This September 11 will be the sixth anniversary of the day I had my last chance to talk to my daughter, Vanessa Lang Langer. I was barely out of bed and conscious during the dwindling moments that would come to be the remaining time her blood coursed through her veins, her heart beat, she had her hands on her steering wheel as she parked her car in the garage on Washington Street, sat at her desk, thought about her brothers, her husband, her coming child. I did not know it would be the last opportunity, and in this post-traumatic world that I now occupy I know there are millions of people out there who know how intensified my grief gets with each passing year and with each new crime perpetrated by the Bush administration and the many in our government who enable them. I know, and there is some comfort in knowing, that many of you are just as outraged, just as traumatized by the failure to bring to light that what was done to my daughter in body, and to our country and, indeed, the world, in spirit and action was (in whole or in part) facilitated by factions in our own government. The most important thing then is be certain that as we ask for an investigation or for impeachment we are conscious that we are asking for what may constitute our only hope to get out of this alive.
We must be strategic. Not sentimental. Not stupid. Not so angry that we lose sight of this first truth--even 9/11 occurred in the "post 9/11 world". On that day when so many are thinking about their last opportune moments to connect to those they love, we need to give them the space (intellectual and emotional) to see with their own eyes how this land has fared, how our government has failed us as it grew its own power. Because the most important thing is not respect for the dead and for the grieving who on this day will have those events unfold for them moment by moment--the most important thing is to stop it from happening again. And continuing. So on that day and only on that day in the places where the mourners gather, I am asking all of you to pause.
Donna Marsh O'Connor Mother of Vanessa Lang Langer, WTC Tower II, 93rd floor
Second Anniversary of Shame While bush Plays His Stupid, Dangerous Game
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:19 AM Permalink pResident bush had the chutzpah to show up for ceremonies documenting one of the most shameful events in modern American history, the destruction of New Orleans, the complete failure of the bush Republican government to adequately respond, and the subsequent failure after failure to help rebuild a fabulous city destroyed on bush's watch.
The corruption, crony contracts, no bid contracts, and the billions spent that somehow just didn't seem to do anything for those actually needing help, and instead helped millionaires and the well-to-do, should be one of many of the dark stains of shame for the bush/cheney maladministration, except for the fact that these people have no shame, no conscience, no honor, no dignity, no competence in governing, no loyalty to America or Americans, and who treat the Treasury as their private bank where no poor people need apply.
1800 dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, insurance companies that refused to pay claims from people faithfully paying for their policies for years, and virtually every penny America used to possess thrown down the sinkhole of Iraq.
Instead of more help rebuilding, our ridiculously puerile occupant in the White House intends to waste hundred of billions more to make war on another sovereign country, Iran. That will sure do a lot for New Orleans, huh?
Our disgusting little worm of a president spoke from a very small room, apparently with only a very small group of people and the press. I guess the slimy coward just didn't have the courage to face large numbers of citizens who are genuinely pissed that bush has not only NOT kept his promise to rebuild new Orleans, but has once again enriched the already rich. Everyone knows bush cannot face his critics and protesters for fear of facing perfectly legitimate questions and statements that accurately reflect his gross incompetence.
And bush mostly just spoke of education and not the plight of the people forced upon them by an uncaring government and even then, mercifully, he spoke for only minutes
But I can assure bush/cheney that although they are too base, vile, and heartless to feel shame, there are millions of Americans who are thoroughly ashamed of THEM.
Excerpt: "Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere, and the United States is rallying friends and allies to isolate Iran's regime, to impose economic sanctions. We will confront this danger before it is too late," he said.
Excerpt: George Bush today ramped up the war of words between the US and Iran, accusing the Iranian regime of threatening to place the Middle East under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust and revealing that he had authorised US military commanders in Iraq to "confront Tehran's murderous activities".
Also, according to this report, US forces are poised and ready.
Excerpt: The study concludes that the US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.
Sitting U.S. Senator, a Republican, would rather be on his knees?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:52 AM Permalink "There they go again, Mommy," Ronnie Raygun might have said, although maybe not in view of his 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a Republican."
This story from CNN of a sitting United States Senator, Larry Craig, allegedly attempting to solicit sex from strangers in an airport bathroom is one of the most shocking yet.
I mean we've all become accustomed to the Republican Party, conservatives, party of the religious right, party of denying equal rights to gays, and the party of "family values" having one leader after another either convicted of crimes, engaging in moral turpitude, and/or being so stupid in the handling of their personal lives that they should all be on parole under heavy supervision, but this takes the cake.
How a person of this stature could be so full of hatred for gays, while failing to recognize or acknowledge that he himself is gay, is and always will be a mystery to me. Everyone is entitled to live their life as they please, I have no problem with that, but this rises to a whole new level of hypocrisy
I pity the man, but the disgrace, shame, and level of hypocrisy revealed by his actions of seeking bathroom sex should be reported to the Ethics Committee of the Senate based upon his criminal conviction.
It's up to his constituents to decide if he is too duplicitous to remain in the Senate.
While the prospect of a Fredo-free justice department is heartwarming and all, let us not forget the litany of things he has been responsible for. Besides his dismal history with Gov. GW as his legal counsel, he managed: the attorney firings, calling parts of the Geneva Conventions "quaint", setting up GITMO, warrentless searches, setting up military tribunals, sanctioning torture, lying under oath, spying on US citizens, just to name a few. He's been quite a pox on this country. (And you know who's name is floating around as his replacement? Chertoff. Because he did so well with the Katrina debacle. 'natch.) Hell, Gonzo made Ashcroft look reasonable. But I also can't believe he's getting away so easily.
Well, I can believe it actually. Look. Tenet got a friggin' medal for chrissakes
But why now? Why on a Monday so folks have a whole week's worth of news cycles to masticate and digest? Why the distraction?
The fact that he's gone this week, Rove left last week, and Stone will be gone in a few weeks, is a lot. Is it just a bunch of them deciding to get out now because leaving after labor day would be too "newsy"? Or is it rats jumping a ship? I have no idea. But I do know that the conspiracy boards are rumbling. Now, I don't normally repeat gossip heard on the 'net... OK. Yeah, I normally do. But that's neither here nor there. The gossip on the net is that someone is betting (short-sell options) that the market will crash by mid to late September. It's a $4.5 billion bet. They could be betting China will dump the dollar, or it could be worse, they could be betting on another 9/11 event. Some things that point to a 9/11 type, false-flag attack are: Bush will be in Australia on the 9th of September for an APEC meeting, VERY far away. A group of US opposition political leaders are saying that there is a Cheney faction that will orchestrate the attack. Meanwhile, the conspiracy boards are all aflutter over rumors of either multiple biological or chemical attacks all over the country or a single nuclear attack in Portland, Oregon. Also, there is a report that national guard troops are being sent to (or rotated in to, I don't know) Washington, DC. And as an aside, or maybe in addition to, there are the some questionable reports of the missing weapons and supplies that were supposed to end up in Iraq, ending up in South America, where you might remember, the Bush family has just purchased a lot of property.
Why mention all this unsubstantiated gossip? Well, I feel like the more people who read or hear stuff like this, the more difficult it makes things for the powers-that-be.
With all of that being said though, we should keep in mind that Rumsfeld resigned THE DAY BEFORE the republicans lost control of Congress in the election of 2006. The thoughts are the he was against the escalation. What might Rove/Gonzales/Stone be against? Think of everything Gonzales has done - the torture, the spying, etc. - and just try to imagine what he'd actually be AGAINST.
