Friday, July 28, 2006

On Being

And That's The Truth!

It is amazing that what turns out to be the truth and proper analysis of the Mideast situation are STILL called America haters and traitors etc. Glenn Greenwald points out the obvious.

With more and more prominent administration supporters now admitting that our invasion of Iraq has turned out to be a disaster, and acknowledging that a vicious and tragic religious civil war is rapidly unfolding, it is worth recalling what Howard Dean was saying prior to the invasion about why he thought it was ill-advised based on the evidence that we knew then.....

The Administration has not explained how a lasting peace, and lasting security, will be achieved in Iraq once Saddam Hussein is toppled. I, for one, am not ready to abandon the search for better answers.As a doctor, I was trained to treat illness, and to examine a variety of options before deciding which to prescribe. I worried about side effects and took the time to see what else might work before proceeding to high-risk measures. . . .We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war. ......There are other risks. Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms. Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval. . . .

Greenwald notes:
But it sure was fun to ridicule Howard Dean and all the pacifistic, American-hating losers who supported him. Apparently, the fun of doing that hasn't subsided one bit, despite the fact that Dean was not just right, but prescient in almost everything he said about Iraq.The real geniuses in the national media and both political parties back then knew that Saddam had WMD's, that it would be so very easy for us to invade and get rid of the weapons and set up the country we wanted. Anyone who said otherwise was just an appeasing hysteric. All that depressing talk about civil wars and insurgencies was just the defeatist paranoia of weaklings who were the new Neville Chamberlains.And this went on even after the invasion. In December, 2003, Dean's questioning of whether the capture of Saddam really made American safer subjected him to great ridicule from most corners. And when Dean, in December 2005, compared Iraq to Vietnam by pointing out that there was no reason to stay any longer if we couldn't fulfill our objectives, he was again widely ridiculed and attacked, and labelled a coward and a traitor.This is worth noting not because all of that was conventional wisdom back then, but because -- unfathomably -- it is still the conventional wisdom. Howard Dean is still considered a far left extremist who is completely "unserious" about national security and whose party -- all together now -- can't be trusted with national security.........But whatever you do, just don't listen to Howard Dean or anyone of his ilk, no matter how right he might have been about Iraq.

I'm 51 years old and interested in politics since the age of 15. Never in my life have I seen such bizzaro, (Bizarro is perhaps best described as an "imperfect duplicate" of Superman: Often, Bizarro simply uses opposite reactions to words, such as Save=Kill, Good=Bad, and Love=Hate) contrarian thinking. This is extremely dangerous thinking and scares the dickens out of me as to the fate of our nation. I have noticed that the ones that most often get their wool in the air, the ones that most often think that any different idea is just the "liberals" trying to sheer them are the 25-40 year olds. They have been subjected to right wing rhetoric their entire life with almost no strong opposing view so I guess it stands to reason. The respect we give the young people that are able to remember what America is suppose to be about and are able to think critically in achieving it deserve our respect that much more for what they have come through with their standards still intact.

I love to read comments in blogs, even more than the posts many times cuz there is such insight. Here are a few of the great ones from Greenwalds post:

In an increasingly, agressively faith-based rhetorical environment, being "right" has little significance. In fact, maintaining one's belief system despite contradictory objective evidence is becoming some kind of perverse badge of honor; we're a nation of Tom Hagens, encouraged to demonstrate unthinking, unscrupulous loyalty to those who tell us what to think and do.

Just look at who they hate the most, and you'll get a good idea of who they actually fear the most. For example, t's incredible how right Al Gore was in 2000--if you go back and
read the debates now, he was absolutely prescient about what George W. Bush was going to do to our country. Meanwhile, so much of what Bush said about what he was going to do in office has turned out to be an utter lie--to find out what he was really going to do, all you had to do was reverse his statements. So yes, they are deathly afraid of the truth, and those who will speak it. That's also why they waste so much time shrilly and personally attacking you, Glenn. You speak the truth, and they fear it, and hate you for daring utter it.

