Tuesday, May 31, 2005

W. Mark Felt, of the FBI was Deep Throat

According to Vanity Fair

Like a puzzle, the picture slowly comes into focus.

But, will America notice.

A few weeks ago the phrase, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" came out into the public arena. With that, the real story of the Invasion of Iraq appear to be at last be coming into view. The fictions that were used as justification for war, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism ties, and nuclear development have been proven false. The wall of lies and obstruction created by the Bush administration are slowly being broken down.

In Salon, Juan Cole looks at the lies that led to war. What is most striking is that even after the world trade center attack, late into September 2001, Bush's insistence on attacking Saddam, instead on Bin Laden. This shouldn't be a surprise, this fact has been mentioned in that past, by Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neil. Both confirmed the Bush administration's obsession on Saddam.

the Bush administration almost took the United States to war against Iraq in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11. We know about this episode from the public account of Sir Christopher Meyer, then the U.K. ambassador in Washington. Meyer reported that in the two weeks after Sept. 11, the Bush national security team argued back and forth over whether to attack Iraq or Afghanistan. It appears from his account that Bush was leaning toward the Iraq option.

Meyer spoke again about the matter to Vanity Fair for its May 2004 report, "The Path to War." Soon after Sept. 11, Meyer went to a dinner at the White House, "attended also by Colin Powell, [and] Condi Rice," where "Bush made clear that he was determined to topple Saddam. 'Rumors were already flying that Bush would use 9/11 as a pretext to attack Iraq,' Meyer remembers." When British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Washington on Sept. 20, 2001, he was alarmed. If Blair had consulted MI6 about the relative merits of the Afghanistan and Iraq options, we can only imagine what well-informed British intelligence officers in Pakistan were cabling London about the dangers of leaving bin Laden and al-Qaida in place while plunging into a potential quagmire in Iraq.


What is truly stunning is that it appears that the British and not the experts and advisors in Bush's administration, who may have been the most responsible for the US focusing the response on the proper target, Bin Laden.

"Blair came with a very strong message -- don't get distracted; the priorities were al-Qaida, Afghanistan, the Taliban." He must have been terrified that the Bush administration would abandon London to al-Qaida while pursuing the great white whale of Iraq.


The Bush administration's efforts to start a war with Saddam were not limited to creating a false hysteria about him. We also tried to anger him and thus, trick him into striking out. There was a dramatic increase in bombings by US and UK air forces against targets in Iraq. There is little doubt that we wanted to goad Saddam in to striking back. The blood lust for war is clear, and the lengths that Bush and his aids went to stunning.

Geoff Hoon, then defence secretary, told the meeting that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime".




When events that are as immoral and duplicitous as these occur, action is demanded. After Downing Street has been created to make sure the truth is not hidden any longer. This collection of peace groups, veteran groups and political actions groups has started a campaign to force congress to investigate if the actions of the Bush Administration are legal, or if the actions may qualify as impeachable offenses.

Consider looking into and supporting their efforts. If you are concerned, find a way to make your voice be heard. At the very least join in Rep. John Conyers Jr.'s effort to have 100,000 persons sign a letter on the Downing Street Inquiry.

Dr. Don Wildmon and the AFA have a new target.

After ending their 9 year boycott of Disney, by declaring victory and walking away, the American Family Association has now taken aim at Ford Motor Company, angered by their promotion of Volvos in Australia, and some of Jaguar's gay friendly advertising.

Based upon the success of the Disney boycott, I suspect Ford isn't to worried

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Iraqi airforce sounds a lot like the Iraqi government

A news report today indicated that 4 US soldiers were killed in an Iraqi Air Force plane.



In the eastern province of Diyala, an Iraqi air force aircraft crashed with four US soldiers and one Iraqi on board, and the US military said an American soldier had died Saturday in Mosul.


1 Iraqi and 4 Americans on the 'Iraqi' Air Force plane.

Interesting, sad, but interesting.

Memorial Day Weekend is starting,

and while we are cleaning the grill, or hitting the beach, or polishing up the boat, do take a moment to remember those who have made personal sacrifices for the good of our nation. Remember that even when the cause was questionable, the men and woman on the point of the spear have little say about where they are pointed.

I will also spend a little time reflecting on a few non-traditional memorials.

Jeffrey Glen Miller, Allison Krause, Sandra Lee Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder of Kent State, and those who have stood up for what was right. Marla Ruzicka, and the other relief and aid workers who have tried to help those needing it most. Terry Lloyd, and the hundreds of members of the media who have died when covering the war efforts around the world. The last group to remember are those who have the misfortune to represent the collateral damage of any war.

Operation Lightining and Thomas Friedman

are the focus of a great bit on Baghdad Burning.

