Sunday, November 27, 2005

Punk of the Week

I was wondering who has managed to plumb the true depths of Punkery in order to win the fabulous Golden Buttock, when this happened to blaze a trail across my eyes.

(From Yahoo - Associated Press):

Sen. Suggests Bush Use 'Fireside Chats'

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sunday suggested that President Bush use an FDR-style presentation to update people on progress in the war in Iraq. Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record, blood type, sperm count), R-Va., recalled that during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt often went on the radio in "fireside chats" to explain to the nation in detail the conduct of the war in Europe and Asia.
"I think it would be to Bush's advantage," said Warner, who served in the Navy during the war. "It would bring him closer to the people, dispel some of this concern that understandably our people have, about the loss of life and limb, the enormous cost of this war to the American public," he said.
Bush plans a speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on the fight against terrorism. The Senate voted 79-19 on Nov. 15 to urge the Bush administration to explain publicly its strategy for success in Iraq and to provide quarterly reports on policy and military operations. A call for a plan to set a phased withdrawal of troops, which Bush opposes, was dropped from the nonbinding resolution when Republicans and some Democrats objected.
In an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Warner reiterated his opposition to a timetable for troop withdrawal. He sharply disagreed with Delaware Sen. Joe Biden's assertion that the military cannot maintain its baseline troop levels past next year, citing assurances from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace. Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposes an immediate withdrawal of troops. He did say the Pentagon would have to draw down forces next year, by as much as 50,000, or extend tours, deploy more National Guard members and take other measures.
Warner responded that Pace told him on Saturday that the military will maintain force levels in part by retraining certain segments of the Army and the Guard to perform basic fighting against the insurgents.
"Artillerymen can become infantrymen, artillerymen can become policemen," he said.
Nearly 160,000 U.S. troops are serving in Iraq. The Pentagon has said that level will drop below 140,000 after Iraqi elections on Dec. 15, if they are no longer needed for additional security. Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, number of tree rings, voting record), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said there was a need for more information about policy and success rather than a change in course in Iraq. "Our committee hopes to provide a whole lot more so the debate might be enlightened," Lugar, R-Ind., told "Fox News Sunday." "We want to hear from the administration," he said.
Sen. Russ Feingold (news, balding pattern, bio, voting record), D-Wis., who is on the committee, said a public timetable for withdrawal would show the Iraqi people that the U.S. is not set to occupy the country permanently. "The right thing for the United States right now is to refocus on the fight against terrorism," Feingold said on "This Week" on ABC.
"Iraq has ended up being a real distraction. Actually, a problem. I think it's actually made us weaker rather than stronger." Feingold, considered a presidential hopeful for 2008, voted against giving Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. He said that, unlike his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, he thought the administration was exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. "The Bush administration did a brilliant job, which has continued until today, not in getting us into the war and handling it correctly, but they did a brilliant job of intimidating us into somehow thinking that if we didn't vote for this, we weren't supporting the troops and we were soft on terror," Feingold said. "I could tell that they were taking every piece of evidence, exaggerating it, pushing everything they could and twisting everything in favor of going into Iraq," he said. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have rejected any suggestion that the administration intentionally misled the public as it made the case for invading Iraq and removing Saddam.

Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Okay, so the Senator Warner gets the Punk of the Week Award for thinking that Dear Leader should once again go to the Rooseveltian Well and draw up another bucket in hopes that he can smother the opinion of a growing majority of Americans. Fireside chats? Does anyone recall Carter and his sweaters?

And a special Punk Award to Senator Joe Biden (D-MBNA), that soulless son of a bitch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Doubts grow over US Afghan strategy

Andrew North
BBC News, Kabul

It is four years since the fall of the Taleban regime. The United States has spent billions of dollars on its operations in Afghanistan - but what does it have to show for it?
With no end in sight to the insurgency led by remnants of that regime and insecurity still holding back development in large parts of the country, it is a question that many more people are asking.
There has been significant political progress, with the election of President Hamid Karzai last year and a new parliament due to convene next month after September's vote.
But it is almost as if this is happening in a parallel universe, some say. There is no sign of it translating into peace.
As the year nears an end, bombings and shootings continue almost daily in the south and east.
Such incidents have claimed at least 1,400 lives in the past year - the highest toll since 2001.

