trees are reflected on the calm water of early morning.”
--Subhankar Banerjee

“Ralph Waldo Emerson called wilderness ‘uncontained and immortal beauty’ for the simple reason that wilderness was free. That is what makes the coastal plain so beautiful and so valuable. The wildlife great and small— caribou, polar bears, voles and vetch—live as they have for centuries.”
--William H. Meadows

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Yacht Rock"

This is Good. Lost story of Loggins and Messina, Hall & Oates and those other Arteests.

Found at The Poor Man. Visit TPM or Youtube for the rest of the episodes. Where else are you gonna hear, "Your shitty music makes me want to puke, Loggins!”?

pic of the day!

Dubya talks about Jeff Gannon with Foley?

Stolen from Dailykos.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quote of the day

"I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator,"--Harold Fold, Jr., Memphis Tenn.

Daily Show clip

Daily Show Does dubya.

Olbermann comments

Olbermann on Bushco 10-5-06. You should watch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last chances to register to vote-Please Register!

From digby.
Register To Vote Today!
Matt Stoller sez:
If you haven't registered to vote and you live Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, or Washington, do it today. The deadlines for those states fall between October 7 - October 11, which is early next week. Voter registration is no longer hard. I did it a few days ago (change of address) through this site, which produced a nice slick PDF which I mailed in. The whole process took me fifteen minutes. Register here As a bonus, since I did it through that site I'm now counted as an 'Internet Freedom Voter', or a voter who cares about net neutrality.If you need deadlines for other states, go to this post.
Go here for more.

I can't believe it's not torture

Dubya's favorite spread.

Found at BoingBoing

This is Interesting | Scientists teleport two different objects

Beam me up Scotty
From CNN Science & Space
Scientists teleport two different objects
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Beaming people in "Star Trek" fashion is still in the realms of science fiction, but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.
Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.
But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.
"It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.
The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.
"Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams, but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.
"Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.
Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.
Although teleportation is associated with the science-fiction series "Star Trek," no one is likely to be beamed anywhere soon.
But the achievement of Polzik's team, in collaboration with the theorist Ignacio Cirac of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, marks an advancement in the field of quantum information and computers, which could transmit and process information in a way that was impossible before.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

GOP's best bud Abramoff knew of Iraqi invasion in March 2002

Abramoff Knew US Would Invade Iraq in March, 2002
daily kos
Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 09:18:04 PM PDT
Newly-disclosed e-mails from the Minority Chair of the House Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman provide new areas of insight into Jack Abramoff's closeness to the Bush administration. Most shocking of all (at least of those I've been able to read so far) is that Abramoff off-handedly mentions "the upcoming war in Iraq." The date--March, 2002.

The Unending Torture of Omar Khadr

From Rolling Stone Magazine this is a long article but well worth the read regarding what America under Bushco has become.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Unending Torture of Omar Khadr
by Jeff Tietz

"...After the Korean War, the Air Force created a program called SERE --Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape -- to help captured pilots resist interrogation. SERE's founders wanted to know what kind of torture was most
destructive to the human psyche so that they could train pilots to withstand it. In experiments, they held subjects in dummy POW camps and had them starved, stripped naked and partially drowned. Administrators carefully noted the subjects' reactions, often measuring the levels of stress hormones in their blood.
The most effective form of torture turned out to have two components. The first is pain and harm delivered in unpredictable, sometimes illusory environments -- an absolute denial of physical comfort and spatial-temporal orientation. The second is a removal of the inner comfort of identity -- achieved by artfully humiliating people and coercing them to commit offenses against their own religion, dignity and morality, until they become unrecognizable to and ashamed of themselves.
SERE scientists came up with a variety of stress-torture techniques: sleep deprivation, sexual mortification, religious desecration, hooding, waterboarding. In SERE theory, the techniques are be used in concert and continuously -- coercive interrogation should become a life experience. This is Guantanamo Bay: To be held there is, per se, to be tortured. Behavioral scientists reportedly manage every aspect of detainees' lives. In one case, a psychologist told guards to limit a detainee to seven squares of toilet paper a day.
While he was at Guantanamo, Omar was beaten in the head, nearly suffocated, threatened with having his clothes taken indefinitely and, as at Bagram, lunged at by attack dogs while wearing a bag over his head. "Your life is in my hands," an intelligence officer told him during an interrogation in the spring of 2003. During the questioning, Omar gave an answer the interrogator did not like. He spat in Omar's face, tore out some of his hair and threatened to send him to Israel, Egypt, Jordan or Syria -- places where they tortured people without constraints: very slowly, analytically removing body parts. The Egyptians, the interrogator told Omar, would hand him to Askri raqm tisa -- Soldier Number Nine. Soldier Number Nine, the interrogator explained, was a guard who specialized in
raping prisoners..."