"No proof of wrong" is the language of the guilty and not a ringing endorsement
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:51 AM Permalink After I worked as a law enforcement supervisor for the Air Force I then got out and became a bail agent and professional bounty hunter. I learned a great deal about listening to every nuance of every word spoken by anyone I was hunting or had already arrested, and for good reason.
People regularly give away more information than they believe they have depending upon the phrasing they use.
What I am specifically referring to here is a quote from pResident bush in this article in the NYTs regarding the resignation of Abu Gonzales:
Earlier this month, at a news conference, Mr. Bush dismissed accusations that Mr. Gonzales had stonewalled or misled a congressional inquiry. “We’re watching a political exercise,” Mr. Bush said. “I mean, this is a man who has testified, he’s sent thousands of papers up there. There’s no proof of wrong.”
These are the weasel-words language of the guilty. Notice bush never said, "He's innocent," as those words would almost surely come back to haunt him again and again. He has testified. He has sent thousands of papers. And then the dead giveaway of, "There's no proof of wrong."
Now, when I was a bail agent talking to potential bail prospects in jail, I NEVER inquired as to guilt or innocence, but I sure listened carefully to every word. The guy who insisted on his innocence every time I talked to him stood a much better chance of actually being innocent (absent prior convictions) and probably would not pose a serious flight risk.
But anytime a person would keep telling me, "They can't prove anything," I learned to conclude that they did indeed do the crime, might not want to do the time, posed a much greater flight risk, and I therefor secured the bond better and collected much more personal info to make the person I bailed easier to find if or when they boogied.
Suffice it to say I wouldn't post bail for people talking like Abu and bush without a great, great deal of collateral.
IMHO Lawrence O'Donnel is a total a$$ for suggesting Michael Vick did nothing wrong.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:44 PM Permalink I am not going to do a point-by-point rebuttal to this article at the Huffington Post by Lawrence O'Donnell, someone I used to read and thought was reasonable intelligent.
His post today has forever disabused me of any notion that he is intelligent enough, or, worse, compassionate enough to understand why people are so upset about Michael Vick's despicable acts. Sample:
So it's a federal crime to be mean to dogs? Who knew?
What's wrong with what Michael Vick did? I have no inclination to do what he did with dogs, but I have no comprehension of what all the fuss is about. Most people who are upset about killing dogs or letting them attack each other have at some point in their lives caught a fish, which is as extreme a form of murderous torture of an animal as I can imagine. Not only have most of them caught a fish, they have actually eaten many more of them than they've caught. Which is weirder, killing an animal or eating its dead flesh? Most of us have never eaten dog meat, but in some countries it is a delicacy.…[…]
What is the moral basis -- the natural law, if you will -- that accords special respect and protection to dogs in our written laws?…[…]
Our reverence for dog life resembles our reverence for human life. Up to a point. It's okay to kill your dog if you think your dog is too sick to go on living much longer or if you just can't afford medical help for your dog. And, don't worry, no legal authority is ever going to ask you to prove that your dog was really sick enough to kill or even sick at all. If you don't have the stomach for killing your dog yourself, you contract with a dog killer -- otherwise known as a veterinarian -- to do the dirty work for you. No federal law against that yet. Our dog reverence is so shot full of loopholes that there is no describable moral order to it at all.
I have to quit quoting this insensitive and ignorant idiot before I start blowing chunks on my keyboard.
Man's relationship with dogs is indeed a curious and, I would say, a miraculous thing. At some point in history long, long ago, thousands of years, the ancient ancestors of modern dogs voluntarily came in from the wild to become a companion of man. They threw their lot in with man and gave many gifts in return: 1) They became hunters for man, tracking or bringing down game that otherwise may have eluded man and caused him to suffer hunger. 2) They still hunt with man and seek nothing in return but some food scraps, a little love, and a pat on the head. 3) They went to war with their masters and many a dog has sacrificed his life in service to man. 4) They provide protection for man and his families by providing warnings and/or actually fighting off trespassers. 5) They give their master their unqualified love and expect little in return. 6) Dogs are still the most efficient way to locate hidden drugs, missing people, dead bodies (as in earthquakes), detect bombs, disarm and temporarily disable attackers for our police, and, quite incredibly, some dogs can follow a days old trail, invisible to the eye, and lead rescuers to kidnap victims, lost children, lost hikers, or the criminals that are being sought that could not be found any other way, and they do so for that pat on the head, a little food, and the love they receive from their master. 7) Study after study has shown that dog owners outlive, in general, non-dog owners or cat owners. 8) Let's not forget seeing-eye dogs or those dogs trained to call for help with a telephone if their master can't.
I could probably go on about this for page after page, but let's just suffice it to say that dog has truly been one of man's best friends for century after century, yet a supposedly intelligent jerk like O'Donnell tries to argue that Vick, a man who willfully engaged in terrible cruelties against dogs, has done nothing wrong by falsely equating and comparing dogs to fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses.
O'Donnell asks the ridiculous question, "What is the moral basis -- the natural law, if you will -- that accords special respect and protection to dogs in our written laws?", I only bothered to name eight for now, but if those things listed do not provide a moral basis or natural law that quite deservedly accords special respect and protection to dogs, then I don't know what could provide a greater impetus for our laws protecting them from cruel, sub-human, and nasty people like Vick.
Just how many fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses have protected their master's domain, to the death if necessary? How many fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses have saved earthquake victims, confounded drug-dealers, kept a sick child company and provided that child unconditional love? How many of the elderly have not only lengthened their lives, but also enriched the quality of their lives with a dog, not fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses? How many police do you see on patrol enhancing their crime fighting capability with fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses? How many hospital patients heal faster and/or have their spirit revived after a visit from fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses? How many seeing-eye fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses have you ever seen?
All of his comparisons of dogs with fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses are false dichotomies from a man I now consider to be either very ignorant of man's centuries long history with dogs and the intelligence, compassion, and love dogs possess in spades compared to fish, chickens, cows, and racehorses. Or Lawrence O'Donnell.
In short, the man's an a$$, and his references to vets as "dog-killers", as if that were their sole function, is an insult to veterinarians and commonsense. I believe any person killing healthy dogs should be reported for animal abuse with an exception for vicious dogs that are irredeemable. And as to when they have grown old and infirm, when they are living in pain, when the quality of their life is destroyed by the ravages of disease and time, you are darn right I would help my friend, my dog, to escape their suffering, JUST AS I HAVE A "DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDER" in my medical files. I would rather be euthanized than remain a vegetable or too incapacitated to ever again enjoy my life.
People who would denigrate or deny the role of dogs in society are just ignorant, which can be excused in many instances, but anyone stating so clearly that Vick did nothing wrong by torturing and killings dogs that weren't vicious enough for him to use as fighting dogs is absolutely asinine. Abnormally so.
posted by The Sailor @ 12:22 PM Permalink
We have some thunderstorms in the area today so rather than be out acting as the conduit between a 40 foot metal lightning rod (AKA mast) and the aqueous ground plane (AKA water) I thought I'd share some pictures of a recent trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
WTF!? Exposing and debating an unconstitutional program means some Americans will die? I doubt that ... and apparently McConnell doubts that too because in that interview he exposed, for the first time, details of the program that even congress wasn't briefed about before their vote for the new unconstitutional spying law.