Friedman wonders why thousands upon thousands protested against the desecration of the Quran and why they do not demonstrate against terrorism in Iraq. The civilian bombings in Iraq are being done by certain extremists, fanatics or militias. What happened in Guantanamo with the Quran and what happens in places like Abu Ghraib is being done systematically by an army- an army that is fighting a war- a war being funded by the American people. That is what makes it outrageous to the Muslim world.

In other words, what happens in Iraq is terrorism, while what happens to Iraqis and Afghanis and people of other nationalities under American or British custody is simply "counter-insurgency" and "policy". It makes me naseous to think of how outraged the whole world was when those American POW were shown on Iraqi television at the beginning of the war- clean, safe and respectfully spoken to. Even we were upset with the incident and wondered why they had to be paraded in front of the world like that. We actually had the decency to feel sorry for them.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Incompetence rewarded,again

More evidence that the fastest path to a corner office in the environment created by the Bush Administration is to be a failure at your job.

From Rice, to Bolton, to Wolfowitz, advancement and praise rewards the failure. Now we learn that the two analyst who's screwed up work led us to claim that Saddams aluminum tubes were a nuclear threat, have

received job performance awards in each of the past three years


Well these days, actually doing your job well, and discovering truth, appears to matter less than sticking to the talking points, and supporting Bush's policy.

So how hard would it have been to discover the truth in this case?

The problem, according to the commission, which cited the two analysts' work, is that they did not seek or obtain information available from the Energy Department and elsewhere showing that the tubes were indeed the type used for years as rocket-motor cases by Iraq's military. The panel said the finding represented a "serious lapse in analytic tradecraft" because the center's personnel "could and should have conducted a more exhaustive examination of the question."



Wow... a phone call, no wonder they missed it.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Cross burnings in NC include St. Luke's Episcopal Church

From Pams House Blend. No doubt a gift inspired by those fine Christians at Westboro Baptist Church .

The cost of your savings at Walmart

One 200-person Wal-Mart store may result in a cost to federal taxpayers of $420,750 per year – about $2,103 per employee. Specifically, the low wages result in the following additional public costs being passed along to taxpayers PER STORE:

* $36,000 a year for free and reduced lunches.
* $42,000 a year for Section 8 housing assistance.
* $125,000 a year for federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families.
* $100,000 a year for the additional Title I expenses.
* $108,000 a year for the additional federal health care costs of moving into state children's health insurance programs.
* $9,750 a year for the additional costs for low income energy assistance. NO WONDER their prices are so low -- WE'RE making up the difference through our taxes!! And THEY'RE pocketing the profits!


From Seeing the Forest and Wake up Walmart

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More evidence about the Koran in the toilet

This time from the FBI . I have to wonder how Scott will respond to this bit of news.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Detainees interviewed by FBI agents at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba complained repeatedly that military guards and interrogators mistreated the Koran, with one alleging that the Muslim holy book had been flushed in a toilet, documents made public show.

Amnesty International condemns the US's

camp in Guantanamo Bay and it worldwide complex of detention centers.

As a superpower, the United States has shirked its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections and has instead created a new lexicon for abuse and torture, Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said for the London-based group's annual report launch.

"The United States ... sets the tone for governmental behavior worldwide," Khan said.

"Attempts to dilute the absolute ban on torture through new policies and quasi-management speak, such as 'environmental manipulation, stress positions and sensory manipulation,' was one of the most damaging assaults on global values."


What has constantly amazed me is how the American public has bought into the concept of 'environmental manipulation, stress positions and sensory manipulation,' and not seen them for what they are,


Tourture.

Words of love from the religious right, Part 5

Today guest is James Dobson, of Focus on the Family.



State Universities are breeding grounds, quite literally, for sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), homosexual behavior, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, alcoholism, and drug abuse.



My observation is that women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership.



Nothing short of a great Civil War of Values rages today throughout North America. Two sides with vastly differing and incompatible world views are locked in a bitter conflict that permeates every level of society. Bloody battles are being fought on a thousand fronts...


But this is the most important quote.
Focus on the Family will continue to fight for moral values. And we'll try to keep you informed of the threats coming against the institutions of marriage and parenthood. But we do need your financial support to get the job done
Please keep those checks comming sheeple.


Parts 1-4 can be found here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A reminder from the LA Times, that Newsweek was right

Dozens Have Alleged Koran's Mishandling


Senior Bush administration officials reacted with outrage to a Newsweek report that U.S. interrogators had desecrated the Koran at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, and the magazine retracted the story last week. But allegations of disrespectful treatment of Islam's holy book are far from rare.

An examination of hearing transcripts, court records and government documents, as well as interviews with former detainees, their lawyers, civil liberties groups and U.S. military personnel, reveals dozens of accusations involving the Koran, not only at Guantanamo, but also at American-run detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Owen is still not fit to be a Federal Judge

The centrist agreement will give Owen (and others) an up or down vote. This doesn't mean she is actually fit to serve as a judge.

