Sunday, September 30, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I have struggled at certain times with this blog. But it has been and continues to be a great learning experience, and a means of expression that has helped me immensely in learning mostly about myself and how I encounter and respond to the world.
It's forced me to take a look at the prejudices and assumptions I carry around with me, look for their source, but most importantly, examine them for their truth in the face of reality. Although truth and reality can be subjective, I am grateful to my boyfriend, a lifelong journalist, who regularly reminds me not to jump to any conclusions until I've rounded up as many pieces of the tale from every possible source. Technology, travel and encountering people from all over the world have helped to bring information together very quickly. My opinions are still forming and will probably continue to do so for the rest of my life.
Anger is what brought me to this blogging effort. Anger about corporate America, about America's politics, about religious fanaticism, about a paternalistic warmongering controlling authoritarian approach to the management of our country and our relationships with our global neighbors. But I was mostly angry about the fallout and victims of these entities and practices, like the suffering of many people that is ignored, brushed aside or purposely hidden away by a pampered, self-indulgent and ignorant elite.
But I have my own anger, deep inside of me. About rape, and abuse, and being victimized and marginalized as a woman, employee, person. Anger that is not expressed, manifests itself in depression, paralysis, self-abuse or uncontrollable rage. If all of us were honest, we would admit to having this kernel of anger in our bellies. Statistically, one in six American women, and one in 33 American men have been sexually assaulted, and 44% of those victims are under the age of 18. This doesn't count the crimes that have not been reported. So if I have 13 readers, it's safe to say that at least 2 of you are angry too.
There have been times when I believed that this anger I carry is SO BIG that it can bring a plane down, crash a car, kill people. I've spent half a lifetime trying to be "nice" and dress accordingly, so that nobody would know the horrible, festering, dark anger that I kept in its correct place at all times. This was not healthy. But neither was standing naked on top of a building and screaming bloody murder for three days until all the tortured ghouls and goblins were exorcised from my body.
Instead, I took up blogging. Which is the electronic format of standing naked on top of a building and screaming bloody murder for three days until all the tortured ghouls and goblins were exorcised from my body.
So I approached this blog with trepidation, on tiptoes, and with every strongly-worded post, I ducked under my covers and waited for the fallout. With a total of 13 subscribers, you can imagine that there hasn't been much of a fallout. Not even one Troll comment from a right-wing nut case. The only fallout so far is that I recently lost a subscriber, a friend of ours who I used to spar with since he is Republican and also Christian. But I am ok with his choice to opt out. We all get to pick the people, things and issues with which we spend our precious time. It's our right as human beings. He was nice enough to humor me by reading my blog for a little while.
It was actually this friend that just unsubscribed that said something to me early in my blogging, which stopped me in my tracks for a while. He said, "You are so angry in your blog." And because I have always feared my anger so much, I swallowed that simple sentence as a poison pill and stopped writing altogether for a while. But over time, I realized that my blog tag line was "It's never too late to be pissed off." So, yes, I AM angry. That's the theme of my blog. For better or worse. So I started writing again, except this time I pulled out the stops and let the anger go forth and, well, multiply.
I think anger has its place in our lives. It's pretty much ok, even admired, when men get angry. But women? Not so much. Look at that guy called Jesus, in that book that a whole bunch of old men wrote called The Bible. He got REALLY pissed off at the vendors in the temple and flew into enough of a rage to upend the vendors' tables. I think The Mens (those in charge of The Churches) called what he did "righteous wrath." An unfortunate term that is also used and abused by people today who have nasty intentions.
It's all hearsay, I know. But this guy Jesus is revered worldwide as the son of some supreme being called God, and evidently he came down to earth to help all of us blundering fools be better human beings by offering himself as an example of LOVE. Or at least I think that was his message. Sometimes his message is a bit skewed by people who want to use it to promote something much more nefarious, like hatred of gays and Muslims, and, and, and.
So that guy who had the message of LOVE could also get awfully pissed off. Which qualifies him as a former (now dead, but some people insist he's still alive, like Elvis) human being. Inside one person, there are many contradicting forces, which drive us in different directions, until we learn our way. So, me and Jesus are alike. (The Christian fundamentalists are now purple with apoplexy) I just spend more time right now tossing tables around the temple than teaching the power of love.
And I'll tell you one thing I know for sure. When Jesus knocked over all those tables and threw a hissie fit, he was and still is respected. If a woman did that? She'd be hauled off to the loony bin or at best, deeply medicated.
Which brings me, in a long and roundabout way, to the subject of this post. I am saddened by the direction our country is going, and deeply depressed as I now face the fact that what I suspected all along, that the Democrats don't have the fucking gonads to effect this "change" they've all been yammering about, is now, or will soon be, confirmed. Those bastards are going to fund the continuance of the Iraq occupation, and if we aren't careful, Lieberman and Kyl will slip the declaration of war against Iran into a bill so that Darth Cheney can have his way with the Middle East.