"O'Really" labels Foley a Democrat

Bill O'Reilly is a corker ain't he. Check the graphic below. According to Crooks & Liars where I found this Faux News and O'Really posted this shot three times. "We report, you deride!" They're desperately trying to turn Foley Boy Toy into a Democrat:

Here's C&L:
See anything wrong with this graphic? The O'Reilly Factor ran it in not one, but two segments and posted it three times. I can understand if FOX and The Factor made an error the first time, but to post it repeatedly should be a firing offense, The most watched show on FOX News has now labeled the former Republican Congressman Mark Foley, who is in the middle of a sexual predator scandal that has Hastert's career on the ropes —a Democrat. Was it an error or done by choice? I report–you decide.

Well, well, looks like the AP has jumped on the corporate news Change the Party Affiliation Game. Here's links at Atrios and TPM.
Is CNN next? Stay tuned....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Smirk gets his "Dick-tatorship"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Torture Bill States Non-Allegiance To Bush Is Terrorism Legislation tolls the bell for the day America died, birth of the dictatorship
By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Buried amongst the untold affronts to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the very spirit of America, the torture bill contains a definition of "wrongfully aiding the enemy" which labels all American citizens who breach their "allegiance" to President Bush and the actions of his government as terrorists subject to possible arrest, torture and conviction in front of a military tribunal.


After five hours of searching through the 80-plus page bill, Alex Jones, who won the 2004 Project Censored award for his analysis of Patriot Act 2, uncovered numerous other provisions and definitions that make the bill appear as almost a mirror image of Hitler's 1933 Enabling Act. In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation's legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush's authority on the torture of detainees."No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter."The Bush administration is preemptively overriding any challenge to the legislation by the Supreme Court.The definition of torture that the legislation cites is US code title 18 section 2340. This is a broad definition of torture and completely lacks the specific clarity of the Geneva Conventions. This definition allows the use of torture that is, "incidental to lawful sanctions." In alliance with the bill's blanket authority for President Bush to define the Geneva Conventions as he sees fit, this legislates the use of torture.

The media has spun the bill as if it outlaws torture - it only outlaws torture for "enemy combatants," and in fact outlaws the retaliation of any military against the United States as "murder." Those deemed "enemy combatants" are not even allowed to fight back yet the government affords itself every power including the go-ahead to torture.Further actions that result in the classification of an individual as a terrorist include the following.- Destruction of any property, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal's choosing.- Any violent activity whatsoever if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building.- A change of the definition of "pillaging" which turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.In light of Greg Palast's recent hounding by Homeland Security, after they accused him of potentially giving terrorists key information about U.S. "critical infrastructure" when filming Exxon’s Baton Rouge refinery (clear photos of which were publicly available on Google Maps), sub-section 27 of section 950v. should send chills down the spine of all investigative journalists and even news-gatherers."Any person subject to this chapter who with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign power, collects or attempts to collect information by clandestine means or while acting under false pretenses, for the purpose of conveying such information to an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a military commission under this chapter may direct."Subsection 4(b) (26) of section 950v. of HR 6166 - Crimes triable by military commissions - includes the following definition. "Any person subject to this chapter who, in breach of an allegiance or duty to the United States, knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States, or one of the co-belligerents of the enemy, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct."For an individual to hold an allegiance or duty to the United States they need to be a citizen of the United States. Why would a foreign terrorist have any allegiance to the United States to breach in the first place?This is another telltale facet that proves the bill applies to U.S. citizens and includes them under the "enemy combatant" designation. We previously cited the comments of Yale law Professor Bruce Ackerman, who wrote in the L.A. Times, "The compromise legislation....authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights."The New York Times stated that the legislation introduced, "A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted."Calling the bill "our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts," the Times goes on to highlight the rubber stamping of torture."Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses."Since with this bill, in the aggregate, Bush has declared himself to be above the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the allegiance of American citizens is no longer to the flag or the freedoms for which it stands, but to Bush himself, the self-appointed dictator, and any diversion from that allegiance will mandate arrest, torture and conviction in a military tribunal under the terms of this bill.
--Continue at Informationliberation.

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