Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thank God For Homeland Security

As a cloud of purest white descended slowly, ever so slowly, from an otherwise clear sky over Washington D.C., thousands of onlookers gazed in awe at the strange but somehow non-threatening phenomenon. They noticed, as the cloud gently approached, that it was becoming more transparent, and that within they could see what appeared to be a robed man. Those with the keenest sight reacted first and fell to their knees, and the rest followed in turn, as they realized that the man was on a cross.

The cloud dissipated as it touched down close to the Washington Monument, and after a few moments the man floated from the cross to the earth, raised his hands in supplication, and prepared to speak. Though the crowd was far-flung, each person could see him as if he were only a few feet away.

Just as he opened his mouth, several dozen men rushed at the man, screaming "Take him down now!" A bullhorn blared as the man was hauled away, limp and bloody, and a strong voice announced to the stunned assembly "You are safe now! We have stopped the attack! I repeat-- you are safe! You can return to your homes as soon as we collect all cameras and cell phones! God bless America!".

The next day, President Bush, with several religious leaders and the heads of every agency within the Department of Homeland Security, let the whole world know that America had been attacked by the leader of a group of crazed heretics bent on destroying our way of life, and that it was only by the vigilance of the security agencies that no lasting damage had been done, and that martial law was being declared simply as a "precaution" until the rest of the terrorists could be rounded up and brought to justice.

It was only a few weeks later that disturbing pictures began to circulate through the underground. They show a robed man, his face reflecting the most profound sadness, dragging a cross up a hill. And on his head, a crown of Taser darts.

Serves the damn fool right.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do us both a favor

Take an hour or so to read the essays under the links provided. They generally follow a theme-- WE are in the soup, our government is out of our control, our rights are disappearing right along with the Constitution, the right-wing sucks and they are being aided by the Democrats to wage war on the world and us, and what in hell are we going to do about it. The last two are a little different--the first just describes one of the "benefits" of a convenience culture and the second will let you know what to expect from the next generation of "leadership".

Read, learn, re-read anything you didn't get the first time, and give me your thoughts while it's still legal.

Continued Disenfranchisement of the People Can Only Lead to Violence, 10/25/07

When America Went Fascist, 9/25/07

You Have No Rights, 8/14/07

The Who's Your Daddy Nation, 10/06/07

Why Does Everybody Bow Down to the Health Insurance Industry, 9/24/07

We Can Do Better Than This, 10/16/07

In 2008, Make your Vote Count... Vote "NO CONFIDENCE", 10/19/07

These Democrats Aren't Our Grandparents' Democrats, 10/20/07

Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, 10/20/07

Is a Presidential Coup Under Way?, 10/23/07

Where Does the Right-Wind End and the Media Begin?, 10/26/07

I'm Not a "Democrat-American"- I'm an American, 10/27/07

Come see our giant toxic stew, 10/26/07

American kids, dumber than dirt, 10/24/07

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ever hear the phrase "unreasoning fear"?

Examples of it abound. Dozens of times each week, stories like the ones below come to our attention, but they are so commonplace that everyone takes them for granted, as normal responses to dangerous situations. But, I've got a problem with that kind of thinking.

The first story concerns a second grade student who was suspended from school for drawing a gun. Did he draw it on a group of terrified classmates? On a teacher? No and no. He drew it on a piece of paper, the little anti-social psychopathic terrorist.

From Yahoo News, 10/20/07:

DENNIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A second-grader's drawing of a stick figure shooting a gun earned him a one-day school suspension.
Kyle Walker, 7, was suspended last week for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on guns, the boy's mother, Shirley McDevitt, told The Press of Atlantic City.
Kyle gave the picture to another child on the school bus, and that child's parents complained about it to school officials, McDevitt said. Her son told her the drawing was of a water gun, she said.
A photocopy of the picture provided by McDevitt showed two stick figures with one pointing a crude-looking gun at the other, the newspaper said. What appeared to be the word "me" was written above the shooter, with another name scribbled above the other figure.
School officials declined to comment Friday. A message left at the superintendent's office Saturday was not returned.

The second story is about some poor schmuck who was fired after his boss discovered that the fellow had suffered a "super bug" staph infection two years ago.