New terror tactics

A rise in suicide attacks, for which Afghan officials believe al-Qaeda is partly responsible, is causing particular concern.
Since the spring, evidence has been mounting of a renewed drive by Osama Bin Laden's network to revive its influence here - particularly in eastern Afghanistan.
But it is only when the violence reaches Kabul - such as two recent suicide bombings - that the situation gets any significant attention from outside.
The official US view is that things are on track. "Security is getting better every day," is a line that frequently emerges from the "talking points" American spokesmen use in their briefings.
Last week, the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was holding Afghanistan up as a model for Iraq, in terms of its progress.
"Iraq is several years behind", he said. But people on the ground here - in official Afghan circles, as well as in the myriad different international bodies involved in the rebuilding effort - are far less confident about Afghanistan's "model potential".

Weak institutions

The BBC spoke to a number of Afghan police and security officials around the country and in Kabul, as well as to international workers in different fields.
All those in government positions requested anonymity.
"We are very worried now," said one senior police officer in eastern Afghanistan.
"The Taleban and al-Qaeda tactics are getting more threatening."
An Afghan ministry of interior official said: "It does not help that the police and Afghan military institutions are still weak. Police salaries are still very low."
One senior UN official said: "We never imagined we would still be talking about a Taleban insurgency four years on.
"We have got to admit the current approach is not working."

Vulnerable targets

Concern is especially high among humanitarian workers.
"The aid community loses more people here than in any other crisis area of the world," said a senior representative of the Afghan NGO Safety Office, which provides security advice to such agencies across the country.
Unlike many other places, he said, NGOs here were often specifically targeted.
So far this year, 30 people involved in aid projects - either as direct employees or as contractors - have died in violence, according to Anso figures.
That compares to 24 last year.
And these statistics do not include people involved in road building projects.
"The security situation is slowly deteriorating," Paul Barker, country director for aid agency Care International, told the BBC.
He has got a longer view than most, having worked here for the past seven years.
He says his colleagues have continued to run operations in areas of the south and south-east where they were already established, but security concerns hold them back from expanding further.
"It is kind of a Catch 22. As long as people do not see benefits of the aid, they may be more amenable to hosting or tolerating anti-government elements."

Tricky rules

What is more, the security measures many organisations put in place to protect staff make it ever harder for them to actually do their work.
"Security is a constant work in progress," said Lt Col Jerry O'Hara, chief spokesman at Bagram, the US military's main base north of Kabul, when asked to comment on these concerns.
He rejected claims that things were getting worse, but said "the long term solution for security in Afghanistan is Afghan security forces.
"Day by day, Afghan security forces are going to have to take a greater and greater role."
The question is when that point will come. More than 30,000 troops for a new Afghan national army have been trained by the US, French and British, and many have been operating with the US forces for some time.
But it is a long way from being a force that can operate independently. The Pentagon has aired plans to start withdrawing up to 4,000 US troops next year.
It may not be able to do so if things continue this way.
The other concern Afghan officials still raise - but more quietly now, after the public slanging matches that broke out over the summer - is over the role of Pakistan.
Officials insist militants continue to come over the border.
They say there needs to be much more pressure on Islamabad from the Americans.
It is not a subject the Americans here want to talk about much in public either.
The official line is that Pakistan is a key partner in the US war on terror and co-operation has improved.
But so sensitive has the issue become that even in private, US officials are reluctant to be drawn on their views.
Four years after the US military arrived here, doubts are growing about its ability to defeat the insurgency.
"Next spring, we'll all be listening again to the coalition saying the Taleban are finished and on the run," said one aid worker.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/23 06:05:02 GMT


Wait just a cotton-picking minute here.

If we had NOT invaded Iraq, do you think we'd be hearing stuff like this from Afghanistan four years after we invaded that country?

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your gawd like a soldier."

- Kipling, Rudyard

Holiday Movies

Here's a list of my favorite holiday movies:

The Lion in Winter
Monty Python's Life of Brian
A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sim edition)

What are YOUR favorites?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ahead of the Curve

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The GOP howled, the Dems cowered.

Leaders of the Iraqi government and its three principal factions (Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds), meeting in Cairo for an Arab League conference, called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Hear that hollow echo?

It seems that Rep. Murtha was far ahead of his fellows in the Congress, and just a step or two ahead of the Iraqis. And now, thanks to that Cairo meeting, we now have the perfect incentive to leave.

