Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Brought Down

Another indicator that we are a very long way from any stability in any part of the Middle East or South Asia.

Just a guess; but I suspect that if we ever learn who was actually responsible we will learn it was a right wing religious extremist group that was aided by a few members of the Pakistan's state intelligence or security apparatus.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

It appears the Richard Dawkins is going to make a lecture tour of the south. I expect that some of proud supporters of America and free speech will supply us with some very humorous and utterly predictable reactions.

The Rev David Cox, of the First Southern Methodist Church, Charleston, South Carolina said: “I would certainly like to protest. [Dawkins] is a tool of Satan, of the AntiChrist it sounds to me. All God-fearing people will be opposed to an atheist touring.”

Leave it to a South Carolinian to lead the way.

Now it's Time

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ron Paul, Attracting Interesting Friends

It seams that the populist campaign of Ron Paul is attracting support from all over, including white supremacist. What may be surprising to some is Paul is refusing to distance himself from this group.

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn't plan to return it

Of course if you knew more about Ron Paul it would not have been that much of a shock.

On Saturday, Ron Paul held a campaign rally in Philadelphia. As Atrios noticed, it attracted a large crowd, most of them quite vocal about ending the Iraq war. But if you looked carefully, there was also an element (most them also antiwar) that's become something of a fixture at Ron Paul rallies: skinheads, neo-Nazis, militiamen, and various stripes of right-wing extremists.

I bet he will do real well with some the heritage and confederate flag crowd here in South Carolina.

Outside the Tent Notes That

Mike Huckabee's new national campaign chairman is off to a flying start. He is already making stuff up and lying his ass off.

Rollins repeats this little 'christian nation' lie:
You go back to the signing of the constitution I think 26 of the people that signed it were ministers.

I know that bending the truth (often long past the breaking point) is the primary job of political spinmeisters, but even with that considered I do have to wonder about this obsessive desire of so many of the christian right to lie about our nations history in the effort to defend their goals.

It seems to me to be awfully unchristian of them.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just More Evidence - Bush Lies

I know, this is no surprise to any thinking individual. It has been clear since the Brooks Brothers Riot that far to many republicans are eager to lie, cheat and steal to get the power they want.

For those few who still think that the President is a man of such virtue that he is incapable of telling a lie, lets consider the Iran NIE and the last few months.

For over a year the Bush administration has been pounding on the war drums. Iran could have a nuclear weapon any day, they are working overtime, at this very moment, to build a nuclear weapon to destroy our nation. These cries were echoed at what appeared at hourly intervals by members of the Bush administration and elected Republican enablers in the House and Senate.

Now it has become clear the President has known for months that Iran has discontinued any weapons development programs it had. What is interesting is that this new has not stopped him, or other members of the administration, from repeating their claims (for months) about Iran, this despite knowing they were lies.

And when the truth comes out, what does our President do?

Of course, he lies.

On Tuesday, President Bush said he was never forewarned by the intelligence community that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003:

In August, I think it was John — Mike McConnell came in and said, We have some new information. He didn’t tell me what the information was.

Now the White House is revealing that wasn’t true. In fact, Bush did know what the information was. CNN reports:

President Bush was told in August that Iran’s nuclear weapons program ‘may be suspended,’ the White House said Wednesday, which seemingly contradicts the account of the meeting given by Bush Tuesday.”

Monday, December 03, 2007

On Advent

Fr. Jake has a wonderful post.

and mentions one of my faviorate songs of the season.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Friday, November 30, 2007

What Are They Thinking?

I honestly do not understand the concept of ignoring science when it conflicts with faith.

There was a recent poll that shows that only 42% of Americans accepted evolutionary theory, but 79% believed in miracles.

That is just depressing. Science, that has been tested and tested and tested again is doubted and denied(mostly by people of faith), but magic is perfectly acceptable. The people of this land do not understand that harm they are doing to the nation by refusing to accept the natural sciences and what the learn about this world.

To many of us cling to our perception of the universe that was implanted into us as children and are afraid to allow reveled scientific facts in. The path we are heading down doesn't hold much promise. We deny global warming and evolution. We allow people who claim the earth is only 6000 years old to teach this in schools and colleges. We refuse to allow research not because it is bad research, but because of religiously driven concepts of when live begins, or ensoulment occurs.

Without a willingness to embrace scientific discovery, the path of our nation is on may be depressingly similar to the path that this devoutly religious young man took.

A 14-year-old boy who refused blood transfusions in his fight against leukemia -- based on religious beliefs -- died Wednesday night in Seattle, hours after a Skagit County judge affirmed his right to reject the treatment.

Dennis Lindberg, of Mount Vernon, died around 6 p.m. at Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle, according to KING-5 television. As a Jehovah's Witness, Lindberg objected to receiving blood. Doctors had said he needed it to survive his cancer treatment.

In court Wednesday, Superior Court Judge John Meyer said that Lindberg, though in the eighth grade, was old enough to know that refusing blood transfusions might amount to a "death sentence," and that he had the right to make that decision

This type of thinking leads to situations like this.

KHARTOUM, Sudan (CNN) -- Hundreds of protesters brandishing ceremonial swords and sticks gathered outside Khartoum's presidential palace Friday to vent their anger against a British teacher jailed for allowing children to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."

or this:

It is an ingrained ritual, and the villagers regard industrious labor to be a magical protection against being chosen, as indicated by the Old Man Warner, never selected during his 77 years. When Mrs. Adams tells Warner that some of the other villages have stopped holding the annual lotteries, he replies, "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."

I guess religious driven stupidity has no bounds.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Canadians Can Be Foolish Too

A school board in Canada has been forced into an action that sounds much more like something you would hear a South Carolina school board eagerly embracing. They have voted to remove a collection of children's books from the school library.

It appears that a, no doubt highly religious person, has filled a complaint about the books, and has forced the board to review them.

What is interesting is that the books in question are highly regarded award winners for young readers. In the past these books have not created great amount of highly notable controversy, but that has changed recently because: 1. The book is being released as a movie 2. The author is an atheist and 3. the Catholic church and the religious right is unhappy.

At least this is happening in Canada, where a review will take place. I fear that here in South Carolina we would move right on to the book burning.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bush Has A Plan To Easy Holiday Air Traffic

If his plan for the airlines is as effective as the rest of his plans have been, I recommend limiting any travel you have to do to walking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In The Climate Change Discussion

The B.B.C. has supplied some wonderful facts to counter the denialist.

Warming is unequivocal. Weather stations, ocean measurements, decreases in snow cover, reductions in Arctic sea ice, longer growing seasons, balloon measurements, boreholes and satellites all show results consistent with the surface record of warming.

They make 10 strong point to refute those who try to distort the truth on this issue.

You May NOT Wish Me A Merry Christmas

at least not yet.

We are still over a week away from Thanksgiving and the non-existent war on Christmas has again been declared to be on by America's biggest fool, Bill O'Reilly and the rest of the Faux news crew. I guess some stupidity is just to profitable to give up.

At least this year someone aside from Faux news is well placed to make some quick cash off of this foolishness. Just another confirmation that fools and their money can still be quite easily parted.

And, just a note about the Christmas and the liturgical calendar; This year Advent will start on December 1st, and Christmas will not arrive (as it does every year) until the 25th of December.