For the first time McConnell confirmed that the Telcom companies were involved:
Ohmygawd, the terrerists are coming, the ter ... uhhh, wait a minute, didn't he say Iraqis? Iraqis = terrerists? But I thought Iraqis were freedom loving people who would greet us as liberators? And if they 'know' Iraqi terrorists are infiltrating the US ... ohh, never mind, these people know no shame and have constantly proved they aren't above lying to stampede the sheeple into war and giving up even more civil liberties (i.e. WMDs, aluminum tubes, mushroom clouds, drones of mass destruction, mobile bio labs, 'dirty' bombs, etc, etc, etc.)
And in addition to revealing the exact 'state secrets' that Bush has fought so hard to quash in the courts, and exposing his paraniod fantasies about terrerists, he also has delusions about the original intent of the FISA law.
The reason that the FISA law was passed in 1978 was an arrangement was worked out between the Congress and the administration [...] we are trying to get back to what was the intention of '78.
Excerpt: If you'd stop for a moment, you would be exposed to the reality that Clinton is dominating the debates, dominating the polls. On the ground here in California, she has in place a growing organization that I guarantee you will crush any opposition - Democratic primary, or general election against the Repugs.
Am I the only one who finds the line of reasoning disturbing? First, Clinton is not dominating the debates. I've watched the debates. The spin AFTER the debates says she dominates, but she really doesn't. She has a large and growing organization because she is fully supported, financially and otherwise, by the elite that manage the system. She will only crush opposition because that's what the elite wants. Not the people.
Am I the only one who finds it odd that the wife of a president who then becomes a Senator in a state she relocated to is running for president? And actually has a chance of winning? Step aside from the rhetoric for a moment and look at that. Why her? Why Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton? (Google "Operation Black Eagle" for a hint. Also, look for Noreiga to die suddenly before he can testify against the Bush family in a court in France.)
If she becomes president, NOTHING will change. She will maintain the status quo. Do we really want the status quo? What does her seeming dominance in the race tell you about the people who control our public discourse? Do we really want to support them? Is that what we want?
She's not the only one. Every candidate up there will maintain the status quo. Except for maybe Ron Paul, but no matter how many straw polls he wins, it won't matter. (As an aside, have you noticed that the first straw poll, Huckabee or Romny won - I can't remember - and Paul came in 5th. They never mentioned that he was 5th, but covered the straw poll like it was the biggest story in the world. Now that Ron Paul has been winning every straw poll, you hear the crickets chirping.) Anyway, as I was saying, every single candidate up there, except for MAYBE Ron Paul, will support and maintain the status quo. It's just that Clinton is the most overt, in-your-face candidate. If she gets elected it will be a gigundous "Frell You" to the U.S. and the world at large.
[Note: The main reason Ron Paul won't win is he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve. Recently deceased Aaron Russo made an excellent documentary on the Federal Reserve that everyone should see: America: Freedom to Fascism. After you watch that, you'll understand why Ron Paul is dangerous to the power elite and why he'll never be allowed to win.]
Now that they've broken the military, Pace can finally read the writing on the wall
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:01 AM Permalink I don't know if it is good news or not, but now that he has finished aiding and abetting the slow destruction of our military General Peter Pace is expected to file a report recommending that the number of troops in Iraq be cut in half. He is not recommending this because of any noble purpose, he hasn't come to his senses and realized the enormity of the mistake made by invading Iraq in the first place, it isn't because he thinks we're winning, and it's not out of concern for our troops suffering in the hellhole we've created in Iraq.
No, there's no noble, altruistic motive for this, it's strictly because it will be impossible for our military services to survive if the numbers are not reduced.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war.
Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond.
When a JCS says the military will be "severely strained" what he is really saying is that our forces are being depleted at a rate which cannot be maintained without further serious damage to our already severely damaged military.
It also means the JCS realizes that America is without any combat-ready brigades at all to respond to any emergencies. Not. One. Single. Combat-ready. Brigade. Right now all combat-ready brigades are either bogged down in Iraq or stationed in South Korea.
Our fabled Airborne divisions that were formerly able to bring a fierce fight to any enemy, anywhere in the world within twelve hours (Death from Above) are gone, as in they no longer have that capability due to a lack of trained soldiers, a lack of equipment with which to train them, and a lack of resources in general to maintain their "ready" status.
It could very well be another step towards a draft as well, as enlistment rates continue to drop, even in groups of people who ordinarily enlist at a greater rate than most. African-Americans who used to provide up to 20% of our forces are now providing only 12% of our troops.
The bush maladministration would have you believe that enlistments are down because of "a strong economy and low unemployment." That must be why they are enlisting criminals, gang members, drug abusers, and others whose conduct would have immediately disqualified them for service in the recent past. (You could be drug-dealing crook exhibiting gross moral turpitude as a gang-member and the Army will get you waivers to enlist you, but if you're gay…well, that's just too much for our Republican leaders to tolerate, eh?)
In short, it would be my guess that cooler heads at the Pentagon finally got Pace to hold still long enough to give him a breakdown on the numbers showing that America cannot possibly keep troops tied up in Iraq forever. (It must have been a real doozy of a report, too, to prompt sycophant Pace's disagreement with bush/cheney.)
Unfortunately bush will no doubt seize this data and use it to justify a return to the draft unless it is clear that this is the one route sure to ignite the public at last and, mayhap, bring a return of the Sixties-style protest marches and direct warnings from those crowds that anyone voting for a draft will find it very difficult to ever get elected dogcatcher, much less retain a seat in congress.
It could also mean that those same cooler heads will resist any attempt to attack Iran, thus preventing bush from being the first president to lose three wars simultaneously.
And how many deaths will it take till we know, that too many people have died?
posted by The Sailor @ 7:16 PM Permalink
Bush et al keep claiming the escalation surge is working and continually point to Anbar Province as evidence. But Bushco didn't put extra troops into Anbar. And Iraq didn't put extra troops into Anbar. What the US did was arm the militias in Anbar. Hmm, arming dictators and militias has always worked so well in the past.
Bush says the surge is working, even tho the evidence contradicts him. Dem Presidential candidates acknowledge 'there is progress in Iraq', even tho the evidence contradicts them.
Even more Americans think the surge is working, because the spin is working. A multi-month, multi-faceted ad campaign by Bushco, a constant reframing (AKA moving the goal posts) of the mission has had the desired effect:
It may seem like hubris that I claim the escalation of the war isn't working, after all, who am I to contradict these current and potential leaders?
I'm a person who doesn't live in the beltway and doesn't watch network or cable news, but I do look at numbers, and the numbers put the lie to this offensive PR offensive. I urge you to look at the numbers, follow the links, and not listen to the spin.
posted by The Vidiot @ 2:47 PM Permalink
Thanks again to the boys for making sure this blog doesn't become a blogweb. (Does that sound right? Blogweb? Is it possible I found the only word-hybrid using the word 'blog' that doesn't work??)
Mr. Vidiot and I were in Toronto doing research for his dissertation on the Pentecostal movement. I know, Pentecostalism and Toronto, doesn't really seem like it would mix, but the Pastor he's working with here in Brooklyn was going there on a mission trip so we decided to go up to see what it was he does on these mission things. (Yes, they tried to "save" us... again, to no avail I'm afraid.)