During the conference, the Iraqi leaders made a distinction. Pay attention to this, please, as it is rather inportant.

1. Terrorism is bad, because it blows up innocent civilians, little kids, etc.

2. Resistance against an occupying power (in other words, blowing up Americans) is justified.

Faced with that, from our own catspaws in Baghdad, is there any reason now to stay in Iraq?

Justice Still Deferred

Jose Padilla has finally been indicted, on eleven charges stemming from his alleged involvement with al Qaeda. None of the eleven charges have anything to do with the charge for which he's been detained

without charge

without trial

without access to an attorney

for three (3!) godsdamned years.

Think about that for a moment. All this little gangbanger from Chicago and Miami did was talk to people, and he spent three years in a Navy brig in South Carolina. He didn't even see a lawyer until last year.

Think about that people, and realize what danger you and I are in. This government will think nothing of trumping up some kind of stupid bullshit on a citizen, and throw him in the clink without any of the basic rights you or I enjoy. Even people on Death Row have rights.

I expect that he'll be acquitted of his charges, or will spend only a few years in prison (something he's used to, having been in prison before).

And maybe - just maybe - we can try to drag this country back to becoming America once again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thoreau Said It Best ...

... when he said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Our Vice President, "Dick" Cheney, opined in a speech last week that anyone who says that he and Dear Leader lied and tricked and basically duped us into war was "reprehensible." Rep. Jean Schmidt went further, implying that a Vietnam vet and marine colonel was a coward.

How times change.

Today Dick made another speech, in which he said it was okay to criticize. Even Dear Leader said that it wasn't unpatriotic to disagree with the Administration's policies in Iraq.

Isn't that nice, folks?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Punk of the Week Award

Time again for the Punk of the Week Award, where the biggest Punks and Punkettes are unmasked to reveal their Punkery for all the non-Punk world to gawk at.

Folks, the Golden Buttock is going to be parceled out to the Republican side of the House of Representatives, as well as to selected prominent members of the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate.


Rep. John Murtha, D-PA, drew down massive fire on his own position by saying out loud what has only been whispered in the backs of peoples' minds for over a year now - we've failed in Iraq, and we need to get out, the quicker the better.

Rep. Murtha put forward a resolution that stated 4 propositions:
1. To redeploy the troops within 6 months (redeploy, not withdraw or retreat)
2. To establish a rapid reaction force in Kuwait
3. To set up an "over the horizon" Marine presence in the region
4. To achieve our goals in Iraq diplomatically, not militarily.

Murtha's resolution was killed by the GOP leadership in the House, and they put forth their own resolution, which boiled down to one point - that we withdraw immediately. It was a straw man, to be knocked down by everyone. What surprised me was that 2 Dems and 1 Republican actually voted for it.

And the Democratic leadership? They cowered.

So, about 500 people win the Punk of the Week Award for astonishing displays of Punkery this week.

And a Special Punkette of the Week Award to Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), for having the sheer gall to imply that Rep. Murtha was a coward. Although she retracted her comments, it was said, and while you can strike things from the written record there is always videotape and peoples' memories. Stupid bitch. She's basically lost her next election.

Honorable Mention Punks of the Week:
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), who is managing to succeed in souring me forever on the Republican Party for his support of a bill that cuts spending for the poor and children, while giving tax breaks to the rich;
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, for being who he is;
Vice President Cheney, for spewing bile all over my TV set; and
-- well, the task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


This is from CNN:

Warning that other global threats "cannot be ignored," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, a leading adviser on defense issues, called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."
U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," the senior lawmaker said. "It's time for a change in direction."
He said he believes all the forces could be redeployed over a six-month period.
Murtha, a former Marine Corps colonel and veteran of the Vietnam war, is the first senior lawmaker to call for an immediate withdrawal.

- snip -

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, described calls for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq "a mistake," arguing that leaving Iraq would make it appear that America cannot sustain prolonged military operations."
I just wanted to remind our friends that now is the time for endurance," Hunter said. "Right now, in Iraq, we are changing the world. ... We're changing a very strategic part of the world in such a way that it will not be a threat to the United States and, in fact, will be an ally in the global war against terror."

