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Obama Mania

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is there really any doubt that Barak Obama is a superstar?

US politician given reception fit for a king in Kenya visit

Story by OSCAR OBONYO the Daily Nation (Kenya)
Publication Date: 8/27/2006

When he visited Kenya in 1983 and later in 1991, US Senator Barack Obama did so quietly and even squeezed himself in a matatu on the way to his father's home in Alego, Siaya District.

Mr Obama describes the matatu (the rural type where passengers sit in two rows facing one another) in his memoir Dreams from my Father, as "a sad-looking vehicle with balding, cracked tyres".

Travelling long before enforcement of the so-called Michuki rules, the senator ended up carrying his half sister Auma on his lap together with a basket of yams while supporting a crying baby! This time round, though, he is travelling high-class with a big security detail to boot.

In fact his visit has elicited excitement across the country and attracted global interest with a battery of local and international journalists hot on his trail.

And unlike previous visits when he was received by his kinsmen, who had travelled hundreds of kilometres from western Kenya, last Thursday he arrived to a posh reception by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger and Foreign Affairs assistant minister Moses Wetangula.

Smiling shyly at the Vice-Presidential pavillion at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday evening, he waved at journalists but refused to take any questions.

As if preoccupied by memories of 1983 and 1991, when he mingled with other passengers and walked past the immigration desk unnoticed, Mr Obama looked shy and restrained, occasionally tapping his foot on the carpet.

But at successive events, looked more relaxed and cheerful.

On Friday, when he called on leader of Official Opposition Uhuru Kenyatta, he cracked a joke and burst into laughter as we proceeded out of Mr Kenyatta's office.

"I think I recognise you. You have been following me all along since I landed in the country. I hope you mean well," he teased.

Trailing the US Senator has been a difficult task, with conflicting alerts from the US embassy and ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.

Probably as a security measure, the two offices deliberately misled the media over Mr Obama's arrival.

While all media outlets announced his arrival at 10 pm, the senator quietly landed in the country at 6pm. It is perfectly in order for the senator to have been received by an assistant minister.

But many people had anticipated the presence of high-ranking government officials and opposition chiefs, especially Mr Raila Odinga, Nyanza Province's political heavyweight, where Mr Obama has his roots. The Lang'ata MP actually stayed out of the Nairobi itinerary and only linked up with Mr Obama yesterday morning in Kisumu.

Also lining up to receive the senator were local MPs Anyang' Nyong'o (Kisumu Town) and Kennedy Nyagudi (Kisumu Town West). The Government's repeatedly announced that Mr Obama's tour was a State visit.

But a few days later, Foreign Affairs minister Raphael Tuju, who has a frosty relationship with Mr Odinga, seemed to go easy by re-stating that the senator's visit was semi-official "since he has family matters to attend to". Mr Tuju was not in Nyanza yesterday.

And contrary to expectation, the senator landed in Kisumu aboard a commercial, East African Air Safari Express, flight instead of the private jet he flew into the country in.

Unlike other US senators who come into the country on commercial flights and leave the country unnoticed, his visit is big time.

He enjoyed no ordinary security escort with all roads leading to the airport and the city centre being sealed off. His way was cleared all through to Nairobi’s Serena Hotel.


This Woman is Completely Insane

Can someone please save us from the insane rantings of Katherine Harris? Please! Anyone! The lastest from this complete wacko is that, according to her, the separation of church and state is a "lie." Apparantly Mrs. 'Completely Nutso' Harris has never heard of the Bill of Rights and/or the Constitution of the United States. I think that this separation is stated quite clearly. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" That seems pretty straight forward to me; and I would imagine to most people with an IQ over 50. Of course we remember this lunatics' part in the 2000 election in Florida. So I guess her knowledge of the laws of the US are fairly vague.

Harris's run for the Senate has been one continous joke. From her utterly whorish appearance on Sean Hannity's show, to her extreme breast augmentation. What in the name of all that is good and pure made this woman think that she had any qualifications to assist in the running of the United States government? This woman is insane, litterally. Apparently Texas is not the only state that is missing its idiot.

Here is the AP story about her comments:

Rep. Harris: Church-state separation 'a lie'

MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws."

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Harris made the comments -- which she clarified Saturday -- in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.

Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

Electing non-Christians allows 'legislating sin'

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said.

Her comments drew criticism, including some from fellow Republicans, who called them offensive and not representative of the party.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, who is Jewish, told the Orlando Sentinel that she was "disgusted" by the comments.

Harris' campaign released a statement Saturday saying she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government."

The comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values," the statement said, adding that Harris had previously supported pro-Israel legislation and legislation recognizing the Holocaust.

Harris' opponents in the GOP primary also gave interviews to the Florida Baptist Witness but made more general statements on their faith.

Harris, 49, faced widespread criticism for her role overseeing the 2000 presidential recount as Florida's secretary of state.

State GOP leaders -- including Gov. Jeb Bush -- don't think she can win against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in November. Fundraising has lagged, frustrated campaign workers have defected in droves and the issues have been overshadowed by news of her dealings with a corrupt defense contractor who gave her $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.


"Now I've become death..."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

This is a truly startling video. Here we have the father of the nuclear bomb, clearly showing deep regret for what he, and his fellow scientist, have unleashed upon the Earth. At the time, the course seemed quite clear. The War with Japan needed a quick and decisive ending. President Truman, looking back through the prism of history, certainly made the correct decision. However, where do we stand now because of that decision?