So, A Happy Holiday season to one and all (you know, Thanksgiving, Advent, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years and anything else I missed), and happy thanksgiving and safe travels over the next week or so.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why All The Rush To Embrace Inhumanity

The last couple of weeks has been quite fascinating. We have politicians of all types who appear eager to embrace inhumanity and what are quite likely highly illegal actions.

We have a flock Republican Presidential candidates who all want to be seen as the next Jack Bauer. One, Rudy Giuliani, going as far as to try to tie police questioning that he oversaw, with the torture our government is now employing. We have a confirmation mating dance in DC, where all parties are afraid to talk plainly about the subject, and instead chose to focus of what 'is' is. The President still foolishly parrots his false claim that the US doesn't torture. He apparently thinks that if he redefines torture to remove from the list all the acts of torture we want to use, we are not torturing.

Everyone is acting like the issue of the propriety and legality of waterboarding (and other unnamed forms of torture) is in question. Well, it is not. The US has viewed this act as illegal for over 100 years. In the past, the US has denounce other governments for using this, and other forms of torture. We have prosecuted war criminals who have used waterboarding to question captives.

And now we seem to be trying to claim that this act is no longer torture.

Another way to look at this is to consider the company you keep. Who else is known to have embraced the use of water boarding? Well, Japan during WWII, North Vietnam and the Vietcong , The Stalin's KGB, Pol Pot of Killing Fields fame, and now George Bush.

In the next day or two, more names can be added to the list of those who think torture is an acceptable way of doing business. Including a number of Democratic Senators and of couse both Senators from South Carolina. DeMint, who is a reliable vote for Bush, and Graham, who knows better, but lacks the courage to do the right thing. When Mukasey is approved as AG, those who vote to install him are also voting to approve the use of torture. In his confirmation it was made very clear the he is also willing to twist the law to allow us to try to redefine torture, and allow its continued use.

And, no matter what our politicians do, no matter how they justify it, how they redefine it, no matter how much makeup they apply, it is still torture. Keith Oberman again nails the truth, and the disgustingly viable reasons for Mukasey nomination, and acceptance.

Dispatches From The Culture Wars also touches upon this theme.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Americians May be Getting A Little Smarter

A new poll indicates that a solid majority of people now accept the distribution of birth control in school.

Sixty-seven percent support giving contraceptives to students, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. About as many — 62 percent — said they believe providing birth control reduces the number of teenage pregnancies.

"Kids are kids," said Danielle Kessenger, 39, a mother of three young children from Jacksonville, Fla., who supports providing contraceptives to those who request them. "I was a teenager once and parents don't know everything, though we think we do."

There is still a vivid split of opinion as to if access to birth control will encourage sexual activity, but at least some are now wise enough to understand that the protection it affords outweighs this concern.

In addition, 49 percent say providing teens with birth control would not encourage sexual intercourse and a virtually identical 46 percent said it would.

What was very interesting about this poll, is the view women hold as to the likelihood that access to contraception will lead to more sexual activity.

Though men and women have similar views about whether to provide contraceptives to students, women are likelier than men to think it will not encourage sexual intercourse, 55 percent to 43 percent.

I suspect that the numbers in South Caroline would look much worse that the national view, but it is nice to seem progress is being made in some places.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Political Parties May Change

But as long as we have corporations willing to pay, and politicians who are willing to take their money, the game will remain unchanged.

Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

There is nothing wrong and nothing new here, right? A politician needs money to get elected, and private citizens have to be allowed to contribute to these politicians, right?

Well, there are a few details that make the story a little more interesting.

It appears that all these politically minded folks from AT and T and Version came upon their passion for the political efforts of Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) of late. From 2002 to 2006 the total contribution from the executives of these firms came to a bit less than $5,000.00. Then, like a rampaging infection of political activism and altruism, more than 50 senior executives independently decided in a period of about 3 months to fork over big money to Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV).

One is left to wonder what may have motivated this spontaneous generosity, and if there may have been any coordination of the efforts these phone company executives.

Naaa, a corporation would never do anything like compel political contributions from their staff.

I do have to admire this efforts as spin on behalf of AT and T.

“Many AT and T executives work with the leaders of both the House and Senate Commerce Committees on a daily basis and have come to know them over the years,” Ms. Jones said.

She added that although industry executives and politicians might not always agree, it is “commonplace for AT and T employees to regularly and voluntarily participate in the political process with their own funds.”

Of course, this participation, that has been totally lacking for years, may eventually come in massive torrents of cash but only when a Senator is in a position to do the company a huge favor.

And people still wonder what is wrong in DC. Only when we have a politicians who are not so eager to prostitute themselves to corporate interest can we hope to see improved governance.

Sadly, I have grown expect this type of behavior from both parties. While it is an obvious and historic principal of the republicans to protect business interest over everything else, it is also a trait that many Democrats embrace. One of they keys to long term improvement in Government, reducing corruption, development of a more equatable economic policy, improvement of heath care and countless other issues, is radically reducing the amount on influence that big business has in DC. Unfortunately, I see no path that will lead to this.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Hate To Say I Told You So

well, not normally, but in this case being on the cusp of proven right is rather alarming.

One of the biggest reasons I gave for not invading Iraq was the potential to trigger a series of event that cascaded beyond any control and resulted in open warfare region wide. A few of the conflicts that were easy to spot were the Turks and Kurds, the Shiite and Sunni, the Shiite and Shiite, the Kurds and Iran, Iran and the Sunni and Syria.

Well, this last weekend clearly indicated that to many of these conflicts were warming up.

In the south of Iraq as the British draw down, the Shiite factions are making their moves.

Rival Shiite militias are engaged in grabs for power in the oil-rich south of the country, as British forces are drawing down.

What is interesting is we make it clear that we have taken sides in this conflict and are assisting one faction against the other.

In the north the Kurds are still pressing the Turkish forces. To date Turkey has displayed great restraint. This restraint will likely fade when Turkey finds a target inside Iraq that is juicy enough to warrant attack.

As an aside: One justification for attacking Iraq was Saddam's sheltering of terrorist. Since we now have effective responsibility for the lands that compose the nations of Iraq, and since the Kurdish 'terrorist' attacking Turkey are sheltering in Iraq; Are we now guilty of shelter terrorist, and if we are what punishment is appropriate for our leaders?

and in Syria the welcome mat has been pulled up.

Long the only welcoming country in the region for Iraqi refugees, Syria has closed its borders to all but a small group of Iraqis and imposed new visa rules that will legally require the 1.5 million Iraqis currently in Syria to return to Iraq.

The potential for an explosive response in the attempt to relocate 1,500,000 people who have no place it relocate is imposable to understate. If Syria follows through with this both Syria and Iraq will be at risk for massive unrest.

Of course, we also have the other areas of conflict that have existed for 4 years, but it is ominously clear that the effects of this unilateral attack by the US have not been contained, and the risk of a much wider conflict is as great as I feared.

Monday, October 15, 2007

We Are Winning In Iraq

Yes, we are winning. That is obvious because the Pentagon or the Pentagon on behalf of the Bush administration are leaking hints that we have 'crippled' Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Of course they fail to mention that Al-Qaeda in Iraq represents a total membership
from 850 – about 3 to 5 percent of the Sunni insurgency – to several thousand

Of course, when you read Pentagon press releases, or listen to the US media, just about everything that happens and everything we do involves Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Now we are expected to believe that in an insurgency of upwards of 100,000, weakening a single group that represents a few single percentage points of the total revolt, is a success.

