Thursday, June 28, 2007

Political Chart - Members of Congress

"The two red dots in the libertarian quadrant are Ron Paul of Texas and Jeff Flake of Arizona."
2006 Freedom Democrats House Scorecard | Freedom Democrats

You can take the quiz yourself - click here.

What the chart shows is that Republicans are NOT for small government, by any definition. They are philosophically authoritarian. They prefer less economic and less personal freedoms for us all. Despite their go-go "they hate us for our freedoms" rhetoric, they themselves prefer we have less freedoms. Please keep this in mind next time a Republican tries to tell you that s/he votes that way because they don't like "big government." Maybe you can unburden them from the propaganda which has manipulated them.

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More on the Recently Released CIA Files

"The nature of the experiments, gathered from government documents and testimony in numerous lawsuits brought against the CIA, is shocking, from testing LSD on children to implanting electrodes in victims' brains to deliberately poisoning people with uranium.

"The CIA bought my services from my grandfather in 1952 starting at the tender age of four," wrote Carol Rutz of her experiences.

"Over the next 12 years, I was tested, trained, and used in various ways. Electroshock, drugs, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and other types of trauma were used to make me complain and split my personality (to create multiple personalities for specific tasks). Each alter or personality was created to respond to a post-hypnotic trigger, then perform an act and (I would) not remember it later."

The Australian: Agency's Strangeloves altered mind of a girl aged 4 [ 28jun07 ]

Wasn't one of the excuses that we "deposed" Saddam because he "gassed his own people" (gasp!)? A perfect country like the U.S. would NEVER do something as horrible as this! Right?


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Norm Coleman Hypocrite Pot Smoker

“Angered by the senator’s stance on marijuana laws, an old classmate of Norm Coleman reminded the Minnesota Republican of his college days smoking joints in a dorm room, Roll Call reports. Norm Kent, Coleman’s classmate at Hofstra University in New York, sent Coleman a letter reminiscing about their hazy times during college, such as when Coleman smoked pot while standing on the roof of a campus building during a protest. ‘Welcome to the crowd of those who have become a likeness of which they despised,’ Kent wrote in the letter posted at celebstoner.com. ‘Welcome to the mindless myriad of legislators who gather in cocktail lounges to manhandle their martinis while passing laws against drunk driving.’ Kent, who is a board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was upset after receiving a form letter from Coleman noting his opposition to marijuana legalization…. ‘Years ago, in a lifetime far away, you did not oppose the legalization of marijuana,’ Kent says in the letter, reminding Coleman when ‘you, me … and a wealth of other students smoked dope.’”
The Raw Story | Republican senator's hazy past revealed by former classmate




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House Members Seek $4,400 Pay Raise

"Despite low approval ratings and hard feelings from last year's elections, Democrats and Republicans in the House are reaching out for an approximately $4,400 pay raise that would increase their salaries to almost $170,000.

The cost-of-living raise endorsed Wednesday evening gets lawmakers back on track for automatic pay raises after a fight between the parties last year and again in January killed the pay increase due this year. That was the first interruption of the annual congressional pay boost in seven years.

The blowup came after Democrats last year fulfilled a campaign promise to deny themselves more pay until Congress raised the minimum wage. Delays in the minimum wage bill cost every lawmaker about $3,100 this year."


House Members Seek $4,400 Pay Raise

Gee, I wonder if it will pass?


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U.S. forces turning to ‘indirect’ war tactics

“Almost six years after the worst attack ever on U.S. soil, special operations commanders believe that simply killing terrorists will not win a war against an ideologically motivated enemy. That view is reflected in a series of transitions in special operations leadership posts. New senior officers are expected to give greater weight to an indirect approach to warfare, a slow and disciplined process that calls for supporting groups or nations willing to back U.S. interests.”
U.S. turns to 'indirect' war tactics - Military Affairs - MSNBC.com

Unfortunately, the "nations willing to back U.S. interests" are critically fewer in number than they were before Bush took office. His "unilateral" actions and dishonesty have ruined the U.S.'s credibility. As I've said many times, the best "indirect tactic" is to be a good example. The most persuasive argument we can have is to run our country and government with integrity, honesty, caring, and humanity. All Bush has done is make it easier for dictators to justify their iron-hand control, by pointing to the U.S.'s dishonest and murderous actions.


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Poll finds mistrust of Bush abroad - 37 of 47 Countries Express Doubts

"Fueled by the Iraq war and the perception that the United States acts without consulting others, anti-Americanism is on the rise across the Muslim world and much of Europe, while global confidence in President Bush has plummeted, a global poll released yesterday shows."
Poll finds mistrust of Bush abroad - The Boston Globe

How does this help our aims?


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Warren Buffet Pays Less Tax Than His Secretary

Warren Buffet pays 18% tax on his $48,000,000 income while his secretary pays 30% tax on her $60,000 income

TaxProf Blog: Warren Buffet Pays 17.7% Tax Rate; His Employees Pay 32.9%

A complicated tax code benefits the rich. Their accountants and lawyers find loopholes for them that the poor cannot afford to take advantage of. Laws designed to aid the middle class tax burden are inevitably taken advantage of by the wealthy. Simple, easy to understand laws are the best way to aid the underclasses. Being able to understand your rights without hiring expensive lawyers is the best way to level the playing field.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jonah Goldberg Needs to Take His Own Logic One Step Further

"Sure, the act of building consensus often requires sacrificing on your most preferred policies. But such consensus-building actually persuades the public, the bureaucracy and legislators of the necessity to act and reduces the chances they’ll turn their back on the whole effort. The Cheney method instead creates a blowback that hobbles your efforts in the long run far more than compromise does." (emphasis mine)
Jonah Goldberg on Dick Cheney on National Review Online

Jonah, you've got it! I'm so happy you've finally seen the light! Now, simply apply what you've learned to foreign policy. Unilateral action doesn't work there either! You get blowback which hobbles our long-run efforts...I couldn't have said it better myself!


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FBI Wants to Restrict Student Freedoms

"US university students will not be able to work late at the campus,
travel abroad, show interest in their colleagues' work, have friends
outside the United States, engage in independent research, or make
extra money without the prior consent of the authorities, according to
a set of guidelines given to administrators by the FBI."

FBI to restrict student freedoms | Press Esc

How close to the old Soviet Union are you guys willing to let our country go for "safety?"


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What Happens to Those that Speak Out Against Bushco

"She’s been smeared as “crazy” and as a “disgruntled contract bidder.” And something nastier: after her intention to speak became known, Simpson’s house was burned to the ground, and her car was driven off the road and totaled. Clearly, there are some very powerful people in Alabama who feel threatened. Her case starts to sound like a chapter out of John Grisham’s book The Pelican Brief."

"Justice in Alabama" by Scott Horton (Harper's Magazine)



Burned her house down...wow.





