Friday, August 31, 2007

Sit down to negiotiate or walk away?

Jeffrey Feldman| BIO | I'M A FAN OF THIS BLOGGER
Dems Should Walk Away
Posted August 31, 2007 | 10:12 AM (EST)
Read More: Breaking Politics News, U.S. Republican Party, U.S. Senate, Harry Reid, U.S. Democratic Party, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney

According to the Washington Post, Harry Reid is again 'negotiating' with Senate Republicans about ways to end the nightmare on Baghdad Street often referred to as 'the war in Iraq' (i.e., it's not a 'war'--it's a burned-out military occupation). What's up for negotiation this time? You guessed it: Bush wants $50 billion more for Iraq. Apparently, Republicans are willing to sit down and talk about legislation to get out of Iraq, with just a few conditions: they refuse to use the words 'deadline' or 'timetable' or 'withdrawal.' In other words, the Republicans are happy to negotiation with Democrats about ending the war on Iraq, but refuse to allow any of the words Americans use to talk about ending a war.

Now, I ask myself: would I sit down at the negotiating table if the opposition put forward that kind of condition as their opening position? Let me think...


'Bad Faith' Republicans

I would have to be an idiot to think I was 'negotiating' if the opposition refused to use words that allow us to actually talk about the subject at hand. I would not sit down given that condition because it would not be a negotiation if I did. It would be a bad faith manipulation. To sit down would be to concede first, negotiate later. And if you concede firsts, there is no need to negotiation. So I would walk away. And Dems should, too.

But just to make this point clear enough, I've assembled a list of some common, everyday negotiations to see what they would look like if they were rigged from the start they same way as the Senate negotiations on Iraq.

Read the following situations and decide whether you would sit down at the table or walk away (***answer key included below).

Sit Down or Walk Away?

1. You want to buy a house and call the seller to negotiate the price. The seller says, "I'd be happy to talk with you on the condition that we do not discuss the house or the price." Should you sit down or walk away?

2. You want to ask your girlfriend's father for her hand in marriage. Her father says, "I'd be happy to talk with you on the condition that we do not discussion marriage or my daughter." Should you sit down or walk away?

3. You want to buy a car from dealer and you want to get the best deal possible. The dealer says, "I'd be happy to talk to you a deal on the condition that we do not use the word car, price or delivery." Should you sit down or walk away?

for complete article here is the url:


says it all

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No child left behind?? Doh!

Part timers and middle class deserve health care

The rich DO get richer. Our nation values the rich and tells the poor and middle classes that they "got what they deserve." Even Evangelical religious groups tell their followers that "God wants them to be rich" therefore when they don't achieve wealth, it's their own fault.

Along with all of this, we see the number of uninsured rise each year in this country. You see, to be insured, means you have "made it," you have a "good enough" job, with "good enough" skills. The problem is, fewer and fewer jobs are "good enough."

For example, here in Kendall County, part time workers do not get any benefits. They work 29 hours per week (just 30 hours per week is considered full time). One more hour per week and they would qualify for health insurance. I find that a really cheesy way to bilk employees out of benefits. One lousy hour per week. Oh, and since when is 30 hours per week full time? Who can live on 30 hours a week salary? It's harder and harder to live on 40 hours per wEEk.

However, on the flip side, if an employer does not pay for health insurance, he/she will save several hundred dollars per month in fees. Which begs the question, is for profit healthcare ethical?

Just who deserves health insurance and who does not? Who decides? What is "worthy?" Who is "worthy?" Just the rich? This is an ethical and moral question. We, in this nation, have been duped into believing that only "certain" people are deserving of health care. Why?

When you consider the fact that it is illegal to deny emergency care to any person in critical condition, why then is it illegal to deny health care to anyone? It's more expensive to take care of a very ill person than it is to perform preventative care, provide prescription drugs and prenatal healthcare.

Our nation ranks behind Latvia in maternal child death rates. That is the rate of deaths of mothers while giving birth. Most of us only think of death in childbirth as something that happened to the pioneers and early settler of this nation, such as in the Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prarie) era. Not so. In the great USA women are dying while giving birth at a greater rate now than since the mid 19th century. They are not in covered wagons giving birth by lantern light, this is in so-called state of the art US hospitals.

It is shameful. Shameful. We shuttle our elderly off to the hell we call nursing homes, we don't help families care for the elderly at home, we don't provide maternal and child care, and in essence, we only care for those who can pay. And the costs keep rising.

