Monday, October 30, 2006

Pot Calling Kettle

The Man Without A Plan, argues that his opposition doesn't have one either.

"The Democratic goal is to get out of Iraq. The Republican goal is to win in Iraq," Bush told a rousing rally in a gymnasium at Georgia Southern University.

Yes, we've heard this before. And Bush keeps saying we're winning. Just look at Iraq. This is what the Republicans call, 'Winning'. Clearly, we could go on 'Winning' for decades and never 'Win'.

So when are the Republicans gonna 'Win It' already? If they have a plan to win, why don't they implement it? Though we're winning and we'll keep winning for many years to come with our, "Don't Change a Thing", I mean, "Stay The Course" policy, isn't it disingenuous to brag that your opponents don't have a plan to win, when you don't intend to win either?

"If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, yet they don't have a plan for victory," he said.

Is it the central front in the war on terror? If so why? And why do we have to make it the central front? Is fighting for domination of Iraq and stealing their oil really the best way to fight terrorism throughout the world? Does creating instability in the Middle East make the world a safer place?

And why didn't the bombs falling on Baghdad, prevent the London Train bombings? Will more dead Americans in Iraq prevent a lone bomber from doing damage somewhere in the world?

If Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, then why are you the only one that sees it?

Bush, please explain exactly why you feel that perpetual war, makes the world safer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ballots in your Town?

I just called my local precinct to verify that I could use paper ballots in this upcoming election. I 'nicely' expressed concern over using touchscreen voting machines.

I was informed that for early voting touchscreens would be used but for normal voting, paper ballots would be taken.

Please call your local precincts and express your concerns and see if there is a process by which you can avoid using hackable computers when you vote.. But be nice. The folks working at the elections have a lot to deal with already. But if we don't call, how will they know?

This Lou Dobbs Video was found on The Brad Blog.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stay The Course!


As everyone knows by now, the President has a new plan for Iraq.

Now just to keep score, I've had to a make myself a short list of the rules, to keep up with what's allowed when playing Presidential CalvinBall.

Now just to be clear, the President so far has had a 'Fossil' policy in regards to the war in Iraq. We've been winning. The war is going great. The White House has been very happy about how things have gone so far. They have decided that the situation in Iraq will not dictate their policy. No matter what happens, we we will remain unmoving in our tactics and our policy will not budge one iota. Our strategy is fossilized.

If we were to change our strategy in any way, that would be letting the terrorists dictate the terms of the battle. Any talk of ever withdrawing ever, is stupid 'Cut and Run' talk. We call this, 'Stay the Course'.

The Republican pundits, have been strategizing and explaining their fantasies of marching victorious in Iraq by changing our strategy. This means changing course, and letting the terrorists dictate the terms of the war. These idiots live in a dream land and don't even listen to the President., Perhaps they work for the terrorists?

The Republican pundits talk of leaving Iraq one day. That's 'Cutting and Running'. They talk of changing their strategy. That's letting the terrorists dictate the terms of the war.

The Democrats have done the same thing. They tell us that they don't want this war to last for all time. Thats's called 'Cutting and Running'. Winning or losing a war that's supposed to last through eternity, has not been Bush's goal. It's certainly not what's meant by 'Stay the Course', and refusing to let the 'Terrorists Dictate the Strategy on the Ground'.

But now Bush wants to change the strategy. He no longer wants to 'Stay the Course'. He's agreed that now we're at the point in Iraq that resembles the period of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Some assume that he meant that we're about to lose in Iraq. But he was quick to point out that what he meant was, that this resembles the propaganda portion of the Vietnam war where the Vietnamese started kicking our asses so hard that it looked like we were losing. And this turned public opinion from support of the war, to calls to end it.

So Bush has acknowledged that the Iraqis are using the strategy of kicking our asses and winning, in order to score propaganda points in order to win.

Now I've read some of the reports of our change in strategy after the election grandstanding is over. I believe there will be a change in strategy. But what we're told this change will be, might not resemble what we actually do.

Iran is still in the cards and that might be part of the changing strategy.

We may bring back the draft and send more boys to Iraq.

We may dissolve the Iraqi government and install a military governor as we once did and maybe follow the Roman model of rule. Except without using their successful model of letting populations govern their own affairs under the watchful eye of the empire.

Whatever we do, it must involve winning. Winning is defined by never leaving. So as long as we keep sending boys to Iraq we're winning. They can kill all the American soldiers they want and our President will still be happy that we're winning.

