JABbering Stooge

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bringing lots of sauce....

I just thought of something in relation to the content of my last post. Thomas Cadmus and his American Legion cronies may be guilty of a Section 802 violation of the PATRIOT Act. Section 802 amends Section 2331, Title 18 of the United States Code to read as follows:

(5) the term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that--

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended--

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Inciting American Legion members to politically-motivated violence most certainly "[involves] acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State" and is without a doubt "intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population."

Sauce for the goose is just as good for the gander, as they say.

Oh wait - that's right, the Patriot Act only applies to liberals and "swarthy males."

Funny, you'd think that the American Legion, which bills itself as a "patriotic, mutual-help, war-time veterans organization," would be well aware of the following clause in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

But, alas, our faith in the Legion's dedication to the principles of the Founders has been sorely misplaced. According to an AP-Ipsos poll, 87% of Americans can understand this vital principle. Why can't the American Legion? I guess they're too busy advocating theocracy in America - another First Amendment violation. (D'oh!)

Of course, in Right Wing World, I'm a troop-hater for daring to criticize the American Legion.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

A new double standard

Gag me with a spoon on this one. MSRNC is reporting that Sami Habbas, a Palestinian-American who served his country in the U.S. Army, received a credit card offer from JPMorgan Chase & Co. that began with three words: "Dear Palestinian Bomber."

A cursory glance at the article reveals the following:

The information came from a list Chase purchased from a vendor, said Kelly J. Presta, Chase Card Services executive vice president. Chase Card Services, the Delaware-based credit card line of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said it doesn’t know how that name was attached to Habbas’ address but it is investigating.

In other words, JPMorgan Chase goofed by trusting the accuracy of a third-party spam list. GREAT JOB, GUYS! Naturally, this implies that someone with a serious bug up their posterior about the Arab/Muslim community punk'd Mr. Habbas. As to who might've done it, I'd look over at the hatriots over at (Moslems)FreiRepublic, who wasted no time dragging the poor fellow through the mud rhetorically.

There were several "jokes" about stereotypical Palestinian "terrorists:"

tsk tsk..

It was supposed to go to Palestinian Baby Boomer,, not Bomber
1 posted on 08/24/2005 3:13:31 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

To: NormsRevenge

But isn't that an honor in Islamic culture?

3 posted on 08/24/2005 3:18:37 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Hey Senator! Leave those kids alone!)

To: NormsRevenge

"The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., called the letter "racially insensitive." In a letter sent to Chase, the Muslim civil liberties group asked for an investigation and a formal apology."

- Had this guy actually been a bomber, CAIR would have called him a martyr. Ironic isn't it?

8 posted on 08/24/2005 3:26:46 PM PDT by Tempestuous

To: NormsRevenge

"I told them, 'I'm not Mr. Bomber, I'm Mr. Jihadist! Mr. Bomber lives two houses down from me.'"

14 posted on 08/24/2005 3:39:46 PM PDT by WestVirginiaRebel (Idiots and the Internet don't mix, no matter how hard Michael Moore tries.)

To: NormsRevenge
Habbas/ Hammas --I can see the confusion.
15 posted on 08/24/2005 3:47:16 PM PDT by Rakkasan1 (DON'T BICKER, DRINK LIQUOR-DON'T THINK, JUST DRINK.)

To: NormsRevenge
"I thought it was a joke or something," he said. "I'm very sad - devastated."

Why is everybody always "saddened", "hurt", and "devastated"? For the love of God, doesn't anybody ever just get pissed off anymore? I would have had a lot more respect for this guy if he had just said, "This insult really pissed me off". Of course, he'd probably end up saying "These infidels have made me so mad I could just explode."
19 posted on 08/24/2005 4:07:57 PM PDT by fr_freak

To: NormsRevenge

I don't get the problem. Is he not Palestinian?

23 posted on 08/24/2005 5:01:05 PM PDT by SampleMan

But the most egregious of the "Arabs/Muslims = Terrorists" posts was this gem by vox humana:
To: NormsRevenge

The Department of Homeland Security should have the same mass mailing software that J P Morgan Chase & Co. used to generate the Palestinian Bomber's address. Just think how easy it would be to locate all the terrorists!

22 posted on 08/24/2005 4:38:55 PM PDT by vox humana

Excuse me while I .

But that's not the worst of it. The Rush Limbaugh "Why should Blacks be heard? They're 12% of the population. Who the hell cares." Contingent made itself known in this post:

To: Tempestuous

Why does anyone care what CAIR thinks? Aren't they just another watchdog group? What are they going to do declare a boycott? It's not like hardcore Islamics make up a sizable econonomic block in the U.S.

11 posted on 08/24/2005 3:33:57 PM PDT by Borges

Finally, the double-barf moment: A Freeper delcares that Mr. Habbas doesn't know the meaning of the word "discrimination."

