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Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President - New York Times

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President - New York Times

Published: December 31, 2007

Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run...

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The Associated Press: Electronic Voting Is Questioned

The Associated Press: Electronic Voting Is Questioned

DENVER (AP) — With the presidential race in full swing, Colorado and other states have found critical flaws in the accuracy and security of their electronic voting machines, forcing officials to scramble to return to the paper ballots they abandoned after the Florida debacle of 2000...

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www.unsubscribe-me.org

Friday, December 21, 2007

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www.andrewforoklahoma.com

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

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Genocide Olympics

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Where have you been? What have you done to make a difference? I think that these are all valid questions that we all need to ask ourselves, and I include myself. The situation in Darfur is worsening. More and more people are dying. "Why should I care?" "What's in it for me?" Both questions that I'm sure you're going to be asking. I'm going to tell you what's in it for you...we are all humans. We are all residents of spaceship Earth, and we MUST help to protect those in need, those who scream out in the night and the wilderness for help. We can hear their voices. In the dark and the despair they are calling to us for help. They want to live their lives where baby boys don't have their penises cut off so they bleed to death. They want to live there lives where the women don't have to worry about being gang raped by 200 para-military soldiers. They want to live their lives where they, and their families, can have a home and it is safe to walk outdoors without the fear of high altitude bombers destroying their villages. If you have not watched "On Our Watch" from PBS-Frontline, you need to. You can watch it online here. It is imperative that as many people as possible see this, and are motivated to take action.

Now is the time for all of us to take action! For too long China has stood in the way of progress in Darfur. Too long has China hemmed and hawed over doing what must be done all for black gold. Now there is a way to hit China where it hurts and that is in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. China has much riding on these Olympics. They're trying to show to the whole world that China is a first-world player on the world stage. They are hoping that these events will propel them to a leadership roll in world politics. That's the best place to hit them. We threaten their games. We need to write letters to all the corporate sponsors; Steven Spielberg (the artistic director for the games); to the Olympic committees of our various home countries. This can seem the daunting task. However, don't despair. If you go to Olympic Dream for Darfur everything, including the letters, are waiting for you.

Besides Olympic Dream for Darfur, please visit Sudan Reeves, Save Darfur, Oxfam, and Darfur Genocide for more information. It may be a cliché question, but it still needs to be asked..."If not now, then when?"

PLEASE FORWARD THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. You're not going to receive any wishes if you send it to ten friends. The only thing you'll receive is the peace-of-mind that you did something to help.

Below you will find an Op-Ed written by Mia Farrow, and printed in the Wall Street Journal (taken from http://www.miafarrow.org/editorials.html).


Published in The Wall Street Journal, October 5, 2007

China Can Do More on Darfur

By MIA FARROW

As Khartoum's largest and closest business partner, China has provoked outrage from the international community for underwriting genocide in Darfur. In recent months, Beijing has responded with steadily increasing talk about its commitment to promoting peace in the region. But it has taken no meaningful action.

Beijing apparently has two strategies. The first is to preserve its alliance with Sudan in order to meet its massive oil needs. The second is to fashion its brand new image -- one that befits the host of the 2008 Olympic games. The two are inconsistent.

Genocide Sudanese style is expensive. It requires the purchase of bombers, attack helicopters and a steady flow of arms and ammunition for their proxy killers, the Janjaweed militia. It is no longer a secret that some 70% of Sudan's Chinese oil revenues, which now top $1 billion per year, have been used by the Khartoum government to attack the non-Arab population in the remote Darfur region.

Under intense international pressure, China for the first time did not abstain from signing on to the newest United Nations Resolution to provide a protection force for Darfur. But scrutiny of the various incarnations of U.N. Resolution 1769 reveals that China signed only after removing some of its sharpest teeth: The resolution has no mandate to disarm the Janjaweed, and no provision to protect Darfur's borders in eastern Chad and the Central African Republic. The Darfur spillover is threatening to topple both impoverished and unstable countries. Although China has made numerous glib statements in support of the proposed peacekeeping force, the force's command, capabilities and composition effectively remain in the hands of the Sudanese regime.

China, a veto-wielding member of the Security Council, has rejected imposing any form of sanctions on its Sudanese partners, thereby allowing Khartoum to continue its campaign of destruction with impunity. Furthermore, Beijing has refused to commit to an arms embargo even in the face of documented and increasingly publicized evidence that Chinese arms shipments to Sudan are destined for Darfur.

Despite claims by both the Chinese and the government of Sudan that the situation in Darfur has improved, the U.N. and humanitarian organizations on the ground present a very different picture: Security is rapidly declining, and the threat of humanitarian organizations withdrawing grows by the day.

On Sept. 24, Oxfam announced that it is on the threshold of pulling out personnel due to worsening security. This week, escalating violence in the region caused World Vision, a New York-based aid group, to cut its team by two-thirds. World Vision had been feeding 500,000 people.

Many camps are so unsafe that humanitarian work is grinding to a halt. Attacks on aid workers rose 150% in the last year. An unprecedented one million vulnerable civilians are currently outside of humanitarian reach. UNICEF reports that in several camps 30% of the population is suffering from acute malnutrition.

Meanwhile, aerial attacks on civilians continue, according to an Amnesty International report of Aug. 24, 2007. Just this week in north Darfur, a breakaway faction of the rebel groups JEM and SLA Unity attacked the African Union base in Haskanita, killing at least 10 peacekeepers. Dozens are reported missing. The attack was strongly condemned by Suleiman Jamous, the most respected elder statesman among the rebels in Darfur.

