Saturday, February 2, 2008

A decision ...

Which I haven't made lightly. Now that the field of Democratic candidates for the party's nomination is down to two (and my first, second, and third choices have left the race), it is time for me to choose one of them. Had John Edwards stayed in, I would have voted for him, same with Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson, before I cast a ballot for Clinton or Obama. Things about both of them rub me the wrong way. There are things about both of them I like as well.

I even resorted to making a list of the pros and cons of each, as I see them, and neither outshone the other, neither had something that put them head and shoulders above the other. It came down to two things for me. Obama's appeal lying in the fact he is a new face and would bring new blood to the White House. Hillary's in the fact she's been there and has the experience of being 'intimate' (take that as you will) with the Presidency for eight years (it is also a negative in my book). It began to clear up for me when I wrote the Nader post yesterday.

It was the question I asked of Nader:


The reality is that the American people have to stand behind the candidate who has the best chance of righting the wrongs that have been committed in our name over the past 8 years. That would be the Democratic nominee. My apologies to Ralph and his supporters, and he has every right to get his name on the ballot if he can, but he must realize the prevailing situation. He must realize how precarious our position on the world stage, as well as domestically, is. He must realize how torn and tattered our Constitution is having weathered 8 years of Bush. If he loves America as much as he says he does, if he cares for the American people as much as his activism leads us to believe, he will see that his candidacy at this point could push this nation over the precipice we're balanced on. Why would he possibly take the chance at this dangerous time?


I am sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but just as we don't need a pretender at this dangerous time, neither do we need a neophyte. On 5 February 2008, in the New York State Democratic Primary, I will cast my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I believe Mrs. Clinton has the tools, the experience, and the understanding of the Presidency to be effective in the least amount of time. She has been there, from Kosovo to Northern Ireland, she was involved in the diplomacy and the negotiations. She's been working on universal health care for sixteen years, I have to believe her plan is more refined and 'ready-to-go' than Mr. Obama's. Mrs. Clinton was in Washington during Watergate and the end of the Vietnam War (when Mr. Obama was in grade school) and that experience counts for a lot.

For the same reason I cannot support an idealist at this time (though I wonder if that's what Nader is at this point), I cannot vote for a man whose experience pales in comparison to Mrs. Clinton's. This is not the time to try new things, to try and reform the system, it is the time for someone who knows the system and is able to get things done within it. The time to reform our political system is after this nation is put back on the correct course.

Some might say we've had too much of 'the system' and without reform we will never be able to correct our course. I disagree. I say Bill Clinton worked within the system and America did well. The first order of business in 2009 will be to undo the damage George Bush has wrought on the world. Political reform can come after we get our financial house in order and return this nation to its former position in the world. With the moron named Bush, we saw it doesn't take much to fuck up a country but it takes an experienced hand to repair the damage.

I believe Mr. Obama can continue to be an effective progressive voice in the Senate, there is time for him in 2016 when I will give him my vote, or as Mrs. Clinton's vice president. He will grow, learn, and understand what it takes to run and represent a nation of three hundred million people. These times are too dangerous, too critical for on-the-job training.

I hope Mrs. Clinton will take heed of the wishes of the American people, not her corporate connections, when she makes her decisions and understands the severity of the damage the Bush administration has done to this country. I hope she understands the crimes they and their cronies have committed and will at least attempt to exact a price from them for it. I hope she grasps the blow our international reputation has been dealt and how urgent it is to recover from it. I hope she can empathize with the fifty million Americans without health insurance and get them help before they are ruined financially or succumb to a disease easily treated but for the money. I hope she wants to take responsibility for our nation's part in global warming and the destruction of the environment and sign on to the Kyoto Accords. I hope she realizes how many people are counting on her, not just here but in Iraq and Afghanistan, and around the world.

With that hope I give you my vote, Mrs. Clinton. Don't disappoint me.

Beautiful ...

The ladies, the music, and Spain ...

Bond - Fuego


Light blogging today, although I've got some stuff lined up for later that will wow ya.

Me'n Mrs. G have to go shopping in the big city, that's Carson City, folks. It's been snowing for ten days, and today is our window between storms that lets us go do that. Our mountain roads and high passes are nothing to fuck with during storms if you don't absolutely have to and we're savvy enough to arrange our schedules so we don't have to. Yeah, like it was our planning that brought the break on a Saturday!

Also over the next coupla days, I got a little honey-do project involving a 'cordless' snowthrower. Heh.

Click to embiggen


Housekeeping ...

I'm trying out this Haloscan rating system for people to rate the posts here. Don't know if it'll stay around, but I figured I'd mess with it for a bit.

Fuck it, ain't working the way I want it to.

I did, however, manage to get the comments to display on the individual post pages.

Saturday whorage

Over at The Practical Press, the next chapter of Thirty Days at Zeta has been posted.

What's happening with you? Leave links in comments ... or not. Heh ...


I finally wrote the post on shore excursions I promised last week.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Quote of the Day, sort of

After reading all the comments at Fixer's post about Ralph Nader, I remembered this paraphrased e-mail to Jack Cafferty the other day:

If voting really made a difference, it would be illegal.

Funny how that works...

Click to embiggen

The New McAxis of Evil

Hot Off The Trail

It's an understatement to say that conservatives are not happy that John McCain has emerged as the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

"The Republican Party has been hijacked," says the article.

What, again? Put some locks on that thing, guys.

"Over the past month a new Axis of Evil has emerged - not one based in Damascus, Tehran or Pyongyang - but instead in Cedar Rapids, Charleston, South Carolina, Derry, New Hampshire and Boca Raton, Florida. It is the liberal and “independent” voters in these 4 states that have nearly completed a deed that makes Kim Jong Il envious -the near crippling of the American Electoral System.

"These four states have combined their native liberal populism with an imported liberal electorate and have forced the GOP to accept a nominee so distasteful that in more than one poll -- the numbers of voters choosing not to vote and those choosing to vote third party actually exceed those who will hold their nose and vote for Maverick, War Hero, Amnesty Supporter, John McCain."

My advice to those who think McCain is too liberal - just stay home on election day.

Heh. I said "McCain is too liberal"! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!


From News Hounds, who watch FOX so we don't have to:

Boombox” Ann Coulter joined Sean Hannity for a fit of John McCain-bashing on Hannity & Colmes last night (1/31/08). With her garish make-up and tight sweater, the middle-aged Coulter was childishly agog with hyperactive anticipation for all the attention she calculated she’d garner from her latest ploy: an announcement that she’d vote for Hillary Clinton if McCain gets the nomination. One of her reasons? “He led the fight against – you say interrogations, I say torture!” With video.

Of course, it assumes that Coulter would manage to vote lawfully in the first place, something she has had trouble with in the past.

Damn! My sides hurt and I'm having trouble catchin' my breath!

So a guarantee it's got?

Checkpoint Jerusalem

The secret to avoiding Gaza rockets...