We need national health care, and forget the B.S. you hear about Canada and the U.K. They see a specialist and wait no longer for surgery than we do. Having your knee replaced, or your backache taken care of surgically is not an emergency. There is a waiting period in this country as there is in any other country. Most surgeries are not emergent. That is what we need to understand. Emergent care is life-saving care, like treating heart attack, stroke or major trauma. Everything else can be treated in a clinic, and a bit of a wait won't kill you. Living without any access to medical care to treat your diabetes, hypertension, or other chronic illness will kill you. So, in the good old USA, we live with untreated, or under-treated chronic illnesses that will kill us eventually. The US government and the insurance companies know this, and they don't give a darn. Profit is their motive.

There is no reason to have FOR PROFIT health care. Nobody should make a profit on illness or the prevention of illness. It's unethical.

Overheard at Methodist Hospital...a physician is taking a temporary job in Austraila. Why? 6 weeks of paid vacation a year and a smaller patient load. He wanted to try it out, because it sounded nicer than the hours he was currently working in the US although the pay was a bit lower. Tempted by quality of life, perhaps? Well, wouldn't we all like some quality of life.

So, while thinking about the quality of life you wish you had, spend a minute and think about our Boerne city employees. Write letters to the editor, attend a community meeting, and demand health insurance for all our city employees. Even if we can't have it ourselves, if we work to help one group attain health care benefits, they may just return the favor.

In Nov. 2008, when you vote, vote for a candidate that promotes single payer health insurance so we can raise our maternal child death rates above those of Latvia. Vote in your own best interest, not for party, but for what will help you (and the citizens of this nationa) the most. Forget the blather and B.S., think critically and then do what will serve ALL Americans.


Monday, August 27, 2007

William Rivers Pitt, excellent article on Truthout

Burning the Law in a Riot of Treason
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Monday 27 August 2007

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.
- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

The departure of Alberto Gonzales from the Attorney General's Office brings America to a place of definitions, and hanging in the balance is the very idea of the nation itself. The basic concepts and fundamental principles of our republic now stand as the only legitimate considerations going forward, for they have been tested almost to annihilation already, and will not endure much longer if we continue on this path.

It is the mythology within the Declaration of Independence we speak of, the fiction that tells us we are endowed with rights, and that those rights are unalienable. This falsehood has been vividly exposed in the last several years, and it has been a harsh lesson indeed. All the rights we hold dear and believe to be our greatest strength are, in fact, only words on old paper with neither force nor power. The next line - "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" - is the muscle behind the myth, the core that has endured a withering assault.

Matters are so much worse than our national political dialogue lets on. The resignation of Gonzales has unleashed a torrent of hard words and harsh criticisms aimed at the deplorable nature of his tenure, but the truth of it continues to elude mention. They call Gonzales an incompetent, a crony, a loyalist, a disgrace, leaving off the one word necessary to fully explain who he is, and what he was engaged in before he stepped down.

Alberto Gonzales is a traitor. That is the only word to explain it.

He is not the only one; there are many more traitors like him in the Bush administration, criminals joined in an act of treason so vast and comprehensive that it beggars comparison. Nothing quite like this has ever before been attempted in America, and if they are allowed to succeed, there will be nothing of what defines America left to be seen

for more:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bush and Napoleon

Bush and Napoleon Both Believed Their Own Propaganda About a "Greater Middle East"
By Juan Cole, Posted August 25, 2007.

"There are times when the resonances of history are positively eerie. The parallels of Napoleon's occupation of Egypt with Bush's disaster in Iraq are enough to make you jump out of your chair."

This is really interesting.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

If men think pregnancy is so important, why don't they have the babies?

The Quiet Campaign Against Birth Control
by Cristina Page
"At National Right to Life’s conference this year, Mitt Romney set out to convince anti-abortion leaders he was their candidate. At the podium, he rattled off his qualifications. To a layman’s ears, it sounded pretty standard for abortion politics. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He supports teaching only abstinence to teens.

But for those trained to hear the subtleties, Mr. Romney was acknowledging something more. He implied an opposition to the birth control pill and a willingness to join in their efforts to scale back access to contraception. There are code phrases to listen for - and for those keeping score, Mr. Romney nailed each one.

One code phrase is: “I fought to define life as beginning at conception rather than at the time of implantation.” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines pregnancy as starting at implantation, the first moment a pregnancy can be known. Anti-abortion advocates want pregnancy to start at the unknown moment sperm and egg meet: fertilization. They’d also like you to believe, despite evidence to the contrary, that the birth control pill prevents that fertilized egg from implanting in the womb."

