Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stacking the Court

There's a big hullabaloo about Bush's nomination of Roberts for the Supreme Court, and whether he rushed the nomination in order to take attention off Rove and Scooter Libby. Some people laugh at the notion, but they weren't laughing when Clinton was accused of ordering bombing to take the heat off the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

This is a big deal, sure. But, compared to the Plame affair, it's small potatoes. The fact that this treasonous act came from the White House puts in question (at least to me) whether a President complicit in the betrayal of a secret agent and the exposure of hundreds of contacts specifically engaged in the search for WMDs can be trusted to choose a Supreme Court justice.

Whatever may be said about Clinton (and plenty is) it's hard to argue that he would put the needs of his party or himself above the needs of the American people. Some would, but some would also argue the Earth is flat.

People are terrified that Roe vs. Wade will be overturned, and thus turn back the clock to the days before legal abortion. Added to the issue of pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions and you have a strong indication that women are to be considered second-class citizens, their rights and privileges curtailed except in instances where a male authority figure agrees with them. In this respect it seems fundamentalist Christianity isn't all that different than fundamentalist Islam. Two sides of the same coin.

If the electronic voting machines didn't hand the election to Bush (and there's considerable controversy over this very possibility) a small majority of Americans chose to slide a knife into the backs of their fellow Americans by voting this man into office again. Most deeply betrayed, I think, are the women in this country.

Very sad. They deserve better.

It may take years to repair the damage these knuckleheads have done. I just pray (figure of speech) that we have the time to do so before we run out of oil or China calls in its markers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dare I call it treason?


It's treason to reveal the identity of a secret operative dedicated to hunting down WMDs. It's treason to attempt to attempt to obfuscate the truth of the matter behind partisan politics.

It is treason to continually lie to the American public, to manufacture or use someone else's manufactured evidence in order to wage war against an already crippled nation.

It is treason to attempt to subvert the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States.

It is treason to put the welfare of a select few oligarchs before the welfare of the citizens of the United States

It is treason to deprive ordinary citizens of their voting rights in order to secure a certain election result.

It is treason to put the welfare of a specific political party before the welfare of the United States as a nation.

It is treason to work on behalf of a corrupt government in order to help it subvert the Constitution of the United States, to abandon journalistic ethics in order to further the campaign of disinformation that is the lifeblood of this current administration.

In my view the whole of the Republican Party, and its supporters, are guilty of treason, of the deliberate destruction of the Bill of Rights and other Contitutional protections.

I speak now of the Patriot Act, the "Real ID" act, and the actions of the FBI when, under the direction of this administration, spends taxpayer monies to monitor the activities of a group as generally innocuous as the ACLU. This administration has deliberately violated the Oath of Office taken by the President and Vice President to uphold the Constitution and, in so doing, has rendered all policy decisions and bills signed into law nothing more than fruit from a poisonous tree.

And, thus, null and void.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Burn THIS book, please

Okay--I think I've figured out the key to success as an author. I have to annoy some book-burning wingnut just enough to throw a nice public tantrum.

Hear that, wingnut?

I personally think book-burners are a perfect example of the worst segment of the population--people driven by ignorance and fear of knowledge.

Yeah, there's magic in my books. And vampires and lycanthropes as heroes! And book-burning type wingnuts as villains! Or, rather, deluded superstitious assholes being manipulated by a race of carnivorous aliens intent on destroying the civilizations of Earth in order to feed their voracious appetite for technology and human flesh.

You all catch that? You book-burning wingnuts are being USED by a bunch of evil aliens.

So, please, feel free to buy and burn as many copies of my book as you want, you poor deluded bastards.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Rending the myths about Liberals

1. They're for abortion.

No. Personally I'm against abortion. But what I'm for is giving ALL humans capable of making decisions the RIGHT to make decisions about their own bodies. It's between them, their healthcare provider, and their God. It has nothing to do with the rest of us.

2. They're for gun control.

If, by this, you mean, they're for people controlling their guns, yeah. I believe in safe, responsible gun ownership. AND the ability to hit one's target.

3. They're for rampant taxation.

Personally I prefer Intelligent Taxation. I want to see our money spent wisely, with all due consideration. I want to see schools built to code, with all the newest technology, but without the huge marble edifices (contractor boondoggle) that some people seem to think are necessary. A school needs to do what it's built to do--it doesn't have to look particularly pretty.

When I pass a road crew working, I want to see five people working and (at the most) ONE person watching...not the other way around.

Don't YOU?

4. They're for unlimited social programs.

I want to see social programs that MAKE SENSE. I want to see a safety net capable of catching someone who needs help, getting them back on their feet, and making them MORE productive members of society than they would have been without that assistance. I want to see welfare recipients go out and get a job that pays more into the system than it takes out.