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States threatened each other on a regular basis. However, M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) kept both the super-powers at bay. Neither one wanting to be the impetus for the destruction of human live on this planet. During that time, while the threat was hanging over our collective heads, we could rest in the fact that it would most likely never happen.

Can we say this today? Can we say that there would not be a nuclear attack somewhere in the world? Kim Jung-Ill and the leadership of North Korea regularly threaten the United States, Japan, and South Korea. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran swears that his country only wants to use the nuclear genie for power production. This coming from a country that has sponsored terrorist organizations, and will most likely continue to in the future. There are "loose nukes" from former Soviet republics in God-knows-whose hands. What's to prevent a terrorist organization from launching a dirty bomb attack on New York, Paris, London, or Rome?

Are the countries of the world working to alleviate this threat? Are the governments of the world taking actions to assure the survival of its citizens? No. Instead countries around the world are aggravating the situation. Israel purchases two nuclear capable submarines from Germany. France tests nuclear weapons in the Pacific. The United States builds the MoAB (Mother of All Bombs) for "bunker busting." Where does this insanity end? When do the leaders of the "free world" realize that their continued foray in the nuclear world, do not dissuade others? When?

Imagine what would happen if Syria decided that it was going to attack Israel. Israel clearly would respond with amazingly swift force. Iran would in turn come to the aid of Syria. The United States would come to the aid of Israel. Israel, feeling threatened by all other countries in the Middle East drops tactical nuclear weapons on Damascus. Iran responds by launching nuclear missiles at Haifa and Tel Aviv. The United States responds by launching nuclear cruise missiles and dropping bombs on Iran. China and Russia respond by firing missiles at the United States. This this scenario is too far fetched? Think that this could never happen? Don't be so sure about that. Today M.A.D. does not exist. The threat of destruction has no affect on a people all ready willing to sacrifice their life in suicide attacks for their religion.

I fear we're falling deeper and deeper into the abyss. How can we find a way out? How can we turn from this deadly course? These are questions that someone more intelligent than me needs to answer, and quickly.


Supporting the Troops

Friday, August 25, 2006

I really don't understand why more people can't see through the facade that these right-wing fanatics put out there. They talk about supporting the troops this, and supporting the troops that. I would imagine that only 1 out of 10 of these people has actually served any time in the military. Karl Rove got deferments, Dick Cheney got deferments, Rush Limbaugh got a deferment because he had a boil on his butt; the list goes on-and-on. These chicken-hawks make me sick. They espouse this fake patriotic drivel, hoping that people will be continually fooled, vis-a-vis the 2004 election. When are people going to wake up and realize that the supporting the troops does not mean sending them off to fight and die for empty ideals? Sending our fighting men and woman into harms way under false pretenses is, by it's very definition, treason.

Those responsible should therefore be tried for treason. The United States Constitution has a clause specifically dedicated to such acts, and treason is the only crime to be mentioned by the document. Article 3 defines treason as only levying war against the United States or "in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort," and requires the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or a confession in open court for conviction. 18 USC § 2381 states "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States." I'm going to say that the present administration of this country has done more than their share of what could be considered treasonous. Sending the brave men and women of the armed services off to be killed, mauled, and maimed under false pretenses would surely qualify.

Furthermore, I think that any person who repeats this drivel is themselves a traitor and not a patriot as they make themselves out to be. How many of those people driving around with the yellow magnetic ribbons on the back of their hugs SUV's have actually served in the military? How many of those people even know someone who's serving in the military. 90% of the men and women serving in todays military come from the lower/poverty levels of US society, not from the rich white suburbs of America. So these people with the yellow ribbons, and those who run around saying "support the troops" and themselves not supporting the troops. If they want to support the troops, they should enlist. I'm sure they'd get a much different perspective on things after doing that. I think that everyone should start calling these people out for who and what they are. Traitors.


Sometimes the Newsies Get it Right

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Every once in a great while, the 24-hour infotainment industry just happens to get something correct. I would be will to bet my bottom dollar that 9 times out of 10 that "correctness" is inadvertent. Take for instance this photo:
Now surely they did not intend on telling the American public that Bush is a disaster. However, they inadvertently told the truth. Shouldn't the newsies be telling the truth all the time? Hmm, what a unique concept.


The Mind of Bill O'Reilly

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Inside the Alleged Mind of Bill O'Reilly
[posted online on August 22, 2006]

When we decided to write Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly for Nation Books, we realized that simply harvesting O'Reilly's usual TV and radio insanity would not be enough. We'd have to venture farther--deep into the steaming, muddy jungles of Bill's prose.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the world of literature, the best thing you can say about Bill is that he's written five times as many books as Paris Hilton's dog. Even more unfortunately, we had to read them--all of them. Here are a few liberally edited excerpts from our book's reviews of Bill's horrible, horrible body of work:

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids

The first line in the foreword to Bill O'Reilly's latest opus starts out "I wish I'd had this book when I was a teenager." Really Bill? You wish you'd had a book written by you as a fifty-five-year-old man? You know, I also wish that as a teenager I'd had a book written by a future me. The first line of my book would have been, "In about twenty years, a spectacularly obtuse TV personality named Bill O'Reilly will write a piece of dreck called The O'Reilly Factor for Kids. Whatever you do, for the love of Jehovah, DON'T READ IT."

The O'Reilly Factor For Kids's putative purpose is to give teens some honest, straightforward advice from a guy who has been there and who, as a father himself, knows how to rap with the kids. Instead, it's a deeply confused tract on everything from sharing, to reasoning with bullies, to proper skin care. At times, Bill sounds like he's talking to five-year-olds ("You have to learn--and believe me, I know how awful these words can be when you want something--to share").