Last year, more than 1,000 crude Qassam rockets fired by Gaza militants hit southern Israel. Despite all the strikes, only two people were killed.

But ultra-religious leaders in Israel suspect there may be other, or other-worldly, reasons why some homes are hit and others are not.

Maariv reported this week that religious leaders have discovered that many of the homes hit by Qassam rockets had "defective" mezuzahs. (Mezuzahs are parchments with Biblical passages placed in special cases and affixed to the doors of Jewish homes for protection.)

Now on the agenda: repairing mezuzahs.

Religious officials in the city claim that examinations of mezuzahs there located many that were defective, and many of the defective ones were found in homes that had been hit.

They said that in places where the Qassam rockets fell in the street and did not enter the yards of houses, kosher mezuzahs were found.

So now I got questions:

Were these defective mezuzahs by any chance from China?

Is there a possible correlative implication that my dashboard plastic Jesus might be defective?


On Nader ...

So, I put up the 'Quote of the Day' post yesterday evening and sure enough, like moths to the light or flies to shit, I attracted someone from the Nader campaign. She proceeded to list all the campaign's talking points and 'Democratic Myths' regarding the two Nader candidacies previous. Fine, I'll allow she's telling the truth.

Let me first say that I respect Nader's activism. What he's done in the arena of consumer safety is legendary and should be applauded, but I respect that in the same way I respect John McCain's military service. But, this is the here and now, not 1967. I'm sure the young lady who left a comment wasn't alive in '67 and probably never rode in a Corvair, but that's irrelevant.

What is relevant is that in 2008, we have the choice between two parties and a member of one of those parties, Democrat or Republican, will be the next President of the United States. Ralph Nader has zero chance to win. Snowballs have a better chance in Hell.

That said, I want the next President to be a Democrat, not a Republican who will continue the policies and criminality of George W. Bush and his henchmen. John McCain has already stated that he wouldn't mind "being in Iraq for a hundred years". Mitt Romney sees the same thing for our future. Both Republican candidates are unacceptable on many levels.

Our best chance is a Dem, be it Hillary or Barack, and Nader stands, with his candidacy, more likely to take votes from a Dem than a Republican (That is a proven fact, Ms. Vyas). With the hurdles the Republicans have erected in the political process (co-opting the media, Diebold, the Christian 'voice from the pulpit', illegal gerrymandering) for Dems, do they really need the complication of overcoming the 'Nader vote' too? Whether he was or wasn't the reason Al Gore lost in 2000, do we really need to take the chance of another 8 years of Bush-esque policy this time?

In 2000, things were different. The economy was strong, we weren't in an endless occupation that is siphoning off American money and lives, and we didn't have a President who wiped his ass with the Constitution. We hadn't lived through the Bush Presidency and I actually gave Nader credit for running on principle (regardless of where his financing came from), even considered voting for him, but it's 8 years down the road now.

2008 sees this nation in shambles, a pariah in the international arena and a government run by criminals. A change has to be made and while I admit, Hillary or Barack are not my first or second choices to do the job, either is far better that McCain and Romney. The country will be bankrupt and defenseless by the time they're done.

Being an idealist, and anyone who's read my books knows I'm a big one, I wholeheartedly support campaigns based on an idealistic platform. I've told Mrs. F many times that if I won a couple hundred million in the Power Ball, I'd run myself. This is not the time for idealism. This is the time for pragmatic reality.

The reality is that the American people have to stand behind the candidate who has the best chance of righting the wrongs that have been committed in our name over the past 8 years. That would be the Democratic nominee. My apologies to Ralph and his supporters, and he has every right to get his name on the ballot if he can, but he must realize the prevailing situation. He must realize how precarious our position on the world stage, as well as domestically, is. He must realize how torn and tattered our Constitution is having weathered 8 years of Bush. If he loves America as much as he says he does, if he cares for the American people as much as his activism leads us to believe, he will see that his candidacy at this point could push this nation over the precipice we're balanced on. Why would he possibly take the chance at this dangerous time?

The time for playing around is over, Ralph. If your potential candidacy is anything more than an attempt to garner attention, if your plans have any connection to reality, you will see America does not need the complication of you. If you want to do something for America, get the hell out of the way and support the Democrat. If we get through the next 4 years, have at it, but in 2008 it'd be best for all concerned if you stayed home and shut the fuck up*.

And just a note, Ralph: Keep your trolls at home. If I see more campaign drivel in my comments they'll be deleted forthwith. Even the Republicans know better than to pull that shit here.

*Link, thanks to Maru, added after the fact. Off to the shop ... It's FRIDAY!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

If ya can't scare 'em ...

Bribe 'em.

Quote of the Day


Again. Should-have-been-strangled-at-birth attention whore Ralph Nader has launched an exploratory website that ironically asks “Which side are you on?”


Catholic League president* challenges Bill Maher to fight

*Donohue's not only the president, him and his typewriter are the whole damn Catholic League.

Raw Story

That Maher deigned to question the divinity of Jesus Christ -- saying he was more skeptical of Christian mythology than that UFOs regularly visit earth -- sent Donahue into an apoplectic rage. The 60-year-old Donahue challenged his longtime nemesis Maher to a fist-fight. Fox News host Megyn Kelly offered to televise the fight right there on Americas' Newsroom.

“Unlike most non-believers, who are generally content to respect the right of most Americans to believe in God, guys like Maher want a brawl," Donahue said Jan. 7. "He should be careful what he wishes for because there are those who pine to deliver.”

Believe it, Donohue. I 'pine' for the opportunity to 'deliver' your ass to the deck my own damn self.

Note to Bill Maher: Since you probably can't fight your way out of a paper bag even though most Irishmen can, and since I wouldn't want your good looks (cough) to be mussed up, and since I wouldn't want you to be accused of beatin' up on a helpless old drunk of a senior citizen, I hereby volunteer to go fight that fat gasbag in your stead. I'm older than him, also an old Catholic drunk, and I would dearly love to have the opportunity to knock his stupid ass into next week. It would be a much more fair fight and more fun to watch besides. Oh please, please, please!

A Soldier's Simple, Powerful Statement to George W. Bush

From BuzzFlash and Juan Cole. Comments at both.

A ceremony was held on base in Iraq on Tuesday for the five troops killed Monday, as their bodies were loaded in an airplane. About 75 members of the fallen soldiers' unit stood at attention and at least 100 other soldiers stood through the 30-minute ceremony. One soldier, who asked not to be identified, said, "President Bush should be out here watching this ramp ceremony to see what it is really like. The people who created this war need to be thinking about the families of these 18-year-olds who are dying (my em)."

A comment:

Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Barbara Bush

...the apple (mad george) certainly didn't fall far from the tree...

Remember, in the Bushes' worldview, they're the only ones that count. Everybody else is just the help. Unimportant, faceless, and replaceable. Not real. Of course they die because of what we do to further our agenda. So what?