I want to streamline programs, eliminate bureaucratic waste, and make them more easily reformed when necessary to deal with new developments and new technologies.

5. They're pacifists and appeasers.

Come say that to my face. ;) Seriously--I believe in restricting conflict to when it's absolutely necessary. War against an overt aggressor is one thing...war against a 'notion' or 'idea' is something else. Terrorists are criminals, not soldiers. One hunts them down, arrests them, indicts them, and puts them on trial. One does not attack a country allegedly hoping that all the terrorists flock there and die in glorious battle.

6. They're anti-business.

I'm anti-corruption. When the needs of businesses outweigh the needs of the people who SUPPORT those businesses--as employees or customers--I've got an issue with it. When legislation comes along that inflates profit at the expense of the taxpayers who keep businesses running, I'm against it.

7. They don't have any constructive ideas.

We have plenty of ideas. Ours just aren't delivered in bombastic fashion by a complicit media that prefers sensationalism to substance.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

What debt?

All ideological differences aside, and all discussions about the morality of the war in Iraq put in the closet for the time being, it's time we started talking about the economic repercussions of this war.

It's bankrupting us. Between it and tax cuts, we're watching the national debt slide into a monolithic sinkhole that our Chinese creditors are probably chuckling over RIGHT NOW.

From the beginning I said this war was a mistake--not only because I didn't believe Saddam had WMDs, but because I knew the cost of a lengthy occupation would be terrible to bear, not only in terms of human suffering but also economically.

The Republicans USED to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but now it seems they're having fun throwing a big party for their corporate friends, with war profiteering the greatest giveway to the wealthy this country has ever seen. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and China is buying up our debt like a broken-nosed bookie trying to get his hooks into a mayoral candidate with a gambling problem.

The RWers can throw all the "partisan" shrieks out they want to, but the fact of the matter remains, their hero, G.W. is so fiscally irresponsible that the only way out of this for us will be to turn the country back over to the Democrats and hope to whatever God you believe in that the sort of fiscal sensibilities that marked the Clinton years become the dominant mindset for the next few decades.

Or else we are seriously screwed as a nation.

It's official...the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Representative Peter King (I'm sure he'd like a THE stuck between the two names) had this to say the other day.

"And Joe Wilson has no right to complain. And I think people like Tim Russert and the others, who gave this guy such a free ride and all the media, they're the ones to be shot, not Karl Rove."

Let me get this straight. This guy, this elected representative, is advocating the shooting of reporters because they give air time to someone he disagrees with?

I don't know about you, but I've got a problem with that.

Why are they working so hard to discredit Joe Wilson? This is a guy who--until he had the temerity to contradict this administration--was considered one of the best in his able ambassador who served this country faithfully not only in Iraq, but in several other Mid-Eastern and African nations. We're supposed to believe that, because of one statement (one that just happened to be true) he's become just another liberal America-hater.

The Republican attack dogs are vicious, and are spinning this story so hard they're going to end up counteracting the Earth's rotation. What is WRONG with these people?

Oh, yeah. I already know the answer to that. Power attracted the corruptible and the people stopped paying attention. The media stopped doing its job and gave THEM a free ride for nearly five years.

I'm watching these developing stories with a great deal of interest. Is it possible that this administration's web of lies is beginning to unravel?


Time will tell.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Daily smartass-isms

“John Bolton--Desperado Diplomat."
"Chickenhawk--walk the walk or squawk the squawk."
"You can't oppose abortion AND effective birth control. Pick One!"
"Plame on!" (for the Fantastic 4 buffs out there).
Kansas—the land that evolution forgot.
(Insert picture of Rove here)
"Treason--not just for spies anymore."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

An example of "fixing the intelligence around the policy."

The RW pundits and RW wacko politicians are pounding us with a set of talking points about the Rove/Plame/Wilson affair, obviously written by someone with some skill at spin (hmmm...Karl Rove, perhaps?)...and all the Democrats can do is sputter feebly at the WH about how he should be fired?

Where's the goddam MESSAGE? Why is it that the Republicans can stay on subject and fire bullet after bullet while the Dems stand back and insist on fighting the war like a bunch of snipers rather than any kind of real coalition?

How has 'outing an intelligent agent' good for National Security? Who else in the WH knew he'd done it? How far UP does this go? Cheney? Hey, there's someone who's been out of the spotlight lately. How's Dick doing, anyway?