Our Senators now need to fight to try to get a no vote in this case.

Well, a deal was made.

and only 3 advance, and 2 will be blocked.

The Dobson crowd is having fits, but the far left is also unhappy with the advancement of Owen, Pryor, and Brown (who may have been the least appealing of those being blocked). So, in the tradition of all great compromises, everyone is unhappy.

No more Mister Nice Blog has a far more literate and complete look at the whole deal.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The nuclear option is better than a poor compromise

I had hoped that the centrist of both parties could work out a reasonable deal. One where both sides could get a little of what they wanted. When they were talking approval of 4 or 5 of the 7 who are currently being considered, it appeared reasonable.

The latest rumors are that the current compromise would allow the approval of 6 of the current 7 contested nominations, and restrict the use of the filibuster to 'extreme circumstances'. The dems stop 1 poor choice as a judge, and get to keep the potential use of the filabuster, but only for the next 18 months. In return, they have to approve 6 judges, and at any time the Republicans could decide that any filibuster was being used outside the agreement, and then still vote it away.


The Democrats would be best served to walk away from that, and allow Frist to deploy his nuclear weapon on the Senate.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Working diligently to achieve third world status.

The traditional roll of the leaders of enlightened nations has been to improve the lives of the citizens, and the standing of their nation. With that in mind, the actions of our current administration, and the zombies in the House and Senate who follow their instructions, are perplexing. For some reason, our leaders are working in another direction.

When you think of a third world nation certain traits come to mind. Poverty is always one of the realities of life mentioned. We will also find a huge division in wealth with a very small middle class, limited educational opportunities, corrupt and unresponsive government, and a highly dependent economy.

Right now it sure looks like moving this nation into the third world is the goal of Bush and friends. We now have huge deficits and an enormous amount of debt, but no tax cut is a bad tax cut. The end result will be, with time, unsustainable. This will end up forcing huge cuts to government programs, or huge tax increases or both. The collapse in Argentina is an example of what we can look forward to.

Economic changes are putting new and profound pressure on the middle class. The class of well paying middle class jobs have been shrinking for decades. In addition, the level of compensation for jobs can be greatly out of wack, with top executives earning 400+ times what the average worker earns. We are at risk of becoming a nation of 2 social classes, the ultra rich, and dirt poor.

But it is more that the mountain of debt we are building that threatens our nation. Another thing associated with a third world nation is a government this is adept at deceiving it citizens. There is no doubt that the Bush administration is expert at this. They have developed a media echo chamber that is so effective that no spin is ignored. Aside from the large and very docile talk radio world, they have fake reporters, disingenuous TV host and in a pinch, editorial writers who are bought and paid for.

One other trait is a lack of education and development in scientific areas. This weeks news shows us yet another success in the Bush third world plan. South Korea has made another huge advance in the area of stem cell research. They are starting to run with what they are learning, our scientist are still being kept in their crib, trying to learn how to sit up. What was the reaction of the Bush administration? He condemned S. Korea's efforts, and vowed to veto a bill on this subject.

Stem cells are not the limit of Bush's hatred of science. Bush's administration has obstructed efforts in environmental science, bio ethics, and health. The desires of big industry or the religious right movement where given greater consideration that the scientific fact, according to a report requested by Rep. Henry Waxman.

At times I have felt that some on the right would live to roll the clock back to the 1880s or 90s, When robber barons were right, and domestic staff was easy to find. Now I see it is not only the economic, and social policy of the late 19th century that they love but also the level of scientific advancement, and personal liberty.

Friday's Places to visit

soonergrunt on DailyKos tales of his conversation with a couple of pro war Star Wars fans.

A real tale of horror and murder, from the NY Times. Again I ask, what is being done in my name

Two good visits to Orcinus, first some information on a hate Crime, and the a look at the journalistic standards of Michelle Malkin

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A must read, it appears that the Bush Administration

or some of it's supporters have been caught red handed trying to pass off their desires, as 'independent testimony'.

This isn't new, cannonfire reminds us about a similar lie that the American Center for Voting Rights tried to pull.

Words of love from the religious right, part 4

Today we hear from Pat Robertson, a man who has given out so much love, we may be able to focus on him for months.


You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.




The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.



in the past we have visited with Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell and Randell Terry.



PS. Pat is one of those demanding the Frist Nuc the Senate. If that doesn't make their final goal clear, little else will

It depends on how you define threat

I suspect that the FBI has been smoking a little of what the DEA has been impounding.

In a recent Senate briefing John Lewis, the FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, confirmed that ALF and ELF are the real terror threats to our nation. They have accounted for over 1,200 illegal acts since 1990 and the count has been rising. At the same time, the number of incidents involving right wing groups, the KKK, the National Alliance, American Nazi, the various anti abortion groups and other right wing groups have been in decline.

