Saturday, January 27, 2007

I wonder ...

If I glow in the dark? The hotel we stay in when in London, the Millennium Gloucester, was the place where Aleksandr Litvinenko was poisoned. Mr. Galil (the bar manager at the Millennium), I hope you didn't fuck with my Newcastles. Via the lovely Larisa Alexandrovna (and yes, I have a thing for Russian women, I married one*) from Newsvine:


Scotland Yard's investigation has centered on Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, two Russian ex-KGB officers who were present at the Millennium Hotel in central London when Litvinenko fell ill on Nov. 1 after contamination from a rare, radioactive substance.


No wonder I don't have to turn the bathroom light on when I go take a leak in the middle of the night. Heh ...

*And just a thought. How cool is it that a woman of Russian-Jewish descent has the initials 'KGB'? Got 'em tattooed on my left forearm too. Begets a lot of questions. Heh ...

Just read

Two Year Old Boy Loses Father In War; Mother Scheduled To Return To Active Duty.


1. Something's wrong with Blogrolling, it ain't me.

2. How do you like the rearrangment?

I love it

Ari Flyshit is gonna be on the stand when the Libby trial resumes. I can't wait to see what they pry out of his ass.


Rove and Bartlett* are taking the stand too. Heh ... As my brother and pardner Gord says, 'pass the popcorn'.


And for those who think Ari won't give up shit:

Reporting from inside the courtroom in the CIA leak-related trial of Scooter Libby this week revealed that former White House spokesman Ari Fleisher sought immunity from prosecution because he was worried he might have committed treason — and even fearred [sic] he was in jeopardy of receiving the death penalty: [my em]


Ari's scared, and he's gonna give up whoever he has to in order to fulfill the immunity agreement he struck with Fitz. There's also a perjury charge hanging over his head if he's less than forthcoming.

*Thanks to CD @ CorrenteWire for the link.

Quote of the Day

Jon Stewart, with video.

"I get the sense if there was a bull in the china shop, Cheney would blame the china."

Saturday night at the blogwhores

Though it's still Saturday morning it must mean Chapter 16 of my novel The Captains is up at The Practical Press.


She's on today:

Dick Durbin went to the floor of the Senate on Thursday night to denounce the vice president as “delusional.”

It was shocking, and Senator Durbin should be ashamed of himself.

Delusional is far too mild a word to describe Dick Cheney. Delusional doesn’t begin to capture the profound, transcendental one-flew-over daftness of the man.

Has anyone in the history of the United States ever been so singularly wrong and misguided about such phenomenally important events and continued to insist he’s right in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?


So when is Congress gonna wake up and realize we have a madman and a moron running the country and get them out, forcefully?

Cry me a river ...

41 is a whiny bitch, just like his son. Is Bar the only one with a functioning set of testicles in that family?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's father accused the news media of "personal animosity" toward his son and said he found the criticism so unrelenting he sometimes talked back to his television set.


Personal animosity? Shit, be glad I ain't the one asking the questions. If it wasn't for your diseased seed mixing with that withered, dysfunctional egg, we wouldn't have to put up with your corrupt, emotionally-stunted, idiotic, piece-of-shit whelp. You and that horrible old hag you're married to should shut the fuck up and let the boy take his lumps. If you'd have let it happen when he was younger, we wouldn't be in the position we're in now. Sorry, but you and Bar can buy your way above it. The rest of us who have to live with his blunders and ineptitude have had it. Shut up before we put you on trial with him, just for the mere act of spawning and raising such a horrible human being.


"I won't get too personal here -- but this antipathy got worse after the 43rd president took office," the former president said. He was speaking at a reception for a journalism scholarship awarded in honor of the late Hugh Sidey, White House correspondent for Time magazine.


I won't get personal here either, not. The dysfunctional cult old Bush calls a family has been behind a good portion of the corruption and malfeasance that runs rampant in the government today. But, thankfully, the antipathy, and downright hatred, of anything Bush will get worse before it gets better.

Personally, I'd like to see the Bush family*, all of 'em, ruined financially, forced to beg on the street for food and a few coins to support themselves, just like the people they like to ignore. It's the only justice the Chimp's parents deserve. The Chimp himself deserves to be swinging at the end of a rope like his buddy Saddam.

*Leave us not forget Prescott Bush, 41's daddy, was a Nazi sympathizer.

Great thanks to BuzzFlash for the link.

Who's in charge here?

Or, Defensor fortis out the window:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- In perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare, gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons abducted four U.S. soldiers last week at the provincial headquarters in the Shiite holy city of Karbala and then shot them to death.

The U.S. military confirmed a report earlier Friday by The Associated Press that three of the soldiers were dead and one was mortally wounded with a gunshot to the head when they were found in a neighboring province, about 25 miles from the compound where they were captured. A fifth soldier was killed in the initial attack on the compound.

The new account contradicted a U.S. military statement on Jan. 20, the day of the raid on an Iraqi governor's office, that five soldiers were killed "repelling" the attack.


So, the enemy can get U.S. uniforms and SUVs? Wonder where they got those? Can you say Blackwater, Halliburton, or KBR operators running a black market business on the side?

Which brings me to the next question, or back to the first. Who's in charge? How can these guys get into a U.S. base, take 4 soldiers, and get out alive? The most formal schooling I got in strategy and tactics was NCO Leadership School, in the Air Force that instruction was thin at best, and I know well enough that if you can't protect your troops, your battle is lost. If the enemy can commandeer your equipment and enter, and leave, your bases with impunity, kidnapping your people while they're there, you're doing something very wrong.


The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad, was conducted by nine to 12 gunmen posing as an American security team, the military confirmed. The attackers traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles -- the type used by U.S. government convoys -- had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues, and spoke English, according to two senior U.S. military officials as well as Iraqi officials.


Pulling off an op of this nature is no small feat. The insurgent force is getting better, more proficient in their fieldcraft and we are going to pay a heavier price as they hone their skills farther.

As I mused above, this operation hints they're getting help from someone with deeper resources than these guys have had in the past. Don't think they got those Suburbans on their own, unless things are far worse than we can envision. Somehow, I don't think the Iranians are involved, at least not past the financing of it. This reeks of an inside operative, or more than one, in a capacity to hide the fact these vehicles 'disappeared'.