It doesn't matter anymore how angry I am. I can't say fuck enough, or stamp my feet enough, to make a difference. And I have no hope that the American people will get angry with me and put down their fucking gameboys or turn off Star Search long enough to get out in front of their local government buildings and protest loudly against the genocide that our government is continuing to perpetrate against the Iraqi people, funded by our very own tax dollars.
So I am considering a change in direction. I have shitloads of energy. I can write like a banshee. I can do voice over and on-camera work and produce videos. I understand the concepts of marketing and PR and have practiced them for years, for shithole corporate fear products like insurance. I would like to somehow put all of this skill and energy towards effecting positive change in the world. I want to roll my sleeves up and work hard for something useful. I'm tired, frankly, of just bitching.
So, a while back I read this article and then today I found their new website, so I wrote to these guys to see if they needed any help. Meanwhile, because I think they have the best idea since sliced bread, one that transcends global, religious and political boundaries to solve problems, I am going to begin to research and tell their story, and the stories of the people that make up their group, and keep track of where they go and what they do.
Stay tuned. And if you miss my anger, I'm sure I can muster some up along the way.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I have been trying, with a good measure of success until just recently, to separate the teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, rabid, slobbering angry venting of this political blog ... from my perverse, slutty, self-absorbed and delightfully nasty essays on my life at my other blog.
So, early on I decided to separate church and state and have a "Lives and Times" blog and a separate "I Hate The Patriarchal, War-Mongering, Right-Wing, Dick-Wanking, Corporate American Life" blog.
Well it turns out, 7 months later, and much to your amazement, I'm sure, very few people in my family and a tiny few of my friends actually bother reading anything I write so, my blogging friends, total strangers whom I've had the pleasure of meeting while actually being myself for the first time in my life, the coast is fucking clear.
I'm not sure why, but in the beginning (before God created the bugs and trees), I had this hilarious notion that my family would read my main blog and disown me if I said anything political beyond "I will obey the patriarchy." So I started this blog to vent my political outrage. Only one niece has subscribed, for which I give her credit, because the family scorn can be quite terrible. She's a sensible girl, even though she used to get excited about living in DC and watching Dick Cheney's limo convoy going off to work each morning ... with Scooty Libby in the back seat plotting the outing of Valerie Plame. But who's paying attention to details, ya know?
I also thought that if I included my political views in my main blog, some of my friends back in Arizona would be offended and harrumph off to their nice little consumer-driven, SUV- and Harley-driving Disneyland lives and nod to each other over $50 bottles of wine and illegal Cuban cigars, after paying cash to the illegal aliens who clean their house and whom they hope their right-wing votes will eventually deport, because those fuckers have the nerve to suck us Americans dry of all our social services, and are filling up the rooms of all our hospitals and doctor's office waiting rooms. (I've had to wait in line behind them hundreds of times, haven't you?) We need to get rid of all the brown people, you know, because they sure do clutter things up. But hopefully they'll get the yard and the house clean before they go back to their homelands. And maybe we can get a bunch of pasty white "real" Americans to work in the kitchens of our $35-per-plate hip and trendy restaurants, muck out the toilets, or definitely wash the dishes in those taco joints that we love so much when we're in the mood for "slummin' it."
Meanwhile, in between tokes of their illegal Mexican sinsemilla designer pot, (I'm still talking about my friends here; not their Mexican laborers), they never ever discuss the BILLIONS of their own tax dollars that have fueled an illegal and totally fucking worthless war that has killed thousands of US soldiers (oh well, they were poor and it was a risk those kids took to better their lives by joining the military. We're grateful that those hillbillies joined up because our own kids were too busy fucking off in college to join up for this war that we completely support.) and killed over a million Iraqis and put another 2 million Iraqis out of their homes.
No. They just talk about how whacked that Lisa Wines has become - moving off to France with her rock n' roll journalist boyfriend and selling everything she owns for a pittance so she can become a writer.
But I'm not bitter. Not at all.
I don't think I'll have any friends or family left after this post, but what the heck, who's paying attention to details anyway?
Here are the two recent posts over at my other blog with some political snarky talk, in case you aren't subscribed to both of my blogs:
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. It is entitled Enraged Macaroni and depicts a woman fish vendor holding fish in the face of a dandy who is pulling a knife from a sheath, as another woman, in the window behind him, cuts his hair. What attracted me was my name over the top of the door: Wines.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This made me burst out laughing. This is a pretty mild French music video, but some right-wing nutter Brownback blog declared Why France Is Our Enemy because of it.
