Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well-sir, Now That Li'l-Girl-Fucking-Cult There In Texas Mighta Went Just A LEETLE Too Far

Investigators, who it must be admitted have a pretty heavy load of scrutiny to bear and no small stake in conducting a 'successful' investigation into all this, report they have uncovered evidence that it was not only girls and young women who were assaulted and sexually abused at that fundie-cult baby-farm down in ElDorado, TX. It was boys and young men, too.
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas officials told legislators Wednesday that they’re investigating the possible sexual abuse of some young boys taken from a polygamist sect’s ranch, as well as broken bones among other children.

The disclosures are the first suggestions that anyone other than teenage girls may have been sexually or physically abused at the ranch run by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon sect.

In written and oral testimony provided to lawmakers Wednesday, officials with the state Department of Family and Protective Services said interviews and journal entries suggested that boys may have been sexually abused.

Thet's done gone an' did it, by Gawd! NOW they gone too far. Them li'l girls, I could unnerstan' it. Some o'em looked to be purty sweet under them prairie burqas. Even a coupla broke bones. Them kids kin be ornery. But sex with little boys? Why, it ain't nacherul...not one bit, it ain't....

One of the strange demographic statistics about the people removed from the cult-site was the signal dearth of teen-age boys. Girls of all ages, and babies. But scarcely any boys between--I only heard the number in passing--11 and 15. Mebbe zero. And the younger ones showing signs of physical and sexual abuse.

That's the wonderful thing about faith. It is sooo flexible. It covers over so many multitudes of sins...There's a link in the Hed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

McCain ("McCancer"): That Shit-house Crazy Psychotic's Gonna Be #44

He's past PTSD. He's bat-shit psychotic. Think Curtis LeMay-crazy

He flew 23 'combat' missions over North Vietnam, mostly killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure (cuz that's mostly all there was there, then). He was bombing a power station when he got shot down, and then beaten the shit beat out of by the people he had until lately been earnestly trying to kill and maim from the anonymity of the clouds. By his own account, he was a dead man in the water. The Vietnamese people pulled him out. Then they beat the shit out of him. And you're a goddam liar if you believe you wouldn't have done the same.

McCancer is not a hero, though his behavior in captivity is in many ways admirable. But he's a still a dead-eyed, soulless, opportunistic, remorseless, mass/serial killer. He'd kill you--and your family, and your pets, and burn your house--as soon as look at you, and never blink, nor feel a twinge of regret.

And he's gonna be #44. I feel it in my bones--like the onset of winter darkness, except that there's no foreseeable spring.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Around 1,000 Vets Attempt Suicide Every Month

Writing for McClatchy Newspapers, Les Blumenthal writes:
Washington - The Veterans Administration has lied about the number of veterans who've attempted suicide, a senator charged Wednesday, citing internal e-mails that put the number at 12,000 a year when the department was publicly saying it was fewer than 800.

"The suicide rate is a red-alarm bell to all of us," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Murray also said that the VA's mental health programs are being overwhelmed by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, even as the department tries to downplay the situation.

"We are not your enemy, we are your support team, and unless we get accurate information we can't be there to do our jobs," Murray told Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon Mansfield during the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

Mansfield told Murray and the other senators that he didn't think the VA had deliberately tried to mislead Congress or the public.

Murray remained skeptical, however, saying that the VA has demonstrated a pattern of misleading Congress about the increasing number of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now seeking help and straining Defense Department and VA facilities and programs.

Murray said she's spoken with VA Secretary James Peake and demanded that he fire the man in charge of the department's mental health programs, Dr. Ira Katz. The senator said Peake has yet to respond to her request.

"I used to teach preschool, and when you bring up a 3-year-old and tell them they have to stop lying, they understand the consequences," Murray said. "The VA doesn't. They need to stop hiding the fact this war is costing us in so many ways."

The existence of the e-mails, uncovered as part of a class-action lawsuit filed against the VA in San Francisco, was first reported by CBS News on Monday.