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African states oppose US presence

"The Libyan and Algerian governments reportedly told Mr Henry this month that they would play no part in hosting Africom. Despite recently improved relations with the US, both said they would urge their neighbours not to do so, either, due to fears of future American intervention. Even Morocco, considered Washington's closest north African ally, indicated it did not welcome a permanent military presence on its soil.



"We've got a big image problem down there," a state department official admitted. "Public opinion is really against getting into bed with the US. They just don't trust the US.""


African states oppose US presence | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited



More bad results from our tough-guy, black & white, unilateral foreign policy. Instead of leading by example, respecting other nations and their cultures, and using persuasion rather than force (as Dr. Ron Paul suggests), we have done the opposite. Now, other countries will not work with us, and may just work against us. They are afraid we will turn against them, as our word is not good anymore. Our credibility is gone.



Culturally, we are in the midst of a war of ideology right now. With the advent of the internet and instantaneous information, more than ever before, religious, economic, and social ideas are being brought to corners of the world that never had the opportunity to hear them before. Our example, as a country is being watched by more eyes than ever before. Therefore, it is important that we put our best foot forward. One of integrity, credibility, and honor so that our ideas of freedom, free markets, and equal rights win the day in the battlefield of ideas.







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Afghan opium production 'soars'

"Opium production in Afghanistan is soaring out of control, the annual UN report on illegal drugs says.



The World Drug Report says more than 90% of illegal opium, which is used to make heroin, comes from Afghanistan."


BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghan opium production 'soars'



Another ruinous metric of this failed war. Which war? The "war" on drugs? The war against "terrorists?" The war against those who let terrorists in their country (Taliban)? Take your pick.





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Monday, June 25, 2007

White House of Mirrors

"President Bush has turned the executive branch into a two-way mirror. They get to see everything Americans do: our telephone calls, e-mail, and all manner of personal information. And we get to see nothing about what they do.



Everyone knows this administration has disdained openness and accountability since its first days. That is about the only thing it does not hide. But recent weeks have produced disturbing disclosures about just how far Mr. Bush’s team is willing to go to keep lawmakers and the public in the dark."


White House of Mirrors - New York Times









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Number of Americans who believe Saddam-9/11 tie rises to 41 percent

"A new Newsweek poll out this weekend exposed "gaps" in America's knowledge of history and current events.



Perhaps most alarmingly, 41% of Americans answered 'Yes' to the question "Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?"



That total is actually up 5 points since September 2004.



Further, a majority of people couldn't identify Saudia Arabia as the country of origin of most of the 9/11 hijackers, even given the question in multiple choice format. 20% answered Iraq, while 14% believed the hijackers came from Iran."


The Raw Story | Number of Americans who believe Saddam-9/11 tie rises to 41 percent



Wow.





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Librarians Describe Life Under An FBI Gag Order

"After the ACLU took on the case and it went to court in Bridgeport, the librarians were not allowed to attend their own hearing. Instead, they had to watch it on closed circuit TV from a locked courtroom in Hartford, 60 miles away. "Our presence in the courtroom was declared a threat to national security," Chase said."

Threat Level - Wired Blogs



The Patriot Act - keeping librarians shut up since 2001.





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Afghan civilians reportedly killed more by U.S., NATO than insurgents

"U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces fighting insurgents in Afghanistan have killed at least 203 civilians so far this year — surpassing the 178 civilians killed in militant attacks, according to an Associated Press tally."

Afghan civilians reportedly killed more by U.S., NATO than insurgents - USATODAY.com



It's time to get out when we're doing more harm than good. Some of you feel that doing something is better then doing nothing, but sometimes doing something is more damaging than doing nothing...especially if it infringes on a native culture's rights and sovereignty.





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Americans set record for charity in 2006

"Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a new record and besting the 2005 total that had been boosted by a surge in aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the Asian tsunami.



Donors contributed an estimated $295.02 billion in 2006, a 1 percent increase when adjusted for inflation, up from $283.05 billion in 2005."


AP News | The Columbia Daily Tribune



People often feel charity stems from government, and if we cut its programs, charities will go unfunded. This story shows that people give to charities in huge numbers. The bonus is, they give to the ones they want, not the ones they are forced to, and whose purpose they invariably disagree with.





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Federal wages eclipse private-sector pay

"Federal workers, on average, are paid almost 50 percent more than employees in the private sector, an Asbury Park Press analysis of salary data shows.



The average federal worker made $59,864 in 2005, compared with the
average salary of $40,505 in the private sector, according to the
latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.







And that pay gap appears to have widened in the first nine months of 2006, preliminary data show."


Federal wages eclipse private-sector pay









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Bushco Changing Terminology to Call Everyone Shooting at US "al Qaida"

"U.S. forces continue to battle Shiite militia in the south as well as Shiite militia and Sunni insurgents in Baghdad. Yet America's most wanted enemy at the moment is Sunni al Qaida in Iraq. The Bush administration's recent shift toward calling the enemy in Iraq "al Qaida" rather than an insurgency may reflect the difficulty in maintaining support for the war at home more than it does the nature of the enemy in Iraq."

Glenn Greenwald - Salon



This is just insulting to our intelligence.





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Bush claims oversight exemption too

"The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.



An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said."


Bush claims oversight exemption too - Los Angeles Times



This regime is out of control. They want to operate outside of any laws...even their own. The desperation is palpable.





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Cheney exerts influence out of public view



WP: Cheney exerts influence out of public view - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com



Long, in-depth article on how Cheney works in the shadows.






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Friday, June 22, 2007

White House closing Guantanamo: 'As soon as possible'

“The president does not want to be the world’s jailer,’’ said Dana Perino, deputy press secretary. Neither has he put “a timeline’’ on a closing...



“The president has been on record over the years saying he wants to close Guantanamo Bay,’’ Perino said. “He has committed the administration to working toward that end.’’


Chicago Tribune: White House closing Guantanamo: 'As soon as possible'



Hahahaha!!! Talk about revisionist history! Bush has defended Guantanamo tooth-and-nail right up to this announcement! He has argued for being the "world's jailer" the whole time! Can you believe this? What is it like to try and defend this guy and his policies, Republicans? I feel sorry for you. It must be very frustrating.





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MUST READ: Only one in six of UK's richest men is paying any income tax

"The super-rich are using loopholes to avoid paying £2billion a year in income tax, official figures have revealed.



Only one in six of those earning more than £10million a year is paying tax on their earnings - with the rest using loopholes to dodge the burden.



The revelation will fuel anger over the private equity tycoons who are making vast fortunes while the gap between rich and poor widens."