Fox News is in for a very rough 2008


Schadenfreude: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others

Go take some joy at Media Matters.

"Like, say, stab wounds"

To the pantheon of numerological phrases in common usage, like 'the four-one-one', 'Five-O', 'What's yer 20?', and my favorites, 'three-way' and '10-4, back door', we can now add the most insidious of them all - 'the nine-three-five'.

Mark Morford with today's 'recommended read'.

Oh sweet Jesus, someone actually counted.

Is it helpful to know the exact number? Does it make a difference? After all, presidential lying isn't exactly a revelation. [...]

It has to do with matters of scale. It has to do with audacity, with sheer recklessness, with BushCo's stunning contempt for all national and international law and historic precedent and human decency. It is the sense that, at bare minimum, the most significant lies told by previous administrations were, by and large, not massive, calculated stabs to the very heart and infrastructure of the entire nation. They were not designed, as Bush's clearly were, specifically to pervert the entire American experiment, to violently shift us from peace-promoting and defense-oriented protector to an arrogant, insular, pre-emptive attacker, widely loathed and mistrusted worldwide.

Fine. If it's a fact that all presidents lie anyway, if there's little we can do to stop them, then let us put forth a new hope. Let us now wish for the next president to lie just as passionately, as powerfully, as strategically as BushCo, and get away with it just as extraordinarily.

Yes. Give us now a president who lies, calculatedly and strategically, straight in the face of the hard right neocons and the evangelicals and the corporate cretins. Let his or her army of lies lull these groups into a false sense of complacency and/or utter soul-deadening fear so they will keep their mouths shut while the rest of us get some real work done.

"And finally, I shall never abolish the death penalty, legalize marijuana, approve gay marriage, promote honest sex education for teens, honor habeas corpus and the Geneva Convention, or eliminate the insidious farm subsidy program. We shall never stop lying about ethanol or offer solar subsidies for every household in America. Our direct ties to horribly misogynistic, terrorist-supporting Saudi Arabian power regimes shall remain deeply corruptive and powerful forevermore."

Heh. Lull the fuckers to sleep. Then slit their throats.

Army Blocks Disability Paperwork Aid at Fort Drum


Army officials in upstate New York instructed representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs not to help disabled soldiers at Fort Drum Army base with their military disability paperwork last year. That paperwork can be crucial because it helps determine whether soldiers will get annual disability payments and health care after they're discharged.

Now soldiers at Fort Drum say they feel betrayed by the institutions that are supposed to support them. The soldiers want to know why the Army would want to stop them from getting help with their disability paperwork and why the VA — whose mission is to help veterans — would agree to the Army's request.

[...] The official said the VA used to help soldiers with the paperwork, but Army officials saw soldiers from Fort Drum getting higher disability ratings with the VA's help than soldiers from other bases. The Army told the VA to stop helping Fort Drum soldiers describe their army injuries, and the VA did as it was told.

It's unclear why the Army wanted to stop the soldiers from getting help with the disability paperwork. [...]

No it's not:

"The more soldiers you have who get disability retirements, the more retirement pay is coming out of your budget," Hurwitt says.

The question remains as to why the VA acceded to the Army's demand to butt the fuck out. The VA claims their reps aren't trained or qualified to help the soldiers.


"VA counselors understand the disabilities, what the different kinds of conditions are, how they should be properly described in the paperwork," Hurwitt says.

She points out that VA officials have to look at a soldier's medical history anyway to counsel him or her on VA benefits, which are separate from Army benefits.

"Really what it comes down to is you're just helping the soldier get what he's entitled to under law," Hurwitt says.

The real reason is that the VA Is run by Bush appointees. The money that should by rights go to Vets can better be distributed to cronies and big biz. No profit in giving folks what they've earned and what's due them if they have become useless and can no longer generate revenue. The system is rigged to easily cheat them out of their benefits if they don't have help, so don't help them.

No pull trigger, no get food. It's the Repug way.

Vietnam is still bitin' us on the ass

A very good account of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon from a newsgathering perspective by a reporter who was there, along with some commentary on how Tet has shaped war reporting to this day. From the lead-in:

Because U.S. politicians and commanders had oversold progress in the war as a way to quiet domestic dissent, the savage Tet fighting shocked millions of Americans and widened Washington’s “credibility gap” on Vietnam.

But Tet had another long-term consequence. In the years that followed, U.S. conservatives would insist bitterly that critical news reporting about the war in general but particularly the Tet Offensive caused the American defeat, that the U.S. news media had betrayed the nation, that reporters had gone from being the Fourth Estate to acting like an enemy fifth column.

Official Army historians would conclude eventually that the war was lost by poor strategy and excessive casualties, not by disloyal reporters.

But by then, the “press-lost-Vietnam” charge had become an article of faith to many conservatives. That certainty fueled the vitriol of rightist anti-press groups and led deep-pocket conservatives to pour billions of dollars into the construction of an ideologically right-wing media, now one of the most potent political forces in the nation.

In those days, there were no 24/7 news channels or cable TV and communications satellites, yet the war was in everybody's living room every night on the network news. All three of 'em. As time went on, war protests were on the news every night. Still, U.S. combat involvement in that war went on for five more years after Nixon won office with his "secret plan" to end the war.

God only knows how much longer the Iraq occupation will continue what with the wingnuts not wanting to lose another already-lost war and the Democrats afraid of losing elections.

Better than the Big Catbox?

More and more of our young people in uniform are attempting suicide:


Whiteside's personal tragedy is part of an alarming phenomenon in the Army's ranks: Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.

At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.


Yup, keep recycling them back through the Hell, horror, and carnage and eventually people will only see one way out, thinking it better than the Hell on Earth they are forced to experience repeatedly. What most of the draft dodgers and deserters making the decisions don't get, never did because they had "other priorities" when the time came for them to serve, is that the human mind can only take so much horror. When that point is reached, bad things start to happen. You'd think the Army would have known this. You know, "our experience in Vietnam" and all. Oh, wait ...


The Army was unprepared for the high number of suicides and cases of post-traumatic stress disorder among its troops, as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued far longer than anticipated. Many Army posts still do not offer enough individual counseling and some soldiers suffering psychological problems complain that they are stigmatized by commanders. Over the past year, four high-level commissions have recommended reforms and Congress has given the military hundreds of millions of dollars to improve its mental health care, but critics charge that significant progress has not been made. [my ems]


Oh yeah, that's right, the Roman Legions U.S. Army would march in there and a couple months later Caesar the Chimp could declare victory. Why plan for something that'll never happen? "Bring 'em on."

The only way progress in this area will be made is when this occupation is over and our troops come home.

Thanks to FDL for the link.

For $400 billion ...

It'd be cheaper than stealing someone else's oil. Greenboy sends us to a Scientific American article laying out a good plan to switch to solar energy, though it would require a $400+ billion investment of public funds. How much has Iraq cost us again? Can we consider those results successful?