"Our suicide prevention coordinators are identifying about 1,000 suicide attempts per month among the veterans we see in our medical facilities," Katz wrote in a Feb. 13 e-mail to Ev Chasen, the department's communication director. "Is this something we should (carefully) address ourselves in some sort of release before someone stumbles on it?"

Chasen responded: "I think this is something we should discuss among ourselves, before issuing a press release. Is the fact we are stopping them good news, or is the sheer number bad news? And is this more than we have ever seen before?"

CBS reported that the VA had provided it with data earlier that showed only 790 attempted suicides in all of 2007.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Can We Please, Now, At Long Last, Put An End To This "Obama's A 'Liberal'" Codswallop?

His appearance on Faux News today should, finally, fatally, put paid to those specious speculations. Read the TRANSCRIPT if, like me, you cannot watch/listen to that reeking sweat-boil Chris Wallace. Obama demonstrated conclusively that, far from "getting" Fox, he's no better than any of the other gutless, feckless, useless, mealy-mouthed Dim shitwhistles.

Obama's just another fucking DLC/DNC 'centrist,' who voted FOR a bill to class actions, who apologized for DINO fux who supported John Roberts and Sam Scalito for the SCROTUS, who voted in committee to defeat amendments that would have alleviated some of the most draconian elements of the Bankruptcy Bill (though he voted against the bill on the floor, where it was DOA, when it was safe to do so, knowing the effect of his vote was NIL).

I may be compelled to vote for him in the Fall, if only to cast my ballot against the grim-eyed, bat-shit-crazy war-criminal/lying asswipe, John McStain. But I won't do so with any enthusiasm whatsoever...

"He's an isnpiration to us all."

ThinkProgress has a story up about ESPN Magazine which has a cover-story on athletes and prostethics, featuring an Army vet who had part of his leg blown off in Iraq but who still plays basketball on his mechanical leg.
The newest issue of ESPN The Magazine highlights “bionic athletes” in its cover story, looking “into the lives of athletes who represent the future of sports and prosthetics.” One of the athletes featured on its cover is Iraq war veteran Jerrod Fields of Chula Vista, CA, who “uses a leg prosthetic to play basketball.” The 25-year old Army sergeant, who has been awarded both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, was wounded in Iraq in Feb. 2005.
What this story, and those like it, do is 1) give camouflage to the Regime and covers up enormous injuries and damages done to Murkins dumb enough to enlist in this clusterfoock, and 2) provide club with which the aschlochs in the Regime and outside can cudgel injured, damaged, ruined veterans who do NOT have the (personal and social) resources the poster-boy has. It makes it seem that, if a damaged vet isn’t able to go out for the Lakers, that they are somehow personally at fault for their injuries, or their inability to overcome them. It gives ammunition to the people who want to stint on veterans' care, poses an unnaturally high bar for sympathy, and in the end blames the victims, not the Regime that senselessly sent them to their injury and destruction.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Of Exemplary Oxymorons, "Business Ethics" Seems To Me To Exceed All Others In Its Oxymoronity

Unless you are irremediably Luddite, or off the grid, by now you probably know that sometime in the next year or so there's gonna come a BEEG change in the way that the signal which is "television" will be capable of being received.

The switch will make it necessary for people getting their signal 'over the air' have either a tv capable of receiving the new (digital) data, or get a modulating device. Since March 1, 2007, every television sold in the US was supposed to have had a digital tuning chip installed before it was sold. If your tv doesn't have the chip, you have to buy (or in some cases, even more perniciously, rent) a converter box. The FCC issued explicit instructions to retailers that warnings of this impending technology change be posted in the TV Sales areas.

Now guess what happened?

If you said retailers didn't put up the signs, and that many thousands of panicked consumers were sold televisions-without-chips (well, they had to reduce that inventory somehow, dinnthey?) to replace televisions WITHOUT chips, well you might work for Sears. Or Wal-Mart. Or Circuit City.