Only one in six of UK's richest men is paying any income tax | the Daily Mail



Observe this closely, my friends. This is how a complicated tax system works. The rich can afford lawyers and accountants to use the complicated web of credits and write-offs to avoid paying taxes. Poor people cannot afford to do this. Conservatives whine about the rich paying "more than their fair share," pointing at the higher income tax rate for the wealthy. But, as you can see, this is not the case at all.



Remember this next time your political representative comes up with this great tax incentive to give a break to the underprivileged...simplicity best benefits the poor. Complications are the constructs of the upper classes. They have the smell and feel of helping the poor or middle class, but they don't. When laws and rules are few, and we don't have to hire expensive lawyers to know if we did anything wrong, we are the most free.






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Cheney Tries To Abolish Agency Requesting Docs

"...the National Archives protested the Vice President's position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President's staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President's executive order."

Dan Froomkin - Cheney: Neither Here Nor There? - washingtonpost.com



Whether there's anything to hide or not, this just isn't how a democratic government should work.





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Documents: CIA tapped, tailed newsmen

"Little-known documents made public Thursday detail illegal and scandalous activities by the CIA more than 30 years ago — wiretappings of journalists, kidnappings, warrantless searches and more."

Documents: CIA tapped, tailed newsmen - USATODAY.com



Let freedom ring.





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Abu Gharib Truth Beginning to Leak

"Gen. Antonio Taguba is one of America’s most respected senior officers, was put in charge of the Abu Ghraib investigation, and has now leveled a series of powerful public charges that will soon blow this case sky-high.



Gen. Taguba went public early this week in long on-the-record interviews with Sy Hersh reported in his New Yorker piece now on newsstands.



Among other things, Taguba says:



1. He was ordered not to investigate higher-ups in the chain of command, which means there was (is) a cover-up protecting the highest-ranking Bush administration officials who might have criminal liability."


The Hill’s Pundit Blog » Abu Ghraib Cover-up About to Explode









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Putin’s War-whoop: The impending clash with Russia

"It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign--- one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.



It has nothing in common with democracy, which is the power of the majority in respect to the interests and opinions of the minority.



In Russia, we are constantly being lectured about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves." Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Munich Conference on Security Policy 2-10-07"


Putin’s War-whoop: The impending clash with Russia :: from www.uruknet.info :: news from occupied Iraq - it



Bush's tough talk turns potential global partners on many issues into adversaries.





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Hugo Chavez May Buy Sub Fleet

"Venezuelan could buy a fleet of submarines as part of its broad-ranging military purchases, President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday, a week after reports his government would buy submarines from Russia.



Chavez, a self-described leftist revolutionary, has sparked criticism from Washington with a string of military acquisitions including Russian rifles and fighter jets which he says are necessary to defend the OPEC nation from a possible U.S. attack."


Hugo Chavez May Buy Sub Fleet



Hmmmm...I wonder how he can afford this. Also, I wonder why Russia feels so emboldened to sell them to him... (hint: oil)





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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The American Conservative's Article on Ron Paul

“It was a dangerous night in South Carolina: the ten candidates for the Republican nomination gathered, and a debate broke out. Damage control was swift. Party elders rushed to excommunicate the instigator. Pundits howled, bloggers convulsed: ‘moonbat on Kool Aid,’ ‘crackpot,’ ‘cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.’ But for all that pious fury, a candidate few Americans had heard of owned the next day’s headlines. Ron Paul had committed the sin of truth — and the reaction revealed much about the party that shunned him.”



Stupid Party - The American Conservative





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Ron Paul Going International

“I was dumbfounded last week when three radio stations, one in Spain and two in Latin America, asked me to explain who American presidential hopeful Ron Paul is and why his candidacy in the Republican primaries has generated such a buzz. The congressman from Texas has hardly registered in national polls but is a political celebrity in the blogosphere and on cable TV Web sites, and has been the subject of front-page stories in The Washington Post and other major news outlets. Apparently, he is making waves around the world too.”

Why Ron Paul?: Newsroom: The Independent Institute







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Ron Paul Bringing Back Traditional American Values

“Ron Paul is not your typical Republican presidential candidate, and that’s unfortunate for the Grand Ol’ Party. He’s the only one of ten GOP candidates who opposed the war in Iraq and he’s the only one who opposed the Patriot Act. Even Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama voted in favor of the Patriot Act, and Clinton voted in favor of the war in 2003. During the first debate between the crowded Republican field of candidates, Paul was asked if he really ought to be running as a Democrat. That’s a chilling indictment on the party of the first Ron, Ronald Reagan. Republicans used to stand for limited government, low taxes, freedom, and liberty. Is Ron Paul the only such Republican left?"

FAIRFIELD WEEKLY - FAIRFIELD WEEKLY









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Army Sees Spike in Accidents, Suicides

"The acting secretary of the U.S. Army says he is seeing a troubling spike in key morale indicators among soldiers -- suicide, divorces and accidents."

United Press International - Security & Terrorism - Briefing



Is there another statistic more telling than this?





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Is Israel Really the Most Needy Country?

"Israel currently receives $2.4 billion annually in militry aid. This is in addition to the dozens of million dollar loans given to Israel of which most have been forgiven. Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today’s population, that is more than $5,700 for every man, woman and child in Israel, yet Israel is listed as one of the top twenty wealthiest nations.



Sure would be nice if our own government could hand every man woman and child in the United States $5,700. Nope, instead we get some bullshit tax break from Bush amounting to a couple hundred bucks."


Bring it On! » Blog Archive » Bush Pledges more Free Money to Israel







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Cheney tells agency that Vice President's office is not part of the executive branch

"The Vice President's office's refusal to comply with the executive order and the National Archives's request prompted the National Archives to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office. But the Justice Department has not followed up on the Archives's request."

The Raw Story | Cheney tells agency that Vice President's office is not part of the executive branch



America is about shining a light into the corners of government, not about working in the dark, in secret. Democracy is about open government, not this.





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Olbermann Shows More O'Reilly Hypocracy

Sean Hannity Quotes

"Why should one U.S. airman give up his life when our national security is not in imminent danger?"
March 24, 1999
"Congressman Moran, a couple of things that are in my mind. Number one is the president has really failed to lay out before the American people the reasons why we need to be involved militarily. That's number one.

And then we go back to Henry Kissinger's test, which is number one, is there a vital U.S. national interest? And do we have a plan to disengage? What's the exit strategy? I don't see that we've met that test either. And why does it have to happen this second, this hour? Why don't we have a national debate first?"
March 24, 1999
"But you know what? There's a lot of massacres going on in the world. As you know, 37,000 Kurds in Turkey, over a million people in Sudan. We have hundreds of thousands in Rwanda and Burundi. I mean, where do we stop?"
March 24, 1999
"Slobodan Milosevic is a bad guy. He's an evil man. Horrible things are happening. I agree with that. Is Bill O'Reilly then saying we go to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan? Where does this stop? And when you look at sheer numbers, 2,000 -- and I'm not minimizing death. It's horrible. What this man is doing with ethnic cleansing is abhorrent, but sheer numbers -- 2,000 killed in the last year versus hundreds of thousands, millions in some cases in other parts of the world. Are you saying the United States should go to all those places?"
on "The O'Reilly Factor," April 5, 1999

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Military knew children were present but considered risk worth it

"U.S. special operations forces were targeting the leader of al-Qaida in Afghanistan — one of the organization's top commanders — when they launched an attack against a compound that killed seven children Sunday in Paktika province of eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials tell NBC News."

