Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rock Solid

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson spoke the words many of us I think would like to say.Please read the whole thing when you have time here.

We are here today because of our values. We love our country. We cherish the freedoms and liberties of our country. We don't call those who speak out against our nation's leaders unpatriotic or un-American or appeasers of fascists, as we heard from our nation's secretary of defense yesterday. We have good, wholesome family values. In our families, we teach honesty, we teach kindness and compassion toward others, we teach that violence, if ever justified, must be an absolutely last resort. In our families, we teach that our nation's constitutional values are to be upheld, and that they are worth standing up, as we are here today, and fighting for. Our family values promote respect and equal rights toward everyone, regardless of race, regardless of ethnic origin, and regardless of sexual orientation. In our families, we teach the value of hard work and competence..........
A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president. That is not a patriot. Rather, that person is a sycophant. That person is a member of a frightening culture of obedience — a culture where falling in line with authority is more important than choosing what is right, even if it is not easy, safe, or popular. And, I suspect, that person is afraid....

Friday, September 01, 2006


Real Fascists

The radical right has been throwing around the term Fascist a lot lately. They have gone to the point to relate those who disagree with their policy as tantamount to fascist appeasers. That is not a media twisting of what they are saying..that is what they are saying. Since a large percentage of Americans are being branded in this way I think it good we take a look at just exactly what a fascist is. The Webster dictionary says this:

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

Exaults nation above the individual- We are flying the flag and by God you had better salute! Disagree with the government? You are “treasonous” you “hate America first”.

Stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader. -I guess this is “we get to have a lot of secret programs because we are the government and you will do as we say”. Or maybe lots and lots of “signing statements” that allow the leader to interpret the law however he chooses. Maybe unilaterally decide that the Geneva Conventions no longer applied. Have your minions go out to suggest that maybe it was time to give the Constitution a good workin' over?

Severe economic and social regimentation. You mean Walmart for a bunch of people, tax cuts for the few and a dwindling number of the in between? Making the government line the only politically correct position to hold?
Forceable suppression of opposition- Being called treasonous is pretty forceful to me.

Autocratic? Like “enhanced” Presidential power including “secret” programs that involve large numbers of Americans.

Dictator according to Webster: 1 a : a person granted absolute emergency power.

Now I can see the radical right gaping “ Why, he just tried to make the case that President and his men are fascists!!!! Well guess what!? They are accusing me of treason so give me your outrage and see if I give you a refund. Did it ever occur to the people spewing "blame America first" that we are obsessing on America because that is where we live! It's where we pay taxes and our families are. The country that we the people are suppose to be able to shape. Maybe we are obsessed with America because the President is the face of the American people. Some of us aren't to damned happy with that face right now. They brought up the treason issue. This is my response. I am far from the only or first one who has already noticed the similarities. Or is this still America? Would you prefer a country where everybody just did what the government leaders say and never complained? If not you had better get about the task of making sure you retain a voice.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Determining Who's Off Their Rocker

Apparently the radical right is all up in arms because no one but them is willing to consider a man hitting people with a car a terrorist attack.

So a fella named Omeed Aziz Popal inexplicably went on a rampage in San Francisco and deliberately ran down fourteen people with his car. Half are critically injured. Popal is suspected to have killed a man in a hit-and-run incident earlier the same day.

Naturally, the righties are shrieking that we’re under a terrorist attack.
Hugh Hewitt ....:
When a man named Ohmeed Aziz Popal runs over 14 people over an hour or two, the best thing to do is think terrorism.
So where is the MSM? The attacks began five and half hours ago.

The best thing to think? The attacks began? As Tbogg says,
Now if Aziz Popal’s name had been, oh, Bozell or Hewitt, they would just being laughing it off as more wacky antics by those drugged-up California weirdos in that crazy liberal town and thank G-d I live in Septictank, Arkansas where we all we do is keep kidnapped hitchhikers in makeshift dungeons underneath the doublewide and meet for Bible study every Tuesday after COPS!. But Popal has one of those names and this surely means that todays incident must be a Very Honda Pilot Kristallnacht.......
Earlier this week I noted that “so many of the loudest drum-beaters for the Right were born in the 1960s and 1970s.” Generally these are people who didn’t become old enough to pay attention to politics until well into the post-Watergate era. There are exceptions — Rush Limbaugh was born in 1951, Hewitt in 1956. But a more typical example of rightiness is this recent Mahablog commenter, who was 19 when he cast his first vote in 1980. He says he was inspired to become a rightie because of the horrors of the Carter Administration.
Yeah, I laughed, too.
I remember when we had big scary stuff to be afraid of, like
global thermonuclear war. Back in the day — 1950s to mid-1960s — Americans thought seriously about what they would do when the bomb dropped. My point is that the Cuban Missile Crisis would have driven these screaming weenies right over the nearest cliff. We were tough back in my day, buckaroos. That’s how I remember it, anyway.