"As rebels, we are losing the sympathy of the international community because of lack of control and divisions within the movements," said Mr. Jamous, a leading figure in the original Darfur rebel movement, the Sudan Liberation Army. "People are frustrated that the African Union is not able to protect them."

This latest horror underscores the urgent need for a rapid deployment of well-trained, well-supplied troops and fully qualified civilian police. Ironically, however, it is likely to make it more difficult for the U.N. to assemble the necessary peacekeepers.

What better time for China to step up and change its image? In the face of mounting criticism of its support of brutal repression and cultural destruction in Burma and Tibet, Darfur represents an opportunity for Beijing to create a positive impression -- and desperately needed favorable PR in anticipation of the 2008 Olympic games.

The Chinese have hired more than one prestigious international public-relations firm to clean up their image. But the words they are churning out about Darfur are, at this point, simply that. The undeniable fact remains that China continues to underwrite genocide and the immeasurable suffering of millions of human beings in the Darfur region of Sudan.

If Beijing elected to act rather than talk, there is plenty it could do. It could refuse to sell weapons to Sudan. It could insist that the Janjaweed be disarmed. It could demand that the regime stop bombing civilians. It could suspend new oil deals with Khartoum until there is security in Darfur. Even the threat of such actions would have an immediate effect.

The world should urge China to apply its unique and powerful leverage to bring an end to this continuing nightmare in Darfur and make its Olympic slogan -- "One world, one dream" -- a reality.

Ms. Farrow, an actress, has just returned from her seventh trip into the Darfur region.

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Dear Red States

Friday, November 23, 2007

Here's a great posting on a site called Cronus Connection. Please read and enjoy!

Dear Red States

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the entire Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California....(Click here for the rest of the story).

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Center for American Progress Ads

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Center for American Progress, in conjunction with the Glaser Progress Foundation, recently launched a multi-year effort to increase public understanding of what it means to be a progressive given our nation's history and the challenges we face today. These ads play on the Mac ads from a few years ago. Visit www.AmericanProgress.org for more information.




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Message from Sen. Salazar re: National Renewable Electricity Standards

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding a renewable electricity standard (RES). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, while many states have instituted RESs-- policies mandating that a state generate a certain percentage of its energy from renewable sources-- there is no federal RES.

In 2004, I endorsed Colorado's Amendment 37 to establish a statewide RES of 10%. As you may know, this effort was supported by a majority of Colorado and passed.

I believe that a national RES will help the United States meet our energy needs in a diversified manner, while creating economic opportunities for rural America.

As your U.S. Senator, I have been active in supporting a RES to be included in comprehensive energy legislation. I co-sponsored and voted for an amendment to the 2005 Energy Bill that would have established a national 10% RES by 2020. This amendment passed the Senate but it was removed from the final Energy Bill by the House of Representatives.

I also supported an amendment to the 2007 Energy Bill that would have established a 15% RES by 2020. Unfortunately, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle blocked this amendment from ever coming up for a vote.

While I am disappointed that the 2007 Energy Bill did not ultimately create a national RES, I will keep fighting to establish a sensible national RES as I continue my work in the Senate. Toward that end, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Thanks again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Salazar re: FAA reauthorization

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). I appreciate hearing from you.

The current system of aviation taxes and fees that fund the operations of the FAA, including oversight of the nation's aviation system, will expire on September 30. In addition, most related federal aviation programs will also expire at this time. As a result, Congress is currently in the process of crafting legislation to reauthorize these programs for an additional ten years.

The reauthorization process comes at a critical time – our nation's aviation infrastructure is aging rapidly, employs outdated technology, and is increasingly incapable of meeting the transportation and safety needs of the growing number of air travelers. We need to modernize the system now. We also must ensure that the cost of modernization is fairly distributed among all the users of the system, including commercial carriers, business aviation, cargo jets, independent users, and passengers.

In the Senate, FAA reauthorization falls under the jurisdiction of two Committees: the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Finance Committee, of which I am a member. The Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the taxes and fees that fund the system, has held two hearings on this matter, and is likely to formally consider reauthorization legislation in September.

Please be assured that I remain committed to creating a system that meets our nation's future aviation needs and that distributes costs equitably, and that I will keep your thoughts in mind as FAA reauthorization legislation makes its way through both the Finance Committee and the full Senate.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Salazar re: Higher Ed. Amendments of 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1642, the Higher Education Amendments of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you.

Specifically, S.1642 aims to improve federal higher education programs by improving the process to secure federal student aid, creating new limits on the relationships between schools and student aid lenders, increasing the income sheltered from the financial aid process for students who are working their way through college, as well as other reforms intended to provide greater assistance and protection to students.

I believe increasing access to education is a pivotal step to ensuring the future productivity and strength of our nation and support federal programs, which encourage and facilitate Americans to seek a higher education.

I understand and respect your concern regarding Section 491.1, which requires accrediting bodies to respect the religious mission of universities. I support laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation and would not wish to facilitate discriminatory actions. I have been told by institutions of higher learning that this provision will not be problematic, but will be sure to continue to monitor the issue.

I voted for S. 1642, which passed the Senate on July 24, 2007 by a vote of 95 to 0. This bill must now be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind while continuing to work on this important legislation.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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This is how we treat people?

Monday, September 10, 2007

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Keith Olbermann Slams Bush

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Military

Thursday, September 06, 2007

When our fighting men and women are sent off to war there seems to be a logical progression of event that will usually happen.

Families are separated.


Innocents are harmed or killed.



Comrades are lost and mourned.