Every single Dem with a set of vocal cords should be shouting from the rooftops by now. Warning! Warning! National Security comes second to Republican partisan wrangling! Republican Party Script mandatory for ALL foreign agents of the U.S. government--whether CIA or Diplomatic corps. Forget about the truth! If you're an American, you're a REPUBLICAN.

They told you what to say!

Remember "You're either WITH US or AGAINST US!" Translation: "If you step out of line, we'll throw you to the wolves.

"The sheer unmitigated GALL of these corrupt assholes sinks into my skull until I think it's going to explode from the pressure.

And I hear recent polls don't show the Democrats gaining much ground. Why is that? Oh, yeah...because there's no UNITY among Dems. We don't need our reps parroting one another, but we sure as hell need them to start using the same DAMN LANGUAGE.

It's easy, guys. "Looks like Rove's a traitor." "What do you call someone who abets a traitor?--a collaborator. A fellow conspirator. Accessory before, during, AND/OR after the fact." "How many of our agents did this leak kill?" "Is that how this administration rewards those who serve America? By putting their lives on the line every day?"

Not a crime? Okay, let's assume this to be the case, though I have SERIOUS doubts about this one...Who the fuck told Rove it wasn't a crime BEFORE he did it? Did he know it wasn't a crime? Did he care?Who's next? That's what the CIA ops are asking themselves. If they bring back intelligence this nitwit regime doesn't want to hear, will THEY be tossed in the lion den next time?

This administration has a lot to answer for. See, one thing the mainstream press is trying to forget...this whole mess PROVES the Downing Street Memos.

ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION? Why hasn't ONE of our guys stood up and said, calmly, "Well, I guess we no longer have to wonder about the Downing Street Memos, wouldn't you say?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Red Rover, Red Rover, send the traitor on over.

If Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's identity to reporters, knowing it endangered her life, the life of agents under her, and compromised the search for WMDs, in Iraq and elsewhere, he deserves more than to be fired...he deserves to be prosecuted as a traitor. As does anyone who shields him.

I find it highly suggestive that both Plame and her husband, the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, were outspoken in their opposition to this administration's claims of WMDs in Iraq, and such a move as 'outing' Plame was apparently calculated to effectively silence them. Plame’s branch of the CIA was telling the administration that there weren’t any WMDs in Iraq. Tracking such information WAS her job, after all. And we have every reason to believe she was good at it.

The fact that we haven't found WMDs in Iraq wasn't because of an intelligence failure. It was, rather, due to deliberate sabotage of CIA operations in the area guilty of uncovering information the Bush administration didn’t want to hear.

So it appears the ‘outing’ had two purposes. To get back at Joe Wilson for not going along with the script regarding the alleged fissionable materials purchased from Niger, and for Valerie Plame herself daring to contradict the administration’s stance on Iraq and WMDs.

I, personally, find it not only deplorable, but deeply disturbing.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Hate America?

Where do these idiots get this idea? They fling it off the cuff as if it means something. "Liberals hate America."

We hate some of the shortsighted, wrongheaded, callous strategies the Right (Wrong) Wing espouses, the ones that leave thousands of American soldiers dead or maimed, tens of thousands of innnocent people dead or wounded, and returning vets without proper care because their benefits have been sliced to ribbons.

We hate the policies that pretend to consider education important, while underfunding any program that actually promotes educational opportunities.

We hate the policies that refuse to allow a living wage to American workers, yet subsidize what amounts to slave labor in other parts of the world.

We hate the fact that the media goes along with all the lies and disinformation this administration spews like vomit after sixteen straight shots of rotgut whiskey.

We hate that, despite having some of the best medical technology in the world, many Americans are one critical injury or illness away from abject poverty...or a lifetime of debt.

We hate the fact that some people use a religion that was originally meant to be all-encompassing (remember the compassion of Jesus Christ and compare it to the lack of compassion in those who claim to follow Him) to slander and spit upon people who don't see things the same way.

We hate that some people think it's better to be polluters than the kind of people who want to STOP pollution. We hate the fact that some people think it's better to be the folks throwing mercury into the water, or noxious filth into the air, than the kind of "treehuggers" who want to stop this sort of stuff.

No, we don't hate America. We just hate the sort of Americans that make us regret sharing a country with them, who do things in OUR name that we're not proud of, and say things that make us want to scream in absolute disdain "WE DIDN'T AGREE TO THIS!"

We LOVE what America could have been--the ideal that evil, selfish people have stolen away...we love the REAL America, not this changeling child those people have tried to put in its place.

Talk about the ultimate bait and switch.

Friday, July 08, 2005

A eulogy of sorts

A man died yesterday...a crusader...someone who saw a broken system and fought hard to see it fixed. I did not know him personally, nor did I even exchange posts with him more than (possibly) once. I wasn't around DU long enough, I'm afraid.

