Monday, February 27, 2006
Things I Think Are Important to Recall
- The harder they come, the harder they fall (see: neo-cons) too bad the fortune's of America are so interlinked!
- Originalism and the Religious Right do not mix. Other than the Chaplain for each branch of Congress, you won't find anything in the first 50 years that talks about religion.
- Reagan was an actor, a person who can adopt a personae and lie convincingly. It was his efforts that smashed the post-war moderate consensus in favor of the plutocrats.
- We are going to basically lose as long as they have a TV station, and we do not.
- America doesn't need C-SPAN 4, we need 50 State C-SPANs. The cable companies need to pony up. The level of competence of State officials is generally low.
- I'm playing Go at the local Go Club, which is in a cafeteria at Dartmouth College.
- Want to see an eye-opening example of photo-retouching? Try rolling over to see the original.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Today I sawPerhaps the most beautiful derriere on a human female that one can possibly imagine. I got the idea her father (who. along with mother, was present) had done everything to pamper her. As if, you could say, to create this ideal form. I suppose I'm surprised her Mother allowed her to wear clothes that so fully conformed to every curve of posterity, posterior, a posteriori, whatever.
Beautiful MapI love this new map, available from (CIA?) "Sherlock Google"'s diary at Daily Kos. The post is about an imminent invasion, not of Iran, but just of the section of Iran that has the oil. I would bet that this is the kind of thing BushAmerCo has "wargamed," but I am not confident that anything less than a major excuse will justify it.
Friday, February 24, 2006
- Francis Fukuyama is a silly git, and an early neo-con. His book "The End of History and the Last Man" I haven't read, but I've heard the thesis and I instantly think "How silly." Anyway, he's abandoned neo-conservatism.
- I'm sure you already know that Dubai Ports World senior executive Dave Sanborn was made head of the Maritime Administration one month ago. Of course, Bush nominated him, but had no clue about the impending Dubai Ports World deal. Folks, there are few alternatives. He's either dangerously incompetent, or patently evil.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
To My Republican ReadersYes, I do feel bad that your party was hijacked. I wonder if you don't think it was a Democrat plot from the days when the Democrats seemed to run everything. At least, sometimes. If it makes you feel better, I feel like the same exact forces have had an inordinate influence in my party, too.
Cowards: the New RightWhat need have we for fellow citizens who would cowardly lie back as their homes are invaded by masked men? Who prepare for it by getting properly dressed and unlocking the doors for the invaders? Who sit idly by as machine guns are waved in their faces? The "new right" of Bush supporters should be forgotten. They are cowards, slaves to the promise of money. Although bombing foreigners from a great distance may seem like an obviously cowardly act, greatly praised by the spineless Bush fans, there is more to it than that... from Riverbend's The Raid.
We were collected at my aunts house for my cousins birthday party a few days ago. J. just turned 16The new Cowardly Right expects Iraqis to sit and take it. The new Cowardly Right would sit and take it, if the British were doing it to them. The new Cowardly Right deserve no respect. The new Cowardly Right get none from me.
"Hey- there’s no coverage here… is it just my phone?" She asked. J. and I both took out our phones and checked, "Mine isn’t working either..." J. answered, shaking her head. They both turned to me and I told them that I couldn’t get a signal either. J. suddenly looked alert and made a sort of "Uh-oh" sound as she remembered something. "R.- will you check the telephone next to you?" I picked up the ordinary telephone next to me and held my breath, waiting for a dial tone. Nothing.
J. frowned and turned down the radio. "The last time this happened," she said, "the area was raided."
T. suddenly sat up straight, “Do you hear that?” She asked, wide-eyed. At first I couldn’t hear anything and then I caught it- it was the sound of cars or vehicles- moving slowly. “I can hear it!” I called back[.]
"What should we do?" T. asked, wringing her hands nervously. The only time I’d ever experienced a raid was back in 2003 at an uncle’s house- and it was Americans. This was the first time I was to witness what we assumed would be an Iraqi raid.
J. was already in her room changing- she called out for us to do the same, "They’ll come in the house- you don’t want to be wearing pajamas..."
"Why, will they have camera crews with them?" T. smiled wanly, attempting some humor. No, J. replied, her voice muffled as she put on a sweater, "Last time they made us wait outside in the cold." I listened for Ammoo S. and heard him outside, taking the big padlock off of the gate in the driveway. "Why are you unlocking everything J.?" I called out in the dark.
