Excerpt: Karl Marx, who complained of excruciating boils, actually suffered from a chronic skin disease with known psychological effects that may well have influenced his writings, a British expert said on Tuesday.
The article goes on to say:
"This explains his self-loathing and alienation, a response reflected by the alienation Marx developed in his writing."
This "british expert", Sam Shuster, doesn't understand a single thing about Marx so he's just making stuff up. He's pathologizing Marx. And by pathologizing him and making him sound crazy and depressed, then all of his writings can be discredited and won't be thought of as the brilliant writings that they actually are.
First and foremost, alienation was a very comforting feeling for Marx. It was pleasurable. It gave meaning to the world. Mr. Shuster obviously doesn't know what Marx was trying to say. Mr. Shuster is confusing alienation with anomie. Alienation is a nomic process and nomic means to give order and meaning to the world. Anomie is a sense of isolation and meaninglessness. Alienation actually prevents anomie. Alienation inverts the mind and human processes but alienation is a nomic process that gives people meaning in the world. It separates people from the world. Alienation merely means that you no longer recognize what you produce as your own.
In other words, alienation is a process in which you produce the world that you no longer recognize as your own. Man forgets that the world was produced by him. THAT'S the alienation of which Marx spoke.
On top of that, Marx only wrote about alienation when he was younger. He alluded to it when he was older, but it had already been fully developed by then. When he was old, he wrote Das Kapital. The economic/philosophy manuscripts of 1844, etc. was later Marx. Shuster didn't even get the time eras right. Marx was not an old, bitter man when he came up with alienation. He was young. In fact, it was his dissertation and he was critiquing Hegel's and Feuerbach's concept of alienation. He came up with the theory of alienation, but he didn't come up with it in a vacuum.
So Mr. Shuster is an idiot. He doesn’t understand Marx and he’s just saying things that means absolutely nothing. He’s speaking nonsense. He outta’ go read a book at Starbucks. Perhaps he should start with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” That seems to be about his level.
Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of accelerating attempts to deploy anti-missile defences in central Europe, despite Moscow's request for a freeze on the project.
Washington's negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic over installing the defences "have not only not been suspended, but additional measures are being taken to speed them up," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin. "There is the impression that the United States is trying to make the realisation of its plans irreversible," Kamynin said in a statement.
Kamynin also reiterated Moscow's dismissal of US accusations that Iran presents a military threat. Russia does not support "a holy alliance against this country," he said.[…]
The United States says the shield would guard against potential threats from Iran.
Russia sees the US missile defense plans as a military encroachment in its former sphere of influence that could be turned against Russia's own nuclear deterrence.
The United States, which is still negotiating with Poland and the Czech Republic for access to their territory, insists that the planned missile defences are no match for Russia's nuclear arsenal.
Everyone on down from the Pentagon to the State Department is aware of the troubled history of this interceptor system. It wouldn't matter if America is placing 10 or 100 or 1,000 interceptor missiles anywhere in the Russian sphere of influence.
The system would not have the capability to stop the 11,000 or so missiles Iran can let loose, much less, as in the article above, the system certainly would pose no deterrent to missile launches from Russia (or China either for that matter).
So why is the bush maladministration lying about the purpose of placing this system in Europe? Could it be that they would not put into place a defensive interceptor system but are instead trying to place "preemptive first strike" missiles on Russia and China's doorstep, which would allow only minutes for either country to respond if a missile attack were launched?
Look at bush's record of lies, deceptions, and just plain old evil and think about that for awhile.
Excerpt: Three more city schools and a Queens university have been hit with the drug-resistant "superbug," alarming some parents and prompting staff to intensify efforts to keep kids safe.
While I don't really subscribe to every conspiracy theory out there, this one made me think for a minute.
Excerpt: My worry is that the pharmaceutical companies may be developing a vaccine against MRSA and this recent barrage of media stories over a couple of cases could be setting up fear in folks to accept a vaccine injection for their children. I note that the focus of late is on schools and children. Maybe I am paranoid, but I have seen this type of assault by the pharma companies before. They are in the process of doing it with Malaria. If enough people become afraid of Malaria the companies will have no problem selling their new vaccine.
Deceptive headlines cause misperceptions if not fact checked
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:50 AM Permalink I read The Vidiot's posting below this morning about allegedly 52% of America now supporting a war with Iran and my very first thought was who took the poll, how the questions were asked, and what the responses REALLY were, 'cause one thing for sure in America anymore is that we have a lying pack of warmongering cowards running this country, supported by a press not at all opposed to presenting propaganda to help bush push for more war.
Despite President Bush's perpetually abysmal approval ratings, it appears his increasingly hostile rhetoric against Iran has drummed up enough fear of a "nuclear holocaust" or a World War III that a majority of Americans are in favor of a US strike against the country aimed a curtailing its apparent nuclear ambitions, a new poll shows.
The Zogby International survey shows 52 percent of Americans would support a strike on Iran, while 53 percent expect President Bush to launch such an attack before the end of his second term. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is voters' No. 1 choice to deal with Iran, with 21 percent saying they would like to see her take on Tehran from the White House. Republican Rudy Giuliani was voters' second choice, with 15 percent. […]
"It is utterly stunning that, after the great difficulties we have clearly faced in Iraq (a situation far from finished, by the way), that an absolute majority would favor a strike on Iran at this time," writes Dr. Steven Taylor at PoliBlog. "Even if we assume that the die-hard 25%-30% who still approve of the way the President is doing his job also are in favor of such a strike, where do the other 27%-22% come from to get the pro-strike total to 52%?"
A majority of likely voters – 52% – would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and 53% believe it is likely that the U.S. will be involved in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election, a new Zogby America telephone poll shows.
Quite a different interpretation when you finish the entire opening sentence, which would predicate an Iran attack "to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon…" and says NOTHING as to how many people would favor an attack ABSENT PROOF of the POSSESSION of nuclear weapons.
So wherefrom does the 52% number come?:
…Republicans, however, are much more likely to be supportive of a strike (71%), than Democrats (41%) or independents (44%).…
So I go yer 52% right here. And, as everyone knows I never sensationalize, I cannot interpret this "more likely to be supportive" as "we want to attack."
So I call BS on this. Now, onto other recent polls, which, since they are in a table format I can't duplicate I will just give the name of the poll, the dates taken, and the OPPOSING number only, since the question here is of support or lack thereof. I won't go back more than a month or two:
"If the U.S. government decides to take military action in Iran, would you favor or oppose it?" OPPOSE: 68% ---------- FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Sept. 25-26, 2007. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"If diplomacy fails to convince Iran to end its nuclear program before President Bush leaves office, which of the following actions would you prefer? Do you think President Bush should take military action to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities before his term ends, or let the next president, whoever that may be, deal with Iran?" LET NEXT PRESIDENT HANDLE: 54% ---------- CBS News/New York Times Poll. Sept. 4-8, 2007. N=1,035 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"Which comes closer to your opinion? Iran is a threat to the United States that requires military action now. Iran is a threat that can be contained with diplomacy now. OR, Iran is not a threat to the United States at this time." DIPLOMACY NOW: 59% NOT A THREAT: 24% [I know I promised to not go back too far, but the next one below was one I couldn't resist. Bill] ---------- CBS News/New York Times Poll. March 7-11, 2007. N=1,362 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.
"As you may know, members of the Bush Administration have accused Iran of supporting Iraqi insurgents by supplying them with weapons to use against American forces. When members of the Bush Administration talk about Iran's involvement in Iraq, do you think they are telling the entire truth, mostly telling the truth but hiding something, OR are they mostly lying?" HIDING SOMETHING: 56% MOSTLY LYING: 24%
The polls further back than this have much closer numbers so it would appear that, much like with Social Security, the more bush talks, the less people believe him and believe instead that he is lying and/or hiding something.