From The Raw Story 10/25/07, with video:

CBS 4 News in Miami reported on Wednesday that hysteria over the "superbug" Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has caused a local man to lose his job. MRSA has been around for years but has recently been responsible for a highly-publicized surge in fatalities, causing more deaths in the US than AIDS and leading to widespread panic.
Morris Yomtov mentioned casually while at work at the Hollywood Telemarketing Company that he'd had MRSA two years ago after getting some scrapes on his arms while clearing trees downed by a hurricane. About an hour later, his boss called up to say he was fired. Yomtov told CBS 4 that his boss refused to listen to explanations, telling him, "It wasn't around two years ago, it's only been around now, so you must have it."
Yomtov's doctor gave him a note saying he was completely infection-free, but his boss refused to even take it from his hand, asking him to FAX it instead. Now the company is not returning Yomtov's phone calls and also refused to talk to the CBS 4 news team.
"I'm not Typhoid Mary," insists Yomtov, who has filed a federal employment discrimination complaint.
The following video is from Miami's CBS 4, broadcast on October 24, 2007. (access thru link above)

This is what happens in a society that is constantly told to fear EVERYTHING. Common sense and reason fly out the window. The government and the media have created a culture in which everything is an enemy out kill you. There is no longer any "risk assessment" and we are conditioned to react punitively and automatically, in a panic reflex that leaves no room for thought.

Since when do either the child or the now-healthy adult deserve the treatment they received?
A moments reflection will reveal to even the most convulsive house-wrappers that they were hapless victims of stupid responses to non-existant threats. But, because of the incessant drum-beat of fear mongering, they don't take that moment to think. They no longer have any balance or even any understanding of what's been done to them. And that is scary stuff, because they are 100% ripe for control by any person or government who promises to make them safe.

Poor dupes they are, and what's worse, I'm gonna be controlled too, because of their fear. When we are so divided by fear, when everyone else and everything else can instantly become your enemy, we are no longer capable of standing together to resist the real dangers that threaten us. Like our own government.

What if they threw a press conference and nobody came?

That very thing happened to FEMA and I must say they handled it beautifully. They did what any good department in the Bush White House would do, and faked it.

On Tuesday, FEMA gave the press a 15 minute notice of a press briefing to update a breathless world on everything that FEMA was doing to assist California and its residents who have suffered severely from this years wildfires. With all that notice, you'd think the briefing room would be packed, and it was, with FEMA staffers posing as reporters, lobbing soft little ashball questions to the guy giving the briefing. Of course, the whole thing was broadcast live on MSNBC and FOX NEWS among others, while FEMA did a heckuva job patting themselves on the back to an adoring nation. YAY FEMA! Here's the link to the story.

Alas , somebody in the press corps just had to bitch, and both the Department of Homeland Security (under which FEMA falls), and the White House had to issue apologies, here and here.

White House Press Bitch Dana Perino made a comment that left me scratching my head:

QUESTION: And from what we understand, the questions were posed not by reporters but by staffers. And that distinction was not made known. Is that appropriate?

PERINO: It is not. It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don’t condone it. We didn’t know about it beforehand.(Emphasis added)

I think she told another big one, folks. The flaming phony Jeff Gannon from the phony Talon News flies immediately to mind. In addition, half of the credentialed press goons that call themselves journalists are straight from the White House steno pool. If they're not staffers, who is? If her b.s. was butter, I'd have to swear off toast.

Don't be alarmed, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for this

Well, it's soon to be official. As soon as the Senate passes this bill, which just passed in the House with 404 votes, Bush will sign it (without a signing statement), and it will be illegal to think bad thoughts about our government. You don't need a thermometer or a fork to know when we're done.

House Passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill is re-printed from (Lee Rogers 10/25/07)

"The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.

First let’s take a look at the definitions of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as defined in Section 899A of the bill.

The definition of violent radicalization uses vague language to define this term of promoting any belief system that the government considers to be an extremist agenda. Since the bill doesn’t specifically define what an extremist belief system is, it is entirely up to the interpretation of the government. Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.

`(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION- The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.

The definition of homegrown terrorism uses equally vague language to further define thought crime. The bill includes the planned use of force or violence as homegrown terrorism which could be interpreted as thinking about using force or violence. Not only that but the definition is so vaguely defined, that petty crimes could even fall into the category of homegrown terrorism. The definition as defined in the bill is shown below.

`(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Section 899B of the bill goes over the findings of Congress as it pertains to homegrown terrorism. Particularly alarming is that the bill mentions the Internet as a main source for terrorist propaganda. The bill even mentions streams in obvious reference to many of the patriot and pro-constitution Internet radio networks that have been formed. It also mentions that homegrown terrorists span all ages and races indicating that the Congress is stating that everyone is a potential terrorist. Even worse is that Congress states in their findings that they should look at draconian police states like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom as models to defeat homegrown terrorists. Literally, these findings of Congress fall right in line with the growing patriot community.