- snip -

"I resent the fact that on Veterans Day, they criticized Democrats for criticizing them," Murtha said. "This [the war] is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public knows it, and lashing out at critics doesn't help a bit. You've got to change the policy. That's what's going to help the American people. You need to change direction."


Yes, the times, they are a-changin.'

Rep. Murtha is one of the major defense heavyweights on the Democrat side of the aisle, and brings a forceful argument. I'd love to watch the False Republicans try to swiftboat this guy, because the backlash will hurt them.

But when you think about it, Hunter's right. We are changing the world.

For the worse.

America has gone from being respected by most of the world to being feared by most of the world, and the remainder loathe us. A change from respected to feared, while not exactly positive, is certainly change.

Let's see, what other things have changed, thanks to Operation Vicarious Manhood?

a) Iraq is now a training center for terrorists. We used to worry about training camps in Libya, then Bosnia, then Afghanistan - but Iraq is the only training center that gives you on-the-job training. And somewhere the leaders of these groups lie awake at night giggling, thanking Allah for the hamfisted tactics of George W. Bush.

b) We're close to destroying our own military by shortchanging them on logistics, rotating them back into the theater again and again and again, using Reserve and Guard troops with little regard to the economic and social disruptions it causes, cutting the benefits that wounded troops and veterans need to recover from their physical and mental injuries.

c) Americans now live under laws that allow the government to spy on them and to lock them up with no charges, access to lawyers or even a trial.

So Rep. Hunter is right. The world has changed. America's getting closer to a police state, the rest of the planet either fears or hates us, and there's a lot more terrorists than there were on September 11th (how's THAT for "post-9/11 thinking?")

So maybe it's time to try out Rep. Murtha's idea. Change the direction.

Mom Gives Son Nerves!

So, what else is new?

That's an actual headline from CNN. A woman is donating some of her nervous tissue to help her son, who lost the use of his left hand in a car accident a while back. (He also lost his leg, but he can't get that back.)

It may take up to 18 months to determine whether he gets the use of his hand back, and that's assuming the graft takes.

But still, it's wonderful what we can do nowadays, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From FEMA, With Love ...

... Fuck You, Katrina and Rita Victims.

That was the message that the complete disaster of a disaster-relief agency handed down to the thousands of people who still have no homes to return to after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made a hash of the Gulf Coast. Many of these people are still living in hotels on FEMA assistance, and now FEMA has told them to get out and find another place to live by November 30.

Of course, a lot of the trailers that FEMA was supposed to use as temporary housing are still standing vacant as they try to climb Mount Paperwork.

One might consider this a modern Diaspora, where people find themselves exiled from their homes forever (or at least for an indefinite period).

Oh, and God damn the assholes at FEMA, the Department of Homeland Insecurity, and the whole Bush Criminal Gang for this travesty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Down in the Bunker

This little bit of disturbing information comes to us courtesy of The Washington Times, a newspaper that is quite closely tied to the False Republican Party and the Bushite Junta (and many thanks to Daily Kos):

"The sources said Mr. Bush maintains daily contact with only four people: first lady Laura Bush, his mother, Barbara Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes. The sources also say that Mr. Bush has stopped talking with his father, except on family occasions."

If true, this is a definite sign of trouble, folks. Dear Leader stops talking to the people who really matter in this country in time of war and retreats to the safety of women's skirts (yes, I know, very sexist of me) - and won't even talk to Dear Old Dad except when the family gathers for dinner or something.

This is most definitely Not Good. Bush is a little sociopath at the best of times - what fresh hell will he rain down on us if he starts thinking that everyone's out to get him?

Dissent, Criticism, and Patriotism

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Teddy Roosevelt – 1912

“The Bush Administration must understand that each American has a right to question our policies in Iraq and should not be demonized for disagreeing with them. Suggesting that to challenge or criticize policy is undermining and hurting our troops is not democracy nor what this country has stood for, for over 200 years.”
Chuck Hagel - 2005

One was a President of the United States, and a war veteran.

The other is a serving Senator from Nebraska, and a war veteran.

Both have the same idea.

To listen to the Bush Administration and its more strident supporters, all of us are to fall in behind the President and march off in lockstep toward victory when he commands us to do so. Any criticism is "irresponsible," and any dissent is "unpatriotic" and "enables terrorists." However, this is still America.

Let me repeat that.

This is still America.