I urge everyone to investigate any information coming from the MSM, even when you find it on a site that is usually quite good, as is the case with Raw Story and the original article that started this rumor of greatly exaggerated support for another bush war.
Excerpt: More than a few people were skeptical, when the Washington Post picked up on our story about robotic dragonfly spies. The paper quoted eyewitness accounts -- but failed to find any agency who would admit to using this type of micro air vehicle.
No wonder the Post ended up with an arched eyebrow. However, if they don’t think there are operational, camera-carrying micro air vehicles that look like dragonflies maybe they should take a look the video below.
Welcome to America, where it's as scary as Halloween nearly every day of the year.
posted by The Sailor @ 10:23 PM Permalink
When I woke up this morning, you were on my mind, but I got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, and read the news today, oh boy. Here's the headline & lede I saw:
The State Department promised Blackwater USA bodyguards immunity from prosecution in its investigation of last month's deadly shooting of 17 Iraqi civilians
Then I saw this story:
Blackwater not offered immunity, official says - CNN.com No immunity deal was offered to Blackwater USA guards for their statements regarding a shootout in Iraq last month that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, ... www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/30/blackwater.immunity/index.html?iref=topnews - 6 hours ago
And yet ... and yet ... when you click on the link the headline reads: Officials: Blackwater guards offered limited immunity
So the CNN article disappeared from the time I read it till the time I got home. Now obviously CNN was lied to on their original article, but it brings up the question of why they just didn't correct it instead of making it vanish? (Obviously it's time to have another Blogger Ethics Panel.[/snark])
And it brings up even more questions: Why won't the media out their 'unnamed sources' when they know they've been lied to? Why, after 7 years of Bushco manipulating them with lie after lie, do they still collaborate with 'unnamed sources' in the Bush misAdministration who only lie to them?[/naive]
MS. PERINO: This is what I can tell you: Secretary Rice has made it very clear that she takes the situation very seriously. It is under review. She said that anyone who has engaged in criminal behavior will be prosecuted. I don't have additional detail that I can provide for you, and I'll have to refer you to the State Department and Justice Department for more.
Q Has the President been briefed on this, or what does he think? What is he saying?
MS. PERINO: I do not know if the President has been briefed on it specifically. I can ask.
Q Were they given immunity or weren't they?
MS. PERINO: Helen, as I said, it's a matter that's under review.
Q (Inaudible) tough questions. Why can't you answer them?
MS. PERINO: Because it is a matter that's under review, and I'm going to refer you to the State or the Justice Department for more.
Q What do you mean "under review"? Why don't you say yes or no?
MS. PERINO: The State Department is the one that is looking into this and they are the ones answering questions on it.
Q So the administration hasn't decided whether or not the reports of that are true? You're still looking into whether or not they actually were?
MS. PERINO: I am going to refer you to the State Department on that, who is looking into it.
Q As a general question, how could you both be offered immunity and promised prosecution?
Of course Ms. Thomas never got a straight answer. But at least she asked and pursued the right questions.
Excerpt: Despite President Bush's perpetually abysmal approval ratings, it appears his increasingly hostile rhetoric against Iran has drummed up enough fear of a "nuclear holocaust" or a World War III that a majority of Americans are in favor of a US strike against the country aimed a curtailing its apparent nuclear ambitions, a new poll shows.
Either the majority of Americans are hopelessly and tremendously stupid or this is a pile of bovine excrement so tall, the ISS is in danger of bumping into it.
Excerpt: The White House on Monday said it had little information about Egypt's plans to relaunch its nuclear power program but declared itself "generally supportive" of civilian atomic power.
"I don't know a lot about it. In general, we are supportive of countries pursuing civil nuclear energy. It's clean burning. It provides electricity in a clean-burning and affordable way for citizens," said spokeswoman Dana Perino.
But substitute the word Egypt with the word Iran and well, you have a whole 'nuther can of worms.
It's more than hypocrisy. It's more like, oh, I dunno, hyposcrissimo.
The latest attempt is by holding 'public hearings' all around the country, gathering 'public comments' and then doing exactly what their corporate masters wanted them to do in the first place. If you examine, (Science! I sampled 35% of the latest 300 comments going back 2 months, and only left out the responses from law firms. After all, these were public comments, not corporation comments), 100% of the public comments are against further consolidation.
Yet the FCC seems determined to relax the rules. It's so blatant that even Trent Lott(R- KKK) is determined to stop it:
[...] Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., said they would seek support from their fellow lawmakers for what is known as a resolution of disapproval, in effect a vote to overturn a rule passed by an executive agency like the FCC.
The senators are concerned over a plan circulated by Martin that would see him put forward proposals for reforming the media ownership rules in November and then hold a vote on those proposals only a month later. [...] The resolution of disapproval is so rare, it has only been attempted one time previously said the senators, and that was the last time the FCC attempted to overhaul the media ownership rules.
Well, good luck with that. Seriously, I wish them good luck with that.
Would you care for some coffee with that yellowcake?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:34 PM Permalink Just a thought: seemingly everyone in our current maladministration talks of a nightmare scenario of a "dirty bomb" being detonated in a densely populated city resulting, of course, in disbursement of radioactive material that would harm a lot of people.
bush/cheney have made it crystal clear that they are going to attack Iran and kill a couple of hundred thousand Iranians to "stop them from gaining the knowledge to build a nuclear weapon." Contrary to their lies that Iran may have a bomb by this weekend, Mohammed El Baradei of the IAEA, who was absolutely correct about Saddam not having a nuclear program, says that Iran is at least several years away from possessing the know-how and ability to manufacture a nuke.
But something rarely spoken of bothers me a great deal: Iran has uranium mines and will soon be making its own yellowcake. So when bush starts the bombing it would seem to me that, although Iran does not have any nuclear weapons, they do happen to possess a great deal of radioactive material with which they could pack bombs and missile warheads to increase the danger from those weapons exponentially.
Iran is not Iraq. When bush orders the attack to begin Iran has some 11,000 missiles of varying range that could easily be packed with radioactive material.
Does anyone watching the debacle in Iraq reasonably expect that all the consequences of attacking Iran have been thought through sufficiently to anticipate "dirty bombs" being carried into, and detonated, in a shopping mall near you?
After all, these are the same brilliant strategists that planned the Iraq Oil War, so doesn't it just make you brim with confidence that they have planned the Iran Oil War just as brilliantly as they planned for Iraq?
Liars seek help from a liar that lies better than they lie
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:01 PM Permalink It is absolutely amazing how successful bush/cheney have been at keeping the Iraqi Oil Wars off our TV screens unless they need a particular piece of propaganda pushed, like the "handing over security for Karbala" to Iraqi troops.
You'd think they would do everything in their power to prevent something like this as reported by the McClatchy News Bureau titled Chalabi back in action in Iraq:
Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial, ubiquitous Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has re-emerged as a central figure in the latest U.S. strategy for Iraq.
His latest job: To press Iraq's central government to use early security gains from the surge to deliver better electricity, health, education and local security services to Baghdad neighborhoods. That's the next phase of the surge plan. Until now, the U.S. military, various militias, insurgents and some U.S. backed groups have provided those services without great success. […]
Chalabi, in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, provided White House and Pentagon officials and journalists with a stream of bogus or exaggerated intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to terrorism. He also suggested that he'd lead Iraq to make peace with Israel and welcome permanent U.S. military bases, which could apply pressure to Iran and Syria.
The article continues along, with even General Petraeus singing the praises of Chalabi, one of the key liars that helped the bush maladministration lie the country into the Iraqi Oil War.
I seem to remember that as soon as Saddam's army was beaten he made a beeline straight to the Iranian intelligence services and conferred with them at length.
posted by The Vidiot @ 10:14 AM Permalink
People's knickers are all twisted because FEMA held a press conference with itself.