Somebody, probably one of the 'contractors' has been infiltrated. Remember what I said about mercenaries the other day? Do you think they care where the money comes from? A mercenary is only loyal to his current employer and if more money comes along, he'll gladly switch allegiance. There's a mercenary presence in Iraq the size of our military force; I'll bet more than one of them have been seduced by money from the other side. Mercenaries don't keep score by the amount of battles won, they do it by the size of their bank accounts.

So, we have contractors we can't trust, probably, and military commanders who, it seems, couldn't pass Force Defense 101. Guess who loses? The guys who they found in the Suburban with 9mm headaches. The ineptitude here is gross and criminal and if it weren't so sad and tragic, it would be laughable.

This is the state of the Iraq War and Occupation at this point, and we want to send 20,000 more of our kids into that mess. To a place where they are, it seems, sitting ducks for whatever the insurgents can think up. It's one thing where the draft-dodging and war-avoiding civilian leaders botch shit so horribly, but it's worse when the officer corps is just as inept.

I've said on numerous occasions that our Army and Marine Corps are at the breaking point. This incident illustrates just how broken they are. The good officers have probably separated from the service, or have been cashiered for speaking out against these moronic policies, at their first opportunity and all that are left are ball-licking toadys* who agree with the White House's stupid machinations.

This occupation has to be ended now. Every American soldier there has a bullseye on his chest and now the insurgents see our bases offer us no sanctuary. They're handing out hunting licenses now. It's time to leave before they run us out.


Speaking of broken, Brother Lurch notices the Army's getting desperate:

... Things are much worse now, and bodies that breathe now and then are probably maxing their PT and rifle range scores via the Mark II pencil.


*Link, thanks to Steve Soto, added after the fact.

Friday, January 26, 2007

NIE ... again

I touched on this the other day and Creature picks up today:

Thirty generals agree, thirty senators agree, thirty Helens agree, and now thirty spies agree: the "surge" is the wrong way forward.


Good news


First off, I'm happy to report that I'm doing really well, surgery was very successful and I'm recovering very quickly thanks to all the people who have stepped up to help and all of the good wishes and prayers that came my way in the past week.

Dammit ... again

Bad news:

AUSTIN, Texas - Liberal Texas columnist Molly Ivins has been hospitalized in her ongoing battle with breast cancer, her assistant said Friday.

Ivins may be able to go home Monday, Betsy Moon said.

"That's the day the doctors said," Moon said. "We're not sure what's going to happen, but she's very sick."


Good thoughts and prayers. We love ya, Molly.

Link via BuzzFlash.

Easy reefer raids instead of hard law enforcement

LATimes op-ed:

N THE FICTIONAL world of the hit show "24," federal law enforcement agencies are pouring every last resource into the search for a nuclear terrorist in Los Angeles.

In the real world, federal agents apparently have so much free time that they can dress up in bulletproof vests and masks in order to raid clinics that serve patients battling cancer, AIDS and other diseases. That's what happened last week as Drug Enforcement Administration agents stormed 11 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout L.A. and West Hollywood. We can all rest easier knowing that lollipops, cookies, candies and candy bars laced with marijuana are in no danger of reaching seriously ill patients.

The West Hollywood City Council recently voted to control the number of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city. Last week, the Los Angeles Police Department submitted more than 40 recommendations for controlling dispensaries, seeking to ban them from being within 1,000 feet of schools and to require owners to remove all litter "visible to the public within 100 feet of the premises at least twice daily." The dispensaries also have practiced self-regulation. Yes, there have been poorly run dispensaries and others looking to circumvent the system - but the feds didn't focus on them.

Instead, this raid hit one of the best-run dispensaries in West Hollywood - the Farmacy - where patients must present valid medical information verified by doctors; where purchases are limited to 1 ounce, even though the law allows patients to possess 8 ounces; where patients aren't allowed to medicate on the premises; and where anyone caught with forged documents is detained until police arrive and charged with a felony.

The Farmacy has been a leader in treatment and education. Caring for patients suffering from everything from cancer to glaucoma to multiple sclerosis, it teaches patients about the effects of different strains of indica and sativa marijuana and offers edibles and concentrated medicine in the form of oil to reduce the potential harm of smoking marijuana in plant form.

"The DEA is here to enforce federal drug laws," Special Agent Sarah Pullen declared, and, strictly speaking, she was right. In a 2001 case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the "medical necessity" of a patient could not be used as a defense against federal drug enforcement. (The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with "no medical uses" - making it worse in the eyes of the feds than cocaine, methamphetamine and many other drugs.) In 2005, the court ruled that federal authorities could even stop a seriously ill patient from cultivating marijuana for her personal use.

In her dissent from that decision, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor declared that such "overreaching stifles an express choice by some states." Justice John Paul Stevens noted in his opinion for the court that Congress could revisit its outdated law to deal with the "strong arguments that marijuana does have valid therapeutic purposes."

Meanwhile, the DEA can still bully its way past California law while ignoring its own spectacular policy failures. The DEA has failed to significantly reduce marijuana consumption despite breathtaking increases in arrests and incarcerations. And its recent efforts aimed at keeping medicine from patients are shamefully transparent attempts to go after an easy target: Marijuana dispensaries operate openly, and cancer patients are limited in their ability to evade law enforcement.

Cops will always go after the easy busts in preference to the hard ones. The numbers come out the same, and it makes them look like they're doing a wonderful job. Most cops couldn't track a muddy puppy across a kitchen floor, and these dispensaries are out in the open. Also, real crooks sometimes shoot back.

The arcane classification of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act persists despite the government's own actions and data to the contrary. In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration approved Marinol pills, which use the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) to treat nausea and vomiting. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that "the evidence is relatively strong for the [marijuana] treatment of pain and, intriguing although less well established, for movement disorders."

A friend of mine passed away several years ago from lung cancer. He never smoked pot in his life - until after he was prescribed Marinol. He said it didn't work, and so went out on the street and scored to self-medicate. He said the reefer worked.

So what can be done? Congress must reclassify marijuana in accord with the standards of science and medicine. The law simply needs to be fixed.

"Simply" is an understatement in the face of huge lobbying efforts by Big Pharma, the DEA, prison guard unions and prison constructors, and the anti-fun people who would rather folks not have relief from pain than let the camel's nose under the tent and perhaps pave the way for legal recreational use.

This reform is overdue. It should be an urgent priority for our new Congress to stop the Justice Department from arresting or harassing sick people in 11 states who have the legal right to use medical marijuana.


History repeating itself again...