The federal government would have to invest more than $400 billion over the next 40 years to complete the 2050 plan. That investment is substantial, but the payoff is greater. Solar plants consume little or no fuel, saving billions of dollars year after year. The infrastructure would displace 300 large coal-fired power plants and 300 more large natural gas plants and all the fuels they consume. The plan would effectively eliminate all imported oil, fundamentally cutting U.S. trade deficits and easing political tension in the Middle East and elsewhere. Because solar technologies are almost pollution-free, the plan would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 1.7 billion tons a year, and another 1.9 billion tons from gasoline vehicles would be displaced by plug-in hybrids refueled by the solar power grid. In 2050 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would be 62 percent below 2005 levels, putting a major brake on global warming.


Not that I'm any sort of expert on solar energy, but it's one of the better pans I've heard in the last few years. As Greenboy says:


In any event, my issue is largely a quibble, as even Big Solar would be preferable to Big Oil by enabling Uncle Sam to give the finger to the Sheiks, reduce pollution and carbon dioxide emissions...and lower our overall cost of energy. Not to mention the creation of a large number of jobs in the growing solar industry that would be hard to outsource.

Something has do be done soon and I hope Hillary and Obama realize that. U.S. energy policy has been a bad joke since this bunch of criminals took office. The answer is not drilling for domestic oil in ANWR, as my idiot brother-in-law thinks (but he also thinks Rush Lintball is a great guy), or stealing the resources of a sovereign nation, but getting this nation free from the petroleum noose permanently, sooner rather than later.

Now I get it ...

You see, the people who lost their homes thanks to predatory lenders are the real villains here. Those poor, poor, motgage bankers? Well, they are just the unwitting victims. To which I have to say, Sadly, No!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eulogies ...

To Rudy's campaign. Leave it to the Rude One:


Rudy has lost in a hand of Florida Hold 'Em, the all-in bet where he was dealt a pair of aces and the flop, the turn, and the river were all fives, sevens, and jacks. Watching Rudy's stunning swan dive turn into one of the worst belly flops in recent political history has been marvelous. Dancing on his grave? Ask the firefighters, the cops, and the 9/11 families. That shit's fuckin' priceless.

Definitions ...



But more importantly, "bipartisanship" is already rampant in Washington, not rare. And, in almost every significant case, what "bipartisanship" means in Washington is that enough Democrats join with all of the Republicans to endorse and enact into law Republican policies, with which most Democratic voters disagree. That's how so-called "bipartisanship" manifests in almost every case.


Click on the link for some stark examples.

Bush Issues Signing Statement On Defense Act, Waiving Ban On Permanent Bases In Iraq

Think Progress, links and comments at site:

Even though he forced Congress to change its original bill, Bush’s signature yesterday came with a little-noticed signing statement, claiming that provisions in the law “could inhibit the President’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations.” CQ reports on the provisions Bush plans to disregard:

One such provision sets up a commission to probe contracting fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another expands protections for whistleblowers who work for government contractors. A third requires that U.S. intelligence agencies promptly respond to congressional requests for documents. And a fourth bars funding for permanent bases in Iraq and for any action that exercises U.S. control over Iraq’s oil money.

The bastard simply wants us to stay there until we get the oil and all our money is in the hands of his cronies with no recourse under law. He should be impeached and imprisoned today, but I think the best we can hope for is 1.20.09

Turn On, Tune In, Enter Your Pin Number

AP via Raw Story

The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines.

There's somewhat more to it than that, but I know one thing: I want to own the one in front of Fixer's house. It'll be a lot of work refilling it twice a day, but I'll clean up!

By the Numbers

John Cory

While the high school heathers of the press corps rush to generate in-depth analysis of the hairstyle and cleavage of candidates or who looks presidential as opposed to who acts presidential, the real issues get shuttled aside in polls and punditry and primary politico-image management.

At some point there will be one of those staged affairs where they take questions from the audience, the everyday folk - the voters. So let me step up to the microphone and ask a question:

When does 9/11 + 935 = 3,391?

When lies kill.

Nine hundred thirty-five false statements (lies) moved this nation into a war that has resulted in 3,391 deaths so far.

There have been 30,000 troops wounded in action; 39,000 have been diagnosed with PTSD; 84,000 vets suffer a mental health disorder; 229,000 veterans have sought VA care, and 1.4 million troops (active duty and reserves) have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan so far. Estimates run between $350 billion to $700 billion needed for lifetime care and benefits for veterans.

A CBS study of 45 states over the past 12 years reveals disturbing and tragic patterns of suffering veterans, whether Korean Conflict, Vietnam War or the newer versions, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005 alone, there were 6,256 veteran suicides. That's 120 every week, or an average of 17 suicides every day.

The Bush administration has no waiting period to go to war, only waiting lines that take months to treat veterans and provide the health care they need. It is an amazing irony that Bush has presided over the longest delays and waiting periods for veterans in VA history, and yet he has generated more veterans faster than most any other administration. As the Democratic Policy Committee pointed out in 2004: "During Bush's four years in office, the average millionaire has received a tax break of $123,000. In contrast, President Bush has broken all previous records for fees paid by veterans - proposing to collect $1.3 billion from veterans themselves in 2005, a 478 percent increase during his time in office."

I know this issue about veterans care won't poll well for the presidential primaries or even for television debates. After all, how many debates and candidate talks even acknowledge the war, let alone its aftermath?

I care so much because I've known the madness of war and the insanity of returning only to be told to wait or ignored or having to fight tooth and nail for a friend who needed the VA and couldn't get in and took his life. I know what it is to feel like a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle but all the pieces are olive drab or sky blue and no matter how hard I tried to make them fit, I kept ending up with a thousand little tiles that had no rhyme or reason or shape. I know the smell of lonely rain and empty streets that hang between there and yesterday on the border of here and now.

So let the politicians blather and blab. Give me a vet on a midnight afternoon who needs my ear for a while and we'll wait until they gather us up and then we'll step up to the microphone and ask:

If one tear is too many and a thousand not enough, what will it take?

It will take more than lip service from politicians. Don't hold your breath.

Abortion and the Earth

Excellent 'must read' article about the history of abortion, population growth, male domination, what is going to happen in the not-too-distant future, and what can possibly be done about it, by Kelpie Wilson.

The moral arguments about abortion rarely consider the physical limits of the planet, but if they did, and if abortion were put into the context of the long history of human attempts to avoid starvation by regulating population growth, we might come to a different conclusion about what "pro-life" really means.

For the first 100,000 years of our existence, the human population consisted of a couple of million hunter-gatherers scattered across the planet. Studies of modern hunter-gatherers, like the Kalahari San, show that women had long intervals of four to five years between births and produced an average of four children each. Only two children typically survived to reproduce themselves, leading to a stable population.