Excerpt: On Tuesday, FEMA held what was called a "news briefing" on the California fires, but the questions asked did not come from reporters. They were asked instead by FEMA staffers.
But why all the shock? How is it any different from the presstitutes during a presidential press conference? The pressitutes are the propaganda staffers for the white house. It's exactly the same situation, is it not?
Excerpt 2: “It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we -- we certainly don't condone it,” Press Secretary Dana Perino said.
The barely reported highlight of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Tehran for the Caspian Sea summit last week was a key face-to-face meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A high-level diplomatic source in Tehran tells Asia Times Online that essentially Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration's relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.
It could not be any clearer that Russia will defend their interests in Iran, and it wouldn't surprise me at all that Russia could attack our forces in Iraq and out at sea and kill, possibly, tens of thousands of Americans.
Our forces are stretched too thin, exhausted from the quagmire of Iraq, lacking vital equipment, and would be able to do very little if Russia retaliates. We could suffer the worst military defeat in all of Americas history.
And all for a madman already losing two wars simultaneously.
When did Russia become diplomats while America just became dipwads?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:44 AM Permalink From an article in the NYT regarding the utterly inane imposition, unilaterally, of course, of singularly insipid sanctions designed to provoke Iran into war while simultaneously showing the world that Americans are too cowardly to negotiate with Iran unless Iran knuckles under and gives America everything it wants before negotiations start (My god, are we fifth graders again?). The ludicrousness of all this has not escaped our Russian friends:
In announcing sweeping new sanctions against an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran, Bush administration officials took pains to offer assurances on Thursday that at least for now, the United States is not going to war with Iran. […]
The shift represents a tacit acknowledgment that the diplomatic strategy pressed most vigorously by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been ineffective, and it prompted fresh criticism on Thursday from Russia: “Why make the situation worse, bring it to a dead end, threaten sanctions or even military action?” President Vladimir V. Putin asked, in a report by Agence France-Presse.
The administration clearly hopes to enlist allies around the world in its new, tougher stance — in part because the United States, having maintained its own stiff sanctions against Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979, does not have much leverage left itself. […]
Yet officials acknowledged that past attempts to enlist allies in limiting their business ties to Iran have come up short. In each instance, they acknowledged, some other countries have partly offset the sanctions.
China, for instance, has increased trade with Iran in the past year, Mr. Burns said. And analysts pointed out that Russian, Indian, European and even Canadian companies continued to do business with many different sectors of the Iranian economy, particularly its all important oil and natural gas industries. […]
In Tehran, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, shrugged off Washington’s announcement, saying America’s hostile policies ran counter to international regulations and were “doomed to fail,” the official news agency IRNA reported.
Mr. Hosseini said the United States produced nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and had supported what he called terrorist groups. He called the Bush administration’s accusation that Iran was arming Shiite militias in Iraq “ridiculous.”
Given the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty spokesman Hosseini is absolutely correct where he says, "America’s hostile policies ran counter to international regulations and [are] 'doomed to fail,'…".
The treaty is quite specific and has a clear mandate:
Article IV: 1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.
2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.
Greater clarity would be impossible and it is clear that Iran, rather than being the great threat the bush maladministration claims it to be, is in total treaty compliance in seeking nuclear power for itself.
In view of the many violations of law, and the treaties the Great Liar bush has broken, the unilateral wars of aggression to steal Middle East oil, the systematic genocide he is conducting against Muslims, and his adamant refusal to negotiate with a country willing to negotiate with us, as long as there are no pre-conditions that must be satisfied beforehand, it is becoming clear that American bellicosity does pose the greatest threat to world peace.
Why else is bush preparing to go to war with a peaceful nation pursuing nuclear power in full accord with the NPT?
ATLANTA-- Julie Gerberding, the director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, defended Wednesday her congressional testimony on the health effects of climate change earlier this week. [...] Dr. Gerberding, speaking Wednesday at a luncheon hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, dismissed as "ridiculous" such allegations.
"This is not an issue of cover up related to climate change and health," she said.
The original, unedited testimony presented to Congress by Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and obtained by ABC News was 14 pages long, but the White House Office of Management and Budget edited the final version down to a mere six pages. [...] In response to the controversy that followed, White House press secretary Dana Perino stated that the White House Office of Management and Budget redacted the majority of the information on the basis that the science in the testimony did not match the science reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [...] "The science that Dr. Gerberding was trying to bring forward was based on the IPCC report," Knowlton said. "It's quite stunning that only weeks after that group received the Nobel prize for their work that the White House is deleting scientific statements based on that work. [...] "We talk of the politicization of science," said Dr. Linda Rosenstock, dean of the UCLA School of Public Health. "In the politicization of this topic -- the science wasn't changed, it was deleted."
And what was the White House response? I'm so glad you asked. Direct from the WH press briefing:
Perino: [...] And so the decision on behalf of CDC was to focus that testimony on public health benefits -- there are public health benefits to climate change [...] And in the meantime, we are working with experts like Julie Gerberding to figure out what are going to be the health benefits and the health concerns of climate change, of which there are many.
Yes, of course, there will be many health benefits from climate change ... there will be a lot fewer people to object to Bush's eviscerating science and stuffing the corpse with his political and big bidness press releases.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:30 AM Permalink CNN took a break briefly from their 24-hour "Breaking News" segment just long enough for Condi Rice, bush office wife, to announce a new round of sanctions being unilaterally imposed by America against a variety of groups, such as the Quds Force, and promising to freeze every account Iran has hidden in every piggy bank America can find.
I cannot find any new resolution from the U.N., so bush the bringer of war, death, and genocide to all Muslims, apparently decided that Russia and China, with business ties to Iran, would oppose any further sanctions that the bush warpigs could then interpret as authority for an attack. Putin has clearly stated that Russia will not sit by and allow unrestricted terrorist attacks by America, so they would surely have vetoed any such resolutions.
No wonder the world has come to despise us. Now we're calling armies lawfully raised by a sovereign nation a terrorist group, and by imposing draconian seizure procedures to hurt Iran and those that do business with them, we will indirectly, and in some cases directly, be interfering with the lawful commerce of Iran's business partners whom are completely innocent of any wrongdoing.
These acts are, of course, meant to provide or provoke the casus belli for bush to attack Iran with the bunker-busting 30,000 pound bombs that are listed as an item "urgently needed for use by stealth bombers" in bush's new "emergency" request for further war-spending.
This is absolutely insane. Iran is not Iraq, they have thousands of missiles that they will launch immediately upon attack by American forces. And a "shock and awe" campaign such as the one in Iraq will not be so impressive to Iranian armies that will bring the battle outside Iran and attack American interests and Americans throughout the world, and unlike the liar bush saying that "if we don't beat 'em over there they will follow us home and fight us here in America," that will actually be a very real and dangerous possibility and the logical result of being attacked without provocation.
78-million people will band together to fight for Iran with highly sophisticated weapons supplied by China and Russia, countries which may consider this the perfect circumstances for attacking America themselves. After all, our army and marines are both broken forces bogged down in the quicksand of Iraq and steadily destroying our tanks, trucks, armaments, etc., and, after the bombing campaign ceases, our air forces will be similarly depleted.
If Russia and China have decided to stop American imperial hegemony what more perfect opportunity will they ever have again? THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE COMBAT-READY BRIGADE IN AMERICA, we know it, they know it, hell, everyone who reads the papers knows it. Even discounting that, the Iranians have had years of warning from bush that they were part of the "axis of evil" and will thus be much more prepared to carry the fight to us, with bombs going off in crowded theaters, shopping malls, churches, and buildings of commerce as on Wall Street. They can also immediately block the Straits of Hormuz AND go after oil tankers at sea and blast them with the world's fastest underwater torpedo. Traveling at over 200-miles an hour underwater it is clear that no tanker could defend itself against such an attack, and we do not have the forces to escort every oil tanker in the world.