Well ladies, one way to fight back.....just say no, I have a headache, I'm tired, etc etc. Did you ever notice the folks who are anti-contraception are mostly men? Why? Well, if they can get us back into the home, barefoot and pregnant, we lose power. Better yet, if the lowly masses (that's the middle class and poor) have no access to contraception, we'll have lots of babies and end up in dire poverty, easier to manipulate. Pawns in the larger scheme of the PNAC group.

Bush's Bogus Vietnam History Kills

Bush's Bogus Vietnam History Kills

By Robert Parry
August 23, 2007

It is often said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But a much worse fate may await countries whose leaders distort and falsify history. Such countries are doomed to experience even bloodier miscalculations.

That was the case with Germany after World War I when Adolf Hitler’s Nazis built a political movement based in part on the myth that weak politicians in Berlin had stabbed brave German troops in the back when they were on the verge of victory.

And it appears to be the case again today as President George W. Bush presents the history of the Vietnam War as a Rambo movie with the heroic narrative that if only the U.S. military had stuck it out, the war would have been won.

Or, more likely, the black wall of the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial would stretch most of the way to the U.S. Capitol.

Why Hillary should not win....she will bring more of the same old crap

Washington--From the K Street lobbyist corridor to the major gay and lesbian organizations to the city's kingpin consultants and fundraisers to the big feminist groups, Hillary Clinton has acquired a near-lock on the Democratic establishment in the nation's capital.

The level of support here for the junior New York Senator approaches what an incumbent president seeking re-election might expect.

You ARE being watched

Despite the ominous scope of a program targeting the daily routines of everyday Americans, President Bush has assured the nation that the government is not “mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.”

In May 2006, former NSA analyst Ira Winkler wrote a heated rebuttal to Bush’s assurances in Computer World:

They claim that the NSA is not receiving any personally identifying information. Frankly, you have to be a complete moron to believe that. ... By simply tying numbers together—and intelligence discipline of traffic analysis—I assure you I can put together a portrait of your life. I’ll know your friends, your hobbies, where your children go to school, if you’re having an affair, whether you plan to take a trip and even when you’re awake or asleep. Give me a list of whom you’re calling and I can tell most of the critical things I need to know about you.

When you start to understand the scope of the program, you realize why the Bush administration balked at the notion of obtaining a warrant for each individual whose information it intended to search. In order for data mining to be a thorough program, for the NSA to, as Hayden put it, “live on the network,” the government needs to have blanket access to telecommunication companies across the country.

Scott Ritter, a primer on Iraq history

What that means is money is going to control truth.

When the corporations grab the last bastion of freedom, the internet, which they will, then....What that means is money is going to control truth.

Read this article on the death of democracy to get a full taste of it.
Truthdig speaks with Elliot Cohen, author of “The Last Days of Democracy,” who argues that the United States is in political and cultural decline, with media and telecommunications giants engaged in “a well-organized effort to hijack America.”

Excerpt here:

And don't forget the following, as noted in the above article: "Certainly, the Clinton administration, which in 1996 signed into law the Telecommunications Act , which gave more control over larger markets to the media, the mainstream—these large corporations—and helped to move along this corporate consolidation."

So do you really want Hillary for Prez? Hmmmm, she's a corporatist in my view. The Clintons controlled the media quite well, but Bush has exerted even more control, just as PNAC planned.....

'''the difference here, and this is the difference in kind, I believe, is the ideology that the Bush administration has and that’s this amassing of power and control, this global domination theme, and this is what it lives and breathes for. Control. And, so, when you have this voracious appetite for control and then you have the media set up to accommodate it, there is a difference here that’s going on between what we’ve seen in America before. And it’s the kind of control and desire for control that’s analogous to what we saw in Nazi Germany. ... What’s different about this case is that we have technology that we never had before. If Nixon had more than his little tape recorders, he could do a lot more than he did as well....

Never cower. Never cower. It’s not over until it’s over, and right now we need to understand that that’s where we’re heading. And it’s easy enough to say, “Well, you know it happened in [Nazi] Germany, but we’re different.” That’s a very pompous attitude. As though Americans are somehow different than Germans. They’re not. They’re people. And if we don’t watch it, this is where we’re heading. Well, what do we do about it? There’s thing we can do. Well, one thing is for the average person to make sure that they’re informed: To stop relying on mainstream media as much as they do, and to get their information from independent media. Then really when you look at the survival of dictatorships, and whether they thrive or not. They thrive on keeping people ignorant...