To: SoCal Pubbie

Hey, Pali: a lot of Jewish widows, widowers (I'm one) and orphans are saddened and devastated too. For far more terrible reason than your self-absorbed self.

7 posted on 08/24/2005 3:26:20 PM PDT by elcid1970

Look, numbskull, the Nazi pogroms against Jews started in exactly the same way that you and your ilk are smearing every single Arab and/or Muslim as a terrorist. Why that doesn't seem to bother you is something you ought to have checked out with a professional.

Which leads me to my main point. In today's political environment, it's okay for these holier-than-thou types to smear, slander and stereotype an entire Middle Eastern ethnic/religious community, yet if I were to post this

in response to Pat Robertson's nutty remarks about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, I'd be called an evil, terrorist, traitor, anti-Christian, Spawn-of-Satan, lesbian, Nazi hooker who has been abducted by aliens and forced into weight-loss programs by these very same people!

And by the way, it isn't just Arabs and/or Muslims that the Freeperati Pogroms have been activated against, either. Liberals are also being targeted.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back in the saddle again

Seeing in a Mirror Dimly: A Preview of the Fall ’05 Political Season

As summer fades into autumn, students’ minds are filled with anticipation of the coming school year. This is entirely natural, as we humans often attempt – sometimes blindly – to prognosticate on the future in the hopes of a better world. With this in mind, I would like to offer a preview of the upcoming political season here in Texas and around the country.

Our first political milestone is Labor Day weekend, which heralds the return of Congress to Capitol Hill. On the agenda are the nomination of Manchurian Candidate Judge John Roberts to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, a defense spending measure that got shoved aside before the August break so that Congress could pander to the NRA, and how best to (not) deal with rising gas prices.

While little was known initially about Judge Roberts, what has come out about him since then – in spite of considerable stonewalling by the Bush administration – is enough to give anyone who cares about a democratic society pause. Meanwhile, the same Republicans who constantly scream at Democrats about “supporting the troops” (by not exercising their First Amendment rights) have shafted the soldiers once again by ignoring their needs in order to appease a gun lobby so drunk with power, they want to deprive businesses like ConocoPhillips of their private property rights. This is also the same Congress that recently passed energy legislation that gave a huge gift to oil and gas companies that comes directly from the pockets of consumers. So no, the current government is no friend of the little guy.

September also marks the return of the Texas Legislature to yet another session of trying to fund education – something that should’ve been done by now. They had the perfect opportunity to do so two years ago, but apparently, legislating the Democrats out of Texas politics took higher priority.

Eventually, September will pass into October, where things get interesting. Iraqis theoretically will go to the polls in a bid to ratify their new constitution which, given the wording of the current draft, stands to turn Iraq into an ideological clone of Iran.

Freedom is on the march, indeed.

Additionally, the grand jury that has been empanelled to look into the Valerie Plame affair is supposed to come to an end, and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will have to make a decision at that point about what to do next. However, there are reports that the testimonies of both Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby have been inconsistent, while those of Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and NBC reporter Tim Russert are completely consistent. I suspect that we may be seeing a series of indictments come out of the special prosecutor’s office at that time, especially given Fitzgerald’s dislike of being lied to. Expect things to get rather dicey for President No Accountability at that point.

And while that political circus is going on, we head into November, at which time Texans are expected to go to the polls in droves to vote on an amendment to the Texas state constitution outlawing gay marriage. Will Texans vote to stay in the 21st century, or will Texas become the latest state to implement the “Christian” version of sharia law? Only time will tell.

After Texas decides whether or not to regress to the 13th century, there isn’t much of consequence left in the 2005 political season, other than yet another round of whining from the American Inquisition about the lack of nativity scenes on every square inch of American soil. From there, it’s off to the 2006 races.

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Greed is not good

There are a couple of recent stories that should serve as object lessons in why the concept of homo economicus drives corporations to screw consumers in favor of the almighty dollar, and why there needs to be a referee in a capitalist society.

Object Lesson #1: Big Pharmaceuticals

First of all, let's look at the recent jury decision handed down in the Merck liability lawsuit. The jury in the case found the pharmaceutical company liable for $253.4 million in damages in the death of Carol Ernst's husband.

The size of the award is not what is most impressive about the verdict, however. What is most impressive is that this was a Texas jury - not exactly known for sticking up for the little guy - in a case that was supposed to be easy for Merck to dodge accountability on just on the merits of the case.

(BTW, don't expect Mrs. Ernst to see one dime of the award. Even assuming that the verdict is upheld on appeal - unlikely, given the makeup of the appeals courts in this part of the country - the lawyers' fees are likely to eat up most, if not all of the award money.)