Defeat is in leaving. Bush will not do that no matter the cost. We may have to make extraordinary sacrifices still, to fulfill Bush's plan of winning by never leaving. We should know that those are sacrifices that Bush is willing to make.

but for now, enjoy Bush and the Republican Game of CalvinBall where the rules are made up on the spot and changed on whim. And don't forget, the same rule doesn't count twice. That goes for laws too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Countdown: Habeas Corpus

Monday, October 09, 2006

Baghdad Burning

There's been no word from River in a while. I hope that she's all right.

Her last post appeared just before things really began heating up.

I don't really know what else to say.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

You Tube Burps

I just noticed that a string of YouTube videos that I had marked for blogging just showed up.

I posted those over a one week period, and they weren't showing up for some reason.

I guess whatever problem they had, has been fixed and they were all posted at once.

Oh well, the marvels of technology. :)

Hypocrite Foley on AMW:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Carl Sagan - speaks about 4 billion years of evolution

Real financial heros part 1 of 3

Real financial heros part 2 of 3

Real financial heros part 3 of 3

Behing the Scenes

Monday, October 02, 2006

Apologists For Mark Foley

It just seems sick that Republican Pundits have to bring out dirty laundry in order to defend Mark Foley. Mark Davis this morning on WBAP, was trying to walk that tightrope. He was going on about Mark Foley and how dispiccable his actions were, then started talking about sex crimes committed by Democrats and complained that some of them were allowed to stay in office and Mark Foley wasn't!

Well, they didn't stay long, but I guess that ruins the point.

But Mark Davis is just one of many voices that are complaining that Mark Foley resigned. Couched this way, the argument is properly pendantic and seems almost reasonable. They are complaining that a Republican was booted out of office faster for committing crimes, than some Democrats were. As if they want pedophile Republicans to stay in office.

But they don't want that, but they do...

Now the way they couch the topic, is that Democrats don't get punished for being pedophiles, and so Mark Foley got a bad rap. Ignoring for a moment that their argument is flawed, is the unspoken meaning behind this, that they are jealous that Democrats are pedophiles and they wish their members could be too?

I would guess that Mark Davis would strongly disagree with such an analysis if asked the question directly.

But where does the, "But mommy! All the other kids did it too!" argument, logically lead to? Well in this case, it circles back to a defense of Mark Foley.

Much of our political debate is entrenched with such childish logic, as though our ability to communicate and discuss the issues, has never quite passed beyond puberty. And our politicians seem to be nothing more than spoiled children. So many of them aren't very bright and and aren't emotionally mature.

In some forums, when I point out that Bush or someone has done something stupid, defenders will often strike back the the very logical argument, "You're only saying that because you hate him!" Well that's another fine example of a childish and immature argument. Rather than debate whether something stupid actually happened, the discussion is framed about how it makes people feel.

This arguing from the gut, as Stephen Colbert puts it, seems to be epidemic. Our media blasts us daily from all directions with feelings, and choices of feelings. Oppposing views are often framed according to likes and dislikes rather than logic, facts and data. We're presented with stories to make us feel, not think. Debates are framed to capture our feelings and to tune out rational thought. After all, if we start thinking, then the terrorists win, don't they? You don't want the terrorists to win do you?

So how do we make people grow up? How do we force adults to mature and to think with their heads, and not with their television trained feelings? I don't think we can.

The generation of Americans that I personally knew, that could do this with some degree of competency, began their training in 1929. That's a cold sobering thought. The clappers were a generation that I think, must've been similar in attitude to today's Americans. I wonder what it was like to live among them as the Great Depression rolled in and they were forced to adapt or die?

This video was stolen from Crooks And Liars.


No, not really.

I have a habit of committing faux paus. I tend to say what I'm thinking and try to be forthright and honest. In some company, that can be impolite. I'm not very practiced at being deceptively friendly.

So I had no problem with being called a troll, and being informed that I was offensive. Well, I was called a Republican and I was called a 'Concern Troll'. Both were clearly intended to be insulting terms on Eschaton's Blog.

But what concerned me was understanding how I offended, and I think I understand it.

I made the argument that the Mark Foley event was really a non-event. It wouldn't hurt the Republican chances at election time and would be forgotten in two weeks.

Some folks were celebrating his status as a pedophile that had gotten caught in the act, so to speak. It seemed a big coup.

When I argued that he was probably going down anyway and that the timing would probably benefit the Republican Party well, that's when feathers got rankled and I got on the troll filter.