They’ve gone to such absurd lengths of just disregarding the rule of law that anybody, no matter how perfect your system was, if they weren’t going to follow the rules then the system wouldn’t work. So I think what Congress needs to realize is just that. They have to take the powers that they do have, they have some powers that they can exercise, but they’re not doing it. I think this is human error. I think it’s with people who are in power right now and the people are trying to do something about it. There’s where the wimpishness comes in. They’re being ... the Congress is being wimpish. They need to impeach Bush. They can do that. But they’re not. And it’s not the system’s fault; it’s their fault.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wages in America:

The Rich Get Richer and the Rest Get Less
by JACK RASMUS (Copyright 2004)

Do you feel like you're working harder, longer hours, and still can't keep up with rising taxes, gasoline prices, utility bills, ballooning medical expenses, or the accelerating cost of paying for your kids' education?

Well, you're not alone! You're in good company. The company of tens of millions of American workers today on the same economic treadmill, having to walk faster and faster just to stay in the same place, or, unable even to keep up with the pace due to unemployment, loss of benefits, or wage cuts by their employers.

Stagnating Workers' Wages
In 1979 the American worker's average hourly wage was equal to $15.91 (adjusted for inflation in 2001 dollars). By 1989 it had reached only $16.63/hour. That's a gain of only 7 cents a year for the entire Reagan decade.

But wait. Things get worse! By 1995 it had risen to only $16.71, or virtually no gain whatsoever over the 6 years between 1989 and 1995. During the great 'boom years' between 1995 and 2000 it rose briefly to $18.33 per hour. In other words, from 1979 to 2000, even before the most recent Bush recession, after more than two decades the American worker's average wages increased on average only 11.5 cents per hour per year! With nearly all of that coming in the five so-called 'boom' years of 1995-2000, and most of that lost once again in the last three years. And that includes for all workers, even those with college degrees.

The picture is worse for workers who had no college degree. That's more than 100 million workers, or 72.1% of the workforce. For them there was no 'boom of 1995-2000' whatsoever. Their average real hourly wages were less at the end of 2000 than they were in 1979! And since 2000 their wages have continued to slide further.

Are you feeling the pinch? We are. Less disposal income than when we had 2 teenagers at home and 3 car payments! It's ridiculous.

Bob Schieffer link to video

Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer offered a commentary Sunday on the upcoming report from General Petraeus on conditions in Iraq, observing, "When I ask a question and guests start laying out conditions ... I know that we're headed down the old rabbit trail."

"Excuse me for getting a little suspicious," Schieffer said, pointing out that "the White House want[s] the general to deliver the report to Congress behind closed doors while Cabinet officers do the talking in public. And suddenly we're told the general won't actually write the report, but that his thoughts will be included in a summary prepared by the White House."

"This is the report the president has said over and over that he will use to decide where we go from here in Iraq," concluded Schieffer. "Maybe it's because I've been dragged down the old rabbit trail too many times by too many people with something to hide, but this does not sound like we're headed to a straight answer."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Dems need

Democrats need what Americans want: a conviction politics that is principled, fearless and tenacious and projects confidence and strength to voters hungry for change.

The vision is clear: a realigning election in 2008 with a Democratic president and Democratic Congress to establish one of those great eras of American optimism and reform.

Democrats could run a national “Morning in America” television ad that attacks the Bush failures and abuses, the Republican obstructionism that blockades change; and offers an uplifting panorama of the America that will be, with change.

However: Leaders lead, and the battle must be waged on the floor of Congress with a courage and tenacity that is lacking today.

Walking a day in a nurse's shoes

And unionized nurses at that! Oh I do miss my union days back East. Where we had smaller patient-nurse ratios, discharge planning and we actually could take a bit of time and care with our patients. Texas nurses are overworked and undervalued. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

For Fun

We need 21st Century Dems!

Howard Dean in the 2004 campaign; Al Gore as the effective leader of the Loyal Opposition; and now Barack Obama challenging the tired and decadent national security establishment — these are the first true voices of 21st century politics.

If you believe supporting the Iraq war for five years was right; that America is safer under George Bush; and that special-interest lobbyists are the heart of America who do not buy laws with money, Hillary Clinton, the leader of the old establishment, is your girl (as she said).

I totally agree with this article. The 21st century Dems need to take over from the fossilized old Dem party. We need new blood, we need change, and we need it now!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tx immigration detention centers, horrible conditions

This is America? Children held in a prison, no comfort, no toys and no joy. What would make someone hate America? Probably this. Why make more enemies? This is not the country I grew up in. I am disgusted.

Of the two all-ages detention facilities operated by the government, the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Center, which opened in May, is the newest and largest, and holds roughly 200 minors and their relatives who have been arrested or detained across the border. It is the only detention center housed in a former prison, and agency officials say it has been extensively renovated into "a modern, state-of-the-art facility."