It is apparent that what tipped the balance in this case was the revelation that Merck had a long history of trying to hide information about risks associated with taking Vioxx, including a series of training manuals known as "Dodgeball Vioxx," which taught marketers how to "dodge" questions about the drug's safety. Even worse, evidence suggests that Merck knew about the dangers of Vioxx as far back as 1996. Also, in spite of concerns that Merck's advertising materials "have not presented any risk information concerning the contraindications, warnings, precautions or adverse events associated with Vioxx’s use," the FDA approved Vioxx in 1999.

If anything, this case should demonstrate how far Merck and other big pharmaceutical companies are willing to go to rush a product onto market and avoid accountability if anything should happen to consumers of the product. Furthermore, it raises red flags about the FDA's utter inability to enforce safety guidelines at best, and vulnerability to being bought by special interests at worst.

But then, this should come as no surprise to anyone. This is, after all, an industry has turned the business of medicine from a human health concern to a consumeristic enterprise where people are encouraged to consume as many drugs as humanly possible, weather they need to or not. (An exercise for the reader: next time you watch TV or listen to the radio, count how many commercials exhorting you to take this or that "miracle drug" in a given hour. Also, try to see if you can make sense of the safety information provided in a given commercial.)

This is also an industry with a history of engaging in anticompetitive practices such as abusing the patent system to keep generic drugs off the market. Why then, are we surprised to see greed take precedence over being a good corporate citizen?

Given this pattern of behavior in the pharmaceutical industry, another recent story takes on a whole new, frightening dimension.

On August 3rd, the BBC reported that American and British scientists, using computer models, suggested that if the H5N1 "bird flu" virus mutated into a human communicable disease, an outbreak could quickly reach pandemic levels and be about as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu which claimed 20 to 40 million lives.

However, these same scientists reported that the computer models suggested that the outbreak could be contained if two critical conditions were met.

First, an outbreak would have to be identified while confined to about 30 people. There is a major impediment to this condition being met in that the disease in its current, non-human-transmissible form, is confined to East Asia - from Indonesia in the south to Russia in the north. Most of the governments in this area are notorious for not being forthcoming with information that might cast the government in a bad light.

The second necessary condition would be to immediately dispense enough of the antiviral drug to treat those 30 people AND the 20,000 people nearest to the infected population - about 3 million courses of treatment. A major impediment to this is the fact that we don't know how much time it will take before the virus becomes human-transmissible - thus we may not have enough time to develop an appropriate anti-viral drug and/or produce enough to contain any outbreak.

But let's suppose for a moment that an outbreak is confirmed while confined to 30 people, and there is enough anti-viral on hand to contain the outbreak. Will the drug companies do the ethical thing, and immediately begin dispensing anti-viral durgs, or will they do the profitable thing and let it spread? Remember, the more people infected, the more who will want to buy the drug at exorbitant prices. I think you're intelligent enough to figure it out.

Object Lesson #2: Mad Cow Disease

Bowing to pressure from consumer advocacy groups such as Public Citizen, the USDA released a report that said food inspectors filed 1,036 noncompliance reports between January 2004 and May 2005, essentially accusing U.S. meat plants of shirking their responsibilities as corporate citizens to ensure product safety.

While the meat industry continues to insist that there is no problem, it was the lax enforcement of safety standards that lead to the first instance of mad cow disease in this country. Furthermore, if mad cow-infected beef enters the food supply, it raises the specter of people contracting a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease.

But then there's this gem from the USDA:
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said its federal meat inspectors strictly enforced the regulations to keep BSE out of the human food supply.

"These data demonstrate inspection program personnel took immediate action when they determined that regulators were not being strictly followed. The analysis demonstrates public health was protected," the agency said in a statement posted on its Web site.

This from an agency that spiked a positive mad-cow test result for seven months.

No wonder why Montana governor Brian Schweitzer called the USDA "a bunch of stooges" that are "in bed with the meat companies." I wish him luck in the inevitable lawsuit by the beef industry.

And so, as we can clearly see, greed is most definitely not good, despite all the protestations to the contrary of the free-market fundamentalists espousing laissez-faire capitalism.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Eggs Benedict steps in it again

Oh boy. Remember how Pope Benedict Arnold I declared the pedophile priest scandal to be a figment of the evil "librul" media's imagination? (This, of course, was after he was caught meddling in the politics of sovereign nations.) Well, it turns out that he was involved in helping cover up the problem in Texas. As usual, he's tried to avoid accountability by claiming diplomatic immunity.

As always, conservative Catholics put their fingers in their ears and scream at the top of their lungs "LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU EVIL LIBRULS TRASHING RELIGION AS ALWAYS!" But hey, at least the Pope likes cats, right?