Here's a little snippet from the blog (so you won't have to go there - but actually, the comments are fucking hilarious):
This is the pinnacle of French culture- a debauched and depraved temptress cavorting about for the tittilation of the vilest and most sinful instincts within us. (I must warn you, please do not allow your children to watch this video.)First of all, he needs to learn to spell tit-illation. Secondly, when someone tells you NOT to watch something, isn't it the FIRST thing you want to do? So...DON'T watch this video, and when you're done (and disappointed by the tameness), please read more hilarity below the video.
So, this freak of a website led to my boyfriend clicking around on it (because I was too busy spewing to do so) and he was rolling around laughing. Here's one of the comments on one of the blogs:
Pastor Tobin Maker Says:Oh please let me be on the message board so you can smote me too! OOH OOH!
June 17th, 2007 at 7:41 am
Mrs Taffy Gaines-Crockett! Is that you? Oh, happy day! It’s been years since we praised Baby Jesus together and smote heathens on the old message board.
Then this, if I may be so sinful as to use the devil's language, French, is the coup de grâce:
Loving Wife Spanking in a Christian Marriage
If we are talking about depravity then exactly who is depraved? I'm sooooo confused.
Now, the next abomination (oh I love these words) was the Baptists for Brownback website that has decided to call "Rape" by a different name, U.S.E or Unplanned Sexual Event. These people are freaks of nature and laughable, until you realize a) how many of them there are out there and b) Sam Brownback is a freaking presidential hopeful. Man I am glad I am in the devil's land of France. You just don't know how happy I am to be here. Anyway, here's some of their insanity:
Sam Brownback is was the inspiration for this grassroots campaign called, “Cry USE not RAPE”. We have concluded that the acronym U.S.E. (Unplanned Sexual Event), when used regularly to replace the word “rape”, will remove the stigma associated with this sometimes unpleasant situation. It is our mission to protect the innocent lives of the babies that are part of His plan and eliminate the excuses given by many women when a precious baby just isn’t convienient.
Mrs. Billy Ray "Suzzanna Beth" Simpkins Says:
June 18th, 2007 at 3:23 pm Frank Lee, I done know how some of these harlots can claim with a strate face that ANY sexual activitiy was UNPLANNED when you look under their too-short skirts and find that they have shaved and carefully groomed there lady areas! If you ask me and Jesus, those tramps are UP FOR ANYTHING! EVEN BLACK MEN!...
Lynelle - Editor Says:
June 18th, 2007 at 9:34 pm Amen Kristine. The Bible says “Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to
uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness (Aunt Flow visiting).” (Leviticus 18:19 KJV) “Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation.” (Leviticus 15:26 KJV) When Aunt Flow visits I just stay in the pool house until the Biblical time has passed. I will not submit my husband to my time of uncleanliness. During this week I don’t take any chances when it comes to my family. They can call me on my cell phone and I leave them casseroles in the freezer but I do not have phyiscal contact with any of them. I have my body trained so that by Saturday my visitor leaves and come Sunday I cam clean and can return to my family and church. PTL! Thank you so much for adding your comments. I know that Sam Brownback comes by here and I hope he will see what the Christian people want from our next president. God Bless!
So I got all riled up, for a couple of reasons, when I read this Huffington Post Headline:
I immediately assumed that the "religious enlightenment" was Christian fundamentalism. I also hated the phrase "bend them back to our will." blech.
But then I read the actual article on the Washington Post website, and learned a few interesting things:
- Enlightenment training is taught by Muslim clerics who teach a "moderate doctrine"
- Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq who came up with this program, speaks Arabic and said he reads the Koran daily
- Stone's staff members include a specialist in Islamic youth programs and he has also put together "a positive program that has been proven in Islam to actually turn the kids around to sort of reject some of these other things."
- Stone described a sort of religious insurgency that occurred at one detention facility on Sept. 2. "We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic."
- Other elements of Stone's program are being developed. He said he has created a "transition-out barracks" where detainees being released discuss civics and human rights. He has also begun a "huge, expensive" Rand Corp. research study on detainee motivation and morale and has plans for a major communication campaign.
- He said he also wants to provide jobs for released detainees. "I'm not naive," Stone said. "If they don't have any income, they're going to go back" to the insurgency.
- Of 60 people invited to Stone's presentation, only 4 bloggers showed up
But I will look forward to the day where we don't have to be such hard asses and force people to "bend to our will."
Monday, September 17, 2007
I have a friend named Arthur whom I met through this blog. From time to time he emails me with extremely interesting reading materials, which I have vowed to boil down and write about on this blog but haven't gotten around to it yet.
The other day, after my post about being so far behind and feeling defeated by the neocons, and where I misspelled "feeling" as "felling," Arthur emailed me and said, "Your last post struck a cord. I feel the same way. Not that I want to depress you further, but I thought that you might want to see this."
Segments of the article are below. It is worth reading in its entirety.
Arthur's right. It is depressing, especially the fact that Congressional Democrats are refocusing on domestic issues and giving up on ending the war because they say they don't have enough votes to avoid veto. They are fucking silent about their constitutional ability to block funding for this war.