Our military men and women return to the open arms of their families.

Or...our military men and women return to the open arms of their personal God.

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Letter to Indonesian Officials re: Harassment and Abuse of LGBT Persons

Inspector General Om Bikram Rama,

I am writing you regarding the case of Sanjiv Kumar Karna, a 24-year-old student at Ram Sagar Ram Swarup Multiple College in Janakpur, who was picnicking with a group of friends on 8 October 2003 when he and ten others were arrested by a group of joint security force personnel in Janakpur. While being transported to police detention, Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his friends were brutally beaten before being interrogated.

Six of those detained were subsequently released, but Sanjiv Kumar Karna and four friends – Durgesh Kumar Labh, Pramod Narayan Mandal, Shailendra Yadav, and Jitendra Jha – have not been heard from since.

Sanjiv Kumar Karna's arrest is believed linked to his interest in student politics and his former membership in the All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) (ANNISU-R), which is aligned with the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist). However, he resigned from the ANNISU-R in 1998 and his family says that he had no involvement with the CPN (Maoist).

After registering complaints with relevant authorities, Sanjiv Kumar Karna's relatives have been repeatedly assured that investigations are underway and that they will be informed when they are completed. However, according to investigations by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, Amnesty International understands that the police and the Home Ministry deny any police involvement in the arrest of Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his friends, while the Nepal Army has said that all five young people were killed in a "police action" on the day that they were arrested.

Amnesty International is therefore seeking clarification of these different accounts. I urge you to please establish the whereabouts of Sanjiv Kumar Karna and his four friends and make public your findings. If they are found to be alive, they should be released immediately and unconditionally, unless they are charged with recognizable criminal offenses. If they have been killed, please establish what happened to them to ensure that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.

Sincerely
Bret

With a Copy to:
Ambassador Kali Prasad Pokhrel

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Letter to Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yushchenko re: Woman's Rights in Ukraine

President Viktor Yushchenko,

Violence against women is an abuse of women's basic human rights including their right to physical and mental integrity, their right to life and their right to equality with men. Ukraine is a party to all major relevant international conventions, under which it is required to protect, respect and fulfill the human rights of those persons in its territory and subject to its jurisdiction without discrimination, including on the grounds of sex.

Ukraine must comply with its obligations under international law with regard to domestic violence. Specifically, Amnesty International is calling on the government of Ukraine to act now to commit to improving protection for women exposed to domestic violence and to raise awareness in society about the issue of domestic violence. With this in mind, I urge you and your government to commit to the following steps:

• The government of Ukraine should immediately pass the new draft Law on the Prevention of Violence in the Family which already incorporates some of the recommendations made in Amnesty International's briefing paper.
• The government of Ukraine must promptly allocate secure, long-term government funding or actively seek donor funding, to ensure that shelters, specifically for women exposed to domestic violence, are set up in every region of the county in collaboration with NGOs experienced in working to protect women from violence, with subsequent running costs assigned to local government. The shelters must be available to all women without regard to their place of residence, or citizenship.
• The government of Ukraine must fund and implement a national public awareness campaign to address the underlying social and cultural attitudes that discriminate against women. The campaign should: promote zero tolerance of violence against women, remove the stigma from women victims of violence, and encourage victims to seek redress.

Ensuring that Ukraine complies with its international obligations relating to domestic violence should be a priority in the area of human rights

Sincerely
Bret

With a Copy to:

Minister Vasyl Petrovych Tsushko
Minister Viktor Petrovych Korzh

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Letter to Malay Officials re: Transsexual Safety Issues in Malaysia

Chief Minister Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam
Director Alias bin Md. Saad
Chief of Police Johari bin Yahaya

I am writing to express my deep concern for the safety of Ayu, a male-to-female transsexual, who was seriously beaten by three enforcement officers from the Melaka Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka, JAIM) who detained her while she was talking to friends at the Old Melaka bus station in Kota Melaka, Melaka state, at around 11.30pm on July 30, 2007. After Ayu was admitted to the hospital, JAIM ordered the hospital authorities to report the names of other transsexual people who came to visit Ayu during her stay in the hospital. Ayu may be at risk of further abuse and other transsexual people may also be in danger.

I am also concerned because abuses against transsexual people appear to be rising in Malaysia at the hands of both the ordinary police and so-called "religious police" like JAIM. I fear that such actions may be creating a climate of vigilantism among community groups and society at
large against those whose sexual or gender identity is perceived to deviate from the "norm."

I strongly urge you to order a full, immediate, and independent investigation into allegations that Ayu was attacked by JAIM religious affairs officers and to ensure that those found responsible for the violence against Ayu are brought to justice.

In addition, I would like your immediate guarantee that Ayu and other transsexual people in Melaka will not be subjected to further abuse from JAIM officers, and that charges will not be pressed against Ayu which are based on her gender identity and violate her fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination.

Furthermore, I am very concerned that JAIM ordered the hospital to report other transsexuals visiting Ayu. It is your duty to ensure that transsexual patients in hospitals are able to receive visitors without harassment or discrimination and in line with regular hospital visiting procedures for all patients.

Finally, regulations and policies which discriminate against transsexual people in violation of their human rights must be reformed or repealed. Thank you for your prompt and sincere action on these matters.

Sincerely
Bret


With a Copy to:

Prime Minister Sri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Ambassador Rajmah Hussain

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This sums up most of the World's sentiments

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

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Poverty

It is certainly a sad and horrible commentary on the state of the United States of America, when 12.4% of the population is living below the poverty line. Yes it can be said that number is easily 5, 6 or even 8 times as great in Africa, and other third-world nations. I will certainly grant this point. However, in an industrialized country such as the USA, this is unacceptable. We should have a poverty level of 0%. Helping third-world peoples around the globe is the duty of all modern, moral nations; however, it is also our duty to take care of our own.