Just more absurd spin from a desperate and dysfunctional administration and it's overly compliant military.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Biggest Social Problem In The US

Is laid clear by this Wall Street Journal report.

The wealthiest 1% of Americans earned 21.2% of all income in 2005, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service.


The bottom 50% earned 12.8% of all income

So if we had 100 people, representing the various income class groups, and they had to split up 1 million dollars.

Paris Hilton would get $212,000.00

The unknown people who work for a living, running day care centers, working at Target, putting out fires etc, well, they get 2,560 each.

Yet, Paris and her friends are the ones who need all the tax breaks, welcome to Bush land, where the rich get richer, and the poor are expendable.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rush Linbaugh Lies

This should surprise no one (except an anonymous commenter in the last post), but it is funny just how often how blatantly and how badly he does this. How his followers can avoid noticing this constantly amazes me.

Ed Brayton at Dispatches From the Culture Wars exposes Rush's stupidity and takes apart a recent Rush lie about Thomas Jefferson and religious liberty.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Geese and Ganders

Our two towering paragons of virtue, Senators DeMint and Graham, were among those who were oh so eager to denounce Move On for a pun. They joined the whole of the Republican membership of the Senate (and a collection of weak willed Democrats) and participated in this absurd political Kabuki in an effort to score a few popularity points by pretending to defend the honor of our armed forces by passing a resolution that said in part:

2) to strongly condemn any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces;

Now we have the chance to see if they were really serious about this. For if they were it would mean that they would now have to aggressively lead an effort to pass a condemnation of Rush Limbaugh for his anti-armed forces rant.

On his radio show yesterday, right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh attacked the “honor and integrity” of some members of the Armed Forces. Limbaugh attacked troops who hold a different viewpoint than his own as “phony soldiers.”


I strongly recommend that you not hold your breath waiting for their action. Our Senators have shown a strong partisan streak that makes it clear that the actions of those on the left, if they are an effort to overturn their political goals must be condemned, but those exact same actions on the right (the questioning the impartiality and honesty of members of the armed forces) are just fine.

It goes back to the rule of ethics and political discourse that has existed for at least the last 10 years at least, IOALAYAAR. (It's OK as long as you are a Republican)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Well, It Appears That Our Mercenaries In Iraq

Are acting just how you should expect mercenaries to act.

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization

You might be thinking that 'with friends like these, who needs enemies', but the fine folks at blackwater are not our friends. They are mercenaries, they are being paid, and paid quite well, to do a risky job.

The trouble is, as it has always been with mercenaries, they are there for the money, and in any group of mercenaries, there will be some that will continue to follow the money, no matter where it leads.

So, in addition to the various investigations into excessive use of force, we now have this.

Just two more benefits of outsourcing work that our armed forces should be doing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Joy, Sorrow and Rage

CNN is following the story of a small boy from Baghdad that was badly burned in a sectarian attack. Recently they covered the family's arrival in LA for medical treatment. Having a 5 year old son, this hits close to home. There is an undeniable Joy in seeing this vibrant and innocent child be given health and hope.

This is the kind of heart warming human interest story that the American public loves. It reinforces their view of the kindness of our people, our nation, our government. I too am deeply touched by the profound difference that we are able to make in this one families life.

Then I step back.

I consider the fact that, at it's root, we are the cause of this boys current suffering. The US is Iraq's Pandora. We have taken the lid off of that nation and unleashed a riot of miseries upon that land. In time, one of those miseries landed on this boy. So when I read of the kindness we are extending to this boy, I am also fully aware that in large measure we are simply addressing a wrong that we are, in small part, responsible for. While we did not do this, we enabled the creation of an environment where this could occur.

And these events are not just happening to one small boy or just one family. While we are helping him there are thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who we can not aid. All of these people are suffering, and we can do little more that help a handful. Our nation will latch upon these stories to assuage any guilt we feel about the whole situation. By helping this one family, we are not responsible for the pain that our actions has caused tens of thousands of families. While we have created joy in one home, we have left a land overwhelmed in sorrow.

But there is more; Once you realize the whole truth about their trip to the US, rage starts burning. Even in our kindness there is also an amazing amount of self serving of cruelty.

We have plucked this boy, and his family from a 1 room home in the middle of a city that is the front line of a civil war that shows no sign of ending. We have moved them to a land of safety, prosperity and hope. We will repair the damage that has been done, and then we will drop them back into the disaster area that Iraq now is.

So when I read of the suffering of a child so like my own; when I read of the simple joy he experiences in pushing a luggage cart, when I hear of his pain, his joy, his fears, and his hope, I can not help but feel fear and anger about the fate that awaits him. For after we have repaired the damage, we will then place him back into the very environment that almost killed him.

I can also not forget the children, teens and adults whose misery and suffering, unlike Youssif's, has gone unnoticed by the US media and who will live and die in the hell on earth that our Pandora created for them.

America follows the story of one boy from Iraq, and allows themselves to bask in the warm glow of this humanitarian act. To many never consider the deeper meaning of the story, and what the final act of this play will mean. They are content to not consider how this happened, or where it leads, and simply want to continue their lives, reassured in the fact that we are kind and charitable, and that those who don't see it that way are just ill informed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Republican Senators Having a Bad Week

Although Sen. Vitter (R-La) keeps deigning it, the working girl that claims he was a regular visitor is speaking out about his actions.

"I want the truth to be known," Ellis said. "It was a pure sexual relationship. He would come in and do his business."

In light of this latest development, one has to wonder his Vitter's wife still thinks the Bobbit option is best.

And on the non-hypocritical traditional corruption front, Sen. Stevens (R-Ak) has again been tied to by a collection of rather unsavory friends.

During a secret meeting to discuss what prosecutors say was a dirty deal to keep Alaska oil taxes low, two oil contractors said they had a powerful ally coming to town who could help build support for the plan: Sen. Ted Stevens.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why The Surge Will Fail

and confirmation that billions of dollars were spent for nothing.

Those are the lessons to learn from the Independent Commission on Security Forces in Iraq

We have spent billions building the police forces in Iraq, and the result:

Iraq's Interior Ministry is regarded as "dysfunctional and sectarian," and the National Police should be "disbanded and reorganized,"

So, time to spend a few billion more.

And, what tells us that the surge will fail?

Iraq's armed forces won't be ready to perform independently during the next 18 months.

We have been promised a viable and effective Iraqi army was only a year a two away for 4 years now. It is very clear that at this time Iraq is unable to hold any of the gains the US forces make during the surge.

The end result for the people of Iraq; A period of improvement that last only as long as US troops are present. If troops move on there will be rapid decline into violence that the Iraqi army is unable to prevent.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It May Still Violate The Geneva Conventions But

I think I know a way we could close Guantanamo, and still torture those the Bush administration wants to torture.

Just make them fly around the nation on commercial flights in economy class.

They would spend the rest of their lives having to deal with faulty self check-in machines, endless lines, absurd security rules, inexplicable flight delays, bad pay as you go meals, and lost baggage.

This could be as effective as waterboarding.

And as a quick aside:

Is there any rule that mandates that the employees of Delta Air Lines are not allowed to smile? I have never seen as grim a collection of people as those manning the Delta service counters across the nation.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Some People I Just Do Not Understand

In this case it is the series of 'family values', meaning anti-gay or sexual behavior obsessed, Republican who have violated their own declared behavioral standards.

We have seen:

Mark Foley who spent his time chatting up almost and recently legal young men who had served as pages.