One thing we were astounded by in Toronto, besides the fact that it's New York City lite -- all of the diversity and none of the angst -- were the prices. Used to be you'd go to Canada and it would be "wow, it's so cheap here" and now, not so much. The prices there were always high in Canadian dollars, but now that the US dollar is almost at parity with the Canadian dollar (~$1.05 Canadian to $1 USD), well, those high prices? You're actually paying those high prices now. It really hit home the fact that all the printing of money the fed has been doing hasn't created inflation so much as it has decreased the purchasing power of the dollar. That's a much more realistic way of looking at the problem. Inflation is sort of abstract. Decreasing the purchasing power is real.
Anyway, on the way back we were once again assaulted at the border. Going into Canada, they're all, "have a nice day, ay?" But coming back this way is just nasty. The traffic was horrendous and the border guard was mean. Not to mention we flew into Buffalo and the assault at the airport was even worse. First, they make you wait in this horrendous line, then they make most of the people go through those drug/bomb sniffing things where you stand there and it pops some air at you and sniffs what comes off of you. (What if someone passed a little gas right at the moment... Do you see where my mind goes sometimes? It's pathetic.) We didn't feel like going through that so instead, we went through the regular line. Unfortunately, the guy who searched our bags apparently doesn't have much of a life and decided to steal our deodorant crystal. Now, we took the crystal instead of the liquid deodorant because it WASN'T liquid, hence, within the guidelines. This asshole however decided to punish us for not using the clear baggy to hold our miscellaneous liquids. Honestly, he did! We tried to explain to him that it was just a crystal, explained to him how it worked, even knocked the thing on the table to show him it was so NOT a liquid and his response was, "you didn't make any effort to follow any of the rules and you want to start an argument about this?" and he said it with quite a punitive tone. We had to give up the $10 crystal and nearly missed our flight.
Excerpt: The immediate triggers are being described quite well: the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market; the vulnerability of the rest of the economy to the subprime undertow, due to the "efficiency" of the markets in spreading risk; the worldwide overextension of cheap credit; the failure of large institutional investors and Wall Street brokerages to behave responsibly; and the long-term effects of the U.S. trade and fiscal deficits which are now coming home to roost.
Just how bad or controlled the crash will be is yet to be seen. But the little guy, us 'proles', will lose big. Foreclosures are happening more and more often.
Excerpt; RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for repossessed properties, showed US home foreclosures jumped 9% in July from June, and 93% on a year ago.
That's right. Foreclosures have nearly doubled in the last year. And those folks who suffer the indignity of losing their homes have an even bigger indignity waiting for them: A tax bill for the amount of their mortgage that was forgiven by the bank and not cleared by bankruptcy.
Excerpt: Foreclosure is one way that beleaguered homeowners can fall into this tax trap. The other is when homeowners are forced to sell their homes for less than the value of the mortgage. If the lender forgives that difference, they are liable for income taxes on that amount.
The 1099 shortfall, as it is called, stems from an Internal Revenue Service policy that treats forgiven debt of all types as income even if the taxpayer has nothing tangible to show for it, unless the debt is canceled through bankruptcy.
Charming. So not only did one slimy and greedy system set them up for a fall, another slimy and greedy system kicks them after they fall. Well, not so much as a kick as it is an eye-gouging, compound fracture inducing, internal bleeding producing sort of attack.
Meanwhile, folks are outraged, OUTRAGED I TELL YOU, over the fact that Michael Vick was cruel to a few animals when their own government is even more cruel to millions of human beings on an constant basis.
Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve “nothing more” in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.
Last month Gordon Brown said after meeting George Bush at Camp David that the decision to hand over security in Basra province - the last of the four held by the British - “will be made on the military advice of our commanders on the ground”. [...] American criticism of Britain’s desire to pull back in southern Iraq has recently become public, with a US intelligence official telling The Washington Post this month that “the British have basically been defeated in the south”. A senior British commander countered, “That’s to miss the point. It was never that kind of battle, in which we set out to defeat an enemy.” Other officers said the British force was never configured to “clear and hold” Basra in the way the Americans are seeking to do in Baghdad.
Yeah, I'm certain the Brits will listen to US criticism seeing as how our war is going so well.
Rolling over like good dogs - Barney, you're job is up for grabs!
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:59 AM Permalink I have written many times that bush/cheney will never leave Iraq without getting the Profit Sharing Agreements (PSAs) signed that will give American Big Oil 85%-87% of all profits from Iraqi oil fields. I have also pointed out, among others, that if the government of al-Maliki couldn't deliver the signed agreements by June 30th it was the intention of bush/cheney to once again depose one of our puppet leaders in the puppet government we helped get democratically elected.
It seems we only like democratically elected governments when they will roll over like good dogs and do anything we tell them, like England.
But what I did not expect is that a democratic Senatorial leader would act as bush's stalking horse by joining with a senior Republican Senator to once again conspire to provide bush all the cover he needs by making it a "bipartisan" call for bush to do exactly what he was going to do anyway.
Declaring the government of Iraq "non-functional," the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq's parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days.
"I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government," Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said after a three-day trip to Iraq and Jordan.
Levin's statement, the most forceful call for leadership change in Iraq from a U.S. elected official, comes as about two dozen lawmakers are traveling to Iraq during Congress's August break to glean firsthand assessments before receiving a progress report next month from Gen. David H. Petraeus…[…]
Levin's comments to reporters followed the release of a joint statement with the second-ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, Sen. John W. Warner (Va.), which was pessimistic about Iraq's political future. The statement referred to a round of recent meetings between Maliki, who is backed by President Bush, and Iraqi political leaders as "the last chance for this government to solve the Iraqi political crisis."
Maliki, a Shiite, has been trying to hold a summit with rival Sunni political leaders and ethnic Kurdish officials to reach a compromise on several contentious issues, including a formula to distribute the country's oil revenue and a law aimed at allowing some former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to hold government jobs.…
Should those talks fail in the next few days, Warner and Levin said, "the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Iraqi people need to judge the Government of Iraq's record and determine what actions should be taken -- consistent with the Iraqi Constitution -- to form a true unity government to meet those responsibilities."
This is how democratic leaders roll over belly-to-the-sky to await approving scratches from bush/cheney.
Not only is the ouster of Maliki being called for in a "bipartisan" manner, the claim from bush/cheney is that, "…Maliki, who is backed by President Bush, and Iraqi political leaders as "the last chance for this government to solve the Iraqi political crisis…" allows bush/cheney to maintain the utterly false facade that they give a sh*t about anything else but all that oil, it continues the lie that Maliki is Iraq's best hope for peace, and falsely states that Maliki has the full support of bush.
bush/cheny can again portray themselves as the "good guys" who are only responding to a bipartisan call from the Senate to depose the government of Maliki, over the maladministrations objections, even though it was cheney who travelled the Middle East a short while back to plan the overthrow of Maliki with the Saudis, who are very unhappy with the treatment of Sunni Arabs in Iraq.
But n-o-o-o-o-o, Warner must do everything he can to protect his image and the image of the party, and fortunately he has a democratic crony willing to roll over and join him in that bipartisan call for unilateral action by bush/cheney, something bush intended to do without regard as to whether anyone but Laura and Barney supported his decision.
With the support of a democratic "leader" like Levin, bush can pretend to cave and give the democrats exactly what they are asking for, even though such changes will make it "necessary and mandatory" for US forces to remain until the "new" Iraqi leader can get control of the country [not very f'ing likely] and then get a new parliament in place to sign those PSAs to give us the oil for which bush/cheney took America to war.