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Call of Life Documentary

Here's a preview for a new documentary that is currently in production. It is entitled "Call of Life" and explores that mass extinction of species due to the impact of humans. You can read more about this incredible film at www.speciesalliance.org .

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The Founding Father's Were NOT Christians

Monday, September 03, 2007

This is a pretty interesting post that I found on the Internet. Pardon the spelling and grammar errors, they are not mine.


THE FOUNDING FATHERS WERE NOT CHRISTIANS

A brief survey of readily-Googled resources has produced the following summary of the religious beliefs of American Founding Fathers.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Thomas Paine, with Abe Lincoln thrown in for good luck.

NOT ONE OF THEM WAS A CHRISTIAN. Some of them were Deists, believing in the existence of a God or Supreme Being but denying "revealed" religions (such as Christianity), instead basing their belief on the light of nature and reason. Some were Unitarians. Unitarianism is the belief that God exists in one person, not three: it denies the deity of Christ, the person hood of the Holy Spirit, eternal punishment, and the vicarious atonement of Jesus. Unitarianism is obviously not Christian.

So while they all believed in "God" and "His Providence", and thoroughly appreciated the moral teachings of Jesus, not one of these men was a Christian, and some of them had some pretty scathing things to say about the Christian religion, as you will see. (Jefferson and Franklin, as you might expect, are particularly juicy.)

If there was ever something to "send to everyone you know" this would be it. Please copy the text and e-mail it or print it or send people the link to this page. Read on!

Jay

GEORGE WASHINGTON: a Deist, not a Christian. Said "no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny." (more about George below)

THOMAS JEFFERSON: a Deist. Said "In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills." (much more below)

BEN FRANKLIN: a Deist, said (about the story of Jesus): "I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the Dissenters in England, doubts as to his divinity." (much more below)

JOHN ADAMS: a Unitarian. As President of the U.S., he signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, which says "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion... it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of ... any Mehomitan nation."

THOMAS PAINE: Said "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of…. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."

JAMES MADISON, fourth president and Father of the Constitution, said: "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" and "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

ABE LINCOLN said "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true,"

More details:

GEORGE WASHINGTON by Prof Peter Henriques, George Mason University

Rev. Dr. Bird Wilson, sermon in 1831: GW "was esteemed by the whole world as a great and good man; but he was not a professing Christian."

Bishop William White "I do not believe that any degree of recollection will bring to my mind any fact which would prove Gen. W. to have been a believer in the Christian revelation."

According to Arthur Bradford, Rev. Ashbel Green declared, "while GW was very deferential to religion and its ceremonies…. He was not a Christian but a Deist."

It seems clear that never took Holy Communion, despite considerable pressure to do so. He rarely quotes the Bible and then to make a secular point. Most likely he did not pray on his knees. [And almost certainly not in the snow at Valley Forge!] His records confirm that he occasionally worked, entertained, went fox hunting, and drank on the Sabbath. [There was a distillery on MV.] Am not sure if he danced and gambled on the Sabbath but he certainly did on other days.

There is an interesting story which Thomas Jefferson tells, as he wrote it in his Diary, for February 1, 1800, just six weeks after Washington's death:

"Feb. 1. Dr. Rush tells me that he had it from Asa Green that when the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the Government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article in their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice…. "I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more in the system (Christianity) than he did." (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 1, p. 284.)

GW does not see the truth revealed so there is no dispute as to what it is - thus the key is to act in concert with your conscience, which has more power for GW than revealed religion. From rules of civility which GW copied as a youngster and which influenced his life, the final rule was: keep the heavenly spark of conscience alive in you. This he does. GW is confident he knows what is "just" and "right" and he does not rely on some kind of revealed religion or holy book to tell him so.

As Dorothy Twohig notes, Washington's "interest in religion always appears to have been perfunctory". I believe the image of GW as a man of honor rather than a man of religion helps explain why that is the case.

"If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any religious society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and, if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be administered as to render liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution." (To the General Committee Representing the United Baptist Churches of Virginia.)

"For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens."

THOMAS JEFFERSON by John E. Remsburg

Jefferson said: "The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills."

Jefferson said: "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross, restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some and the roguery of others of his disciples."

Jefferson found the Unitarian understanding of Jesus compatible with his own. In 1822 he predicted that "there is not a young man now living in the US who will not die an Unitarian." Jefferson's christology is apparent in one of his most famous writings, the "Jefferson Bible."

Of immense appeal is the image of President Jefferson, up late at night in his study at the White House, using a razor to cut out large segments of the four Gospels and pasting the parts he decided to keep onto the pages of a blank book, purchased to receive them. This original project of 1804, which he titled "The Philosophy of Jesus," he refined and greatly expanded in his later years. The final product, completed in 1820, he called the "Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," which was the version Congress published [and traditionally given as a welcoming gift to every new congressman]. Jefferson's "Life and Morals" argues no theology. It is simply his edited version of the Gospels. He literally cut out the virgin birth, miracle stories, claims to Jesus' divinity, and the resurrection. Some scholars believe he first assembled his collage of Jesus' teachings for his own devotional use. A late reference to the "Indians" who could benefit from reading it, was likely directed at those public figures, often Christian ministers, who had viciously attacked his religious beliefs without in the least understanding them or -- as Jefferson believed -- Jesus.