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Muslims are the ultra-vioent ones, indeed

As opponents of the Gaza Strip withdrawl continue to instigate Israeli-on-Israeli violence, we get yet another story of an Israeli gunman killing Palestinians.

In the West Bank, an Israeli settler grabbed a gun from a security guard in the Shilo settlement and started shooting Palestinians, killing three and wounding two before being arrested. The killings aroused fears of Palestinian retaliation and the disruption of the evacuation mission.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denounced the attack as "Jewish terror aimed at stopping the withdrawl." Quite frankly, in my eyes, The Butcher of Qibya, Sabra and Shatila has as much moral authority to condemn Israeli-on-Palestinian violence as Yasser Arafat had to condemn Palestinian-on-Israeli violence - which is to say, none.

So don't come to me with this BS about how only Muslims are ultra-violent. Between this, terrorism against abortion providers and homosexuals by the "Christian" Right, and the antics of Osama bin Forgotten and his crew, is it any wonder why I hate organized religion as a whole?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Anti-Sheehan gun nut's distant cousin offers closer spot for Camp Casey

Well, at least there are some decent people in the Mattlage family.

Protest campsite moving closer to Bush ranch
Relative of man who fired shotgun offers space to antiwar demonstrators


CRAWFORD, Texas - Antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, is moving her camp closer to President Bush’s Texas ranch.

The piece of private property was offered by a relative of a man who had fired a shotgun in frustration over the protests, a source in the Sheehan camp said. The property owner is also a veteran.

"A neighbor of President Bush’s has offered us his land," the source said. "It’s got plenty of acreage for us, it’s private land, we would have legal permission to be on it, it’s much closer to the ranch — in fact it’s across the street from his (Bush’s) church."

Strategically located near places Bush has to go if he wants to impress his theofascist base, on land being offered to them by the sane relative of a wingnut gunman? Who could resist?

The source said Fred Mattlage made the offer saying "I’m a veteran, I support what you all are doing and I want to offer you my land."

So...what was that about "some vets' families think Sheehan is an evil, terrorist, traitor, Spawn-of-Satan who needs to be shot on sight" again, Bill?

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Monday, August 15, 2005

They've soiled their armor again

The co-dependent Democrats have done it again. It appears that they're going to give John Roberts the "up or up vote" that Bush has been throwing tantrums about. Way to cut yourselves out of the national dialogue on where this nation is headed. Just a few more cave-ins by you guys and we'll be a one-party state. Oh, wait... We already are.

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Liberals are the ultra-violent ones, indeed

Man fires shotgun in view of Camp Casey; Blogger embarrassed to be from Texas

Full report at MSRNC.

There are so many things wrong with the situation that I don't know where to begin. How about the fact that this man, Larry Mattlage, shot off, in more ways than one, during a religious service?

CRAWFORD, Texas - A man fired a shotgun into the air as about 60 anti-war protesters held a religious service on the road to President Bush’s ranch.

Then there were his ominous comments about "dove-hunting season," and the ironic contrast with his claim that he wasn't threatening anyone.

"I ain’t threatening nobody, and I ain’t pointing a gun at nobody," Mattlage said. "This is Texas."

He said he fired his gun in preparation for dove-hunting season but when asked if he had another motive, he said, "Figure it out for yourself."

But what is really outrageous is the rather lenient treatment he received from the Secret Service.

Sheriff’s deputies and Secret Service agents in the area of the demonstration site Sunday rushed to the home of Larry Mattlage after the shots were fired but did not arrest him.

Let's get this straight. The Secret Service, charged with protection of the President of the United States of America, hears gunshots barely five miles from Bush's Crawford ranch, and THEY DON'T EVEN ARREST THE GUY?! They don't have any qualms about hassling student artists over disfavored artwork and other anti-Bush paraphernalia. They have even gone so far as to arrest on disorderly conduct charges those who manage to sneak into Bush's carefully scripted photo-ops and heckle The Most Holy. But strangely enough, they have no problem with Bush supporters who are a little loose with their gun control and people who pose as Secret Service in order to keep Bush's speaking tours "ideologically pure."

As Mr. Mattlage put it, "figure it out for yourself."

Former (Republican) OKC Mayor supports man caught with pipe bomb on plane
Turns out that potential pipe-bomber Charles Dreyling has friends in high places. His landlord, former Oklahoma City mayor Kirk Humphreys (R - OK), has personally vouched for Dreyling, who is now free on bail.

If you compare Dreyling's situation to that of say José Padilla, whose arrest as an "enemy combatant" comes without any evidence that he did anything more than THINK about terrorist activity, it's obvious that there's a double standard at work here. If you're a member of the "wrong" race and/or "wrong" religion, you'd better think that every single thing the U.S. does is 1000000000% perfect, or it's off to Gitmo for you. If you're a conservative Republican extremist with good connections, and you get caught with actual bombs, don't worry - you'll just get a slap on the wrist and "Isn't that cute?"

