Friday, September 22, 2006

More Grassroots Wisdom

From the comments section of great blogs all across the internets.

On being safer/not being attacked:

We haven't been attacked because the attackers achieved their objectives (or at least many of them). The US military is now out of Saudi Arabia.
The US has removed Saddam who was an enemy of Muslim fundamentalism.
The US has re-oriented the entire economy into a fearful, "anti-terrorist" posture. This has caused our industrial competitiveness to decline, our ability to respond to non-terrorist disasters to be impaired, our diversion into a no win war and a decline is social spending especially in health and education.
So we have weakened our own economy in response to a single, impossible to repeat, attack.For an investment of less than $1 million they have caused the US to spend an estimated $1 trillion reacting to an event that won't be repeated. Are we safer? From what?

I think it's also important to point out that Republicans cannot be trusted on National Security. They are arsonists, starting fires so that they can campaign on pretending to put the fires out. That's not to say that there aren't problems in the world. It's certainly a wilderness of uncertainty. Waving your arms in the air and claiming that the sky is falling all the time isn't a solution to security. Terrorism is about promoting fear. Terrorists want us to be afraid. Frankly speaking, the United States of America is a strong nation and we are not at any risk of being overwhelmed by islamofascism, unless we let it. We only let it, if we run screaming around afraid of it. I've got a lot more faith in our country and our values, than the Republicans seem to have. So ...get out there and start talking about that..... I mean talking about great this nation is, and how pathetic it is that the Republicans hate it so much that they want us to abandon our principles as articulated in the Constitution.

Absolutely true in the case of the most paranoid far-right extreme Bush apologist I know. He claims he has nothing to hide, so why hide it? How 'bout his working mainly for cash as a mechanic for 45 years and not reporting his parts as taxable inventory? How 'bout those unregistered guns from the gun shows and the profits from sales there? How 'bout voting absentee when he didn't really qualify?How 'bout it, Jim?

Wait until you have a Democrat president, then ask the same questions again.
I guarantee the republicans will squeal in alarm at Big Brother's usurpations…
Guarantee it![even more so if the next Dem Pres should be black!]
Republican positions are based on situational ethics.
When a brother republican has the presidency they are like the Doberman's in Orwell's Animal Farm. All yip and yap and yahoo.
When a Dem is in power… they are tempted to blow up Federal Buildings and sieze ridges in Idaho.

The answer seems pretty obvious to me. Simply put, there are about 500 million more eyeballs on the lookout for suspicious activity now than there were before that day.
If that sounds a little farfetched, consider the cases where the Terrorists were actually foiled; all occurred because private citizens took action:
-The terrorists who hijacked Flight 93 were literally stopped dead by well-informed fellow passengers whose most potent weapons were cell phones.-The infamous "shoe bomber" was turned in by fellow air passengers.-Even the recent British bust, (admittedly not on our soil) which was touted by the Bush Administration as justification for their domestic spying program, was initiated by a muslim British citizen making a complaint to his local police.
None of these defensive actions were aided in any way by government secrecy, torture or the removal of constitutional protections.

"Have the terrorist won ?"
They have, I don't believe they are hell bent on killing, just altering our way of life. When we give up our most cherished freedoms it's a huge victory for them and they know it. I think deep down inside, they don't hate our freedom, they hate our opulence and decadence, and by proving that we are willing to give up the foundations this country is built upon, they are showing/proving to the world, that we are a country with no principles, no real moral convictions. We have become a country more dedicated to money then morals, and they are a people more dedicate to morals then money.

This certainly explains the Turd Blossom strategy. All terror all the time. Dems, liberals and civil libertarians will never truly succeed in the national security debate as long as two thirds of the republican party are such cowards and hide-under-the-bed fraidy cats. They truly don't deserve the freedoms they so loudly proclaim and so easily surrender. The terrorists are winning.

On modern conservative thought:

Taking politics out of the picture for the moment, we all have a pretty good idea when we describe someone as a being conservative in behavior. They’re prudent, risk-averse, stable, and intent on keeping things as they are. They take their time to make decisions, looking at issues and problems from every angle to make the least disruptive and safest choice, whether it’s making financial decisions or social and political commitments. So at a fundamental level we have a philosophy and a character of skepticism and practicality, of political and personal action that is slow to change and only after careful and deliberate consideration. Conservative natures should breed politicians who are loathed to go on foreign adventures bent on empire and changing the behavior of other societies, who are distrustful of any individual or institution with too much power over the individual be it corporate or governmental, who hate debt, believe in process and would never trash the Constitution to achieve their aims. Every single Republican who has voted with or rhetorically supports Bush is ultimately a traitor to the true values of conservatism.