I'm reading The Few by Alex Kershaw. Here's a quote:

"I didn't get to go to Mass," recalled Donahue. "There were some other blood sacrifices being made to the ambitions of a hate-crazed power-maddened little man who wanted to take the place of God."

Sounds like it could have been written yesterday, huh? It's a recollection by Art Donahue, an American Spitfire pilot in RAF 64 Squadron about August 10, 1940, the date of Hitler and Göring's escalation into Phase Two of the Battle of Britain.

I think that Godwin guy's onto something.

"Because it had to! Waaah!"

The Politico

In an interview, Pelosi also said she was puzzled by what she considered the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops that he has presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq.

"He's tried this two times -- it's failed twice," the California Democrat said. "I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.' " (my em)

Boy, there's some deep thinkin' military strategery, huh?

Note to the Chimp: hold your breath 'til you turn blue. That's got a better chance of ending this mess you got us into.

Cornered Dick

William Rivers Pitt

Question: What is the connection between a possible American attack on Iran and the perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby?

Answer: Vice President Dick Cheney.

Sober heads see an attack on Iran as both essentially baseless and an invitation to a widening war we are not prepared to fight, thanks to Iraq. Because of this, the idea that such an attack may be undertaken is not considered a pressing reality by many analysts. Ali Larijani, Iran's top national security official, shares this view. "The possibility of this is very weak, and it's more a matter of psychological warfare," said Larijani on Thursday. "The Islamic republic's armed forces are in a state of complete readiness and are monitoring everything in order to give a crushing response to even the smallest aggression or threat." Larijani concluded his remarks by stating, "I advise Mr. Bush and his advisors to be rational and think about their own nation's interest."

This would be sage advice if Mr. Bush were the one doing the thinking. These days, all the thinking and management is being done by Dick Cheney, and if this Libby trial comes to pose a danger to his standing, all the sober analysis by policy experts may turn to dust. Nothing is more dangerous, after all, than a cornered animal.

There's a good way to deal with a rabid, snarling cornered animal once and for all. Need I go into details?

Warriors Walk

Just thought that this would be a good read:

FORT STEWART, Ga. - The sergeant major calls the name, Staff Sgt. John L. Hartman Jr., as it's unveiled on a granite marker at the root of a new eastern redbud tree on Warriors Walk _ where hundreds of these living memorials have been planted to honor the wartime dead.

Hartman volunteered for a third tour inIraq last year so an Army buddy could stay home with his newborn son. He was killed Nov. 30 when a bomb blast tore into his Humvee.

Last week, Hartman became the 318th soldier memorialized at Warriors Walk, a grove of eastern redbuds started with 34 trees in April 2003.

Read the full story here.

Diebold Voting Machines

Want a key that opens any Diebold electronic voting machine? Here. My vote feels really safe now.

Tonkin revisited

Off to work, but our pal Scout Prime has the details of the Chimp's latest effort to provoke the Iranians.

Your Liberal Media

Yeah, really:


Jack Welch is the guy who was CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001. He acquired NBC for GE in 1985 as part of the RCA deal, and in 1993 had hired former Republican National Committee chair Roger Ailes to rework NBC's news division, particularly its CNBC channel, to be more to the GOP's liking. (Ailes was then hired in 1996 by another right-wing media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, to create and run FOX News. Funny how that works.) Welch took great pride in corrupting former liberals like Chris Matthews and Tim Russert, seducing them with cold hard cash and then boasting about it:


Your 'bought and paid for' press. How can you believe anything you hear on TV anymore?

Big tip o' the Brain to CD @ CorrenteWire.

'New' Blogger

Well, they finally moved us (they didn't give me a choice this morning, which I expected). Lovely.

Note to staff: Email me if you come across any glitches and I'll take care of it when I get home from work. I'll try to test the function of different features before I leave this morning.

Helping Lara Logan

From atrios:

Lara Logan writes:

From: lara logan
Subject: help

The story below only appeared on our CBS website and was not aired on CBS. It is a story that is largely being ignored, even though this istakingplace verysingle day in central Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located.

Our crew had to be pulled out because we got a call saying they were about to be killed, and on their way out, a civilian man was shot dead in front of them as they ran.

I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people you know as possible. It should be seen. And people should know about this.

If anyone has time to send a comment to CBS – about the story – not about my request, then that would help highlight that people are interested and this is not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore.

Many, many thanks.

You can watch the report here.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Life in Hell

How long could you deal with this*. Really? Because it's being done to keep you safe.


"My husband, Khalil, was killed during the US invasion in 2003 when he drove through a closed road and soldiers shot him dead.

"I live in Haifa Street, one of the most dangerous places to live in Baghdad today. The area is infamous for its huge number of insurgents. This is why Iraqi and US soldiers have increased their activity in the area, constantly raiding homes and arresting men for interrogation.

"Last month, they arrested my 23-year-old brother Fae'ek, who lives with me. He is a pharmacy student but nonetheless they took him and kept him in prison for more than a week - even after knowing he was innocent. He returned with signs of torture on his body and was crying like a baby because of the pain.


Now go watch this**.

So, how's that square with what Dick 'Dick' Cheney said to Wolfie yesterday?

... Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes.

We've created Hell on Earth for these people. Ever wonder why some of them will give their lives to kill us?

*Link via Steve Gilliard.

**Link via Atrios.

Join the surge ...

Pensito Review:

Sign up! Sign up! Be part of the surge. Pres. Bush needs young Republicans to volunteer for service in Iraq. He especially needs the sons and daughters of members of his administration, his appointees and of Republican members of Congress to help him fight "the enemy" in Iraq.


Lose the Cheetos and finish the keg, lardass. Off momma's couch, drop the game controller, and head down to the recruiter's office. Move it! Move it!

I know a whole buncha guys who still have "W-'04" stickers on their F-150s and Tahoes who are young and able-bodied enough to help our guys out. You know who you are, the ones who go around saying we should 'kill all the ragheads'. The guys with the good union jobs who wouldn't give that up for $25-grand a year and a tent in the desert, though they can talk tough over a six-pack at lunch.

Talk is cheap. Our Army and Marine Corps are at the breaking point. 'Supporting' the troops with a yellow ribbon on your pickup just won't cut it anymore. At this point, put up or shut up.

And for all you wingnut bloggers who are 'fighting the war of ideas online', the Chimp's gonna do what he's gonna do and he doesn't need cheerleaders anymore - no one's listening to you anyway, nobody believes your horseshit anymore. Time for you to trade keyboard for rifle. We need sharpshooters more than bullshitters.