But, here is where I think a failure in understanding on the part of the FBI comes in.

No deaths have been blamed on attacks by those groups so far, but the attacks have increased in frequency and size


This is an important fact to note, and in fact defines these two sets of terror groups. ALF and it better known cousin ELF are terror groups, but there actions in the past do indicate a strong desire to avoid the risk to human life. When you consider the actions of those on the right, the reverse seems to be the case.

Alan Berg is gunned down, or 50 Hummers are destroyed; a homemade weapon of mass destruction in Texas or a fire at a unoccupied ski resort: ALF released 200 lab animals and 2 militia wacks did this.

Notice a pattern?

Both groups are involved in crime, terrorism, and neither deserves our support. One group appears to select it actions to cause economic harm to a limited sector of the society, the other seems to be focused on killing people.

Now notice who the government has decided is the bigger threat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A quote that says it all

Life in the United States now is like being trapped on a jet piloted by people who keep claiming there's a huge secret tunnel through the Rockies—and they're going to use it to fly us all through to the other side. You just have to pray to god they know they're lying.


A Tiny Revolution

Army admits mock executions

Two officers have been punished for staging mock executions in Iraq in 2003. It is good to see some actions taken by the US Army, but you have to wonder how many events of this nature go unreported.

This news, and the conviction of Sabrina Harman do give hope that some will be held accountable for their illegal actions. What is depressing is the total lack of accountability of anyone in a senior command position.

This raises the question: How good are our investigations, when those doing the looking are part of the system?

This is important to know, since the white house appears to be trying to claim that there is no evidence to support Newsweeks claim of systemic abuse of the Quran or prisoners at Guantanamo.

The end game on the nuclear option is near.

Our President, George Bush, is demanding an up or down vote. Calling on the republicans to 'uphold' the constitution.

what is interesting is what the Constitution says.

by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.


Advise and Consent is required, not just a simple up or down vote.

Advise and Consent is a higher much standard than a simple vote, and proper for lifetime appointments. Lets pray that at least 51 of our Senators have the wisdom to understand this.

Bush's Poll numbers keep sinking

The Pew research Center has released the latest job approval poll for Bush.

43% approve
50% don't

Some mandate, isn't it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Christian Dominionism, Scott McClellan and Newsweek

No, these are not that related, except that destroying independent media is one goal of Dominionism.

They are just four great reads.

Keith Olbermann, at MSNBC nails Scott McCellan and the Newsweek issue

M. Kane Jeeves looks at the Dominionist in Damned if you don’t, or World O' Crap's look at Steve Schlissel and Sadly, No's look at his daughter Sarah Faith Schlissel

Oil for food, Oil for fraud, Oil, Oil, Oil

The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is going to chat with British MP George Galloway about his dealings with Saddam. The Republicans are still trying to find ways to attack the UN, and anyone who opposed the war against Iraq. These hearings (and there are over a Dozen on this alone) are absurd and partisan power plays, but may offer some entertainment, Galloway claims he will be on the offensive.

And there is a lot to consider that the Republicans, while running these shows, have ignored.


We know that the Bush Administration knew about and ignored Saddams illegal oil activities. We also know that the US administration in Iraq has lost track of 9 BILLION dollars in oil money.



I wonder how much time these committees will spend investigating these failures of oversight? Since the goal of these committees seems to be more about UN bashing, than truth, I don't expect to hear much about these other issues.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Outrage fuels the Radical Right

Without creating the perception of persecution and abuse, they are unable to rally the money or people to keep up the fight to overwhelm the US. To do this they lie to create news that supports the fable that Christianity is under attack.

Austin Cline looks into the latest 'outrage' reported by the World Net Daily, and supported by Alliance Defense Fund.

It is funny how when the real facts are presented, the story of persecution falls apart.

Iraq, not getting better

Iraq is still an uncontrolled war zone, and I don't see C. Rice's visit helping much, but the PR wasn't bad.

I noticed that we just finished Operation Matador , and it was a resounding success (yea, right). We killed or captured 164 insurgents, with only 9 Marines killed (but please remember we don't do body counts). What is most interesting about this mission is what we are going to do with the land we have taken, we are going to withdraw from it.

That sounds like a bit of our History, where we would fight, kill, and die to take an objective, only to give it back.

It also appears that the habits of the old Iraqi administration are tainting the way the new Iraqi administration works. Lately, bunches of recently killed bodies have been found. In one recent case a couple of men survived, and claim those killed were shot by Iraqi security forces, not resistance.

A dirty war may be getting dirtier

The Independent tries to capture the scope of the disaster that Iraq is becoming. This is a great example of the obvious being overlooked by most of us.