Sometimes he appears to be counseling the elderly ("But excessive sun exposure, according to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General, can lead to skin cancer and other skin growths, cataracts, premature aging of the skin, and several other types of health problems"). But most of the time he sounds like a deranged Carmelite nun trying to relate to teenagers on their own level ("The adult doesn't have to be in the room snappin' to OutKast, but one of these specimens must be somewhere on the premises"). Is this a joke? Wait, perhaps I haven't explored that possibility thoroughly enough. Bill, seriously, is this a joke?

Well, it must be a joke, because there's a belly laugh on every page. Don't believe me?

Page 3: "Almost everybody watched the TV show Friends on NBC. Unfortunately, some kids think that's what real friends are like.... In real life, true friends stand by you when things get rough." (Yes. Now let's go visit Mr. Green Jeans and see what he thinks.)

Page 4: "Okay, you know I've made money. It was a long time coming, so I don't usually spend much of it and I certainly don't show it off." (Okay, Bill, obviously you do show it off. You're now averaging one reference to your huge salary every two pages. For God's sake, Bill, these are kids! Can you possibly be this insecure? Do you flash a fat roll of Benjamins in front of the dog every morning, cooing, "Who's your daddy?")

Page 5: "Now, I don't want you to think that I sat around when I was your age and carefully chose my companions because of their virtues." (Carefully chose my companions because of their virtues? Are you kidding with this? Who are you talking to? 'Cause I guarantee you, all the kids have left. You sound like Truman Capote, for God's sake. Can you possibly be this tone deaf? You might as well quote Ralph Waldo Emerson while you're at it.)

Throughout the book there are "instant messages" from O'Reilly in which he delineates the difference between "pinheads" and "smart operators."

In "Pinheads and Smart Operators: Instant Message Number 3," Bill writes:

IMNSHO [which O'Reilly and all teens apparently know means 'In my not-so-humble opinion'], a pinhead gets sunburned. Okay, a nice even tan can make you look healthy and sexy. Or it can advertise to your friends that you've had a great winter vacation at the beach. But excessive sun exposure, according to the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General. . . .and then on he goes about those legendary teen bugaboos, cataracts.

Bill, I hate to be crass, but have you seen your skin? You look like something Ed Gein made after he was finished upholstering the settee. Do you think you're really going to reel kids in with your thoughts on proper skin care? If they didn't bail out after your take on gangsta rap (page 85, I'm not kidding), you've definitely lost them now.

Secondly, these kids are teenagers. Honestly, what do you think you're accomplishing? Why not just write, "A pinhead finds blood in his stool and ignores it. A smart operator gets regular colorectal screenings and eats a diet rich in fiber"? This book will impress no one--not the teens whom it's supposedly written for nor the grandparents whom O'Reilly was probably actually hoping to fleece. It's just plain too stupid.

Who's Looking Out for You?

While there's off-the-charts, brimming-drool-cup lunacy on nearly every page of Who's Looking Out for You?, the penultimate work in the O'Reilly oeuvre, it's perhaps most remarkable for its flat-out terrible writing.

Reading The O'Reilly Factor for Kids, one got the impression that O'Reilly was dumbing down his writing to appeal to youngsters. One is stunned to discover after just a few pages of Who's that it's just the way he writes. Indeed, this "adult" book is basically the same as the children's drivel, only with more politics, more on Clinton's blow job, and, bizarrely enough, less advice on how to avoid cataracts.

After Who's Looking Out for You? had spent twenty-three weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, O'Reilly made much of the Times's lack of interest in reviewing it. No doubt O'Reilly imagines that the Old Gray Lady ignored his magnum opus because of some institutional left-wing bias. Please. Three pages into Who's, you'll realize that the Times chose not to review it for the same reason they don't send a food critic to Chili's or an art critic to check out a potato chip that looks like Dale Earnhardt.

The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life

Now here's what I don't get. They didn't make a sequel to Showgirls, Germany didn't decide to give Nazism another try, the Hindenburg II is not shuttling small children around America's theme parks, and yet O'Reilly has written five books. And I've read three of them. So who's dumber, O'Reilly or me?

While this is the first nonfiction book O'Reilly wrote, it's the third I've read, and ironically, it's a lot more of the same. Indeed, for someone with nothing to say, he sure repeats himself a lot. Yeah, yeah, Bill, I get it. Clinton got a blow job, the elite media are pinheads, your father was mean and loud, you write like an eleven-year-old. How about something new?
Of course, along with the customary tedium, there's also plenty on O'Reilly's wild sexual exploits in The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, The Bad, etc. Indeed, the number of references to O'Reilly's inappropriate sexual conduct are exceeded only by the number of references to Bill Clinton's inappropriate sexual conduct.

He has two chapters, "The Sex Factor" and "The Dating Factor," which he offers as sage advice but which are actually thinly disguised chronicles of what a player O'Reilly used to be during his leisure-suit, Ron Burgundy disco days as a local TV reporter. Following is an excerpt. If you happen to be reciting this as part of a reading at a bookstore or a library, you may want to cover the first two rows of your audience in plastic sheeting. They will get sprayed. I myself have lost every lunch from circa 1979 to the present. Here's Bill:

My thing was the music: I was a dancing machine. Sock it to me, Donna Summer! Let's shake this place, Gloria Gaynor! Get down! Now, this was the lad of a quarter century ago, okay? But I make no apologies. I loved the all-out dancing, and quite a few girls loved to dance with me. The dancing got me dates. The dancing said (since you couldn't hear any words in those places under the rotating mirror balls), Hey, let's have some fun and see what happens next. Even Catholic girls had their inhibitions lowered by the howls of the Bee Gees or Sylvester. A few hours at clubs like Septembers or Shenanigans and most of my dates wanted to extend the evening at their place or mine.

