Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Smoking Gun on Global Warming

It’s official. Global warming is caused by humans. Most of us already had enough common sense to figure this out. Like the song said, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Unfortunately the few people who don’t know — or won’t admit — that global warming is caused by people, are the multinational CEOs and their sockpuppets in the media who just keep reciting what their puppetmasters tell them to say.

Researchers for NASA and the Energy Department have found the “smoking gun” which conclusively ties manmade greenhouse gas emissions to global warming. The scientists’ research was based on ocean data. They confirmed previous computer models on global temperature increases, and confirmed that manmade greenhouse gases play a large role.

Global temperatures will continue to increase even if greenhouse gas emissions were capped tomorrow. But, things “could spin out of our control” if emissions continue to increase. Melting ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica would cause ocean levels to rise. According to one of the NASA scientists, “the climate system could reach a point where large sea level change is practically impossible to avoid.”

The research was done with floats — more than 1,800 of them deployed worldwide — which would go up to a mile underwater to record temperatures and other data. They also used satellites to gauge ocean levels.

The director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said “there can no longer be genuine doubt that humanmade gases are the dominant cause of observed warming. This energy imbalance is the ‘smoking gun’ that we have been looking for.”

Increasing ocean levels aren’t the only hazard of global warming. We can also expect more powerful storms, new and further-reaching disease epidemics and shifting climate zones: deserts will become wetter and farmland will become parched.

The research also shows that the Earth has significant “thermal inertia.” Changes to the planet’s energy imbalance won’t take effect right away. This gives us time. But it also means that if everyone just sits on their thumbs until it becomes painfully obvious, then we’re doomed. If we wait until every mouth-breathing rightwing jacktard can see it, “still greater climate change will be in store, which may be difficult or impossible to avoid,” according to the study.

OK, can we start dealing with the problem now? It’s time our “leaders” started listening to scientists rather than CEOs who don’t want their profits threatened. Corporate lobbyists, right wing “think tanks” and their mindless parrots in the blogosphere have done too much damage already. It’s time for them to put a sock in it. Better yet, put some methane in it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Republicans Squirm; Bush Orchestrates another “Rally”

After squirming in the spotlight for the past few weeks, the House of Representatives has finally admitted that the national IQ isn’t low enough to be fooled by their smoke and mirrors. They grudgingly voted 406 to 20 to revoke their rule changes which had basically castrated the House Ethics Committee.

Republicans have been trying to “investigate” Tom DeLay using this pitiful, toothless Ethics Committee that couldn’t have found the Ku Klux Klan guilty of racism. Even with the whitewashing rules revoked, the committee is still stacked with Republicans who are fiercely loyal to DeLay, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

The former chairman of the Ethics Committee, Joel Helfley (R-CO), was kicked out of the committee by House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Helfley had the nerve to admonish DeLay on several previous investigations.

Could this be another bad sign for DeLay? Bush held one of his famous pre-arranged, orchestrated “rallies” to show his support for Delay. And — Surprise! — the audience was full of “spontaneous” cheers and hollers for good ol’ Tom DeLay.

These invitation-only, scripted “rallies” and “meetings” are Bush’s favorite method for showing the groundswell of public support for dismantling Social Security. Maybe this slippery tactic is a sign of desperation. Let’s hope Tom DeLay’s political career and Bush’s attacks on Social Security are both heading for a downward spiral.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Save the Filibuster and the Internet

Bill Frist attended (via video, his favorite medium) a huge revival meeting last Sunday with America’s leading Ayatollahs. They needed to warn the faithful of the evils of the filibuster, and to remind them that God wants the United States Supreme Court stacked with right wing nutcases. They convinced their pre-selected focus groups, but did they convince the public? How do regular, un-chosen Americans feel about banning the filibuster (the Nuclear Option)?

The most recent poll shows 66% of the public opposed to the nuclear option; 26% in favor. Uh oh, somebody’s strategy backfired. They can select and screen their focus groups and audiences, but the un-selected unwashed masses are still taking part in surveys and elections (at least for now).