The entire "tough guy" establishment was--it seems to me--motivated partly by ersatz bravado that was directly linked to deliberately ignoring the hard-won lessons of Vietnam.First, they avoided serving in Vietnam. Then they ignored the lessons paid for with other men's lives. And then they got really mad at Howard Dean, in part because he insisted on reminding them--indirectly, obliquely, but unavoidably--of the utter hollowness of their bravado.

People say they want straight-talking politicians; but when politicians talk straight, they get punished.

Most people prefer to believe their leaders are just and fair even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which they live is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of a corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender ones self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.

people can be wrong. I do not think you should have ot blame them for it. But when they are in error of judgement and that error matters (and is costly) then they must accept responsibility. the problem is accountability, not being wrong.

Why? Simple, really. The media exists to repeat Republican talking points such as "Republican = Tough" and "Democrat = Sissy." (This despite, you know "Bush = avoided Vietnam" and Kerry = served his country.") Pesky little things like truth will not get in their way, whether Republican or "newsman." With that handy mechanism in place, it's just a question of endless repetition. I know otherwise intelligent people who believe that Iraq was behind 9/11, not because of any valid proofs, but because there is "no smoke without fire" and "we wouldn't have gone in without a good reason." Throw in "I heard this ..Fox News item.." or "I heard that ..Fox News item.." and you have a winning combination for mass media brainwashing. Goebbels did much the same thing, albeit more crudely and on a smaller scale.

Well,His Brain Needed Shakin' Up Anyway

For those of you that feel the same way about John Stossel as I do this is a must see!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Imperial Presidency

I know I am not alone when I say it is astounding what this administration gets away with. Fear, guilt and calls to phony patriotism turns all the followers and non critical thinkers in this country into a bunch of sheeple. They allow things they would detest in any other circumstance.(especially if the evil liberals were doing precisely the same thing).

- John Dean, the White House lawyer who famously helped blow the whistle on the Watergate scandal that drove Richard Nixon from office, says the country has returned to an "imperial presidency" that is putting the United States and the world at risk."I am not sure which is more frightening," he adds, "another major terror attack or the response of authoritarian conservatives to that attack."

Well for me, I am far more worried about what is happening to our country from the inside and the lack of homeland security at HOME than I am about a terrorist attack. The country can survive a terrorist attack but it cannot survive the destruction of our constitution and democracy.

"We have an unchecked presidency."

For those of you not following along closely at home(apparently many) that means lack of congressional oversight, "unitary executive" and ignoring of the balance of powers.

His book is anchored to a discussion of authoritarianism, a school of thought that, in the simplest terms, tries to explain why some people lead and others follow. The classic authoritarian personality mostly found in men thirsts for power, is exploitive, cheats to win, opposes equality, intimidates and is mean-spirited.
This headstrong leadership style marks the current Republican right in varying degrees, he says, starting with President Bush and moving on down through the leadership ranks. The Bush White House, Dean says, has "given authoritarianism a new legitimacy."

Certainly it is safe to say that all politicians want power. It is the only way to get things done. It is what you do with it that is critical. Cheats to win? Many think so. Opposes equality? The followers especially would never admit it but when the poor and middle are fine with Exxon etc getting huge tax bonuses and are willing to give up what they earn to give it to the rich, something is askew. When they talk about how horrible the poor are and complain about helping them we have the right wing version of class warfare. It's not the traditional American way. We use to be for the underdog, now it's the aristocrats and giant corporate hotshots. Intimidates and is mean spirited? Just watch Fox News or listen to the right wing talk shows. No more explanation is needed.

In "Conservatives Without Conscience," Dean pays Bush a backhanded compliment, saying that while the president is "not a puppet" it is Vice President Dick Cheney who is the White House's dominant authoritarian. "Cheney has swallowed the presidency," Dean says.

For those of you not closely following along at home(apparently many) Cheney is President. His finger prints and personality is all over it, not Bushs'. There is also much evidence to prove this.

"My views have changed very little over the last 40 years," Dean said. "The Republican Party and conservatism have moved so far to the right that I'm now left of center.

