Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kucinich-right again and again

Never let it be said that Dennis Kucinich isn't a smart, principled public servant. He knows exactly what we need to do in Iraq, as you can read here:

He's got stones the size of basketballs, and doesn't care who he pisses off. He simply wants to do the right thing. If only the front runners in the Democratic presidential race were more like him, this country could be set right, and quickly.


Paper ballots or Votes Ready to Eat? If you had this stupid idea about restoring integrity , accuracy, and confidence in our system of vote counting, what would you pick? The whole ongoing debate about the best way to fix the system is just ludicrous. Are the legislators involved with this issue stupid or venal?

Paper has worked and will always work. Any electronic vote counting system can be, has been, and will be compromised. So why don't they just do the obvious thing and mandate paper ballots, at least for all Federal elections? If potential voters were sure that their votes would be counted accurately, maybe more of them would vote, and maybe our democracy would be strenghtened. Wow, what a concept!

If going back to paper costs more, then too damn bad. No price is too high to pay if it means protecting our ability to participate in OUR government.

The rule of WHAT law?

You had better hope that our government never picks YOU up. Basic decency has disappeared along with government prisoners. The ungodly, immoral, illegal, unconscionable, vile, evil interrogation techniques now being used on people AT THE URGING AND WITH THE BLESSING OF OUR GOVERNMENT are literally driving prisoners insane.

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen, is on trial in Miami, and has been so damaged mentally that he can't even help in his own defense. Follow this link:

What have we become as a nation if this sort of torture is acceptable? What do we have to do to make people understand that we are living under a totalitarian regime which utilizes barbaric methods like these? Why haven't decent citizens revolted against these soulless bastards?

F.ood D.eaths A.cceptable

The Food And Drug Administration is doing its best to imperil to imperil the health and safety of Americans (at least those who eat food). Here's a link to an Associated Press article detailing how FDA inspections of our food supply have dropped precipitously, even if the face of an alarming rise in food-borne illnesses.;_ylt=AqZspkbCcwKMYNy4Z1H7PENZ24cA

Food safety inspections have dropped 47% from 2003 to 2006, and safety inspections of U.S. produced food have dropped by 75%. Aint that just darn Skippy?

Why would this be happening? Well, it's a given that any business fights regulation fang -and-claw because the cost of compliance might interfere with their bottom line. That's the nature of business--to treat any regulation as an intrusion on their right to operate freely. Because the Bush administration is so extremely business friendly, they are relentlessly castrating the regulatory agencies so that they cannot perform the consumer protection functions they are supposed to. When big money is involved,the consumer will ALWAYS lose.

The goal of the Republican party is to shrink the size of the Federal government so that big business can have free rein. This is one example of how they are going about it.

To drive the point home, here's another link showing that, as I write this, the FDA is proceeding with plans to close 7 of their 13 existing labs.

Shows you how much those (uninspected) cheesy bastards care about you, doesn't it? Of course, they must also get campaign cash from the funeral industry, too.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Theocracy on the march

If this doesn't scare the Hell out of you, you're already dead.

The Department of Justice, led by Alberto Gonzalez, is in the process of setting up legal courts in CHURCHES. Follow this link:

Under a new program called "Fugitive Safe Surrender", Federal money will be given to churches to convince fugitives to turn themselves in. They will be arraigned in court IN A CHURCH, and MINISTERS will advocate for the prisoners. What in the name of the Constitution happened to the separation of church and state? Inquisitory minds want to know! Given our present governments advocacy of torture, it is only a matter of time until churches are given the right to FORCE confessions as well as hear them.

And why churches, instead of Starbucks or Home Depot? The Feds could as easily set up a similar program there without running afoul of the"establishment"clause. Unless that is exactly the intent!

The DOJ is also pushing a new initiative called "The First Freedom Project" to make it easier for people to file religious discrimination complaints. A recent poll shows that 60% of American Christians now believe that their religious freedoms are under attack. Is it any wonder that Gonzalez approached the fundamentalist Southern Baptist Convention to use their forum to roll out this new plan?

Plainly, his aim is to have the courts flooded with religious discrimination lawsuits. It will give "legitimacy" to the perceived "war on Christianity", fuelling the fervor of the religious right, and make it harder to defend against the relentless assault on the First Amendment. Bring enough cases to the right judges, which assuredly are in place, and we are through as a democracy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


David Sentelle is a Federal Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A few days ago Sentelle, along with Judge A. Raymond Randolph, used preposterous tortured reasoning to back the U.S. Government claim that the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay have no rights under Habeus Corpus to challenge their confinements in Federal courts. The detainees can be held there forever with no legal recourse.