The curious thing is that this was not a pro-life law code. It was about male control over females. Men claimed for themselves the prerogative to kill any young infants that they wanted to or to sell their children or their wives into slavery. In particular, the new law allowed them to choose to raise more males who could fight as soldiers in armies. This initiation of male reproductive choice in the ancient agricultural civilizations of the Bronze Age is what set patriarchy on its current trajectory of empire, war and the ultimate conquest of the Earth itself that is killing our planet.

At the end of the day, the most fundamental issue is growth. We live in a culture and an economic system that promotes growth as the ultimate and greatest good. On a finite planet, this amounts to suicide. Growth was good for a certain time. At the beginning of the Industrial Age, it was good to grow our capacity, but with oil - the prime mover of that Industrial Age - running out and also causing grave life-threatening, species-threatening, world-threatening problems of global warming and toxic pollution, growth is no longer good, especially growth in the quantity of goods and the quantity of people.

Of course, none of Ms. Wilson's solutions can be implemented until God fixes stupid. Barring that unlikely scenario, the planet itself can and will reduce the human population, and it will not be a voluntary program.

I have a friend here in town who has six kids. I used to get laughs by saying he'd damn near literally fucked himself out of a place to sit at the dinner table. It's not so funny any more.

Early Morning Jokes(?)

Tony Peyser

John McCain defeated Mitt Romney in Florida's primary. Conservative seniors in the Sunshine State haven't been this excited since the introduction of fruit-flavored Metamucil.

Old folks will always vote for a good big shit.

The House is moving quickly on a $150 billion plan to jump-start the economy. Instead of calling this a rebate, wouldn't a better title be ... gift card?

Yeah, like a mugger givin' you part of of your money back so you can go his bail. If you're dumb enough to go for it, have no doubt that once he's out of trouble he'll mug you again.

So long, Rudy ...

Don't let it hit ya in the ass:


Perhaps a simpler dynamic was at work: The more that Republican voters saw of him, the less they wanted to vote for him.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I want a job ...

On The View. I think I could hold my own better than this one and get paid for looking down Joy Behar's shirt and schmoozing with Whoopi. Beats fixing cars for a living.

Did you think Enron ...

Was the only one? Now we get to the crux of the biscuit in the 'subprime' mess. Heh ... They'll soon find the same crap that happened behind the scenes Enron is going on at the big banks and brokerages. Pass the popcorn. I wonder if anybody I know will end up doing 2 1/2 to 5 at Danbury?

Bush's Delusions Die in Gaza

Good article at Spiegel Online International:

The mass jailbreak of Gazans into Egypt revealed the bankruptcy of both Israel's policy of collective punishment and Bush's attempt to make Mideast peace.

If it were just a matter of morality, we could ignore the agony of Gaza. After all, we countenance immoral actions all over the world. But this isn't a matter only of morality, but of national security. For we are seen by the Arab-Muslim world as Israel's co-jailers -- and ultimately, we are. We support and pay for Israel's occupation. If we were to demand that that occupation stop, sooner or later Israel would be forced to comply (my em). The people in the region know this, and they are deeply angry and frustrated, and as a result some of them are driven to fight us. There is no troop surge big enough to defeat the jihadis and anti-American militants our Middle East policies are breeding.

We need to get rid of the end-times loonies that place Israel above all before any good can happen over there.


Bush v Fact

What his nibs said in his BSOTU, v Fact at Think Progress.

A Republican Congressman — who appeared to be Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) — greeted Bush on his way up to the podium and planted a gentle kiss on the President’s cheek.

Is Shays in the Mafia? I hope so! Video if you must.

Bush said: “Over the past 7 years, we have increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. As we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation.”

FACT — 1.8 MILLION VETERANS LACK HEALTH INSURANCE: “The new study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, estimated that in 2004 nearly 1.8 million veterans were uninsured and unable to get care in veterans’ facilities.”

Bush said: “American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission.”

Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir “that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq’s borders from external threat until at least 2018.”

Oh fucking swell.

Much more.

One Bush Left Behind

This is so good! Greg Palast.

Here’s your question, class:

In his State of the Union, the President asked Congress for $300 million for poor kids in the inner city. As there are, officially, 15 million children in America living in poverty, how much is that per child? Correct! $20.

Here’s your second question. The President also demanded that Congress extend his tax cuts. The cost: $4.3 trillion over ten years. The big recipients are millionaires. And the number of millionaires happens, not coincidentally, to equal the number of poor kids, roughly 15 million of them. OK class: what is the cost of the tax cut per millionaire? That’s right, Richie, $287,000 apiece.

Mr. Bush said, “In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams. And a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.”

So how much educational dreaming will $20 buy?

Not much, what with all the richies tryin' to snatch the Jackson out of the kids' hands.

If you can’t buy a book nor pay tuition with a sawbuck, what exactly can a poor kid buy with $20 in urban America? The Palast Investigative Team donned baseball caps and big pants and discovered we could obtain what local citizens call a “rock” of crack cocaine. For $20, we were guaranteed we could fulfill any kid’s dream for at least 15 minutes.

Now we could see the incontrovertible logic in what appeared to be quixotic ravings by the President about free trade with Colombia, Pell Grant for Kids and the surge in Iraq. In Iraq, General Petraeus tells us we must continue to feed in troops for another ten years. There is no way the military can recruit these freedom fighters unless our lower income youth are high, hooked and desperate. Don’t say, ‘crack vials,’ they’re, ‘Democracy Rocks’!

Of course, there’s an effective alternative to Mr. Bush’s plan – which won’t cost a penny more. Simply turn it upside down. Let’s give each millionaire in America a $20 bill, and every poor child $287,000.

And, there’s an added benefit to this alternative. Had we turned Mr. Bush and his plan upside down, he could have spoken to Congress from his heart.

The whistling of his ass-music is drowning everything else out anyway, whichever end he speaks from.

McCain's 100 Years War

Buchanan: McCain win would mean war with Iran

"More wars" could prove to be the oddest of all presidential campaign slogans. Especially if it works.

"That's one of the things that makes me very nervous about him," Buchanan went on. "There's no doubt John McCain is going to be a war president. ... His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face, he's threatening the Iranians, we're going to be in Iraq a hundred years."

There I go again, nodding my head at Buchanan's words. Either he's getting smarter or I'm getting old...

Best case scenario: McCain gets nomination, drops dead 5 November, just before election day. That way, even if he gets elected he can't start any more senseless wars. Added benefits: His inauguration speech will be short and the White House won't smell any worse than it does now.

Traffic Jam on the Highway to Hell

Oooh! This one made me tingle! Sheila Samples in the Atlanta Free Press. Hmmm. Free Press. What a concept...