Barry Goldwater would agree John.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Idiot? Rush Opens His Mouth And Removes All Doubt

Raving Lunatic

This post is dedicated to my friend Bob who has to put up with this on a daily basis.

The Prophet Limbaugh is mad..or is he..that Buckley thinks Bush should go. Pieces of the transcript.

RUSH: Okay. Now, what explains this? You know, we dealt with this once before. This is not the first time that Mr. Buckley has been highlighted by the Drive-By Media ...

For those confused as to what "drive-by media is..When you are in your car scanning the dial and you come across El Rushbo or Sean Hatteity or the like and go right on by.

in his disagreements with President Bush -- and, look, I don't want to speak for him. As to sound bite number three, let's tackle that one first because that's the easiest. I have said this, Buckley just said it in a different way when he says, "I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology." Well, I'll climb on board. I'll agree with that. But all he's saying is that Mr. Bush is a Republican, but he is not the leader of a movement.

Not the leader of a movement? Needs more fiber.

We have a Republican president who is conservative on some things and others he's not.

Wow!! A flip flopper!

He's going about his job in his own way.


That certainly is no crime,

Welllllll, actually the way he does it, legally it is.

but to the Drive-By Media, why, why, that would be an indictment. He's lost his wheels as a conservative because they are interested in conservatism losing its wheels,

The wimpy liberal juggernaut is destroying Bush.

they are interested in conservatism falling apart because they know conservatism is the foundation and the dynamic of the Republican Party.

Geez he sounds so intellectual doesn't he?

So when you have somebody as powerful as Mr. Buckley saying it, they get all excited and they start panting. (Panting.) "The Republican Party is about to fall apart! Bill Buckley says so, we've got it on tape, Saturday night CBS Evening News!"

I didn't hear anybody say the Republican party is falling apart..I heard Buckley say Bush is a failure. You know , Oxycontin can cause hearing loss so that is probably not Rushs' fault either.

That's why I spent some time in my first-hour monologue here trying to draw some similarities between the spread of communism worldwide and the attempted spread of militant Islam worldwide.

Likely wacky, total nonsensical similarities.

Let's not involve ourselves out there in the world. We don't have the power to do it. It's not our prerogative. Let's just leave it alone. We've dealt with the big enemy. We've put it down, and we can now, you know, take care of our own domestic problems and do so responsibly and so forth.

And lordy, lordy who would dare advocate taking care of domestic problems or responsibity!?

But the thing that it seems to be so many people forget here is 9/11, when we were attacked.

Not as long as Rush and the wingnuts bring it up as an excuse for every failed policy they they try to foist on their sheeple audience
It's going to happen more and more if we ignore it, if we put our heads in the sand and say, "Well, you know, this is not something for us anymore. The world can fight its battles without us because we're going to head back." I don't hear from any of these people who have opposition to what we're doing, their own plan, other than isolationism. Now, they don't like that word when I use it, but I don't know what else they're talking about, because I don't hear another plan. I don't hear a plan to deal with this,

I guess that Oxycontin hearing problem is rearing its ugly head again.

and it's clearly something, in my mind, has to be dealt with.

Rushs' mind...that open space he would like to open up for oil drilling.

RUSH: ... I hate to say this, but you have to trust me. There are people in this White House who would blow you away with their intellect,

Trust Rush. I think he is talking about Harriet Myers.

and the president is one of them if he chose to address you in that way. Why he doesn't is not because he doesn't think we can't understand it or won't believe it.

He just loves secrets.

There's something else going on here. There is a shadow government out there, Len. There's a shadow government going on out there that's doing its best to sabotage everything that we're doing.

Rushs' paranoia about the liberal juggernaut in the totally owned Republican government is kicking in again.. or else he forgot he was for personal responsibility.

The one mistake that Bush -- well, the one mistake -- one of the mistakes Bush

Well thanks for making that clear.

made was the new tone, when he assumed office. He didn't clean out the Clintonoids in some of these positions at the Pentagon and at the State Department, and the CIA, and they've been free to leak all this gobbledygook war plans and what have you.