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Friday, August 12, 2005

One more shot across the bow

I just remembered something about the O'Reilly/Malkin exchange. Malkin isn't the only one presuming to speak for a newsmaker's dead relative. O'Reilly, in his infamous "Shut up! Cut his mic!" blow-up somehow read the mind of Jeremy Glick's dead father - freshly killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

O'REILLY: You are mouthing a far left position that is a marginal position in this society, which you're entitled to.

GLICK: It's marginal -- right.

O'REILLY: You're entitled to it, all right, but you're -- you see, even -- I'm sure your beliefs are sincere, but what upsets me is I don't think your father would be approving of this.

GLICK: Well, actually, my father thought that Bush's presidency was illegitimate.

Later in the interview, O'Reilly takes it one step further.

O'REILLY: Shut up. Shut up.

GLICK: Oh, please don't tell me to shut up.

O'REILLY: As respect -- as respect -- in respect for your father, who was a Port Authority worker, a fine American, who got killed unnecessarily by barbarians...

GLICK: By radical extremists who were trained by this government...

O'REILLY: Out of respect for him...

GLICK: ... not the people of America.

O'REILLY: ... I'm not going to...

GLICK: ... The people of the ruling class, the small minority.

O'REILLY: Cut his mic. I'm not going to dress you down anymore, out of respect for your father. We will be back in a moment with more of THE FACTOR.

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A Plethora of Updates

O'Reilly and Michelle Malkin Ghoulishly Slander Dead Iraq War Vet's Mom - Presume to Speak for the Dead

Where to begin? Not long after Cindy Sheehan, mother of dead Iraq War veteran Casey Sheehan, begin demanding answers from Commander Codpiece, the right-wing smear machine began in earnest to drag her good name through the mud.

Most prominent in the attacks were Loofah Boy Bill O'Reilly and Agitprop Specialist Michelle Malkin.

The most salient (and utterly despicable) parts of the interview are as follows:

O'REILLY: Well, I have to say that she obviously does because she's the lead story on Michael Moore's Web site on an almost daily basis. And she knows -- I mean, Michael Moore isn't a subtle guy. Everybody knows where he stands.

Yes, in O'Reilly's world, anyone Michael Moore likes or agrees with is an evil, terrorist traitor who needs to be shot on sight.

So I mean, I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this and also for the responsibility of other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq, who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.

You know, you got to think about those people as well. What about their feelings?

Because apparently, the only people who are allowed to have feelings are those with Britney Spears' faith in the president.

But then Loofah Boy throws in this "When did you stop beating your wife?" kind of leading question:

Do they have a right to this opinion without being scorned?

The answer that O'Reilly wants the listener to give is, of course, "No." Because daring to hold any opinion even slightly to the left of Attila the Hun makes one an "America-hater" in Right Wing World. Never mind if you have the temerity to even express such an opinion.

It was Malkin, however, who provided the ultimate irony when she declared with a straight face that Sheehan was "turning her private pain in to a public circus." Like that hasn't happened before (*cough* MISSING WHITE GIRL IN ARUBA! *cough* TERRI SCHIAVO! *cough*).

Later, on her blog, Malkin became especially creepy - presuming to speak for Sheehan's dead son.

Naturally, when called on for their rude, catty, utterly unprofessional behavior, both Malkin and Mr. No Spin entered a "Tornado-Spin Zone." Malkin claimed that her channeling of "Crossing Over" host John Edward was more a slap at Michael Moore than Cindy Sheehan. Note to Malkin: the target of your missive is irrelevant - to paraphrase The Most Holy George W. Christ's predecessor, "IT'S THE PRESUMING TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD, STUPID!"

Meanwhile, O'Reilly demurs, "Both Michelle and I were respectful to Mrs. Sheehan." Query: HOW IS CALLING MRS. SHEEHAN AN AMERICA-HATING, MICHAEL MOORE-LOVING TREASONOUS NUTJOB IN ANY WAY "BEING RESPECTFUL"??!

If I may speak frankly, Mr. O'Reilly, Ms. Malkin - BITE ME. I have had just about enough of this sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, self-righteous, self-important judgement-from-on-high from the right about who is and who isn't being properly patriotic.

Let's play a little "Guess the Quote." Who said:

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.

Give up? The answer is here.

NARAL Repents Stretching the Truth - Pulls Ad

You see, this is the difference between the left and the right. When the left gets caught stretching the truth and gets called on it, they will own up to their mistake and correct it. The right eagerly leaps from lie to lie and, should anyone dare to call them on it, circle the wagons and act like something is wrong with those who accuse them of lying.

What was that about only Muslims being terrorists?