So I'm a party pooper and evidently not a true Democrat, because I see wheels behind wheels in this incident, while Democrats see a chance to celebrate. That is my sin, if I understand this correctly. And worse, I predicted a positive outcome for the Republican Party. Merely saying this outloud, brands me a traitor in a political party that wouldn't have me anyway.

And here's how I see it.

Mark was going down anyway. You can only talk dirty on IMs and text messaging so long, before word gets around. I know he has been doing questionable things like this for years, but this could well have been coming to a head. The NSA wiretaps likely had records of all of his conversations.

The Republican Party can't afford for this to go down in November. It has to happen soon, or after the elections.

The Senate is debating legislation that would be controversial if the public learned about it. It legalizes gulags, torture and the secret detentions of anyone that the US Military picks up. Once they get you, that can automatically torture you and imprison you forever. It doesn't matter if you're a citizen, or how innocent you are. Once they pick you up, you're guilty automatically.

They probably cut a deal and let him know ahead of time how it would go down. No prosecution if he disappears for a while. He's now in a private facility until after the elections. Or is he about to check in?

So by leaking now, they get the Democratic Party accepting a Sacrifice Pawn while they go after the Queen.

They get their torture legislation passed in a quiet peaceful session. The media hypes Mark Foley until the legislation is passed.

Bush makes a speech, sounding grand and whatever, says terraist and pederphiles a lot. He makes grand moral gestures with his headed doing the turkey move. Republicans feel better, because they've eaten one their own and regained the moral highground.

By the time the elections happens, the public will ask, "Foley who?"

The net effect is a Democratic loss, and a loss of our freedoms. While the Democrats gleefully party over a sacrifice pawn being taken from the board, the Torture Bill get's passed with no fanfare.

One of the questions I was asked was, "How do the Republicans benefit?" And the short answer is, he was going down anyway. So the Republicans picked the time and place, and were on their marks and ready for the media. They took their own down. It wasn't Hillary that blew the whistle. The media took days to even report it, because they were in on it.

The Republicans chose their ground, and have taken the tactical lead here.

For some reason, Democrats believe they'll have a majority in 2007. I doubt that, but... It won't slow Bush down any. The Democrats are already saying they won't impeach.

One person asked why Bush wouldn't fear the power of subpoenas. Well, he and Condi have danced that dance before. They took months to get around to it and then cut a deal first. What was the deal? They wouldn't testify under oath. Then they went and lied about everything. What fear is there in appearing for a political sham like that?

The only thing that can possibly reign Bush in, is fear of impeachment and as Mark Foley has shown us, it's probable there's dirt on a lot more politicians that could be brought to light. They are likely to sit back and remain silent in 2007-2008.

If this assessment offends you, then that's a good thing. It bothers me.

And finally, what charges will ultimately be brought against Foley? No one is saying he actually touched any boys. Maybe he did. Maybe this will billow into a big deal. But right now it sounds like his crime is that he was talking dirty to minors. That is a crime, but not as serious as the charges that would be brought if he actually had relations with one of those boys.

Nitpicking Update

I seem to have gotten myself banned as a troll on Atrios's site.

I posted comments that Holden Caulfield disagreed with, got labelled a troll and now I'm filtered under my actual name.

For the record, I didn't insult anyone. But I wasn't exactly toeing the party line.

In the past, I've noted that it's normally Republican Blogs that practice censorship and require registrations before posting. Now it seems I've found the limits on a Democratic Blog.

But I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, so it's not really my playground anyway. It belongs to Democrats. And so I'll respect their position on this matter.

After all, my free speech ends, where yours begins. I've practiced censorship here, as is my right, and it would be hypocritical of me to cry about getting slapped on someone else's site.

Regardless, Duncan has a good thing going there. Holden Caulfield writes some very good stuff. Both sites are worth reading and keeping up with.

I'll continue to read both of them. They have important things to say, and Holden especially, says them well.

Party On!

I was participating in the comments at Eschaton, when I said something offensive. I argued that the Foley thing was gonna blow over, and that it was cover for the Senate Hearings on the Torture Bill.

I guess I crossed the line on some Democratic Talking Point and I got called a Republican and was told to go away.

That's not the first time I've been blasted over crossing an invisible line. I don't feel any loyalty to either party, so I don't get the memos that tell you the proper etiquette when discussing politics. To Republicans I'm a Democrat and to Democrats I'm a Republican.

To the hard core on each side, it's all about Team Spirit. It's a game and to them, their are only two teams. You're with us, or you're the enemy.