You know, if we actually started holding these people to (a) what they say and (b) the company they keep, we could really show the american people who they are supporting.

Now that’s all fine and dandy in the abstract that a true conservative would stand up to Bush; but as we have seen from the very beginning of this political philosophy in 19th century Europe when it restored the privileges and powers of the King and aristocracy in France, when it tried to maintain the power of one group at the expense of others, when it limited suffrage and civil rights in Britain and the US, when it did everything it could to expand the powers of the haves over the have-nots, conservatism is just a quick turn around the corner to oligarchy and fascism. It’s in Conservatism DNA to become what it has become under Bush. And although there are some conservative dissidents, like Rep. Paul, perhaps, and John Dean, the Republican Party as a whole has drunk the Kool-Aid and the prudent, pragmatic, skeptical nature of true conservatism lies dead in a bloated heap.

Another example of conservative twisting of the language of conscience is the argument, in the context of the attacks of 9/11 and the war in Iraq, that holding our side to things like the Geneva Convention implies an equivalence between ourselves and our enemies. This is a logical fallacy. The fallacy is something like: they kill so they are bad, but we are good so it is okay for us to kill. The argument that everything we do is okay so long as it is not as bad as the most extreme evil in the world is a rejection of nearly all of civilization. It is precisely the destruction of conscience.

As for the right, their arguments are often grounded in emotion and pathos. For lack of a better description, their positions are unconsidered and primitive. For instance, in this post, the egregious Don Surber argues in that if liberals do not support the WOT, the terrorist bogeymen will "will wake them up someday with a burqa over their pointy heads." Is this what policy debate in this country has come to? Tales to scare children?Likewise, Malkin's arguments betray the pure tribalism of her worldview; "members of my 'tribe,' (whether christian, american, conservative, whatever) deserve loyalty and unquestioning protection against acts of members of other tribes. Our actions are always above reproach, and those foreigners better watch their butts!"So there you have it, the essence of the "War on Terrorism." Pure lizard-brain tribalism, a grim manifestation for the Right-wing authoritanians' lack of ability to self-analyze.

To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, " Our country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war.
Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation?

Mark TwainGlances at History

In short, if we expect others to pay attention to our ideas of the better way to live and behave with and toward others, we have to live up to our best rhetoric and show not only that it can be done, but that it is desirable to do so.


Special "Hate America" edition. Complete with authentic wingnut insignia above.

Hate-a-poolza is coming soon. The “entertainment” is listed here. Topics will include,

Liberal Sisters of Doom: Are They a Thing of the Past?
Courts Gone Wild: The Rightful Place of Judges in Our Republic
Left Out: Exposing Liberal Groups Plus the exciting
Democracy in Action: Voting at the Polling Booth and With Your Pocketbook The Role of the Church in Political Issues
Carpetbagger report has the scoop:

The Family Research Council, DC's most powerful religious right lobbying group, is hosting a major conference this Friday called the "2006 Values Voter Summit." For a mere $95, attendees can hear three days worth of far-right, theocratic rhetoric from nearly all of the movement's most prominent leaders and activists, including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Tony Perkins, and Don Wildmon. Perhaps most importantly, a featured guest will be none other than Ann Coulter.....I count at least five people — George Allen, Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and my own governor, Mitt Romney — who are rumored to be running for president and who come to wallow with a woman who recommends the assassination of Supreme Court justices…. confirmed speakers also include Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), and Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.). How on earth is this considered politically acceptable? Obviously, members of Congress and presidential aspirants can speak to whomever they please. But in 2006, there seems to be no far-right fringe nut too far over the conservative cliff for GOP leaders to avoid. If Ward Churchill organized a conference in DC, no elected Democrat would want anything to do with the event.....And yet leading conservative lawmakers seem to think nothing of an appearance — six weeks before nationwide elections, no less — in front of a thousand fringe activists, hate-filled personalities, and theocons anxious to establish a Taliban-west like government in the United States....the guest list includes one prominent conservative who believes America deserved the 9/11 attacks (Falwell), and another who lashed out at 9/11 widows (Coulter).

My question here is how do they get away with it and still retain tax exempt status? Shouldn't those that are religious “leaders” lose their tax exempt status for mixing politics and religion? If not the “other” religious leaders might want to look at a similar event featuring topics like Saving our Constitution, Restoring our environment, Alms to the poor, Equal rights for all people, Exposing the right wing fascists etc.
Thanks to Tim for the tip.