All the official cover bush/cheney or any other ongoing criminal enterprise could ask for, for years to come, AND ALL BECAUSE OF A "BIPARTISAN CALL FOR MALIKI'S OUSTER." It took six years to get to this point, so if the Iraqi leadership is ousted it provides the perfect cover to continue warring with, and committing the genocide of, the Iraqi citizens for many more years to come.
Our democratic leaders are being led by the nose into another bush/cheney trap, ostensibly to help Iraq, but in reality buying bush all the time he needs to do anything he wants. The democrats cannot complain because they have been out maneuvered, out-smarted, and played for the willing fools they are or have become. It is those democrats that have given bush complete 100% cover by providing the excuse to stay there for years to come while Maliki is deposed and a new government s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y tries to put together a parliament that will give American Big Oil exactly what they want: all that oil, for which we will then be required to stay in Iraq for thirty years to protect. ["After all," said the president, "I am simply taking and following the advice of senior democrat leaders. It was them that called for Maliki's ouster. I liked the man, having gazed into his eyes and seeing that he had a good soul, but that's what the democrats and some of my own party advise. If it fails it will be the fault of those democrats not supporting their own leadership."
Nice job, Levin. You cannot possibly be so ignorant that you don't know we went to Iraq to steal their oil, that's our official energy policy as written by cheney and his secret energy committee, so I can only guess that, once again, the American people are being sold out despite America's dire need for change and the fact that democrats won so handily last November because the people wanted the abuses of the bush government stopped.
Turns out now that it was all just a game for the democrats, as they either lack the spine, the intelligence, or the will to confront the worst American president ever. Choosing this time to call for Maliki to be deposed just gives bush another blank check.
I have come to believe that everyone in the House and Senate knows we are in Iraq for the oil, bush and cheney both have said repeatedly that we cannot relinquish control of all that oil, and now, presto!, a brand new reason to continue this war forever, provided courtesy of the Democratic Party and just in time to provide a new rationale for staying in Iraq no matter what the president's/Patraeus' report in September says as to conditions there. Especially when a new Iraqi "leader" "must be given a chance to get control of government and sign over all that oil," as insisted upon by Senator Levin.
With willingly capitulating democrats like this, who needs friends? America, you've been suckered, again.
I just cannot believe that the democrats in congress are that stupid, so I can only conclude that they are willing accomplices to the theft of another country's assets through illegal wars of aggression, and that they will NEVER muster the courage to confront, much less stop, bush.
An Impolitic Political Letter, May not work, But it'll make you feel so much better.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:50 PM Permalink I don't know how everyone feels about the Constitutional Usurpers and Criminals in charge of America currently, but I sure as heck know that I'm sick of it, and today I sent the following letter to dozens of US Senators, whether it be deemed impolitic to address them in the matter of the destruction of America or not, I express my opinion as I choose and I chose this:
I have no right to habeas corpus if Bush says I'm a terrorist. He can make me disappear to unknown locations and foreign countries to have me tortured, or order me kidnapped for the same purpose. He can say I "acted" to disrupt his peace effort in Iraq and seize all my assets without due process of law. He could torture me to the point of insanity and make it impossible for me to ever defend myself by denying me ANY trial. He can order me sent to Gitmo for forever confinement and torture. He has access to everything in my computer, my library records, my business papers, and my home without a warrant. He can confine me to a "free speech zone" instead of allowing me my right to petition my government for redress and exercise fully my right to free speech wherever and however I choose. By presidential fiat he orders the extra-judicial killings of SUSPECTED terrorists and then illegally, but PROUDLY displays the bodies for the world to see. Soon, if I refuse to get a Real ID I will have to show a PASSPORT to enter my local federal park, lands that belong to me just as much as any other citizen. I will also need a passport for domestic travel. Now, in view to all the data-mining operations, military satellite surveillance, wiretapping, and other means of compiling "dossiers" on every American, it strikes me as far more overreaching and disturbing than anything done by any former despot in history, much less an American president. After spending more money than all former presidents combined he will pass a debt to our children they are likely to never be able to repay.
This is not all of course, I could probably go on for hours, but it illustrates that I no longer live in "the land of the free and the home of the brave" and that America is very, very rapidly becoming a police state.
So I ask you and your fellow Senators:
WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING AMERICA AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND AMERICAN RIGHTS TO BE DESTROYED OR TAKEN AWAY BY THE BUSH/CHENEY CABAL? WHY CAN'T YOU STOP HIM COLD WITH FILIBUSTERS, SECRET HOLDS (THE REPUBS SURE KNOW HOW TO DO THIS), AND LAW AFTER LAW TO ELIMINATE THE USA PATRIOT ACT (HAH!), THE MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT, AND THE LATEST ABOMINATION OF A SURVEILLANCE LAW THAT FINISHED STRIPPING AWAY ANY RIGHT I HAD TO PRIVACY OR TO BE SAFE IN MY HOME, PAPERS, AND EFFECTS.
Why are you all refusing to keep your oath of office and protect our Constitution and us from these usurpers of the law and perpetrators of one crime after another?
My disgust with our "democratic" leadership, our democratic majority, and their demonstrated propensity to roll over like a good lapdog every time Bush says, "Boo!," CANNOT know any bounds because I am going to have to leave the land I love, that I went to war for gladly in Vietnam, that formerly stood for most everything good just so I can live in a democracy, a real democracy, not this mere shadow of democracy we now have.
What will you do when bush declares martial law next year and cancels the ‘08 elections? It will be too late for anything then, but that's where we're headed: a police state warring with many countries to steal their resources (oil) instead of being a decent freedom-loving country that deals with other countries in good faith.
P.S. - Where will you be when bushco attacks Iran and becomes the first American president to lose THREE wars simultaneously while bankrupting and destroying the Treasury and American people? You surely know by now (everyone in America knows) that bush will do exactly and anything he wants and no one, even the democrats the country elected in good faith to stop him, can stop him. You have all participated in the death of the American Way. End letter.
Many of you will chastise me for so boldly accusing democrats for participating, even if unwillingly, in the destruction of the American way of life, but I believe they did so either willfully or out of fear. Neither is an acceptable or effective way of restoring the constitutional rights and freedoms we all shared prior to bush assuming office by court fiat.
If you believe you can write a more effective, politic, or "polite" letter that might get a more favorable response, please feel free to write your own letter to your Senator/Congresscritter, but I believe in calling a spade a spade and I will not sit silently while America and its ideals are destroyed by the inaction of the dems or by the concerted efforts of the bush/cheney/Republican Senators/Republican Congresscritters and those sycophants rubberstamping everything the king desires and ignoring the will of the people for whom they were elected to serve, NOT ENSLAVE.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, under political siege for his handling of the U.S. attorney firings and other issues, is to get expanded powers to hasten death penalty cases under regulations being developed by the Justice Department. [...] Such powers were previously held by federal judges, but a provision of the USA Patriot Act reauthorization bill approved by Congress last year hands the authority to the attorney general. [...] Some Democratic lawmakers have questioned Gonzales's judgment about the death penalty, including his refusal to hear the concerns of a federal prosecutor in Arizona, Paul K. Charlton, who argued against pursuing a death sentence in a case in which no body had been recovered.
Charlton and several other U.S. attorneys were fired last year in part because of clashes with Gonzales and his aides over death penalty issues, according to documents and testimony.