"The animals will break down the doors if they aren’t open in three seconds and then they’ll be all over the garden and house... last time they pushed the door open on poor Abu H. three houses down and broke his shoulder..." J. was fully changed, and over her jeans and sweater she was wearing her robe. It was cold.
Twenty minutes later, [...] It was nearly 4 am. Meanwhile, the noises outside had gotten louder as the raid got closer. [...] "Are your papers ready?" She asked [Ammoo S], referring to his identification papers which would be requested. [...] I squinted down at my watch and noted it was not yet 5 am. "Haven't they gotten to us yet?" I asked. [...] It came ten minutes later. A big clanging sound on the garden gate and voices yelling "Ifta7u [OPEN UP]".
Suddenly, two of them were in the living room. We were all sitting on the sofa, near my aunt. My cousin B. was by then awake, eyes wide with fear. They were holding large lights or ‘torches’ and one of them pointed a Klashnikov at us. “Is there anyone here but you and them?” One of them barked at my aunt. “No- it’s only us and my husband outside with you- you can check the house.” T.’s hands went up to block the glaring light of the torch and one of the men yelled at her to put her hands down, they fell limply in her lap. I squinted in the strong light and as my sight adjusted, I noticed they were wearing masks, only their eyes and mouths showing.
Suddenly, someone called out something from outside and it was over. They began rushing to leave the house, almost as fast as they’d invaded it. Doors slamming, lights dimming. We were left in the dark once more, not daring to move from the sofa we were sitting on, listening as the men disappeared, leaving only a couple to stand at our gate.
We found out a few hours later that one of our neighbors, two houses down, had died. Abu Salih was a man in his seventies and as the Iraqi mercenaries raided his house, he had a heart-attack. His grandson couldn’t get him to the hospital on time because the troops wouldn’t let him leave the house until they’d finished with it. His grandson told us later that day that the Iraqis were checking the houses, but the American troops had the area surrounded and secured. It was a coordinated raid.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
During the 2000 CampaignGeorge Walker Bush said that America MUST pass a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. I repeat, must, this must happen. Needless to say, it didn't fucking happen. Would some reporter with a spine ask what the consequences of this not happening are? This dirtbag, this peice of ignorant used toilet paper wad who "plays President" told this fucking country that there must be a Constitutional amendment... and there was not. When some asshat says must that asshat better mean must. Who the fuck does he think he's fooling? What record book will record him as anything but the most servile and least leaderlike of any President since Harding.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Stop Idiot SuffrageThis campaign has three natural constituencies. First, there are those idiots who think suffraging must be a bad thing, as it sounds like suffering. Second, there are those idiots who think any bill about idiots couldn't possibly be referring to them. And, thirdly, the one third or so of intelligent people who will just, on the toss of a three sided coin, agree with anything that sounds reasonable. Remember A, B and C.
Link to Paul Pillar peiceFree access to Foreign Affairs publication of Paul Pillar's "Intelligence, Policy,and the War in Iraq. Mr. Pillar was "national intelligence officer responsible for the Middle East from 2000 to 2005" and Iraq war defenders can go to ache, ee, double hockey sticks.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Hamas' Big DayHamas takes control of the Pali Parliament today, and news sources from around the world have some different takes. The Jazeera has street interviews with an interesting variety of Pali people. Don't be but off by the stridency of the first two, a Hamas and Fatah supporter, respectively. Bloomberg, actually, is depressing. Since I consider them a highly reliable news source, the fact they basically only quote the Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas(Abu Mazen), I'm thinking that there is no good side of the story related to the people who actually have power. Reuters seems all over the map. It says Hamas has already shot down the suggestions of Abbas, and plans to put forward its own peace deal (which is the same as Henry Kissinger's, based on the 1967 borders). 1000 points to anyone who can find a right wing pundit who both damns Hamas for this proposal, and at the same time either praises Kissinger or Nixon. The Malaysian Star reports that Abbas is demanding that Hamas meet all of Pali's previous agreements. No word on whether that applies to Bush unilaterally pulling out of treaties or not.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Press Licks Rumsfeld's SackWithout a doubt, the United States produces more propaganda than any other entity on Earth. The duaphin SecDef, however, says the US is falling dangerously behind in producing propaganda. The US media reports this, as if it might be worthy of note. A lie, in defense of fascist warmongers, is no lie, perhaps Mr. Rumsfeld should have said.