Delusions of Granduer
Bill O'Reilly may be the most fervent flag waver on cable—a patriot who believes in torturing terrorists and profiling all Muslims. But is that enough to get him targeted by Al Qaeda? The loofah-loving Fox News host is raising plenty of eyebrows around the office after telling Barbara Walters in an interview with ABC's 20/20 that, "the FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that Al Qaeda had us on a death list."......A skeptical federal law enforcement official told Radar this morning: "I'm not aware of any FBI agents warning anyone at Fox News of their presence on any list....For that matter, I'm not aware of any Al Qaeda hit list targeting journalists.

Who gets the gold medal for torture? From Billmon:
No one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces. Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open?
George W. Bush
Speech Marking First Anniversary of Iraq InvasionMarch 19, 2004

Torture in Iraq is reportedly worse now than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein, the United Nations' chief anti-torture expert said Thursday.
Manfred Nowak described a situation where militias, insurgent groups, government forces and others disregard rules on the humane treatment of prisoners.
"What most people tell you is that the situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand," said Nowak, the global body's special investigator on torture. "The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein."
Associated Press
Torture reaches new depths in Iraq September 21, 2006

It takes a rare combination of stupidity, incompetence and bone-headed arrogance to make Saddam's murderous regime look benign by comparison. But that's what the American reign of error in Iraq has managed to accomplish. Instead of an end to terror, Bush and his merry band of neocolonialists have unleashed a terror without end.

What really torques me is pointing out something obvious like this and listening to the sheeple, daddy Bush people talk about how it is all about “hate America” or “Bush hate”. Clinton hate was about Clinton personally. Their so called “Bush hate” is about the policies of dear leader! Anyone who addresses real concerns with something as lame as “Bush or America hate” deserves no respect whatsoever from me or any other American who cares about what happens to America or the rest of the world.

Speaking of those who”hate America” This list from Sadly No,

Duly noted. I will add the JAGs to my personal list of groups that hate America. This list already includes:
-The CIA-The State Department-The Media-The Miller brewing company-The Democratic Party-Europeans-Mexico-Arabs-Persians-The Chinese-All other swarthy non-white peoples
Or put another way: the .000000000000001% of the world’s population that agrees with Powerline(wingnut site) is right, while the rest of us are wrong.
UPDATE: Buh-doing! How did I forget to add the gays? Well, I’m fixing that right now:
-The gays

A very incomplete list. Let's just say if you don't love Bush/Cheney and agree with everything they do you are an America hater.

The liberal media failed to cover this watch the video.

Speaking of the liberal media:
I've got to ask why a decorated Vietnam veteran and senior member of Congress is being swiftboated just for speaking out and using his right of free speech?

This is the promotional:
Our speaker line-up represents the spectrum of events of the War on Terror

Really, are they going to tell us about the mistakes? That would have to be included in the “spectrum” wouldn't it?

and of the harm caused to that War by John Murtha's inexcusable remarks about our troops in Iraq "[killing] innocent civilians in cold blood."

Gee, I think our military leaders have noted that this happened and have brought some up on charges.

Leading off will be Earl Johnson, a survivor of the World Trade Center attack,

Oh using those “victims” that in Anne Coulters words, we are not able to attack.
who represents those who cannot represent themselves--those whose sacrifice caused America to take notice of the danger facing them.
Earl will be followed by David Beamer, whose son Todd uttered the immortal words, "Let's roll!" as United Flight 93 passengers fought the terrorists who had taken over their aircraft.

Oops, according to the “Coulter Rule” can't attack him either.

Next will be Gregg Garvey, a Gold Star father whose son Justin died in Iraq. Gregg will lead a short memorial service dedicated to those who have died in defense of liberty.

Guess he is the Cindy Sheehan of the right. Sorry, can't attack him either.

Fourth will be Gold Star father John Wroblewski, whose Marine son died in Iraq. John has a heart-wrenching, yet inspirational, story to tell about his family's sacrifice in the War on Terror.


Our fifth speaker will be Terry Pennington, whose son Rob resides in the USMC brig in Camp Pendleton, CA, the victims of the hysteria contributed to by John Murtha's anti-military remarks. Terry puts a human face on the costs incurred by what John Murtha said and continues to do.

Hey, it's all Murthas fault that his son is in the brig. Oh sorry “Coulter Rule” again.
If this is as deep as the issue goes for you just give me my goulashes and I will quickly traipse across your shallow mind.

