Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Somebody Tell Me When It's Over

I couldn't even watch...

Tomorrow's news will have to do. I couldn't stand the thought of watching Bush tonight. I know what the state of our union is; and he won't be saying a thing about it. Nothing that's true, that is.

It's like a bad nightmare.

Monday, January 30, 2006


In the latest move that leaves me scratching my head wondering if BushCo. has a clue about what it's doing, they've released a key bin Laden lieutenant captured after the battle of Tora Bora without explanation.

For more than a decade, Osama bin Laden had few soldiers more devoted than Abdallah Tabarak. A former Moroccan transit worker, Tabarak served as a bodyguard for the al Qaeda leader, worked on his farm in Sudan and helped run a gemstone smuggling racket in Afghanistan, court records here show.


Today, the al Qaeda loyalist known locally as the "emir" of Guantanamo walks the streets of his old neighborhood near Casablanca, more or less a free man. In a decision that neither the Pentagon nor Moroccan officials will explain publicly, Tabarak was transferred to Morocco in August 2004 and released from police custody four months later.
If they wanted to purposely screw up what they've called the War on Terror, they would have done most of what they've done already. So they are either maliciously prolonging this war or they are incompetent.

Neither one is a great choice.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What Do You Call A Country Ruled By Corporations?

A corporatocracy?

How about a kleptocracy.

I wish I could be outraged at this, but when the ruling party is bought and paid for by corporate interests... it's not easy. What else, really, should we expect?

It's almost enough to make you laugh—bitterly, of course. Here was Ford Motor Co. announcing yesterday that it had cut 10,000 jobs last year and that it will cut up to 30,000 more. But shedding jobs at muscle-car acceleration rates didn't stop Ford from pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars courtesy of the American Jobs Creation Act.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Americans Deserve Neither

On this morning's ABC News American's were said to favor Bush's domestic spying program over protecting civil liberties by about 62%. If that's so, it may be time to call an end to our little experiment in democracy.

This afternoon, Bush says that his program is not only legal, but that it's approved by Congress, the Supreme Court and four out of five dentists. While no more true than anything he's ever said about, oh, say weapons of mass destruction or the nexus between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda, the great unwashed masses apparently are willing to walk off a cliff with the liberties that make us who we are.

Again, I say it's time to call it quits and admit that most Americans are too stupid, lazy or both to deserve the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. When at least 62% of us have forgotten just how precious those freedoms are and are willing to give them up to a little tin-pot village idiot playing at despot, then perhaps it was just too early for democracy and freedom to take root here. This is one of those times that prove that there has not been a smarter man than Ben Franklin born in this land.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Support the Troops, Part MXV

They've shown again and again what they really mean by "support the troops." But still the mouth-breathers believe them.

Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn’t get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.

Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails.
But remember, IOKIYAR.

Or, perhaps that's what they call faith-based troop caring.

Then again, who needs clean water if the body armor you're wearing gets you killed?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Google This: Bush Blows

There really is no depth to which this administration will sink in its endeavor to erase every civil liberty we hold dear in this country.

Mountain View-based Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to hand over the requested records.

The government wants a list all requests entered into Google’s search engine during an unspecified single week — a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.
Libraries, tax records, book stores, telephones and now your Google searches. This one, however is easier to spoof than the rest. What does it take to enter a bunch of ominous sounding search terms into a search engine?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Failure of Leadership

Past EPA chiefs agree: "There's been a failure of leadership" under BushCo. to deal effectively and realistically with global warming.

And five of the six were Republicans.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Bitchslap Heard 'Round the World

It's everywhere else, so it might as well be here. It's good, so if you've managed to avoid it so far, you might as well read it here.

I'm talking about this.

And although I'm sure it's been asked everywhere it's been posted or discussed or quoted, I might as well ask it again: Where the hell were Gore's balls during the campaign?


What if Britain's intelligence agencies had discovered that one of the planners of the subway bombing had traveled from Britain to Canada to Manhattan? And what if they thought they knew exactly where he was going to be one Sunday evening? What if Britain decided to launch a submarine launched cruise missile to "take out" this terrorist and also took out an entire city block in the operation?

Just collateral damage in the war on terror, right?

Why would BushCo. think that such a blatant violation of an allies sovereignty as the recent strike against Ayman al-Zawahri would result in anything but what it has?

Why does it seem that everything he does in the prosecution of his so-called war on terror result in exactly the opposite of what a sane, rational person would want?

Why are there so many questions with no good answers?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Big Truth

AmericaBlog, because of this article in the Washington Post, resurrects the questions surrounding Bush's time in the military. Or rather his lack of time in the military. Especially during a time of war.

The Swift Boaters, in a new disguise are now attacking Jack Murtha's records as he continues his outspoken comments against the Iraq Quagmire.

Again, Rethugs are making military service a factor in the believability of a war opponent. So why isn't military service a factor in the veracity of a war supporter?

If you have a blog, ask the question. If you can write a letter to a local editor, ask the question. If you can dial a phone, call your Congress-critter and ask the question.