Glenn Murphy Jr., One time Chairman of the Young Republicans, who appears to have developed a habit of sexual assaulting other men in their sleep.

David Vitter, who sought 'professional help' for his diaper fetish.

We have a one time Bush administration spiritual advisor, Ted Haggard, who enjoyed the pleasures of male prostitutes and illegal drugs.

Coy C. Privette, one time Republican state legislator in North Carolina, and president of Christian Action League, caught with a pro in a N. Carolina hotel.

Rep. Bob Allen of Florida, who was caught offering to pay other men for the opportunity to preform fellatio on them in a public restroom.

And we add Sen. Larry Craig who, like Bob Allen, seems to have found the allure of public restrooms and other men irresistible.

While I do not understand these men, I do find them objectionable. It is not their sexual activity that I find that objectionable. It is their hypocrisy.

If they want to wear soiled diapers, or date young men (of legal age) or have paid or anonymous sexual liaisons, that is their business. If they are attracted to men, or women, or both, is no matter to me.

What does matter is the gross hypocrisy of trying to enact laws against the very behaviors that they are caught engaging in.

Folly promotes laws to make the Internet 'safe' then uses it to work his way into the lives of young pages. Craig, and Allen, and Haggard work to deny homosexuals civil rights, and then engage in homosexual activity.

If these men had embraced the view that every person's sexual lives is no ones business, I would argue that these are non stories. But each has made their name by insisting that a person should be defined, at least in part, by their sexual behavior or orientation. And if your orientation or desires ran counter to their view of normal, you must also then be denied rights to some civil protections.

In each case, they are now get to reap what they sow, and while I do not understand these fools, I can enjoy the absurd positions they have put themselves into.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales Quits?

If the rumors are true, I hope this clears the way for aggressive investigation and legal action against him for lying to Congress and other various questionable activity.

There are few things that can destroy a nation quicker than having legal system headed by people who wilfully break the law, and the are not punished for it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Now He Brings Up Vietnam

For 4 years many on the left raised concerns that the brain dead leadership on the right were leading us into another Vietnam, an untenable quagmire that that will eat up men and machines without any significant overall change.

These statements were dismissed as not relevant and alarmist.

Now it appears that George Bush agrees. He is now admitting that, in his foolishness, he has led this nation into another Vietnam. But, staying true to the idiocy that made him believe that invading Iraq was a good idea, he is trying to sell that wrong idea about why we lost Vietnam.

He claims the lesson from that war is that we didn't stay long enough. He promotes the rather foolish notion that with more men, more weapons, more freedom of activity, we could have won.

He is wrong.

Iraq and Vietnam have this one simple fact in common, the overwhelming majority of the population do not want us in their nation. When this is the case, there is no amount of force, no real change of strategy, short of genocide, that can prevent the eventual defeat of the occupying force.

It is about hearts and minds, and if you can not win them, you have lost. In Vietnam we could not win them, and it is very clear that we have failed at this in Iraq. This is the lesson that we should have learned from Vietnam, and the one we need to remember when we consider out next steps in Iraq.

Yet, this deserter from service during the Vietnam war, is telling us that the failure in Vietnam was a lack of commitment ( a commitment that his desertion from the armed forces indicates the he also lacked ).

Iraq is lost. It was lost the day we decided to invade. The only, very slim, chance to win with the course we are on would be to insert 400,000 or more troops to end the game of Wack-a-mole that we are currently engaged in. Since there is no place to get 400,000 more troops, we have to admit it is over.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

War Profiteering, S.C. Style

It appears that a couple of patriotic South Carolinian have been busy helping with the war effort.

The owners of C&D Distributors in Lexington, South Carolina -- twin sisters -- exploited a flaw in an automated Defense Department purchasing system: bills for shipping to combat areas or U.S. bases that were labeled ``priority'' were usually paid automatically


The scheme unraveled in September after a purchasing agent noticed a bill for shipping two more 19-cent washers: $969,000. That order was rejected and a review turned up the $998,798 payment earlier that month for shipping two 19-cent washers to Fort Bliss, Texas, Stroot said.

The Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency orders millions of parts a year. ``These shipping claims were processed automatically to streamline the re-supply of items to combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,''

Lovely, just lovely

Monday, August 13, 2007

Punching Out

Karl Rove is running for the hills.

There probably was no better sign of how far this White House has fallen than at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames this weekend, a gathering of probably the most committed Republicans in the country. This was where Mr. Rove displayed his political skills to the country in 1999, steering Mr. Bush to a victory in a nonbinding poll that nonetheless cemented his position as his party’s prohibitive favorite.

Mr. Bush’s name was barely mentioned in Ames on Saturday, much less Mr. Rove’s. The winner of the contest, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, offered a pretty grim verdict on the last seven years in Washington when he said, “If there has ever been a time that we needed to see change in Washington, it is now.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

While the US Media Tells Us Happy Tales

from Iraq, the Guardian brings us another view.

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Right-wing Authoritarian

Over at Orcinus, a great piece on the behavior and thinking of many on the right wing.

In fact, that naivete -- deceptively packaged as purity and innocence -- is one of the main things people are seeking when they're drawn into authoritarian systems. They join up because they feel overwhelmed by the complexity and nuance in the world. There's just too much to keep up with, too much responsibility, too much chaos. Often, they've been caught in the gears of the machinery of modernity, and have had large parts of their lives chewed up by the works. It all feels out of control. (Chris Hedges, in his new book American Fascism, describes how Christianist proselytizers are taught to seek out people going through hard times-- they're the hottest conversion prospects.)

This ties in quite nicely with the revelation that the Kansas Republican party is now considering some form of loyalty oath

The state committee's actions struck a sour note for some Republicans, particularly moderates on issues such as abortion. Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist, suggested the loyalty committee could prove a "public relations disaster."

"Ironically, it smacks most of the Communist Party," Beatty said Monday. "That's the kind of public irony that most parties try to avoid -- the party of freedom telling people they have no freedom."

What A Class Act Our Sen. Graham Is

It's at think progress

To Freaking Funny

Yet another closeted gay Republican leader has outed himself, details at Outside the Tent.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Escalation In Iraq

Based upon the tone of discussion that is developing about the surge, I think that either I, or those promoting the surge, must not understand what the goal of this mis-adventure is.

As I understand it, the plan is for the US to apply force to bring stability to a small region of the city of Baghdad, we then turn over the security of this area over to the Iraqi's to maintain, freeing US forces to more into a new region.

I have seen some claiming success because US forces have been able to bring stability to portions of Iraq.

General David Petraeus went out to show off a success story,


Haifa Street is an example of how the general's counter-insurgency plan is supposed to work.

Haifa Street used to be another way of saying utter chaos.

In January this year, it was the scene of the bitterest and bloodiest street fighting that Baghdad has experienced.

These days it's a good place not just for Iraqis but for the general to practice street politics and public relations.

The only trouble I see with this report it, this is only phase one, and phase one is the only phase anyone should expect could work. I think you would find few people who did not expect US forces to be able to impose peace and stability onto small areas of Baghdad.

The test of this escalation is phase two, where the Iraqi's maintain the security. Even this foolishly positive story about 'The Surge' can not ignore this and one additional unpleasant fact about this plan. The first is well stated here:

"As Americans stay here, there is safety,"

A true sign that the surge is failing. This is because it is the Iraqi forces that must provide the security, not the US troops, and the second issue:

The insurgents merely retreated across the Tigris River to infest another neighborhood that the U.S. military must clear and rebuild.