Why, why, why would a prosecutor EVER be given the right to 'fast track' killing someone? The system of justice in this country is based on an adversarial process. DAs try to convict, defense attorneys try to acquit/mitigate and judges and jurys decide.
two out of three sentences were overturned on appeal, mostly because of serious errors by incompetent defense lawyers or overzealous police officers and prosecutors who withheld evidence. [...] 75 percent of the people whose death sentences were set aside were later given lesser sentences after retrials, in plea bargains or by order of a judge. An additional 7 percent were found not guilty on retrial.
Oh, I'd walk a country mile, To receive a speedy trial, But I guess that appeal will take a while.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:31 AM Permalink Just a quick word about the further national shame heaped upon the country by the "shell game" or "button, button, who's got the button" prosecution and conviction of Jose Padilla.
The title above says it all: EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN IS ENTITLED TO A SPEEDY TRIAL, and failure to provide one in a timely manner has been the cause for countless courts overturning countless convictions obtained after denying a defendant that constitutional right. Of course, that requirement can be voluntarily waived in front of the judge or magistrate and with advice of counsel.
No one, not God herself, will ever convince me that Jose Padilla, at the time of his capture, voluntarily waived his right to a speedy trial at any point during any of the period of his illegal confinement in that Navy brig, and the fact that the government conspired to handle his case in a manner guaranteed to deny Padilla his right to a speedy trial is no fault of Padilla's.
If ever there was a case calling for dismissal upon those grounds, it is Jose Padilla, and it should and must be done to insure EVERY AMERICAN'S RIGHT to a speedy trial.
Gee, it turns out that that report is going to be written by President Bush, (well actually his staffers, because Crayons are so hard to get off the teleprompter), and that the White House claims that's always been been the case (the report, not the crayons) ... and they might get away with it, unless you have a functioning memory or access to the intertubes:
The Bush administration as well as supporters and some critics of the Bush Iraq strategy have told Americans time and again during the past four years that the "next few months" in Iraq will be the "decisive, critical period" of the war
You Just Can't Take Your Eye Off These Guys - Ever
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:31 AM Permalink I've been playing "keeper of the puppies" for the last couple 'o' weeks, a beautiful litter of two male and five female Boston Terriers; all of them as precocious, precious, and as cute as they can be. Also quite a handful to keep track of now that they are being weaned, with regular "jailbreaks" to keep life interesting.
So I have only kept a small part of my attention on the political scene, especially after the cowardly, gutless, spineless, yella-bellied so-called Democrats sold the country and their constituents out again by allowing bush/cheney to ooze under our ever lower standards for government, politicians, stewards of the nation, and safe-guarders of our freedoms by once again granting bush all the wiretapping authority any government or criminal enterprise could possibly want. Heck, just for good measure they included ol' Abu Gonzales on the list of people who can require that we be listened to- WITHOUT A WARRANT or court review.
Now I see this morning that powerful military spy satellites will be used to scour America for terrorists, as everyone knows that terrorists look different than anyone else when viewed from outer space, right? So:
Your mail, emails, telephone calls, and anything on your computer can be had or monitored without warrant. You will soon be under ever increasing surveillance from space (once they start, they just can't stop). You can be made to "disappear" by presidential fiat, never to be seen or heard from again, even brutally tortured and then murdered. No one would know because: You can be declared a terrorist subject to the above procedures for "disappearing" someone and because: You would have no right to habeas corpus, and can be held forever without trial, charges, or hope because: You would not be able to appeal to any court for relief and because: You can be declared a terrorist supporter and "disrupter" of our efforts to pacify the foreign countries we have invaded and have your assets seized by order of the president because: bush can declare anyone or any group he wishes as a terrorist or terrorists sympathizers so he can take their money without due process of law to help pay for his illegal wars.
I keep adding this up, over and over again, and it all adds up to a coming "police state" engaged in more eternal warfare to steal Middle East oil, and with the gestapo government tactics to suppress the people now firmly in place, I am beginning to believe there is nothing that can stop bush/cheney/the neocons from doing anything they want and the people have no representation, effective representation, in Congress to prevent a coup.
Boy, go have a little fun with puppies for a while and the whole country goes to hell in a hand-basket. It just ain't right that Americans, AMERICANS, have to suffer these usurpers of the law and our Constitution and the evil they work in our names.
Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad?
Q: Why not?
A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.
Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.
It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.
The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?
Apparently Cheney now thinks 3700+ Americans are worth it.
posted by The Vidiot @ 1:45 PM PermalinkOf the three brothers in that picture (taken in 1945, can't you tell?) only one survives... the one that never smoked.
My dad, the youngest one giving the salute there, died in 2003 -- pneumonia from complications due to treatment for cancer of the mouth. The oldest, the tall fella on the right, died yesterday -- also from pneumonia from complications arising due to treatment for his lung cancer. Frank was one tough cookie. Served in the military, Sargent of Arms, stationed in Germany. He smoked for most of his life and quit 10 years ago. They say it takes around 12 years to clear your lungs of the damage. He missed it by that much.
Not sure what his wife will do without him. He had the surgery on their 51st wedding anniversary just a few weeks ago. The surgery went well, but he suffered one complication after another. He would wake up in a panic, thinking he was a prisoner in a POW camp, begging his children to help him escape, to be free of the pain and the shackles (apparently, a reference to the equipment he was hooked up to.) Not a pleasant passing.
Why Should Anyone Care About Losing Billions in Equity in the Collapsing Sub-prime Lenders Scam?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:23 PM Permalink There has been both a fictional narrative about the strength of the American economy, as propagandized and lied about by bush economists, and the truth of our crashing economy as exposed by the collapsing sub-prime loan markets, where banks and lenders willfully and gleefully encouraged people with borderline credit to be foolish enough to take sub-prime loans destined to bankrupt the consumer when interest rates changed even slightly. It was the oldest trick in the "bait-and-switch" game and people fell for it by the millions.
Borrow low, wait for market increases to provide some equity, then sell and upgrade: the American Dream.
Except when a government, such as the bush junta, screws things up so badly that home values don't rise, the stock markets go down [even though the markets NEVER came close to the 180% growth of the Clinton administration], and America handles its finances so poorly that even the Red Chinese Communist government can instantaneously bankrupt America by initiating a sell-off of American dollars. That's what happens when one country has to borrow billions daily from another country: sooner or later the debt comes due, and if you can't pay, tough sh*t. The government selling off the securities will always come out ahead of the countries borrowing from them.
The housing market is collapsing, the stock market is still going down, unemployment is up, wages (real wages) are down, inflation is raising its ugly head, the bond markets are failing, our deficits are crushing us and affecting the world economic economy, and as soon as other countries agree to dump the dollar as their "stable currency," the American economy will collapse on a scale not seen since 1929.
But never fear, our Fearful leader just this morning lied to us again about how "strong" our economy is, so we have absolutely nothing to kvetch about, right? R-i-i-i-i-g-g-h-h-t.
Everyone go, "A-w-w-w-w!" - Father of Satan Feels Bad His Son Isn't Popular.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:52 AM Permalink I guess I'm like most people and I don't usually go making snarky remarks about the parents of some clown, like our president, as I generally don't enjoy the, "Yo momma is this or that," kind of snark holding parents responsible for the acts of their grown children. But there are exceptions to every rule.
See this pity-piece in today's NYT about how terrible it is for Daddy to be constantly having his son's shortcomings thrown in his face:
There are times in the life of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States and father of the 43rd, that people, perfect strangers, come up to him and say the harshest things — words intended to comfort but words that wind up only causing pain.