It ain't smart to start wars you can't finish, yet bush has us tied down in two wars we are losing simultaneously, and now is just itchin' to start the third war of his maladministration in less than six years of being in office.
The man is insane, should be seized and taken for a mental competency examination before this crazy bastid destroys the world. bush and cheney both.
White House May Stop Plan For Anti-Radiation Pills
The White House may scrap a plan that would give anti-radiation pills to millions of people, five years after Congress ordered that the tablets be made available to anyone living within 20 miles of a nuclear reactor. [...] Although the White House at the time called potassium iodide pills crucial to preventing thyroid cancer in cases of radiation exposure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) argues against wider distribution of the drug. According to the NRC, the pills may not be the most effective way to prevent cancer and could undermine confidence in U.S. nuclear plants. [...] In July, President Bush stripped the Health and Human Services Department of responsibility for the program and turned it over to the NRC. [...] [Patricia Milligan, the NRC’s senior adviser for preparedness] says the NRC is concerned about undermining the reputation of the nuclear industry. “It’s always a concern that if you expand the distribution (of the pills), you don’t have confidence in the plants”
Bush is breaking the law again. Bush shouldn't have the power to not enforce laws mandated by Congress. It's the freakin' LAW!
Bush is breaking the law so people 'won't lose confidence' in nuke reactors. (Hmm, where have I heard that before?) Like anyone who lives within 20 miles of reactor wouldn't have moved already if they could afford to.
posted by The Vidiot @ 12:01 PM Permalink
I was watching the 20/20 special last night for god only knows what reason. They were doing a special covering the fires in California. The host or whatever was that Gibson guy I think. I just couldn’t get over what an idiot he was. Besides using the word “spectacular” way too much, his seemingly off-the-cuff statements were mind-blowing. First, when the showed footage of the people who were taking refuge in the stadium, he could barely control himself, saying the contrast between the order in San Diego during this tragedy versus the disorder and confusion in New Orleans during Katrina was “stark.” What an idiot. First off, all the people in the San Diego stadium have electricity. They have insurance on their belongings and bank accounts with plenty of cash. They also have information pouring into them via cell phones and wireless internet. They know what’s happening and how it’s happening. The folks in the superdome did not have so much luxury. They couldn’t go outside. They didn’t have electricity and nobody could tell anybody what was going on. Further, they were treated as criminals and social outcasts. They waited in long lines to even enter the Superdome as their bodies and property was checked for weapons or drugs. Instead of feeling safe awaiting government help they were left full of panic and fear. There’s also an issue with the fact that most of the people in the Superdome were the underclass, that is they are the impoverished and excluded. Generally, the government doesn’t give a damn about these people. The middle class and upper class however, are an entirely different story. You can’t treat them like crap because they have some forms of capital and are able to make some sort of a stink, unlike the underclass. On top of that, Gibson, as well as the people who are displaced from their million dollar homes, are so far removed from the working class that they can’t even begin to comprehend the fact that there are people who don’t have any money saved, who don’t have anything but the clothes on their back, who haven’t eaten and may not eat for sometime, who have aches and pains but ignore them because they can’t afford medical care. They can’t begin to understand the kind of panicky behavior that will create.
Then later, that idiot Gibson was interviewing Chertoff and the FEMA manager du jour. At the end of it, he said something like, we wish you the best of luck. Nobody likes to see the government struggle and we wish you the best in your endeavors, or something to that effect. And I was “nobody likes to see the government struggle”? Is he smoking crack? What the hell does that even mean? Government is incompetent. They struggle all of the time and their failures are painfully obvious. That’s why police and armies are used to keep protests at bay when governments fail at their endeavors. There is no truth to what he said, unfortunately people don’t like to see the veils lifted from their reality. It makes them uncomfortable and all too aware that the system is a sham.
And there was something else. They kept saying how they’re trying to protect property. Over and over and over, protect the property, save the property. Now, I get that property is important, but nobody should die trying to save it. It’s just property. Save lives, of course. But property? Do what you can and then leave.
These fires are natural, that is, they happen. Those crazy floods a few years back probably created perfect conditions for a lot of shrubbery to grow and during dry conditions, that’s the stuff that catches fire. Had more money been provided for prevention and controlled burns, then these fires wouldn’t have been able to get so big. On top of that, during that dumb program, only a brief and fleeting mention (that I noticed anyway) of the fact that had they had all of their fire-fighting equipment and all of the usual manpower, a lot of the damage from these fires would have been prevented. You would think that at some point, the program would’ve delved a bit deeper into why these fires have happened, where the money went that could’ve prevented it and where the equipment and troops were to help fight it. (Hint: Iraq)
Oh, and don't even get me started on the logo and theme music. Jeebus.
(Note: Points about class and the state were refined by Mr. Vidiot 'cause he's the sociologist.)
bush lies, people die, everyone sighs, and we all know why.
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:10 AM Permalink The wildfires in Southern California have exposed again the inability of the U.S. Government to manage disasters in Democratic-leaning states, and when bush spoke about it briefly he gave the now standard, "I asked the governor if he has the resources necessary to fight …," one of the most devastating fires of this century and supplied his own response, "…and he said that they do."
Arnold may be a Republican, but he's not stupid, and I wouldn't believe that that is what he told bush if I saw him say it on camera while bearing a notarized statement witnessed by all 535 legislators of the U.S. Congress. As one news reader phrased it, this is Katrina on steroids with almost one million people being driven from their homes, what used to be some of the most valuable and naturally beautiful property in America being burnt to the ground, and the engine for the economy of California, which would be the sixth largest economy in the world if California were a separate country, will stall.
bush's lie that Arnold told him, "Oh sure, we've got everything we need…" ranks right up there with bush's now infamous lie that, "…I listen to my generals on the ground…" in Iraq and matches the lack of interest bush had for California during the electric power rip-off taking place through his buddies at Enron by stating, "Well, that's California's problem and not one the federal government should get involved with…" effectively saying that, "California's a Democratic leaning state, didn't vote for me, and I could not give a sh*t less about their problem…".
Now 1,500 members of the National Guard have been taken off guarding the Cal-Mex border to fight the fire. I'll skip asking why there were fifteen hundred NG troops amassed on the border, but why were they not made available on day one of the fire? And California is no different than any other state with its National Guard depleted in both numbers of troops and the amount, kind, and quality of equipment available to them.
To paraphrase Ross Pirot, "That giant sucking sound you hear is every penny of money the United States is borrowing everyday being sucked down into that black-hole called Iraq, leaving nothing for the use of the common good of all Americans."
bush would rather that rescue and rebuilding work from events like this be provided by NGOs such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, neither of which have the resources, the people, the equipment, or the money to provide the logistical support that will be required by a million evacuees who may have literally lost everything they owned and held dear. But this is obviously why people establish governments and pay taxes - to handle disasters beyond the means of states and NGOs.
God help California, for our government will be unable and unwilling to spend any little bit of American's borrowed money or precious resources for anything but servicing the Iraqi War for Oil. And Arnold is no Haley Barber with several companies to which he can direct rebuilding funds to and then pocket billions in profits, so California is even more screwed than Louisiana. (Notice how you don't hear much about problems in Mississippi and Alabama where they have Republican governors and Senators?)
"I am not fond of expecting catastrophes, but there are cracks in the Universe." Sidney Smith, American playwright.
The only thing Mr. Smith could never have foreseen is that it is the American government, led by the worst president and least compassionate person imaginable, that cracked the universe, and continues to drive the wedges needed to keep that crack expanding exponentially, until it swallows us all.