Without being able to form some degree of effective lockdown nationwide, we make no true gains.

So the key to the determining the success of the escalation is not performance of US forces, but the ability of the Iraqi forces to hold the areas the US has secured.

And no evidence has been provided that indicates any improvement in that area. In fact most evidence indicates that there is little likelihood of this working.

Hundreds of thousands of weapons that the US has delivered to the Iraqi forces are missing. They have no doubt been sold off for profit, or routed to some of the various insurgent groups. Reports of wide spread desertions continue to be common, and a good argument can be made that our efforts to train the Iraqi defense force is a total failure.

Now look at the test area for the current surge plan, an area Bush once declaired a success, Tal Afar. They have had another bombing in Tal Afar. We used US forces to clear the city, the turned it over to Iraqi forces to hold, a couple of time now. There is no reason to suspect that Haifa St, Baghdad or any other part of Iraq will be any different form Tal Afar.

The surge in Baghdad, and Iraq as a whole, can only work if there is a viable force in place to hold the territory the US forces have cleared. To declare this current plan a success, without seeing if any of the Iraqi troops have been able to hold any area, either indicates a failure to understand the objective or dishonesty.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Is Anyone Suprised

Bush Drove Drunk, Gonzales helped to hide that fact.

Questions about Gonzales's willingness to shade the truth on Bush's behalf came to prominence in the 1996 episode in which Bush was excused from Texas jury duty in a drunken-driving case. Bush was then the state's governor, and Gonzales was his general counsel. If Bush had served, he probably would have had to disclose his own drunken-driving conviction in Maine two decades earlier.

His willingness to do almost anything to cover-up Bush's acts makes is stream of lies told to congress even more disturbing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Thought Lying To Congress Was A Crime

Bust based on the actions of our Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, it must now be an accepted behavior.

he tripped himself up repeatedly during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee -- quite possibly entering perjury territory.

At lease a few Senators are unhappy with his lying

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bill Kristol, A Dishonest Repubican Gasbag

I know, it is nothing new, but the last few days have presented him as shining example of what is wrong with our current class of talking heads.

Of late he has been busy trying to redefine the activist left, and attacking one of the founders of Daily Kos for a comment made 3 years ago.

This from a man who as said some of the dumbest and more disgusting things that any self professed respectable pundit has ever uttered.

About Abu Ghraib
“It is insane for this country to be obsessing … about a small prisoner abuse scandal,”

Yes, gross violations of international law (some still not publicly disclosed), done in the name of the US should just be ignored.

When Sen. Reid expressed the view that the war in Iraq was lost (a view that is quite rational and supported by many in the officer corp), Bill said;

“is much more disgraceful than anything Trent Lott said”

So it is better to look back fondly on segregation and racial oppression than it is to consider one of the possible (and in this case most likely) outcomes of warfare.

On Sen. Barack Obama, he was describes a:
“sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858″

Sure, I can see how he could think that Barak Obama would be big supporter of slave holders.

Yet, this man who has said so many stupid, offensive and just wrong things, is pretending to be mad because someone was not that upset that mercenaries ( you know, people who get paid great deals of money to do life threatening work in a war zone, up to and including combat ) were killed in a war zone.

It is amazing that people this dishonest, this stupid, are still given airtime by our news media.

Just for a laugh here is a look at some of the other wonderful pearls of wisdom that Billy has shared can be found in the Washington Post

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I Am Still Not Much Of A Hand Raiser

Your Score: Hand-Raiser

You are 85% Rational, 57% Extroverted, 14% Brutal, and 42% Arrogant.

You are the Hand-Raiser, that annoying kid in class who always had an answer for everything. No doubt, as a child you probably sat in the front of the class, anxiously waving your hand back and forth in the air while your teacher desperately tried to avoid calling on you because you were the ONLY fucking kid that answered her questions. Clearly, the key traits of your personality are your rationality and your extroversion. You are like a little talkative calculator, in other words. You also tend to be rather gentle and less arrogant than most people. Your presence is a bane to everyone's existence, because you are too nice for your own good and you absolutely will not shut up. So what is your defect, then? Well, you're boring, and when you're not boring, you are just plain annoying with your ultra-logical responses and constant need to talk to others. So keep waving that hand in the air, son. I'm still not calling on you. You are too logical, you talk too much, and your humility and gentleness only makes me hate you more, because they make me feel like I almost SHOULDN'T hate you. But I do. Big time. And by the way, the more you wave your hand in class--your extended hand becoming nothing more than a blur as you insanely wave it, thinking we can't see it--the more smug satisfaction the teacher takes in watching the look of excrutiating pain cross your face as you agonize over not being called on, and the longer we'll wait to call on you, just because we absolutely love torturing you so.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.


Your exact opposite is the Brute.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Braggart, the Haughty Intellectual, and the Robot.



If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

About Saint_Gasoline

I am a self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual who loves dashes. I enjoy science, philosophy, and fart jokes and water balloons, not necessarily in that order. I spend 95% of my time online, and the other 5% of my time in the bathroom, longing to get back on the computer. If, God forbid, you somehow find me amusing instead of crass and annoying, be sure to check out my blog and my webcomic at

Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

American Media, Clueless

In the Senate there was an effort to force a vote on establishing a time table for troop withdrawal from Iraq. The Democrats wanted this, and the Republicans did not. Democrats had enough votes to win, but the Republicans were filibustering it to block the vote.

So how does the St. Louis paper report this?

"Filibuster Fails to Force Iraq Vote."

To many of the media are just dumb and lazy. So a quick note for the Paper's editors.

It was the Republicans who were filibustering to block the Iraqi vote.

And, yes there is great irony is seeing all the Republicans who moaned, whined and cried for 5 years about how cruel the Democrats were for blocking up or down votes, now proudly blocking up or down votes

Haircuts, Makeup, and Media Reaction

John Edwards got a lot of less than favorable media attention when it was noticed that his presidential committee paid for what many consider grossly overpriced haircuts.

It makes me wonder how much notice will be paid to Mitt Romney's presidential committee paying at least $300.00 for beauty tips and services.

Mr Romney listed the fees as “communications consulting” to a California company that describes itself as “a mobile beauty team for hair, makeup and men’s grooming and spa services.”

I say at least $300.00 because it is clear that someone on his staff tried to hide the expense by using a creative line item to shield it from notice. One is left to wonder what other consultants and services may be lurking behind other bland titles on his expense reports.

You are also left to wonder if Mitt will get the same level of outraged and snickering reporting that John Edwards got from the US media.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Who Knows

Your Personality is Very Rare (ENTP)

Your personality type is optimistic, curious, enthusiastic, and open.

Only about 4% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 5% of all men.
You are Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A New Link On The Roll

Say hello to



One unintended consequence of the commuting of Scooter Libby's jail sentence seems to be a massive uptick in the willingness of mainstream media outlets to talk about impeachment.

It has been a topic on the left for at least three years now, but studiously avoided by the overwhelming majority of conventional news outlets.

For some, impeachment has been the goal since they got their first whiff of some of the questionable behavior of the Bush administration. I was not in that camp. Now the call is gathering up steam, but I still can not yet call for impeachment.

For me, Impeachment should be the result of the process, not the goal of it. Our members of congress owe us good oversight of the administration. One of their most important jobs is to assure that the government is working within the laws of the land and is being honest with the people they have been elected to represent. As part of this process there should be hearings and investigations.