Of course, this was written in 2000, four years before O'Reilly was accused by one of his producers of making inappropriate small talk with her over the phone while he masturbated. In fact, reading this kind of stuff now is a little like reading a 1975 John Wayne Gacy article on how to be a clown at children's birthday parties.

The No Spin Zone

Just inside the front cover of my copy of The No Spin Zone, bought used from for $1.43, which is $23.52 less than the suggested retail price and $1.35 more than it's worth, is scrawled "Happy Birthday Dad! I'm enjoying this book. I hope you do too! Love, Tom and Cindi."

Tom and Cindi, if your stupidity and hatred of your father are congenital defects, I apologize for mentioning this. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent just a few pages into The No Spin Zone that Tom and Cindi's Happy Birthday greeting is the most skillfully written part of the book.

As do his other literary offerings, The No Spin Zone amply demonstrates that O'Reilly continues to be locked in an epic struggle with his fans to determine who's dumber.
I've read four of Bill's books now, which should earn me some sort of medal. I'm sorry to say, however, that out of four glistening gold mines of insanity, I've brought you mere ingots. For the full experience, you'll have to read the books yourself. You can buy most of them on the Web for less than the price of renting Glitter.

Toward the end of The No Spin Zone, Bill treats the reader to a quintessential O'Reilly moment; it's braggadocio, stupidity, insanity, and obtuseness all rolled into one.

After a section on how the intelligentsia resent him and his success, O'Reilly relates his pride over having finally attained the lofty heights of Scooby-Doo and Joey Lawrence:

But the popular media are starting to come around. It took a while and we weathered some withering criticism, but in June 2001 I appeared on the cover of TV Guide, causing weeping and the gnashing of teeth in many quarters."

Wow, TV Guide? Maybe next he can get his old lady into Hustler.

Those Who Trespass

Following are the opening three sentences of Bill O'Reilly's novel, Those Who Trespass:
As Ron Costello saw it, the nighttime media party in Edgartown provided him a wide-open window of opportunity--one he could make the most of. For he was frustrated and fed up, and what he badly needed was to satisfy a basic human need, the need for some kind of physical release. Chasing the Clintons around the resort island of Martha's Vineyard, looking on as a cracker First Family acted out its vacation in front of millions, was not just tiring for him, but unnecessary.

As you can see, before he even broke the hundred-word mark of his great American novel, O'Reilly had already used the same word three times in the space of one sentence, got in a gratuitous shot at the Clintons, and telegraphed his own sick sexual fantasies through a fictional surrogate who, we would soon discover, just happened to be a reporter for a powerful television news network. Unfortunately, it doesn't get much better. Being a work of fiction, however, Those Who Trespass is fair and balanced. Except for that Clinton crack in the first paragraph. But after that it's completely free of petty partisanship. That is, until you get to page 4:

He could thoroughly describe the island--from the wilds of Chappaquiddick, where Edward Kennedy had abandoned a trapped and struggling Mary Jo Kopechne in a car filling with sea water, to the stately homes of Chilmark..."

That does a lot to advance the story. Toward the end of the first six pages of Those Who Trespass, available for free on, an assailant shoves a spoon through the roof of Costello's mouth, penetrating his brain stem. Just before this happens, Costello asks, "Why, why are you doing this to me?" The attacker responds, "For Argentina, that's why." It almost makes you want to track down page 7 and read it. But not quite.
This article can be found on the web at


911 Cover Up

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I have no idea if this is true or not, but if it is...


Auf Wiedersehen to bad hair

NahNahNahNahNah NahNahNahNahNah Ney Ney, Goodbye!

The revolt of the American public against the corruption of the Republican machine has claimed its latest victim. Bob Ney (R), the long embattled Congressman from Ohio, has announced that he will not be seaking re-election for his seat this November. It has long been suspected that Mr. Ney has been connected to the corruption of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the recently convicted former Congressman from San Diego; and to the widening scope of the Jack Abrahmoff scandal. Well I have only one to thing to say about the departure of one of the most corrupt, disgusting, unethical, and immoral individuals every to sit in the United States House of Representatives...Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya! I'm sure Washington will miss your ever growing presence (have you seen him? He just keeps getting fatter and fatter) not to mention your hair piece. You didn't really think that you were fooling anyone with that roadkill taped to your head did ya Bob?

Although Mr. Ney has long denied any wrong-doing or corruption, many have suspected for a while that Mr. Ney is the target of Federal investigators. Thus precipitating his decision not to seek re-election. Just this past May, Neil Volz, Ney's former Chief of Staff, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy in exchange for his cooperation with the prosecutor. As you can see from the following document (supplied by Talking Points Memo) any illusion that Mr. Ney is innocent, is just that; and illusion.
There is no room anymore our government for this type of corruption. The American people are making their voices heard loud and clear. All the while the clarion call still goes out to all free thinking people of the United States, to tell their representative that they are not going to stand for this kind of malfeasant any longer. It is time that our elected representative do what they were elected to do...REPRESENT.