[...] Before the end of the year, the United Nations is expected to take up its annual reauthorization of a Security Council resolution that allows the presence of U.S. troops here. Iraqi leaders have complained that the U.S. military has used too much force in responding to attacks, leading to the deaths of civilians, and that the Americans have not coordinated enough with Iraqi forces. [...] The parliament speaker’s office, which includes representatives from all three of Iraq’s major ethnic groups, issued a statement Monday saying: “The Iraqi parliament condemns these violations that are against the basics of military work and human rights. . . . The Iraqi parliament is taking these negative violations seriously as it touches the life and dignity of Iraqis.” [...] It is not clear what recommendations the committee might ultimately make, but members of parliament speculated Monday that they could include limiting the U.S. presence to certain areas in Iraq. The committee also could express a desire for a mission statement that the primary goal of American troops should be to train Iraqi forces, while establishing a timeline for U.S. withdrawal.
But, but, but, a timeline will just embolden the terrerists!
But seriously folks, maybe the Iraqis can accomplish what the Dems have refused to do.
Of course, there is a fly in the ointment:
Although Iraq’s position would carry great weight in the deliberations, said Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the U.N. on Iraq issues, the U.S. is one of five Security Council members that has veto power and it could dash any changes it finds unpalatable.
I'll exercise some self restraint and forgo the obvious snark attacks on the 'dash' & 'unpalatable' phrasing because I have a loftier goal.
[...] NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly.
Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers. [...] The AP sought to obtain the survey data over 14 months under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
"Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey," [senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke] wrote in a final denial letter to the AP. [...] Luedtke acknowledged that the survey results "present a comprehensive picture of certain aspects of the U.S. commercial aviation industry."
Once again, Bushco has perverted prevented a taxpayer funded agency from presenting the truth. Their excuse for denying a Freedom Of Information Act request would have been laughed at in any other era. But it's not a laughing matter, Bushco has quashed several lawsuits and investigations claiming 'state secrets', but to claim an 8.5 million dollar tax payer funded investigation should not be released because it might hurt commercial interests is proof of how far our country has descended into a corptocracy.
Besides, if long lines, delays, deaths in custody, mandatory disrobing, body searches and hijacked planes being flown into buildings haven't stopped people from flying I reeeealy don't think a little airspace incursion uptick will stop us.
posted by The Vidiot @ 4:58 PM Permalink
Is it any wonder the federal funding for wildfire prevention was cut so more money could be funneled into the war? (From an article dated 2 April 2007)
Excerpt: But now, the federal fire-prevention money for their work is drying up. Priorities in Washington, D.C., have shifted to paying for national defense, cleanups after Hurricane Katrina and other needs, forestry experts say.
For those people who think that the war doesn't really have any effect on us here at home, guess again.
One can only imagine what the $1.2 billion that's LOST over there in Iraq -- not spent on the stupid and illegal war, but money that was LOST, as in, gee boss, I don't know where all that money went -- could've paid for back here. And Bush has the audacity to ask for $189.2 billion more??
posted by The Sailor @ 5:26 PM Permalink
Stop me if you've heard this one; Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld conspire to trash the reputation of a CIA specialist in WMDs, while breaking American and international law. Sound familiar? But I'm not talking about Valerie Plame, she was just the latest episode ... that we know about.
I'm referring to Rich Barlow, a former covert CIA operative, analyst, WMD specialist, and Pentagon WMD specialist who has been trying to clear his name for almost 20 years.
In the late 80s, in the course of tracking down smugglers of WMD components, Barlow uncovered reams of material that related to Pakistan. It was known the Islamic Republic had been covertly striving to acquire nuclear weapons since India's explosion of a device in 1974 and the prospect terrified the west - especially given the instability of a nation that had had three military coups in less than 30 years . [...] He soon discovered, however, that senior officials in government were taking quite the opposite view: they were breaking US and international non-proliferation protocols to shelter Pakistan's ambitions and even sell it banned WMD technology. [...] Next he discovered that the Pentagon was preparing to sell Pakistan jet fighters that could be used to drop a nuclear bomb. [...] the nuclear weapons programmes of Iran, Libya and North Korea - which British and American intelligence now acknowledge were all secretly enabled by Pakistan - would never have got off the ground. "None of this need have happened," Robert Gallucci, special adviser on WMD to both Clinton and George W Bush, told us. [...] As the first Gulf war came to an end with no regime change in Iraq, a group of neoconservatives led by Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Donald Rumsfeld were already lobbying to finish what that campaign had started and dislodge Saddam. Even as the CIA amassed evidence showing that Pakistan, a state that sponsored Islamist terrorism and made its money by selling proscribed WMD technology, was the number one threat, they earmarked Iraq as the chief target.
There's so much more I encourage you to read the whole thing.
posted by The Vidiot @ 12:13 PM Permalink They are a special breed, quite brilliant, almost Einsteinian.They eschew peanut butter and cheese nips. Simple glue traps? No way, they skirt those like pros. (I however get them stuck all over me somehow.) Snap traps? They just push them aside with their filthy little paws. Predator pee? They seem to instinctively know there are no bobcats in Brooklyn. I've just purchased one of those sonic devices. If that doesn't work, I hope I can rent someone's cat for a few weeks.
Excerpt: We tried humane traps. The mice laugh. We tried snap traps. The mice roll their eyes. I finally allowed the above housemate to bring home glue traps, which he laid out like a force field across the path where the mice enter. They just don’t cross the line. We hypothesized that the mice know the smell of the glue. Whatever the reason, nobody in this entire house has ever caught a mouse in any kind of trap. And our dog, bred to hunt mice in German castles, is useless. I have been hearing similar stories from other people in the hood, and it seems that Bushwick mice have street smarts: they know what will kill them and they avoid it.
posted by The Sailor @ 8:27 PM Permalink OK, as usual I'm a day late and a dollar short, but the reason Saturday Sailboat blogging is on Sunday is that it was the perfect weekend for sailing and I extended Saturday's Joy Of Sailing into Sunday's Xtreme Joy Of Sailing.
p.s. The days may be shorter, but the nights are longer. Ohh, the joys of sailing!
While I don’t think they were able to make their points, they did manage to do one thing: show A LOT of people that there are some pretty angry folk out there. And I think that’s a GOOD thing. Could it be? Some people are beginning to wake up?
Senator Jay Rockefeller loves those telecom lobbyists. Well at least since March 2007 he has. In the last 5 years, Rockefeller received a pathetic amount of funds from AT & T and Verizon. Nothing that could cause a controversy. That all changed in March when the wiretapping telecoms discovered the power of the chairman of the Senate Select Commitee on Intelligence. Since March "telecom Jay" has received $48,500..
It would appear that Jay Rockefeller has figured out that it is easier to sell out to big business than provide principled leadership on the Senate Select Commitee on Intelligence, doesn't it? Or to represent the people who put him there.
And look how cheap it is to buy a senator nowadays! A mere $48,500! Why, that's probably only .0000000000000001% of their yearly profits!
It makes you wonder how much they paid…uh…donated, yeah, that's the ticket, DONATED for Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, doesn't it? I'll bet it was a lot more because of their "leadership" titles, eh? How many more of our senators have been bought so cheaply?
Geez, even Iraqi politicians make off with BILLIONS of American dollars, making our politicians an unqualified bargain. Or at least unqualified to actually stand up for Americans and do their f*cking jobs.
posted by The Vidiot @ 2:08 PM Permalink
But this can't be good. Newspaper execs were arrested for a story that authorities claimed revealed secret grand jury secretes. What were the secrets revealed?
Excerpt: Lacey and Larkin revealed in the story that Village Voice Media company, its executives, its reporters and the names of the readers of its Web site had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor for the grand jury, the Times reported. [emphasis added]
Doesn't THAT just put a chill through your bones?