Sentelle and Randolph ruled that Habeus rights do not apply to the detainees because Guantanamo Bay is leased and therefore falls under Cuban sovereignty!!!! (I guess this means that Fidel Castro has the right to free them). Apparently, any reason will do, even one so transparently illogical as this one, if it serves the purposes of the Bush regime. Sentelle is doing everything he can to throw dirt on the grave of Habeus Corpus, Constitution be damned.

As soon as I saw Sentelles name on this ruling, ugly memories came flooding back, and I do mean ugly.He is the" go to" guy when the Republicans need a friend on the court. Sentelle is the guy who overturned the well-deserved convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter on a technicality. They had been found guilty for their roles in Iran-Contra.

Sentelle is also the guy who appointed Kenneth Starr to head the investigation of Bill Clinton, after Robert Fiske, the first Independent Counsel, found NOTHING wrong. That wasn't good enough for the Republicans, so they turned to Sentelle to do his dirty deed.

He is a totally loyal , totally partisan Republican who is an insult to the concept of jurisprudence.

I promise you this-If I ever get to be President, David Sentelle and others like him will visit Cuban soil immediately.

ADDENDUM: Here is a link to an article that fleshes out David Sentelles track record a little better. I just found this:


Using actual figures from President Bushit's 2007 proposed budget, supplied by a staffer in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT), Matt Taibbi has written a great article showing how many of the tax cuts for the wealthy that Bush is pushing will be paid for by cutting or eliminating several important domestic/social programs. It's a classic "take from you and give to them" budget, again. Bushwa talks, but your money walks.

Here's the link:

Just one comparison to get you started: Over the next ten years, Bush will give the Wal-Mart heirs tax breaks of 32.7 billion dollars, while cutting Medicaid funding by 28 billion.

These are real numbers-study them. When you've done this, ask yourself if Bush Inc. have maybe been feeding you a boatload of pure lies every time they tell you that they hold the best interests of you and your family first in their hearts. If you still buy into their crap, you are a bona fide fool, too stupid to believe you own lyin' eyes. Will ANYTHING make you understand how badly you've been duped?

Incidentally, Taibbi's take on the quality of news coverage these days is right on the mark, and mirrors my previous posts. I wish he would quit stealing my stuff.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is John Edwards "da man"?

I've got a problem here. I like John Edwards more and more, but I can't get comfortable with the idea of trusting him with my full support. I really want to, but I've been had before- for years I thought Hillary was great-until she hit the Senate.

Edwards , so far, seems like a populists dream. The man seems to genuinely care about us, the OTHER 99%. He has proposed a health care plan that has a lot of good aspects, etc. etc. I just read a long article on him by Ezra Klein in this months issue of The American Prospect, and learned some things, important to me at least, that make me lean his way even more--He is not, nor ever has been, a person who idolizes big business. I was reminded that, on the contrary, he made his bones as a trial lawyer fighting those soulless creeps in court, seeking redress for common people who had been badly wronged by the big corporate types. Even better, He has NEVER joined the Democratic Leadership Council, which is nothing more than the Democratic wing of the Republican party.Even better, he DOES NOT accept money fron PACs or lobbyists. Are these good portents, or what?

He is articulate, connects with his message, has legislative experience, isn't owned (apparently), preaches a populist message, and has apologized repeatedly for his Iraq war vote in 2002. So what's my problem? He sounds too good to be true. He is so damned smooth I can't help but wonder how much is politics and how much is real.

My first choice, Kucinich, has no money. Obama isn't half black-he's all green. Vilsack is about money. Clinton whores for special interests, despite what she says. Biden , though smart as hell, has no clue that the United States exists outside of D.C.. Al Gore isn't running yet, and may not choose to.

So that leaves John Edwards.Is he the man to beat back corporate influence, repair our relationships with the rest of the world, and champion real social reforms here at home? Can he blunt the influence of the radical "Christians"? Or, am I getting set up for a fall again, because I'm so desperate for someone, anyone, to be the answer to my prayers?

I'm probably going to back him, but I need input, PRO or CON, before I leap.

Please tell me what YOU think.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


If President Bush was leading an invasion of a busy shopping mall, would you, seeing the carnage, feel compelled to stop him by whatever means necessary?

Why? or why not?

Next, cut through all the bullshit rhetoric and tell me truthfully why Iraq is any different, except in scale.