General Peter Pace, Deceiver, Much of Press Corps Loves ItWhen asked about the UN report on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the National Press Club, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that any report done without having visited the place is flawed. Many members of the press corps cheered. Of course, the UN was told that they wouldn't be allowed to speak to the prisoners. Fuck off, General Pace. YOU (or your bosses, who you would then be covering up for) told them the UN couldn't do anything they considered meaningful. Anyone can see footage of Guantanamo Bay, on C-SPAN or other places. What the fuck would be the point, unless they could talk to people? FBI agents, stationed at Guantanamo, issued many (maybe dozens) of reports of inhumane treatment, including chaining people to the floor, having them defecate on themselves, and this liar General Pace declared that Gitmo has already been humane. I'm afraid the only justice is to treat General Pace humanely.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Newest Stupid Republican Trick"The Official Truth Squad" reminds me, consistently, of the Bush party line. So, in every respect, it is "official truth," but it is not true at all. We are making great progress in Iraq, one deceiver says. We are fighting them over there, so we don't fight them over here, says a bloodthirsty idiot.
House Debate on Iran ResolutionThe only decent people have been Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Ron Paul notes that the actual text of the legislation encourages China and Russia to invade Iran if _any_ report (including in the daily paper) comes out on Iran. Ignorant war mongers include: Tom Lantos (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-TX), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, who recently claimed that America is the only non-corrupt country in the world) and a group of Republicans whose names aren't worth mentioning. Tom Lantos is the Ranking Member of the House International Relations Committee. If the Democrats win the US House, the down side is that he will be the new Chair.
UPDATE: The vote result was 404-4, with 4 abstentions, may the far left and the far right unite!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Rumsfeld Kills American Troops DeadDuring WWII, the Allies captured 5,000,000 Germans. Over 750,000 were sent back to America. Some of them were given jobs. Part of the US war effort was to make sure that the Germans knew how well they'd be treated if they surrendered. The obvious reason was that we wanted them to surrender. Many of them, maybe even millions, didn't fire off every last round before they surrendered. They did not, when out of ammunition, fix bayonets and fight that way. They did not, in many instances, fight to the death to kill American troops. This saves American lives. Donald Rumsfeld, John Yoo, John Bybee, David Addington, and others, obviously don't care about the troops. Rumsfeld kills troops dead. How hard would you fight if you thought you would be tortured, perhaps killed, perhaps never to return home? How much of your last breath would be expended to make sure the people who wanted to do this to you died first? American torturers kill Americans.
- CNN: Cheney to break silence on shooting. I can't hardly pee. What a non-story.
- NY Times: Rice to Ask for $75 Million to Promote Democracy in Iran. What, it took 200 billion to create the wonderful democracy in Iraq. Is this going to be some sort of corner-cutting operation in Iran?&nsbp; On the cheap?
- Bloomberg: Chertoff Says Reviewing U.S. Response to Katrina Is `Painful'. Painful? I thought the response was deadly. Chertoff thinks it is painful to be a floating corpse? Maybe he should give it a try.
- News24: 325,000 names on terror list. "We have a list of enemies. The list is secret. How you get on the list is secret." paraphrasing Robespierre during the Reign of Terror.
- SmartMoney.com: Asbestos Settlement Blocked in Senate. Fuck off, this was an industry bill. It's great news that it was blocked. It was a "settlement" great for one party. I suppose the headline is technically accurate. Sorta like how "New Deal For Minimum Wage Defeated" without mentioning it was $1.25/hour.
- I skipped a couple true crime headlines
- MSNBC: Democratic bloggers abuzz over Hackett exit. Where are they when the Democrat bloggers are abuzz over impeachemnt? Seems clear they get to decide when they want to tell the world what the buzz is. Blah.