"When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil."
- Thomas Jefferson

Evil never runs its course. With each success, it grows stronger, more ghastly and, like Dick Cheney, emerges a bit more from the shadows. Never doubt for a minute that these unfeeling creatures are not evil. They are incapable of compassion, of empathy, of mercy. Their eyes are on the prize of One World rule, and they will have it in spite of — or as a result of — all the chaos and carnage it takes to achieve it. There are no "Imps of the Perverse" among them who will be so overcome with guilt they will break from the pack and run through the populace shrieking, "We're guilty! We did it! We are murderers!"

Cheney and his destructive little sidekick, George Bush, have brazenly committed treasonous acts — left piles of corpses in their wake since the 2000 election coup. If there is a God, they are bound straight for Hell. But they are not alone. They're protected by a merciless axis of courts, congressional conspirators and corporate media who cover up their crimes by issuing a steady barrage of terror threats and a relentless fog of twisted disinformation.

Our government is nothing but a Good Ol' Boys and Girls club, with judges, journalists, legislators and administration jesters whooping it up while pillaging the Treasury, ignoring the cries of their victims, turning a blind eye to millions of slaughtered and displaced innocents, and sending thousands of their own citizens to their deaths. They have mauled, raped and obstructed Justice until that once noble Lady is no longer recognizable.

We can no longer stand on the sidelines waiting for the evil to subside. They must go — all of them — starting at the top with the impeachment of the mad Cheney and Bush and continuing through both houses of Congress where all 435 House seats and 35 Senate seats are up for election this year.

We've had enough. We not only agree with Vonnegut, but with Lee Iacocca, who pulls no punches in his April 2007 book, "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" Iacocca asks, "Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course.' Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!"

Yes. Throw the bums out and watch them scatter. And when they do, there will be a traffic jam on the highway to Hell.


*Due to 'the first being last' in this forum, see this post.

The Psychopath's "State of the Union": Disguising America's Deep Humiliation

Walter C. Uhler blisters him some chimp ass:

I won't be watching President Bush's "State of the Union" speech tonight. And I'll studiously avoid reading about it tomorrow. Not because Bush is a lame duck - thank God for that. But, because he a megalomaniac and a pathological lair.

You know how it works. Whether it's your friend, relative or acquaintance; whenever you've reached the conclusion that he/she is an inveterate liar, you simply stop listening to him/her, because he/she has lost all credibility and respect.

Actually, Bush never had my respect. Instead, I marveled over how a punk child of privilege could drink and bluff his way through mediocrity and failure - whether it be in college, the Texas Air National Guard, private enterprise (oil, baseball) or as governor of Texas - and still emerge with the belief that "God wants me to be President."

Then he gets down to business. You should only go read.

"Probably final"?!

William Rivers Pitt on the 'SOTU drinking game':

George W. Bush's State of the Union (SOTU) speeches have been the basis for a new kind of drinking game for several years now, basically because the things have always needed some kind of actual substance from somewhere, and because it was a good way to dull the pain of it all. The rules: 1. When he says the word "terra" or "terra-ists," take a drink. 2. When he says "tax cuts," take a drink. 3. When he says "Iraq," take a drink. 4. When he says "nook-yuh-lerr," take a drink and a shot and a good swift kick to the head. Et cetera.

But that's just one night out of the year. Reality has proven to be far more alcoholic in nature. For seven years now, the whole phenomenon of this government has been one long drinking game played out each and every day. The rules of this game? 1. Say the words, "George W. Bush is in charge of the country." 2. Turn off the TV. 3. Just drink.

Sounds familiar, right? Just about everyone has played that game a time or two by now. We have endured seven Bush SOTU speeches as of last night. Seven years worth of lies, carnage, greed, disgrace, failure, ignominy, calamity heaped upon calamity heaped upon calamity for more than two thousand five hundred days now, with three hundred and fifty seven more days still to go.

Seven speeches. Seven years.

No more.

Take your drink. Take your shot. Don't forget your kick to the head: Each and every single one of those comprehensively-debunked claims can still be found on the White House web site.

We have to put up with this man and his people for less than a year, or so most people believe. A story on today's Washington Post front page by Michael Abramowitz, however, reeled off a laundry list of pre-speech challenges for Bush that was capped by this line: "That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight."

"Probably final"?

"Probably final"?!


It had fuckin' well better be his 'final'. 1.20.09 is getting to be a sacred number to me, a mantra of the end of the nightmare. It had better happen as scheduled.

Om onetwennyohnine. Om...


From the WaPo Politics Hour:

(A question from) Washington: Today's front page story on the president's speech tonight states that this will be Bush's "seventh and probably final" State of the Union address. Is there a coup in the works, or is that an error?


Peter Baker: Here's the story I was just mentioning. We say "probably final" because in the past, presidents used to give a lame-duck State of the Union address on their way out of office. That hasn't been common in the past few decades, but there's nothing to say he couldn't do that if he chose. We've asked the White House about this and they say they think it's probably his last one too, though they didn't rule anything out entirely.

The reason I took Pitt's piece the way I did is because I don't rule anything out from that prick either.


Quote of the Day

Scott at LGM:

... liberals who expect a secret socially liberal McCain to emerge from behind a mask of 0% NARAL ratings, votes for Robert Bork, support for complete bans on abortion, etc. are people you definitely want to invite to your next poker game.


Off to the shop ...

A week off ...

And I still have no idea who to vote for in the NY primary on 'Super Duper-Most Excellent-Holy Shit-Tsunami-Tuesday".

One thing that keeps popping into my head as I think about it, the one issue that always comes back to nag at me, is 'do I want another Clinton in the White House?' Not that I have a problem with the way Bill ran the show, nor do I think Hillary is unqualified mind you, but the old equation keeps coming back to me. We've had 12 years of House Bush sandwiching 8 years of Clinton, potentially 16 years if Hillary wins.

Am I the only one who feels like we're living in a monarchy?

Maybe it's time for a whole new fresh look at America? The thing about Obama that nags at me too, is that he seems a little too close to God. Hopefully, he reads his scriptures differently than the Rethug Jesus freaks.

I'll probably make up my mind as I stand in the voting booth next week.

Why couldn't Edwards have done better? He's the one I actually have the confidence in to do what is necessary to bring this nation back from the precipice Bush has us perched on. I just hope he'll be able to work in the new administration, regardless of who wins.

So much for fair. If shit were fair, we wouldn't have had to put up with Preznit Drooly McJackhole for the last 7 years. One good thing though (and it will be confirmed this evening), is watching Rudy's slow-motion crash and burn on the Rethug side. Our good pal, UL:

Thrice married serial adulterer and America's 9-11 Mayor's Florida firewall strategy has vaulted him down to fourth place, behind Huckafucknut - and clinging [to] a single-digit lead over fast closing nemesis Ron Paul.


Been a long time coming.



Number of times Bush said terror/terrorist/terrorists: 22

Number of times Bush said Osama: 0

Epic FAIL.