Honestly though. If you don't know by now that everything you do on the internet is being collect into a huge database somewhere then you don't have a clue. Have you ever turned your cookies off? Try it. Clear your cookies and your cache and turn off your cookies. Go to CNN or any MSM site or almost any site for that matter. You'll be astounded how many cookies the pages try to load onto your system.
There are still Senators that care about America and aren't afraid to show it
posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:20 AM Permalink Earlier this month I wrote about how "unanimous consent" and the desire for "comity" in the Senate was killing our country. Apparently there is one U.S. Senator who has tired of this game and has exercised his prerogative to place a "hold" on the abomination of a telecom amnesty piece of legislation, which, according to bush is the most dire need in America right now. Not sick kids, not getting us out of Iraq, not balancing the budget and restricting spending, not rebuilding NOLA (after all these years), not taking care of the sick, the elderly, the infirm; oh, no! we must give lawbreaking companies immunity from prosecution for their crimes simply because the president broke the law ordering illegal spying.
That Senator is Chris Dodd, Democratic candidate, and apparently the only one of 51 democratic senators willing to play on the same level with the Republicans: down and dirty in the mud and doing what is right for America and the hell with what any rethug might think of a Democratic leader (and this shows true leadership) or the consequent whining by them as to how damaging not passing the telecom amnesty legislation is for the country; how they must bend to the will of the worst president in history.
I just sent this email to Senator Dodd along with a $25 contribution (I ain't no rich guy).:
Thank you, Senator Dodd. I have been watching my country fall apart under Republican rule and have been ashamed that "unanimous consent" and the desire for "comity" has overridden the basic instinct to protect the country from wanna-be despots like bush/cheney. It has saddened me that the rethugs seem to know AND USE every parliamentary trick in the books to stall, obfuscate, block the Democratic agenda, and hell, even muscling the Democratic leaders into approving a "Non-filibuster filibuster" where, by "gentlemen's agreement" the rethugs can filibuster legislation by a mere vote, no need to break out the cots and keep someone on the floor constantly debating as a proper filibuster must be done.
I am an American. I can now be arrested and held forever without trial, charges filed, or the representation of counsel, effectively "disappeared" by presidential fiat, beyond the reach of law and family. I have no right to a speedy trial or any trial at all if so ordered by the president. My death can be ordered extra-judicially by executive fiat, with no review or restraint. I can be kidnapped off the streets of any country and rendered to another for endless torturing, or I may be tortured by presidential order right here in America. If I wish to be able to use my right to free speech, I may be ordered to do so where no can hear, and, if I want to protest elsewhere I will be arrested. I am no longer safe in my home, my papers, or my personal effects as the government can now use "sneak and peak" non-judicially issued security letters to break into my home at will. My computer, emails, phone calls, and letters are all being spied upon without limitation. A systematic genocide of the Iraqi people is being carried out in the name of all Americans to steal the oil we could have purchased through normal commerce for a fraction of the cost. Another systematic genocide of the Iranian people is in the works and the bombs could start falling at any time. My country's reputation is in tatters and being dragged further into the mud daily. America can be kept at eternal war at horrible costs, but America can no longer provide its best for the sick, the elderly, the infirm, and the lesser amongst us. This is not the country in which I grew up. It is a country shaming us all, dominated by the will of the religious right that forms the core support group for the bush administration.
I ask that you read this email carefully and, perhaps, read it on the floor of the Senate so people understand the awful consequences of continuing on this path.
I thank you most of all for doing what no other Democratic Senator seems willing to do. Thank you, sir, for exercising your prerogative and power as a U.S. Senator to stop yet another travesty of justice from being committed. bush isn't seeking amnesty for telecoms going back to 9-11, but going back a full six months or more earlier when the spying he ordered was illegal by ANY standard.
And most of all, thank you for working to restore America's former glory and reputation as the freest and most democratic country on the face of the earth. God bless you, sir.
Would that 50 other democratic senators would dare to use their power to stop bush cold in his tracks to protect America.
ANY senator can at ANY time put a hold on ANY piece of legislation and keep it from coming to a vote for ANY length of time.
Why, they can stop all bills financing this illegal war in Iraq. They can refuse to allow the Pentagon budget from coming to a vote. They can stop dead any Republican legislation, which is almost universally bad for the country. And they can continue this until bush has to scream uncle, if they have the balls.
Frankly, I believe that the majority of American citizens would LIKE to see the Republican agenda stopped dead, instead of watching our country go down the tubes from presidential demands that are so obviously horrible for America.
Thank you, Senator Dodd. There is still a faint ray of hope for the U.S. Senate.
A SPECIAL NOTE: In my zeal and excitement at a U.S. Senator actually having the balls to stand up to our Criminal-in-Chief I erred in stating a hold could stop legislation forever. It may be overcome after a filibuster if 60 Senators vote against it. Let's pray Senator Dodd will actually force a real filibuster, where they bring in the cots and debate the issue for two days so we can hear all the reasons Republicans and now some Democrats want to grant immunity to companies that clearly committed crimes.
Excerpt: Political junkies will recall Quasha as the controversial figure who bailed out George W. Bush's failing oil company in 1986, folding Bush into his company, Harken Energy, thus setting him on the path to a lucrative and high-profile position as an owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, and the presidency. The persistently unprofitable Harken--many of whose board members, connected to powerful foreign interests and the intelligence community, nevertheless profited enormously--faced intense scrutiny in the early 1990s and again during Bush's first term.
Now Quasha is back--on the other side of the aisle. Operating below the radar, he entered Hillary Clinton's circle even before she declared her candidacy by quietly arranging for the hire of Clinton confidant and longtime Democratic Party money man Terry McAuliffe at one of his companies. During the interregnum between McAuliffe's chairmanship of the Democratic Party and the time he officially joined Clinton's campaign, Quasha's firm set McAuliffe up with a salary and opened a Washington office for him.
posted by The Vidiot @ 11:05 AM Permalink
was actually kind of brilliant. In it, terrorists struck in "Imaginationland"and the guys at the Pentagon were all "The terrorist have destroyed our imagination!"
Which is actually a pretty clever social commentary.
Excerpt: The suicide attack that killed up to 136 people and shattered former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's joyous return from exile bore the hallmarks of a warlord tied to al-Qaida and the Taliban, authorities said Friday. Forensic experts studied a severed head to determine the bomber's identity.
It made me chuckle.
EVERYTHING is blamed on al-Qaida these days.
Bombing in Karachi? al-Qaida. Threatening video tapes? al-Qaida Trouble in Anbar Province? al-Qaida Pipeline explosions? al-Qaida Failure in Afghanistan? al-Qaida Failure in Iraq? al-Qaida Toilet clogged? al-Qaida
You get my drift. The terrorists really HAVE destroyed our imagination. The powers that be can't seem to come up with anything besides al-Qaida as the culprit behind every dirty deed that is done anywhere.
When the reality of what's really going on doesn't take all that much imagination at all.
Excerpt: So, after stewing over it all weekend, on the following Monday, she went downstairs, got Don's claw hammer and said: "C'mon, honey, we're going to Comcast."
Mona Shaw found just the tool to register her complaint about service, or lack thereof, at Comcast's Manassas office.
Did you try to stop her, Mr. Shaw?
"Oh no, no," he says.
Hammer time: Shaw storms in the company's office. BAM! She whacks the keyboard of the customer service rep. BAM! Down goes the monitor. BAM! She totals the telephone. People scatter, scream, cops show up and what does she do? POW! A parting shot to the phone!
Sure she got arrested. Sure it was wrong... legally anyway. But imagine if we all did this how much better customer service would become.
The police would probably just clamp down on everything and confiscate every hammer within the city limits.