Here is a very telling letter from House Republicans Shadegg and Hoekstra to their fellow Republicans urging them not to debate the Iraq escalation resolution on Democratic terms, but to instead tie Iraq into radical Islamists and the "war on terror", AS IF THEY WERE AT ALL EVER RELATED TO IRAQ EXCEPT AS PART OF THE LIES FED TO US TO JUSTIFY THE INVASION. The letter closes by stating "If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose".

Here is the link:

This is proof positive that the Republicans ONLY concern is "winning" a political debate with the Democrats, and NOT one damned bit with serving the nation by having an honest policy debate.

"Republikan Uber Alles" has always been, is now, and will always be their first and only consideration. The concept of loyally serving the country and its citizens is something these self-centered poseurs will NEVER embrace, or even consider.


Here is a link to A Huffington Post article by Jane Smiley. This is valuable stuff and worth learning from.PLEASE READ IT! She lays things out much better than I ever could.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What's a poor newspaper supposed to do?

Here is a link to a blog post by Cincinnati Enquirer editor David Wells -
In his post, Mr Wells mentions the 12+billions disappeared in Iraq, Dick Cheney and the trial of Scooter Libby, and Iran "going nuclear", and wonders why stories like the death of Anna Nicole Smith, and the adventure of a whacko astronaut seem to be so much more important to the public. He ends with the plaintive question "How, when and why have stories that used to be fit only for supermarket tabloids been elevated to the mainstream?"
I tried to post a comment on his blog regarding his query( a pointed but softer criticism than the one here), but he chose not to allow it, so now i'm pissed. My expanded comment follows.

It is the news media that determines what is important, not the public. Your newspaper, Mr. Wells, as part of the media, is who decides which stories to run and play up for weeks on end, and which stories to mention only in passing (or not at all) without any followup.

The framers of the Constitution were so aware of the importance of an unfettered, unrestrained press to the preservation of democracy that they regarded it as a duty. They wrote the First Amendment, a guarantee against censorship OF the press, specifically so that the press was free to perform that duty by exposing the excesses of the government. What they failed to foresee however, is what we have now, censorship BY the press.

For years, your paper and most other media in this country, have steadfastly refused to do any meaningful reporting that would expose the flaws, lies, cronyism, theft and deceptions of the Bush/Cheney administration. You prefer to let them go unchallenged while they destroy the Bill of Rights, bankrupt the Treasury for generations to come, and plan pre-emptive nuclear strikes against sovereign nations. Instead, you fill your "news"paper with ceaseless mindless blather about Hollywood celebrities, whacked-out astronauts, and countless other inanities as if they were truly momentous and life-altering to the reader. You have abdicated your First Amendment DUTY by failing to report on the really important issues of government confronting us, which would help to ensure an open and honest government. If "ignorance is bliss", your readers can thank you for their happiness. On the other hand, if "silence is consent", what does that infer about the motives of your paper?

The Cincinnati Enquirer is the tabloid you denigrate, Mr. Wells. You promote the vacuous mindset of your readership by shoddy reporting and then dare to question how their attitudes came to be? Your question is disingenuous and insulting, Mr Wells. Rather than asking it, you should be apologizing to your readers for all the years of damage and disservice your paper has inflicted.

Your paper, Mr. Wells, instead of of functioning as a primary defender of our democracy, has devolved into something else entirely, to the detriment of our nation.

ADDENDUM: here is a link to a blog post by David Wells responding to my assumption that my previous comment on this story was blocked, and my apology.

ADDENDUM: 2/14/07-- Read this link- Carl Bernstein in PBS Frontline interview makes my case.

ADDENDUM: 2/14/07-- Check this out. Makes it all a little clearer, as you'll see.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Food for thought

Watch for Dick Cheney's forthcoming book "CHICKEN CHOW MEIN KAMPF", in which he will justify his struggle for world domination. "You know how it is", he will say, "you devour one country and an hour later you're hungry again".
It would be wonderful if the Federal government were to outsource responsibility for Air Force One to Value Jet. It would have an impact felt far beyond the Florida Everglades.
In an audiotape broadcast today by Al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden announced that he has moved his base of operations out of the mountainous region along the Afghan-Pakistan border where he had been hiding for the last several years.
"With the help of Allah and the American liberal press", said bin Laden, I have discovered the one spot on Earth absolutely free of interference or intrusion by the Federal government of the United States. It is the only place where the minions of the Great Satan will never make their presence felt, and where I will thus be totally safe from capture. I knew I had reached this place when Allah, in his infinite mercy, showed me a sign that said 'Welcome to New Orleans' ."
Now that the troop increase in Iraq is being called an escalation, will Bush start calling himself "The Escalator?" So far, he hasn't decided.