Yet lawyers and human rights advocates question the ethics and legality of imprisoning children and say T. Don Hutto is, regardless, a bad place to start. "It's clearly not a setting that is appropriate for families," says Michelle Brané, an investigator with the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children who toured the facility late last year. She says a typical prison routine still exists there: all children who are big enough must wear scrubs akin to prison uniforms, and there's little to occupy their time besides lounging in the "pod," the communal space walled off by prison cells. When not hanging out there, children receive a single hour of physical recreation each day and, at the time Brané visited, a single hour of schooling in the form of an all-ages English class. (The classes were upped to four hours recently, and are expanding to the seven hours required in Texas public schools.) Brané was not impressed by efforts to brighten the pod with carpet and a mural depicting an ocean scene: "It's definitely a penal environment."

Faten, the five-year-old detainee, suffered from nightmares and often sobbed uncontrollably at T. Don Hutto, according to a lawsuit seeking her family's release that was filed late last month by a private attorney. In one instance she was "yelled at and threatened with 'punishment' for her failure to 'stand still'" during the prison's daily population count, the suit said. Her mother, Hanan, who is now five months pregnant, complained of being too tired to join daily showers at 5:30 a.m., but was told that if she didn't she could be put in solitary confinement, according to the suit. To see a gynecologist, according to the lawsuit, Hanan had to travel two hours away, bound in leg irons the entire time, for each prenatal appointment. Her absence from the pod so upset Faten and her siblings, aged eight and 14, that their mother stopped seeking medical treatment rather than leave them alone.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New movie: No End in Sight

Roger Ebert's review:
by Roger Ebert

Remember the scene in "A Clockwork Orange" where Alex has his eyes clamped open and is forced to watch a movie? I imagine a similar experience for the architects of our catastrophe in Iraq. I would like them to see "No End in Sight," the story of how we were led into that war, and more than 3,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of other lives were destroyed.

US military psyops in a neighorhood near you

Welcome to the Jungle: US Military Psychological Operations and You
"...the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other."- Benjamin Franklin, 1787

They say that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out, but that if you raise the pot's heat gradually, the frog won't react.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mr. Sarzozy meets Bush for lunch, but no lobster on the menu

“We’re going to give him a hamburger or a hot dog, his choice,” Mr. Bush said as he waited for Mr. Sarkozy to arrive. He was flanked by the first lady, Laura Bush, and his parents. Looking on were members of the extended Bush clan, including grandchildren who had made welcome signs — “Bienvenue Monsieur Le President” — with pictures of lobsters.

Mr. Bush went on with the menu, occasionally interrupted by his wife: “He’s got some baked beans,” Mr. Bush said. “If he likes baked beans he can have that as well.” (“Native Maine corn,” Mrs. Bush interjected.) “There’s corn on the cob, real fresh this time of year,” he continued. (“Salad, fresh tomatoes,” the first lady added.) “If he feels like it, he can have him a piece of blueberry pie, fresh blueberries up here in Maine.”...
Like Mr. Chirac, Mr. Sarkozy, 52, is no supporter of the war in Iraq. But he is much more Mr. Bush’s speed — youthful, vigorous and, in his own words, proud to be known as “Sarkozy the American.” For his summer vacation, he shunned the French Riviera, instead choosing Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, just 50 miles from here....
Mr. Bush, for his part, was careful not to portray himself as too much of a Francophile.

“No I can’t,” the president said, asked by a journalist if he could say something in French. “I can barely speak English.”


oMFG ! ! Bush is still a moron. And, for that matter what is the matter with the French? Why would they elect someone who loves Bush? Makes no sense to me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

No school for Vets, thanks Bush

Administration Fights Dem Plan to Boost School Aid for Vets

The Bush administration opposes a Democratic effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans, according to an official's comments last week.
full story

So, these men and women are fighting for what? Let's see, first it was stopping WMD's, then it was promoting democracy. What was it really...hmmm, regulating the flow of oil perhaps?

Sickening spin and B.S. by the Bush administration.

We don't need no stinking safe bridges!

Bush wants to cut corporate taxes, but does not think we need to do anything about infrastructure, like bridges. Ok, I want him to sit on the bridge north of Boerne Stage Road (at Leon Springs) while traffic passes over it. He can feel the scary shaking and wobbling of the bridge and then he can tell me, there is nothing wrong with it.
He can drive over the John's Road bridge every day and wonder why, after it was hit by a semi truck and we were told it needed repair, no repairs were done.
It's all so ridiculous.