In the gospel history of Jesus, Jefferson discovers what he terms "a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticism, and fabrications."

In the same communication he characterizes the Four Evangelists as "groveling authors" with "feeble minds." To the early disciples of Jesus he pays the following compliment:

"Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Corypheus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."
[Corypheus: The conductor, chief, or leader of a party or interest.]

In the following significant passage we have Jefferson's opinion of the Christian religion as a whole: "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies"

It is probably safe to say that Jefferson first acquired from Joseph Priestley features of his worldview and faith which he found confirmed to his satisfaction by further thought and study for the rest of his life. These included a withering a scorn for Platonic and all forms of Neoplatonic metaphysics; a fierce loathing of all "priestcraft" whose practitioners he held guilty of deliberately perpetrating rank superstition for centuries, thus maintaining their own power; a serene conviction that Jesus' moral teaching was entirely compatible with natural law as it may be inferred from the sciences; and a unitarian view of Jesus. These features are all well attested in his voluminous private correspondence.

He considered Jesus the teacher of a sublime and flawless ethic. Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."

"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors."

"It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

In his letter to Ezra Stiles, he extols the system of morals taught by "Jesus of Nazareth," but says, "I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the Dissenters in England, doubts as to his divinity."

Dr. Franklin and Dr. Priestley were intimate friends. Of Franklin, Priestley writes:

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers" (Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60).

Dr. Franklin: "Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands. They were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lecture. It happened that they produced on me an effect precisely the reverse of what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appealed to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself. In a word, I soon became a thorough Deist"

His expressed opinions are ample to show that at no time during his career was he a Christian -- that he lived and died a Deist. In a letter to the Rev. George Whitefield, written in 1753, when he was forty-seven years old, we have his opinion of Christianity:

"The faith you mention has doubtless its use in the world. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I desire to lessen it in any way; but I wish it were more productive of good works than I have generally seen it. I mean real good works, works of kindness, charity, mercy, and public spirit, not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing, and reading, performing church ceremonies, or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments, despised even by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity" (Works, Vol. vii, p. 75).

At the age of eighty-four, just previous to his death, in reply to inquiries concerning his religious belief from Ezra Stiles, the President of Yale College, he wrote as follows:

Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render him is doing well to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this."

This is pure Deism.

JOHN ADAMS

As President of the U.S., he signed the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, which says, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion... it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of ... any Mehomitan nation."

Adams was raised a Congregationalist, but ultimately rejected many fundamental doctrines of conventional Christianity, such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, becoming a Unitarian. In his youth, Adams' father urged him to become a minister, but Adams refused, considering the practice of law to be a more noble calling. Although he once referred to himself as a "church going animal," Adams' view of religion overall was rather ambivalent: He recognized the abuses, large and small, that religious belief lends itself to, but he also believed that religion could be a force for good in individual lives and in society at large. His extensive reading (especially in the classics), led him to believe that this view applied not only to Christianity, but to all religions.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Allen Guelzo, professor of American history at Eastern College in St. Davids, Pa., in a new book: "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" (Eerdmans):

Religion became a hot issue in 1846 when Lincoln won a seat in the U.S. House over Democrat Peter Cartwright. The Cartwright camp spread talk of Lincoln as infidel and he responded in a handbill distributed days before the election. Guelzo thinks this was probably Lincoln's most revealing theological statement. "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true," Lincoln wrote. But he denied disrespect toward religion in general or any Christian group.

Springfield pastor James Smith said Lincoln believed some form of providence was at work in the universe, but was unable to believe in a personal God or in Jesus as his savior. That amounted to Unitarianism, but Lincoln had no interest in that liberal denomination.

Lincoln never joined a church nor ever made a clear profession of standard Christian beliefs. While he read the Bible in the White House, he was not in the habit of saying grace before meals. Lincoln's friend Jesse Fell noted that the president "seldom communicated to anyone his views" on religion, and he went on to suggest that those views were not orthodox: "on the innate depravity of man, the character and office of the great head of the Church, the Atonement, the infallibility of the written revelation, the performance of miracles, the nature and design of . . . future rewards and punishments . . . and many other subjects, he held opinions utterly at variance with what are usually taught in the church."

The Ambiguous Religion of President Abraham Lincoln

by Mark A. Noll

As Carl Sandburg recounts in Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, Lincoln attended one of Cartwright's revival meetings. At the conclusion of the service, the fiery pulpiteer called for all who intended to go to heaven to please rise. Naturally, the response was heartening. Then he called for all those who wished to go to hell to stand. Not many takers. Lincoln had responded to neither option. Cartwright closed in. "Mr. Lincoln, you have not expressed an interest in going to either heaven or hell. May I enquire as to where you do plan to go?" Lincoln replied: "I did not come here with the idea of being singled out, but since you ask, I will reply with equal candor. I intend to go to Congress."

Some people claim that with the carnage of the Civil War, the difficulties with Mary Todd, and the death of his son, Lincoln underwent a conversion to Christianity in his later years:

John Remsburg (1848-1919), President of the American Secular Union in 1897, argued against claims of Lincoln's conversion in his book Six Historic Americans (1906). He cites several of Lincoln's close associates:

  • The man who stood nearest to President Lincoln at Washington -- nearer than any clergyman or newspaper correspondent -- was his private secretary, Col. John G. Nicolay. In a letter dated May 27, 1865, Colonel Nicolay says: "Mr. Lincoln did not, to my knowledge, in any way change his religious ideas, opinions, or beliefs from the time he left Springfield to the day of his death."
  • His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, affirmed the same: "He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term."
  • His biographer, Colonel Lamon, intimately acquainted with him in Illinois, and with him during all the years that he lived in Washington, says: "Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men." Both Lamon and William H. Herndon published biographies of their former colleague after his assassination relating their personal recollections of him. Each denied Lincoln's adherence to Christianity and characterized his religious beliefs as deist or skeptical.