NBC: Attack that killed kids targeted al-Qaida leader - International Terrorism - MSNBC.com



We don't want to be this country, do we? I feel like I'm reading something from some dictator in Africa. "We must kill all revolutionaries at all costs!" Come on, killing children with our tax dollars?





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Guess the Quote!

Let’s play a game this Tuesday. See if you can guess who/which organization offered this gem: “The rule of law, the very foundation for a free society, has been under assault, not only by criminals from the ground up, but also from the top down. An administration that lives by evasion, coverup, stonewalling, and duplicity has given us a totally discredited Department of Justice. The credibility of those who now manage the nation’s top law enforcement agency is tragically eroded. We are fortunate to have its dedicated career workforce, especially its criminal prosecutors, who have faced the unprecedented politicization of decisions regarding both personnel and investigations.”

E-mails? What e-mails?? - Couric & Co.



Democrats going after Bush and Gonzales, right? Nope. Bush in 2000 running for president. Hypocrite.





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You Owe $516,348. Pay Up...or Make Your Grandchildren Pay

"Bottom line: Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined."

Taxpayers on the hook for $59 trillion - USATODAY.com



Come on folks. Is any of this sinking in yet? Do you realize these debts are going to come due sometime? Do you realize we are just pushing them out to our children?





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Iraq becomes prime training ground for export of Jihadists

"Iraq has overtaken Afghanistan as an ideal training ground for Jihadists to export their battle across and beyond the Middle East, experts say. The new generation of Islamist militants in Iraq are more battle-hardened than their veteran anti-Soviet counterparts from Afghanistan, and the export of their Muslim "holy war" to calmer Arab countries has become a phenomenon."

Iraq becomes prime training ground for export of Jihadists - Yahoo! News



Again, we are not safer because of this war. We shouldn't believe, "they will follow us home," just like we should have believed, "they will welcome us with flowers," or "there are WMD's," or "it won't be a quagmire," or any other predictions the perpetuators of this war have put forth to us. They are lying or they are the worst political analysts in the history of the world. Either way, we should not believe their attempts to scare us anymore. If anything, we should do the exact opposite of what they suggest, as that seems to be what eventually turns out to be true.





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Investigators find secret White House email accounts

"According to the Presidential Records Act, White House officials are obliged to keep and preserve all communications which they send on official government business. But some 88 Bush officials ignored this law. Instead, they used addresses supplied by the Republican National Committee (RNC), which raises funds and promotes the Republican Party.



It also appears that White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales knew officials were using these accounts for official communications but did nothing about it.



The committee first learnt of the parallel email system when investigating which White House officials had contact with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Karl Rove's PA, Susan Ralston, sent an email to Abramoff's associate Todd Boulanger, which said: "I now have an RNC BlackBerry which you can use to email me at any

time. No security issues like my WH email.""


Investigators find secret White House email accounts | The Register



This administration was purposely hiding things from the American public, things we have the legal right to know. Not so many years ago these same folks were saying "letter of the law" when it came to Clinton's affair. Now they are flaunting the law for much more serious issues.





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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Iraq 'has ruined case for liberal interventionism'

“Tony Blair has been told that his foreign policy of intervening in the world’s troublespots to uphold democrac is in tatters because of the disaster in Iraq.Senior Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs challenged the Prime Minister over whether his ‘liberal intervention’ strategy would survive after he leaves office next week because other countries were turning against it. They clashed with Mr Blair when he was quizzed for the last time by the Commons Liaison Committee, which is composed of the chairman of all the select committees. Mike Gapes, the Labour chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said the case for intervening in other countries in future would be ‘discredited and undermined’ by the experience in Iraq. He added that Mr Blair’s strategy was now ‘out of step’ with opinion around the world.”

Iraq 'has ruined case for liberal interventionism' - Independent Online Edition > UK Politics



It's time to admit you're wrong, NeoCons. The worm is turning.





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White House Aides' E-Mail Records Gone

“E-mail records are missing for 51 of the 88 White House officials who had electronic message accounts with the Republican National Committee, the House Oversight Committee said Monday. The Bush administration may have committed ‘extensive’ violations of a law requiring that certain records be preserved, said the committee’s Democratic chairman, adding that the panel will deepen its probe into the use of political e-mail accounts.”

The Enquirer - Associated Press



I can't believe there are still apologists out there defending this administration anymore.





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More Tony Snow Lies



Think Progress » Snow: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Iraq War Has Helped Stabilize Middle East, It’s ‘Hard To Say’



They aren't interested in truth and being credible anymore. They are only interested in sticking to the propaganda.





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Bush & Rumsfeld Knew About Abu Ghraib But Did Nothing

"But according to Seymour M. Hersh' s blockbuster story in the New Yorker, Bush was told about the abuse Abu Ghraib long before the photographs went public, failed to respond appropriately -- and may indeed have recognized what happened at Abu Ghraib as the predictable result of administration policy rather than the random act of a few bad apples."

Dan Froomkin - New Questions About Abu Ghraib - washingtonpost.com



More obvious bad results stemming from bad policy.





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Monday, June 18, 2007

President Bush And The National Debt

"That's $8.8 trillion – an increase of $3.1 trillion dollars since
January 20, 2001. And that amounts to a jump of 54% during Mr. Bush's
watch."




President Bush And The National Debt, Bush Bashes "Tax And Spend" Dems But Never Mentions The Soaring Debt - CBS News



Remember these figures next time a Republican tries to tell you s/he votes that way because s/he likes fiscally conservative politicians.





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Spending Up 45% Under Bush

"Things have been getting worse recently. In the first five years of the Bush regime, federal spending increased 45%... For comparison's sake, during the eight Clinton years nominal federal spending increased 32%, and under Bush I federal spending increased 23% in four years."

How Big Is Bush's Big Government? - Mises Institute









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Bush warns he'll veto runaway spending

"President Bush warned Congress on Saturday that he will use his veto power to stop runaway government spending. "The American people do not want to return to the days of tax-and-spend policies," Bush said in his radio address."

Bush warns he'll veto runaway spending - Yahoo! News



Hahahaha! Was his veto pen out of ink the past 5 years? If you haven't figured it out yet, Republicans don't like government spending only when they aren't in power, when they are, they LOVE it!