Cuz that's pretty much exactly what happened: Yahoo Tech (who knew?) was ALL OVER this this morning:
You see, the Federal Communications Commission requires that all TVs manufactured, imported, or shipped since March 1, 2007, include a digital tuner. Analog-only sets that don't have digital tuner can still be sold, as long as retailers display warnings to consumers near them. The problem that is retailers like wal-Mart, Sears, Target, and Circuit City haven't been following this rule. So they are now facing hefty fines from the FCC.

According to an FCC report, Sears "willfully and repeatedly" violated the rules by failing to display a sign next to analog-only equipment it was selling online and in stores. Sears received more than 20 citations and is now facing a $1.1 million fine. Wal-Mart is looking at a $992,000 fine for violations in 51 stores, and Circuit City is facing a $712,000 fine.

More companies will no doubt try to take advantage of the digital TV-transition confusion. So I thought I'd put together a few tips to help you make an informed decision before you buy or subscribe to something you may not need."

"Giant Shrimp" is the often offered as the paradigmatic oxymoron, and in some respects it is so due to it requiring no discursive discrimination to comprehend it; it operates at the level of literal, uninterpreted 'signification.

But NOTHING in the USer lexicon tops "Business Ethics" for aporetic self-rebuttal.

Think about it. Have you EVER been surprised to hear of venality, dishonesty, mendacity, betrayal of trust, down-right theft when discussing the affairs of "business?"

Neither have I...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

U S A ! U S A ! We're Number One, We're Number O...

At the overcrowded California Institution for Men, the gymnasium is used for bunks. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)
U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations
By Adam Liptak

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China's extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England's rate is 151; Germany's is 88; and Japan's is 63.

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.

There is little question that the high incarceration rate here has helped drive down crime, though there is debate about how much.

Criminologists and legal experts here and abroad point to a tangle of factors to explain America's extraordinary incarceration rate: higher levels of violent crime, harsher sentencing laws, a legacy of racial turmoil, a special fervor in combating illegal drugs, the American temperament, and the lack of a social safety net. Even democracy plays a role, as judges — many of whom are elected, another American anomaly — yield to populist demands for tough justice.
There's lots more at the link in the Hed, all of it equally horrifying. Does it all lead to the conclusion that, yeah, we dah baddest mutha-fockas on de planet? Innit the GOP wet-dream?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Up-Date

The Occasion of my having lived long enough to qualify for the Dole was celebrated by and at the 3rd Annual Woody's Baseball Tail-gate Party and Natal Anniversary, at Isotopes' Stadium yesterday afternoon. A fair amount of beer was consumed by the WBTP&NA, in the parking lot outside The (fabled) Pit. I supplied dessert: a fresh strawberry compote steeped for about three days in about half a bottle of Cuervo's Strawberry Margarita cocktail, over either Angelfood bricks or shortcake cups. Yummy finger-foods consumed, and other suitable intoxicants passed around. Olaf & Red (still a'pas de deux) attended, along with some friends from my former association with Drinking Liberally--yet another venture that did not survive my stewardship...we were about a dozen in all: Sara & Josh, Amaris, Chris, Kevin, Bill, Tamara, Cristy & Bill, Olaf & Lil Red, and yr. ob't. Svt...

Isotopes Park is a sweet little venue. 428' to the deepest alley (up a slope to a fence on a terrace. Damnedest thing you ever saw; unless you remember when there was drive-in parking on the berm around the stadium; which doubled as a drive-in church on sunday mornings. Our seats were Sec. 117, on the third-base side, in rows 4&5, about 20 feet into left field behind 3rd.