If you support this war and you're not prepared to go and 'kill some ragheads', shut the fuck up and let us figure out a way to end it, you spineless turds.

If you thought the left was disappointed with the State of the Union...

The Carpetbagger Report

For the president's critics, the State of the Union was a boring disappointment, filled with half-truths and missed opportunities. He defended an indefensible policy in Iraq; he made ridiculous budget claims, he ignored Katrina reconstruction, and he unveiled awful (and largely rehashed) health care and energy policies. There wasn't much to like.

But as it turns out, Bush's allies were even less impressed. Here's an item that was sent to Focus on the Family's membership yesterday afternoon.

Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for American Values, said the president aimed at the wrong target.

"Frankly, his speech was really a reaction to his critics and to the Democratic House and Senate leadership," she said. "They are the ones who want to talk about global warming. They are the ones who want to say that Iraq is in a shambles. He lost a golden opportunity to set the stage - to describe the issues that were most important to the American people."

Hamrick said Bush, who has two years left in the White House, was trying to be pragmatic but shouldn't have leaned so far toward the liberals.

Yes, the GOP base thought the State of the Union was geared towards the left.

The conservative crack-up continues.

As well it should!

Note to the hasn't-been-right-yet wing: Bush don't need you assholes anymore, so fuck you. He's tryin' to save his ass. He's goin' about it about like a guy tryin' to learn to fly after the trapdoor drops and before the rope runs out. It ain't gonna work, but he's got nuthin' else.

So if the Chimp raises his right ear off the ground a little in his futile attempt, and you think that's leanin' left, live with it, bitchez.

March on D.C.

United for Peace & Justice has the schedule of events for this coming Saturday the 27th's war protest in Washington D.C. Also, listings of other planned demonstrations to help find one near you.

Also see WaPo.

No Longer Leader of the Free World


Bush seems to believe in a democracy as long as the people and their representatives bend to his will. In this guest essay, political analyst Brent Budowsky observes the tragedy of an American President who no longer is hailed as the "leader of the free world":

Had George Walker Bush begun his State of the Union speech with the words, "Ladies and Gentleman, I am taking my leave and retiring from the Presidency," there would have been tidal waves of standing ovations from the Congress across the United States to the far corners of the free world.

Instead, after a modest courtly bow to the first woman Speaker and the party that triumphed in the last election, the President continued his contempt for what Jefferson called the decent opinion of mankind.

Still, nothing has changed; it is business as usual for obsessive escalation of war.

Sadly, tragically, outrageously, the President of the United States is no longer the leader of the free world.

This is why there will be celebrations and rejoicing from lovers of freedom and democracy everywhere, when this President finally takes his leave from office, and his successor begins the hard work of undoing the damage he has done to our country and our world.

Please read the rest.

Tiny man

William Rivers Pitt on the SOTU:

This was a tiny, tepid performance by a tiny man who is shrinking, even now, before our very eyes. Let all the gods that are or ever were be thanked that he only has one more speech to go before history swallows him, before this nation and the world is faced with the grueling challenge of cleaning up all the bloody messes he has made.

With any luck, he'll have to make his next speech on a collect-call-only jailhouse pay phone.

'You're Not Going to Die Tonight'

Something positive for a change:

Homeless Man Helps Save Houseboat Resident From Drowning

After about 10 minutes, Slaughter, 53, who is a crewman on a yacht that cruises the Potomac River, started to lose muscle control in the frigid water, he said. Just then, he could not believe his eyes: Three men were ambling along the street by the Washington Marina, separated from him by a seven-foot-high iron fence.

He yelped for them, and one, aided by the others, climbed over the fence and ran over to Slaughter, who was struggling to keep his head above water.

Floyd Lipscomb, who police said is homeless, tried to pull Slaughter out of the channel. But he did not have the strength to pull Slaughter and his heavy wool coat out of the water, Slaughter said last night from his room at George Washington University Hospital.

I hope they find Lipscomb and I hope he can turn his life around because of this. This is what most folks are like down deep, if they just give themselves a chance.


Hat-tip to Oliver Willis for the link.

Quote of the Day

Via Seth Roberts (inspiring post by the way):

... I learned that if I really wanted to, I could conquer my fear, and do what I needed to do ...

I know people who have refused to live because of fear. Refused to experience new things, try a new food, travel to a new place. Now, I know fear can be paralyzing. I don't know if other combat vets have noticed this, but I've found you can narrow the human race down to two basic divisions. It all revolves in how people handle fear. When the shit hits the fan, a person will do one of two things. Either:

a) Panic and freak out, run like Hell or curl up in a corner drooling sucking their thumbs, or,

b) Stop, collect themselves, and do your best with what you have to get out of the situation alive.

That's it. Doesn't matter whether you're white, black, yellow, brown, or red, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, man, woman, or child, you will do either 'a' or 'b'. Training and conditioning can move you toward choosing 'b', the course that will most likely save you if anything will, but you don't know how you'll react until you're actually in the situation.

My point, roundabout as it is, is that after 9/11, a lot of Americans chose 'a' and, thanks to that choice, we are in the situation we are now. The Bush administration and Rethug Congress took advantage of that fear. We've given up our civil rights, allowed our treasure and chidrens' lives to be squandered, all in the name of keeping us safe from the big bad terrorists. For 6 years, fear has overridden common sense.

"Let us do what we have to," Bush said and the majority of you let your fears control you. "We'll protect you," is all most of you wanted to hear and in your panic, you let them read your mail, deny you access, and waste your money. Never mind the lives.

Well, you're about to be scared again. After seeing the VP on Wolfie's (Digby has a good take on Cheney's demeanor), Bush and Cheney are going to do what they want. We just might see a constitutional crisis before we get them out and when you hear the scary things, that the nation can't withstand it (what we heard just before Ford pardoned Nixon), be assured the Constitution will survive. It survived the Civil War, it will survive Bush and Iraq.

It is high time, for the first time in our nation's history, to remove a President and his Vice President and put them on trial, for all the world to see. Our nation will survive and be better for it. It's time to do the right thing and not let fear of crossing into the unknown, the unmapped, scare us to inaction. We should look to it with eagerness and use it as an opportunity to heal our nation.

Either that, or you can let them scare you into curling up into a corner and drooling again.