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Reporters without boarders

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Political Cartoons

Sunday, September 02, 2007



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That Einstein was a smart fellow

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Oh, that says it all

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Letter to Dr. Laura

Here's an amazing letter to Dr. Laura from Barbara Mikkelson. Many may have seen it before, but it's worth another read.

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

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Larry Craig is gay!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay!" That was Sen. Larry Craig yesterday, trying to explain how he got caught trying to pick up an undercover cop in Minneapolis. Well I got news for Sen. Craig...when you're in a men's room, grabbing the junk of another man...YOU'RE GAY!!!! You're not testing the waters, or making a mistake. You're a 100% fellatio having homosexual! Get over it you republican douche-bag. Your a fag! Get used to it!

When are these pea-brained, right-wing, fascist, homophobes going to wake up and realize that there's nothing evil about being gay. While most gay men are not cruising the airport toilets for tricks, some do. However, that's a rookie mistake. Sen. Craig would have been much better off at the public library in DuPont Circle, or Union Station. Poor Sen. Craig, he now has to face the reality that he's one of "those people" that he's shit on for the past 60 years.

Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/250880

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Message from Sen. Ken Salazar re: Trade Promotion Authority

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thank you for contacting me regarding Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, TPA, also known as "fast-track" authority, provides the Executive Branch with flexibility to negotiate trade agreements with other countries and to have those agreements considered by Congress under expedited procedures that do not allow for amendments, and that require only a simple majority for final approval. Although the Constitution gives Congress – and not the President – authority over international trade, Congress periodically delegates some of that authority to the Executive Branch in order to allow more efficient and effective trade negotiations with other nations.

The TPA framework that Congress passed in 2002 expired on July 1. Since Congress has yet to extend or renew TPA, the authority that Congress grants the President to enter into certain trade agreements, as well as the ability of Congress to consider legislation to implement those agreements under expedited procedures, has ceased. However, because they were completed before TPA expired, pending trade agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia, and Korea can still be considered under TPA's expedited procedures. Once the President sends legislation to implement those agreements to Congress, the House and Senate will have 90 days to consider the proposal and bring it up for a vote.

I certainly understand concerns about how unfair competition from abroad can threaten the viability of American producers. I also believe that trade agreements must place American workers on a fair and level playing field with those working in other countries. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind when Congress considers extension or renewal of TPA, and that I am committed to fighting for a trade negotiation framework that gives our nation the tools it needs to reap the benefits of free trade, while ensuring a level playing field for American businesses and workers.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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Message from Sen. Ken Salazar re: Complex 2030 and Nuclear Weapons

Thank you for contacting me regarding Complex 2030 and the Reliable Replacement Warhead. I appreciate hearing from you.

I share your concerns regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons. However, the goal of Complex 2030 and the Reliable Replacement Warhead program that it encompasses is a decreased U.S. nuclear arsenal. President Bush has called for our nuclear stockpile to be reduced by nearly 50% by 2012.

Under Complex 2030, these decreases, coupled with technological improvements are aimed at maintaining a smaller, safer, more secure stockpile, with assured reliability over the long term.

Moreover, this increase in long-term reliability will ideally be accompanied by a correspondingly reduced necessity of future nuclear testing. As you may know, the U.S. has had a moratorium on nuclear testing since 1992. The RRW program would utilize new-design replacement warheads that will be easier to manufacture and certify without nuclear testing.

The RRW program was first funded by Congress in Fiscal Year 2005, and President Bush has requested $89 million for it for FY 2008.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Congressional appropriations process moves forward.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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A Message from Senator Ken Salazar re: The War in Iraq

Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding the war in Iraq. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

U.S. forces have now been in Iraq for over four years. I have strongly disagreed with the manner in which this war has been managed by the Bush Administration. However, I also believe we owe it to both the Iraqi people and our troops to continue working toward stabilizing the country. At the same time, Americans and Iraqis need to recognize that the U.S. military presence will not continue indefinitely.

Recently, the Senate voted on whether to consider an amendment, introduced by Senators Levin and Reed, to the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill that would have changed direction in Iraq by requiring the President to begin reducing the number of American troops in Iraq within four months after enactment. In addition, it would require transitioning the mission of our remaining military forces to force protection, training of Iraqi Security Forces, and targeted counter-terrorism missions. This amendment failed 52-47 on a procedural vote that required the support of 60 Senators. I voted in favor of allowing a vote on this amendment because it is imperative to find an immediate solution in Iraq that creates a diplomatic, economic and military road map to end American combat operations in Iraq.

In support of this approach, I recently introduced a bill called the "Iraq Study Group (ISG) Recommendations Implementation Act of 2007." This bipartisan legislation puts forth a comprehensive military, political, economic and diplomatic strategy to transition the United States' mission from one of combat to support. It was developed in consultation with the co-chairs of the ISG, Secretary of State James A. Baker, III and Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.

The group of ten that comprised the Iraq Study Group came from disparate political parties, professions, and worldviews. They consulted with nearly 200 leading officials and experts including senior members of the Government of Iraq, the United States Government and key coalition partners, and they received advice from more than 50 distinguished scholars and experts from a variety of fields.