Monday, February 5, 2007


In a recent posting, I allowed that I oppose abortion on moral grounds, but respect the right of others to feel differently. The true beauty and genius of our Constitution lies in the guarantee that all people can hold and express their views without interference from either the government or other individuals. This is true freedom-cherish it! Remember, any change we want to bring about must be done with respect for the rights of our fellow citizens. Use persuasion, logic, protest, pressure on our lawmakers, the ballot, whatever is legal to achieve your aims.
That said, my belief is that abortion is murder, but I also feel (again, on moral grounds) that the taking of ANY human life is murder. I am deeply troubled by the fact that so many of you who feel as I do about abortion are so narrowly focused on JUST abortion that you rail against terminating a pregnancy, but don't give any consideration to the moral imperative of preserving lives once born into the world. Killing in ALL its forms is certainly covered in God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill". Where are the loopholes? Does God allow the luxury of picking certain parts of that commandment to follow? Certainly not!
So, if you are going to protest the immorality of murdering a fetus, isn't short-sighted to not also protest the immorality of murder in all it's other forms as well? Murder has many different aspects: wars( especially for profit, as nearly all of ours have been), preventable starvation, preventable death from illness or disease, yes, even capital punishment because we are passing a judgement reserved to God Himself. After all is said and done, ending a human life at ANY age, except by accident, is still murder, and the moral consequences are the same whether you caused the death directly or passively permitted it to happen.
I truly feel that you are right in protesting abortion, but your scope is too confined .Enormous benefit to the whole of humankind can be achieved if you apply your zeal and determination to the wider fight.
One way that may help you to put all this in perspective is by accepting an expanded definition of abortion. At present, there are two primary forms of abortion that are recognized; MISCARRIAGE, to which attaches no guilt, and ELECTIVE, where a pregnancy is ended by choice at any point within the first three trimesters from conception, and from which the death of a fetus results. I propose that you consider the ENTIRE span of a persons life in trimesters ( for example, a person who lives a full lifespan of 50 years before a natural unavoidable death, will have lived 203 trimesters, including three as a fetus), and that you recognize a third type of abortion,POST-PARTUM, which is the early termination of a life AFTER the third trimester.
By understanding that taking a life at any time after conception is really the same sin against God and man, you will see the logic of this new definition.
Do you have any idea how more millions of lives could be saved if you advocated for the sanctity of the FULL SPAN of ALL human life? Do you understand that our responsibility is to protect all life, born and unborn?
To get a better handle on how so many millions of these inexcusable early deaths occur, I recommend that you carefully examine all the different manifestations of greed, and examine closely its horrible consequences.
And lastly, once you know these things, DON'T BE SILENCED!
(I welcome all comments)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Cleaning House

Periodically, I find it necessary to purge my mind of little thought snippets and observations that creep in and keep bouncing around so that I can't focus on my real goal, which is dinner.

Here are a few bumper stickers I'd like to see:
1) IRAQ'S AREQ! (that's it in a nutsHell)
2)SADDAMIZE BUSH! ( either way you read it, he deserves it)
George Bush--"His spirit is willing but his mind is weak".
Summing up the Republican defense of Medicare Part D--"Doughnut holes are health food."
Bush, explaining to Chris Matthews on Oddball why he didn't meet his National Guard obligations--" Had too much trouble with gunnery. Musta caught it six times. Docs warned me, so I had to quit. I think I still have it, but they tell me the drip's just post-nasal."
Bush quote--" Freedoms on the march, and it definitely looks better from the back."
There's something wrong with that "culture of corruption" label stuck on the Republicans. C'mon--the only way that bunch could get any culture would be to lick it off of a Petri dish.
Now that the Republicans have successfully dismantled most of the regulations that protected us from the predations of large corporations and big-money financial interests, we truly know what it is like to "suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes".
Next time some brainless "patriot" points to a flag and shouts "These colors don't run!", say, "No they don't, but they will vaporize, asshole".
On that subject, an unnamed source from within the Defense Department has told me off the record that President Bush does NOT intend to use nuclear weapons when he invades the sovereign nation of Iran, because radioactive oil is very hard to refine. The source said that Bush personally ordered that all warplanes be equipped with "smart bombs" retrofitted with enough Fleet enemas to, in Bush's words, "Blow the shit out of any of them Persian rug-heads that tries to stop us".
Fox News motto--"Fairly unbalanced, and rightly so"
You know, they're hardly unique. They're just one part of the "owned media", the right-wing "spin machine" that spews the "ordure du jour" like a synchronized sphincter team.
The latest Defense Appropriations bill includes $20 billion for "plastic Jesuses", to replace the standard sights currently in use on all rifles. A DOD official, when asked by a Senate commitee to justify the request, explained that since God is on our side, using "Jesus sights" to guide our bullets would improve our kill rate by an estimated 1000%, ensuring our victory over the Infidels. He went on to clarify that if enough of the "Jesus sights" could not be produced, a "Pat Robertson" model could be substituted.
Senators McCain and Clinton immediately pledged to support the request.
The Statue of Liberty is in the news. The Department of Immigration and Naturalization has announced that the venerable symbol of freedom and hope to generations of people entering America for a new life is being moved to the Mexican border, where it will see duty as a surveillance tower and sniper post. The plaque just inside the entrance that says "...give me your tired, your poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." will remain, "just for a chuckle", according to a spokesman.
AAhhh-time to eat!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