Brother Lurch is polite about it. I, on the other hand, am not. If you kill for money, you are a murderer and an assassin. If you're an American operator who's left the military and your mates to become a mercenary, only to come back to do the same job for 5 times the pay, you're a greedy murderer.

Five Blackwater employees died when the helicopters they were riding in were shot down, apparently by machine gun fire. The bodies were later recovered, some with bullet wounds to the head, which suggests execution. Little else is known at this moment.


I have no compassion, no sympathy, no use for mercenaries. And that includes any civilian whose only motivation to enter a war zone is for money. The only reason an American should be fighting for this nation is to defend her. Mercenaries have no honor and no soul. Whether you're executed after your helicopter is shot down or strung up from a bridge in Fallujah, you've earned your fate.

If you can't march on Saturday

Join the March on Washington in spirit:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will march to their capital city Washington DC on Saturday 27 January. It could be the rebirth of the US peace movement. People round the world - let’s join the march with our own global internet protest! Last week, our ad told decision-makers in Congress how strong world opposition is to Bush’s escalation in Iraq.

This Saturday, Avaaz supporters at the US march will carry banners and country placards announcing how many of us from each nation are joining the marching. Every signature will be counted on the banners! Let’s raise a global voice for a real plan to end this war. Let’s make those numbers big. Time is short. Join the global peace march and tell your friends today!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If you pay your employees $5.15 per hour ...

You should be ashamed of your goddamn self, you greedy motherfucker. Bob Geiger says Senate Rethugs blocked passage of the Minimum Wage bill. Self-serving cocksuckers.

Despite a united front from Senate Democrats for passing the same stand-alone minimum wage increase approved by the House of Representatives two weeks ago, the Republican minority voted against cloture on the bill today, throwing down a roadblock until Democrats agree to more business tax cuts.


Just an aside. Since the last time the minimum wage was increased, Congess has voted itself 31% worth of raises.

Kerry Not Running

From :

WASHINGTON --Senator John F. Kerry announced today that he will not run in the 2008 presidential race, and will instead remain in Congress and seek reelection to his Senate seat next year.
I can't say that I'm disappointed.


Banzai Bottle Rocket

Amongst our favorite "famous last words" are "Watch This!"

A tip o' the Brain to The Moderate Man.

Let's do lunch ...

Via Creature, lucky dude.


I'm gonna be cleaning out the blogrolls over the weekend. Nothing radical, just getting them easier to manage. Generally, if you haven't posted anything on your blog in months you're getting scrubbed. I try to visit every blog in our blogrolls at least once a week and I've noticed more and more have gone dormant. It's one of the reasons I'm cleaning it up, annoying to get to a blog and see the same post for months. If you think your blog falls into that category and you want me to keep it on because you're on some sort of hiatus, drop me an email. Otherwise, see yas! More stuff going on as I get shit cleaned up before I take some time off in a couple weeks.

SOTU Analysis

Drum Major Institute pretty much summed up the domestic issues in the first line of their analysis:

There was little for current and aspiring middle-class Americans in tonight's State of the Union Address.

They go on anyway:

President Bush: We must make Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid fiscally sound.

* "With enough good sense and good will, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid - and save Social Security."

DMI SAYS: "Unfortunately, when President Bush proposes fixing something, it usually means weakening it."

Shorter: Bush could fuck up a junkyard with a rubber hammer.


Ten pages of SOTU cartoons.

Jim Webb

Fuck the Chimp's State of the Union (the only thing he said worth listening to were two words, 'Madame Speaker'), the good shit was in Jim Webb's response:


In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience. Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace.


With respect to foreign policy, this country has patiently endured a mismanaged war for nearly four years. Many, including myself, warned even before the war began that it was unnecessary, that it would take our energy and attention away from the larger war against terrorism, and that invading and occupying Iraq would leave us strategically vulnerable in the most violent and turbulent corner of the world.


Like so many other Americans, today and throughout our history, we serve and have served, not for political reasons, but because we love our country. On the political issues - those matters of war and peace, and in some cases of life and death - we trusted the judgment of our national leaders. We hoped that they would be right, that they would measure with accuracy the value of our lives against the enormity of the national interest that might call upon us to go into harm's way.


The majority of the nation no longer supports the way this war is being fought; nor does the majority of our military. We need a new direction. Not one step back from the war against international terrorism. Not a precipitous withdrawal that ignores the possibility of further chaos. But an immediate shift toward strong regionally-based diplomacy, a policy that takes our soldiers off the streets of Iraq's cities, and a formula that will in short order allow our combat forces to leave Iraq.


In case you don't recognize it, that's leadership talking. Off to work ...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Quote of the Day

Since we're all about the STFU SOTU today. Maru:

As his poll numbers continue to tank like so many lonely ejaculates from the pasty, shivelled weener of Rush Limpbaugh, Jebus McRetard hopes to "rally" the country over his misguided "plan" of suppl[y]ing more cannon fodder to try to save his so-called legacy.

"We didn't issue you a family ..."

Remember that shit? They'd tell you that when you had some sort of personal shit to do. "We didn't issue you a girlfriend, Sarge," was the one I heard most. I told old Stonewall once that if the Air Force did issue me a woman, I wouldn't have to go chasing the ones off-base, but I digress. That's what went through my head when I read this. "We didn't issue you a family so it's your problem."

Seems the Chimp doesn't think the troops' families need any more 'support'.

Defense Department officials have laid off most of their case workers who help severely injured service members, sources said.

The case workers for the Military Severely Injured Center serve as advocates for wounded service members who have questions or issues related to benefits, financial resources and their successful return to duty or reintegration into civilian life - all forms of support other than medical care.


This is the time these folks need help the most, when a lot of them are having to start from scratch, wondering how they're going to make ends meet now that the breadwinner has been seriously injured.

Link via BuzzFlash.

New Bush Approval Rating


To quote The Twit about two minutes ago, "This guy's goin' down faster than Paris Hilton."

Team Libby Throws Karl Rove Under The Bus


Shorter Version so far: Libby says the White House set him up to take the fall for Karl Rove.

Attorney Theodore Wells, in the opening statements of I. Lewis Libby's perjury trial, said Libby went to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003 and complained that the White House was subtly blaming him for leaking Valerie Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak.

"They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb," Wells said, recalling the conversation between Libby and Cheney. "I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected."

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! The fuck you won't!

Liveblogging of the trial at Firedoglake.