Within certain boundaries (such as not yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater), you can say what you please in this country, and there is no one to stop you. In fact, you can even - gasp! - make fun of the elected leaders. After all, we allow terrorist groups dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American way of life (the Klan, Aryan Nations, etc.) to demonstrate in public.

As for enabling terrorists, it could be reasonably argued that President Bush and his policies in Iraq and throughout Southwest Asia have done more to recruit terrorists than Osama bin Laden ever could.

No wonder the Bush Administration wishes to stifle dissent or criticism. It doesn't want to have to defend its actions in public.

I cite the quote from Theodore Roosevelt because he was the archetype of a conservative. He was also a great deal more compassionate than the current Administration, and in my considered opinion President Bush is not worthy to tie TR's shoes.

It's my Constitutional right to say that.

Just my opinion.


Sometimes having a paper trail is a useful thing, and other times it can be an albatross around your neck, dogging your every step with a foul stench.

Case in Point: Judge Samuel Alito.

Judge Alito is up for a seat on the US Supreme Court, and is required to turn over documents relating to his positions on various issues to the Senate Judiciary Committee. An interesting memo came to light in the form of a letter to then-Attorney General Ed Meese back in the Reagan Years. In it, Alito states that he does not support a woman's Constitutional right to privacy (for which, read abortion).

Alito now says that he was just saying what he thought Meese wanted to hear. In other words, put very bluntly, he demonstrated that he was willing to lie in order to get a job.

This should really come as no surprise. Ed Meese was as crooked as a screwworm, and it's almost refreshing to see the AG's Office still carrying on the tradition of criminal behavior (torture, Mr. Gonzales?). But it's not ethical, and never will be ethical.

And this sort of past behavior is no guarantee whatever that Alito won't do it again. Do we really want a person like this on the highest court in the land?


Speaking of ethical behavior, let's discuss George Bush. Dear Leader chastised critics of his handling of the Iraq War, saying that they had seen the same intelligence that he had seen, and they all bought into the war.

Sorry to call bullshit on you, Georgie. Just because you received Intelligence "A" doesn't mean that someone in your Administration might have added or subtracted a bit (creating Intelligence "B") to give to the Congress, and a further modification of the truth (Intelligence "C") to spoon-feed to the masses of Americans.

I read the same material that everyone else in the non-Government country did (Intelligence "C") and I was not impressed nor persuaded by it. I was raised during Watergate, and well recall the lies and scare tactics foisted upon the American people by Reagan and Weinberger in an effort to increase defense spending. Besides, I work in a place where lies are endemic, and have gotten pretty adept at figuring out when someone's bullshitting me.

I didn't buy it then, Georgie, and I'm not buying it now. The difference is a lot of other Americans are starting to see the lies for what they are. I am no longer quite as vilified for being right as I was back in 2002 and 2003.

But I know that you have painted yourself into a corner now, Georgie, and are now helplessly thrashing about trying to lie your way out it. It ain't gonna work.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Punks of the Week

Yes, and there are a few of them, so let's dust off the Golden Buttock and see who gets a piece, shall we?

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Here's a guy who threw his substantial weight, wealth, and sagging man-boobs behind a number of ballot initiatives. The voters threw them back, giving Arnold a taste of the whip and making him go all "girly man" in a press conference in which he pledged to work with the Democratic-controlled legislature. Hey Arnold, starting to regret becoming Governor now?

George W. Bush: The past few weeks haven't been kind to Dear Leader, so for Veteran's Day he hit the road, going to an Army base in Pennsylvania in order to hit back at his critics. Unfortunately, his speech was essentially a retread of October's talking points, along with language inserted into it accusing the Dems of revisionism. The assembled soldiers, no doubt carefully screened, disarmed and coached, dutifully applauded. One guy I saw behind Bush rolled his eyes as if to say, "Can you believe this horseshit?"
Of course, there have been reports this week that the White House is doctoring transcripts of its press gaggles with Scotty-dog McClellan, as well as more pressure coming from within his own party (and not the back-benchers) for him to do something. George, the old campaign from 2004 worked when a tiny majority still trusted you, O Ethics and Integrity President. You are about as ethical as Idi Amin and have about as much integrity as Gordon Gecko. Have fun the next three years as the misbegotten Christian Fascists tug on your leash so you can spew their talking points, while the False Republican Party gets its collective ass handed to it.