The biggest joke of all is that this section also says that any measure to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism should not violate the constitutional rights of citizens. However, the definition of violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism as they are defined in section 899A are themselves unconstitutional. The Constitution does not allow the government to arrest people for thought crimes, so any promises not to violate the constitutional rights of citizens is already broken by their own definitions.


`The Congress finds the following:

`(1) The development and implementation of methods and processes that can be utilized to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States is critical to combating domestic terrorism.

`(2) The promotion of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence exists in the United States and poses a threat to homeland security.

`(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.

`(4) While the United States must continue its vigilant efforts to combat international terrorism, it must also strengthen efforts to combat the threat posed by homegrown terrorists based and operating within the United States.

`(5) Understanding the motivational factors that lead to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence is a vital step toward eradicating these threats in the United States.

`(6) The potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily prevented through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and requires the incorporation of State and local solutions.

`(7) Individuals prone to violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence span all races, ethnicities, and religious beliefs, and individuals should not be targeted based solely on race, ethnicity, or religion.

`(8) Any measure taken to prevent violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism in the United States should not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.

`(9) Certain governments, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have significant experience with homegrown terrorism and the United States can benefit from lessons learned by those nations.

Section 899C calls for a commission on the prevention of violent radicalization and ideologically based violence. The commission will consist of ten members appointed by various individuals that hold different positions in government. Essentially, this is a commission that will examine and report on how they are going to deal with violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. So basically, the commission is being formed specifically on how to deal with thought criminals in the United States. The bill requires that the commission submit their final report 18 months following the commission’s first meeting as well as submit interim reports every 6 months leading up to the final report. Below is the bill’s defined purpose of the commission. Amazingly they even define one of the purposes of the commission to determine the causes of lone wolf violent radicalization.

(b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:

`(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or `lone wolf' violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.

`(2) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of--

`(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;

`(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and

`(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.

Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. Essentially, this will be a Department of Homeland Security affiliated institution that will study and determine how to defeat thought criminals.

Section 899E of the bill discusses how the government is going to defeat violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism through international cooperation. As stated in the findings section earlier in the legislation, they will unquestionably seek the advice of countries with draconian police states like the United Kingdom to determine how to deal with this growing threat of thought crime.

Possibly the most ridiculous section of the bill is Section 899F which states how they plan on protecting civil rights and civil liberties while preventing ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism. Here is what the section says.


`(a) In General- The Department of Homeland Security's efforts to prevent ideologically-based violence and homegrown terrorism as described herein shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights, and civil liberties of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents.

`(b) Commitment to Racial Neutrality- The Secretary shall ensure that the activities and operations of the entities created by this subtitle are in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security's commitment to racial neutrality.

`(c) Auditing Mechanism- The Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer of the Department of Homeland Security will develop and implement an auditing mechanism to ensure that compliance with this subtitle does not result in a disproportionate impact, without a rational basis, on any particular race, ethnicity, or religion and include the results of its audit in its annual report to Congress required under section 705.'.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act is amended by inserting at the end of the items relating to title VIII the following:

It states in the first subsection that in general the efforts to defeat thought crime shall not violate the constitutional rights, civil rights and civil liberties of the United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. How does this protect constitutional rights if they use vague language such as in general that prefaces the statement? This means that the Department of Homeland Security does not have to abide by the Constitution in their attempts to prevent so called homegrown terrorism.

This bill is completely insane. It literally allows the government to define any and all crimes including thought crime as violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism. Obviously, this legislation is unconstitutional on a number of levels and it is clear that all 404 representatives who voted in favor of this bill are traitors and should be removed from office immediately. The treason spans both political parties and it shows us all that there is no difference between them. The bill will go on to the Senate and will likely be passed and signed into the law by George W. Bush. Considering that draconian legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act have already been passed, there seems little question that this one will get passed as well. This is more proof that our country has been completely sold out by a group of traitors at all levels of government."

While it is still technically legal, I am going to call again for massive civil disobedience and general strikes to fight back against the destruction of our democracy. I am fully aware of the difficulties of organizing large-scale protests( and will post further on those problems), but we must fight back in a way that is relatively bloodless. We must do this in the very near future or we will be left with a truly revolting development.

Dammit! I never thought I'd live long enough to see the end of America. I think it's going to be re-named to something more up-to-date like, say, "East Germanystan".