“I love you, sir, but your son’s way off base here,” they might say, according to Ron Kaufman, a longtime adviser to Mr. Bush, who has witnessed any number of such encounters — perhaps at a political fund-raiser, or a restaurant dinner, a chance meeting on the streets of Houston or Kennebunkport, Me. They are, he says, just one way the presidency of the son has taken a toll on the father.
“It wears on his heart,” Mr. Kaufman said, “and his soul.”
These are distressing days for the Bush family patriarch, only the second former president in American history, after John Adams, to see his son take the White House. At 83, he finds it tough to watch his son get criticized from the sidelines; often, he likens himself to a Little League father whose kid is having a rough game. And like the proud and angry Little League dad who cannot help but yell at the umpire, sometimes he just cannot help getting involved.[…]
They talk almost every morning by phone, and Mr. Bush studiously avoids saying anything critical of his son, close associates say. But he has privately expressed irritation with some of his son’s aides. At times, he has urged White House officials to seek outside advice, and he has passed on his own foreign policy wisdom to the president, even as he makes a point of saying his son’s administration is not his.
He views himself, in Mrs. Koch’s words, as “a loving father, first and foremost,” but as he himself suggested to a group of insurance agents at a recent dinner in Minneapolis, loving fathers find it tough to stay away.
“Any parent in this audience knows exactly how I feel,” Mr. Bush said in response to a question about what it was like to have a son as president. “It’s no different. You’ve got to look at it strictly as family — not that anyone is a big shot, even though he’s president of the United States. It’s family. It’s the pride of a father in his son.”
I could not disagree more with this statement, "Any parent in this audience knows exactly how I feel…” and these are my reasons why:
My son never even hinted that he wanted to start an illegal war for oil. My son never commanded our military to conduct genocidal attacks on a country for its oil. My son never commanded the kidnapping, torturing, and "disappearance" of any foreign nationals. My son never bankrupted the country with wildly excessive tax breaks to the wrong people - millionaires and billionaires. My son would never cut funding for the poor, the young, and the infirm to finance an illegal war. My son never corrupted a political party beyond the bounds of rationality in pursuit of illegal objectives. My son never spent $5,000.00 a second fighting an illegal war for oil. My son would not fight tooth-and-nail AGAINST giving our troops better medical care. My son has never and never would order the extra-judicial killing, or murder of people never even charged with an offense. My son would never show the dead bodies of an enemy's son on television in violation of law and treaty. My son has no desire to rule the world as king and kill anyone who got in the way. My son has never actively worked to destroy our constitution and take away civil rights in violation of an oath of office. My son is none of the ugly, pernicious, cowardly, dastardly, and puerile things that your son, GWB, has been shown to be. If my son was any of the things your morally bankrupt son is I would not brag, but remove myself from the public square and spend the rest of my days apologizing to the country and actively doing everything I could to stop him.
So, GHWB, I do know how fathers of people who do good deeds or whom would never hurt anyone feel, and that is, indeed, great pride in a son who desires to do well in life for himself and those who love him.
So, yes, I have that, "It’s the pride of a father in his son…” thing going on in my home.
Somehow you have raised a monster, a megalomaniacal, despotic, would-be-king, wanna-be-dictator who murders for sport, fun, and profits, with the emphasis on profits, for Big Oil, of course. He also believes that god speaks to him as he is the Messiah and GWB talks back to god. He is a religious fool on a Crusade to destroy the Islamic people for their wealth - oil - and that makes him no better that a common thief, at best, and the worst world leader in history, at worst. I think "worst." Anyone who would feel pride for a son who has repeatedly broken both the law and his oath of office must be, in my mind, of exactly the same quality and calibre of person the son is.
So, GHWB, even though you are too blinded by pride to recognize the monster your son is, the rest of the world is not. But then again, I'm just one of those "librels" who actually believes that our constitution is worth having and saving at all costs. GWB considers it to be "…just a god-damned piece of paper…" with which to wipe his a$$.
Excerpt: But we must also assume that if it appears to Team Bush/Cheney/Rove that the GOP will lose the 2008 election anyway (as it lost in Ohio 2006) we cannot ignore the possibility that they would simply cancel the election. Those who think this crew will quietly walk away from power are simply not paying attention.
Let me tell you the reasons why they won't cancel the election. First, if they did that, they'd piss off (and wake up) a lot more people than they already have. Why risk that? Second, they don't have to. Let's face it, except for Ron Paul and Mike Gravel and maybe Kucinich, the people running for office are all the same. They're all the ruling elite, they all have the same interests to protect, they'll all do the exact same thing for all intents and purposes. You get an Obama in there, and you'll not see him relinquishing any control. Same goes for a Clinton, and an Edwards or ANY of the GOP (except Paul). None of them will give back power. They are the ruling elite. Sure, one of them may pick a somewhat more liberal judge than Bush, but for the most part, it will be business as usual no matter who wins.
So why would Bush et al risk canceling an election?
Financial Armageddon or, "Hey mister, have you got $4375.00 to spare for a cup of coffee?"
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:39 AM Permalink Scenario: America has begun and remains embroiled in a horrific, genocidal war with the Iraqis in order to steal their oil. Profit Sharing Agreements, written in Washington, D.C. prior to commencing this illegal war mark the greatest attempted theft of another country's natural resources in world history. Under these agreements, which have cost us dearly to try and get signed, 85%-87% of Iraqi oil profits for the next thirty years will go to Big Oil. Already America is beginning to make deals for the sale of vast quantities of oil to Israel by promising to ship it by pipe, through Jordan to Haifa's refineries. We are spending $5,000.00 per second, borrowed money all, in our attempt to divvy up that which is not ours. America is borrowing the five thousand dollars a second from our newest bankers, the Red Chinese Communist government, which has been only too glad to finance the debacle in which we find ourselves, while their government quietly circles the globe buying up every oil contract it can find for sale at a cost of pennies on the dollar compared to what America is spending squandering lives, devastating countries, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, breaking our military, and bankrupting the Treasury the Chinese are all too willing to keep full for us.
America has been living on borrowed money and borrowed time as we once again begin saber-rattling, blowing smoke, and making utterly puerile threats to start imposing sanctions against our bankers. Well, bankers can strike back, too.
Two officials at leading Communist Party bodies have given interviews in recent days warning - for the first time - that Beijing may use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress.[…]
Described as China's "nuclear option" in the state media, such action could trigger a dollar crash at a time when the US currency is already breaking down through historic support levels.
It would also cause a spike in US bond yields, hammering the US housing market and perhaps tipping the economy into recession. It is estimated that China holds over $900bn in a mix of US bonds.
Xia Bin, finance chief at the Development Research Centre (which has cabinet rank), kicked off what now appears to be government policy with a comment last week that Beijing's foreign reserves should be used as a "bargaining chip" in talks with the US.
"Of course, China doesn't want any undesirable phenomenon in the global financial order," he added.
He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went even further today, letting it be known that Beijing had the power to set off a dollar collapse if it choose to do so.
"China has accumulated a large sum of US dollars. Such a big sum, of which a considerable portion is in US treasury bonds, contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency. Russia, Switzerland, and several other countries have reduced the their dollar holdings.[…]
The threats play into the presidential electoral campaign of Hillary Clinton, who has called for restrictive legislation to prevent America being "held hostage to economic decicions being made in Beijing, Shanghai, or Tokyo".
She said foreign control over 44pc of the US national debt had left America acutely vulnerable.[…]
"The words are alarming and unambiguous. This carries a clear political threat and could have very serious consequences at a time when the credit markets are already afraid of contagion from the subprime troubles," he said.