For, I'm sure those who don't will go the way of the Dodo bird, Bob Ney, and Tom DeLay. Since these wack-jobs like apocalyptic mumbo jumbo: Their day of reckoning is at hand. So long to bad rubbish. As always, watch your back.


Upsetting the Cart

Supreme Court Strikes Fear
Reprimanded by the Supreme Court, the Bush administration rushes to evade punishment

by Nat Hentoff (for the Village Voice)
August 20th, 2006 11:26 AM

The interrogations of prisoners now condemned by the Supreme Court were ordered by policy makers at the highest levels of the administration—who could be prosecuted under the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996. Scott Horton, chairman of the New York City Bar Association's Committee on International Law and adjunct professor, Columbia Law School

In June, the Supreme Court ( Hamdan v. Rumsfeld) placed commander in chief Bush and the top of his policy-making chain of command in jeopardy for the treatment of their suspected-terrorist prisoners in Guantánamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan and elsewhere.

So much has happened since June—the Middle East war, the civil war in Iraq, and the plot to blow up multiple U.S.-bound passenger planes—that most Americans have only a hazy idea of this Supreme Court decision that blew up the administration's grand strategy for extracting information from its prisoners around the world by any means necessary.

But quietly, in fear of that ruling, the administration has drafted two changes—in the War Crimes Act and in our treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions—to foreclose any prosecutions of the Bush high command. The goal is to get these amendments passed by the Republican-controlled Congress before the midterm elections that could put the Democrats in control of the Senate or otherwise significantly increase their power in Congress as a whole.

Says Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice: "This bill can . . . in effect immunize past crimes. That's why it's so dangerous." As Fidell also told the Associated Press, the intent is "not just protection of [high-level] political appointees but also CIA personnel who led interrogations"—including in their secret prisons.

Here, specifically, is how the Bush high command is trying to escape the consequences of the Supreme Court's stinging reprimand. One proposed amendment would forbid any prisoner to use the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights in any American court. But—as National Public Radio's Ari Shapiro points out—the administration's lawyers claim that this restriction "does not affect the obligations of the United States under the Geneva Conventions." Huh? I'd like to see White House press secretary Tony Snow handle that yo-yo if anyone in the White House press corps knows enough to ask the question.

The second amendment the Bush team wants Congress to push through would change our War Crimes Act, which calls for the prosecution in our civilian courts of those who commit war crimes. The amendment would exclude from prosecution those who've violated a section in the War Crimes Act that references this language from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "at any time and in any place whatsoever . . . outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment." (This would also expunge the much publicized language of the McCain Amendment to the Detention Treatment Act of 2005.)

International-human-rights lawyer Scott Horton—to whom military lawyers at Guantánamo went early on to protest the administration's rigged interrogation rules there—told me: "This amendment would continue to allow waterboarding, hypothermia [subjecting prisoners to freezing temperatures], and other severe sufferings that have also led to deaths of prisoners. These amendments are part of a fog machine to keep the policy makers safe from prosecution."

Furthermore, indicating the boundless duplicity of this administration, the amendment to the War Crimes Act—bypassing the abuses forbidden by that law, the Geneva Conventions, and now the Supreme Court of the United States—excuses any of these crimes that have been committed since September 11, 2001! Anyone who has ordered or perpetrated "humiliating and degrading" treatment since then gets off scot-free.

All the official lawlessness since 9-11—now even overruling a Supreme Court decision—makes chilling a recent, little-publicized speech by Justice Anthony Kennedy on August 5 before the American Bar Association:

"The rule of law must be binding on all government officials; it must respect the dignity, equality, and human rights of every person, and it must guarantee people the right to enforce the law without fear of retaliation."

If these administration amendments—mocking the American rule of law—are passed by Congress and, of course, signed by this president, who believes he is the law, they will be fought in court by a host of constitutional lawyers, including Scott Horton. When the case gets to the Supreme Court, I hope Justice Anthony Kennedy remembers the speech he made this summer while Bush's lawyers were setting up their three-card-monte game.

Among the lawyers joining Scott Horton in opposition will be David Cole of the Georgetown University Law Center, already a premier litigator against the administration's unilateral revision of the Constitution. In the August 10 New York Review of Books, during a penetrating guide to the Supreme Court's landmark Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision, Cole points out:

"The Court's decision further suggests that President Bush has already committed a war crime, simply by establishing the military tribunals [at Guantánamo] and subjecting detainees to them [because] the Court found that the tribunals violate Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions]—and under the War Crimes Act, any violation of Common Article 3 is a war crime."

What the Supreme Court said about those sham tribunals, which ignored American military law as well as the Geneva Conventions, was that according to the Geneva Conventions, prisoners' sentences must be handed down "by a regularly constituted court" that "provides all the judicial guarantees recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

The homicidal terrorists— not only Al Qaeda—who constitute our enemy are, as Colin Powell said soon after 9-11, engaged in what could be an endless war against civilization. What keeps this nation civilized, so far, is our ability to expose and combat this administration's uncivilized evisceration of U.S. and international law.

Article and photo Copyrights of The Village Voice


Global Warming

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Global warming hasn't gone away just because the news media has stopped talking about Al Gore's film. We need to continue to fight with Washington until the policies are changed.


Hot off the wire...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

August 17, 2006

Federal Judge Orders Halt to Warrantless Wiretapping

Filed at 12:11 p.m. ET

DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves secretly taping conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries.

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration already had publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule.


George Allen is an ass, and I don't mean donkey.