In a 48-minute conversation on an array of economic issues, Bush also warned China not to start a trade war, blamed Congress for not doing more to shore up infrastructure such as the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last week, and pushed back against Democratic presidential candidates who are promising to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

So, no bridges for us? Bush thinks a tax cut for business will be the best thing. Moron that he is, he should not be pushing China's button as they basically OWN this country. If we can spend Billions with a "B" on a war, why can't we Americans have safe bridges, working sewer systems, water systems, etc." What's he gonna do, fix them like he did in Baghdad where they get 1 hour of water a day? Come on! That's so un-American! He is running our country into the ground, while corporations make mega bucks. Good for his friends, bad for the rest of us.

Give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry’s words ring hollow after Congress passed, and the president signed, a law of enormous constitutional and security importance in an atmosphere of fear, without any semblance of serious debate. Again.

A Feast of Bullshit and Spectacle: The Great American Media Mind Warp

..Through advertising and marketing, the hologram combs the fields of instinct and human desire, arranging our wants and fears in the direction of commodities or institutions. No longer are advertising and marketing merely propaganda, which is all but dead. Digitally mediated brain experience now works far below the crude propaganda zone of influence, deep in the swamps of the limbic brain, reengineering and reshaping the realms of subjective human experience.

Yet we are the hologram, because we created it. In a relentlessly cycling feedback loop, we create and project the hologram out of our collective national psyche. The hologram in turn manages our collective psyche by regulating our terrors, cravings and neurological passions through the production of wars, whores, politics, profits and manna. Like legions of locusts, we pray before its productive engines of commerce and under the shifting aurora borealis of the hologram's drama and spectacle. It is us. We are it. The psychology of the individual becomes irrelevant as the swarm relentlessly devours the earth...


Monday, August 06, 2007

For fun

I love the Red Elvises and this is one of my favorite songs:

Gitmo poetry

Poems written by Gitmo prisoners. Worth reading.

A list of democrats who voted for the FISA bill

From Truthout:
Editors Note: The following is a list of Democrats who voted for the FISA Bill which signed into law the Bush administrations authority to eavesdrop on US citizens, making surveillance without warrants, which was being conducted in secret by the NSA and in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, legal. cw/TO

Evan Bayh
Tom Carper
Bob Casey
Kent Conrad
Dianne Feinstein
Daniel Inouye
Amy Klobuchar
Mary Landrieu
Blanche Lincoln
Claire McCaskill
Barbara Mikulski
Bill Nelson
Ben Nelson
Mark Pryor
Ken Salazar
Jim Webb

Jason Altmire (4th Pennsylvania)
John Barrow (12th Georgia) Blue Dog
Melissa Bean (8th Illinois) Blue Dog
Dan Boren (2nd Oklahoma) Blue Dog
Leonard Boswell (3rd Iowa)
Allen Boyd (2nd Florida) Blue Dog
Christopher Carney (10th Pennsylvania) Blue Dog
Ben Chandler (6th Kentucky) Blue Dog
Jim Cooper (5th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Jim Costa (20th California) Blue Dog
Bud Cramer (5th Alabama) Blue Dog
Henry Cuellar (28th Texas)
Artur Davis (7th Alabama)
Lincoln Davis (4th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Joe Donnelly (2nd Indiana) Blue Dog
Chet Edwards (17th Texas)
Brad Ellsworth (8th Indiana) Blue Dog
Bob Etheridge (North Carolina)
Bart Gordon (6th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota) Blue Dog
Brian Higgins (27th New York)
Baron Hill (9th Indiana) Blue Dog
Nick Lampson (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Daniel Lipinski (3rd Illinois)
Jim Marshall (8th Georgia) Blue Dog
Jim Matheson (2nd Utah) Blue Dog
Mike McIntyre (7th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Charlie Melancon (3rd Louisiana) Blue Dog
Harry Mitchell (5th Arizona)
Colin Peterson (7th Minnesota) Blue Dog
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) Blue Dog
Ciro Rodriguez (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Mike Ross (4th Arkansas) Blue Dog
John Salazar (3rd Colorado) Blue Dog
Heath Shuler (11th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Vic Snyder (2nd Arkansas)
Zachary Space (18th Ohio) Blue Dog
John Tanner (8th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Gene Taylor (4th Mississippi) Blue Dog
Timothy Walz (1st Minnesota)
Charles A. Wilson (6th Ohio) Blue Dog

A comment found on Buzzflash; this grannie agrees with grampa completely!

To Senator Reid
Submitted by DTouse on Sun, 08/05/2007 - 7:22pm.
[for what it's worth]

Dear Senator Reid,

You will have to forgive my lack of tact and civility.