Caught in the Crossfire

Caught in the Crossfire: The Untold Story of Falluja

In November 2004, the American military took siege of the ancient city of Falluja, Iraq, a city comparable to the size of Cincinnati, Ohio with a population of at least 250,000. The city of Falluja has now been declared "pacified" and the battle of Falluja has been declared a victory by the American administration. With interviews with the filmmakers, Caught in the Crossfire is an eyewitness account from the only independent journalists to live with the people of Falluja, exposing the devastating humanitarian disaster that is the result of American foreign policy in Iraq.

Just go see.

The Virtual March on Washington

From Bob Fertik at

Dear Friend,

Please join me in protesting the Iraq War through the Virtual March on Washington:

It only takes 1 minute - just email your Representatives in Congress:

You will be joining hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans who are marching against the Iraq War in Washington DC and in cities and towns across America.

State of the Union Preview

State of the Union Speech - the Drinking Game

I couldn't resist. I just saw that, déjà vu all over again. Will Durst:

What you Need to Play:

# Four taxpayers: One rich white guy wearing a Suit. Cuff links are nice. Two people wearing jeans, one in a blue work shirt, the other in a white shirt. One person wearing clothes rejected by the Salvation Army. (Belt and shoelaces removed.)

# One shot glass per person. Everybody brings their own from home and places it on table. Suit gets first pick for use during game. White shirt picks next, then Blue shirt. Suit takes last shot glass as well, and Rags has to beg a glass from other players when necessary, or drink out of own cupped hands.

# Twenty buck ante for everybody, except Suit who tosses in a quarter.

Various rules follow. Don't worry about no stinkin' rules - ten minutes in you won't remember or be able to follow them. Here's just a couple:

10. If George W smirks during a standing ovation, take turns throwing chips of chili and guacamole at TV. First person to hit Bush's head exempt from drinking three shots of beer.

11. If George W tells a folksy Texas tale with a deeper meaning about not leaving before the job is done, Suit has to drink out of beer-filled hands of Rags, who gets to dry his hands on Suit's jacket.


# Anybody who can identify the person giving the Democratic Response doesn't have to watch it.

Jim Webb. Good, I wasn't going to watch the bullshit-o-rama anyway. The speech, I mean. I'll watch Webb's response and all the gasbaggery.

# If George W uses a heartfelt story about one of our brave troops, White gets to kick everybody once. Twice if the brave troop is a woman. Rags gets to kick Suit if Bush reveals the subject of the anecdote is in the audience. Twice if the brave troop is sitting next to an astronaut.

# Suit takes home the $60.25. (Ain't that the Repug way? - G.)

# Leftover beer, chili and guacamole go home with Rags, after he/she is finished washing the dishes.

Have fun. Happy landings.

State of the Union Speeech - the Score Card

I couldn't resist. This is via Angry Black Bitch:

New way forward-way forward-
or any variation on the theme - 3 points

Al Qaeda - 2 points

Fight them there rather than here-or variations on that theme - 2 points

Nuclear in same sentence as Iran - 5 points

Provacative language as relates to Iran - 10 points

Terrorists when referring to insurgents - 2 points

War on terror when referring to Civil War - 3 points

Islamic Fascists-or variations on the theme - 4 points

Afghanistan in the same sentence as victory - 10 points

Afghanistan in the same sentence as "thriving heroin industry" - oh fuck it, what are the odds?

Axis of Evil (if he's dumb enough to go there again) - 100 points

Madame Speaker - Priceless

Full post including her hilarious checklist here

If this were a truly just world . . .

. . . Bush would be punished for his crimes by being put out in the street to fend for himself with no money and no family connections.


We (heart) Hinchley

"Media reform is the most important issue confronting our democratic republic and the people of our country," Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) said at the Free Press National Media Reform Conference held in Memphis, Tennessee last weekend. "This is a critical moment in history that may determine the future of our country...maybe forever."


Indeed. The major 'news' networks Fox especially, and the radio dial, have become a propaganda arm of the Republican Right. Hinchley is a strong supporter of the Fairness Doctrine:


Hinchey faults the mainstream media for failing to tell Americans the truth about "an administration in Washington that has falsified information to people about weapons of mass destruction in order to justify an illegal and unjustified attack perpetrated on Iraq. How was it that Congress voted to give the President that authority? And how was it that so many people just bought into it when Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on the World Trade Center and whatever weapons they had were given to them by the Reagan administration?"


Hinchey believes the takeover of the U.S. media has been carefully calculated by the "political right wing," starting with the abolition in 1987 of the Fairness Doctrine, which was originally adopted in 1949 in reaction to the rise of global fascism prior to World War II.

"Fascist government dominated discussions in Europe. They could now broadcast all over and control all information going out. That's how they took over governments in Spain and Italy," Hinchey recalled. "The U.S. said the airways should be owned by everyone."


It's refreshing to see one of our reps take such a strong stand but then many Dems have grown testicles since Nov. 7. Read the whole report at Raw Story.

Big tip o' the Brain to Avedon Carol for the link.

Good news

I've been relating how crazy my off-line life is, namely with friends' and relatives' health problems. Well last night, as I got in from work, Mrs. F read me an email that took a big load off. Though she and her husband asked me not to blog about their ordeal (they are regular readers of the Brain), my dear friend, who's been undergoing chemo and radiation treatments for close to a year for throat and lung cancer, got word yesterday that her latest PET and CAT scans showed the cancer in remission. 3 months ago we were preparing for the worst and hope was a fleeting thing. She's suffered so much through the treatments and their side effects and now the door to the future has been reopened. An extraordinary thing. She is 46 years old and now she can do some living again.

State-of-the-Union 2007

Thanks to K.T. for the original image.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Just cool ...

Touch-driven interface.

Sad ...

Via Jeff in comments. 5 years ago, everybody would have been running around with their hair on fire. Now, does anyobdy believe this? They've lied to us so much, people don't give a shit anymore.


Larisa has more probable propaganda.

Bush's Push

It's kind of a slow news day so far, so here's some history.

Not too long ago I made a brief comment somewhere that the current Middle East mess can easily be traced directly to a pistol shot in Sarajevo 92 years ago. This piece at TomDispatch likens Bush's Iraq escalation to "the Big Push" by the English at The Battle of the Somme in 1916, and goes on to flesh out my comment a little.

Shorter "Big Push": it didn't work then, it ain't gonna work now. Go read it anyway. History is important. Take a lunch.

Like the Big Push of the Somme, the Big Push in Iraq is a reapplication of tactics that have already proven a calamitous failure. As the outspoken retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Odom, former director of the National Security Agency, puts it, it's like finding yourself in a hole and then digging deeper.