To restore the Constitution's checks and balances and protections against government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
October 15, 2007
Mr. PAUL introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Select Intelligence (Permanent Select), for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
Yella-bellied, spineless, gutless Democratic Senators folding on Telecom Immunity?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:48 AM Permalink If this report is true it will mean that the Democratic Senators have once again failed to respect the desires of their constituency and folded like a cheap suit before the most unpopular and worst president ever in the history of our country.
Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday with the Bush administration that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program approved by President Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Congressional official said Wednesday.
Senators this week began reviewing classified documents related to the participation of the telephone carriers in the security agency program and came away from that early review convinced that the companies had “acted in good faith” in cooperating with what they believed was a legal and presidentially authorized program and that they should not be punished through civil litigation for their roles, the official said.
The sheer folly of this is ridiculous. bush doesn't care and isn't worried about, "…[the] program approved by President Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks…" he wants to retroactively grant immunity to the telecom companies for the illegal spying they did on Americans before September 11. The spying bush ordered six months before the WTC attack and only two months into his maladministration assuming power.
The spying that was by ANY standard unlawful.
Out-witted, out-manuevered, out-played, beaten at their own game by a lame d*ck president despite holding the majority and despite the fact that ANY senator can at ANY time put a hold on a bill.
Rethugs may be chickenhawks, but the Democratic Senators are just plain chicken. Cowards. Yella-bellied dogs crawling off with their tale between their legs.
Senator David Vitter (R-Wh0remonger) standing on the Senate floor arguing against S-CHIP. I guess he'd rather see the money spent on prostitutes, eh?
Now James Inhofe (R-Willfully Ignorant) is again spouting the maladministration BS about there being "no truth and no consensus as to whether there is global warming," and claiming that barely 7% of scientists would agree that g.w. is a man-made phenomenon. He will be leading a two hour argument later to "prove" there is no g.w. at all.
Barbara Boxer challenged Inhofe to remain on the Senate floor after his speech while she spends two hours debunking every argument he makes or makes up, pointing out just how much cherry-picking of information Inhofe must do to provide a semblance, and just a semblance, of a compelling argument against global warning.
She should save her breath. A brick like Inhofe is incapable of anything but assuming opposing positions against anything which the Democrats believe. Well, that and kissing bush's a$$, right?
bush struggles for relevancy: "I think I think, therefore I think I am."
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:43 AM Permalink Anyone doubting whether bush really believes he is still a giant among men need only take a gander at this post at the Huffington Post titled, "bush Says He is Relevant.":
With his presidency in its final 15 months, his approval ratings at just 31 percent in the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll and Democrats running Congress, Bush has little clout to push his own agenda through Congress.
However, he can stop the Democrats' proposals with his veto since Congress has been unable so far to override his rejection of troop withdrawal deadlines in Iraq and expanded stem cell research. The House on Thursday is expected to fail to override his veto of an expansion of a popular children's health insurance program.
Bush said his veto pen was "one way to ensure that I am relevant; that's one way to ensure that I am in the process. And I intend to use the veto."
Well, let's see if he may be correct.
Fewer and fewer people believes anything bush says. Check The more he speaks about an issue the less people believe him. Check Every time he says, "We don't torture," the world groans. Check Every time bush criticizes any other world leader for injustices he could just as easily be talking about himself. Check His approval rate of 24% makes him one of the most unpopular and disgusting presidents of all time. Check He lied us into the Iraq War and will lie his way into attacking Iran. Check This idiot giggles when talking about fighting WWIII. Check His sycophants in congress and the Pentagon will sit and do nothing while bush destroys half the Middle East. Check If China and Russia get into the fray when Iran is attacked, we will be beaten badly, even if we use nukes. Check bush may very well stupidly order the use of nukes in the M.E. and make all that oil inaccessible due to radiation. Check bush is responsible for killing more Iraqis than Saddam ever did. Check bush will never leave office without having killed several tens of thousands of Iranians. Check.
So I think bush is right that the veto is ONE way for him to remain relevant, but he is selling himself short, as all the points above not only make him relevant, but the worst president ever and one of the most unjust, immoral, and amoral leaders the world has ever seen, sowing evil and destruction everywhere he goes, and being the greatest threat to world peace ever.
When will this new trend of contemptuous conduct ever end?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:26 AM Permalink There is a new sport in America, started by the bush maladministration, that is now trickling down to others and it bodes ill for the status and authority of congress. I am referring to the bush predilection to keep everything secret from congressional investigative and oversight committees.
The battles between bush and such committees are becoming a joke, where virtually every demand for any records from the executive branch is refused routinely, yet those committees don't use their subpoena power to demand the info and then actually hold people in contempt of congress until the documents are produced or someone goes to jail (and charges of contempt of congress may be tried by that body, so the DoJ, which is now totally corrupted, does not need to be the authority conducting trials for this kind of contempt, nor is the use of a regular court of law required, eliminating any possibility of a bush judge throwing out the case).
Other branches of government are following the bush model and are also refusing to cooperate with congressional committees; the State Department, the Pentagon, and other branches of government are refusing lawful requests and ignoring subpoenas.
Now even companies and organizations outside government are giving congress the finger. From an article at Huffington Post comes this regarding Yahoo! executives that may have committed perjury before congress:
A Yahoo Inc. executive was accused Tuesday of giving false testimony to Congress last year regarding the company's role in the arrest of a Chinese journalist.
A House committee wants Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and general counsel Michael Callahan to clarify at a Nov. 6 hearing the allegedly untruthful testimony Callahan gave Congress in February 2006.
"We want to clarify how that happened, and to hold the company to account for its actions both before and after its testimony proved untrue," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a press release. "And we want to examine what steps the company has taken since then to protect the privacy rights of its users in China."
Yahoo spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in an e-mailed statement that the committee's accusation is "grossly unfair and mischaracterizes the nature and intent of our past testimony." She said Yahoo's representatives have been truthful with the committee.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it is considering the committee's request to have Yang and Callahan appear before it.
Considering? Considering? What is happening to our legislative branch? Why the hell would congress even think of "allowing" a private company to "consider" complying with a congressional demand for further testimony?
Why are our Democratic committee chairs apparently unable or unwilling to use their power to demand the attendance of these Yahoo! employees at a time and date certain, with a very clear and enforceable advisement that failure to appear at that time and date WILL result in their prosecution for contempt of congress, that these employees would face prison time, and the company would be facing hugh fines for every day it takes to get the testimony?
Boy. This current batch of Democrats is more spineless than even I would have ever imagined. What good is power not exercised and justice delayed or denied?
posted by The Sailor @ 10:00 PM Permalink
Jon Swift, my favorite conservative blogger to read ... OK, the only conservative blogger I read, explains why Ann Coulter is Number 2, but it's Rush that serves his dooty to our country. I urge you to read all of Jon's site as he is a perfect example of why godless, moonbat, America hating, left leaning loonies, such as myself, should be executed.
Have you ever emailed someone who might have emailed someone who might have emailed someone that the military, DHS or the FBI thinks might have emailed someone? If you have don't email me, email John Aravosis at AMERICAblog.
Excerpt: A Scranton woman who allegedly shouted profanities at her overflowing toilet within earshot of a neighbour was cited for disorderly conduct, authorities said. Dawn Herb could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.
Also, even if you're a kid, you're not allowed to write on the sidewalks with chalk anymore. Really. I'm not kidding.
Excerpt: A 6-year-old Park Slope girl is facing a $300 fine from the city for doing what city kids have been doing for decades: drawing a pretty picture with common sidewalk chalk.
And this guy is suing the police department because they went all SWAT team on him for videotaping an unwarranted search of his neighbor's house.
Excerpt: When one woman was told to stop recording, she gave the videocamera to Waterhouse. He walked to the edge of the property, climbed up a dirt embankment and continued to record. At one point, he yelled to his friend, "Yes, I got it all on film. They had no right to come on this property."