There is no doubt that the US has failed to win the war. Much of Iraq is a bloody no man's land. The army has not been able to secure the short highway to the airport, though it is the most important road in the country, linking the US civil headquarters in the Green Zone with its military HQ at Camp Victory.


and a bit in the Whiskey Bar raises the question of how will this war be viewed in 5 years, and reminds us a big question still laying out there.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Abstinence, another silly 'Just Say No' joke.

The generation gap is as real and as impassable as it has been for all of mankinds history. Little can change this, but this generation of teens do have one thing they can share with their parents.

The absurdity of 'Just Say No'.

In the eighties is was drugs, for this generation it is all about sex. The trouble then, as now, is it doesn't equip teens with the proper tools to make smart decisions. The basic technique is the try to scare the hell out of the audience with tales of disaster and, most of the time, outright lies.

I hope we can all agree that the war on drugs, and the Just Say No plan, was at best an abject failure. I wonder why any rational person expects this latest scheme will work.

Sex education is a subject that for many has a very high ICK factor. Parents are not comfortable talking about sex with their kids, and most kids would be very happy to never consider the sexual nature of their parents. Too few children get real information from their parents, and the second source for information (the schools) can now sum up the state approved curriculum in the 5 seconds it takes to present.

Don't do it.

Teens make stupid decisions. The majority don't think that they are invincible, they KNOW they are invincible. Only by giving them real information, facts not fear, can we arm them to survive their own mistakes.

When I was young, our church youth got the most effective sex lecture that I have ever heard of. A member of the congregation did this for us. He was an MD and a PHd, teaching classes in the school year, and running a free clinic in a resort area during the summer.

He explained everything. What happened, why birth control works, and why it didn't. We learned about the various STD's, what might help prevent them, and what wouldn't. All of this covered in under 2 hours.

Two things that he said have stayed with me. The first was the only way to be sure that you never had to deal with a crisis pregnancy was to never have sex. There were a number of ways to greatly lower the chances, but for 100% security you had to stop at third base. The second was point was highly pragmatic, every boy and girl should always carry a condom when going out on a date.

This was wisdom he carried from hearing from teens and young adults every day all summer long. They didn't plan of having sex, it just happened, they got carried away, and they were unprepared.

The current direction of our nations sex education favors putting our children in exactly the same position as the kids he saw, uninformed and unprepared. Abstinence needs to be a huge part of the program, but real information needs to come with it, not right wing scare tactics.

and the groups like True Lies, who's speakers appear promote this crap should be closed down.

Friday's recommended reading.

A must read from the Green knight, From depraved to Saved. A look at aberrant behavior from the leadership of the right.


Another great one from Orcinus , The undertow of totalism.


Who is Manuel Miranda? We are reminded about who he is, and why he is dangerous, from Daily Kos.


The religious environment at the Airfoce academy is the focus of Blogenlust. World O' Crap adds This.


and Pandagon has found a list of dating instructions.

What's wrong with Priscilla Owen

Buzz Flash breaks it down.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Words of love from the Religious Right, Part 3

A continuing, but irregular look at some of the religious right.

Today guest is Ralph Reed, one time Christian Coalition leader, Indian agent and current Lieutenant Governor candidate in Georgia.


I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag.




It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. You've got two choices: You can wear cammies and shimmy along on your belly, or you can put on a red coat and stand up for everyone to see. It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective.



Why engage in open talk and discussion, when working in the shadows can be more effective. This way we can take over the government before anyone notices.


Just a reminder, our past guests have been:

Jerry Falwell

Randall Terry

Dr. Hager, another Bush administration family values guy

is exposed in The Nation.

After Mayor James West, Rep. Don Sherwood, Neal Horsley and Jeff Gannon the two sided nature of this man should not be a surprise. We just have another Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


Dr. Jekyll
For Hager, those moral and ethical issues all appear to revolve around sex: In both his medical practice and his advisory role at the FDA, his ardent evangelical piety anchors his staunch opposition to emergency contraception, abortion and premarital sex. Through his six books--which include such titles as Stress and the Woman's Body and As Jesus Cared for Women, self-help tomes that interweave syrupy Christian spirituality with paternalistic advice on women's health and relationships--he has established himself as a leading conservative Christian voice on women's health and sexuality.




Mr. Hyde
According to Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."


Amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Kansas, Evolution and Intelligent Design

Two great sites to visit to get all the details

The Pandas Thumb

Red State Rabble

Recruiting standdown ordered

As a result of recruiting shortfalls and the numerous recruiting scandals that have become public news, the US army will stop recruiting activities for 1 day to look at themselves.

One topic that the Army will address during the 24 hour standdown that has not gotten much attention is, are they demanding to much of the recruiters in the current environment.