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The Trilemma

"...Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek who speaks of "a witty formula of life under a hard Communis regime: Of the three features—personal honesty, sincere support of the regime and intelligence—it was possible to combine only two, never all three If one was honest and supportive, one was not very bright; if one was bright and supportive, one was not honest; if one was honest and bright, one was not supportive. The problem with Dreyman is that he does combine all three features."

And here he reflects that the old Eastern Bloc jape " applies just as well to the Bush regime. Sincere conservative supporters are not bright. Bright conservative supporters are not honest. Bright and honest conservatives are not supporters...."

TomPaine.com - 'Honest Conservatives': Oxymoron?


WorldNetDaily Interview with Ron Paul

"The idea of who is not electable is subjective. It's early. No one knows, and only one candidate will win, so everyone else will turn out to be not electable. The nomination is completely open now because the party is in disarray, the base is unhappy and I offer them an alternative and a return to their tradition of true conservativism. I think I'm quite electable."



WorldNetDaily: Interview with Ron Paul



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A tax-credit bill for one man?

"Residents were alarmed when they discovered that scores of homes and historic buildings near their Old North St. Louis neighborhood had been sold and left empty — their doors and windows removed, speeding decay. When they traced the purchases, the trail led to prominent developer Paul J. McKee Jr. But McKee, best known for the 1,100-acre WingHaven development in St. Charles County, wouldn't say why he was amassing hundreds of parcels in St. Louis for more than three years. A clearer picture emerged in Jefferson City this year, when the Legislature approved a $100 million tax credit for large-scale developments in impoverished areas. McKee spurred Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to champion the bill, hired several lobbyists to push it and gave thousands of dollars — and use of a corporate plane — to politicians who helped pass it."

STLtoday - News - Missouri State News

OK, this is a good lesson for Dems and Repubs alike. "Community development" grants/tax cuts/loans are typical liberal causes. Libs feel like they are helping the poor. However, with all things, people with power are the ones that take advantage of government's power. They have the attorneys, accountants, and lobbyists to swing political decisions in their favor. So, in the end, the good-intentioned attempts you had made to shift some sort of power/wealth to the poor by creating a new use for government power is then ultimately used by the rich to benefit themselves, and no one else.

I bought a bumper sticker recently that says, "If we have more laws than any other country, are we really more free?" Dems seem to think that adding more laws and tax incentives to the books is somehow going to help the poor and underprivileged. But, with laws so numerous and complicated, the only ones that can take advantage of them are the one rich enough to hire vast numbers of lawyers to interpret them and find the loopholes. The rest of us are just paralyzed into inaction by the size, complexity, and confusion of them.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

China Threatens War Escalation Over Bush Handshake

"China promised to escalate preparations for war in advance of a potential conflict, after President Bush shook hands with a Taiwanese government official yesterday."

China Threatens War Escalation Over Bush Handshake

Are "terrorists" really our country's number one threat? Having our military's infrastructure shaped to fight "terrorists," is this what it should be focused on?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Pie Chart of Income Tax Usage


The Federal Pie Chart

This chart clearly points out the illogical and disingenuous (read "lying") argument of Republicans wanting more military spending AND lower taxes. The military IS where income tax dollars go.


Political Science: 14 Characteristics of Fascism



fascism



Take a look. See if you think we are closer to these than 6 years ago or further away.





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Bush Shafts Enron Victims

"Wall Street’s investment banks just got another one step closer to making defrauding investors an accepted line of business. And Enron’s employees who lost their pensions and the small investors who got fleeced in the Enron frauds just got shafted again—this time at the urging of President George W. Bush.



Wall Street’s most powerful investment banks and their friends in high places lobbied the U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement to reject the recommendation of the Securities and Exchange Commission that the Justice Department support defrauded investors in their appeal to the Supreme Court."




TomPaine.com - Bush Shafts Enron Victims



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Army Hiring More Psychiatrists

"Overwhelmed by the number of soldiers returning from war with mental problems, the Army is planning to hire at least 25 percent more psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.



A contract finalized this week but not yet announced calls for spending $33 million to add about 200 mental health professionals to help soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health needs, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday."


AP News @ jacksonsun.com



Everyone's focus on the 3,500 U.S. soldiers dead just doesn't come close to all the American lives that have been affected by this unprovoked, lie of a war/occupation.






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Thursday, June 14, 2007

John Stewart on U.S. Arming Sunni Insurgents



Crooks and Liars Media



Brilliant!





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US Army wants to enlist illegal aliens quickly as recruitment falls

"A senior US defense officials today urged the Congress to fast track a section of the stalled immigration bill that would allow the military to recruit illegal aliens, after recruitment figures released by Pentagon showed that the Army failed to reach its targets for May."

US Army wants to enlist illegal aliens quickly as recruitment falls | Press Esc



Support "our" Troops! (and by that, I mean foreigners fighting for America)





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FBI Finds It Frequently Overstepped in Collecting Data

"An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March that ignited bipartisan congressional criticism."

FBI Finds It Frequently Overstepped in Collecting Data - washingtonpost.com



I've heard people say, "Well, I understand that the Patriot Act takes away freedoms and liberties, but I'm not going to judge it unless I see them abusing it." Well folks, here you go.





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Secret UN report condemns US for Middle East failures

"The highest ranking UN official in Israel has warned that American pressure has "pummelled into submission" the UN's role as an impartial Middle East negotiator in a damning confidential report."

Secret UN report condemns US for Middle East failures | Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited









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Must See Video - Patriot Act Explanation


YouTube - Andrew Napolitano at FFF Conference, Part 1 of 4

Take the time and watch all 4 of them. It's worth it.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cost of War: 176,000 Vets Apply for Disability

"Deep in a newly released 300-page report on the benefits system for the nation's veterans lies a first look at the dimensions of the disabilities the Iraq- and Afghanistan- war injured are suffering.



Through March, more than 176,000 U.S. veterans of those ongoing conflicts had filed claims for disability compensation, according to a report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.



Some of the most common conditions were tinnitus, or ear ringing (36,000 claims granted); back strain (33,000); problems with ankle motion (16,000) and post-traumatic stress disorder (16,000)."


Disability claims soar from Bush's wars | Capitol Hill Blue



Repubs say they hate entitlement programs.





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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CIA Gave Nuke Blueprints to Iran Six Years Ago

"Deep in the bowels of the CIA, someone must be nervously, but very privately, wondering: "Whatever happened to those nuclear blueprints we gave to the Iranians?""

George Bush insists that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. So why, six years ago, did the CIA give the Iranians blueprints to build a bomb? | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

It's just like Iraq. We gave them chemical weapons, them invaded to "disarm" them. I'm beginning to see how this works. We give them nuke materials (see 3 stories below regarding the U.K. shipping radioactive material to Iran), then bomb them for having them. Winners: bomb industry.