Monday, January 28, 2008


A cut & paste re-run, or as Rachel Maddow put it, a 'Groundhog Day speech' - lies, spin, bullshit, my way or the highway, support what I do or you're an enemy of the state and I'll veto it, taking credit for things he hasn't done and spinning failure as success, and, oh yeah, perpetual war and the crimes will continue and he wants immunity for them.

Same old, same old. Limp outta here, ya broke-dick quackerass.


Mrs. G's commentary: "He's an evil pig."



Via Avedon, Tommy T hits it on the head.


More toon fun from Sumo.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Iraq's Parliament Approves New Flag
Old one (bottom) represented Sunnis, Shia, Kurds; new one (top) represents Blackwater, Halliburton.

White House, Congress Agree on $150 Billion Political Survival Package
Bipartisan deal keeps them in office through next election.

President Bush, in Final Year, Considers Legacy
Will he be remembered for Katrina, War in Iraq or the Depression?


World Future Society Predicts 1 Billion Millionaires in 2033
And eight billion beggars.

Report: U.S. Scientists Close To Creating Artificial Life
Just waiting for good lightning storm.

The fundies'll have a ball with that one!

Quote of the Day

From Politico on Senator Kennedy's endorsement of Senator Obama. Liquid alert!

“This is the biggest Democratic endorsement Obama could possibly get short of Bill Clinton,” said a high-level Democrat.

If that happens, wear a helmet. The sky will be full of pigs!

And don't forget the endorsement of JFK's cute little pre-school-age daughter Caroline. Yeah, I know, but that's how I remember her...

CBS Falsifies Iraq War History

Robert Parry

There’s a cynical old saying that the victors write the history. CBS’s “60 Minutes” demonstrated how that process works on Jan. 27 in airing Scott Pelley’s interview with the FBI agent who de-briefed former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Just as an aside, it helps if the victors have a written language. For instance, what we know as "The Battle of the Little Big Horn" was (and is) called "The Greasy Grass Fight" by the victors, but they couldn't write it down. Ultimately, of course, they lost the war so we got to call things whatever we wanted to anyway.

In a world of objective reality, a reporter might say that the United States launched an unprovoked invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, under the false pretense that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, even after Iraq had repeatedly – and accurately – announced that its WMD had been destroyed in the 1990s.

In line with Bush’s version of history, “60 Minutes” correspondent Pelley asked FBI interrogator George Piro why Hussein kept pretending that he had WMD even as U.S. troops massed on Iraq’s borders, when a simple announcement that the WMD was gone would have prevented the war.

“For a man who drew America into two wars and countless military engagements, we never knew what Saddam Hussein was thinking,” Pelley said in introducing the segment on the interrogation of Hussein about his WMD stockpiles. “Why did he choose war with the United States?”

The segment never mentions the fact that Hussein’s government did disclose that it had eliminated its WMD. Instead Pelley presses Piro on the question of why Hussein was hiding that fact.

If you missed '60 Minutes' last night, hit the link and watch it. Wait'll you hear why Saddam actually invaded Iran! The old expression about trivial insults, "wars have been fought for less", came true.

Of course, Hussein did tell the U.N. to “come on in, check it out.” But he did so in the real history, not in the faux reality that now governs Washington and pervades America’s top news programs, including “60 Minutes.”

In Pelley’s historical formulation, the question is not why did Bush invade Iraq in violation of international law, causing the deaths of nearly 4,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, but rather “How could [Hussein] have wanted his country to be invaded?”

This strategy of repeating a “big lie” often enough to make it sound true was famously described in the writings of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels during World War II. However, given the relatively free U.S. press, many Americans feel they are protected from “big lie” techniques, counting on journalists to call lying politicians to account.

But that clearly is no longer the case – and hasn’t been for some time. Facing career pressure from well-organized right-wing attack groups, American journalists act more like triangulating politicians, fearful of accusations of “liberal bias” or unpatriotic behavior or softness on terrorism.

To have challenged George W. Bush in July 2003 – when he was near the height of his popularity – or even now with his approval ratings at historic lows would carry career dangers that few American reporters want to risk.

So, discretion – or in this case the acceptance of a lie as truth – is the better part of valor.

Disgusting. So far, the 'media' has been writing the Iraq flusterpluck down as if we will be the 'victors' because that's what they've been told to do by their Masters or risk their plush careers.

If it weren't for a few other-than-mainstream actual journalists, we'd lose this war and think we won a great victory. At least when we slink out of there with our tail between our legs, as we will and as we should, maybe folks will realize why and hopefully not let it happen again. At least until the memory fades.

McCain: Military Imbecile

p m carpenter

What John said was this: "[Romney's] apology is owed to the young men and women serving this nation in uniform, that we will not let them down in hard times or good. That is who the apology is owed to."

It so happened that when I read that I had just put down a marvelous new work on military history: Mark Perry's Partners in Command, an investigation into the working relationship between Generals George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower. And the meticulously driven subtext of Perry's work is that both of these incisive military minds and, later, shapers of America's foreign policy, would have been appalled -- absolutely aghast -- at the United States' entry into Iraq.

Both would have left aside the question of apologies, because both, quite simply, would have found the intervention utterly inexcusable -- a betrayal of America's political culture, societal way of thinking, and even common sense.

John McCain -- as that rare political creature, a Republican pol who actually served -- now presents himself as a thoughtful student of military history as well, and therefore as exceptionally qualified to be commander in chief. But Mr. McCain, in rooting for this idiotic war at the start and now advocating an interminable presence, understands nothing of what the true giants of yesteryear understood.

It is John McCain who owes an apology to "the young men and women serving this nation in uniform," for having helped, that is, to spearhead their voiceless entanglement in a lonely and endless war of choice -- one that would have appalled those far deeper thinkers of how and when military means should be used, and how they should not.

I've got nothing to add to that, other than I think he will be the Repug nominee and this country had better have better sense than to vote for endless, mindless, criminal war.

Wave Motors

I think we've all seen some of the new tidal generators installed at various places around the world. It's a damn good idea as long as the ocean rolls in and out. Renewable energy, renewed four times a day. I won't make any jokes about gettin' energy from the ol' in-an'-out. Sure I won't...

Anyway, I was watching a show called "Road Trip: California's Corners" (DVD available) on one of my PBS stations last night, where Huell Howser is doing a series dedicated to finding the exact location of all five corners of my state, and they're not always right where they're supposed to be. His M.O. is to chat up the locals and see various offbeat spots of interest and find the corner via GPS in the last five minutes and plant a little Bear Flag. He was in Imperial Beach whilst looking for the southwest one.

What I found out, besides that the southwest corner of California is at the broken-down old border fence extending a few feet out into the Pacific through which Huell shook hands with a Mexican, was that tidal and wave generation is nothing new. I should have known.

It got me interested, so I googled up the Edwards Wave Motor that was installed on the Imperial Beach Pier in 1909 and discovered that various kinds of these things were all over the place. I discovered this fascinating article on some of the early experiments in this technology.