- LA Times: Swann's Now in an Open Field in Pennsylvania. Holy crap this guy is an idiot. I used to give Schwarzenegger a tiny bit of credit. He does know and support youth fitness. I think it is right up his alley. You can't even say that for Swann.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Cheney Can't Control His GunBeing a millionaire is not enough, it seems, for Vice President Richard "loose cannon" Cheney, who unloaded his gun on a 78 year old today. Objectively pro-terrorist liberals and Democrats will, undoubtedly, try to make something of the Veep's inability to control himself, and how he unloads at the wrong time, and how he hates millionaires. Don't believe any of it. God Bless Vice President Cheney and his gun and its loads.
Friday, February 10, 2006
History repeating itself in a new way?Gutenberg printed the Bible. Within 50 years, Luther's tracts had converted nearly half of Christendom to the new Fundamentalism. Gone was any respect for the Popes who had sponsored Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, humanism, intellectual pursuits. Replaced with centuries of hatred and war. Part of the success of Protestantism, at least Calvinism, was the quality schools they set up. For example, Henry VIII, a Catholic, father? of the Church of England, gave his son (Edward VII) Protestant teachers. He knew, full well, the result, it is said (the Queen after, Elizabeth I, was the first Protestant Monarch of England). The (illegal, after the Index of Banned Books) book distribution system they set up in Switzerland (under Calvin) was critical. To bad I can't speak in the lay tongue. The enlightenment was evolving at the same time. A new regard for ancient texts, and the translation of ancient Roman, Greek and Hebrew texts was part of it. Certainly Erasmus of Rotterdam was a contemporary of Luther's. The Church had been in charge, the Church was not happy with Erasmus. The Church oppressed, killed, and generally kept humanity in a backwards, primitive, superstitous state (for a long time).
He Thinks We Are IdiotsThe lesson of 9/11 is that hijackings don't always have to end well. In US history not one person had ever died during a hijacking. No American will let this happen again. I know I am not alone in thinking that, should my plane be hijacked, no four inch knife is going to deter me from wresting control of the plane. But "Bush" has decided to say that this time they were planning to hijack a plane with a shoe bomb. With a bomb? What the? I, like millions of other Earthlings, would rather have the plane blow up than to die in a fiery blaze in a collision with a building. It's a stupid story, but Bush actually hopes you believe it. The only other shoe bomber we know of was not trying to hijack the plane, he was trying to blow it up. The only other shoe bomber we definitely know about was not trying to hijack the plane when he lit his shoes on fire. If Flight 587 was bombed (certainly cops and firefighters say they saw it blow up) then it, too, was bombed without an attempted hijack. What other part of this story rings completely false? Supposedly the plotters went to Usama bin-Laden(UBL), to seek his blessings. The 9/11 attackers did not know Usama bin-Laden, they did not visit. They did not have a group meeting with Khalid Sheikh-Muhammed, either. Why would this effort be any different? Who believes UBL was receiving guests from America right after 9/11? Bush is a Bad Monkey.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The biggest event of the year for New Hampshire Democrats is this Friday night. Governors Mark Warner, a likely Presidential candidate and tycoon, and New Hampshire's own John Lynch, one of the more popular Governors in the nation, will be the main guests. But I feel like quite a guest, too.
I'm being given a ticket by one of my House Representatives (SA).
A City Councillor(KLH) got me a ride to the dinner (70 miles away).
The regional Democrat Chair(JC) is the ride, and the City Councillor will be there, too.
And I'm getting the ticket in the first place thanks to the efforts of my City Democrat Chair(GS), who, when we get to the Dinner, has promised to introduce me to people in the State Party organization, to whom I might be able to interest in my maps.
or, Politics Agrees With Me
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
How Disconnected is the President,
The hero of the Muslim world? A well respected Imam? I can just see this schmuck during the riots during the 1960s in America, telling blacks to stop rioting. President Bush tells Muslims to stop rioting over comics.