List of Bush Scandals

Kuwait says US cannot use bases for any Iran strike

""The United States did not ask (to use Kuwaiti military facilities for
any attack) and even if it did, we will not allow anybody to use our
territory," defence and interior minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak
al-Sabah told reporters."


Kuwait says US cannot use bases for any Iran strike - Yahoo! News









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Army misses May recruiting goal

"The Army fell short of its recruiting goal for May, its first
significant slip in two years. The active-duty Navy, Marine Corps and
Air Force met or surpassed their May targets, although the Army
National Guard and Air National Guard fell far short."


Army misses May recruiting goal | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle



Is this war and the way it's been managed making us safer?









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US signals permanent stay in Iraq

"This spring's debate over a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq may have implied that the US presence there is likely to wind down soon, but recent comments from both the administration and military officials suggest a different scenario.



In Washington and among American military officers in Iraq, the idea of establishing permanent US bases there is under discussion – with one official citing as an example the decades-long presence of US troops in Korea."


US signals permanent stay in Iraq | csmonitor.com



"When they stand up, we'll stand down." - More lies.



OK, let's look at history...The U.S. doesn't completely pull out of Korea. The U.S. completely pulls out of Vietnam. Korea is a country split in two, with a dangerous dictator on one side starving his citizens. The U.S. does not trade with N. Korea. Vietnam is joined, with a booming economy (the Vietnamese stock markets was the world's best performer last year) and peaceful politics. The U.S. is ramping up trade with Vietnam at an astonishing rate.



It's very simple. Individual countries want to determine their own destiny, without foreign manipulations. When they have that freedom, they are at peace. Furthermore, when a country trades with another country, generally, they are at peace. "Foreign entanglements" it's right there in the Constitution.





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Gallup: Majority of Republicans doubt evolution

"This "suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain," Frank Newport writes for Gallup News Service."

The Raw Story | Gallup: Majority of Republicans doubt evolution; More Americans believe in creationism



Do we really want someone leading us that feels science is a threat to their beliefs in some way?





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Court Rules in Favor of Enemy Combatant

"A divided panel from a conservative federal appeals court harshly rebuked the Bush administration's anti-terrorism strategy Monday, ruling that U.S. residents cannot be locked up indefinitely as "enemy combatants" without being charged."

The Saratogian - News from the Associated Press









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Monday, June 11, 2007

Ron Paul Supporters Growing Exponentially

"Ron Paul's online support just continues to grow and there is no signs of letting up. If anything, it will grow beyond our expectations," says David Terr of USAElectionPolls.com. The web site ran a poll on their website and found roughly 33% of their visitors responding to the poll learned about Ron Paul within the last 2 months."

Analyst Predicts One Million Ron Paul Supporters Online by 2008

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Court rules US can't detain enemy combatants without charges

"In the 2-1 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that the federal Military Commissions Act doesn't strip Ali al-Marri of his constitutional rights to challenge his accusers in court," Associated Press reports. "It ruled the government must allow him to be released from military detention."



The court panel said that "to uphold such extraordinary power would effectively undermine all of the freedoms recognized by the Constitution."


The Raw Story | Court rules US can't detain enemy combatants without charges



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British_Registered Plane with Nuclear Cargo Crashes En Route to Iran

"The crash of the plane has roused suspicions about the identity of its passengers and the purpose of its flight from Trabzon to Iran. There was speculation that the people on board, British citizen Michael Newman and Pakistani B. Bhangoo, were intelligence agents. Authorities have said every aspect of the incident was being investigated. Feeding suspicions, the two men had dared a risky flight with a small plane above the mountainous area, instead of taking a scheduled flight."



TODAY'S ZAMAN



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More British Nuclear Cargo to Iran (Jan. 8, 2006)

"British officials have allowed the export to Iran of a cargo of
radioactive material that experts believe could be used in a nuclear
weapons programme, The Observer can reveal."


UK cleared nuclear cargo to Iran | Politics | The Observer









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Outcry as border guards seize British 'dirty bomb' lorry heading for Iran

He said: "The Prime Minister [Tony Blair] has accused the Iranian Government of sponsoring international terrorism, yet his officials are doing nothing to prevent radioactive material which has an obvious dual use being sold to their military."

Outcry as border guards seize British 'dirty bomb' lorry heading for Iran | the Daily Mail



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Bush Not Sure What He Said, But He Meant It

Bush at a press conference on Saturday:

Q: And on the deadline [for Kosovo independence]?

Bush: In terms of the deadline, there needs to be one. This needs to come — this needs to happen. Now it’s time, in our judgment, to move the Ahtisaari plan. There’s been a series of delays. You might remember there was a moment when something was happening, and they said, no, we need a little more time to try to work through a U.N. Security Council resolution. And our view is that time is up.

Bush at a press conference on Sunday:

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Yesterday you called for a deadline for U.N. action on Kosovo. When would you like that deadline set? And are you at all concerned that taking that type of a stance is going to further inflame U.S. relations with Russia? And is there any chance that you’re going to sign on to the Russian missile defense proposal?

Bush: Thanks. A couple of points on that. First of all, I don’t think I called for a deadline. I thought I said, time — I did? What exactly did I say? I said, “deadline”? Okay, yes, then I meant what I said.

At which point assembled reporters started laughing at him.

Kevin asked, “[I]s it really too much to ask the president of the United States to take his own policies seriously enough to actually know what they are?

Crooks and Liars » ‘What exactly did I say?’

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In Utah Straw Poll Ron Paul Comes in Second

"The stragglers learned that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Mormon who also led the Salt Lake Olympic organizing committee, took four out of every five votes, leaving about 250 ballots to be shared among 10 other candidates.

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who puts a Libertarian slant on Republican politics, took second with 70 votes and just more than 5 percent of the total."


Salt Lake Tribune - Stan's the man for Utah GOP


Major media keeps calling him a second-tier candidate, but he's beating Guliani, Romney, and McCain in many polls.


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CBS: One more sign of how 'thinly stretched' Army is now

"CBS News reported Sunday that the final members of the 82nd Airborne are about to leave Fort Bragg for Iraq, saying, "This is only going to be to be the second time since World War II that the entire 82nd Airborne will be deployed overseas. Just one more sign of how thinly stretched the Army is right now."



The report continues, "Commanders say if an emergency happened elsewhere in the world, they could draw ground troops from Iraq and units recuperating at bases back in the U.S. But it won't be easy" because neither equipment nor personnel on leave would be immediately available."




The Raw Story | CBS: One more sign of how 'thinly stretched' Army is now



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Powell Calls for Closure of Military Prison at Guantanamo

"Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he would close down the U.S. military prison for enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "this afternoon" because it has become a major problem in "the way the world perceives America."



"Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like a military commission," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press.""