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So what's cookin' in California?

Wildfires and California--they fit together like O.J. and his glove. A nearly annual disaster, and this year is one of the worst, with property damage estimated at over one billion dollars in San Diego County alone. Well over 1,000 homes lost, about 1,600 still threatened, 8 lives lost, 75 injured, and on and on.

If you want to place blame, there are plenty of targets. You might blame the real estate developers for building in stupidly high risk areas, or the people who buy these homes, or the insurance companies who gleefully underwrite their fire insurance. Or maybe Governor Terminator, who vetoed four bills since 2003 which would have helped the firefighters respond faster and better.
Or how about our ageing fleet of firefighting airplanes, grounded for maintenance and safety issues? Or the bureaucratic red tape that kept available planes from responding while these fires could have been nipped in the bud? Maybe if George Bush hadn't taken control of the National Guard and their equipment and sent it to Iraq, their assets could have been employed to help fight the fires. Real problems, every one of them.

However, the real blame belongs elsewhere.

Fox News blames Al Qaeda here and here.
Glen Beck says that the fires are burning homes of "those who hate America", and blames it on the "damned environmentalists" here and here.
A "Christian" fundamentalist minister, of course, blames gays.
And Rush Limbaugh downplayed the devastating fires claiming it's being hyped by the media.
(Rush is correct on this one-- it certainly doesn't merit the same coverage given to, say, Britney Spears' crotch.)

Thank God these people are around to tell us the real truth.

President Bush finally showed up yesterday for his photo-op, showing his usual compassion by hugging a tearful lady in front of her burned-out home.( Funny you never see him doing that in Baghdad). Anyway, we can now rest assured that he'll make it all better.

Here are more links to articles on the fires:

Miriam Raftery at Brad Blog: Burned-up residents fault officials...
Think Progress: CA Guard Warned of 'Less Effective Response'...
Crooks and Liars: ...Calif. Lt Gov on Bush...disastrous disaster record
The Democratic Daily: California and Orange Cty Fires: Lies, Stupidity and Unnecessary

I guess the whole point of this post is to remind you that self-serving individuals and politicians continue to make short-sighted decisions for the wrong reasons without considering or caring about possible or likely consequences, and that there is always a price to pay. Sometimes it's a very heavy price, whether in lives or money or simple decency.

P.S.-- I may have missed it, but I'm still waiting for the right-wing to point quivering fingers of blame for these fires on roving bands of angry blacks still upset that they lost their homes to Katrina.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What will you do when push comes to shove?

Sooner or later, every person in this country who espouses liberal/progressive values is going to have to take an arduous trip. Every person who respects life, who has a profound sense of right and wrong, who simply can't stand unfairness, intolerance, and injustice, who considers deceit and dishonesty to be abhorrent, who understands the evil inherent in greed and selfishness, and who understands that helping others is also helping yourself, is going to have to take a difficult journey into their mind and soul, examine their core values and guiding principles, and decide, really decide, how far they are willing to go to uphold them.

Many have already made this trip (I just did), but soon now all the rest are going to have to make up their minds, because we are facing a severe test. The corporatists, the fascists, the greedy elite who hold the strings that control our government, are a mere eyeblink away from taking over and eliminating the last vestiges of the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Constitution.

I had trouble with my introspective examination, as I am both selfish and cowardly. Like everybody, I want a contented life for me and mine, free of want and worry about the necessities of food, clothing, housing and health. But I am also empathetic--I believe that all men are created equal and have the right to pursue the things that they want, too. I believe that inclusiveness and cooperation is the way to attain these things, so that as one benefits, we all benefit. I see the self-interest in helping others because they, in turn, will help me.

But, can I kill for these ideals? Can sacrificing my own life be morally justified? These are questions that trouble my cowardly side, as I do not face death easily. If we are to save our country and our ideals, these questions may become more than an idle speculations.

Unless we just give up hope,we are soon to be faced with our last-ditch stand for freedom, and it can take different forms. An armed revolt, like our forefathers engaged in to overthrow the control of the British, is one form our fight might take.

I, for one, cannot find the moral justification for taking another life to preserve a "way of life", only to preserve my life or the life of another from direct attack. I do not believe it can be a moral choice. It's hard to make that decision, but there it is. I have found myself at times dreaming of assassinating those who are destroying our country, simply putting things right by killing all of the evil bastards who are doing this to us, but that is only a sign of my growing desperation. Murder, after all, is murder, and I would be betraying my most deeply held beliefs if I engaged in it. I have learned hate from those who use it against us, and it is easy to give in to its allure, but my soul is too important to me to sacrifice in that way.