Monday, September 18, 2006

They Are Missing A Core

The right has no core. They are a sickening politics of the moment movement. This did not use to be the case. Hell, I could almost be a Goldwater Republican. Well, maybe not but I could at least respect them and not fear for the nation if they were more like that. Now they are too busy finding ways to hate liberals to find the time to develop their own principals. As noted(from free republic) here:

Seven judges on a secret court have authorized all but one of over 7,500 requests to spy in the name of National Security. They meet in secret, with no published orders, opinions, or public record. ......Since its founding in 1978, a secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA rhymes with ice -a) has received 7,539 applications to authorize electronic surveillance within the U.S. In the name of national security, the court has approved all but one of these requests from the Justice Department on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. Each of these decisions was reached in secret, with no published orders, opinions, or public record. The people, organizations, or embassies spied on were not notified of either the hearing or the surveillance itself. .....The possibility of FISA-sanctioned fishing expeditions was only one of the potential abuses that alarmed legal scholars and people concerned with civil liberties.

There is a lot more. This was all an abomination when Bill Clinton was in charge. Now that Cheney runs the show not only is it good but not nearly enough! Now they are actually trying to put forth the proposition that there should not be any oversight at all. Just let the Presnit do whatever he what he wants to pertect us. Don't go giving me that everything changed on 9/11. Democracy and freedom and civil liberties are just as important to what America is about now as it was 9/10 or after the OKC bombing.
I and many others have told rightists that they will see things much differently if these powers are in place when Hillary or some other dem is President. The above is proof we know what we are talking about . The right lives in the world of changeable politics.
They hated Clinton. Not so much his policies. Just Clinton. Now they revoke their standing on numerous issues to blindly follow any policy the daddy President(keep us safe) Bush puts forth. No core.

They are also quite particular which "terrorists" they want to capture as noted here:

Why does Bush, and the CIA, continue to protect the Saudi royal family and the Pakistani military, from the implications of Zubaydah's confessions? It is, or course, because the Bush administration desperately needs Pakistani and Saudi help, not only to keep Afghanistan from spinning completely out of control, but also as counterweights to the growing power of Iran......The president should not be allowed to selectively trot out parts of Zubaydah's ''confessions'' to support the CIA's interrogation techniques, without talking about Zubaydah's naming of Saudi royals and Pakistani military officers. The victims of 9/11 deserve no less than the complete truth ...

We know the airplane killers were largely Saudis(including Bin Laden himself). We also have most all of the people in the know saying they think Osama is in Northeastern Pakistan. Somehow though these are places that are not pushed or attacked in the "war on terror". Sounds like a very poor policy to me and likely a reason we are no where near winning. This administration that promotes its self as the vanguard on strength and ability in defeating Americas enemies is truly the emperor with no clothes. They are miserable failures and it is more than apparent to all but the most wooly of sheeple who think Bush/Cheney could do no wrong.

Note: I was traveling and caught about 20 or 30 minutes of Limpbaugh today. Weak...very, very weak. If any reasonable American would have been sitting across from him he would have been dust in about 30 milliseconds. He is so hard up for material that he is now adopting lil orphan Anne. He was ridiculing those that oppose unilaterally rewriting or"clarifying" the Geneva Conventions to fit our individual aims. Part of the defecation coming out of his mouth included (sarcastically) Colin Powell is a soldier so we can't question him. Not only did he say it once but a number of times.
Huh? Sure you can question him. As a matter of fact he proceeded to do just that , totally negating his argument.
But wait. Colin Powell is a soldier?
He in addition to being a soldier has been awarded 8 badges, 16 medals and ribbons including a distinguished service medal and the presidential Medal of Freedom, been A U.S. military General, National Security advisor under Reagan , Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the SUCCESSFUL 1991 mideast conflict under papa Bush and Secretary Of State under the current President. These positions make him far more than "a soldier" and far more qualified to comment on the wisdom of the subject at hand than Rush Limbaugh. To note Colin Powell is "a soldier" in a sarcastic way with no mention of his other qualifications is an insult to him and our entire U.S. military that Lamebaugh at other times professes to undyingly support. Limbaugh has no core.
Certainly it is proven that Colin Powell is not always right and one need not agree with his opinion but to sarcastically minimize him in such a way in such matters is meanspirited, disrespectful and sickenly weak as a debating tactic.

Republican Lindsay Graham made the point on why the U. S. Congress should not determine the meaning of an INTERNATIONAL agreement. It is here. If you disagree I would be happy to point out the error of your thinking.

Keith Olberman made another of his increasingly regular great points last night on just what is "unacceptable" here.

Addendum: Apparently Glenn Greenwald was on the same train