A reply to a comment on the ARMY OF GOD post

Reverend Spitz: I thank you for reading my blog post, but I must take issue with your statement that I am an anti-Christian bigot. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I am a devout believer in the words of Jesus Christ, who preached love, caring, understanding, and tolerance for all people, even those who are your enemies.
I believe in the Jesus Christ who decried religious hypocrisy in all its forms, including those who preach hate and intolerance, who preach to gain power and wealth unto themselves, and who dare to assume the role of God Himself and pass judgement on others. By judging me, Reverend, you are showing yourself to be anti-Christian, and are thus in real danger of eternal damnation, according to Christ's own words.
Religious beliefs aside for a moment, you should also know that I am a patriotic American who has a profound respect, bordering on reverence, for the Constitution of the United States,which guarantees all Americans, even you, the right to live free and to be heard, without interference from others. Indeed , our Constitution also has specific protections that prohibit people from imposing their religious beliefs on others. You and I are free to be Christian, others to be Jewish, or Muslim, or Wiccan or even atheists if they so choose.
ANY religious movement seeking to overthrow these Constitutional protections and to establish a theocratic state where one religion holds sway is, by any definition, treasonous.
I have read your blog, Reverend, and can see that you are very, if not solely, concerned about abortion. Please know that I too consider abortion to be murder. However, this is my view, and your view, but not everyone feels as we do. Our Constitution protects the right of all citizens to hold views other than ours. If, as we believe, abortion is murder, people who feel otherwise will have to answer to God, not to us.
Also, Reverend, don't you find it more than a little hypocritical that so many who hold that abortion is murder don't see any contradiction in supporting the death penalty, or supporting wars that claim hundreds of thousands of innocent lives? Isn't that murder, too?
Aren't you just as guilty of murder if you passively permit people to die of starvation when we have the collective means to feed them, or to clothe them so that they don't freeze, or to provide medical care when they can't afford it, so that they don't die because of its lack?
So, Reverend Spitz, I would respectfully request that you read the Constitution, and that you re-read Matthew very carefully, before you cast another stone.
Thank you.


There has been a rapid increase in the numbers of radical Christians throughout the armed services, many of whom are rising rapidly through the ranks to fill important staff positions. Also, nearly 50% of the chaplaincy positions in the services and service academies are now held by radical Christians.
Here is a link to a comprehensive article on this subject authored by Chris Hedges and posted on Alternet
These people have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution, but are working to politicize the armed services of the very country they have sworn to protect. Many openly admit that their first duty is to God (or their version), and then to the United States.
I see this as a very real and very dangerous infiltration of our armed services by a "fifth column" of religious zealots, undertaken with the ultimate goal of a military coup to overthrow our democratic republic and install a "Christian" theocracy.
If this should happen, life as enjoyed under extremist Muslims regimes like the Taliban will come to be envied.
Thanks to Bush's war, manpower requirements in the services are so tight that these fanatics are free to sign up in large numbers and to advance rapidly. We MUST stop our murderous aggression NOW, to relieve the pressure on our armed service manpower needs, and pray that there remain enough true patriots in high command positions to begin a purge of these traitorous elements.
Our country can only be destroyed from within, and we must stop this group of traitors from realizing their aims.