The only other ways that I see by which we may halt the tyranny threatening to engulf us is "passive resistance" and "civil disobedience". These methods entail massive strikes and peaceful massive demonstrations to shut down the everyday workings of government and commerce, to bring our country to a grinding halt, in order to force both the corporate elite and their whores in government to listen to us, and to change. They must be hit it the only place they can be hurt, and that's in the wallet. If the money train is shut down, and we do not capitulate to their demands, they will (hopefully) have to cede control of our country back to us.

Which brings up another sticky moral issue. Would you go to jail for defending our freedoms? Most of us certainly would--no big deal, really. But, would you give up your life? I have decided that I would be willing to do just that. Passive resistance to a tyrranical government is fraught with danger, as the most often used method to quell it is the use of force. Remember Tiananmen Square in 1989, when thousands of Chinese protesters faced down soldiers and tanks? It would likely happen here. I believe, consistent with my beliefs, that laying down ones own life for the greater good of all mankind is the most selfless, noble, moral act one can perform. And the hardest to come to grips with for one who really doesn't want to make that final journey to the "great beyond". What would I gain? Nothing material, certainly, but that isn't what's truly important, is it?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

"I pledge allegience to the Constitution of the United States of America"

And to the freedoms which it has granted us, one nation..."

If Betsy Ross had known that her creation would help kill freedom, she never would have sewn it.

At the time, however, the patriots fighting to free themselves from the excesses of the crown needed a unifying symbol, something to inspire and point to and rally around--a symbol to lead us to victory. And it worked. British rule was thrown off. The hard-won fight led to the Constitution and the United States of America.

At that point, having done its job so well, the flag that Betsy Ross made should have been gracefully and gratefully retired, honored and respected for its role, and a new emblem given its place--one that symbolized not what we had fought for, but what we had won.

We had, to replace that venerable old symbol, something real to rally around, called the Constitution of the United States, created by men of inspired, selfless genius. A document which affirmed our inalienable rights and established the rules by which "We, the People" would govern our leaders. That is what our victory in the Revolutionary War won for us.

This wonderful document is not just the basis for our democracy, it is our democracy. But was our Constitution given it's rightful place on a new flag? Sadly, it was not. The "Stars and Stripes" reigns supreme to this day.

We pledge allegience to the "Stars and Stripes", it is everywhere one looks, it's depicted on lapel pins and bumper stickers and clothing. The "Stars and Stripes" is flown on national holidays by people showing their patriotism. It is displayed in every courthouse and at every political event. It is the ultimate symbol of national pride (and that is telling--we should be grateful for what we have, not proud). But where in all this is our Constitution, which is, after all, is what is truly deserving of our homage?

Our precious Constitution has been ignored and taken for granted, rarely seen, even more rarely studied and understood, because we have focused instead on an outdated symbol. That superficial symbol has provided a cover under which men have been able to work, unseen and unnoticed, to dismantle the document which gave us the liberties we have enjoyed for 200 years.

And that is the disconnect that has occurred, the fatal flaw Betsy Ross could never have imagined, that may well spell the end of our freedoms.

Through our ignorance, we are allowing our rights to be abridged, our freedoms taken away one by one, which once lost may never be regained. Free speech, privacy, equal justice (indeed, justice in any form), free elections--gone or going away. And we always took them for granted.

Read the Constitution, find the justification for wars of conquest. It does not exist.Read it, and understand that our true strength lies in working for the common good, not for the benefit of a few. Read it, and you will then know that our democracy is based on compassion, selflessness, mutual help, caring and sharing, and acceptance. Where have those ideals gone?

The only way that we can save our freedoms is by understanding them and where they came from. There are two ways to force this, both of which can be done by Congress, if they will respond to a unified call for action.

1) Retire the "Stars and Stripes" and replace it with a flag depicting the Constitution. If you see it every day, fly it, salute it and sing to it, you will learn to respect it and fight to protect it. We will never permit any assault on our democratic ideals.

2) Mandate that teaching the Constitution of the United States will be required in every school in the U.S., public and private, so that future generations will be secure from tyranny.

Start calling, if you love your country. It might not be too late.

UPDATES: here, and here. Maybe there's something to this.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Call me fatalistic. Call it the impatience of youth if you want, but I'm 63. I think it is having lived all those years that has imposed on me an unwelcome sense of mortality and the ability to see the signs of impending death. I refer to our democracy, which, to my dismay, is likely to pass into memory within my lifetime.