The upshot was that generally these contraptions didn't work and were dumped in the sea by storms that washed away the piers they were on.

The modern tidal generators rest on the waterway beds, pre-dumped so to speak, but they didn't have the technology to do that in the old days. Those old boys at least gave it a shot back in the infancy of harnessed electricity.

Interest in tidal generation waned for almost a century, but it's perked back up again due to the burgeoning realization ("Lights on in yer head, dipstick!") that burning fossil fuels and fouling the air just to boil water is no longer the best way to run your toaster.

What it takes ...

To get people to give enough of a damn. Father Tyme with a great post on how long it takes to change the inertia of the American people:

It must take a long time for many Americans to understand the basic goings on in life. Most of us knew in 2000 that George Bush would be bad for America. We knew he already was a liar, conniver, deceitful thing that should have been flushed with the condom his daddy should have used.


So we gave old Grandpa a vote of confidence and let him tuck us in for 4 more years – by staying home election day. I guess it was easier to stay home and watch TV than go out and vote. No sense in changing things when they’re going so well or rather when things aren’t really affecting most of us; so the TV says. And things are getting better with the war, the economy is doing real well, jobs are up; why change; why vote for someone else; why vote at all?

But deep down inside we knew he wasn’t telling everything to us yet we thought that if things were really bad the newspapers and people on TV News surely would let us know the truth.


Much more and spot on. Off to the shop. Happy fucking Monday ...

We knew it ...

35 years ago when I was in grade school.

World demand for oil and gas will outstrip supply within seven years, according to Royal Dutch Shell.

The oil multinational is predicting that conventional supplies will not keep pace with soaring population growth and the rapid pace of economic development.


But back then, the powers-that-be said it was just the dirty fucking hippies worrying about nothing (sorta like the global warming debate now). We should have developed an alternative energy source by 1975, Christ, we put a man on the Moon in '69, but Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the robber barons were polishing their act and padding their pockets. Perspective, ladies and germs. It's been seven years since we got Bush. Time flies when your head is in the sand.

Great thanks to Cookie Jill for the link.

Neglect ...

Or, to quote Atrios: "This is another episode of What Digby said."


Back in the day when we were all writing about Afghanistan and the Taliban that was common knowledge, conventional wisdom. John Kerry made a big deal in 2004 about Tora Bora and the wild absurdity of pulling the focus away from al Qaeda. People may have thought that was a political ploy but it wasn't. Iraq was a massive distraction and waste of time and money right in the middle of a damned serious problem with Islamic fundamentalism. There's a reason why Jim Webb called it the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory all the way back in '04. It was.

It's possible that this reconstituted Taliban are just a bunch of losers sitting in the mountains with big dreams. But if they actually did assassinated Bhutto (with the help of the Pakistan security services, which is likely) this is no joke. Pakistan is the most unstable nuclear armed country we've ever seen and the potential for catastrophe is actually quite real. The fact that we have the entire US military bogged down in a useless occupation, while the Republican candidates are running around muttering incoherently about staying there for a thousand years or waving the white flag of surrender to al Qaeda in Iraq is further testament to how delusional the GOP remains on this subject.


For years, the CIA equipped Osama and his Mujaheddin against the Russians in Afghanistan and we knew how the Paks let them support. Did we think they'd change because we threw a few bucks at them? If that weren't enough, the Brits have a history of getting their ass handed to them in that part of the world. You'd think we'd have learned from those experiences. Heh ... fat chance, but then Hitler didn't learn squat from history either when he got a hard-on for Russia.

The only way to win a war with those people is to kill every last fucking one of them. These are people who hold grudges for hundreds of years (Remember the old Shi'a - Sunni thing?); putting their plans on hold for a few years until the Americans leave is no big thing for them. They waited out the Russians, didn't they? One day, our puppet Karzai will be swinging from a tree and someone more favorable to Pakistan will be installed there. It's just a matter of time.

Sometimes, I wonder where we'd be if President Gore had taken office instead. I wonder how he would have used the 'sympathy capital' we earned on 9/11, or if 9/11 would have even happened. What a waste of 8 years.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Biodh An Deoch Seo 'N Làimh Mo Rùin

I was just taking a little snowy Sunday break from the liars and pontificators and I went and found some nice music. I used to watch the Transatlantic Sessions on Ovation TV before our cable company got bought out by SuddenlyNoLink, who in a startling display of stupidity, ditched it. They used to have Indian, Korean, and all kinds of world music as well. I liked it all. Mrs. G thought (and thinks!) I'm nuts. Who am I to argue...

So now, in a desperate attempt to get out of a "crazy redneck music" bag I've recently found myself in, I present Julie Fowlis with Jenna Reid & Donal Lunny. The pricks disabled the embedding, no doubt in a fit of crass commercialism. There are others I could have posted the videos of, but I like this one.

Note: A wee dram of some smoky adult beverage with the peat still in it will help in your understanding. Maybe not so 'wee'. Perhaps 'Whee!'.

North American solidarity ...

The Canadians can be dumbasses of the same magnitude as we are:


Look on the bright side: it means unity. We are forming one great northern continent, unified in our ignorance, led by uninformed dumbasses. Brothers and sisters to the north, welcome!

Travel tips ...

Prepping for Amsterdam. Who knew they had so many hotels?

South Carolina ...

Care less. No, I don't think Obama will run away with it now. I personally think it'll tighten the race. Good. Unfortunately, I think the best John Edwards can do is VP and it looks like he's positioning himself for that. He knows it too. The only thing I know for sure is Bill Clinton should STFU*.

On the Rethug side, I think I'd rather see Romney get the nomination than McCain, just because too many democrats buy in to the 'McCain Fable' and would vote for him over Hillary or Obama. Never underestimate the power of white men to let their sexism and racism boil up at the least opportune times. Hopefully, more Rethugs hate McCain than Dems do. I'd rather Rudy, but he's doing his own crash and burn and probably won't be in the race by the end of February, let alone November.

Unlike most on the left, I certainly don't think a Dem win in November is a sure thing and it might behoove us not to begin gloating prematurely.

Link via Atrios.


If this is any indication, turnout should be huge in November.

Wow. Estimates had topped out at 350,000. This is a ridiculous improvement over 2004 when just 290,000 voters voted in the Dem primary ...



*Greenwald captures my point:


But the last few days have changed my view on those matters substantially. The Clintons' strategy has become increasingly trashy, even ugly, and yesterday's remarks by Bill Clinton -- in which he pointedly compared Obama's candidacy to Jesse Jackson's and thus implicitly (though clearly) dismissed South Carolina as a state where the "black candidate" wins, followed up by the Clinton campaign's anonymous branding of Obama as "the black candidate" -- reeked of desperation ...

Time for Bill to head home to Chappaqua and start surfing the intarwebs with his pants around his ankles. He ain't doing Hillary any good anymore.