Pat Robertson: Rot in hell, you Alzheimer's-ridden, oily-haired, fascist scumbag.

The Kansas State Board of Education: I think the question that we need to ask ourselves is, "Did ALL of these idiots ride the short bus to school?" A recent report of a giant meteorite beneath the state might explain this aberrant and obviously stupid behavior. A cohort study should be done. And I'm sure they're thanking Pat Robertson for stripping the band-aid off of Intelligent Design to reveal what we all knew it to be - an attempt to turn the clock back about 500 years and turn out kids who will never be completely prepared for the real world.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Eleventh Hour, Eleventh Day

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

"Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."

- John McCrae

Classic Stupidity

You have to hand it to Crazy Pat Robertson - the stupid asshole just won't learn. Earlier this summer, the affable and smiling Avatar of the Christian Taliban Death God issued a kill order against Venezuela's leader, and now he has issued his own special Fatwa Lite against an entire town.

Dover, Pennsylvania solved its little problem with Christian Fascists attempting to force-feed their twisted version of life's origins on impressionable schoolkids by simply voting the entire False Republican council out of office, replacing them with Democrats.

Needless to say, Crazy Pat wasn't amused, so he put on his special tinfoil hat and ascended the mountain to summon the Death God. Don't come crying to me or to God, Pat said, if your little town gets hammered by some hideous disaster.

All of which really means?

It means that if any Christian Taliban or complete raving bullfruit should throw a bomb or shoot up the place, Crazy Pat might find his worthless saggy diaper-wearing ass in jail for inciting violence.

One wonders why Crazy Pat's family haven't increased his meds by now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Drop Your Pants, Bend Over ...

And take what's coming to you, False Republicans.

The dominos fell thick and fast over the past few months:
the indictment of "Scooter" Libby
the not-so-surprising revelation that the White House essentially bullshat us into invading another country (coupled with the fact that we can't get out of it now)
the fact that (apparently) a GOP Senator leaked info out of a closed-door meeting with the Dark Lord
the revelation about the CIA's secret prisons.

Now, the False Republicans have suffered a number of hideous beatings at the polls yesterday, which probably explains the fact that they've backed away from the fight about drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Yes, there is blood in the water.

So, False Republicans, bend over and remember to smile. Next time, circumstances just might put sand in the lube.

Election Day Roundup

George Bush went to bat for Virginia GOP candidate Kilgore on the night before the election, and his appearance must have carried as much clout as a signed endorsement from Martin Bormann for all the good it did him.

New Jersey GOP candidate Forrester waged a very low mudslinging campaign against an equal mudslinger, and still managed to lose to Corzine.

The Democrat Mayor of St Paul, Minnesota - who made the error of backing Bush - was trounced by another Democrat.

And to put the cherry on top of the rancid cake that the GOP had to eat last night - All four of the ballot initiatives put forth in California by Governor Schwarzenegger were beaten. So the special election in "Kalifornia" and all the valuable money spent that could have gone to better things in that state was wasted. Der Ahnold now has the same approval rating that Gray Davis had before he was recalled.

The New Stupid

A state voted yesterday to win the title of Stupidest State in America, and the winner was the State of Kansas, for deciding that there's no need to teach their kids any of that high-falutin' science crap.

The state's Board of Education now has to teach Intelligent Design in schools as an 'alternative theory' of life's origins. For starters, ID fails the test of logic and fails the scientific method, as I explained in an earlier post several months ago. One of its loudest supporters has conceded that the "Designer" was simply the God of Christianity.

Our education system is a joke, and rapidly becoming a bad joke, at that. China and other countries are graduating children with the knowledge that they'll need to innovate and advance in a technological age, while we're still having trouble getting our sums right.

Way back when, America thought that its education system was great, that literacy was 100%, and that other countries would take years to catch up with us.

Then the Russians launched Sputnik.

Panic ensued (and Americans panic easily, you know), and Congress passed what was known as the National Defense Education Act, which required schools to teach math and science skills needed to cope with advances in technology.

The next Sputnik Moment will come from China or Japan.

Will we be ready?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


This little diamond in the rough courtesy of

VATICAN CITY - A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.