The signs of morbidity are clear--fear is rampant, our President is allowed to rule by edict, our privacy is being invaded in ways we can't even imagine, our government operates within a tight veil of secrecy, we can now be jailed forever without charge or trial, the violent stifling of peaceful dissent is becoming an acceptable norm, and corruption and thievery are rarely penalized. And our government always, always lies to us.

I have come to believe that we, all of us on the "left", are wasting our time by wallowing in an overkill of outrage, because we're way too far behind events.

Every day new revelations of lies, deceit and hypocrisy assail us. Every day unearths yet more egregious assaults on simple decency and justice. Every day we see more examples of our government working against the best interests not only of us citizens but those of the whole world, in its unquenchable drive for total economic domination.Do we really need more examples to bolster that which is already painfully evident? We know that it's all wrong, what else do we need?

Nonetheless, we continue to learn these things and they fuel our outrage and we steel our resolve to get someone into office who will make the bad things go away. We blog for each other and write to the newspapers and complain to Congress and we tell 'em "Fix it!". Boy, do we tell 'em! And every so often a few more folks begin to understand the wrongness and immorality, and add their voices to demand change. And so what?

Enough people were so upset that the last election saw the Democrats swept into majority control of both houses of Congress. We rejoiced. Now, by God, now we'll have redress! Now things'll get fixed! Bush and Cheney gone! Bill of Rights restored! Corruption halted! War over! More jobs! Social justice! The long national nightmare is over!!!


To be sure, the Democrats have the power. They chair all the committees. They investigate, hold hearings, interrogate, subpoena and display their ire about things that only add to the list of crimes that we already knew about. And nothing happens. Subpoenas are ignored, demands for documents are denied, accomodations and back-door deals are made, and nothing happens. No impeachments, no arrests, no criminal charges, no nothing. We get lip service and it's business as usual.

Why is everything the Democrats do substantively meaningless? Because the Democratic leadership and the Republicans answer to the same masters, and it's not "The People". Money talks, and bullshit is what we're considered to be.

If you doubt this, note that the Democratic presidential candidates who have the most financing, and hence the most "credibilty", importance and press, have all three refused to commit to a withdrawal from Iraq before 2013. They are bought and paid for. Remember that the Democrats capitulate to Republican obstructionism over any legislation that might pinch the profit pipeline or rein in government abuses of our rights and freedoms Most importantly, impeachment, literally the only tool that Congress has to stop this gang rape, is "off the table".

And so who is listening to us? Our government has become like a church--authoritarian, not democratic. Those in power preach to the choir. They have their agenda and will lead us wherever they wish to go.They will not listen to the choir no matter how loudly they sing.When our government ignores our voices we have to awaken to the fact that we have no power.

We can rant, scream and vent, but the march to a fascist police state moves on without missing one jackbooted step.

We have a terrible cancer growing in our society, and though we might kill a cell here or there, it only creates false hope, because that fascist cancer already metastasized on the day Bush was handed the Presidency by the Supreme Court . We have to accept that the end of freedom and justice and decency is at hand.

That said, it's now time to decide. Will we all continue to scream until at the end we are reduced to whimpers, or will we fight in a meaningful way?

It may be possible even now to turn back this horror if we can organize massive, truly massive strikes against public services, and civil disobedience on a scale impossible to quell. If that fails, remember what the Continental Army accomplished for us so many years ago.

It's time to decide.

Rove is gonna' rock your world

Karl Rove is heading up a new non-profit called "Seismologists for Democracy", which is being funded by a group of well-heeled Republicans. At a press conference announcing the new venture, a grinning Rove couldn't contain his excitement.

"My entire career has been devoted to helping Republican candidates win elections by whatever means necessary. Getting an illiterate delusional half-wit into the White House was good, but I have always felt I could do more. This new venture will be my crowning achievement, and will bring the adulation I so richly deserve.

My backers are very anxious, and I've assured them that the project will be completed before the next Presidential election. After that, we'll be able to apply what we do here in different ways all around the world.

I like to think of this as the ultimate form of voter suppression. I have gathered the most eminent seismologists in the U.S. By combining their knowledge of crustal plates with my expertise in voter demographics, we will be able to utterly destroy entire Democrat congressional districts with precisely targeted earthquakes.

It's amazing how the best solutions are usually the simplest. I can't wait to get it done."