He died, partially, because of another broken system. Despite the help of hundreds of others, who gathered the money together to pay for the expensive medical treatment that gave him the only chance of survival, he failed to withstand the onset of pancreatic cancer that brought him down. It cost him 50,000 dollars to even attempt to save his life.

That's simply amazing.

Andy Stephenson's personal crusade was against electronic ballots without a verifiable paper receipt. I applaud him for this, and hope that others take up his battle with as much passion as he had.

Goodbye Andy. You live on in the hearts and minds of many fellow travelers.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hell on Earth

I spent the first part of the day in something of a daze. The attacks in London were among my first bits of information this morning when I got up.

Truly horrible. I hate that people anywhere think that this is the way to get their point across. Whatever that point happens to be.

I just want to offer my condolences to the families of those lost, and my best wishes to those who were injured in the blasts. I'd offer up a prayer, but, as anyone who's read through the blog would know, that would be a bit disingenuous of me. My best wishes and hopes are the best I can extend.

May the future hold more happiness than sorrow for all of us.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Open letter to the Press

To whom it may concern:

Yes, I realize that you feel as though you've been attacked now that one of your own is looking at jail time for refusing to give up her source.Yes, this is a development that disturbs those of us who truly support the First Amendment.

We understand that confidential sources can be as important to the Press as they can be to the police.

On the other hand...your remarkable silence in the face of almost overwhelming corruption on the part of the Republicans currently in power made such a move on the part of true justice seekers nearly inevitable.

You stopped doing your job. It has been left up to bloggers and on-line discussion groups to disseminate the news you haven't seen fit to cover.When you, the press, become complacent and complicit in crimes against America, you lose your privileges. When your anchors and reporters become just another part of the Republican spin machine, you cease to be members of the free press and become just another voice in the wind.

The reporters in question become accomplices in the commission of a High Crime against the American people, an act that jeopardized our security and placed thousands of our young men and women in harm's way in furtherance of a lie.

I would say "shame on you," but it's become clear ever since the Iraq war began that you have no shame.

So shame on us, the American people, for allowing you to fool us for so long.

Never again.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Democratic Oath of Good Government

Sometime back someone mentioned the need to come up with our OWN "Contract with America," though it was pointed out that "Contract with" was easily replaced with "Contract on" which, while true in the Republican case, wouldn't work so well for us.

So. I've been pondering all day at work, and this is what I've come up with so far. I'm thinking of this as an oath a prospective Democratic Candidate might take as part of their campaign...their signature on a written oath, whatever...


1. I will not vote to raise my own salary until I can guarantee that each of you has adequate healthcare and is at least moving toward a living wage

2. I will provide transparency of government, excepting where national security is TRULY at stake.

3. I will never vote for war without irrefutable evidence that it is necessary, and, should a war become necessary, promise not to vote for any military action without clearly defined goals and an exit strategy.

4. I will never take money from veterans or our retired citizens to provide funding for other government programs.

5. I will never make medical decisions for you, leaving that between you and your doctor.

6. I will never spend your money unwisely, nor silently stand by while others do so.

7. I vow to take your voice as seriously as I take the voice of any other citizen, individual or corporate.

In addition, these have been suggested by other Democratic Underground members...

8. I will fight to make higher education and job-training programs available to all, to provide anybody willing to work to better themselves access to a quality, well-paying job.

(Rephrased as) I will fight to make higher education and job training accessible to all.

9. I will fight for a clean environment because we all have to live here.

10. I will not vote for any legislation I have not read.

11. I will vote to fund innovations in renewable energy and strive to free America from our dependence on foreign oil.

12. I will strive to see that ALL Americans receive equal treatment under the law.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Changing the dialogue

Progressive counter-talking-points from myself and other Democratic Underground Posters.

Tax-relief vs. Intelligent Taxation: “Use our taxes to help our neighbors, not hurt them.”

War on Terror vs. Criminal Prosecution: “Target terrorists, not innocent people.”

War on Drugs vs. Harm Reduction: “Save our police and prisons for killers, rapists, and thugs.”

Pro-Choice vs. Personal Liberty: “REAL Americans don’t surrender their bodies to their government.”

Liberal Media vs. Corporate Media: “A press that supports Corporate America over Citizen America is NOT a liberal media.”

Patriotism vs. Nationalism: "Nationalism argues that America can do no wrong. Patriotism is pointing out where it IS doing wrong."

Gun control vs. Firearm Safety: "Ensure safe and responsible gun ownership."

Outsourcing vs. Slave Labor. “Stealing jobs from Americans to exploit foreign workers is NOT a moral value.”