The 'Topes won, 11-8, in a pretty sloppy game, even in a hitter's park (altitude: @ 1 Mile; humidity: 10-12%; do the math). I lost count after about 10 errors and countless muffed defensive plays, by both sides. The best play of the game, imho, happened early. In the first inning, the visitors (Nashville Sounds, a Brewers' farm club) had got a run in and had a man on second. The next batter stroked a single into mid-right field. The 'Topes' right-fielder, #23, caught it on a bounce and gunned a ROPE to home, on the fly, from about 280-310' feet (the fence is 380' in the corner), to get the runner trying to score from 2nd. Out-at-the-plate! It was a cannon-shot; you could almost hear it when he fired it. It didn't arc anymore than the planet did, all the way home...One of the best throws I ever saw...

Tony Gwinn's son, also Tony Gwinn, plays center-field for the Sounds, and he muffed, or misjudged, or lost a ball that, in the long run, might have been a deciding factor in the game. He was just waving awkwardly as the ball, high and pretty deep, plopped into the sod to his left by 15 feet. One runner scored, another advanced to second, and a third got on base on that baby. It wasn't an easy play, but a good center-fielder should/woulda had it...I got under the skin of the 'Topes 3rd-baseman who dogged it into third from second on a long single on which he should have scored. "You just go lame," I yelled at him, "or is it congenital?" He glared at me when he took the field next inning. I was thrilled, of course...

Thanx all for the good wishes...hope to see all y'all at the beach, where i'll be reposing on the fruits of my labors...I made my first payment into Social Security when I was 16; I worked at the old Santa Fe Opera as a set-builder/go-fer and stage hand during performances. I think they paid me $2.00/hr. No overtime. But I also attended the parties. Oh, the stories I could tell....

But that's for another occasion.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

A small coterie of famous people share my birthday, most conspicuously Adolph Schickelgruber (aka Hitler). I thought Justice John Paul Stevens was among them, but I couldn't find his name among the 4/20 luminaries (I just rechecked, and found it on another list). It also includes Lionel Hampton, and Tito Puente.
One interesting coincidence: Both George Takei (Mr. Sulu, from StarTrek), and Colon Powell (of My Lai cover-up and Iraqi disinformation fame) were born on this day in 1937.
PS: Among the non-famous people who share my birthday are/were my mother (now deceased) and my brother's wife (who happens to be one of the best elementary school teachers in the whole world).

Friday, April 18, 2008

An Observation on the Nature of "Evolution" and Darwin

There's a new movie out, called "Expelled." The film is an paean to the dubious propositions encapsulized under the rubric known as "Intelligent Design" (aka "Creationism"), and an attack on "Darwinism" (aka "Modernity"), disguised--and misrepresented to many participants--as a 'documentery.' Darwinism is equated with Nazism in the same way (and with the same amount of accuracy, by the same rhetorical tricks) as the Doughy Pantload equates liberalism with fascism, vegetarianism and probably blue eyes... Nixon flunky, pseudo-celeb, unprincipled hack/flack Ben Stein headlines. (If he were as smart as he pretends elsewhere, how did he get into this slick pile of shit? ... oh, yeah, the money...). PZ Myers has had some experiences with the film and its makers, and is worth reading on the matter, as with much else.

I'm not a geneticist. I'm a philosopher who's read Darwin, Gould, Dennett, as well as Galton, Malthus, Spencer (nobody reads Spencer anymore). And many others. I once engaged in a rather spirited colloquy about where human evolution actually occurred with Richard Leakey. And I've stayed at a Holiday Inn...

That said:
It seems to me that "Natural Selection" must be understood as an engine of consequences. It is "RANDOM" variation.

Therefore, it has nothing to say about the fitness of the source of the variation, only the success of the adaptation.

Hence any successful variation can arise from any member of the genetic community without effecting the survivability of the individual member in whom it happens to occur.

Only THEIR offspring might benefit...

Gould, in the frontice-piece of The Mismeasure of Man, quotes Darwin on poverty: “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.”

We're greatly sinful, aren't we?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"GOD Must Have Something Special In Mind For Us!"

De Lord's Handiwork?

So say the (White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) missionaries who weren't killed or injured in a terrible plane crash in the Congo the other day. They all walked away, singing the praises of their Lord...