No, seriously, does he think they are going to because he asks? What planet is he living on? Planet Rove-told-me-so?
or , the Power of Street Credibility
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Historical Record and the 4th AmendmentSo far, my favorite case has been Boyd v US (1886). The case is about customs. Someone allegedly smuggled 35 cases of plate glass into the country. During the investigation, the government demanded that the importer produce documents related to an earlier importation of 29 cases of plate glass. Was the request legal? The request was based on an act passed in 1874, which amended an act of 1867, which amended a Civil War act (1863) entitled "An act to prevent and punish frauds upon the revenue." Was that act Constitutional? Giving the decision of the Court, Justice Bradley has some great quotes:
In order to ascertain the nature of the proceedings intended by the fourth amendment to the constitution under the terms 'unreasonable searches and seizures,' it is only necessary to recall the contemporary or then recent history of the controversies on the subject, both in this country and in England. The practice had obtained in the colonies of issuing writs of assistance to the revenue officers, empowering them, in their discretion, to search suspected places for smuggled goods, which James Otis pronounced 'the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in an English law book;' since they placed 'the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.'And then quoting Lord Camden
Such is the power, and therefore one would naturally expect that the law to warrant it should be clear in proportion as the power is exorbitant. If it is law, it will be found in our books; if it is not to be found there it is not law.
The great end for which men entered into society was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. The cases where this right of property is set aside by positive law are various. Distresses, executions, forfeitures, taxes, etc., are all of this description, wherein every man by common consent gives up that right for the sake of justice and the general good. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it ever so minute, is a trespass. No man can set his foot upon my ground without my license, but he is liable to an action, though the damage be nothing, which is proved by every declaration in trespass where the defendant is called upon to answer for bruising the grass and even treading upon the soil. If he admits the fact, he is bound to show, by way of justification, that some positive law has justified or excused him.
And we have been unable to perceive that the seizure of a man's private books and papers to be used in evidence against him is substantially different from compelling him to be a witness against himself.Here are some links on the matter
- Electronic Surveillance in US law
- General Hayden's remarks (see question from Landay)
- The Federation of American Scientists page on FISA.
- Andresen v Maryland (1976)
- Coolidge v New Hampshire (1971)
- Stanford v Texas (1964)
- US v Leon (1984)
- Marron v US (1927)
- Skinner v Railway Executives (1989)
- Michigan Dept of State Police v Sitz (1990)
- Agnello v US (1925)
- Carroll v US (1925)
- Weeks v US (1914)
- Boyd v US (1886)
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Impeach BushLike I've said, I support (now) impeaching the Secretary of Defense. Today on C-SPAN there is airing Presidential Impeachment Proposals from a group called "Democracy Rising." Big kudos to one of the presenters, whose presentation was painfully powerful. Haven't figured out who it was, yet. It was whoever spoke after Ann Reese (who was also quite good) and before Ramsey Clark (who had some useful historical tidbits to add).
UPDATE: In the original version of this post I thought the speaker had been Travis Morales, I was mistaken.
India's Perspective:IranThe neo-Bushist press in the West (Murdoch, the NY Times group) are using the most unbalanced rhetoric on Iran. What do you expect? Outlook India doesn't sound like a bunch of demented, senile old orangutans. Quotes follow:
"The door for negotiations is still open," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful energy purposes and in the last two days has repeatedly assured that it would continue to honor its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In the past, Iran had allowed short-notice, intrusive inspections of its facilities, including military sites as a goodwill gesture to build trust. But parliament passed a law late last year requiring the government to block intrusive inspections of Iran's facilities if the country is put before the Security Council.
Enemy of DemocracyBush appointee Stanley Lucas gets shredded in the NY Times. This neo-fascist is now helping things along in Afghanistan. He can be impeached, too. In other news, the drumbeats of war are at a higher pitch, re:Iran, but I'm not feeling the deep reverb. I think part of this is that the left is not as trusting of the Bush administration anymore, and his supporters don't trust the UN, and the Bush administration is trying to use the UN to attack Iran.
Israel in the NewsWhy am I not talking about the DRC? Why am I not writing about Russia? Why am I not talking about leverage the Pentagon weilds over the political process? Anyway, a few days I gave Olmert a 50/50 for his combined decisions (at least, the combined decisions of the Israeli government) to both dismantle one of the worst settlements and not pay 55 million to the Palis as part of a revenue sharing agreement (re: customs). The Israelis will pay at least this time. It looks like they will stop the day Hamas takes government, which is sheer idiocy, and against the spirit of a Republic, but apparently they really don't care, or have other priorities.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
And the Horse Bush rode in onQuote from the Fuhrer, God's Own President, George Walker Bush
I welcome the debate. But as I said last night to Congress, whether you agree or not agree with the decision, this country has one option, and that’s victory in Iraq.I welcome debate as long as you come to my conclusion? Fuck off, shit for brains President!