If Jack Murtha has to answer for his (unimpeachable) military record while opposing the war, why is not BushCo.'s military record pertinent?
Where was Bush while he was supposed to be flying a soon-to-be retired fighter with no chance of being deployed to Viet Nam? Why did Big Dick Cheney get five (count 'em, five) deferments if he loves the troops so much? Where were the rest of them? Why are their "other priorities" not in question? Remember, the Democrats are in opposition, they are not in power to make or stop the war - not yet. It is the Rethugs who can do all of this and yet they are not being held to account for their military records while sending our young soldiers off to die in their neo-conservative wet dream of a debacle in the Middle East.

Ask the question. Demand that it be answered.

Ask the question.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Brad and Angelina

This post has absolutely nothing to do with those two nitwits. But if it got your attention, then the title did its job.

What I really wanted to say is that I'm extremely busy these days. Work is nuts and in my spare time, I'm working on getting myself into the part-time business of contract computer work. Whatever time is left over, I'm spending with my beautiful wife.

But as I prepare to jump into this strange new world of working for myself (even part-time), I've found that it's taking up a lot of my time. As soon as I'm settled into what I'm doing I'll have a little more time to get back to you all.

So if my posts are few and far between for a little while longer, don't worry. I'll be back!

And honestly, does anyone really care about Brad and Angelina?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Working Without a Net

Major corporations are desperately trying to find a way to dump employee and retiree health care costs. But the nation's emergency medical system is not remotely ready for the influx of patience this is likely to cause.

“The emergency health care system’s in serious condition. We have a safety net for health care that is frayed,” said Dr. Stephen Epstein, an emergency care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Epstein was a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians task force that studied the nation’s emergency care. Their report is being released Tuesday.
I've asked this question before, but why does the most prosperous nation on earth have one of the worst ways of distributing medical care to its citizens?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Vengeful Mouse

This sounds like something out of a sick cartoon. I feel sorry for the old man, but sometimes nature does get her revenge.

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner said he caught the mouse inside his house and wanted to get rid of it.

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house," Mares said from a motel room Saturday.

Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse ran to just beneath a window, and the flames spread up from there and throughout the house.

No was hurt inside, but the home and everything in it was destroyed.
Besides, how often can you write the phrase "vengeful mouse?"

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Seismic Shift?

By now the news of DeLay's announcement has circled the globe a million times via the MSM and the blogosphere. While absolutely great news in itself - there was not a more vile person on The Hill than the bug man - I have hopes that this signals the start of something more.

Corporate money has been the literal bedrock of the modern Republican party. The power they've wielded because of this money and the legislation that money has bought is unprecedented in the US. And Tom DeLay was at the center of it all. The enforcer. But now that bedrock has cracked and shifted. The enforcer has been banished from the center. The tectonic plates of power have been set adrift and the earthquakes are only just now starting to be felt. DeLay, Abramoff, Kenny-boy and their sticky, slimy web of influence are unraveling before our eyes.

I don't know how far this crisis will carry us... Will there finally be a serious move towards campaign finance reform? Can we break the strangle hold that corporate money has on our government? I'm not sanguine about the possibilities. But I have the first glimmers of hope.

When even the MSM puts DeLay and "pariah" in the same headline, I have a little bit of hope.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Deja Vu - All Over Again

Seems I've written this post several times over the past couple of years...

Iraq is a mess. Afghanistan is under control of the Taliban again.

The new year seems a whole lot like the old year. Haven't we learned anything from the years before?

It seems not.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Sago Mine is a Conservative Problem

"Small government."

"The Market."

These are conservative touchstones today. They are also the wellspring of problems like the Sago mine disaster. Think about it; over 200 safety problems noted by the Federal government in 2004. But why didn't that make a difference to the men who died in the Sago mine?

Because the fines for safety violations are so small, and the government so hesitant to take firm actions against corporations, that it was less expensive for the company to pay the fines and keep operating as they always had.

There is the cost of small government that leaves all decisions to the market. And there is the value that the market places on people, on "human capitol."

THIS is a Happy New Year?

Ask me how much it sucks to be back at work after eleven days off...

Go ahead. Ask.

Monday, January 02, 2006

King George's Writs of Assistance

Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. Or so the old saying goes. I've met many people who claim that because they have nothing to hide they are unbothered by BushCo.'s baldly illegal breach of our Fourth Ammendment rights. But I believe that these people are fools.

According to the Fourth:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This was written in response to the use of writs of assistance which allowed the bearer, typically the King's agents, to search any person and any home without further warrant in contravention of a long history of English law protecting a man's home as his castle. Even though any particular colonist had nothing to hide, the trespass of government agents into their homes and effects were unsettling to say the least.

Our own King George has fashioned his own writs of assistance in his domestic wiretapping fiasco. Case law is settled that wiretapping is covered by the Fourth Ammendment and US law makes provisions for obtaining a warrant after the fact where speed is of the essence in gathering information (a provision I believe could likely be found unconstitutional under careful review). The upshot being that intelligence agencies have no need of the powers usurped by BushCo.

Those who are unmoved by this breach of constitutional powers have not read their history. Bush and his legal team obviously have read their history; just the wrong parts. Our press? Don't even ask.