Gee, funny thing. I have noted a number of times how the 20 and 30 somethings are the shrillest, most fearful, most narrow thinkers among the radical right. Someone else noticed too. Although she stretched the age a bit the point is the same. This may be the scariest thing that has happened to America in their life time but it is not the scariest thing that has happened to America..even among the livings lifetime. Their over the top tantrumlike warmongering behavior is childish, immature and something they should be ashamed of. Let's hope the adults regain control of this country again soon.

From The Planet

News and Comment for 8/30/2006

Nation Page
Cigarettes have an average of 10 per cent more nicotine than they did in 1998. Marlboro up 12 % Kools up 30%!

I wouldn't even mention this because they all do it however since the right wails incessantly when Democrats do it lets just note...Bushs' campaign travel is being footed almost entirely by taxpayers.

Top oil company executive compensation averaged 32.7 million dollars last year. Listen, I am all for people having the opportunity to live the American dream. My question is, is greed like this denying others the opportunity? Couldn't some of that go toward worker salaries? Maybe a bit lower gas prices? Wouldn't that improve the national economy? Would making an annual 10 million or 5 million lower their standard of living? Would it deny them any opportunities they now seek?

Fox News nosediving...CNN, MSNBC up.

Republican Bill Frist lies on his medical license application renewal form. When caught fesses up and implies somebody else is at fault because they signed his form. I wonder if that is the same person who got Rush the Viagra?

Actor Glenn Ford dies at age 90.

International Page
The violence continues unabated in Iraq. The president will be trying to convince people to say on a failed course this week. We know time lines work with these people. They have reacted to them several times, from setting up the government to elections. Apparently the President will say the war is being run by the generals and not the White House. Guess “the buck stops here” is “pre 9/11” thinking. The Republicians are anxious to tell you they run government like a business. Would your boss give you a project and say do it however you want and take as long as you want to get it done? If you are making no progress would your boss say just go ahead and do it the same way, you'll succeed eventually? How long do we pay for incompetence? Is this the best use of our resources, which after all in reality are limited? Does this at all resemble traditional conservative..or liberal thought? Remember we are the bosses. We pay the salaries and we hire and fire. At least that is what the Constitution says.

More proof that being a bully and caring nada about alliances and the impression we create in the world is creating more threats, not diminishing them. Venezuela and Syria the latest to face off against Bush policies.

Sports Page
College football starts this weekend. Actually on Thursday.

Nascars' final race before the chase might be Marlins' 700th.

From The Stratosphere:
No S**t! A replica of Suri Cruises' baby poop now bronzed and for sale on Ebay. Quote from the story.."A bronzed cast of baby's first poop can be a meaningful memento for the family." Yep, see'em on mantle pieces all over America. By the way. If Golden Casino out bids you for the “original” a limited edition of plastic replicas will be avaliable.
A free ride to the cat house. Taking the sting out of high gas prices a brothel owner in Sydney, Australia will give you a rebate of 20 cents a liter on your receipt if you use their services.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Glenn Greenwald looks at the wrongness of the boisterous radical right using their own words.
Mark Steyn (sometimes Rush fill in) from May 4th 2003: This war is over. The only question now is whether a new provisional government is installed before the BBC and The New York Times have finished running their exhaustive series on What Went Wrong with the Pentagon's Failed War Plan...... Isolated atrocities will continue to happen in the days ahead, as dwindling numbers of the more depraved Ba'athists confront the totality of their irrelevance. But these are the death throes: the regime was decapitated two weeks ago, and what we've witnessed is the last random thrashing of the snake's body. ....But, for everyone other than media naysayers, it's the Anglo-Aussie-American side who are the geniuses. Rumsfeld's view that one shouldn't do it with once-a-decade force, but with a lighter, faster touch has been vindicated, with interesting implications for other members of the axis of evil and its reserve league.
Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds from April 11 2003:Yeah, there has been a lot of pro-war gloating. And I guess that Dawn Olsen's cautionary advice about gloating is appropriate. So maybe we shouldn't rub in just how wrong, and morally corrupt the antiwar case was. Maybe we should rise above the temptation to point out that claims of a "quagmire" were wrong -- again! -- how efforts at moral equivalence were obscenely wrong -- again! -- how the antiwar folks are still, far too often, trying to move the goalposts rather than admit their error -- again -- and how an awful lot of the very same people who spoke lugubriously about "civilian casualties" now seem almost disappointed that there weren't more -- again -- and how many people who spoke darkly about the Arab Street and citizens rising up against American "liberators" were proven wrong -- again -- as the liberators were seen as just that by the people they were liberating. And I suppose we shouldn't stress so much that the antiwar folks were really just defending the interests of French oil companies and Russian arms-deal creditors. It's probably a bad idea to keep rubbing that point in over and over again.
Sadly No joins in the memories.