He says in the suit that police immediately came after him, and yelled at him "put it down." Officers moved towards him, and he said, "Don't come after me." Waterhouse said seconds later he was shot with a bean bag gun and a Taser and fell to the ground.
I don't know what to make it of it. It's ridiculous on one hand, but on the other, it's totally frightening. When did we lose our common sense? Are the cops getting stupider? Have we become such sheep that even the most minor of bullies feels like he can act like an animal to control us? Have we always been like this and I'm just noticing it or is this a new phenomenon?
The only think I know for sure is that I do not like where this is going at all.
Addendum from The Sailor: Regarding The Vidiot's last example I just want to add the police version:
Officers wrote in their reports that Waterhouse ran off, they chased and then bean-bagged and Tasered him. One officer wrote, "He had refused to drop the camera which could be used as a weapon."
They lied. As you can see from the video, he didn't run. And the camera was only a 'weapon' because they thought it was aimed at their careers.
(Private note to Vid: (Hey, I said it was private, stop reading!) You asked "Have we always been like this and I'm just noticing it or is this a new phenomenon?"
We've always been like this, but given the example from the WH, it is worse now than ever.)
posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:28 PM Permalink The Senate just voted on an amendment to require government employees to adhere to the rules regarding travel. It seems that the lawlessness of the bush maladministration "trickled down" to minor employees who felt entitled to travel first class instead of business or second class, thus spending two-four times more money than should have been spent for employment related transportation. It is easy enough to see why they would operate under the misapprehension that they were so entitled based upon the examples of one illegality after another being committed by the bush maladministration without censure or condemnation.
This resulted in America paying MILLIONS in extra tax dollars, money that would not have been spent if maladministration employees just followed the law as a condition to their continued employment.
Now, as I remember it, the Rethugs of the GOP are supposed to be the law and order party, so it amazes me that Senator DeMint (R-Waste of skin) would feel it necessary to propose an amendment to require government employees to follow the rules already on the books. Is the old mantra of, "It's not necessary to make new laws when enforcement of the laws extant should suffice…" no longer a conservative creed?
There was a much simpler solution to my mind. Identify each and every employee violating the travel restrictions, require them to reimburse to the Treasury every penny of money spent unlawfully by that employee, and summarily dismissing any employee whom refused to reimburse the difference between first class and the authorized form of travel.
I guess the GOP, now thoroughly entrenched in lawlessness, just didn't desire to get back the money ill-spent by employees, so instead, they sponsor a totally unnecessary amendment that will operate prospectively and not retroactively. Every employee is already required to follow the rules and conditions of their employment, but I guess the GOP wanted to start repairing their status as the "law and order" party by passing "show" legislation that is both not necessary, and which is duplicative of laws, regulations, and ordinary job requirements already on the books.
Way to go, GOP! Remind all your employees to follow the law, pass a new law to ensure they do, and make sure no one goes after the employees for reimbursement of illegally expended funds.
Russia may stop bush from making another horrible mistake
posted by Bill Arnett @ 10:48 AM Permalink I think it's great that, finally, a well-known leader of one of the only superpowers left today, President Putin of Russia, went to Iran and spoke about Iran having absolutely every right in the world to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear power. Every signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty already knows this, and it has always mystified me that bush and cohorts could ignore that fact and address Iran in the most bellicose manner possible, probably a cheap attempt to provoke a reaction from Iran's leaders that bush could then twist into a reason to bomb Iran.
And it really strikes me that here America should be defending Iran's rights instead of condemning them, and that it takes a real leader like Putin to travel to Iran and reaffirm that which the world has seemingly forgotten, that as signers of the NPT they have every right to nuclear power.
Russia has a deal to build them a nuclear reactor to help provide electric power for Iran and likely would look with disfavor upon any other nation that would attack and destroy that reactor.
Putin is not all talk and bluster and a person to whom diplomacy is mistaken as a sign of weakness as bush seems to believe.
Funny, isn't it, that bush is scared to death to engage Iran with diplomacy - talk! - while Putin does not fear to actually go to Iran to engage in talks despite death threats that, in my opinion, were planted by the bush propaganda machine to try and stop Putin's trip.
Can they leave in time to avoid charges for war crimes?
posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:36 AM Permalink There is an excellent article in the International Herald Times this morning discussing the fact that bush has made more interim appointments to important government positions than any previous president.
The reasons are manifold. Bush wishes to avoid contentious Senate confirmation hearings. Since the majority of nominees for open positions have little or no experience in the jobs for which they are nominated, and were nominated solely for their past contributions to the bush campaign, bush has had to resort to interim appointments to fill many positions with his cronies.
Also, now that bush is a lame duck with about fifteen months remaining before America is finally shed of its worst president ever, even the unqualified political hacks he has appointed or allowed to serve in an "acting" capacity realize that when a Democratic president is elected next year there will be wholesale firing and replacement of these people.
Many departments are severely understaffed already, with vacancy rates exceeding 25% of the required workforce, and many, many highly qualified people have been fleeing the bush maladministration while some smidgeon of their honor intact.
From the article:
[…]With only 15 months left in office, President George W. Bush has left whole agencies of the executive branch to be run largely by acting or interim appointees — jobs that would normally be filled by people whose nominations would have been reviewed and confirmed by the Senate. In many cases, there is no obvious sign of movement at the White House to find permanent nominees, suggesting that many important jobs will not be filled by Senate-confirmed officials for the remainder of the Bush administration. That would effectively circumvent the Senate's right to review and approve the appointments. It also means that the jobs are filled by people who do not have the clout to make decisions that comes with a permanent appointment endorsed by the Senate, scholars say.[…]
"You've got more vacancies now than a hotel in hurricane season," said Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and one of the nation's best-known specialists on the U.S. bureaucracy. "In my 25 years of studying these issues, I've never seen a vacancy rate like this."[…]
Professor Light said it was not surprising for the number of vacancies in senior government posts to grow near the end of a president's term, when political appointees seek work outside government and it becomes more difficult to recruit candidates for what may be short-term jobs.
But he said the situation in the final months of the Bush administration was dire. Since Bush may well be replaced by a Democrat who would almost certainly want a wholesale turnover of political appointments, the vacancies could continue well into 2009 at many cabinet departments and other agencies, Professor Light said.
He said the problems of having so many acting senior government officials were obvious: "One of the things we know is that they just aren't as effective as Senate-confirmed appointees. They just don't have the standing in their agencies. Acting people are very shy about making decisions."
Please go read the entire, well-researched, well written article for more detail, but I would like to posit another possibility for so many maladministration members resigning and others withdrawing their names from consideration for a position: When bush is out of office I believe there is the very real possibility that he and other members of his maladministration could find themselves in the uncomfortable position of facing a war crimes tribunal.
bush/cheney would be a really easy conviction, all the enablers in a Pentagon staffed by sycophant generals following illegal orders, Justice Department employees who have given opinions that allow bush to torture captives, the CIA agents and private security contractors implementing that torture, companies such a Blackwater USA who kill Iraqis without compunction, and the indiscriminate use of WMDs by the U.S. that have the unfortunate side effect of killing many innocent women and children could separately or together be used as the basis for charges of having committed war crimes begging for prosecution.
I think such a prosecution would go a long way towards restoring some of the honor America formerly enjoyed, as well as showing the world that even a rogue U.S. administration is not beyond the reach of international law.
bush has conducted a systematic genocide of the Iraqi people, killing more than one million, over two million have fled to points outside Iraq, and another two million or more are displaced within Iraq that is causing a humanitarian disaster.
It's hard to think of any person or group of people who deserves international condemnation and prosecution than this bunch in charge of America today.
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.