Their "God" was, however, apparently done with the several dozen (Black, African--coincidence?) Congolese who died horribly or were mutilated, burned, maimed, and disfigured when the plane failed to take off and slammed into a crowded market in the same incident.

This ("God Must Really hate Black People")is one of the reasons why the 'faithful' really don't like Prof. PZ Myers.

Me? A big fan of Pharyngula...Why?

(PS. Posted (and probably functionally ignored) on MLW and WWL...

Monday, April 14, 2008

The "Compassion" Forum: A Faith-based Blowjob

I dunno about the corpoRat SCUM (So Called Unbiased Media), cuz I mainly ignore them. But NPR was FULL of it this morning. I stood about two minutes of it before having to re-swallow my regurgitating coffee and turn on the cd player. I usually listen to the NPR talk schedule in the morning, and it's been all over those segments too. It was revolting. Disgusting. It was as close to a public religious litmus test as is possible...and don't forget, goddam it, that's Un-fucking-Constitutional. The religious beliefs of the candidates are of no concern to the (Yes, secular, goddam it) electorate It's in the fucking book.

Over on Buzzflash, commentator/Fifth Columnist PM Carpenter has remarked on it, too. I excerpt it below the fold; HERE'S THE LINKEE if ya wanna read it all.
No matter what else happens between now and November I'll give John McCain credit for at least one act of wisdom: He refused to attend that anticonstitutional abomination -- the misnomered "Compassion Forum" -- on CNN last night. It was the closest thing yet to a religious test, which the U.S. Constitution does not specifically ban, but does frown on pointedly: none "shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

We are treading on perilous ground. We have, for the first time to my knowledge, now lined up major candidates for the U.S. presidency and grilled them on personal, religious faith. The founders would have been appalled, and for good reason. It is precisely the kind of church-state entanglement that severed and factionalized Europe for centuries -- something the founders hoped to avoid by establishing the world's "first wholly secular state," as one scholar of the early American republic has put it.

But you wouldn't have been reminded of our secular founding from watching the "Compassion Forum," sponsored last night by Pennsylvania's Messiah College and characterized this morning by the NY Times as "an exercise in earnestness on pressing moral and social issues, a 90-minute break from the political thrust and parry of the presidential campaign trail" in which "candidates ... address[ed] religious beliefs in at times starkly personal terms."
There's more, none of it any less depressing--or any less true. Not only does this endanger public discourse (whatever there is of that left), but it virtually assures that no one who does not submit to the dominant superstition--about white-bearded boogey-men lurking like jilted pedophiliac lovers in heaven to strike down the dubious--cannot. as a practical matter, be a considered aas a candidate for the office of President--and by implication, any other.
This has gone far enough. Fuck, it's gone too far, WAAAAAY too fucking far.

Btw: Here's the relevant Constitutional Text.
Article VI, 3rd paragraph

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Obama: "I Will Return To The Foreign Policies of GHW Bush, JFK & Raygun"

We all remember the flack that arose around the BHO campaign when he told the ChiTrib (iirc) that he thought the Party of Raygun was the party of ideas in the '80s, I presume.

Now it appears he was not 'mis-speaking.' And it is interesting to me that these latest remarks haven't gotten a wider discussion among the proponents of "hope" and "fuzzy warmies."

Hope Abandoned: Obama Stands Up for Murder & Plunder, by Chris Floyd, Monday, 31 March 2008
Well, it doesn't really get much plainer than this, does it? From AP:
Obama Aligns Foreign Policy with GOP
Sen. Barack Obama said Friday he would return the country to the more "traditional" foreign policy efforts of past presidents, such as George H.W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

At a town hall event at a local high school gymnasium, Obama praised George H.W. Bush — father of the president — for the way he handled the Persian Gulf War: with a large coalition and carefully defined objectives. Obama began a six-day bus tour through Pennsylvania, the largest remaining primary prize in the contest with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton...