Yep, Clintons usual the personal responsibility is lost in translation.

Bush was trying to show that it was going to be a new Washington. We're going to stop all this partisans infighting here. We're going to come together as a country and get along,

I guess that is why the Democrats are forced to hold hearings in a basement, their proposals are not brought up for a vote and people that disagree with Bush are called traitors and America haters. They try soooo hard!

and once again it was it was well-intentioned but naïve.

Naive to believe it was anything but electioneering.

The liberals don't want to get along with people, they want power --

The nice Republicans don't want power, and as noted above they have tried sooo hard to get along.

and they will sabotage whoever has it in order to get it back themselves.

sabotage..three syllable word. I bet Rushs' listeners went straight for the dictionary.

-- and I think this is something that probably is bothering a lot of people, may be bothering Mr. Buckley, for all I know. The idea that we can't take care of this in three and a half years is what's astounding to people, and they're right. We could. We could take care of this much sooner than we have.

For once Rush IS right!

Well, the media's on scene every day showing the civilian casualties and showing the results of the military action, and that's going to temper people because the world is going to say, "Stop it! Stop it! Stop this killing! Enough violence, enough is enough!"

Damn those people that are repulsed by violence and death..You see, Rush is use to horrible scenes. He looks at himself naked in the shower every day.

It was easier in the old days when nobody saw this stuff. Nobody saw 92,000 battle fatalities in the Pacific theater in World War II, and nobody saw the million and a half Japanese deaths so it was easier to do.

Ah the good ol days when mass carnage was easy.

It's a different set of circumstances today, and it results in the United States and its allies not using the full force of the power that we are able to project in order to appease.

We could turn that place into diamonds but we have to appease those uninformed people that oppose massive destruction of the planet.

You get caught up and worried about what other people think of you and world opinion and so forth and you're going to get hamstrung, and we're hamstrung, precisely where we are.

Ya ,who needs friends when you advocate unending war.

I have to joke about this to keep from crying.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Presnit Continually Violates The constitution..Continually

Bound by oath to uphold the laws of the United States, the President makes up his own. Justifying the Presidents actions would necessarily invoke the idea of "King George". Will the right see it when it is too late? Will the next Democratic president invoke the same powers thus helping them see the error of their ways?

Reading Room

Lots of catching up to do so let's do it.

More secret government...
Amid all the other news yesterday, the attorney general's startling revelation that President Bush personally blocked a Justice Department investigation into the administration's controversial secret domestic spying programs hasn't gotten the attention it deserves...." 'Since its creation some 31 years ago, ......OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation.' . . . I wonder how the wingnuts will feel when someone they don't like claims these powers on precedent?

How does a man so unpopular weild so much power?

"Father Of American Conservatism" says Bush sucks, not a true conservative.

In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure. "If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign.

They'll be standing up any time now.

The Baghdad area recorded an average of 34 major bombings and shootings for the week ending July 13, the U.S. military said. That was up 40 percent from the daily average of 24 registered between June 14 and July 13. ......Many of the death squads are believed to be associated with either Sunni or Shiite armed groups, targeting members of the rival sect as part of a struggle for power between the country's two major religious communities. ...... Combatting death squads runs the risk of armed confrontation with militias such as the Mahdi Army of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose movement is part of al-Maliki's government. ...Gee part of the government. Heard anything similar to that...recently?

Thuggery in science (PDF)

Two in five (40 percent) said they could not publicly express “concerns about public health without fear of retaliation.” More than a third (36 percent) did not feel they could do so even inside the confines of the agency.

Almost one in five (18 percent) responded, “I have been asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or my conclusions
in an FDA scientific document.”

Most distressingly, there is no remaining support for or interest in SCIENCE.”--
Scientists from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

There's much more.

One example of over the cliff. As noted in the comments on the page this is the Zombie right.

And now for a little levity.. Cheney uses mideast as a campaign issue...That's right, vote for us on the merit of our failed policy.