- snip -

"We know where scientific reason can end up by itself: the atomic bomb and the possibility of cloning human beings are fruit of a reason that wants to free itself from every ethical or religious link," he said.
"But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism," he said.
"The faithful have the obligation to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in humanity."
[Cardinal] Poupard and others at the news conference were asked about the religion-science debate raging in the United States over evolution and "intelligent design."
Intelligent design's supporters argue that natural selection, an element of evolutionary theory, cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.
Monsignor Gianfranco Basti, director of the Vatican project STOQ, or Science, Theology and Ontological Quest, reaffirmed John Paul's 1996 statement that evolution was "more than just a hypothesis."
"A hypothesis asks whether something is true or false," he said. "(Evolution) is more than a hypothesis because there is proof."
He was asked about comments made in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who dismissed in a New York Times article the 1996 statement by John Paul as "rather vague and unimportant" and seemed to back intelligent design.
Basti concurred that John Paul's 1996 letter "is not a very clear expression from a definition point of view," but he said evolution was assuming ever more authority as scientific proof develops.
Poupard, for his part, stressed that what was important was that "the universe wasn't made by itself, but has a creator." But he added, "It's important for the faithful to know how science views things to understand better."
The Vatican project STOQ has organized academic courses and conferences on the relationship between science and religion and is hosting its first international conference on "the infinity in science, philosophy and theology," next week.


So, let's recap:

Science without some ethical or moral foundation is sterile.

Religion without reason becomes dogmatic and narrow-minded.

In other words, as the Cardinal put it, "fundamentalist."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Weekend News of the Weird Mini-Roundup

1. A cruise liner off the coast of Somalia fended off an attack by pirates.
This is crazy. Granted, lawlessness on the high seas is getting worse in certain areas, but who the hell goes on a scenic cruise off the coast of Somalia, for Gods' sakes? I don't know about you, but I'd consider a cat litter box to be more visually interesting.

2. Bush orders his staff to attend ethics training.
Sounds like a good idea, but shouldn't he have insisted on the training BEFORE they screwed the country?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Feeling Used Yet, Fundamentalist?

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

- Mike Scanlon, assistant to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff

This little gem was in a memo written by Scanlon. The memo was read into the record of a Senate committee hearing testimony regarding the odious Abramoff's efforts to trick an Indian tribe into giving him money (which would then be laundered and transmitted to Tom DeLay's political action committee).

It's actually quite enlightening, because it tells everyone exactly what the False Republicans feel about their core constituency, the Christian Fascists. So, the GOP hierarchy thinks of the fundie right as "wackos."

Of course, everyone else thought they were wackos, too. But no one expected anyone in the GOP to actually come out and say it - or worse, put it in writing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reality Check

That venerable organ of the Slave Media, the Washington Post, has revealed something that has been spread around by foreign news outlets, some American newspapers, and the blogosphere for about two years now:

The CIA has secret prisons in Eastern Europe.

Well, no shit, Sherlock. You see, the Bush Administration wants to torture people for information, but can't do it because of a pesky thing called The Law. So, they have a procedure (imaginatively called 'extraordinary rendition,' which makes it sound like an over-the-top performance of Springtime for Hitler) where unmarked planes will pick up a detainee and ship them to a place where torture is allowed - places like, say, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan, etc., and let them get squeezed for information in those places.

As I say, this has been reported upon by new outlets outside of the United States (like the BBC), but until the Post said something it was basically pooh-poohed as rumors. Well, it's probably not a rumor, since I won't put anything past this secretive, criminal, so-not-Republican government.

They have made the American people complicit in war crimes, and now have made us complicit for crimes against humanity. All we need now are a few massacres and we'll have the full Nuremberg docket - oh wait. Yeah, all those dead Iraqis.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Charles and Camilla's Royal Progress

HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife HRH the Duchess of Cornwall are touring the United States this week.

I have one question.

Who in this country fucking cares about the British Royal Family?

Hey people, we fought not one but two wars to stay out from under the thumbs of the inbred Royals. We don't have royalty in this country - we have filthy rich people, who really don't deserve that kind of attention because it makes them think they're special.

Just my opinion.

And the Survey Said ....

The British Daily Telegraph printed a report that discussed a secret opinion poll of Iraqis ( Here are the results of that poll (reported on October 23rd):

"• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;
• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;
• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;
• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

"The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq."

Considering that we've surpassed 2,000 deaths in Iraq, don't you think that we need to end this Vietnam Lite debacle?