There are huge differences, of course, between the First World War and the current fighting in Iraq. But, even beyond the optimistic talk of the Big Push, there is another eerie resemblance between the two conflicts. In both cases, a great power was itching to launch an invasion, and seized on a handy excuse to do so. For the Bush administration, of course, the excuse was September 11th. From a long string of insider revelations, we know that its top officials were hungry to invade Iraq, looked eagerly for the most far-fetched connections between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, and - even then not finding them - invaded anyway, while continuing to vaguely imply the connections were there.

Something remarkably similar happened in 1914. Austria-Hungary was a shaky empire of restless ethnic minorities ruled by a German-speaking elite in Vienna. Nearly half the population was Slavic, including many Serbs. As a result, the imperial rulers in Vienna felt threatened by the very existence on their border of the independent nation of Serbia, small though it was. They were determined to invade it, possibly partition it, and so stamp out pan-Slavic and Serb nationalism once and for all.

Part of that remaking, ironically, was the post-war cobbling together of three provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire into what was first a British protectorate and then, after 1932, independent Iraq.

There is a final resemblance between the present bloodshed there and the First World War. Both conflicts were fought for a curiously shifting set of noble-sounding goals. With Iraq, the Bush administration has tried on for size finding weapons of mass destruction, liberating the Iraqis, combating Islamist terrorism, and installing democracy in the Arab world. In the First World War, the Allies initially talked of coming to the defense of innocent, invaded little Belgium, then of defeating German militarism and defending the British and French way of life. Once Woodrow Wilson brought the United States into the conflict, he spoke of "the war to end all wars."

It didn't. The humiliation of the losers and the catastrophic loss of life on both sides did nothing to end all wars and much to light the fuses of later ones - especially the Russian Civil War and the Second World War. The longer the war in Iraq goes on, and the more American troops are planted by Big Pushes in a highly combustible part of the world, the more we will continue to stoke a widespread humiliation and anger whose consequences are already guaranteed to haunt us for decades to come.

Those are just a couple of the history lessons that this idiot administration failed to learn. There's a lot more. I'll leave Saddam Hussein's and the Ba'athist Party's fascination with and ties to Nazism for some other time. Suffice it to say that they saw it as a way to get out from under British occupation and get rid of the Jews at the same time.

The Middle East was all about oil then, too.

The Height of Hypocrisy

National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

declared by the man who lied to and deceived the country to get support for an illegal war that has cost the lives of almost 3,200 American soldiers, as many as 650,000 Iraqi civilians. Has maimed at least 22,000 more military personnel and who knows how many Iraqis. His actions have unleashed sectarian violence in Iraq that is currently taking 3,000 lives a month. All this and he can, with a straight face (probably with a slight smirk, though), sign a declaration of "National Sanctity of Human Life Day". Truly the height of hypocrisy. He may not care much about human beings, but at least he is working to make the world safer for stem cells.


The grunts know ...

A good article over at Huffpo:


"Hack's" [the late Col. David Hackworth] pessimistic assessment was influenced by his own experiences fighting North Vietnamese guerillas but this "soldier's soldier" was also debriefing his beloved Iraq War "grunts." For the past couple of years, I've interviewed scores of American soldiers, asking them about their experiences in Iraq. I too heard accounts from these GIs that indicated that early on, the hearts and minds campaign to win over the Iraqi people was pretty much lost and with it, the war.


For posterity's sake, I said this 2 1/2 years ago:

Personally, I think the time for winning the hearts and minds has long passed, the opportunity squandered.

Any Australian Readers Here?

Support this guy any way you can.

Qantas bans passenger over anti-Bush t-shirt

"January 22, 2007: Qantas turns away passenger over terror T-shirt - Qantas is refusing to let an Australian man board a plane from Melbourne to the United Kingdom because he insists on wearing a T-shirt depicting US President George Bush as a terrorist. Alan Jasson said he was defending freedom of speech through his insistence on wearing the T-shirt. Qantas says the t-shirt was offensive to other passengers, but Mr Jasson has told the ABC he's considering court action..."


The dog ate my homework ...

Didn't know excuses like this worked when you got older:

... This committee expected to be briefed on the long-awaited NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] by an official from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates NIEs by gathering input from all of the nation's various intelligence agencies. But the NIC official turned up empty-handed and told the committee that the intelligence community hadn't been able to complete the NIE because of the many demands placed upon it by the Bush Administration to help prepare the new military strategy on Iraq...

I got a feeling that if we knew what was in the NIE, no one would me making the case for escalation, not even Holy Joe and St. John*. You can safely assume, once it comes out, things in Iraq and Afghanistan are even worse than we've been led to believe.

*Link via Atrios.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Get this ...

Shakes says Preznit Save the Zygotes has declared this day National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

I wonder if anybody told these guys:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Four U.S. soldiers and a Marine were killed during combat in Anbar province, the Sunni insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, the military reported Sunday. The five newly reported deaths on Saturday raised that day's toll among American forces to at least 24, the third deadliest single day for U.S. troops since the war began in March 2003.


A State of the Union Speech That Would Guarantee Bi-Partisan Support

Bushie and Flashie

Rozius Unbound

MoDo suggests a few more books that the Crawford Clown needs to read.

George Bush may have lost his swagger, but Harry Flashman hasn't.

Maybe the president presiding over a quicksand empire got a vicarious thrill out of the fictional Victorian brigadier general who roamed from Chillianwalla to Isandlwana to Abyssinia at the height of the British Empire, always making conquests in love andwar despite his cowardly, caddish behavior.

In our continuing odyssey of discovery through the president's reading list, we learned that he perused two of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, "Flashman at the Charge" and 'Flash for Freedom."

"Flashman" is based on a devastating British defeat during one of their wars in Afghanistan. After invading Kabul in 1839 and setting up an unpopular puppet shah, the British trekked through the snowy mountains to Jalalabad. Of more than 16,000 troops and camp followers, only one doctor survived; the rest were picked off in ambushes by Afghan warriors.

The lesson is that Afghanistan is a no man's land that can't be tamed by gringos. The British Empire, on which the sun never set, never succeeded in occupying Afghanistan even as it engaged in the Great Game with the Russians for influence there. It was terra incognita and terra fuggedaboutit.