This has to be done. As I noted earlier Failure leads to corruption, and this leads to decay. We do not need a decayed armed force.

Some economic truths

In the last quarter of 2004, real wages fell.

Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years, according to data surveyed by the Financial Times by the Economic Policy Institute.


Inflation rose 3.1 per cent in the year to March but salaries climbed just 2.4 per cent, according to the Employment Cost Index. In the final three months of 2004, real wages fell by 0.9 per cent. The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991, when real wages declined by 1.1 per cent.

Stingy pay rises mean many Americans will have to work longer hours to keep up with the cost of living, and they could ultimately undermine consumer spending and economic growth.


But that OK, because the good news is this has not effected the earning potential of CEOs and other senior executives.

Don't worry, if things get real bad we still have the option of going into bankruptcy. For the average American it will be even more difficult and damming, but for the rich, or for Companies like United it is still a very good option.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

How many souls does Tom DeLay own?

At least 2 From South Carolina rank real high on his list.

Gresham Barrett and Joe Wilson (Republicans of course) have both gotten $10,000.00 in PAC money from Tom, and both have also contributed $5,000.00 back to his defense fund.

This places them #30 and #35 in the I am Tom DeLay's love slave national ranking. I am sure with a little work they can both slime their way into the top (bottom?) 25.

The Episcopal Church, schism and the MR Rowan

Thomas Bushnell's look at one outcome is interesting, and should be looked at.



Suppose Peter Akinola comes to Rowan Williams tomorrow and says: “Tell the Episcopal Church that they are no longer in communion with you, or else we will say we are no longer in communion with Canterbury.” What would +Rowan do? We already know; he’d say, “Good bye, and godspeed; we’re sorry to see you go, Peter.” Suppose Robert Duncan comes to Rowan Williams tomorrow and says: “Tell the Episcopal Church that they are no longer in communion with you, but that you are in communion with this new organization Jack Iker and I have set up, or else we will say we are no longer in communion with Canterbury.” What would +Rowan do? We already know; he’d say, “Good bye, and godspeed; we’re sorry to see you go, Bob.”

What Peter Akinola wants, and what Duncan and Iker want, is for +Rowan to say “I am no longer in communion with the Episcopal Church, but I am in communion with Duncan and Iker and whatever organization they have formed.” It is this goal to which Akinola, Duncan, and Iker are all working towards. But simply making the ultimatum to +Rowan won’t get what they want, which is why they are proceeding as they do.

Science Tuesday, evolution and sexual orientation

As noticed by The Green Knight and others.

First a bit I am sure everyone has seen. Gay Men Respond Differently to Pheromones . Just more evidence that choice and homosexuality don't belong in the same sentence. Maybe one day the idea that anyone can a choice to be homosexual (or heterosexual) will die out. I never made the choice to be heterosexual. I don't know anyone, gay or straight, who every mad a choice about their sexual orientation. You are as god created you.

And


Darren Irwin has studied the Eurasian warblers and feels the evidence clearly shows split evolution. It is worth the read, and the best part is at the end


Since Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859, many religious leaders have gone to great lengths to convince the public that the concept of evolution is a theory, not a scientific fact. Their reasons for this are understandable: evolution stands in direct opposition to Biblical mythology. When I asked Darren Irwin whether his research had established evolution as a fact, his answer was enlightening:

Scientists are never able to completely prove any theory. Science is a process by which incorrect theories are shown to be incorrect, leaving us with the theories that are most consistent with the evidence.

The theory of evolution is one of the most successful theories ever, in the sense that it is highly consistent with abundant evidence. We understand the mechanisms by which evolution operates, and these mechanisms have actually been observed on short time scales. This establishes evolution as a more successful theory than the theory of gravitation. The theory of gravitation is also consistent with evidence, but we don't yet know how it works.

The theory of gravitation, however, does not contradict religious doctrine, and so is universally accepted.



Someone should get this story and a copy of "Why Intelligent Design Fails", and deliver them to the Kansas Kangaroo Court on the issue.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The US was not founded as a Christian nation.

This needs to be repeated; The United States was not founded as a Christian nation. But like Florida swampland, there always seems to be someone out there trying to sell that lie to some sucker.

In the fashion of those who don't like the truth, this lie is being told and retold in an effort to change the past. This should be laughable, but when Kelly Martin, a Kansas School Board member can say "We can't ignore that our nation is based on Christianity and not science." and not be challenged, all bets are off.

It is clear that for some facts no longer matter, just proper dogma. But Facts, and history, do matter.

The United States is a representative republic, established by a variety of men, including Christians, Deist, freemasons, and others. It was designed to isolate the government from the church, and the church from the government.

Many of out great leaders and thinkers, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Paine, Adams expressed opinions about Christianity that are clearly outside the definition that most accept. The 1968 Encyclopedia Britannica went as far at to point out that not one of our first 5 presidents were Christians, by orthodox definition.