In that, they are complicit in this despicable war, occupation and genocide.
By Patrick Martin
15 September 2007
As part of its campaign to justify a long-term US occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration has increasingly resorted to warning of chaos and even genocide in the wake of a withdrawal of American troops. But a new report suggests that something akin to genocide is already taking place, under American auspices.
The British polling agency ORB reported Thursday that the death toll in Iraq since the 2003 US invasion has passed the one million mark.
According to ORB, US-occupied Iraq, with an estimated 1.2 million violent deaths, has “a murder rate that now exceeds the Rwanda genocide from 1994 (800,000 murdered),” with another one million wounded and millions more driven from their homes into internal or external exile.
ORB (Opinion Research Business), which has conducted polls in Iraq since 2005, released the findings of a survey of 1,461 adults across the country. Among other questions, it asked: “How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (i.e., as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)? Please note that I mean those who were actually living under your roof.”
Of those responding, 78 percent said their households had experienced no violent deaths, 16 percent had experienced one death, 5 percent two deaths, 1 percent three deaths or more. Given the number of households in the country, 4,050,597 according to 2005 census figures, this works out to nearly 1.2 million deaths.
By far the worst death rate was in Baghdad, where nearly half of all those interviewed reported at least one violent death in their household. The reported death rate in Diyala province (Baquba) was 42 percent, and in Ninewa province (Mosul), 35 percent.
The survey found that 48 percent of the violent deaths were due to gunshot wounds, 20 percent to car bombs, 9 percent to aerial bombardment, 6 percent to other ordnance or explosions, and 6 percent to accidents.
The ORB study was made public on the same day that President Bush went on national television to deliver a report on conditions in Iraq that was nothing short of delusional. With a million Iraqis dead, a million wounded, and four to five million displaced, Bush hailed the return of “normal life” to the devastated country. “Sectarian killings are down, and ordinary life is beginning to return,” he said.
The Democratic Party is fully complicit in the creation of conditions of near-genocide in Iraq, since the congressional Democratic leadership has refused to cut off funding for a war which has cost the lives of more than one million Iraqis, as well as over 3,700 American soldiers.
In response to Bush’s Thursday night speech, there were renewed professions of impotence by leading Senate Democrats. Barack Obama, who began his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination touting his antiwar credentials, said the Democratic-controlled Congress could not force Bush to accept a deadline for ending the war.
“One way of ending the war would be setting a timetable,” he said in a speech in Iowa. “We’re about 15 votes short. Right now it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that many votes.”
Obama was referring to the 67 votes required in the Senate to override a presidential veto. He was silent on the fact that there are other constitutional methods of ending the war, such as refusing to appropriate the funds to finance it, which the Democratic congressional leadership has rejected.
Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, told Congressional Quarterly, “The truth is we don’t have the votes to end the war.” He said Senate Democrats would seek to “move the things that we can move on domestic issues” in order to “have tangible accomplishments,” rather than persist in debates on Iraq.
Other senators endorsed this view, including Charles Schumer of New York, who said, referring to the upcoming 2008 campaign, “This election is shaping up to be about change. Not only change in Iraq, but change at home.” Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado said, “The Democratic message has to focus on things that are good for the middle class. The war should not be the only issue.”
In the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not scheduled any vote on Iraq war policy this month, although the defense authorization bill still remains to be adopted for the fiscal year beginning October 1. All indications are that the congressional Democrats will rubber-stamp both the authorization and the emergency funding bill for the war, expected to approach $200 billion, which has not yet been sent to Congress by the Bush administration.
The silence from the Democratic and Republican parties and the media on the latest evidence of mass killing and social devastation in Iraq as a result of the US colonial war and occupation underscores the complicity of the entire American ruling elite and all of its official institutions in a war crime of catastrophic proportions.
In an interview with The Washington Post via Reuters:
"...Greenspan said at the time of the invasion he believed like President George W. Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction "because Saddam was acting so guiltily trying to protect something."
But Greenspan's main support for Saddam's ouster was economically motivated, the Post reported."My view is that Saddam, looking over his 30-year history, very clearly was giving evidence of moving towards controlling the Straits of Hormuz, where there are 17, 18, 19 million barrels a day" passing through," Greenspan said.
Even a small disruption could drive oil prices as high as $120 a barrel and would mean "chaos" to the global economy, Greenspan told the newspaper.Given that, "I'm saying taking Saddam out was essential," he said. But he added he was not implying the war was an oil grab, the Post said."
"Acting guiltily." That blows my mind. A grown man, who has access to and some degree of influence upon the President, makes a completely subjective assumption about the leader of a country in a culture about which Greenspan, and obviously when you look at the results of this terrible occupation, the entire Bush administration, knows very little. Let's see, those Japanese people were bowing a lot. That must mean they are guilty of something and are trying to hide it. It's like Greenspan is playing Clue and decides that the murderer of Colonel Mustard must be Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick, because after all, look how guilty Plum was acting.
As I stand back and look at this issue, something else occurred to me. It's how this administration, the neocons, etc. have been focusing on "securing" our access to Middle Eastern oil. All our noses are pointed at the Middle East and how we can make sure we have access to this dwindling resource. We use force and war and death and destruction and spend billions to try and achieve this secure access. But as Americans, famous for innovation, we have our backs turned, by and large, to alternative, and dare I say peaceful, fuel sources.
Imagine...if we had turned our attention and energy inward, looked at our country's brain trust and financial funding resources, put allllllllll that money we spent and are still pouring into this war, into the development of alternative fuel resources (and not coal, thank you very fucking much George, or nuclear fuel), we could kind of shrug our shoulders at the Middle East and say, "Oh thanks, but no, we don't need your stinkin' oil. We have something better, cheaper, more environmentally safe, more efficient. Oh, and by the way, after you guys run out of oil, and after you have killed each other trying to secure the last drops, you're welcome to buy energy from us. We might even give you a discount."
No Americans would have had to die in the above scenario. No war would have been fought. New companies and new technologies and more jobs would have resulted from the development of this new fuel resource. Corporations could have earned profits, God forbid.
We can only dream.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It doesn't matter how many people have been saying the Iraq war was all about oil, or how long we've been saying it. That's because we are all dirty hippies. Now someone "credible" like Greenspan says it, and the press is all over it like it's brand spanking new news.
Oh well. I'm happy somebody said it who was important enough to finally make it news. Now that thousands of people have died and millions have been displaced. It would have been nice if he had said it earlier, like while it was happening or at least on the day he quit, or something. Maybe he could have shifted the tide, helped us avoid the fucking surge. But what the fuck do I know.
Forever and a day I have been listening to Bush and other neocons speak publicly and say this phrase over and over again:
"...protect our interests in Iraq..."
What interests would that be? They don't say investments. Like France and Russia had invested for many years, prior to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, in the infrastructure of the oil industry in Iraq. They opposed the war because they actually had physical investments to protect and they knew a) their investments could be physically destroyed and/or b) their investments could be reallocated to others, like the US. I'm just guessing here but I don't think I'm way off base. I'm sure their publicly-stated reasons for opposing the war was about peace and love and all that. But none of the current world leaders make decisions for those reasons. It's always about money. Period.
Nobody that I know of, in the liberal or right wing media, ever focused on that phrase, "our interests in Iraq." There are all kinds of numbers bandied about, regarding the number of times propaganda words and phrases are repeated in Bush and other administration speeches in order to mesmerize and manipulate a pliable and gullible American public. But I haven't seen any stats on this phrase. What I'd like to know is, what interests specifically were and are we "protecting?"
I just did a keyword search for "interests" on the 90-page neocon document Rebuilding America's Defenses and it was used many times but never really defined. In the broad scope I am going to guess that it reflects the neocon belief that America must maintain strategic superiority worldwide by having the biggest and baddest militaristic force and presence in permanent bases worldwide, in order to protect American "interests" abroad. The linked document above is all about military force. It is the only thing that the neocons believe in. The word diplomacy is used TWICE in the entire document, and both times in derogatory terms.
The word "oil" is never mentioned. So the neocons as a group probably are more interested in making sure that America has the biggest dick, er, I mean, bludgeon. But Dick Cheney, George Bush Jr. and Sr. and their Saudi pals have a HUGE interest in oil. It will be interesting to watch the fallout from Greenspan's declaration...how the White House decides to trash it. How the traditional media will choose to cover it/ignore it/misrepresent it. What the blogosphere has to say about it all.
Update: I noticed in the New American Century (same authors of Securing document linked above) 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton, that oil is mentioned and at the same time, the neocons are pushing war with Iraq as the only solution because diplomacy was failing:
"The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy."
America didn't go to war with Iraq because of 9/11. They went to war with Iraq because the neocons have wanted to do so since 1998. 9/11 was just a gift on a silver platter - a way to get the American public to back the war.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Most of my cannon fodder on this blog comes from my indignant rage after reading some news on my FeedReader. Well...I am over 6000 articles behind in my reader. sigh. I remember the good old days when I was horrified that I was 1000 articles behind. It's time to glean what I read. There's only enough time in a 24-hour day.
Plus, I am felling a bit defeated by the neocons. I know that the Democrats in Congress don't have the balls to defy Bush and Cheney. This makes me sick to my stomach. We are stuck in this fucking occupation, destroying a country, meaninglessly sacrificing our soldiers and the Iraqi people. It is horrendous and disgusting and a whole basket full of other adjectives I don't feel like writing. It's all about power, control and oil and men with tiny, tiny dicks. Hate to boil it down but there ya go. Tiny dicks rule the world.
So, I'll be posting again soon. Thanks for your patience.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Introducing: President Jammeh of Gambia. He claims he can cure people of HIV and other diseases, with...
...peanuts and bananas.
One of the funnier scenes in here is how the American Ambassador sneaks off so he can avoid being in the film.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Pelosi says on The Gavel:
Comments on the post are closed. Gee, I wonder why?
Recent reports – the National Intelligence Estimate, and the GAO and Jones Commission reports – all document the widespread failure of the Iraqi government to meet critical political reform benchmarks set by President Bush himself in January.
The stay-the-course strategy by General Petraeus and the President to leave all troops in Iraq has been rejected by the American people.
We need a new direction in Iraq that will protect our troops, promote stability in the region, and make America more secure.
Nowhere does she say anything like the following:
- We need to bring the troops home starting right now
- We will NOT fund this occupation any more
- We will NOT have permanent bases in Iraq
What does "promote stability in the region" mean? It means leaving troops behind and keeping permanent bases.
And "make America more secure" is another pandering bullshit statement. The war has made us less secure, and broke for fuck sake. Ending the occupation and bringing the troops home will make America more secure.
Get ready everybody. Our fearless Democratic "leaders" are gathering the KY and getting ready to bend over yet again.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
What great timing that my Anonymous commenter challenged me to take a look at Ron Paul. Today I found this great article on the LAist blog, where they combined all of Ron Paul's responses during the Faux Noise Republican Debate into one video. This guy has passion and the funny thing is, he won both the Maryland straw poll vote and the SMS viewer vote for the Faux debate. Evidently it pissed off Sean Hannity. I like anybody who can do that. Here's Ron:
The goons (FBI) that have been harassing librarians finally got their comeuppance. I've been following this one for a long time. Librarians were getting these National Security Letters, or NSLs. They were just letters, but they demanded that the librarians comply and demanded that the librarians tell no one. That means they couldn't get a lawyer. They couldn't tell their boss. Nobody. The FBI used these same letters to get data from telephone companies and Internet providers. (About me and you, the terrorists)
But what did they want from librarians? A list of all the unreturned book perpetrators since 1959? Who the hell knows.
So, thanks to the ACLU for pushing the case (quoted excerpts from this HuffPo article):
A federal judge struck down parts of the revised USA Patriot Act on Thursday, saying investigators must have a court's approval before they can order Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said the government orders must be subject to meaningful judicial review and that the recently rewritten Patriot Act "offends the fundamental constitutional principles of checks and balances and separation of powers."
Jameel Jaffer, who argued the case for the ACLU, said the revised law had wrongly given the FBI sweeping authority to control speech because the agency was allowed to decide on its own _ without court review _ whether a company receiving an NSL had to remain silent or whether it could reveal to its customers that it was turning over records.
In 2004, ruling on the initial version of the Patriot Act, the judge said the letters violate the Constitution because they amounted to unreasonable search and seizure. He found that the nondisclosure requirement _ under which an Internet service provider, for instance, would not be allowed to tell customers that it was turning over their records to the government _ violated free speech.
Just go right now and sign up for the Borrowitz Report fake news daily email. Andy Borowitz will make you laugh. I gar-ahn-tee. Here's today's email that made me die laughing, even though he took full advantage of every ass joke in the book:
Prepare to be shocked
Winner Of The First-Ever National Press Club Award For Humor September 6, 2007
Idaho Senator Withdraws Resignation
Less than one week after announcing his intention to resign from office, embattled Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) changed course today, telling reporters in Washington, “I will not blow this job.”
Over the past few days, there had been whispers in Republican circles that Sen. Craig had, in the words of one of the Idaho senator’s associates, “pulled out too early,”
“At the end of the day, Larry does not want to blow this job,” the associate said. “He will do whatever it takes to win back the support of his constituents, even if it means getting down on his knees.”
Another associate of Sen. Craig’s agreed that the Idaho senator announced his intention to vacate his Senate seat too hastily: “I think Larry now feels that to leave office on September 30 would be a premature evacuation.”
Sen. Craig got a key vote of support from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Penn), who held a press conference at the Senate today to call the charges against the Idaho senator a “bum rap.”
But even as Sen. Craig picked up the support of Sen. Specter, a source close to the Republican caucus indicated that most Republicans are “backing away” from Sen. Craig.
For his part, Sen. Craig told reporters that he would take whatever steps are necessary to find favor with his Republican colleagues: “I will absolutely bend over backwards.”
Elsewhere, after a B-52 pilot flew over several U.S. states carrying nuclear warheads, the Air Force said that it would discontinue its use of Mapquest.
Be Andy's friend:
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Just got an email from the Clean Actions Clean Campaign Public Action Fund. Here's the story:
So here's the ad. And if you want to learn more or contribute to keep the ad running, click here.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) approved an $8.3 million contract for a company to provide iPod-like devices to Afghani tribesmen. At the same time, a lobbyist representing the company helped McConnell raise $120,000 in contributions from his clients.
We've made an ad to tell this incredible story -- and to compare it to McConnell's votes against funding for body armor for U.S. troops. It will begin airing tonight throughout Kentucky.
I've been watching Al Jazeera's coverage of Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf supposedly dropping his military uniform and sharing power with a woman, Pakistan's exiled opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto. She's a controversial figure, as she faced corruption charges both times that she served as the leader of Pakistan. She lost me when she recently said something along the lines of, "My people worship me, and I am humbled." Or something horrible like that. "The entire world just told me that I am the fairest in the land and I said aw shucks, looked down with a blush, and kicked my bejeweled toe in the sand." Blech.
But this article, Fighting Someone Else's War, by Ayaz Amir that I read this morning on TruthDig was extremely interesting from a Pakistani's point of view. All we hear about or think about is Pakistan through the lens of America's strategic war needs. We don't hear very much about what the citizens of Pakistan think. (Of course, why would anyone care about them?) Here's a sampler, but do read the whole article. It's fascinating.
This is a war for Pakistan’s soul, we are told, a war between the forces of moderation and extremism. This is self-serving nonsense served up as justification for performing mercenary duty in defence of American interests.
Mercenary? Yes, mercenary, the Musharraf regime receiving about 100 million dollars a month in return for its military services to the United States. (Where this money goes and how it is accounted for few people outside the defence ministry or General Headquarters know.)
This is in addition to the nearly 700 million dollars annual subsidy Pakistan receives as part of the five-year military-cum-economic package concluded after 9/11. Into the equation must also be put the Bush administration’s political backing for the Musharraf regime. Indeed, what keeps [Pervez] Musharraf in power is control of the army plus American largesse.
But there is a price to pay for this alliance and it comes in the form of fighting a war against one’s own people. Close to 80,000 fighting men are now deployed in the tribal areas pursuing the ghostly shadows of al-Qaida and the Taliban. In this undeclared war a thousand soldiers have already lost their lives. For what?
The ultimate sacrifice is, of course, part of a soldier’s covenant when he signs up for service. But the ultimate sacrifice is for defending the fatherland, not fighting alien wars.
Typical of the Bush regime that from the beginning of his first term, he was strong-arming international charity agencies into accepting assistance ONLY if the agencies did not advise about or perform abortions. There's a word for this sort of disgusting behavior but it's too damn early in the morning for me to remember it.
This just in from NARAL Pro-Choice America (join them here):
You can stop President Bush's appalling "global gag rule," which blocks U.S. funds from going to any overseas health clinic if it uses its own, private, non-U.S. funds to provide legal abortion services, give referrals, or even take a public pro-choice position.
Take action now and urge your senators to vote to repeal the global gag rule. After you take action, be sure to forward this message to at least five friends. Let's make sure that senators in all 50 states hear from pro-choice supporters!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I get disgusted at these articles about Mother Theresa's letters and how everybody focuses on her doubts about God.
First of all, I need to get one thing out of the way. I know this is a political blog but in America today, Christian fundamentalism has hijacked the political process, as have the current king and his regime, so religion IS a pertinent topic on a political blog. Religion needs to be OUT of the political sphere but unfortunately, even though our country was founded upon the concept of freedom from religious persecution and the separation of church and state, the religious right is currently running the country. If we don't stand up and fight this stupid trend, our country is fucked. Period.
Happily, I'll be in France.
God is just a concept. You can make God something amazing and magical and pretend that "he" is guiding you and making you act like a nice person (because you don't have a fucking clue how to do that yourself you know), or you can use God to control, threaten and manipulate people, or you can rail against the "Godless ones" while you proposition cops in airport restrooms, or you can say generic things in AA meetings like "God as we know him/her" or whatever the fuck you want to do. I frankly don't care. Because I live in America and supposedly, what you believe or practice is none of my, or our government's, business. (What a joke.)
But it's the people who have NO doubts about the existence and legitimacy and all that other crap about God that floats around the world, that scare the shit out of me. Like those Islamic fundamentalists for instance. Yeah, I know, they are the devil (another made-up concept), and they kill people who don't agree with them. This, and they, definitely suck. But the Christian fundamentalists lurk around quietly and use their money to rob you of your constitutional rights and pay off politicians to do their dirty work for them and try and force you to live like them and believe in what they believe in through freakin' legislation.
I'm sorry, but I hate them more than the freaks of Islam.
So Mother Theresa was human, for Buddha's sake. Oh, but this might threaten her "sainthood." Another freakin' made-up concept. Another bullshit Catholic PR campaign. And all the nuns of her order are all aflutter about it. They have to have their mother superior explain this horrible weakness of she-who-sits-on-a-pedestal.