There are simply no words available that can adequately express my utter DISGUST...CONTEMPT...RAGE for the COWARDS who call themselves Democrats and what pathetically passes for leadership.

Time and time again you have had the opportunity to stand up to the tyranny of George W Bush and his Senate Thugs who crow throughout the senate like castrated roosters...yet still intimidate the Chicken Little democrats who at every confrontation - cower and walk away stating how valiantly they fought...and will do even better... the Next time.

America has seen more Democratic next times than they have turned corners of success in Bush's Baghdad!

Time and time again we have tried to least they are trying! No more...


Millions of Americans fought hard to vote in a Democratic majority - confident with a majority they would at least find enough collective courage to simply say NO! We spent more money and more time than we had to spend because we love our country and truly fear for its survival as a democracy rooted in the Rule of Law. Foolishly we assumed whomever we fought to elect would actually represent OUR expressed interests. But yet again you VOTED to make Bush's RULE become LAW!

You have become even sorry excuses for QUISLINGS!

There is little doubt the List of Cowards will soon be published on the net. Those who are up for re-election will...and Should - be targeted for replacement. Failing any viable primary challenge, hopefully America will turn to credible Green Party or other third party candidates who can at minimum present an image of Integrity!

I would highly recommend the Senate spend their recess time "In Search Of"... COURAGE!

I would further suggest when the caucus returns in September you hire an Assertiveness Training consultant. Failing that, consider contracting a team of Orthopedic Surgeons to implant Senate Spines.

In the sad event you still don't "get it"....








How I wish there was some positive way to conclude this message. I am sorry...there simply is not. We in the homes of America will continue to fight for what we cherish...because we have no choice! Perhaps if you look real hard, you can find some easy way to support SEVENTY+ PERCENT of the American People!

By way of a personal note, I turned on my computer today to shop for belated birthday gifts for my grandchildren who will be able to visit for one day this month while my son is on a short leave from his naval assignment in Italy. Both he and his wife served three tours each of the Persian Gulf prior to the attack on Iraq. You remember that - the second time the Senate Democrats caved to Bush intimidation...

But then I saw the headines that Senate Democrats again threw in the towel on FISA...THE 4th Amendment...the Constitution. NOTHING is more important to me than my family. Like most American parents since 1776, I had little to pass on to my heirs beyond a glorious America that was just a little bit better...a bit more noble...more just. For the first time in history that is no longer possible. They are forced to live in a nation that surrendered the right of Habeas Corpus... foolishly thinking that made them more secure. They live in a nation that has now institutionalized "cruel and unusual punishment" in the form of torture as acceptable. My grandchildrens' most private communications and records are now the province of an unseen unknown government. Their friends, neighbors, relatives - even ol' Gramps - can be whisked off in the dark of night without cause...without charge...without counsel...without trial...without a single Human Right. Those whom my grandchildren depended on in turn placed their good faith and trust in representatives who swore an oath to preserve and protect those rights. And Every time those rights were challenged.. the Defenders turned their backs! In so doing they enabled an illegal, immoral war... financed entirely on foreign credit and tax Gifts for the wealthiest in the Land. They allowed the national economy to be hollowed out to a point where it is totally sustained on credit and debt - devoid of the capacity to produce...anything of substance. Without intervention, they are condemned to economic surfdom...and targets of world hatred for decades to come.

So Senator...I will shop hopefully later. I have only words to leave behind...with stories and government reports that add context to those words. They will know at least someone tried. And if the words remain for their grandchildren, they will learn in history of the abysmal era of G W Bush and his disastrous legacy and wonder what manner of men...seeing all this unfold before their eyes, and hearing millions of Gramps and Grannies, and the very government itself cry out for help, could simply refuse to stand.

That Senator Reid will become the legacy of the current Democratic Congress, every bit as complicit...inept...and treasoness as Bush. There is yet time to change.

Can you ?

Will you ?

God Help You...or Forgive You!

With Deep Regret...

It's official, we are a police state

So, noted Larisa Alexandrovna (excerpt and link below). I had a discussion about living in a police state with a friend of mine, who grew up in a communist country and whose father was a communist party member. She disagrees that we are living in a police state because she said, nobody had knocked on her door a night or taken any body away, so far. She said when that happens, she will believe it. Well, it looks like that could now happen, since the Dems rolled over and gave almost limitless power to the Feds with the new FISA bill.