"The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush's father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan...." (Emphasis supplied)
Floyd continues:
Obama is doing two things here, reaching out to two very different audiences, on different wavelengths. First, for the hoi polloi, he is simply pandering in the most shameless way imaginable, throwing out talismans for his TV-addled audience to comfort themselves with: "You like JFK? I'll be like him! You like Reagan? I'll be like him too! You like the first George Bush? Hey, I'll be just like him as well!" This is a PR tactic that goes all the way back to St. Paul the spinmeister, who boasted of his ability to massage his message and "become all things to all men." Obama has long proven himself a master of this particular kind of political whoredom -- much like Bill Clinton, in fact, another champion of "bipartisan foreign policy" who for some strange reason got left off Obama's list of role models.

But beyond all the rubes out there, Obama is also signaling to the real masters of the United States, the military-corporate complex, that he is a "safe pair of hands" -- a competent technocrat who won't upset the imperial applecart but will faithfully follow the 60-year post-war paradigm of leaving "all options on the table" and doing "whatever it takes" to keep the great game of geopolitical dominance going strong.

What other conclusion can you draw from Obama's reference to these avatars, and his very pointed identification with them? He is saying, quite clearly, that he will practice foreign policy just as they did. And what they do? Committed, instigated, abetted and countenanced a relentless flood of crimes, murders, atrocities, deceptions, corruptions, mass destruction and state terrorism.

Obama is telling us -- and the war-profiteering powers-that-be -- that he will give us "realistic policies" like those of John Kennedy. These include his steady march into the quagmire of Vietnam, and the backing of a deadly coup in Saigon to replace one brutal junta with another; greenlighting successful coups in Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Iraq, where the CIA helped the Baath Party come to power; greenlighting the spectacularly unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, not to mention the terrorist operations and assassination attempts there.
No, no! That can't be right, can it? It's all going to be "DIFFERENT!" cuz Barack's gonna "CHANGE!" everything, and we'll all find keys to a NEW CAR under our seats...right? Right?? RIGHT???

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The People & The Damage Done

Legacy of Agent Orange
A group of boys play together at a center for Agent Orange victims in Danang, Vietnam, May 21, 2007. More than 30 years after the Vietnam War ended, the poisonous legacy of Agent Orange has emerged anew with a scientific study that has found extraordinarily high levels of health-threatening contamination at the former U.S. air base at Danang.
(David Guttenfelder/AP Photo)
I know everyone is all a-tingle with anticipation to see how the newest generation of US perpetual damage munitions (PDM) will work themselves through the gene pool of our Iraqi victims.
Oh, wait!
That's not anticipation, it's radiation...From the million or so depleted uranium shells and explosives USer forces have fired in Iraq... Ooooops...

(Follow the link to (14 more) fotos, each of which is far more disturbing than this one.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

What Would You Ask General Betray Us, If You Were In Congress?

He's scheduled, with Amb. Ryan Crocker, to testify (under oath?) to various committees of Congress about "progress" and "success" and "the future of the Surge," and now--after a couple of days of the 'insurgents' insistent little reminders of their still deadly antipathy--maybe more about casualties. Congress has been pretty gentle with Gen. Betrayus in the past, and there is little reason to think that the Cong-crits will depart far from the standard for the breed, and forget to roll over to the military and offer the Ginrul its genitals. (FYEIEIO: Paul Craig Roberts has offered his observations and predictions on the subject today.

However, there is a group of aspirant Dim Cong-crits who have signed-on to a withdrawal plan as the central plank of their campaign platforms as they run to unseat either Bush-dogs or real Pukes. Over at OpenLeft, Matt Stoller collecteda list of questions they'd ask the Ginrul if'n they wuz in Congress. Unfortunately, far too many of them seem to echo one theme: Has the Iraq ICORP made "Us/US" safer?

What? You think maybe he's going to say "No"?

Of COURSE he's going to say it has made us "safer." Which of course begs the question (in the historical, rhetorical sense of that trope), because it assumes as given that which is the subject of the dispute.