I find that to be a sad way to look at the world. You either have sycophants or enemies, and the whole world is out to get you.

But this polarization is good for the power brokers. The folks that own both parties put such divisiveness to good use. Fear brings people together against a common enemy. It encourages them to give up control. It brings about an atmosphere of self control and a self policing within the group. Both parties engage in it. But the party in power always appears to be the most evil when it engages in it.

Well heck, actually the Republicans have taken this to new levels. But they do in public, what the democratic Party's splinter groups do in private.

It's an old argument, that the Democratic Party is divisive and uses it's fear to divide itself, while the Republican Party uses fear to unite. And I don't think that will change.

And I don't see how it matters. As long as both parties are driven by fear and controlled centrally by the same corporations, they will be played by the media against each other, as some crazed 'Punch and Judy Show'.

We've had it easy for too many years. The old generation that used to fight for their rights, the ones that fought in the union picket lines are dying off. The current generation is happy to let their rights slip away while they watch TV. I believe that the American People are unhappy about these events. But we're ignorant as a people as to the means to fight back. In previous generations, if the party was doing something that its constituents didn't like, folks picketed, rioted, threw things and made their voice heard.

This generation isn't capable of doing these things, because we've never felt the hunger and the thirst that our grandparents knew.

The only way that politics will change is when both parties are ripped out of the hands of the international corporations that own them. And that won't happen until times turns and those parties can't find corporate sponsership worth having.

Some folks think I'm trolling when I call the Mark Foley affair a short term issue. They say I'm raining their parade when I say it'll blow over in less than two weeks. I stepped on some toes and bruised some feelings. They told me to go away.

This affair is exactly like all the other sleight of hand tricks we've seen come out the Karl Rove camp. Mark Foley was gonna go down, the questions was, when would it be most politically useful to stage it? And in the midst of the Senate Hearings on the Torture Bill, was an excellent time.

The amoral Republicans won't care about this event. The moral Republicans will be outraged for a time, and then after a few days of watching television, will forget and forgive.

Enjoy the party. Have a nice parade. I apologize for not getting excited.

Like Maggots On A Dead Cat

"A Story told by Pete Seeger"

"There were two maggots, on the blade of a shovel. Someone picked up the shovel, slung it over his shoulder and started down the road. As he walked along, the shovel was jarred with each step. The maggots hung on for dear life, but ultimately, they fell off.

One fell into a crack in the pavement, and the other fell into a cat - a very large, very dead cat - lying beside the road. The one who fell into the dead cat, immediately began to eat.

He ate and ate and ate. Finally after three days, when he couldn't eat anymore, he humped himself up over the edge of the road and began to look for his brother. He came to the crack in the highway, and peered into it.

"Are you down there brother?" he called.

"Yes, I've been down here for three days without a bite to eat or a drop to drink and I am nearly starved to death. But you, you are so sleek and fat! To what do you attribute your success?"

"Brains and personality, brother, brains and personality."

The Republican Party has known for years that Mark Foley is a pedophile.

Bush has been illegally wiretapping for years. There's been some rumors that the good people of the US Congress have been illegally wiretapped.

So its extremely likely the White House has evidence of Mark Foley's misdeeds.

So why was he exposed Thursday and resigned Friday? Why did it happeWhyhen? why not sooner? Why not later?

Perhaps it had something to do with legislation being debated in the Senate? You know the bill, the one that allows the US Military to capture and detain US citizens secretly, to be tortured. The one that removes all rights from anyone that they capture? The one that creates an American Gulag System?

In politics, coincidences pile up like maggots on a dead cat. Amazing Eh? And so lucky! Or is it brains and personality? It might well be.

Mark Foley as a way of atoning for being a habitual pedophile, has entered and alcoholic treatment program. That way he doesn't have to go to prison, get beaten up and buggered, like other pedophiles do. He's a special Republican Congressman Pedophile and so won't have to pay his debt to society.

In the meantime, on Radio, TV and in print, the Republican Spin Machine is going like mad.

According to Republican Morality, engaging pedophilia is as bad as consensual adults engaging in sex. When a middle aged man has an affair with a nineteen year old consenting woman, it's no different than a middle aged man having sex with children.

And that's more of the new morality from the part that says torture is 'Good and Wholesome' (Rush Limbaugh).

Pedophilia is the same as heterosexual adults engaging in consensual sex? No wonder the Republican Party thinks that torture is 'Good and Wholesome'! Their moral compasss is whacked!