Only when these events present us clear indications of wrong doing, is it time to call for corrective and punitive measures.

In my opinion we are not there. But, I hold little doubt that in time we will be faced with enough evidence that Impeachment is an option that must be considered. For the time being I just wish that we could keep the horse in front of the cart, and do the job of looking into the actions of the Bush Administration, not with the goal of Impeachment, but with the goal of finding the truth.

And just see where that road leads us.

Heck, based on the way the White House is responding to the investigations, their efforts at obstruction of justice alone may warrant Impeachment.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


But in no way surprised.

Bush lets one of his convicted evil minions go free.

It is one heck of a great system we have here: Break any law you want, obstruction investigations, lie to those investigating, and once your are brought to trial and become aconvicted felon, get released by the man who was in charge during the whole process.

It makes one wonder why the Bush administration is refusing to answer congressional subpoenas, since it is clear that Bush is willing to pardon criminal wrongdoing done in his name.

And there appears to have been a great deal of criminal wrongdoing in his name

Firedoglake covers this very well

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Amature Hour In The UK

While the US (and no doubt the UK) media are now in a full feeding frenzy, it should be clear to everyone that the 'terror attacks' in London and Glasgow were highly amateurish.
For starters, gasoline is not a high explosive. If we were talking 50 pounds of Semtex or the Al Qaeda standby, TATP, I would be impressed. Those are real high explosives with a detonation rate in excess of 20,000 feet per second. Gasoline can explode (just ask former owners of a Ford Pinto) but it is first and foremost an incendiary. If the initial reports are true, the clown driving the Mercedes was a rank amateur when it comes to constructing an Improvised Explosive Device aka IED. Unlike a Hollywood flick the 50 gallons of gas would not have shredded the Mercedes into lethal chunks of flying shrapenal.

The fact that "officers courageously disabled the trigger by hand" coupled with the report of the smoke in the car leads me to believe that the mad London "bomber" tried to construct a Molotov cocktail of sorts and lit a cloth fuze. Fortunately he left the windows in the car up and there was not enough oxygen to really get the fire going. Looks like the brave British police reached in and snuffed the flame.

Judging from the overreaction to this non-incident I think we can safely conclude that Osama Bin Laden will remain holed up in Pakistan and let the fear mongers at CNN, MSNBC, and FOX do the dirty business of scaring the shit out of people.

While they had the potential to some light damage, it is clear that raw anger and desperation, not professional calculation and terrorist training fueled these attempts at terror.

It should also be clear that these attacks are not being driven so much by the ideology of Bin Laden and radical Islam, but anger at the ideology of Tony Blair (and George Bush). Their incredible stupid and fouled up attempts at reducing terror has only grown it, both abroad, and at home.

My only real concern about these type of terrorist (and calling them terrorist is an insult to terrorist {if you can insult a terrorist}) is one day, a group like these idiots in Scotland, or the foolish saps who dreamed of attacking Ft. Dix, or the lost souls who formed their own religion and army in Miami (or the JFK crew), may get 'lucky' and do damage far beyond what they are actually capable of.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Abject Failure, Again

The current administration, and our leaders in the Pentagon, have again been proven to be total failures.

BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) -- The U.S. commander of a new offensive north of Baghdad, reclaiming insurgent territory day by day, said Sunday his Iraqi partners may be too weak to hold onto the gains.

The Iraqi military does not even have enough ammunition, said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek: "They're not quite up to the job yet."

His counterpart south of Baghdad seemed to agree, saying U.S. troops are too few to garrison the districts newly rid of insurgents. "It can't be coalition (U.S.) forces. We have what we have. There's got to be more Iraqi security forces," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch.

If the Iraqi army is unable to hold the territory, and we lack the manpower to hold the territory, why are we bothering with this farce of an escalation?

Are our Political leaders so stupid that they do not understand that this is a huge waste? of course they are this stupid, this is George Bush and his cohorts we are talking about.

Are our military leaders now so spineless they lack the courage to tell the politicians in DC the results of their idiocy? It appears that they are.

What is the result of this latest display of criminal stupidity, and craven fear?

At least 12 soldiers were killed on Saturday from roadside bombings and other causes, leaving at least 31 dead for the week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reflection On Past Decisions, And Iraq Today

Almost 30 years ago, a nation in the middle east (OK, South Asia) was in in disarray, suffering from internal divisions, political murders, coups, and open warfare. A Superpower saw this as an opportunity, and Russia sent 80,000 men into the country to 'stabilize' it and to tie it securely into it's sphere of influence.

The locals were not amused, and the unrest continued, and in places grew much worse.

Soon the number of troops rose to about 150,000, and still the resistance grew stronger.

The US saw an opportunity. We could destabilize the southern border of our enemy, and tie down a sizable fraction of our biggest foe's army in a manner very similar to what happened to us in the 60s in Vietnam. So in July 1979 Jimmy Carter ordered the initial aid to the 'freedom fighters' of Afghanistan.

When Regan took power in 80s, the aid was continued, and by the mid 80s it was not a trickle, but a flood. Russia was trapped in it's own Vietnam, and faced many of the same difficulties we saw in the 67-73 period. Eventually Russia left, and Afghanistan was left to fight a continuing civil war that was eventually won by their religious right, the Taliban.

This group was an immediate international pariah, a supporter of international terrorism and became the eventual protector of Al Qaeda.

Another by-product of this war was the training and eventual dispersion of as many as 40,000 mujaheddin. During the war years, the lure of battle for a just cause, and the funds and tools to wage war attracted tens of thousands of fighters from across the whole of the Islamic world. They were trained by the US (by proxy at least) and bloodied in battle, and when it was over, they moved on.

There is little doubt that some of these very same US trained fighters are now involved in Iraq.

All of this as a result of a decision to stick it to the Russians. Our goal was not a terrorist supporting fundamentalist Islamic government in control of Afghanistan, our goal was not to train tens of thousands of mujaheddin, and then disperse them across the globe, our goal was not the elevation of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to the point where the world knew who he was, but that was the end result.

That is why I have to ask, have we thought the wisdom of arming Sunni freedom fighters.

these groups have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and other supplies.

American officials who have engaged in what they call "outreach" to the Sunni groups say the groups are mostly ones with links to Al Qaeda but are disillusioned with Al Qaeda's extremist tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. In exchange for American backing, these officials say, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight Al Qaeda and halt attacks on American units.

Commanders involved in these negotiations say that in some cases, Sunni groups have agreed to alert U.S. troops to the location of roadside bombs and other lethal booby traps.

This clearly show just how bad the current situation in Iraq is. We are arming the very people that we have spent the last 5 years trying to kill. In our effort to find a path to victory, we are now forced to making very dangerous alliances and aiding uncontrollable groups. The forces we are arming are not part of the government, not part of the Iraqi army, they are fighting the Iraqi government as it currently exist. These are the armies of the Sunni population who are already at war with the Shia population, who happen to control the government at this time.

critics of the strategy, including some U.S. officers, say it could amount to the Americans arming both sides in a future civil war.

This may work, desperate situations call for bold action, but I fear that the law of unintended consequences will lead us to look back on this decision, and wish we had not chosen this path.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ravelel Shows Us How To Keep Those

Bank accounts and campaign coffers full, start trafficking in drugs.

South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel has been suspended from office, following his indictment by a federal grand jury for distribution of cocaine.