What does anybody mean by "safer?" "Safer" than what? We weren't "safe" even when we thought we were "safer" than we think we are today, which is in fact no more or less "safe" than we have ever been. There is no quantum of "safeness," no way to measure it. Yes, apparently there have not been any further bloody "terror" attacks in the last 6+ years. But there hadn't been all that many before the last one, come right down to it, at least not ones that mattered/counted to white folks.

It seems to me the only sane question to ask of Betrayus is: If defeat is intolerable, and withdrawal is regarded as 'defeat,' (e.g., Sen.McStain calls it "surrender"), please describe in detail, and with specific examples how the citizens of the US and/or the rest of the world will know what "victory" will look like, and how it has been won, and how long--in your most pessimistic assessment--will it take to achieve it?

A Haiku For My Acequia

In the muddy stream,

Pooh-stick Flotillas glide by:

Splinters of springtime...

Inspired by a walk with my Dixie dog along the acequia today, a glorious, warm, golden spring morning. Water flowing for the first time this year, and pre-schoolers playing on the verges. Back in my youth, there was always a community festival around the cleaning and prepping the ditch for the new year's agriculture. No longer...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

This CAN'T Be Good: "Iowa judge rules English-only law applies to voter information and registration materials "

Back when only Iowans knew he was a jackass, Steve King championed an English-only law, which the state legislature adopted and Governor Tom Vilsack signed in 2002. Last year King (now the member of Congress representing Iowa's fifth district) sued the secretary of state's office for making voter registration materials available in five languages. A district judge agreed that the secretary of state violated the law by providing voters with information in languages other than English.
Read more details and background information at Bleeding Heartland.
Posted by (desmoinesdem) at Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 19:42 # on OpenLeft. Imho, when politicians actively work to reduce the numbers of the enfranchised, they have none but themselves to blame when the disenfranchised resort to other means to have their demands met. Defenestration was a preferred alternative during the reign of the Hapsburgs...

Friday, April 04, 2008

40 Years Ago Today Martin Luther King Was Assassinated

40 Years Ago Today Martin Luther King Was Assassinated
Primarily for this sermon, delivered almost exactly one year before he was killed. I was still in the service in April, 68, though I was a full-on short-timer. When the news spread of the assassination, the whole US military was put on high alert, in anticipation of outbreaks in the black community. They didn't occur...
Listen to this sermon and compare it with the utterances of Rev. Wright, on pretty much the same topic:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Must Listen Radio: Fresh Air/Terri Gross Today

Must Listen Radio: Fresh Air/Terri Gross Today
Not for her, necessarily, though she's a good interviewer.
But her guest today, Law professor Michael Greenberger, is absolutely required listening, if ya wanna understand exactly the complex, lexical and rhetorical prestidigitation that is passing for policy in the current financial crisis. Audio for this story will be available at approx. 3:00 p.m. ET today. It is an unabashedly critical, plain-spoken assessment of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, credit defaults, the shaky future of other types of loans and what we can expect from the U.S. financial markets. As George Lakoff might urge:
Don't think of a Depression!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nobody is gonna unoccupy Iraq. Nagahapun. Not BHO, not HRC, NOBODY!

Not Jesus Christ Hissownseff...
There are gonna have to be troops there to guard the 'temporary' bases from which the USAF (e.g., that pair of F-15s up above there) will extend USer "influence" throughout the Central Asia, confronting Russian, Chinese and Indian efforts to exert THEIR "influence." Our antagonists in the region already have the advantage of proximity. But, from bases around (Kurdish) Kirkuk, every population, transportation, and energy center between Peshawar and Istanbul is under the bomb-sights of USer TACTICAL--not just strategic--aircraft...

That's the gorilla in the room, the unspoken, unacknowledged reason for the ICORP in the first place: Tactical Air Superiority over the trans-Caspian energy fields. Without it, no formal military/political force can suppress any moderately well-supplied insurgency. It's the sine qua non of territorial integrity. And it's the invaluable, invincible ally of the ground troops.