Mr. George Allen is a tried and true bigot. He is a 100% unrepentant racist. Now with his recent comments, his predilection for allowing his racial bias to slip is once again getting him into trouble. At a republican rally Mr. Allen referred to one of his opponents operatives, who's of Indian decent and was present, a Macaca, or monkey. Now of course 'Jackass' Allen has tried to apologize for this, by saying he was just making up a word, he didn't know that it would be offensive. Well dumb-ass guess what? In the eyes of most Americans, not to mention the court system in our great land, ignorance is not an excuse. This is not the first time the former Virginia governor has come under fire for his radical racial beliefs.

During his high school years Mr. Allen used to wear a confederate flag lapel pin, and has been photographed many time posing in front of the aforementioned flag. And when asked about this apparent "insensitivity" Mr. Allen just said he liked the pretty colors and didn't think that anything was wrong with it. There are one of two things happening here. Mr. Allen is either so incredibly stupid and dimwitted, or he's an incredible racist and bigot. Either way he does not deserve to serve in the United States Senate. This is a man who has made no bones about his desire to run for President in 2008. Come on Virginia, wake up! Your representatives are mental imbeciles.

I think Mr. Allen need to do more than apologize to the gentleman he so thoroughly insulted, he need to just go away. Time to pack it in Georgey. We don't want to live in your hate filled world. We want to live in a United States where individuals of every ethnic background do not have to worry that their elected officials are secretly wishing for a return to the pre Civil War. So I say to you Mr. Allen, go away. Take your hate speach, your tepid apologies, and your ignorance and leave. We do not want you any more. I'm sure the Aryan Nation is recruiting, I'm sure you'll fit in fine.







Imagine john lennon


For GOP, Bad Gets Worse in Northeast

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Here's a great article from the Washington Post regarding incumbant races for this coming November.

For GOP, Bad Gets Worse in Northeast
Incumbents Shy From Party and President
By Jim VandeHei

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 14, 2006; A01

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. -- When it comes to President Bush and the Republican Congress, Rep. Jim Gerlach says voters in his suburban Philadelphia district are in a "sour mood."

That's why when it comes to his reelection, the two-term incumbent says "the name of the game" is to convince those same voters that he can be independent of his own party. He has turned his standard line about Bush -- "When I think he's wrong, I let him know" -- into a virtual campaign slogan, repeated in interviews and TV ads.

"It is a combination of things, from the war in Iraq to gas prices to what they are experiencing in their local areas," Gerlach said of the surly electorate whose decision he will know on Nov. 7.

The Iraq war and Bush's low approval ratings have created trouble for Republicans in all regions. But nowhere is the GOP brand more scuffed than in the Northeast, where this year's circumstances are combining with long-term trends to endanger numerous incumbents.

Sounding very much like Gerlach, state Sen. Raymond Meier, a Republican running for an open seat in Upstate New York, observed: "People around here are anxious and concerned not just about the national state of affairs, but also their personal state of affairs. As a Republican candidate, the challenge is to show you have even a clue about what their lives are like."

Also sounding very much like Gerlach is Rep. Rob Simmons. His eastern Connecticut seat is the most Democratic-leaning district in the country still held by a Republican. "My friend calls me Salmon Simmons . . . because I am always swimming upstream" against a Democratic current, he said.

Last week's defeat of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a Connecticut moderate who has supported the Iraq war, in the Democratic primary gave Republicans a vivid look at some of the same angry currents likely to buffet them this fall. A Washington-Post ABC News poll this month found Bush's approval rating at 28 percent in the Northeast -- 12 points below his national average. The Republican Congress fared no better.

Republican losses in the region could echo well beyond the 2006 campaign. Because much of the region is tilting Democratic, history suggests Republicans would find it hard to recapture seats once lost.

That is why GOP operatives in Washington are alarmed not just about Gerlach's predicament, but about that of two congressional neighbors in suburban Philadelphia: Reps. Michael G. Fitzpatrick and Curt Weldon, both in tough districts.

In Connecticut, Republican Reps. Nancy L. Johnson and Christopher Shays -- like Simmons -- are in highly competitive contests. And several New York Republicans are facing their most difficult reelection fights ever.

One reason Republicans understand the risk is that they were beneficiaries of a strikingly similar regional upheaval a decade ago.

Before the 1994 elections, when Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Democrats held dozens of Southern districts in which the electorate had been gradually growing more conservative. That year, Republicans picked up 20 of those Southern seats, including several held by Democratic incumbents who -- like Northeast Republicans today -- tried to distance themselves from an unpopular White House and Congress controlled by their party.

Many of those Southern seats are afterthoughts in elections today because the districts are so solidly Republican. Simmons, who plays up his connections to organized labor, a traditionally Democratic interest, said a similar purge of Northeast Republicans would only exacerbate the polarized Washington environment. "For every one of us [moderates] who loses, the Congress becomes more partisan," he said.

GOP moderates have long felt marginalized by the conservative-dominated House Republican Conference. Late last year, however, Republican leaders realized they needed to soften some of their proposals or risk losing Northeastern seats. They reluctantly added money to the 2006 budget for job training and other programs pushed by the most liberal Republicans in Congress. They held a vote to expand stem cell research, a popular idea among moderates that was vetoed by Bush.

Last month, Republican leaders passed a $2.10 increase to the minimum wage, a powerful political issue in the struggling industrial towns. It was defeated in the Senate because it was linked to a cut in estate taxes.

"Our Republican conference needs to do more to put forward an agenda on health care, education and the environment," Gerlach said. "Those are important issues in the suburbs."