"Eventually, I suppose, we'll get out of Iraq and pretend it's been a success when it's just a mess. ... "Afghanistan is slightly different. You cannot ever win. When you consider the Russians put in more than 100,000 troops and couldn't do it. There's only one way to deal with the Afghans, and that's to buy them."

Mr. Fraser recites the end of Kiplings "The Ballad of the King's Mercy":

Abdhur Rahman, the Durani Chief, of him is the story told,
He has opened his mouth to the North and the South,
They have stuffed his mouth with gold...
and sweet his favours are...
from Balkh to Kandahar.

"It wouldn't do Bush any harm to read Kipling," he concluded before signing off.

It wouldn't have hurt Bush to read Kipling's work about the British mess in the Middle East either. Just one example, from "Mesopotamia" (1917):

They shall not return to us, the resolute, the young,
The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

They shall not return to us; the strong men coldly slain
In sight of help denied from day to day:
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divide--
Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Go see A Complete Collection Of Poems By Rudyard Kipling. I know you'll find many you like, and many that are as totally applicable today as they were 90 and more years ago.

Quote of the Day

Two, very related.

1. Preznit Smirky McStupid via Carpetbagger:

You don't want decisions being made based upon politics, or focus groups, or political polls.

2. Former FEMA head Michael Brown via Scout Prime:

Unbeknownst to me, certain people in the White House were thinking 'We had to federalize Louisiana because she's a white, female Democratic governor and we have a chance to rub her nose in it.

Just sayin'.

A Reminder

This image from Life Books 100 Photographs That Changed the World depicts Hiroshima 3 weeks after the bomb. It also serves as a reminder of where we may be heading if Bush and company continue unfettered.


Fairness ...

What the Fairness Doctrine will do:


But the Fairness Doctrine isn't going to kill Rush or Hannity. With tens of millions of listeners and a dozen years head start, are they really in jeopardy? This is about something much bigger. The Fairness Doctrine would bring new competition to the radio airwaves at all levels all across this country. It wouldn't keep a show on that wasn't any good either. But even wingnuts like Rush and Sean would actually have to offer facts amidst their snide, condescending decent into propaganda, while having guests on to offer the opposite side. That's just too much work, especially for Rush, who hasn't broken a sweat, except when he was in trouble for allegedly doctor shopping pills, or when he got caught with somebody else's penis pills after his single man's holiday to an underage capital of the world. [my ems]


The airwaves belong to us, ladies and gentlemen, not the corporate monopolies who are run by big conservative campaign donors.


And this is why the Fairness Doctrine has to be reinstated:


Democrats do not call for an end to the war because they're certain Republicans will try to blame them for the debacle and they're certain the "journalism" corps will happily go along. The mighty Wurlitzer of right-wing radio, conservative press and filthy television will breathlessly enable Republicans and endlessly repeat the Democrats stabbed our troops and the country in the back, losing us the war.


They're simply being rational political actors, to call for end to the war could very well mean the end to their careers. CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, thanks so much. This insane war continues this very day because our "journalism" enables Bush and Republicans to get away with it.


A Progressive Call To Action

Hey folks! We are addressing the wrong issues and arguing the wrong arguments.

There is only one overriding issue that the Congress of the United States should be addressing today and that is how to get George W. Bush and Dick Cheney out of the White House before they set the world in flames. I would like to see a full impeachment process that would carefully lay all of their crimes on the table, but we may not have time for that. A declaration of incompetence, and I think a good case could be made under the provisions of the 22nd? amendment, might be a reasonable first step but that would leave Cheney with his hands on the nuclear levers for at least a short period. Also not a desireable scenario. I'll leave it to the folks who know the minituae of the Constitution to figure out the steps necessary. What we "ordinary" folks can do is this, contact your Representative(, use the form at the top of the page), contact both your Senators (,use the link at the upper right), put pressure on your state legislature (action can be initiated from the state level), contact newspapers, contact TV and radio stations. In other words, make noise, raise your voices to a level where they can't be ignored. Blog, if not in your own blog, comment in other blogs. The overriding goal is to get Bush and Cheney out of the equation as fast as possible and it will be done if we let those with the power to do it know, in clear, loud voices, that we want it done. In every poll published lately, the overwhelming majority of Americans are unhappy with the way things are going. Raise your voices, folks and raise them loud and often. The goal is Bush and Cheney out (and hopefully in shackles) before this year is out. From that, all else flows. Let's work for that like we've never worked for anything, then we can turn our attention to the 2008 elections.


They might not like our 'democracy' ...

But they sure learned about TV programming from us:


This is al-Zawraa TV, a 24-hour satellite station that lionises Iraq's insurgency to the drumbeat of Saddam-era martial music. It is a crude and dizzying mix of images and videos harvested from jihadi websites - and a cult hit. There are grainy loops of car bombs and mortar attacks interspersed with images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and bloodied children. "Mujahideen" are seen training. Clips of Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11 are thrown in for good measure.


Killing Americans is a cult hit. Time to leave, though we should send the judges from American Idol there before we do.

Link via BuzzFlash.

I'm Here

A big thank you to Fixer and Gordon for the invite. I will try to inform, incite and entertain (in no particular order). I have a lot to say about current events and hope to be pissed-off enough to actually post some of it here.

Here's a capsule bio:

"I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and now live in a small farming village in Lower Austria. Professionally, I am an independent software developer. I have been involved in one aspect or another of software development since 1966.

After a stint as a civil servant with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. General Servicees Administration, I moved to private industry and started developing software in 1966. I’ve never looked back, I love the industry. I currently develop in Java, but my background encompasses C, Delphi (Object Pascal) and assembler development. I’m now moving into web development, mainly using PHP and Ruby on Rails.

When not in front of the monitor I can be found with my wife (also a software developer and amateur photographer), with camera slung over shoulder and tripod in hand looking for something at which to point the camera. We both also enjoy cycling (and, when in shape, running) and reading just about anything that someone has seen fit to print."

So that's me. I like to feel that, having lived outside the U.S. for 20 years, I bring a unique perspective to U.S. politics. I hope what I have to say will keep you interested enough to come back.



Please give a warm welcome to Jersey Guy who'll be taking up blogging duties here soon. Considering his background (I'll let him fill you in if he wants), I think he'll bring a good perspective and worldview to this blog. He's also a regular reader so he knows what we're about. From corresponding with him, I've seen evidence he's as pissed off as the rest of us are about the current situation and that's a good thing. I think he'll do fine.

Welcome to the team and good luck.