Off the Reuters wire:

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma man told federal investigators he forgot a pipe bomb he built for fun was in his luggage when tried to board an airplane, according to court documents released Thursday.

Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr., 24, was charged Thursday with trying to carry the bomb aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Oklahoma City to Atlanta on Wednesday, according to the documents.

Perhaps the most disturbing part about this is that he claims to have built the bombs "for fun." I guess blowing stuff up is what passes for entertainment in Red-state America. I'm sure he had something constructive in mind to use the bombs for. I guess I should be glad that he didn't have a sodium cyanide bomb, a well-stocked arsenal with 500,000 rounds of ammunition and fake D.O.D./U.N. credentials.

Rumsfeld and Co. Plan to Dance on 9/11 Victims' graves - by invitation only

This comes to us from the Moonie Times. I won't comment on it to spare you reading anything worse than my rant about Malkin and O'Reilly's tag-team smear job.

Toon Time

Finally, I close this post with a Ted Rall cartoon:

It should come as no surprise for me to say that I agree with the thrust of the cartoon. However, as I mentioned in a post on the Bartcop forum, the end result is unrealistic. The Muslim never get to say "Now it's your turn" because by that time the "white Christian conservative" has jumped in and is screaming at the top of his lungs, "YOUR CONDEMNATION IS FAKE! YOUR CONDEMNATION IS FAKE! DIE [Insert Anti-Arab Racial Slur here] DIE!"

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Jennings - End of an era

Last night, the sun set on an era of television journalism. Peter Jennings, who has been in failing health since being diagnosed with lung cancer in April, has passed away.

Jennings, along with Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, formed a triumvirate of nightly news broadcasting that I quite literally grew up around. Around our household, we'd tune in to one of the big three networks to get our dose of news for the day. And now, with Brokaw retired, Rather bullied into submission by the rabid right, and Jennings' death, it feels like a chapter has closed on American history - an era of honest journalism. Today's news media is more like a propaganda arm of the GOP. They buried the Jeff Gannon story and virtually ignored Traitor-gate until recently, and during the previous administration, gleefully jumped on even the flimsiest story if it meant trouble for The Big C. Thus it seems particularly salient that Jennings, the last honest journalist, has ridden off into the proverbial sunset, simultaneously sunsetting any semblance of a free press.

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Why I Want No Part of Organized Religion

Militant Israeli Guns Down Arabs in Protest of Gaza Pullout

On Friday, an Israeli army deserter, Eden Nathan Zaada opened fire on a bus full of Israeli Arabs killing four and wounding 22 (among the wounded were 7 non-Arabs).

Obviously, there is a certain segment of the Israeli population that is not happy with "Butcher of Sabra and Shatila" Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw the Gaza settlements. The best thing that could've happened for this faction would be for someone to off some "Ragheads" in an effort to provoke a violent response from the Palestinian street, thereby forcing Sharon to reconsider withdrawing the settlements. Based on the actions of Zaada, he was at the least a member of this faction. One can only hope that this gambit doesn't succeed, and cooler heads can prevail.

However, seeing as how Israel is the third rail of American politics, I can only imagine that someone, somewhere will try to call me anti-Semitic simply because I do not blindly believe that Israel's hands are clean in this matter.

Let me make myself exceedingly clear: Both sides are guilty as sin. Neither deserves our support. Unfortunately, we sacrifice our position as an honest broker by acting as though only the Palestinians are to blame for the unfortunate situation. In my mind, the best solution is - after admitting the awful truth above - to force both sides to come to an enforcable agreement that allows a two-state solution.

So to recap, here is why I am not a member of any organized religion:

As you can probably tell, the recurring theme to my reasons for not liking organized religion is that it is too often used as a cudgel by wackos who presume to speak for the religion against groups that are disfavored by these same wackos.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Eggs Benedict Steals One from Bush

According to a recent L.A. Times article quoted at thoughtcrimes.org, Pope Benedict Arnold I has applied the Bush/Rove idea of rewarding failure and corruption by appointing William Levada, formerly Archbishop of Portland, OR and later Archbishop of San Francisco, to succeed him as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (As I mentioned in an earlier editorial, the CDF is what the Inquisition became when it was no longer PC to be the Inquisition.)

What is especially shameful about this promotion is the fact that in a 1994 child support case involving then-Seminary student Arturo Uribe is that Levada blamed the plaintiff for failure to use birth control that resulted in the pregnancy that the child-support case revolved around. It's bad enough that this "defense" contradicts Catholic doctrine decrying contraception - a doctrine that, as prefect of the CDF, Levada is charged with defending. What makes the situation worse is the fact that this incident fits in with the larger pattern of the Catholic church's efforts to avoid any accountability for the sexual largesse of its leadership by any means necessary - whether blaming the victims, as in this case, or by playing Three-card monte with its membership, as in the pedophile priest scandal.