Here in Pennsylvania's 6th District, Democratic candidate Lois Murphy is a case study in how her party is trying to make campaigns about an unpopular Bush and Congress. On Tuesday, she traveled to the banks of Schuylkill River to rail against the "Bush energy bill," which she blamed for high gas costs and a dirtier environment.

Standing on a boat landing at a recent campaign event, she planted her shoe in a gob of melted gum. But she quickly went on to stick Gerlach with something the candidate's internal polls suggest is worse -- alleging the incumbent "has been a reliable vote for the Bush administration . . . and not stood up for the 6th District."

C. Ray Kalbach, 81, lifelong district resident, is receptive to the appeal. "My total commitment is to unelect all incumbents, period," said Kalbach, a self-described independent. He said he is fed up with Gerlach and "words spoken in one manner and actions done in another."

The district is a microcosm of other suburban areas in the region, a mixture of wealthy, GOP-leaning communities in West Chester and middle-income, working-class families in places such as Reading. Like many of the areas surrounding Philadelphia, it has been trending Democratic in recent elections, serving as the political base for Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D), the favorite to win reelection this year. Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, won the district by three percentage points.

This the second time Gerlach is facing Murphy, a lawyer and mother of two children, and a skilled campaigner. In 2004, Gerlach beat her by about 6,400 votes (51 percent to 49 percent). Both candidates have raised about $2 million, plan to raise at least $1 million more, and are going for the jugular in campaign speeches and television ads.

Murphy's issue conflicts with Gerlach are somewhat amorphous, apparently by design. She would repeal some of Bush's tax cuts, including those for people earning $200,000 or more, but support others. Murphy slams Gerlach for "utterly failing" to stand up to Bush on the Iraq war, but she said her only policy difference is that she would force the president to come up with a "plan for success."

Pressed, she said Democrats "start from maybe worse than a blank slate" when it comes to having a national security plan. "Voters do not feel that they have that definition." She calls herself a moderate, more a "Rendell Democrat than a Pelosi Democrat" -- drawing a bit of distance from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a liberal.

"Political conversation has become so polarized, so emotional," said Susan Bolton, a computer professional in the district. "When people liken Bush to Hitler, I see a lot of similarities myself." Bolton has stopped discussing the race here with Republican friends and said she will definitely turn out to vote for Murphy.

Others are unfazed. "It is the lesser of two evils," said Jerry Cobb, a Republican retiree who has lived in the district for 45 years. "I am not a Gerlach man, but I will probably vote for him" because of -- not in spite of -- his ties to Bush. "They are having a good old time bashing George Bush," but it won't work on him, he said. Most voters interviewed in the area seemed unaware of the race -- or uninterested.

The Gerlach campaign calls the Democratic candidate "liberal Lois" and warns she will raise taxes if elected. Amy Bonitatibus, who took a leave from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's office to assist Murphy, said the charge, while not true, "resonates" with many voters here. Gerlach, who served in the state House and Senate before winning his seat in 2002, has said the two biggest issues are gas prices and immigration -- two areas in which he highlights differences with Bush.
Still, for Democrats to pick up the
15 seats needed to take control of the House, they may need the discontent to spread beyond the suburbs and into the conservative towns and rural communities of Upstate New York.

Meier, 53, is struggling to hold a seat that has gone Republican for a half-century. New York's 24th is not the kind of suburban, well-to-do country that is causing problems for the GOP elsewhere. It is more like the industrial Midwest, where once-vibrant cities bleed jobs, population and money as the economy moves away from factory dominance. Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert, an influential moderate Republican who chairs the Science Committee, has represented the district since 1982. Several times, he beat back conservative primary challenges by convincing voters that his ability to win funding for pet projects -- such as turning Griffiss Air Force Base into a technology center -- was more important than such social issues as his support of abortion rights.

In a normal environment, Boehlert's decision to retire this year might open the door for a more conservative Republican, such as Meier, to lock down the district, where Democrats have 40,000 fewer registered voters. But Meier said there is nothing normal about 2006: "It's a challenging year as a Republican."

In a break with the GOP election-year strategy, Meier said he is largely avoiding wedge issues such as same-sex marriage that party leaders are promoting in Washington and playing up his ability to compromise and create jobs. "People here are not ideologues," Meier said.

Michael A. Arcuri, 47, is the district attorney from Utica, the district's largest city in a county that accounts for about 30 percent of its voters. Handsome and articulate, Arcuri is running a campaign seemingly focused on one thing: tethering Meier to an unpopular Bush and Republican Party establishment. "He is one of the extremists," said Arcuri, between sips of coffee at a Friendly's restaurant.

To emphasize this point, Arcuri is running as a "Boehlert Democrat," highlighting how he shares the retiring GOP congressman's views on abortion, stem cells, tax cuts and energy policies, which are not coincidentally different than Bush's. "There is a huge difference between Boehlert and Meier," Arcuri said.

Reba L. Taylor, a former Democrat who serves as the Republican mayor of Dryden, said there is widespread frustration with Republicans in the area. "They have been a complacent, ruling party too long," she said. "A lot of them have not been touchable for a long time."

But Taylor said she is sticking with Meier because she believes he is the best person to help win funding and assistance for her town and the district.

Said Boehlert: "It will be more of a challenge than in the past, but it won't be insurmountable."


Here's A Crazy Idea...