He is innocent till proven guilty, but, a federal indictment is a very serious step.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sen. Graham (R-SC)

gets a little attition from Firedoglake.

They make a very good point. For a man who is said to have no ambition for a higher office, he sure gets a lot of face time with the national media.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


makes a great point.

Paris Hilton is America. Where once America was steelworkers and freedom fighters, today America is... Paris. Vacant empty-headed useless people with no conception of "reality", who mostly spend their days selling things nobody needs to people who don't need them but hey, they're neat things, so buy, buy, buy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gallup Confirms, The Majority Of Republicans

Are idiots.

The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

This is a great debate to follow, and regular visits to science blogs, like pharyngula, make it fun and easy to learn.


The overwhelming stupidity of theist republicans also extends to US History

Monday, June 04, 2007

Jefferson (D-La) To Be Indicted

All I can say is what took so freakin long.

A Justice Department official familiar with the case said the indictment outlining the evidence against Jefferson is more than an inch thick and charges the congressman with crimes that could keep him in prison for up to 200 years. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bush Administration Starts to Admit

They want us to stay in Iraq for ever.

For the first time, the Bush administration is beginning publicly to discuss basing American troops in Iraq for years, even decades to come

This should be a surprise to no one.

In other news from Iraq, after the first 3 days of June, at least14 more US troops have been killed

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DeMint, He Opens His Mouth

And a flood of stupidity follows.

His latest attempt at public speaking has a couple of choice moments.

“Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress,” DeMint said. “I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.”

A few notes for Sen. DeMint.

Al Quade makes up only a very small percentage of the forces involved in fighting against the US in Iraq (and would not even be in Iraq if we had not gone in there). The vast majority of those involved in attacking US forces are Iraqi. These people will continue to fight us until they are totally defeated, something that almost never happens with domestic insurgency.

They are responding to an invasion of their land like I hope Americans would respond to an invasion of the US, with massive resistance. In the US this resistance would not stop based upon the political discussions of the invaders, but only when the invaders were either kicked out, or had killed such a massive amount amount of our population that resistance was no longer an option.

We face the same reality in Iraq.

The sad truth is, they want us out of the way so they can get busy killing each other. Iraq is a land divided by religious, ethnic and family divides, and grudges held onto from the past. These will define their existence for the next few decades if not longer. Our staying in Iraq just delays the now unavoidable.

All you do by demanding that we remain in Iraq is assure the deaths of more of our troops. The Democrats are trying to save some troops, it is you Sen. DeMint who are killing them.

Not only did Sen DeMint display his stupidity while in Spartanburg, He also confirmed that he is very accomplished at spinning a lie.

DeMint also took issue with the now widespread belief that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, saying the executed Iraqi dictator had “stockpiles of chemical weapons” that still exist.

Yes Saddam has some very old, scattered, most likely forgotten, shells that did at one time contain deadly toxins. These are left over from their war with Iran (you know, back when we were allied with them, and were helping with their chemical weapons programs). As chemical weapons, these shells are basically useless. The chemicals have degraded, and are not much of a threat. In fact a couple have been used in IEDs (most likely by accident), and the damage was very limited.

These are not the 'stockpiles' but leftovers, and posed no real threat to our nation.

Stupid, and a bad liar, no wonder so many love to call the Jr. Senator from South Carolina Sen DimWit.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well, She Was Covert

That is again made perfectly clear.

An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.

I would hope that the small army of right wing nuts cases who kept trying to claim she was not covert would now have the grace and manners to both apologize the the Plames. and the people of the US, and then demand the proper punishment for the traitors who outed a covert US spy (you know, Bush, Cheney, Libby etc).

But I wont hold my breath. Past experience has shown that vast majority of those who make up the right wing noise machine lack both the courage and wisdom to do the right thing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Terrorist Attack Thwarted in Virginia

It appears they have followed us here.

Campbell County authorities arrested a Liberty University student for having several homemade bombs in his car.

The student, 19-year-old Mark D. Uhl of Amissville, Va., reportedly told authorities that he was making the bombs to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral service. The devices were made of a combination of gasoline and detergent


Three other suspects are being sought, one of whom is a soldier from Fort Benning, Ga., and another is a high school student.


It appears that these terrorist were already here. I wonder if the right wing wack jobs are going to flip out like they did about the Miami and Ft. Dix groups (who do not appear to have been this close to making an attack).

Monday, May 21, 2007

Evolution or Fantasy

Not Very Bright has started a survey, and the results, while not surprising, are very disappointing.

It should be no surprise that a parade of Not Very Bright people are in charge of South Carolina. I suspect an average IQ of about 69 (Intellectually Deficient) could be found in the creationsim subset in the survey.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dr. Laura's New Difficulties

(At least she is not naked this time)

As a media product, She has been in decline for a while now. It appears that the behavior of her sole reason for being (her Son) may, if true, speed up her disappearance from the American media scene.

The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called "repulsive."

Unfortunately as well as being repulsive, it is also similar to many other such projects that have been produced by members of our armed forces, who, a recent study suggest, think torture is a fine idea.

It is alarming what four years of lies and pointless warfare is producing.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Sen. DeMint and RU-486

South Carolina's Junior Senator's war on RU-486 continues. It should come to no surprise to anyone that in this ongoing effort, The Senator (or his staff) continue to use misinformation (A classy term for subtle lies) in their effort to support their case.

There is an excellent quick review at The Well-Timed Period, where some real facts are introduced.

While the DeMint press release is chocked full of half truths and misapplied stats, the one that I find most interesting is the whole last paragraph.

The reported risk of death associated with RU-486 is ten times greater the risk associated with surgical abortions. The death rate associated with surgical abortion is one in a million. By contrast, the reported risk of death associated with RU-486 is higher than one in 100,000

It appears that the fine folks in DeMints office decided to quote the numbers that best helped their case, while ignoring the rest.

Lets start with the RU-486 mortality number, there is still study needed here, and some of the adverse effects appear to come from improper use of the meds, but even then, the real number is about 1 in 110,000 (not less than 100,00 are DeMint claims). As for regular abortions, well on the whole, they are 1 in 1 in 142,000 ( not 1 in 1,000,000 ).... and there is one other fact that his office left off the memo that is very telling: The risk of death in pregnancy is 1 in 8700. Making it a far riskier proposition than either RU-486, or surgical abortion.

Yet, somehow, that little fact is not mentioned at all.

No wonder so many people in SC prefer his nickname when refering to him, Sen. DimWit.

hat tip to pharyngula

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mom Always Wanted A Dr. In The Family

MD... or PHd... it didn't matter

You Are Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

You take the title "mad scientist" to the extreme -with very scary things coming out of your lab.
And you've invented some pretty cool things, from a banana sharpener to a robot politician.
But while you're busy turning gold into cottage cheese, you need to watch out for poor little Beaker!
"Oh, that's very naughty, Beaker! Now you eat these paper clips this minute."

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I thought only serial rapist and televangelist could have approvial ratings this low.

George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A New Blog To Follow


If they stay true to their stated goal, they should be a great asset to all of those of us who cherish truth.

Bush Block Funding For The Troops

That would be a valid statement if I was trying to spin the war funding debate the way the Bush White House has been trying to spin it. Since I am not, so I guess I will retract it.

But back to the main point, Bush has vetoed the democratic version of the supplemental spending bill that would fully fund Bush's war in Iraq.