There is no mention of God, in any form, in the constitution We find No mention of Jesus or the Bible in the Constitution of the Declaration of Independence, not in any of our founding documents. The law putting 'In God we Trust' onto money was not passed till the early 1900s. This phrase was not added to paper money until after World War II. It was the fear of Commies during the cold war that inspired adding 'Under God' to the pledge.

History is clear, but that will not stop those who need this lie. If the road to control means claiming that we were founded as a Christian nation, that is what they will do, no matter what the truth is.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Rationalizations, justifications and accusations are

starting to come out of the right wing, all in defense of their religious faction.

Recently some on the left, especially the religious left, have started to point out the goals of the Dominionists, for what they are; A drive to theocracy. This focus of attention has been noticed by both the religious and traditional right. The efforts to advise, defend and deny the ultimate goals of this faction of the party are popping out all over.Phillips, Will and others are now speaking up.

The whole spectrum of thought is comming out. They argue that Christians need to stop playing the victim or that the left is just over reaching. The traditional enemies are mentioned, the NY Times, Dowd, Krugman and others. They actions of the religious right are explained away, and the inflammatory statements ignored.

One theme that comes up frequently is that this is just a response to the attack of the secular humanist. They denounce the changes in society that have occurred, or that are currently evolving, blaming these changes on this group and then try to justify their actions on that basis.

What is educational is to look at some of these issues, and take notice of how the power of the state is being applied.

School Prayer: They religious right wants it, the religious left (and the rest of the left) oppose this. The right wants the state to have the power to make you pray (or at least listen to one). The left has never proposed not allowing a person to pray, just that no one should be forced to at least observe, if not participate in prayer.

10 commandments: The left thinks that if you want to have a copy of the 10 commandments, that is great. If you want to wall paper your house, put a sign up in your yard (in accordance with local laws), imprint your napkins with them, that is fine, just that the state has no business promoting them. The right want the state to promote them, and post them where a person who might not care to see them, but has business with the state, has to deal with it.

Abortion: The right thinks the state should have the final determination over if it is OK. The left thinks that the individual should have to final word.

Gay Rights: The left thinks that what two consenting adults want to do behind closed doors is no one's business. They think that if a couple wants to establish a new household they should have that right. The right wants the state to have legal oversight of the bedroom. They think that persons who were not created as they were has no right to want a spouse, a family and home with the full legal protections heterosexual people have.

The right to die: The right wants the state to have full legal control over end of life decisions. The next of kin can not be trusted, the courts can not be trusted, only the leaders of the religious right can make these decisions. The left tends to think that these decisions belong with the person, their next of kin and their doctor, and no one else.

These are all very broad statements. In a population of three hundred million, there are exceptions, but these apply far more often than not.

What is most striking is the left wants everyone to be free of the state's ability to mandate personal behavior and faith. The right wants the power to force their choices onto everyone else in society. In the past this desire, while evident, was restricted by their lack of access to power.

The grafting of the religious right into the republican party has created an opportunity that the religious faction has prayed for. Despite their numbers, they are now very powerful. They have the opportunity to put some of their dreams into motion. Only by exposing the true intent of these groups is there hope that their long term goals can be blocked. Those justifying them, or advising them are just co-conspirators in the effort to create a faith based state.

Places to go, things to read.

Friday's list of interesting reading.

Andrew Greeley looks at Iraq and asks, How long can Bush spin big lies into truth on Iraq war?


Whiskey Bar has a must read about Rush Linbaugh. Using his past statements about drug abuse, and his case.


Daily Kos has an update on the current activities of Manny Miranda of memogate fame.


Don Sherwood , a strong supporter of posting the Ten Commandments, and the "sanctity of marriage" act, has been caught with his pants down. As noticed by AMERICAblog.


The excommunication of all democrats from a Baptist church is noted by The Green Knight. This is very sad, and unnerving.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What is being done in my name.

*** warning - unpleasant image below ***





Last week, Tunisian lawyer, Mohamed Abbou faced trial for a couple of crimes. He was accused of "defaming the judicial process", and being "likely to disturb public order". He was found guilty and now faces over 3 years in jail. What did this man actually do? In a story about prison conditions in Tunisia, he compared the treatment of political prisoners there with the treatment that U.S. extended to detainees at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

That is how far have the image of the US has sunk. Now being compared to the actions of our government is considered criminal. Unfortunately, our systemic prisoner abuse is not our only failing. We are using rendition to hold people outside the law, and to move people to nations where torture is acceptable. To some our nation is now defined by outrageous, illegal and intolerable behavior.


We have been in Iraq for two years. We still don't seem to be able to operate a simple Checkpoint without risking the lives of others. We all know about the death of Nicola Calipari , and have no doubt heard of the occasional Iraqi family shot down, but how many have died because we just don't care enough to make some basic changes.