Powell Calls for Closure of Military Prison at Guantanamo - washingtonpost.com









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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

"A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting."

cbs5.com - Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'

WTF?


UN warns of five million Iraqi refugees

"Across Iraq, millions of people are looking for safer places to live, and not finding them. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported last week that 4.2 million Iraqis have been forced out of their homes.

There are also ominous signs that the four-month-old US security plan for Baghdad is failing to reduce the level of violence despite an extra 17,000 US troops in the capital.

“The situation in Iraq continues to worsen,” the UNHCR announced, “with more than two million Iraqis now believed to be displaced inside the country and another 2.2 million sheltering in neighbouring states.”

The Iraqi refugee crisis is now surpassing in numbers anything ever seen in the Middle East, including the expulsion or flight of the Palestinians in 1948."

UN warns of five million Iraqi refugees - Independent Online Edition > Middle East

Change the world through being a good example and persuasion, not by force.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A Little F#@king Humor

Ron Paul on Tucker

Putin Suggests New Missile Shield Site


Navy Assigns Openly Gay Sailor to Reserves


Navy Assigns Openly Gay Sailor to Reserves


Sailor discharged for being gay, then recalled back into Navy for Iraq War deployment, then discharged again for being gay, now being recalled to Navy once again. "Don't ask, don't tell," doesn't matter to these guys anymore. They just desperately need people willing to fight for Bush's poorly executed war based on wrong theories and bad policy.

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What Families Eat In a Week (photo essay)

U.S. Arming Former Saddam Loyalists

"U.S. forces have begun arming nationalist guerrillas and former Saddam Hussein loyalists -- and coordinating tactics -- in a marriage of convenience against al Qaeda radicals in one of Iraq's most violent provinces, senior U.S. commanders tell CNN." (emphasis mine)

Rift seen in Iraq insurgency -- some groups reject al Qaeda - CNN.com

What the hell? I don't even know where to start. Should I start by attacking the hypocracy of the Neo-Cons and their black/white, good vs. evildoer worldview, and their hate of liberals who don't see everyone as an enemy? Maybe I should take an historic approach and show how badly funding guerrilla groups has worked for the U.S. in the past, including funding Osama Bin-Laden fighting against the USSR in Afghanistan. There are just too many options...


The Creation Museum is Open

George Washington Back From Dead to Criticize Iraq War

"Breaking a 211-year media silence, retired Army Gen. George Washington appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday to speak out against many aspects of the way the Iraq war has been waged. […]

White House response to the former general’s criticism was swift and sharp. Spokesman Tony Fratto dismissed Washington as “increasingly irrelevant” and “a relic” who “made some embarrassing gaffes” during his own military career. […]

“I don’t care who you are — or if you cannot tell a lie — it’s un-American to question the president in a time of war,” Sean Hannity said on his radio program Monday. “Plus, I find it very interesting that a man who owned slaves and sold hemp thinks he’s entitled to give our Commander in Chief lessons on how to run a war.”


Retired Gen. George Washington Criticizes Bush's Handling Of Iraq War | The Onion - America's Finest News Source


The Onion is the best!


Friday, June 8, 2007

Upset stomach forces President Bush to skip some G-8 summit meetings

"An upset stomach kept Bush in his hotel room for several hours, aides said later, forcing him to miss part of the third and final day of work at the Group of Eight Summit of industrialized democracies, held in this seaside resort."

Upset stomach forces President Bush to skip some G-8 summit meetings - Europe - BostonHerald.com



Hmmmm....Bush, an avowed alcoholic, is seen drinking the night before, then can't attend meetings the next day. Sounds like excuses I used in college.






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Pictures of Bush Drinking Again


The Ethics of Boycotts

"A boycott is an attempt to persuade other people to have nothing to do with some particular person or firm — either socially or in agreeing not to purchase the firm's product. Morally a boycott may be used for absurd, reprehensible, laudatory, or neutral goals. It may be used, for example, to attempt to persuade people not to buy non-union grapes or not to buy union grapes. From our point of view, the important thing about the boycott is that it is purely voluntary, an act of attempted persuasion, and therefore that it is a perfectly legal and licit instrument of action."

The Ethics of Boycotts - Mises Institute



This is how to attack corporations which have practices you don't like. You don't lobby your Congressperson in an attempt to get some law passed that has widespread unintended consequences affecting a whole range of organizations and individuals which weren't your intended target. Corporations don't like bad press, and they need sales to go up. Boycotts are a key element which make capitalism and free-markets work.





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Big Turkey incursion in Iraq would be U.S. nightmare

"A large-scale invasion of Northern Iraq by Turkish forces would be a nightmare for the United States and could destabilize the one part of the country that is relatively calm, analysts said on Thursday.



A Web site report on Wednesday that 50,000 Turkish troops
poured into Northern Iraq to fight Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK) guerrillas set off alarms in Washington, where U.S.
officials scurried to try to find out what, if anything, had
happened."


Big Turkey incursion in Iraq would be U.S. nightmare - Yahoo! News



These are the sorts of regional complications the game below points toward. These don't seem to have been considered or prepared for by Bushco. Remember how mad the Republicans would get at those of us who warned them about getting into a "quagmire?" They adamantly said over and over, "It's won't be a quagmire like Vietnam!" They're right, it appears to be getting much worse.





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Gulf War Game (came out in early 2003)

"It's old hat now, but in early 2003 this page was hopping. Occasionally a pro-war loony will email me to sneer that things didn't turn out like this. The ability to miss the point is strong in some people. This game starts with a simple premise: that Bush/Blair were telling the truth. Saddam had WMD and was willing to use them.

Since that now seems incorrect, of course reality diverged from the game very quickly. Anyhow, you might be amused to read some of the hate mail that I received from the armchair patriot brigade. Some of these people need help ASAP."

idleworm: gulf war game

It's an interesting comical analysis. I sent this out to friends before the war started, basically to refute the simpleton messages believed by Bush and his supporters. You know, things like "being showered with roses" and "welcomed as liberators." Well, like the guy says above, the WMD's part was wrong, but it does point out the unique complications of the religious and ethnic factions within this region, something the Bush administration didn't seem to realize or even understand. An internet cartoonist understood it, but not Bushco. Does that seem reasonable to anyone? I don't think it is. That's why some (including myself) think that we weren't/aren't being told the real reasons for the invasion and subsequent occupation.


Benchmarks: Escalating war

"The Pentagon claims that since January, U.S. forces have killed or captured more than 20,000 insurgents. Although this figure is impressive, it suggests that the total number of active insurgents has risen dramatically from the top level of only 20,000 in U.S. military estimates during much of 2005 and 2006."