The scripted, rehearsed unanimous cheering of Bush’s hand-picked audiences only represents 26% of the general public? Hmmm, how do we spin this? Maybe the godless liberal media were using their twisted methods for slanting the news. Either the question was worded in a way that would bring out a liberal response, or the survey was organized by some socialist front group, i.e. anyone other than Fox News, USA Next or WorldNetDaily. The Imams and Ayatollahs will accept no other possible explanation.

If you have your own blog or website, this applies to you. The Online Freedom of Speech Act is pending in the Senate and House of Representatives. This will exempt all internet communication from regulation by the Federal Election Commission.

This bill amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to include this sentence: “Such term shall not include communications over the Internet.”

If you want to keep pushing your favorite cause or dissing your favorite political targets without fear of regulation or legal retaliation, please click here and put your senators’ and representatives’ feet to the fire. This bill needs to be passed. In this day of polarization and mutual hatred, here is a bipartisan issue we can all get behind.

And thank you No Religion Now for showing this link.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Republican Party: Stabbing Rightward

How far to the Right has the Republican Party moved? President George Bush Sr. used to refer to the Neocons as "the crazies in the basement." Fifteen years later George Jr. is not only in bed with the Neocons, they’re doing kinky perverted things with him that Hustler Magazine couldn’t even imagine.

Tom DeLay and some of his fellow reactionaries are threatening to impeach Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Who appointed Kennedy to the Supreme Court? Ronald Reagan.

A lot of environmental and civil rights legislation was passed during Richard Nixon’s presidency. How’s that for contrast? Nixon signed the law creating the Environmental Protection Agency, and Tom DeLay has repeatedly compared the EPA to the Gestapo.

Now check this out:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children....This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from an iron cross.”

Wondering which tree hugging socialist said that? Would you believe — World War II general and 2-term Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower also said:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Again, Eisenhower was a Republican.

When the CIA was first created — at the end of World War II — Republicans were the biggest opponents of the idea. They were leery of having a government agency with so much power and secrecy. Talk about a Big 180. Sixty years later the Republicans are trying to expand the Patriot Act, and anyone who disagrees with them is a wuss and a traitor.

President Theodore Roosevelt was an environmentalist (even though that term didn’t exist then). During his presidency he established five national parks, 18 national monuments, 51 wildlife refuges and 150 national forests.

Roosevelt also stood up to Big Business. He said: “We Republicans [must] hold the just balance and set ourselves as resolutely against improper corporate influence on the one hand as against demagogy and mob rule on the other.” What, no genuflecting and groveling every time a corporate lobbyist comes a-bribin’?

He tried to balance things out between organized labor and the robber barons: “My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly . . . That is one-half appeal that I make. Now, the other half is to the labor man himself. My appeal to him is to remember that as he wants justice, so he must do justice.” Again — as hard to believe as this may be — this was a Republican president.

Just try to imagine a Republican today — surrounded by Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and that ilk — expressing concern about the military industrial complex, the environment or world hunger. The shock! The fury! It would be like a tie-died peace demonstrator walking into a boardroom meeting at Halliburton.

If you’re young, or haven’t followed politics very long, you probably think the Republican party has always been this nutzo band of Taliban wannabes. What — previous Republican presidents cared about the environment? They cared about people and not just multinational corporations? They weren’t trying to smother the judiciary and establish a Christian theocracy? Who knew?

Something has happened to the party of Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Sometime after the 2000 election, the Far Right fringe oozed its way into the Republican party, and took control. And every time there’s any discussion of the party platform, the people in charge call out “Yo! A little more to the right!”

How much further to the right will our government go? This is almost too scary to contemplate, but: in twenty years, will we be looking back with nostalgia at the moderate, benevolent polices of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Rick Santorum is on to You

Have you heard or seen a weather forecast lately, on the radio, TV, in the paper or online? If so, you probably didn’t pay for this information, right? OK, welfare chiseler, your freeloading days are over. Senator Rick Santorum knows all about you, and the free lunch is over.