It's official, we are police state...
Posted by Larisa Alexandrovna

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.” - Plato

Thanks to 40 Democratic members of the House and the Democratic leadership in the Senate, the FISA Absolute Power bill has now passed. I promise you that whatever tiny restriction the Congress managed to put on the Absolute Power bill, the Decider will attach a signing statement to it making sure that that he gets every inch that he pretended to give. This Congress is a disgrace. Compared to the Congress before it, which redefined corruption and took it to whole new levels, the Democratic Congress is the culture of cowardice and compromised people.

Thankfully I am an independent, which gives me plenty of room to vote for whomever I choose. Party is not country after all. But those of you who are Democrats, you need to send your party cards back in mass protest and make it clear, that you will make sure that every single person who voted for this horror is not going to be coming back to Congress after the next election. And for the rest of them who did not even attempt to filibuster this, I would urge you to put them on notice. As far as the Conservatives go, they will pick party over country, so there is no point in addressing what they need to do, as they are likely celebrating a big victory as though something this serious were a mere Monday night football game.

Make NO mistake, we are in serious peril when an Attorney General who has subverted the Constitution per request of his boss, lied, obstructed justice, and defended torture, is now in full authority to declare who is going to be a target of warrant-less surveillance. You may not see this as seriously as I do, but then again, you have not lived under a dictatorship to know the difference. Mostly though, the people who failed most, are the citizens of this country - who should have taken to the streets and shut down all commerce, all traffic, and disengaged from the machine of government. You did not shut it down. You did not even try. You waited as your hopes were put entirely in the hands of cowards.

ACLU issues a scathing statement about the Senate Dems...

"While we do not agree with the reasons why the House Republicans defeated this measure, the fact that it failed is a victory for civil liberties nonetheless. Historically, legislation that has been rushed through Congress in the name of national security goes further than lawmakers intended. From the Sedition Act to the Patriot Act, passing laws on the fly can have unintended consequences for Americans' rights.

"The Democrats should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be bullied into surrendering our civil liberties. Where is their spine? The White House has intentionally misled the Congress and the American people about the illegal warrantless wiretapping program, and now the Democrats are going to give them even more power to spy on innocent Americans who have no connection to terrorism. We need a Congress that is going to protect our rights and our Constitution, not roll over every time the administration breaks the law. FISA doesn't need to be modified, it needs to be followed."
- Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dems roll over and play dead....again

Apparently the Dems will continue to roll over and play dead, ceding everything to the executive branch. Why? I have done a bit of reading here and there, partly because I am so angry and partly because I just can't believe this. Where in the world are we headed? Is it time to move to Canada?

From the dailyKos:

The Congress is at the threshold of a major capitulation on FISA. There's no doubt that there are a lot of political (read: electoral) implications to this vote. We all know that. We've been through this fear mongering routine before, where the public is rattled by vague pronouncements about unspecified threats (or about whatever's going on in Michael Chertoff's "gut," as the case may be), and where Members of Congress are cowed by the prospect of Republican attack ads claiming they're "weak on terror."

And of course, at this point it should go without saying that if a bill is placed before you that addresses additional powers and authority for the Attorney General, of all people, this is a full stop moment.

The vote on this bill is no. The vote on any bill expanding the powers of this Attorney General is no.

These are things I should not have to outline for anyone at this point. Certainly not Daily Kos readers. But you'd hope Members of Congress, too. But apparently, in that hope you'd be disappointed.

Still, these are merely the surface issues. There's something deeper and even more troubling going on here. What's happening here is the ceding of the last remaining prerogatives of the legislative branch to the executive. We are currently watching the Congress cede its oversight authority -- not its ability to hold hearings, but its ability to make hearings mean something.

Then I found this news story that could add a tinfoil hat conspiracy theory to the reasons why the Dems are rolling over.

Two congressional representatives were meeting with Capitol Hill security officials Friday as workers dealt with an increased security presence related to unspecified al-Qaida threats as the sixth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks approaches.

The fears were stoked Thursday when Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott said it would be a good thing for congress to leave town until September 12.

His remarks prompted D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton to accuse the Mississippi Republican of playing politics.


Then of course, this comment on dailyKos, which goes along with what I have been saying for a very long time. It's even worse now that we elected Dems on 2006, and they are rolling over, and allowing the fascist state to build more and more power.


Can You Say, "Enabling Act"? (0 / 0)

How many more civil liberties must we sacrifice before its becomes possible to make any comparisons to late Weimar Germany?

Bitterly polarized society?
"Stab in the Back" accusations against liberals?
Extreme concentration of power in the executive?
Fragile economy and massive deficits?

Is it fair to suggest that once these concentrations of absolute power are in place, it will be too late to do anything?


This quote says it all:

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis