Thursday, March 31, 2005

Iraqi Children Fared Better under Saddam - Report

Here we are the Great United States of America, led by Bush who is erring on the side of life again by making Iraqi children suffer more than Saddam did. What's going on???? I actually think he means to consistently "error about life."

See, I've told you those who claim to be social conservatives often don't care about fetuses once they become children. I heard a conservative reporter framing the philosophy of Republican social conservatives as believing that every form of human life is equal--that a fetus or a stem cell or a brain-damaged person's life is as valuable as any fully functioning person. That's a lie, this is not their philosophy--if that were true social "conservatives" would want healthcare for American children and would care that we're killing Iraqi children. The truth is that "pro-lifers" behave as if fetuses are much more valuable than living children.

t r u t h o u t - Iraqi Children Fared Better under Saddam - Report

t r u t h o u t || George W. Bush, the Frightened Man

Think that shill is being blackmailed? Maybe...

t r u t h o u t || George W. Bush, the Frightened Man: "Virtually all the things Nixon did against me that were illegal to keep me from exposing his secret policy are now legal under the Patriot Act. Going into my doctor's office to get information to blackmail me with, wiretaps without warrants, overhearing me--all legal now. The CIA supplied the burglars in my doctor's office with disguises and with cameras and they did a psychological profile on me. That was illegal then, legal now. "

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

How deep is American hatred of women? She had it coming...

Murder a woman and get less or no jail time. Witness Robert Blake, OJ, and any number of lesser knowns who get less jail time for murdering a woman than white collar criminals get for robbing rich people. My friend Barbara said her friend was on a jury that awarded more money to a male victim than a female victim when they'd had exactly the same crime befall them.

Sodomize an unconcious drunk teenager with pool cues and a gang of young men and you might not get convicted of rape--even if you videotape it. The L.A. Times reported on this Orange County case today and quoted a juror, a woman even, worrying about whether or not the "[white] boys" really understood that what they were doing was wrong. I got this feeling that they really didn't see those young men commiting a crime--instead they saw a woman raping herself.


The message becomes: Murder women, rape girls, that's okay boys, our society will ask for no personal responsibility from you. You might not mean to do it, we might expect it, and hell, those girls probably had it coming...

Oh, and where's that Republican sense of "protection" and outrage?

DeLay and His Demagogues & a Catholic Priest on Abortion

t r u t h o u t - Dowd & Rich | DeLay and His Demagogues

My wise friend Barbara is a wonderful Catholic woman who became pro-choice (she's also pro-life) when she was 19. She was going to a Catholic private school and knew the gardener (she works for me and is currently trying to find our Latina custodian better employment and healthcare on her own time) and his wife. They had six children, being good Catholics, and the wife became pregnant with a seventh. Her doctors told her she needed a hysterectomy and carrying the child to term could kill her and/or the baby--the doctor recommended an abortion. The gardener's wife went to the priest and asked what she should do. The priest told her that she had a choice between her body and her soul; if she sought an abortion, he told her, he would excommunicate her from the Church. He was advocating that the mother of six children risk her life just for the chance to bring a new life into the world. How does anyone justify this? How does a fetus' life become disproportionally more important than an adult's life?

Barbara left before the woman gave birth. She does not know what happened to her or the baby--but Barbara has since strongly supported a woman's right to control her reproductive abilities.

This is why policy based exclusively or heavily on theology has no place in our government. And in particular, it targets women.

The New York Times > Washington > Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention

The New York Times > Washington > Conservatives: G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention: "There's a larger issue in play,' and Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, 'and that is the whole issue of the definition of life. The issue of when is it a life is a broader issue than just a state defining that. I don't think we can have 50 different definitions of life.' "

Incredible. I have a million definitions of life--and I think each family establishes those definitions. I think this guy advocates about 2 definitions of life...the unborn and the brain-dead. Every other life is fodder for unregulated toxins, underfunded education, lack of healthcare, etc. The life of my unborn child is only of interest and "protection" by Republicans while he is inside of me, when he is born they are absent in taking any responsiblity for his access to healthcare, safe drugs and vaccines, clean air and water, a healthy food supply, healthy relationships, education, or toxins in his toys and our furniture.

Their definition of "life" is so minimal that it is laughable. But I don't think their shallow morality is funny.

The useful question is not each of us asking, "when is it a life?" the "larger" issue and fundamental question of freedom is allowing each American to ask "How do we want to live?"

How to Turn Your Red State Blue, quote 2


t r u t h o u t - Christopher Hayes | How to Turn Your Red State Blue: "Getting my hair cut the other day, my hairdresser, a gay man in his 40s who just went back to school to become a social worker, told me about his family's politics. 'I can't even discuss politics with my siblings,' he said. 'My sister is a born-again Christian and my brother is the second best Army recruiter in the nation.' He paused for effect. 'And they say my lifestyle recruits.'
That accusation is one of the loopier bits of right-wing slander, but it's part of a larger narrative that claims the entire left is scheming non-stop to seduce and indoctrinate the unsuspecting. This is a comical bit of projection because it is the right that has so effectively created institutions to preach conservatism and win converts. "

How to Turn Your Red State Blue

t r u t h o u t - Christopher Hayes | How to Turn Your Red State Blue: " Joe Conason, in his book Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (published before the election), offers a succinct articulation of the first theory: 'Whether they now describe themselves as liberal or not, most Americans remain strongly progressive in their views about taxation, health care, education spending, Social Security, environmental protection and corporate regulation.' "

Florida House Bill Attacks 'Leftist' Professors, Allows Students to Sue over Beliefs

This is chilling. It is about growing fascism. If people can have beliefs that are never challenged, on either ideological end, they become extremist idealogues. The university is a place where biased professors teach their views and they should always get challenged! I was more left than they were in history and more right than they were in philosophy. A bill like this that attempts to eliminate "political orthodoxy" only serves to squelch debate and political challenges all around--it's toxic and the opposite of freedom. Professors and students should be free to be orthodox!!! My G-d, I went to a liberal college that had a history professor who believed that women caused the fall of Rome. Freedom exists!

I also read the actual bill linked at the end of this article and having had a lot of academic exposure I can tell that these paranoid, controlling right-wing folks are very interested in promoting extremist professors who don't have much academic credibility. They are trying to lower the scholarly standards used to give professors tenure, and elevate religious materials, so that questionable "reasonable scholarly credentials" can count toward tenure. One can easily imagine a holocaust-denier who's written a "research" book without peer review suing a university who, justifiably, won't hire him/her.

t r u t h o u t - House Bill Attacks 'Leftist' Professors, Allows Students to Sue over Beliefs: "Students who believe their professor is singling them out for 'public ridicule' - for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class - would also be given the right to sue. "

Bush Credibility Gap Grows as Court Rejects Schiavo Case

t r u t h o u t - Bush Credibility Gap Grows as Court Rejects Schiavo Case: " In the Schiavo case, critics say that after years of review, it is hard to argue that her family did not receive an adequate hearing in the Florida courts, at least by the standards that Congress has set in other cases where it has taken a hands-off approach to state-court actions.
They question whether the steps Bush and Congress have taken to keep the Schiavo case afloat in federal court belie an ideological bias.
'I could not imagine [House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay interrupting an Easter recess to come back for special legislation because there was a possibility that someone on death row was innocent,' said Louis Michael Seidman, a professor at Georgetown Law School in Washington."

Supreme Court rejects Schiavo parents' appeal - Mar 24, 2005 - Supreme Court rejects Schiavo parents' appeal - Mar 24, 2005

Terri Schiavo's parents suffered several setbacks Wednesday:

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused by a 2-1 vote to order the tube reinserted.

The full 11th Circuit later in the day voted 10-2 not to reconsider the panel's rejection.

In Washington, the Bush administration said there was nothing more it could do. This is curious. Can't the President always issue an Executive Order? I'm not clear on the law, but if they've taken it this far, and he says we can't ever err against life, and he's the grand redeemer why can't he do this flawed and questionably democratic Christ-like act of Presidential authority for his religious base? I may not understand the law correctly, though...

A bill in the Florida Senate aimed at prolonging Terri's life failed 21-18.

The U.S. Justice Department has filed "statements of interest" supporting the parents in each court action.

The leader of Paranoia, Tom DeLay

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 Archives

Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), March 18th 2005: "It is more than just Terri Schiavo. This is a critical issue for people in this position, and it is also a critical issue to fight that fight for life, whether it be euthanasia or abortion. I tell you, ladies and gentlemen, one thing God has brought to us [Since when does Delay speak for G_d's intentions? He ought to have said, "I believe that..." not "I tell you..." This kind of narcissistic-absolutism-speak ought to frighten all of us.] is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what's going on in America. That Americans would be so barbaric [he sees no room for compassion?] as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid [Whaa..?] and starve them to death for two weeks. [I read yesterday that starving is not a painful way to die, in fact it has been shown to be a peaceful, painless, sometimes euphoric way to end life--and I'm sure that lots of elderly people naturally chose to do it]. I mean, in America that's going to happen if we don't win this fight.

"And so it's bigger than any one of us, and we have to do everything that is in our power to save Terri Schiavo and anybody else that may be in this kind of position, and let me just finish with this:

"This is exactly the kind of issue that's going on in America, that attacks against the conservative moment, against me and against many others. [He's saying that no one can disagree with his position or it is an attack against conservatism] The point is, the other side has figured out how to win and to defeat the conservative movement, and that is to go after people personally, charge them with frivolous charges,[He's projecting; Republicans do these things in spades and Democrats aren't winning anything!] link up with all these do-gooder organizations funded by George Soros, and then get the national media on their side [What national media is on "our" side? Name one! The national media is on the side of corporate and war interests]. That whole syndicate that they have going on right now is for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to destroy the conservative movement. It is to destroy conservative leaders, and not just in elected office, but leading. I mean, Ed Feulner, of the Heritage Foundation today was under attack in the National Journal. This is a huge nationwide concerted effort to destroy everything we believe in [He's wrong, we are not trying destroy anything "they" believe in, unless that's discrimination against minorities, a belief that wealth is morally superior to poverty, politicial corruption, etc. Delay is using this victim psychology to make his constituents feel threatened by different opinions. This is fascism, folks, he's trying to divide us]. And you need to look at this [Yes! Wake up America, look at this, and decide for yourself!], and what's going on and participate in fighting back."

I wonder if this means DeLay is about to lose his power. If so, he's a bad sport, obviously, and I just can't get over "The Hammer" acting like a victim of a right-wing-like conspiracy. I guess the left's effort to hold conservative people responsible for their actions is an "attack." Hmmm. I don't even think that's working yet. Does this ridiculous rant mean it is beginning to?! He can't stand transparency in government and that's what we're fighting for; there's nothing essentially wrong with conservatism if it incorporates civic responsibility. We're just not seeing any fair application of civil responsibility.

The Schiavo case is a unique power move and I'm so curious to see whether the Supreme Court has completely become a tool for the White House; I'm hopeful, but very worried about the first-time precedent set by Gore vs. Bush.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

To err on the side of life...

"Bush told a crowd in Arizona today that the brain-damaged woman's case is 'complex' with 'serious issues.' But he says in a case like that, 'it is wise to always err on the side of life.'"

He also means:

Except when you don't have enough money to pay for yours or your child's life support.

Except when you are mentally ill and are sentenced to death or have even had evidence of innocence come forward, and you remain sentenced to death when George is governor.

Except when you die from mercury poisoning emitted by coal power plants (more to come in the West thanks to Clear Skies!) or get cancer, birth defects and possibly autism. To our current government and the EPA, these health costs are nothing compared to the costs industry would have to pay to clean up their mercury dumping. Just ask.

In essence, "life" for Republicans just means stem cells, fetuses and financially secure permanently brain-damaged individuals with ties to religious fundamentalists. They do not give these lives equal weight with other lives (unwanted children, at-risk and ill children, cancer sufferers, soldiers, Iraqis) they give them all their weight in activism, money and rhetoric.

And in the end, their pro-pollution governing still puts fetuses at much greater risk for birth defects...just don't abort.

All the facts about the cynical Republican political moves

Dear MoveOn member,

On Sunday, Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, the Republican congressional leaders,
convened an emergency meeting of Congress to pass a bill that that
interferes with the Terri Schiavo tragedy. And although in five years no
other issue has prompted President Bush to return to Washington during a
vacation--including the tsunami--Bush flew back from his ranch in Texas to
sign it.[1]

Bush, Frist, and DeLay claim that they're acting out of concern for Ms.
Schiavo. But a memo intended only for Republican Senators--uncovered by
ABC News--reveals Republicans' true concern: "The pro-life base will be
excited...this is a great political issue...this is a tough issue for
Democrats."[2] This story also takes the heat off Tom DeLay, who is
facing a number of serious ethics charges and legal scandals.[3]

Americans can have different personal opinions about what should happen to
Terri Schiavo--life is precious, and this case raises some important
ethical questions. But we can all agree that that's what the courts are
for: to make the call in difficult circumstances. That's why Congress'
interference is such an ugly and shameful incident of political
grandstanding. There's no legislative purpose here, just a blatant attempt
to play politics with someone's life.

We need to tell the Republican leaders in Congress that this kind of
pandering and demagoguery will not stand. Will you sign our urgent
petition to Congress to tell them they must stop using one person's
tragedy for their own political gain, and move on to the important
business facing our country?

Sign now at:

Even many right-wing activists are concerned about Congress's interference
in this case. GOP pollster Tony Fabrizi told the L.A. Times, "It becomes a
more crystallized proof point that we are no longer the party of smaller
government. We have become a party of 'It doesn't matter what size the
government is as long as it is imposing our set of values.'"[4]

The New York Times talked to David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a
conservative research organization, who said, "When a case like this has
been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the
Supreme Court three times, the process has worked even if it hasn't given
the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in
really is a violation of federalism."[5]

Medical ethicists are also outraged at the armchair diagnoses of
Republican doctors in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Bill
Frist. As the Associated Press reported:

"It's disturbing that doctors who would never venture a comment about
the health of anybody from a homemade video are sitting on the floor of
Congress making declarations," said Art Caplan, chairman of the
Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania's School
of Medicine. "My own impression, from a distance, is that they've
subverted what they know to be good medicine for the aim of achieving a
political goal."[6]

And reporters are now raising questions about a right-to-die law Bush
signed as Texas governor, contradicting his position in the Schiavo case.
Just last week, the law was applied for the first time, allowing doctors
to remove a critically ill infant from life support against his mother's
wishes. According to the Houston Chronicle, this marks the first time in
American history that courts allowed a pediatric patient to die against
the wishes of their parent.[7] As the Knight Ridder News service reports:

"The mother down in Texas must be reading the Schiavo case and
scratching her head," said Dr. Howard Brody, the director of Michigan
State University's Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life
Sciences. "This does appear to be a contradiction." Brody said that, in
taking up the Schiavo case, Bush and Congress had shattered a body of
bioethics law and practice."[8]

It's time to speak up about this kind of political posturing, and ask
Congress to get back to work. Can you sign our petition to Republican
leaders in Congress to stop grandstanding on the Schiavo tragedy?

A large majority of the American public agree that Congress was wrong to
interfere in the Schiavo case, and less than a quarter believe Congress
acted out of real concern about Schiavo's life, according to an ABC
poll.[9] And the nation's editorial boards agree. Check out this sampling
from many of the nation's papers, compiled by the National Journal's

* "The U.S. legal system is not supposed to be one of legislative
'do-overs... Lawmakers may believe that they acted this weekend to
save a life, but they also took a step that diminishes the rule of
law" (Washington Post, 3/22).

* "When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they devoted the largest
section to spelling out the powers of Congress. Nowhere did they
include the right to play doctor. Terri Schiavo's story is tragic
enough without political malpractice" (USA Today, 3/22).

* "The Bush administration and the current Congressional leadership like
to wax eloquent about states' rights. But they dropped those
principles in their rush to stampede over the Florida courts and
Legislature...It may be a formula for short-term political success,
but it is no way to preserve and protect a great republic" (New York
Times, 3/22).

* "Congress' unwarranted and brash effort to seize judicial power in the
case of Terri Schiavo is shameful truly a low point in its recent
history" (Kennebec Journal, 3/22).

* "What has happened here is that the GOP, famously the party favoring
limited government intervention into people's personal lives, has
inserted the federal government squarely in the middle of an
incredibly personal medical issue. And they've done it all in the name
of making sure that some of their core voters stay with them" (Athens
Banner-Herald, 3/22).

* "Terri Schiavo has the right to die ... Congress and President Bush
should be ashamed for prolonging the suffering and trying to legislate
what is clearly the authority of the courts to adjudicate" (Atlanta
Journal Constitution, 3/22).

* "Coming at a time when crucial health care services are being slashed,
it is particularly upsetting to see this kind of expensive
grandstanding on the part of congressional Republicans over one
high-profile case. This is not compassion: This is cold-blooded
political calculation" (Charleston Gazette, 3/22).

* "One by one, the bedrock conservative convictions of the national
Republican Party are giving way...yielding to the demands of a raucous
religious right that has become the Republicans' most reliable
electoral base" (Trenton Times, 3/22).

* "Washington's empathy for Schiavo centers on vying for political
points, not merely concern for one family's personal, medical plight.
That makes this unwise intervention by elected officials even more
distasteful" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/22).

* "To have the legislative and executive branches of the federal
government mobilize on a Sunday as fast as if we'd declared war in
order to intervene in a family's medical dispute is, frankly,
frightening. It's an unprecedented intrusion by the highest echelons
of federal power into a private hospital room. It's dangerous. And
more than a little Orwellian" (Augusta Chronicle, 3/22).

Let's tell Tom DeLay and Bill Frist to get back to business. Please join
us by signing the petition at the link below, and sending this message on
to your friends and family.

Together, we can restore some common sense to a Congress that's out of


--Eli Pariser and the whole MoveOn PAC Team
March 23rd, 2005


1. Schiavo case exposes political divide in U.S., Reuters AlertNet

2. GOP Talking Points on Terri Schiavo, ABC News

3. DeLay Under Fire Over Ethics, Associated Press

4. Some in GOP Fear Effort May Alienate Voters, L.A. Times

5. G.O.P. Right Is Splintered on Schiavo Intervention, New York Times

6. Physicians in Congress criticized, Associated Press

7. Baby dies after hospital removes breathing tube, Houston Chronicle

8. Law Bush signed prompts cries of hypocrisy, Knight Ridder Newspapers

9. ABC News poll

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Republicans and the government they always denigrate = corruption, disabling, and dirty tricks

This is a must read of why we shouldn't trust Republicans to philosophically run government without a high degree of transparency and accountability (as if the Bush administration isn't enough f*ing proof):

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 Archives

Welcome to Bush inflation

So, energy and food prices are getting more and more inflated. Interest rates were increased today. We're being told that these increases are "measured." That means they'll keep climbing...

Miss Clinton yet?

Cheney and Thomas Slam AARP on Social Security

t r u t h o u t - Cheney and Thomas Slam AARP on Social Security

These folks are delusional. They are asking us to hitch our wagons to the worst economy we've ever seen, even Carter didn't do this...Paul Harvey was talking about inflation and how badly our economy is doing this morning. Paul Harvey is worried about inflation, the deficit and the stockmarkets for crying out loud.

The Schiavo Case and the Islamization of the Republican Party

t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | The Schiavo Case and the Islamization of the Republican Party

Republican HYPOCRISY overflows in this case:

Interfering in the sacred bond of marriage in order to nullify the guardianship of one spouse over another.

Acting like life is sacred while they fight to wreck our environmental and thereby our physical health.

Acting like life is sacred while they don't fight to save American and innocent Iraqi lives in Iraq.

Acting like a woman's life is sacred when they are more than willing to force her to bear children (and possibly die or be crippled in childbirth) against her will.

Suddenly deciding that states' rights (legislation and rulings) don't matter when they are constantly advocating the primacy of states' rights.

Eliminating the separation between powers (Congress and the judiciary) when their own Rhenquist is one of the biggest advocates of the separation of powers.

For the second time since Gore vs. Bush, they are creating "one time" only rulings/legislation that they take pains to say shouldn't establish precedent. That's simply not principled, is purely political, lacking in responsibility for one's actions, and goes to the heart of the article above (Islamization).

I'm sure there's more....

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Schiavo and Iraq; Ban corporate campaign donations

...I have been reluctant to wade into the Terri Schiavo case...

This is an excellent view of the grandstanding that is happening among Republicans in Congress. The one comparison Kilgore fails to make is that Congressional Republicans that are pulling all stops to save a very sad case of coma-life after life are the same Republicans that are doing nothing to save very alive lives in IRAQ. Why don't they expend this much energy to bring American lives home? Who will protect the oil companies and developers profits?

I'm also beginning to notice a very obnoxious generational problem again. Boomers en masse aren't taking responsibility for their own social needs, let alone the generations that come after them. The Great Generation is dying, and with them a strong sense of civic responsibility. Those who remain are fighting for the generations after them, boomers are not. Boomers vote for tax cuts, and "screw you hippy."

By the way, we need to get corporate money out of politics NOW. Corporations spend MILLIONS each on politicians and parties which is exactly how the Arctic Wildlife Preserve got bought. Limit individuals to $1,000 each (make jail time mandatory for transgressors). Ban advertising. Give candidates a direct mail budget so that everybody has a cover letter from each candidate. Make the press accountable, have real debates, not day after day of fund raisers. It's really not that hard to make America a democracy.

Arctic Gold: How Big Oil Bought the Votes to Drill

t r u t h o u t - ECO FOCUS - Arctic Gold: How Big Oil Bought the Votes to Drill

Follow the money...even Democratic Labor Unions are capable of GREED.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Double Standard

The press and even Americans expect the Democrats to be perfect problem solvers and allow the Republicans to be devils in policy. It shows on Social Security where the President has not nailed down a plan but the press is asking Democrats for a plan! It shows when the President is actively campaigning for private accounts and basically phasing out Social Security, which has hardly any support, and he's not getting criticized by the press while Democrats are being told that they are making a tactical mistake for specifically ruling out private accounts being paid for with Social Security (which is actually the good and rational decision!).

AND the Democrats are the OPPOSITION PARTY! They are rationally opposing the President's position that private accounts are the solution to Social Security. Democrats are right on this! They have backbone, they are taking a firm position, they are taking a moral stand--in fact, they are perfectly right!! So no Democrat should be blaming Democrats for this problem!! Talking Points Memo

But Harry Reid should not have voted for the banckruptcy bill...a shame.

Friday, March 11, 2005

"What Would Jesus Drive?"

Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence behind Effort to Combat Global Warming

Wow, I'm in shock. I didn't think Christians cared about the environment anymore. The only thing I'm uncomfortable with in this article is this statement:

"Mr. Cizik said he was among many evangelicals who would support some regulation on heat-trapping gases.

'We're not adverse to government-mandated prohibitions on behavioral sin such as abortion," he said. "We try to restrict it. So why, if we're social tinkering to protect the sanctity of human life, ought we not be for a little tinkering to protect the environment?'"

Tinkering with my womb and my body is not the same thing as tinkering with standards of emission. In fact, evangelicals want to force women to produce life which is not the same as simply protecting life by asking people not to produce toxic things, even if forcing women to produce life seems to involve "protecting" a life. But one can't even safely say that the mere act of having a baby protects life--it just produces one that needs protection. Are we all advocating that our society protect born children? Environmental cleanliness is a start...

Out of Iraq NOW

We need to get our troops out of Iraq now. There is no way around the fact that our presence there alone continues the violence. It is like trying to stop a house from flooding by using a mesh screen to keep the water in the bathroom, when we turned on the tap. Bush's people are more concerned about access to the oil and business contracts than our soldiers. To them, 1,500 American lives and thousands of Iraqi lives is nothing--a meager expense and sacrifice. We should let Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Jordanians and Saudi Arabians help rebuild Iraq with financial help from us. Nothing we have done justifies our presence there.

Military Town Protests

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Contact your representatives!!

Dear Sen. Feinstein,

My husband and I truly hope that you will oppose the Bankruptcy bill set to benefit our credit card companies using outrageous interest rates and predatory lending policies. And the loopholes for the rich are also immoral and unfair! My husband and I have a goal to become debt-free through payments, but that doesn't mean we don't have sympathy for those who don't have the means to overcome the debts created while they were wooed as adolescents in college by predatory credit card companies, or who suffer from job losses or health care crises.

We are watching what Democrats do on this issue very closely. Americans are waking up to the influence corporate money is having on our politicians' votes.

[I didn't say that I expect this kind of immoral and greedy behavior from Republicans, but I mean that]

Our congress might soon say "it's ok to game the system if you're rich"

"To the extent that there is significant abuse of the system, it's concentrated among the wealthy - including corporate executives found guilty of misleading investors - who can exploit loopholes in the law to protect their wealth, no matter how ill-gotten.

One increasingly popular loophole is the creation of an "asset protection trust," which is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it's O.K. to game the system if you're rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Dean: Democrats Raise $3.4 Million in Three Weeks

t r u t h o u t - Dean: Democrats Raise $3.4 Million in Three Weeks

What I LOVE about this story is that Democrats raised this money without selling out our liberal principles and morals!!!!

t r u t h o u t || Nicola Calipari and the Soldier who Shot Him

t r u t h o u t || Nicola Calipari and the Soldier who Shot Him:

"Calipari is one more name added to the vengeance toll we have extracted for September 11th. Three and a half years later, we have killed in Iraq and Afghanistan about seventy times the number of people who died that day. Seventy times. When will there be enough revenge? There is no answer to that question beyond this: Not soon enough to save Nicola Calipari, who died three years ago and didn't even know it.

I do not know the name of the soldier who shot Calipari. I don't know his age, his rank, where he is from, where he trained. I am confident, however, that he did not join the military to shoot journalists and Italian secret service agents. The fact that this happened speaks to the fear that this soldier must endure because his Commander in Chief has dropped him into a meat grinder with a very large gun."

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Frank Rich: What's Missing from the News

Is it me or is Brian Williams the most self-unaware tool of big corporate America? He actually winces as he reports the banal, irrelevant news of the day, so perhaps he has some awareness of how useless he is to the American people. And Gannon is now claiming he's the victim of a gay-bashing leftist witchhunt. What?! He's the witchhunter (or was). Well, at least this gives us some hope that the truth will come to light in the American public's conciousness:

t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich: What's Missing from the News: "We still don't know how this Zelig, using a false name, was given a daily White House pass every day for two years. Last weekend, Jim Pinkerton, a former official in the Reagan and Bush I White Houses, said on 'Fox News Watch,' no less, that such a feat 'takes an incredible amount of intervention from somebody high up in the White House' and that 'some investigation should proceed and they should find that out.'
Given an all-Republican government, the only investigation possible will have to come from the press. Which takes us back to 1972, the year of Thompson's fear and loathing on the campaign trail. That was no golden age for news either. As Thompson's Rolling Stone colleague, Timothy Crouse, wrote in his own chronicle of that year, 'The Boys on the Bus,' months of stories by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein failed to 'sink in' and only 48 percent of those polled by Gallup had heard of Watergate by Election Day.
Some news organizations had simply ignored The Post's scoops 'out of petty rivalry,' Crouse wrote. Others did so because they 'feared the administration or favored Nixon in the presidential race.' Others didn't initially recognize the story's importance. (The New York Times played the Watergate break-in on page 30.) According to a superb new history of the Washington press corps, 'Reporting from Washington,' by Donald Ritchie, even Rather, then CBS's combative man in the Nixon White House, 'left the Watergate story alone at first, sure that it would fade like 'a puff of talcum powder.'' "

Friday, March 04, 2005

If this story is true, the boy's parents should be charged with child endangerment/coersion

Why does this smell like a rat? What happened to states' rights, you activist conservatives? You advocate intervening in women's lives by stopping abortions as much, or more, than someone who forces an abortion (which is also immoral):

Fox News

Bush likes going around the country...

"I like going around the country and saying folks we have got a problem..."

George W. Bush, March 2, 2005

Bush's PR tour

Bush began taking his social security "arguments" on the road today--with the help of Big Business and Karl Rove. Just think about this folks, businesses don't benefit from social security, INDIVIDIUALS DO. Why would you trust what Big Business wants over the needs of individuals? Do you honestly think that Big Business cares about your family and life? If you do, fine, but leave our government's policies out of your ridiculous fantasy.

Thus far Bush and Rove have signed up "invitation-only" audiences for his "town meetings" which means he can't handle any criticism. Wow, he's such a strong, courageous President! I wonder what excuses his supporters make-up to excuse his inability to confront dissent or defend himself. Obviously, he whines like a child, "It's hard!" or "I get that," but still, why does the leader of the "free" world get off so easy, folks?

Polls show that most people care much more about jobs and healthcare (sorry, Clinton, your healthcare proposal didn't have the same corporate support that Medicare and Social Security have!) than fixing social security.

What a big distraction before we invade Iran for our Neocon fantasizers.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dean Says Democrats 'Not Going to Concede the South'

He's such a great leader! This is so exciting! You're going to hear the truth, you Republican rascals.

Dean better watch his back. No shitting--there's a lot of money and power and crazy madness out to take over America (and they already are).

t r u t h o u t - Dean Says Democrats 'Not Going to Concede the South' - Views - Good Samaritan Gun Use

Wow, what a well-argued case for escalating violence in our homes....according to the author's logic we'll get less gun violence on the street when more people carry them (I guess this is why S. Central L.A. is so safe--or wait, maybe there aren't enough guns in L.A.) and more gun accidents at home (he doesn't mention those stats). What a wonderful offer! - Views - Good Samaritan Gun Use - U.S. & World - Serial Killers Among Us

This story shows how thin the line is between human empathy and sociopathology. It's thin, folks. Love your children, nurture them, teach them empathy by giving it to them and others.

By the way, give empathy to all children even if they are not your own. Show it. We all need it.

Peace. - U.S. & World - Serial Killers Among Us

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate

t r u t h o u t - Senator Robert Byrd | Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate

Gees, everyone's hyperventilating over this. All Byrd does is say that Hitler made the illegal legal, which is exactly what the Republicans are suggesting. He doesn't say, "You nazis!" He says the policy is like a nazi policy. Good to know.

This is such a vivid illustration of context getting lost and stupid crap getting thrown around the internet. I bet you no conservatives will objectively talk about the proposed so-called "nuclear option" policy change that shuts down minority views. They'll just be going on and on saying, "How dare Byrd call Republicans nazis!!" You might think it's stupid tactic, but it's really a diversion from their nazi-like policies.

Farrakhan on Jewish Involvement in the Slave Trade

For me, becoming Jewish is the first time I've had the feeling of not being White. Hate groups consider Jews a "mud race" along with anyone else who shows difference or pigment. I hate the term "White" because it is arbitrary and pretty meaningless. How do you test for it?? People claim to be white, or seem white, or feel white, but it's really just a status, not a race. Most people are made up of all different races and creeds. I always thought Jews were white, but now I realize that racists don't think we are, and even some Jewish rhetoric distinguishes whites from Jews, so that conflicts with my definition of what it meant to be white. Is there really a concensus? No! I always thought Asians were white, but I've had Asians tell me they are not white. I've always considered Spanish people white, but Latino is a separate and proud category in L.A. Where I grew up, a person was seen as either white or black. I could say yellow and red, too, but that was always too fantastic a category and no one I ever met back then was Asian or Indian. The truth was, that most people I knew growing up were white AND black. The "black" people were not purely African, and the white people were not purely European. We were mixed and the "white" folks were in denial about it.

I've long studied and sympathized with Black American history. Finding information like this Farrakhan info is deeply troubling to me. It is such a blatant example of a powerful figure shirking leadership in favor of scapegoating and creating an enemy. It is the same psychology that white supremecist hate groups use--hatred and fear emboldens people to fight for your power for its own sake.

Another thing about this Farrakhan issue is that no one should expect Jews or anyone else to be perfect human beings. We are no more responsible for the slave trade than black kings or "white" Europeans. Simply put, the world's powerful people had a hand in it and Jews should admit our role (in whatever degree that was) as much as anyone else. If he's just asking us to take responsibility for it, we should, but what does specifically targeting Jews mean for our relationship today? That Blacks can't trust Jews and Jews can't trust Blacks? Where do we go from there?! How does America look then? Divided.

The other thing that gets lost in Farrakhan's rhetoric is the fragility of a Jewish state. Israel is the only Jewish state in the world--to be fair to the world's religions and peoples, I believe that the world has an interest in keeping a Jewish state stable and peaceful. Jews are a minority, just like black Americans. Racial wars and immigrant wars have long been part of our American history and only serve to hurt the poor and disenfranchised and make the rich richer (low wages aggravate hatred between groups) and poor communities become ghettos. Perhaps Jews and Blacks do not work to combine our domestic interests enough, but Farrakhan's words do not help us bridge that gap. He suggests that the powerful among us are all evil, and that doesn't work for either group! Besides, I'm as ready to knock extremist zionist policy wonkers out of powerful positions as the next person. Most Jews vote for Democratic issues and, based on our religious and philosophical beliefs, we want to share in helping communities--but just like other groups, there are definitely exceptions to this rule. Gee, if only Jews were the majority! But I don't think we'll be overtaking the Catholics anytime soon--maybe the Jews and the Nation of Islam should point out their dark history instead of building bridges...(I'm not serious).

So let's keep our eyes focused on the actions and policies of people, rather than the often obviously unpracticed religious backgrounds and arbitrary racial labels of groups, Mr. Farrakhan. The fights and struggles in this world are caused by competition for money and resources--races and religions are rather haphazardly draped around those two primary issues.

Farrakhan on Jewish Involvement in the Slave Trade

White Supremacists Eyed in Murder of Judge's Family

t r u t h o u t - White Supremacists Eyed in Murder of Judge's Family

A Chicago Episcopal church deacon and his mother-in-law were executed yeserday. He was the husband and she the mother of a Clinton-appointed judge who had to enforce a name change for a hate group. She wasn't even responsible for the decision (although that wouldn't make a difference--it just shows the ignorance of hate groups)!

"...Sympathizers abound. 'Everyone associated with the Matt Hale trial has deserved assassination for a long time,' read an Internet essay posted Tuesday by Bill White, editor of The Libertarian Socialist News. 'I don't feel bad that Judge Lefkow's family was murdered today. In fact, when I heard the story, I laughed.'"

This guy is a psychopath.

This is America now and it shows that hate and violence must not be tolerated under any condition in any family, any neighborhood, any city, and nation. If these groups want a war, the good will win against them. I know the hearts and souls of midwesterners and city dwellers, and they fear "the other" more than they hate. Fortunately, they don't buy the BS of hate groups made up of socially dysfunctional people who were rarely shown love and understanding. Unfortunately, these psychological basket cases can cause a lot of trauma until they are caught and jailed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A must read.

The Neocon crazies, Iran, Israel and George Washington's warning...

Iran, here we go again...war plans with mass confusion

Bill Kristol was on the news shows this weekend saying the U.S. might bomb Iran in a year and that "we think" we know where Iran's bombs are. We've got George Bush saying that we have no plans to bomb Iran, but all options are on the table. This is exactly what the neocons did with Iraq. They were on-again/off-again and full of conflicting information about the problems and the solutions needed. When we started invading Iraq (and even during the bombing of it for several months prior) Americans were confused. Were Iraqis being freed by us or were they our enemy? Was this about weapons or a personal issue with Hussein? Oil?

Mass confusion. It gets a neocon agenda done. They quickly forget that their perceptions of the Middle East have thus far been absolutely wrong. Meanwhile, the circumference of the U.S.-as-target grows.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Abortion, the death penalty, and parenting

Maybe I missed it but I don't see much news about the Supreme Court decision regarding executing minors. In essence, they have narrowly decided that it is immoral to put minors to death since they are not yet fully responsible for their actions as minors (they still have yet to reach the full set of moral and cognitive responsibilities that exist in adulthood). I'm not sure if I agree with this but I do believe that parents and children share responsibility for a child's behavior until the child is grown. I advocate that the parents of a child that commits a heinous act (murder, rape, cruelty) should also be put on trial for irresponsible parenting. They should try to prove their innocence. Maybe the punishment is less severe, but it would make people take more responsibility for parenting (think about it, almost everyone wings it! A person will go to college for accounting but won't take a parenting class!).

Scalia, my least favorite "justice," was quick to equate the morality of society putting a young person to death with the morality of letting a minor female have an abortion. He is puzzled as to how we can give a minor seeking an abortion what I guess he sees as "absolute" moral decision-making responsibilities, but we withhold that absolute responsibility from criminal minors.

I have to think about this, but are we really granting minor abortion seekers adult morality? I'm not sure of that.

If Scalia thought about it more, he could actually use the death penalty argument against minor women seeking abortions. Good thing he's such a predictable reactionary.