In any case, it's high time that liberal Catholics (and there are a fair number out there) cleaned house and installed leadership that exercises its affirmative moral duty to hold itself to the same strict standard that it holds its followers to. It's become painfully obvious that conservative Catholics are either unable or unwilling to do so.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

GOP "Christians Only" Jihad Continues

This story was covered in today's New York Times (registration required). (Incidentally, if you don't want go through the registration process for most of the news web sites, check out BugMeNot.com.)

As Bush prepares to ram his ultra-conservative nutjob onto the Supreme Court, the religious thugs who have hijacked the GOP prepare another pandering photo-op to rally support for said nominee. According to the article, headliners for the theofascist thugs' "Just Us Sunday II" include the ever-sleasy Tom "I AM the federal government" DeLay, Zell "It's my governorship and I'll embezzle if I want to" Miller, Watergate felon Chuck Colson, James "Embryonic Stem Cell Research = Holocaust" Dobson and Bill "Gays should apologize for just existing!" Donohue.

Further down, you find that one of the attendees, Pat "Let's Nuke the State Department" Robertson, is wishing for the death/retirement of more Supreme Court justices - specifically, the left-leaning justices.

In related news, Puss'n Boot Hill Frist has been disinvited from "Just Us Sunday II" for not goosestepping to the theofascist drumbeat.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Blogging the OH-2 Congressional Race

I'm going to be keeping a running total of the returns in the Hackett-Schmidt race as they happen.

Source: WCPO in Cincinnati

7:00 PM CDT - No results yet.

7:30 PM CDT
56 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)6,56251%Ahead 286
Jean Schmidt (R)6,27649%Behind 286

8:00 PM CDT
175 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)13,51251%Ahead 710
Jean Schmidt (R)12,80249%Behind 710

8:15 PM CDT
305 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)23,95751%Ahead 1,111
Jean Schmidt (R)22,84649%Behind 1,111

Looks like the gap is widening, and according to Majority Report producer Josh Orton, the early returns have been coming from rural areas - areas expected to go heavily for Schmidt. If these trends continue, Hackett's got this one in the bag - even with all the Rethuglican dirty tricks. However, we still have to see what the tale of the absentee ballots entails. This could be an interesting race.

8:30 PM CDT
580 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)42,34248%Behind 2,792
Jean Schmidt (R)45,13452%Ahead 2,792

Holy crap. Schmidt is now ahead. It's not over yet, though. The urban centers are still tabulating their results. Let's hope for the best.

8:48 PM CDT
662 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)48,81150%Behind 870
Jean Schmidt (R)49,68150%Ahead 870

This is starting to remind me of that scene in Independence Day where they're trying to see if Jeff Goldblum's PowerMac virus managed to bring down the alien invaders' shields.

9:23 PM CDT - No change in results. This is weird. We've been getting updates fairly regularly up till now. Now we go 30 minutes without an update...

9:47 PM CDT - Okay, I've had reports that they're having to do hand counts in some precincts (most especially in heavily-Rethuglican Clermont county). Still in wait and see mode.

10:00 PM CDT
753 of 753 precincts reporting

Paul Hackett (D)54,40148%Defeated by 3,573
Jean Schmidt (R)57,97452%Won by 3,573

Virus ineffective. Get your people out of there. Still, for a district that was supposed to be a shoe-in for Schmidt (who probably won't accept a concession speech or, if she does, will be smugly condescending, calling Hackett every nasty name in the book), and in spite of yet more apparent fraud by the Rethuglicans, Hackett acquitted himself admirably in this election, and certainly proved the DLC wrong about the viability of running as Republican-Lite.

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Plane Crash in Canada - None Killed

Earlier today, an Air France Airbus A340 crashed after being struck by lightning while trying to land at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Thankfully, no one was killed in the crash. However, look for Freepers and L-dotters to mock the double-whammy of a French airplane crashing in Canada, if their antics following the crash that took the life of Senator Paul Wellstone is any indication. 1

1: Freeper/L-dotter reaction to Senator Wellstone's death is documented on page 75 of Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News.

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Bush: Ideology Trumps Science

Shortly after using abusing his recess appointment power to install as U.N. Ambassador jam John "Short Temper Theater" Bolton down the U.N.'s throat, Bush addressed a gathering of reporters for various Texas newspapers. During the round-table conference, he was asked for his opinion on the teaching of evolution in school. The Most Holy decreed "You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."

Never mind that "Intelligent Design" does not provide testable predictions that can be verified via the scientific method (and therefore, not scientific, and thus not valid for inclusion in kids' science classes!). Never mind that the vast majority of scientists and peer-reviewed journals have outright rejected "Intelligent Design" as unscientific. One decree from The Most Holy, coupled with massive legislative lobbying efforts by the anti-science crowd, and there goes the teaching of one of the most important theories of the last couple of centuries - RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW!