United Press International - Security & Terrorism - Analysis



This is where I bang my head against the wall talking to supporters of this war. They continually state that there is some fixed number of terrorists, and that when we kill them, the war will be over. It makes no sense to me. They refuse to intuit that if another more-powerful country was occupying the U.S. that they would be the first ones to take actions which would make them an "insurgent" or "terrorist." They fail to understand that plain 'ol Iraqis are the ones attacking us now. They're not bad guys, they're just guys that want us out of their country...just like we would want, put in their shoes.









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Secret CIA prisons confirmed by Polish and Romanian officials

"The CIA operated secret prisons in Europe where terrorism suspects could be interrogated and were allegedly tortured, an official inquiry will conclude tomorrow."

Secret CIA prisons confirmed by Polish and Romanian officials | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited



Bush's gulags. That's quite a legacy.





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Council of Europe: Secret CIA Prisons Confirmed

"The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated illegal prisons for terrorism suspects in multiple locations in Poland and Romania from 2003 to 2005, according to a report released today by the Council of Europe, a European intergovernmental human rights body.



The result of an investigation initiated in November 2005 by the council's Parliamentary Assembly under the leadership of assembly member and Swiss senator Dick Marty, the report provides evidence confirming allegations first made by Human Rights Watch in 2005 (http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/11/07/usint11995.htm) that locations in Poland and Romania were among sites used by the CIA for secret detention.



It concludes that there is "now enough evidence to state that secret detention facilities run by the CIA did exist in Europe from 2003 to 2005, in particular in Poland and Romania." It also finds that prisoners in these facilities were subjected to "interrogation techniques tantamount to torture."



"Today's report confirms that Poland and Romania helped the CIA operate illegal detention sites on their territory in violation of international law," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. "It is now clear that US officials illegally conspired with intelligence officials in several European countries to ‘disappear,' interrogate and illegally transfer terrorism suspects, flouting basic human rights norms."



The report suggests that President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland and former President Ion Iliescu of Romania authorized the secret detentions."


Council of Europe: Secret CIA Prisons Confirmed



Our CIA purposely avoiding our legal system. This isn't the America I know. Torture? No, that's just not what our country is about.





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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Another Republican Goes Down with Abramoff Ties

GOP joins in mockery of rule of law

"Remember when the rule of law was important to Republicans?



Years before Scooter Libby was sentenced to prison, long before unannounced Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson was Libby's champion on the right. Republicans cared very much about the rule of law and perjury and obstruction of justice back then.



A few years ago, the priapic Democratic president could have made a fortune charging Republicans a quarter every time they used those three words. He kept the rule of law in business, when he wasn't on the phone in the Oval Office, talking to a congressman about sending American troops to the Balkans, while otherwise engaged with an intern under his desk."


GOP joins in mockery of rule of law | Chicago Tribune



Republicans love to say they see things in black & white, while Liberal "hippies" are wishy-washy and see shades of gray. Well, it appears they're right. They see black when they're out of power, then white when they're in power. Friggan' hypocrites.





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Prospect of pardoning Libby splits GOP field

"When it comes to the debate over whether former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be pardoned, the Republican presidential field is split between "yes," "no," "maybe" and "I'd have to study the transcript.""

Prospect of pardoning Libby splits GOP field - CNN.com



Republicans are supposed to be "tough on crime," aren't they? Unless it's one of their buddies. Talk about flip flopping!





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Bush Reassures Putin

""It's much better to work together than to create tensions," Bush said after the meeting. "He expressed his concerns to me. He is concerned that the missile defense system is not an act that a friend would do."



Bush said the men agreed to share ideas, and involve officials from the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense and military."


Bush, Putin agree to cooperate on missile shield plan - CNN.com



Republicans love to throw around the tough talk..."The U.S. (under Bush) will not negotiate with dictators and terrorists." Well, look what you've got here, folks. Your tough-talk guru is sucking up to the guy that's reversing Democracy's course in Russia. The worst part is that Bush has to suck up to him because of his own actions. His unilateral foreign policy has made other nations not trust us. We have no credibility anymore. We lied to get into the war, now our word about what we're using the missiles for is no longer valid. Further, his war to acquire oil has driven up the price and made our country more reliant on the stuff...the stuff Putin has tons of. So, congratulations Republicans. Your lack of foresight, unwillingness to cooperate, tough-guy worship, and basic lack of wisdom "have weakened a country today Caffey."





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Judge who fixed divorce cases sent to prison

"An ex-judge who accepted expensive gifts in exchange for helping fix divorce cases and a former state lawmaker convicted in a scheme to shake down a judicial candidate were sentenced to prison Tuesday.



Former Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, 74, was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.



Garson, 74, wept as he asked for leniency, claiming the cigars, cash and other gifts never influenced his decisions. But he also admitted that when he saw hidden-camera videos of his shady dealings in chambers, "I was appalled, embarrassed and ashamed of my demeanor.""


Judge who fixed divorce cases sent to prison - CNN.com



So, let's look at our justice system for a moment, shall we? This guy accepted small gifts as a judge. This is wrong, and deserves to be punished. Our legal system needs to be unbiased, and taking gifts, no matter how small, gives the air of impropriety, which is not acceptable. This guy's sentence is severe, and reflects the importance of this aspect of our legal system.



Now, let's take a look at our Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. He, and other members of the Bush administration, have been caught red-handed trying to purposely inject bias into the legal system. Not inject bias into one or two cases like the guy in this story, but THE WHOLE LEGAL SYSTEM. Now, you'd assume the punishment for this would be even more severe than what this guy received, right? Guess again.






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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bush war adviser was skeptical on Iraq

"Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, picked by President Bush as his White House war adviser, said Wednesday he had been skeptical of Bush's decision to send thousands more U.S. troops into Iraq."

Bush war adviser was skeptical on Iraq - Yahoo! News



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Bush created 'safe haven' for terrorism with Iraq invasion

"Analyst Paul Kurtz expanded on this criticism, saying, "Prior to our
invasion of Iraq...Iraq was not a fertile ground for terrorist
activity," but that now "we have a safe haven in Iraq for terrorists."
The administration, says Kurtz, is trying to have it both ways."


The Raw Story | CBS: Bush created 'safe haven' for terrorism with Iraq invasion









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Tallying Bush progress on democracy

"President Bush projected a more democratic Middle East, a more secure world and a safer America when he launched the invasion of Iraq more than four years ago. Let's tally up the results so far."

Editorial - newsjournalonline.com

U.N.: More than 4 million Iraqis displaced

"More than 4 million Iraqis have now been displaced by violence in the country, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday, warning that the figure will continue to rise.



The number of Iraqis who have fled the country as refugees has risen to 2.2 million, said Jennifer Pagonis, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. A further 2 million have been driven from their homes but remain within the country, increasingly in “impoverished shanty towns,” she said."


U.N.: More than 4 million Iraqis displaced - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com



The population of Iraq was only 28 million. Percentage-wise this is just a devastating number.





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