CBR points out how the good economy is far from universal: For months, the talk in conservative circles has been about the strength of the economy — and the unknown variable that leads Americans to express widespread discontent about the president's handling of the economy. Growth in the GDP is relatively good, the unemployment rate isn't awful, interest rates are fairly low, so what's with all the complaints? I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it has something to do with less money in people's pockets. ......As a result, wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation’s gross domestic product since the government began recording the data in 1947, while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960’s. UBS, the investment bank, recently described the current period as “the golden era of profitability.” .....Keep in mind, it's not just wages. Until the last year, stagnating wages were somewhat offset by the rising value of benefits, especially health insurance, which caused overall compensation for most Americans to continue increasing. Since last summer, however, the value of workers' benefits has also failed to keep pace with inflation, according to government data. But you've heard that the average income and average rate of consumer spending has risen in recent years? That's sort of true, but it depends on what you mean by "average." As Ezra noted, "The reason that the statistics on compensation haven't attracted more media alarm is that they've remained positive: the media reports mean compensations, where massive raises for the rich have kept the numbers positive, rather than median compensation, which has fallen."

Patrick Lang on the bumper sticker “fight'em there or fight'em here: Is there a causal connection between civil war and insurgency in Iraq and an absence of Jihadi attacks in the United States? Let's see - What would it be?- People now fighting us in Iraq would otherwise be fighting us in the streets of Peoria. How? There were no Iraqis among the 9/11 attackers. The bogus claims of people like Stephen Hayes that evidence exists of Saddamist/Al-Qa'ida collaboration are a fraud. - War in Iraq keeps the Jihadis fully occupied so that they don't have the planning energy left to work against the West in Europe or the United States. Hello!! Madrid, London twice, Indonesia, etc. The fact is that the War does one thing. It gives the Jihadis a convenient place to fight us and it may in the future give the Iranians a place to fight us on their own terms. The RNC crowd are still saying this egregious crapola as a response to anything they don't like. Ridiculous. Ah, yes, what will be the reponse to this thought? -Leftist- Defeatist- Jihadi Sympathizer - Someone who wants Saddam back in office, etc.

Digby comment: Losing is always a good tonic for the New Right, who always get a little disoriented when they hold power for too long. It messes with their sense of victimization.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Grassroots Wisdom

I am often amazed at the insight proved by the common man(woman). So much so that I have gathered some for your perusal.

War in general
A secure and prosperous future cannot be achieved for or by a single country; the conditions for security and prosperity are of necessity a shared endeavor. In that sense, war doesn't expand a country's options, it limits them. With the military technology available today, regardless of how unevenly it is distributed, war in fact limits a country's options to two: defeat or genocide. In the case of evenly matched opponents, choosing the latter option includes the former as a probable consequence as well.

Making peace rather than war is a complex undertaking. Because establishing trust between two societies with conflicting interests takes a great deal of time, a lasting peace isn't accomplished quickly. That it's worth the trouble should be obvious to anyone who doesn't have severe ego problems.

War, or the threat of it will not go away as far into the future as any of us can see, and a prudent society, even one which sincerely embarks on the making of peace, must retain a credible military to keep both its partners and adversaries honest. That said, the first rule of statecraft must be this: if you are forced to use your military, you have failed; if you use it without being forced to, you are a failure. There is a corollary as well: If you are not honest with yourself about what forced means in the previous sentence, you are, quite simply, doomed.

War strategy
As Justice Warren wrote in U.S. v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967):"Implicit in the term national defense is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of . . . those liberties . . . which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile."
But wussy cappuccino-sipping 'law enforcement' doesn't make the neo-cons and semi-literate Bush base feel like he-men. Only bombing and shooting foreigners can ever assuage their sense of manly inadequacy. Think of how much has been wasted and frittered away in this pointless war:-hundreds of billions of dollars-thousands of lives-American credibility and goodwill towards our nation-rule of law and civil liberties.

We have insulted our friends, emboldened our enemies, and antagonized everyone who was sitting on the fence. "Less safe" doesn't begin to encompass the consequences.
America has failed to capture Bin Laden, and failed to decrease terrorism. The Republican policies for 2 terms have failed the American people and bankrupted the nation. We need to think intelligently and not bombastically or arrogantly about the most effective ways to deal with terrorism. We need to work with other nations, not exclude them, in order to effectively gather intelligence.

All of this and we've created MORE terrorism and oh by the way, where's Osama?

If this is the 'strong leadership' the Republicans provide on foreign policy, we can't take much more of it.

Response to the religious right on the morning after pill

Yesterday, they said life begins with conception.
Today, they say life begins with intercourse.
Tomorrow, they will tell us life begins with dinner and a movie.

These are comments from various blogs I visit. There are many more. I may make it a regular feature.