In the end, I sincerely hope that we can all join together in this effort to support our troops by bringing them home safely to their families and loved ones.

Again, thank you for writing.

Sincerely,

Ken Salazar
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://salazar.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

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That about says it all...

Here's a wonderful rant from www.presidentbushisafuckingmoron.com

Ok, enough pussyfooting around. George W. Bush, our President, Commander in Chief, and the head honcho of the Republic Party, is a fucking moron. Calling this asshole “dumb as a stump” is an insult to trees. He’s so dense, his skull has an event horizon.

Never mind crime, this sucker’s soft on smart.

I know – big newsflash – and yet every time this nimrod makes a speech (we are seriously stretching the definition of that word right there) all the newscasters put on their furrowed-eyebrow faces and act like they’re parsing Churchill and not Mr. fucking Magoo. Hello? What kind of Pravda-ass bullshit is that?

And, if I could have a word with the speech writers for just a minute: When you’re writing for someone who barely puts any downward force on his brainpan, you gotta use the small words so he doesn’t get that confused look on his face, like Helen Thomas just asked him if the Sunni Triangle is stabilizing and he's trying to recall the correct pronunciation of “isosceles”.

Starting off the State of the Union with “This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour...” ? Come on, that’s not even giving him a fighting chance. Might as well just switch off the teleprompters and have him ad lib something about French existentialism.

Oh, but that speakin’ stuff don’t matter because he connects with the people with his down home manner and Southern charm, right? Honey, please. Bush is Southern like Tom Cruise is stable. Y’all think back now: when baby Bush needed an education, daddy didn’t send that sucker to SMU, did he? No, he brought his silver-spooner home to New England for the rich kid treatment. Let’s see… Phillips Academy, Yale, and Harvard. There are winners in the Westminster Kennel Club less pedigreed than this bitch.

Sorry — what were we talking about? Oh yeah, the fabulous State of our Union. The one where our “economy is on the move” - like a drunk cow going up the down escalator on rollerskates. Yes - things sure look rosey here in the fucking US of AA, especially when they mount those goal posts on conveyor belts and press “reverse.”

And could the Decider be more confused about his own education policy? Not to nitpick, but saying No Child Left Behind preserves local control is like telling an engineer he can take his train anywhere he likes; those rails are just guidelines. But as long as those little whipper snappers are learnin’ more, we could cut him a little slack. Except, they’re not doing any better than they were before this brainiac decided that the way to improve test scores was to give more tests.

Not to worry, though, our kids are in for plenty of math lessons in the next few months. If two trains leave stations 6211 miles apart traveling at the speed of sound, how long will it take for the First Infantry Division to find out their Commander in Chief plans to cut Veterans health care funding by thirteen percent? Stumped? Maybe it's because he’s cutting education by seventeen percent.

And speaking of cuts, here’s a plan we didn’t hear from El Presidente: roll back just one third of the tax cuts Bush wants to make permanent and we can keep Social Security running for another seventy five years. I know, I know, taxes bad!, but the veterans of Gulf War VII will be so thrilled when their monthly checks kick in right on time in 2082.

And then there’s this meathead’s genius plan to stem the tide of immigration into the country of immigrants. A wall. I think I know where you can find some big green sheets of copper to build that sucker with. That French bitch isn’t really using them anymore, and what’s with that big book she’s carrying, anyway? Filled with facts, I betcha. Tear that mother down and let’s get a-buildin’.

Speaking of facts, didn’t anyone notice that in the last twenty years we’ve tripled our spending on border security, and in that same time, illegal immigration has... wait for it... tripled. So maybe a bigger wall isn’t gonna do the trick. How about that other bit, the temporary worker plan? Where instead of shipping our jobs overseas, we’ll import workers to do our jobs here. For a while, at least, and then when we wear them out we’ll send them home and get new ones. Guaranteed fresh immigrants! Do you think we can get them in fashion colors? I feel like we've been stuck in shades of brown for like, 58 seasons in a row.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough of a fuck you to foreigners, we’re gonna start recruiting soldiers south of the border? No need to clean our toilets and change our diapers, now all you gotta do is dodge roadside bombs and kill a few natives and, if you survive, well, welcome to your new country! America! Land of the free, home of the... what’s with the sitting down? Up and at ’em, amigo, time for another tour of Baghdad.

Or Tehran, perhaps? You didn’t think Bush put a Navy flier in charge of the Middle East military in order to fight a ground war in Iraq, did you? He’s dumb, but he understands the difference between land, air and sea. Or someone in the White House does, hopefully. No, the extra aircraft carrier arriving in the Gulf is there to provide the Navy’s new no-stop service to Iran’s many secret nuclear attractions. What’s that? The CIA says there aren’t any secret nuclear sites?

But then why the fuck is Ahmedinigalechadian putting on this big show, parading around with a teaspoon-full of glowing goo? I know this is going to come as a shock to some Americans, so grab hold of your seats: Maybe, just maybe, this show isn’t for you. I know, wacky, huh? Who else would Amedinglachead be trying to reach when he goes on Channel Ten Tehran: Live, Local and Lead-lined? Iranians? Couldn’t be.

Fucking Iranians. Why do they have to be so irrational? Why couldn’t they just sit down and write us a nice note, promising to allow inspections of their nuclear facilities and end their support for Lebanese and Palestinian militants. Life would be so much easier if they’d just act like they did four years ago when they wrote that exact fucking letter. They even threw in helping us stabilize Iraq - like we’d ever need help with that.