A bill drafted by a group of US senators, and backed by the Senate Finance Committee, calls for trade tariffs against Chinese goods as retaliation for alleged currency manipulation.[…]
Henry Paulson, the US Tresury Secretary, said any such sanctions would undermine American authority and "could trigger a global cycle of protectionist legislation".
Could it be any more obvious that bush's "war on terra" has exposed America to more existential threats than any terrorist group possibly could?
The Chinese "nuclear option", if exercised, would instantly bankrupt us, cause blockbuster inflation at a breakneck pace, reduce the value of the dollar to about 20¢, and cause every other major holder of the dollar to push a massive selloff of dollars guaranteed to break us.
Imagine $25 flip-flops, $30 T-shirts (a 2-pk, of course), a $180,000.00 Toyota Prius, and $10-$15 for a gallon of gas.
Can't happen? All too sadly it can, and will happen if bush keeps up his imperial ambitions to conquer all the oil-rich nations to steal the oil we could have bought for much less than what we have spent in blood and treasure just to avoid doing the honest thing and buying the damned oil we need.
bush/cheney, the 108th and 109th Rubberstamping Congress, and the willingness of them all to sell off American assets and spend trillions every year we do not have has placed America in far greater danger from the enemies within than from without.
We are not safer. 9/11 happened on bush's watch. bush has spent more money, in collaboration with his congressional sycophants, than all previous presidents combined. His criminal attempt to commit genocide in Iraq to steal their oil jeopardizes us all. The instant we go after any Chinese-controlled oil fields the free ride will stop and all markers will be called in. The financial collapse of the government will lead to martial law and more frantic attempts to steal what America needs because we will not be able to afford to buy whatever that may be. Then America will be no more, as every prior principle that guided America has been corrupted and twisted-in-a-sick-way by bush and the Republicans, with the assistance of the spineless, cowardly mice we have in congress that are called democrats.
After all, it wasn't until Saddam started demanding payment for his oil in a "more stable currency" like the euro that it suddenly became urgently necessary to attack and destroy him.
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.
The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel.
WTF were they thinking!? If I wanted to figure out the best way to confirm the Arab world's suspicions of the US's excellent war in Iraq first I'd sell arms to Israel and then I'd give them Iraq's oil.
Excerpt: US President George W. Bush charged Monday that Iran has openly declared that it seeks nuclear weapons -- an inaccurate accusation at a time of sharp tensions between Washington and Tehran.
"It's up to Iran to prove to the world that they're a stabilizing force as opposed to a destabilizing force. After all, this is a government that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon," he said during a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
But Iran has repeatedly said that its nuclear program, which is widely believed in the West to be cover for an effort to develop atomic weapons, is for civilian purposes.
The article calls the statement "inaccurate" (which is a polite way to say untrue) but the headline calls the statement "dubious" and the last time I looked up the meaning of the word "dubious", it meant "doubtful". But what he said is an out-and-out lie. There's no doubt it's a lie.
The media is too in cahoots with the powers that be, I just can't read any more of it.
posted by The Vidiot @ 12:31 PM Permalink
According to Mr. Vidiot, parts of New Orleans was beginning to feel like it did pre-Katrina. We went there this weekend to visit family and, as a perk, go to the Satchmo fest.
We had a good trip. We landed at 11:45 AM on Thursday, by 12:30 we were shoving po-boys down our gullets at Parkway Bakery. (That's a shrimp and cat po-boy with side of potato salad.) Then, we had a snowball (shaved ice with whatever flavor you want). At about 4pm, we had a muffuletta at Central Grocery on Decatur Street. Then, for dinner (because that wasn't enough) we went to Port of Call for steaks. Then, on Friday, we had another po-boy at Parkway Bakery because they're just that good and that night, went to dinner uptown that was delicious but the place had one of those weird names that I can't remember.
On Saturday, we wandered around the Satchmo Fest.I love brass band music. It was HOT, heat hot, and there were those mist fans blowing. One guy stuck his 9-month old in front of one. Poor kid didn't know if he should breath or suck. The dad was like "get used to it kid. This is a fest in New Orleans and living here means lost of these." Then, we went to Coops for more food.
Now, I'm not crazy about their gumbo (on the left), but the Jambalya (the front bowl) is to die for and and that pasta thing, it's a tasso cream sauce with some sort of ham and crawfish and shrimp and sausage, it's delicious.
We later went to Liuzza's and had a fabulous gumbo.and a fried shrimp plate with red beans and rice. MMmmmmmmm.
Later, we went to dinner at Cochon's. We didn't take pictures because it was all so delicious, we forgot to stop and take the pictures. (Mr. Vidiot, in keeping with his desire to only eat the flesh of the youngest animals, had the suckling pig with chitlins. In a word, it was "wow.")
Unfortunately, we didn't have time for Mother's this trip. We almost went, but the line was too long.
As for nightlife, we hung around the usual: Molly's, DBAs, (where Mr. Vidiot got to see Lyndsey Zaorisky (sp?) one of his favorites from before Katrina. She's got a weird little voice and sings these 1920s type ballads) and we even got to go to Tipitina's. That was great and such a treat. A similar venue in NYC would've cost an arm and a leg, would've had to be purchased weeks in advance and would've been attended by mostly 20-somethings.
And that's the beauty of NOLA. It's not just for 20-somethings. All ages can play. In NYC, only the 20-somethings go out and have fun and I hate walking into a bar full of 20-somethings. Yuck. In NOLA, we heard lots of good music and I could actually enjoy it. Can't find good music in NYC. They say you can, but I can't seem to find it.
And my favorite thing about NOLA? Time passes so much more slowly there. You can actually get things done. In NYC, it takes 20 minutes to just walk to the subway. In NOLA, you can make a round trip to anywhere in the city in 20 minutes. NYC takes your time away from you and NOLA lets you keep it and do with it what you will.
Of course, I'd have to expand the waistlines of my entire wardrobe if I lived there.
Alright, this isn't a travelblog. Just thought you'd like to know where to go if you ever went there.
1.(sometimes capital letters 'V' and 'S' with no space) a style of writing or saying something using emotion and/or logic and snark, esp. in order to elucidate the obvious while pretending to be objective.
2. anything written by The Vidiot, The Sailor, Mr. Vidiot and anyone else they allow to post on the blog “vidiotspeak”
[Origin: loosely based on new + speak, coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984 (1949)]
And for godsakes, stay away from FOX, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It's ALL CRAP!!!
Watch the BBC news or ITN news instead.
"POSSE COMITATUS ACT" (18 USC 1385)
A Reconstruction Era criminal law proscribing use of Army (later, Air Force) to "execute the laws" except where expressly authorized by Constitution or Congress. Limit on use of military for civilian law enforcement also applies to Navy by regulation. Dec '81 additional laws were enacted (codified 10 USC 371-78) clarifying permissible military assistance to civilian law enforcement agencies--including the Coast Guard--especially in combating drug smuggling into the United States. Posse Comitatus clarifications emphasize supportive and technical assistance (e.g., use of facilities, vessels, aircraft, intelligence, tech aid, surveillance, etc.) while generally prohibiting direct participation of DoD personnel in law enforcement (e.g., search, seizure, and arrests). For example, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETS) serve aboard Navy vessels and perform the actual boardings of interdicted suspect drug smuggling vessels and, if needed, arrest their crews). Positive results have been realized especially from Navy ship/aircraft involvement.