What is interesting about this whole Iraq funding mess is: The democrats fully funded Bush's request, no quibbling at all. The only progress markers the Democrats included in the bill are the ones Bush himself outlined, no additional demands at all. The only thing that is purely democratic in orgin is the timeline, and that is at the demand of the American people who voted them into power.

Bush's biggest complaint seems to be that the Democrats took him seriously when he outlined the steps that the Iraqi government needed to take to move forward.

So we are back to the starting point, and at this time I can see only 3 real options presented.

1. Follow the Bush - McCain plan, and play Wack-A-Mole in Iraq for the next couple of generations.

2. Do the job right. Find 600,000 to 750,000 trained and armed troops, find a spare 500,000,000.00 a year to fund it, then move into Iraq a force that can impose some form of peace

3. Get the heck out of dodge.

And remember, if you pick option 1, at some point in time you will still have to pick either 2 or 3.

This is a fact, that is obvious to so many, is something that the Bush administration refuses to address.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The BBC Goes Where American Media Dare Not

They actually bother to look at Baghdad and tell you what is going on.

Trying to get into the centre of Baghdad earlier this week offered one view of how far away the Americans and Iraqi authorities are from gaining control here. We were at the airport. Just before we were due to leave, the entrance car park was hit by a car bomb.


While we waited with scores of other vehicles, mortars were fired at the airport.


You won't have heard about any of this because at the same time a series of other far more serious attacks was taking place. One was at the Sadriya market in the city centre, where a massive car bomb killed more than 140 people.


As we drove into the city, we counted six blast holes left by recent roadside bombs along just one 100-metre stretch or road. A large patch of damaged, blackened Tarmac on a bridge spoke of another attempt to destroy a key crossing.


Last month alone there were more than 100 car bombings, and the number of attacks has continued at a similar rate so far this month.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Abstinence Only Fails

Not that this should surprise anyone who has any ability to think. Just say no has been an abject failure in every venue it has been rolled out into. What may be surprising is that this first study indicates that the hundreds of millions that have been spend on telling kids to just say no to sex has had, what amounts to, absolutely no impact on teen sexual activity.

Students who participated in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex a few years later as those who did not


those who attended one of the four abstinence classes reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes, and they first had sex at about the same age as their control group counterparts — 14 years and nine months

just as likely to have sex, similar numbers of sexual partners, first had sex at about the same age... all for the low, low price of $175,000,000 a year. I wonder if we can get a full refund from all the right wing sexual snake oil sales people who have been able to use the Bush administration to rob the American public.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More Guard Off To War

The combat escalation in Iraq is stretching the military so thin, that they are having to dip into guard forces again.

Coming on the heels of a controversial “surge” of 21,000 U.S. troops that has stretched the Army thin, the Defense Department is preparing to send an additional 12,000 National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan

Let's just hope that they are treated better than Matthew Zeimer.

One of the soldiers died just hours after arriving in Iraq -- and was one of those troops rushed to the country in the "surge" who did not receive full training.


On February 9, the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News reported: "At least 143 soldiers joined Fort Stewart's 1st Brigade too late to participate in a final combat exercise before their units deployed to Iraq. Last week, one of those soldiers - Pvt. Matthew T. Zeimer, 18 - was the first from the brigade to be killed when he was hit by enemy fire in Ramadi, the stronghold of Iraq's Sunni insurgency.

"Zeimer arrived at Fort Stewart on Dec. 18 after basic training and deployed to Iraq just a few weeks later. He missed the brigade's intensive four-week mission rehearsal in October when more than 1,300 trainers and Iraqi role-players came to the post as part of the most realistic training program the Army offers for Iraq operations.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Official, The Escalation Will Fail

I say this not because of the obvious weakness in the plan, or the overall inability of the US armed forces to do the job (we lack the manpower), but because Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, at the urging of Bush's pal Ahmad Chalabi, has decided that he likes the Civil War and wants it to continue.

The most powerful Shiite cleric in Iraq has rejected an American-backed proposal to allow thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to return to government service, an aide to the cleric said Monday. The rejection by the cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, appears certain to fuel hostility between the majority Shiites and the former ruling Sunni Arabs, since many Sunni Arabs say they were unfairly purged from the government in the clampdown on the Baath Party.

And as long as Sistani wants civil war, there will be civil war.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John McCain, A Bad Liar or Simply Delusional?

On CNN, Sen. John McCain (R-Az) was busy singing the praises of the escalation of the war in Iraq, and claiming that we have made amazing progress. The trouble is, his claims were so absurd that you either have to admire his willingness to lie so boldly, or wonder how we could let someone so delusional roam the streets without adult supervision.

Remember - Wack A Mole

We have liberated and secured Tal Afaf 3 times now, and despite our efforts in the last couple of days we have seen, both bombings, followed by what appear to be reprisal killings where Shiia police members have executed Sunni civilians.

When you here politicians singing the praises of our escalation of combat in Baghdad, remember Tal Afar, and what Bush said a year ago after the 3rd 'freeing' of the city.

So today I'd like to share a concrete example of progress in Iraq that most Americans do not see every day in their newspapers and on their television screens. I'm going to tell you the story of a northern Iraqi city called Tal Afar, which was once a key base of operations for al Qaeda and is today a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq.

Progress, as defined by the Republicans in DC, sure looks like failure to me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Remember The Iraqi Death Survey

Published in the Lancet?

The Bush administration was quick to denounce it, but the higher-ups in the UK were clearly impressed by the work.

But a memo by the MoD's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, on 13 October, states: "The study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to "best practice" in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq."


In the same e-mail the official later writes: "However, the survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones."

When it comes to anything scientific, the Bush administration denounces anything they don't like, even when the science is valid.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Another Bushie Cops A Plea

This time it is a result of the Abramoff coruption investigations. He, like scooter, is taking the fall for obstruction of justice.

The former No. 2 official at the Interior Department has agreed to a felony plea admitting that he lied five times to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and its investigators about his relationship with Abramoff

The plea somehow seems appropiate for an administation who wants to be able to lie with impuniy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

But, If We Are Under Oath, Can We Lie?

With the Democratic party in charge, the US Senate has decided to get back into the over site business. In this effort they wish to chat with a few members of the Bush administration.

They have advised Bush that they would like them to come on over, get sworn in, and answer a few questions about the job they have been doing for the American public for the last 6+ years. George isn't happy with the request, and has offered to have the talk.... but only if they are not under oath.

It appears that after having one member of his administration found guilty of lying under oath, he now wants to make sure the rest of his people can lie to the American Public without being concern about facing a judge in a few months.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Well, I Am Shocked

It turns out that Karl Rove was involved the overtly political decision to fire various federal prosecutors, and replace them with political hacks that avoided Senate approval.

The whole process clearly displays how morally bankrupt most of the Bush administration is. Years ago they wanted the power to appoint federal prosecutors without Senate oversight. To get this power they used the confusion and rush surrounding the Patriot Act to have a provision added granting them this power. 2 years ago the administration starts talking about replacing all the federal prosecutors and using their new powers to get a new batch in place that the congress has no say over. Last year, while giving testimony when he was trying to gain his appointment as attorney general, Gondolas swore he has no intention of using the Patriot Act provision to replace any federal prosecutors, and now we see that all along this was being considered inside the Bush's White house.

As I follow this story the term perversion of the course of justice keeps popping into my head. Now with confirmation that Karl Rove was in the middle of the scheming to make this happen, I know why.