Didn’t hear about that little bit of correspondence the Iranians sent to Cheney, did you? The one that’s pretty much exactly what we’re asking for now? What the fuck else was he holding out for? An offer to host Yom Kippur services next year?

You’d have to be a serious fucking optimist to call Dick Cheney a half-wit. The only reason this asshole’s on the transplant list for a heart and not a brain is that his health plan requires proof of a trade-in before they’ll schedule surgery.

It’s about time someone took Dick Cheney’s self-righteous smirk and shoved it up his undisclosed location. You know the look - the one where he pretends that anyone opposed to his policies is just sadly misinformed, right before he tells us, smack-dab in the middle of the deadliest month in Iraq so far, that we’re doing “remarkably well.” Remarkably well? Note to Lynne Cheney: if Dick ever tells you your hair looks nice, double check to make sure its not on fire.

And then, as if he thought we'd forget who the biggest dickhead in the White House was after watching Bush stumble through the State of the Union, Cheney wanders into the Situation Room and tells us that any talk of blunders in Iraq is just hogwash.

Sweet Jesus, this asshole’s got more nerve than Mel Gibson at a Manishevitz tasting.

And, I don’t mean to be petty, but do you think the Vice President could have put off the noshing until after his hand puppet finished flapping his jaw? I shit you not - check the YouTubes. Right around the time George tried to tell us how lucky we are that our health care plans are gonna be taxed, Dick forgot he was on national television and decided it was time for a Mentos. This guy is pissed that we can’t be more patient while he sends our kids out to play a deadly game of Where’s Waldo in Baghdad, and he can’t make it twenty minutes without a fucking snack?

See, the Vice President isn’t some hard-nosed warrior, he’s a fucking pussy. We’re just not allowed to point that out that because the script says Democrats are Alan Alda and Republicans are fucking Rambo. Which, come to think of it, is pretty fucking accurate, since Hawkeye actually went to war, and Sylvester dodged the draft, just like Cheney. And Bush. And Karl Rove. And John Ashcroft. And Bill O’Reilly. And Newt Gingrich. And Paul Wolfowitz. And fucking Ted Nugent. Jesus Christ on a cracker — did the draft boards have some sort of dickhead deferment that no one told us about?

Only someone whose combat experience begins and ends with boxes labeled “appropriate for ages 8 to 12” would be pushing this brilliant surge business. Hell, even the dynamic duo that came up with this plan in the first place are quietly backing away from the White House at this point. If those guys think you’re fucked, honey child, you are fucked.

Do you think maybe we could leave the war planning up to people whose experience in the theater of war extends beyond the fucking Loew’s Multiplex? No, no — by all means, what’s your big plan this time?

“To win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.” Or, if we can’t manage to find the enemy, we can always set out the milk and cookies and find him some new recruits. Wasn’t that a lesson from The Art of War? “If you can’t find your enemy where they are, make new ones where you are. And then alienate the locals and ignore your generals. This is a clear path to victory. But it is a path that runs through a forest of failure, and you may not recognize all the glorious triumph because it will look a lot like a deep, deep chasm of defeat. But trust me, this is an excellent way to win a war. In space. Did I mention it only works in space?”

And can someone please give this asshole a refresher course in cause and effect? “In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists.” Yeah, geez, those Shia extremists just came out of fucking no where. I wonder if they’re still pissed that your daddy got distracted after he suggested they rise up against Saddam? Guys, its been over a decade since we let Saddam fly his helicopter gunships into our special “no-fly zones” and massacre men, women and children by the tens of thousands — let it go. We don’t hold the fact that you were born on top of our oil against you, do we?

And how did those Shia extremists get so... extreme, anyway? Death squads, torture, bodies piling up in the morgues... those guys are as sick as those lunatics back in Honduras, or Nicaragua, or Vietn... waitaminute. That sounds a lot like the resume of the assholes we sent over to Iraq right before the death squads showed up. If we’re the ones training the police, and the death squads keep showing up in police uniforms, what are the chances that we’re training the death squads that have turned Baghdad into a fucking inferno?

And now we’re going to send even more of our soldiers into that mess? That, right there, is a kick-ass plan. What you really want to add to a zebra stampede is more referees. The surprising thing about this insurgency, or ideological struggle, or philosophical debate with fucking grenade launchers or whatever we’re calling it this week isn’t that we’re losing – no, the surprising thing is that we’re doing so well.

Long War my ass. This is the fucking Long Defeat.

Meanwhile, our President can’t keep track of who’s got the upper hand in this fight. “The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free-flowing communications are long over.” Dude - you left off “for us” at the end there. And “Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite.” Like, say, the right of habeas corpus?

Oh right, we never actually had that right, right? Not according to your Attorney General, Slippery Gonzalez. “The Constitution doesn’t say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn’t say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.” Who’d have thought we’d be waxing nostalgic for the liberty-loving ways of Honest Ashcroft so soon?

Just when you think these assholes can’t sink any lower, they bring in the new blood and start drawing up plans for circles that never even occurred to Dante.

And if I hear one more Republican hack trot out this “If you don’t like the President’s plan, let’s hear yours” line I’m gonna have a fucking aneurism. First off, “More” is not a plan. And second, we’re fucking lousy with plans over here. Do you get the feeling that if Moses came down with a couple tablets-ful of battle plans, Cheney would start questioning the Almighty’s loyalty to the ol’ red white and blue?

Maybe that’s why Bush chose a new finale of his Fate of the Union. No twanging “America” on his signature sign-off? Just, “God Bless...” as his big finish? Like Tiny Tim, but lamer.

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