What is the one thing that has been missing from the Constitution of the United States? What one issue, time and again, has come to the fore confounding Constitutional scholars and citizens alike? The answer...the right to privacy. It is amazing how many Americans think they have a Consitutionally guranteed right to privacy. I'm sorry to say this is not the case. We have a right to be secure in our property and are protected against unlawful searches and seizures. However, a judge can issue a warrant and those rights tend to go away. Then if you look at what has come to light over the past few years, the right to unlawful searches has even been compromised.

The Shrub has decided that because the Consitution says that he's Commander-in-Chief, that gives him all the powers he needs during a time of war. He, and his cabal, think that during a time of war he can ignore certain constraints clearly set forth by the Consitution. The first problem with this is that we are NOT in a time of war. The only body that can declate war, in it's official sense, is the United States Congress. They have not done that. No matter how much you hear wack-job pundits talk about the war-this, and the war-that. We are not at war. I'm getting off track here a bit, the war issue is a topic for another time.

When it came to light that Shrub and the National Security Agency had not only been spying on the telephone calls coming into the country, but also had listened to virtually every phone call made in the US; people were shouting about their right to privacy. It's all and good, but there really is no such thing. The right to privacy was, in fact, one of the major arguements put forth in Roe v. Wade, clearly still a contentious debate carries on about that.

So what can we do to remedy the situation? We can start demanding a Constitutional Amendment which would guarantee our right to privacy. This would have to be an all emcompassing Amendment to protect Americans from the predators and amoral people operating in our country today. This would mean that every American has an absolute right to privacy. I'm sorry Mr. Information Broker, but you'd have to find a new line of work. This would protect gay and lesbian citizens of those few backwards states that still have sodomy laws on the books, even though the Supreme Court has already ruled on issue. (Oh, and by the way...sodomy to describe the sexual act between two consenting gay men is actually wrong. The word sodomy is clearly based on the biblical city of Sodom, which most Christo-fascists will tell you was destroyed because of the gays. Well in truth it was destroyed becase the people were not polite and accepting of God's angels. It's true, look it up). It would protect common citizen from the annoying dinner-time phone calls from telemarketers. It would mean that the government would NOT have access to your medical, dental, financial, and/or library records. Why does the government need to know that I've recently checked out Mein Kampf?

I'm sure that there are some particulars that would need flushing out, but hopefully there are still some moral and ethical individuals left in our government. So how can you help spur this along? Write and call your representatives; not only Federal but State as well. Write your local representative, state senator, Governor, US Representative, and US Senator. Do you think that if enough Americans tell them that they want an amendment guranteeing the right to privacy that they would actually balck and say "no"? These are professional politicians we're talking about there. They know full well that if they voted against such an amendment, come next election they would be looking for another job; no politician wants that. So, if you don't know who your State and Federal representatives are, go visit and find out. It is time we demand what it rightfully ours. Until next your back.


Lamont vs Joe Mentum

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This is relatively "old" news in the rapid 24-hour news cycle, however I think it is something that is still worth talking about. As I am sure everyone has heard, Ned Lamont has defeated Joe (Closet Republican) Lieberman. Insert your own resounding fan fare here. I must say this is an amazing and wonderful turn of events. For the past three years Mr. Lieberman has repeatedly supported the policies of the Bush administration. Whether it was the unlawful, and quite unconstitutional, PATRIOT Act; or our Country's illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq. There's Joe Lieberman standing right next to the Shrub; kissing up for all he's worth. His lips have been firmly planted on the rear-end of Bush and his cabal for more than just the past three years however. Ever since his "defeat" in 2000, Mr. Lieberman has decided the best thing would be to switch parties without telling any of his constituents.

Oh, but then rising from the background, like a story borne of Arthurian Legend, comes a man who's not willing to compromise his principles. A man who's not willing to say what he thinks people want him to say, but instead tells the truth as he sees it. What? Can this be true? Truth in politics? Surely not! Well I'm here to tell you that Mr. Ned Lamont is the real deal. I've heard numerous interviews with Mr. Lamont not only on Air America Radio, but also on CNN and BBC; I'm here to tell you he's the real deal. He's deeply opposed to the "Occupation of Iraq" and believes that it is in the best interest of the country to bring our young men and women home now. To quote Mr. Lamont "I am running for the US Senate because we deserve a Senator who will stand up for Connecticut and stand up for our progressive democratic values. Rather than spending hundreds of millions of dollars a day in Iraq, it is time for America to refocus on issues back home: fixing our health care system, upgrading our schools, and rebuilding our aging infrastructure. We will start winning in Iraq as the Iraqis take control of their own destiny, just as America has to start investing again in our own future."

I urge you to check out Lamont's website and find a way to support him in his run for the US Senate. Here is a man who is pro-environment, pro-choice, & pro-equal rights just to name a few. You don't have to live in Connecticut to support the political candidate. Ned Lamont is a man worthy of the support of any and all progressive democrats. This trend in bucking the traditional Washington establishment has not only affected Mr. Lieberman. Numerous incumbent members of Congress and the Senate lost their primaries this past week. Whether they were Republican or Democrat it didn't matter. The statement being made by the American people is that they are tired of business as usual in Washington, DC. Now, I know that some of the Republican members of Congress were defeated by radical right-wing zealots; not a good thing at all. However, this just signifies an impending split within the Republican Party (this is a whole different topic to be covered in a later post). So, if you, like "Howard Beale" from Network, are mad as hell it's time to suppport those candidates who will do what's right for us and our country.


The Muse

Friday, August 11, 2006

This is a great video that sums up a lot of sentiments.


America the Beautiful (and it can be again!)



Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh, I think this just about says it all.



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