"They understood that even as thoughts of God forsaking herWhat a load of shit. Now, how did Sister Nirmala know whether or not Mother Theresa ever rejected God? Maybe Mother Theresa did reject God, as many of the holiest people of faith have done throughout the ages, and then let his ass back into her heart.
entered her mind, she never rejected God, such was her thirst
for God, such was her greatness," Sister Nirmala told Reuters
at the weekend.
This stuff makes me mad. Can you tell?
If Mother Theresa saved one life, she was cool. If she saved 50, she was more than cool. If she fucked up a few times, did or said the wrong thing, tried to push her beliefs against birth control on people (a silly thing to do), and Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid, doubted the existence of a supreme being, then she's just like you and me. A human being.
All this falderol is just a distraction. Just celebrate Mother Theresa's life, learn from what she did well, and dismiss what she didn't do well. End of fucking story. Amen.
Hi Folks - sorry for the delay in posting, but I was busy having a nervous breakdown in my other blog.
But I'm back and somewhat less sane, but why would that ever stop me from pontificating politically? It hasn't stopped our country's fearful leaders so, there we are.
I was delighted by an in-depth comment made by Anonymous on one of my other posts, the one that displayed the candidate comparison chart. For the benefit of my RSS feed or email subscribers who receive my posts but not the comments for each post, I'd like to publish Anonymous' comment as a full post. It is intact, as written, but I changed the format (added bullets, etc.) to make it more readable in this post. I won't comment on these thoughts in this post as it will be too lengthy and I haven't had a chance to research Ron Paul. I'll post my research and opinions as I learn and digest more. Thanks again to Anonymous for taking the time to make such a thoughtful comment. Here it is:
I'm glad to see someone's attempt at a candidate comparison chart. But looking at the chart, I see it can be very misleading. I most closely identify with the positions of Gravel, Kucinich, and Paul. I don't know where many of the candidates stand on a lot of issues, because if I don't agree with them on key issues for me, then I don't look further. I have to disagree with you on your statement that Dr. Ron Paul is against almost everything. This shows just how misleading the chart is. Dr. Paul is a constitutionalist, therefore he is for privacy, personal liberty, and national sovereignty. His approach on most issues is that the federal government should be hands off, and many issues should be left to individual choice, state and local governments. If it doesn't follow the constitution, he is not for it.
Here are his positions as I understand them.
- EDUCATION (no child left behind) - big disaster, the government is trying to impose a one size fits all.
- GUNS - he's a constitutionalist, don't restrict any part of our rights in the constitution.
- IMMIGRATION - enforce current laws, no need for new ones (he is on record that voting for a border fence was one of his weaker votes - he voted for the lesser of evils).
- INTERNET NEUTRALITY - Dr. Paul is the biggest and most vocal of all congressmen on keeping the internet free - he voted against the internet neutrality act because it puts internet regulation in the hands of the government, which is then subject to lobby persuasion by large corporations. Dr. Paul gets a lot of support based on his position of keeping the internet free.
- IRAN (any foreign intervention) - follow George Washington's advice of "beware of foreign entanglements", promote the American way of life by setting a good example, not forcing it at the end of a gun.
- SAME-SEX - this is a privacy issue, Dr. Paul as stated "I want government out of your bedroom - and off your back." No laws should be made to promote hetersexual marriage, neither should they be made for same-sex marriage - it is not an issue for the federal government, one way or the other.
- UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE - the same tax breaks given to employers for healthcare to their employees, should be given to individuals. Individuals would then be able to shop for their own healthcare, rather than be forced to take what is offered to them. Free market economics would then provide better healthcare as general doctor-patient relationships have declined since HMOs have taken over the healthcare system. Again, it is the lobbying of the governement by large healthcare conglomerates which has resulted in the current healthcare problems, government attempts to impose healthcare have only created corruption through lobbying. As a medical doctor and OB/GYN, Dr. Paul has firsthand knowledge of how the system works.
- EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS - again, the federal government should not impose any regulation, for or against it. It should be left entirely to state and local governments, and individual wants.
- ABORTION RIGHTS/DEATH PENALTY - every life is an individual and has liberties. Yet again, not withstanding his personal beliefs, the federal government should not impose any regulation.
So, I think shows that a candidate's position cannot be put simply in a chart.
Obviously, I am a Ron Paul supporter. He is very different than the other neocon Republican candidates, he is really a libertarian and stands for individual liberties. In many respects his positions could be taken as liberal. He unfortunately is portrayed differently, because his views and voting record are not fully explained. I don't agree with him 100%, but I like his positions on issues that are most important to me.
Here is a link to a technology report card on congress
It shows how Paul's position on internet neutrality is being misrepresented in the comparison chart. The results are surprising for some congressmen; not what you might think. This is just one example of how the chart is misleading.