Hopefully, Paul Hackett will be elected and will serve as a sign that America is mad as hell about this misadministration that has declared war on half the country, and we're not gonna take it anymore. Maybe then we can finally do something about the train wreck this country has become.

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Bush's End Run On Truth Serum

The following represents my depiction of how Bush's end run around the Senate would've gone if he'd been on truth serum at the time.

THE MOST HOLY GEORGE W. CHRIST: Nearly five months ago, I nominated John Bolton to be America's Ambassador to the United Nations destroy the United Nations and what remains of the tatters of America's reputation in the world. I chose John because of his vast experience in foreign policy, his integrity and his willingness to confront difficult problems head-on short temper, utter incompetence, and willingness to put party loyalty far, far above national security - much like my good friend "Turd Blossom." I told lied to the nation when I told them that John Bolton would provide clear American leadership for reform at the United Nations. I should've told them that he would insist upon results American hegemony above all.

The United States Senate held thorough confirmation hearings, and a majority of United States senators agree that he is the right man for the job worry about the damage he will do to America's national security interests. Yet, because of partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators my strongarm tactics didn't work on those pantywaist, terrorist-loving traitors that refuse to shut up, bend over and take it up the posterior like a man, John was unfairly denied the up or down up vote that he deserves I demand by my right as Reichsfurher President.

As a result, America has now gone more than six months without a permanent ambassador to mole in the United Nations. This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially I needed something to distract from Rove's treason during a war, and I believe that a vital debate about U.N. reform how best to destroy a forum that has contributed so much to our security is the best way to do that. So today I've used abused my constitutional authority to appoint John Bolton to serve as America's Ambassador to the United Nations. [snicker] John Bolton will be an important member of my State Saber-Rattling Department team, led by Condoleezza Rice.

I'm sending Ambassador Bolton to New York with my complete confidence that he will ruin American foreign policy and set back the peace process by centuries. Ambassador Bolton believes passionately in hates the goals of the United Nations Charter, to advance peace and liberty and human rights. His mission is now to help the U.N. reform itself to renew its founding promises for the 21st century fly a hijacked airplane into the U.N. Secretariat building. He will speak for me on critical issues facing the international community. And he'll make it clear that America values the potential of the United Nations to be a source of hope and dignity and peace demands supremacy over the rest of the world, and no force on Earth can stop us.

As he embarks on his new assignment, Ambassador Bolton will bring tremendous wisdom venom and expertise ineptitude. Over the past two decades, John Bolton has been one of America's most talented corrupt and successful unsuccessful diplomats. He's been a tireless defender of our nation's values of the Republican party line, and an unpersuasive advocate for freedom and peace partisan hack with anger management issues. As a senior leader at the State Department in the 1980s and 1990s, he brought people together to achieve meaningful results at the United Nations -- from resolving payment issues, to helping rally the coalition in the Persian Gulf War, to repealing a shameful resolution that equated Zionism with racism bullied subordinates who dared to actual analysis that discredited the RNC's talking points -- actions that led to Iran's nuclear ambitions and North Korea's rise as a nuclear power on his watch, in addition to nearly scuttling our talks with Libya on WMDs. And over the past four years as Undersecretary of State, he's shown valuable leadership harmed our efforts on one of the most urgent challenges of our time: preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Ambassador Bolton takes up his duties at a time of opportunity for the United States and the United Nations. Under the glorious, godly leadership of Ambassador Bolton and myself, America and the U.N. are is working to spread destroy democracy, relieve exacerbate the problem of hunger, and assist laugh at the victims of disaster. We've delivered hope despair to millions suffering from HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases because we choose to continue burying our heads in the sand in the name of a God that acts like a third-world dictator. We've helped to lay the groundwork for two landmark events in the history of liberty: the free fixed elections of Afghanistan and Iraq. Ambassador Bolton will work to build on that progress by helping undermining the U.N. and continuing to find effective new ways to match its good intentions with good results expand our neofascist theocracy to every corner of the globe.

As the newest member of America's diplomatic corps, Ambassador Bolton will defend threaten our nation's interests with character and resolve the arrogance and contempt for freedom that were instilled early in life came through his later education. John's father was a firefighter; his mother was a homemaker who took her son to the public library to show him the value of education. I know that Jack and Virginia Bolton would be proud horrified today to see the boy they raised in Baltimore appointed to serve as our permanent representative to the United Nations and wonder where the hell they went wrong.

I'm grateful to John's wife, Gretchen, for being here with us and to the entire Bolton family for their service and sacrifice.

Mr. Ambassador, thank you for agreeing to serve your nation once again, and congratulations.

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