All of this has been done in the name of our security. We are busy making the world safe for the citizens of US by carelessly torturing, maiming and killing those who just happen to be in the way.





What a wonderful world we live in.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Failure leads to corruption, this leads to decay

First we see a continuing failure. The US Army again missed it's recruiting goal, this month by 42%. The last 3 months have been well below goal, and trending down. The numbers should rebound in the early summer. It will be something to watch for.

Now for the second phase, corruption. In an amazing bit of investigative journalism by a high school student, David McSwane exposes corruption in the recruiting process.

The report featured David McSwane, an Arvada West High School honors student and editor of his school newspaper, who was "curious" to see what recruiters at a Golden recruitment facility would do if he told them he wanted to join the Army as a high school dropout with a serious marijuana problem.



The end result will be decay. We could see a force as weak and ineffective as the ones we had in place in the late 70s and early 80s. All of this because of imagined weapons of mass destruction.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Examining the Agenda of the Religious Far Right

was the name of the meeting held in New York.

Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, speaking at the opening session on Friday night, offered a quote that stayed with me. He said "we are the prophets, the disciples and the leaders we have been waiting for." People came looking for answers, and they got some. But Edgar is right. As citizens, it is up to us to determine the outcome of the central struggles of our time.


He is right.


and a couple of links worthy of a visit



Waterlillian pointed out this bit from the LA Times, about one means of punishing jurists.

And Blytherings makes a Good point and adds some good links.

Google

Downing Street Memo
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Words of love from the Religious Right, Part 2

The second in a continuing but only occasional look at the words of the religious right. Today’s guest, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, who gives us wisdom with his gift of love.

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."



"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc."


Back to a flat earth that the universe revolves around.


Of course, Jerry has been known to have been caught, exposed by his hate. But it doesn’t matter, He just lies about it.

"I think Mohammed was a terrorist. He - I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and " and - non-Muslims, that he was a - a violent man, a man of war. And I do believe that - Jesus set the example for love, as did Moses. And I think that Mohammed set an opposite example."
--Jerry Falwell, 60 Minutes, October 6, 2002

"I have never said in a sermon or a speech that Muhammad is a terrorist."
--Jerry Falwell, interview with Religion News Service


And then we have this;

"The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country."


Well, at least we know who Satan is. He is Thomas Jefferson, who had this to say on the subject.



Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.



Of course, what would he know about the blending of governance and religion.


and, a link to part 1 ot the series

Monday, May 02, 2005

It looks like the US may soon pay attention to Darfur

Sudan Energy Minister Awad al-Jaz told reporters in Khartoum an oil field was found in southern Darfur and it is expected to produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day by August.


When there were just hundreds of thousands dead, it wasn't very interesting. Now that there is the potential for oil, it is a whole new ball game.

More proof that the idea of a liberal media is a lie

ABC news has accepted advertising from James Dobson's Focus on the Family, pimping his new childrearing guide, that includes information about spanking with "sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."

This is the same ABC that refused ads from the United Church of Christ promoting inclusiveness.

How radical do the judges need to be to keep

Pat Robinson Happy?

Federal judges are a more serious threat to America than Al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 terrorists, the Rev. Pat Robertson claimed yesterday.
"Over 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings," Robertson said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

"I think we have controlled Al Qaeda," the 700 Club host said, but warned of "erosion at home" and said judges were creating a "tyranny of oligarchy."



7 of 9 Supreme Court justices are Republican Appointments, 10 of the 13 circuit courts are controlled by Republican appointments, and they are not happy.


The trouble that these people have is the court's are following law and judicial tradition. Robinson and pals want them to be Judicial activities for the causes of the Religious right. They don't want us to be a nation of laws, but a nation ruled by the decrees of a Judicial/Christian panel of overlords.

For a good example of this, just think Iran.


From AMERICAblog, more from Pat. Now he thinks that Muslems, by nature of thier faith, are not fit for 'some high offices' , including serving as judges.

A note to Pat, please check Article 6.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The big lie that is Iraq, get a little more exposed.

As early as July 2002, Blair was committed to war. This is just more confirmation that the US and UK wanted war, not compliance from Saddam.


A SECRET document from the heart of government reveals today that Tony Blair privately committed Britain to war with Iraq and then set out to lure Saddam Hussein into providing the legal justification. The Downing Street minutes, headed "Secret and strictly personal" "UK eyes only", detail one of the most important meetings ahead of the invasion.

It was chaired by the prime minister and attended by his inner circle. The document reveals Blair backed "regime change" by force from the outset, despite warnings from Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, that such action could be illegal.


disingenuous is to polite a term for this type of behavior. Over 100,000 dead because Bush and Blair wanted a war.