That’s right, this socialist giveaway program is coming to an end. While other wimpy politicians are wringing their hands over terrorism or the trillion dollar deficit, Santorum has his priorities straight. He’s introduced a bill to ban the release of free weather forecast information.

AccuWeather and The Weather Channel provide their information through paid services or ad-supported websites. And Santorum wants government meteorologists to stop offering free information and “competing” with them. Well, that certainly is one of the burning issues of the day.

Now, this is probably not related to anything, but AccuWeather has been a long-time heavy contributor to Santorum. But hey, what’s that got to do with it?

Doing his best George Orwell imitation, AccuWeather’s executive vice president insists that this bill would improve public safety. Of course. It’s right up there with the Clear Skies Act that rolls back clean air standards, and the Healthy Forests Initiative which basically tells the lumber companies “if it doesn’t move, chop ’er down!”

Friday, April 22, 2005

DeLay: The Investigation, New Radio Ads and More

When to be skeptical:

1) A classified ad that says “Earn $50,000 a week, stuffing envelopes at home in your spare time.”

2) An e-mail saying “Hi, this is Your Bank. We need your account number and Social Security number so we can clarify some problems with your last deposit.”

3) “The House Ethics Committee has agreed to investigate misconduct by Tom DeLay.”

For those first two entries, your inner scam detector is probably going bzzzzzttt!. For #3, you should hear a deafening BZZZZZZZTTTT!!!!!

This newly castrated, defanged and declawed “ethics committee” will be “investigating” Tom DeLay under their new rules. Basically, this means that anything DeLay has ever done is perfectly all right as long as he was either by himself or with someone.

Have you voted yet? These three radio commercials are being broadcast nationwide. The one that gets the most votes will get the most air time. Check them out and vote for your favorite.

Unable to keep track of all of Tom DeLay’s moral blackouts? Can’t tell where one scandal leaves off and the next one begins? Hmmm, how many judges has he threatened so far? The answers are now just a click away. Check out the new Tom DeLay E-Z Sleaze Chart.

The next time conservatives try to tell you that DeLay is just a victim of “a witch-hunt” or “partisan bickering,” knock ‘em dead with some facts.

(I first saw this link on Against The Madness, but it’s been making the rounds.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Crime and Punishment

A college student has been sentenced to eight years in prison and a $3.5 million fine. His crime? An arson and vandalism spree against several Hummers and other SUVs. His two accomplices, who actually committed the arson, have fled the country and left him to be the fall guy. In other words, his 8-year sentence and $3.5 million fine is because he spray-painted people’s vehicles with slogans like: “Fat Lazy Americans,” “SUV = Terrorism” and “No Respect For Earth.”

Of course he broke the law and should be punished, but eight years? $3.5 million? If he wanted a lighter sentence, he should’ve been a CEO who bilked his employees and customers out of millions of dollars. That way he’d be still playing golf while his suspended 6-month sentence was under appeal.

In another example of the law’s heavy hand, the federal government has forbidden members of an obscure New Mexico church from drinking a tea that contains an illegal substance (Huasca, used by South American Indians for religious ceremonies). The Bush administration insists that the tea is illegal and needs to be banned.

Well thank you, Boy George, for setting me straight. Here I was, dithering over terrorism and economic collapse, and the real problem is a group of church members drinking psychedelic tea during their ceremonies. Emergency! Bring in the Cavalry!

In 1990, when Native American churches were prohibited from using Peyote in their religious ceremonies, William “The Gambler” Bennett gave a speech cheering about this crackdown on big bad Peyote. In the same speech, he also complained about people turning away from religion . Duuhhh!!! Time for The Gambler to step away from the Blackjack table for a minute, focus, and start observing his own contradictions.

Corporate criminals (Enron, etc.) get slapped on the wrist for ruining thousands of employees’ lives and wrecking the economy. Government thugs manipulate us into a quagmire in Iraq, causing tens of thousands of deaths, and get rewarded with promotions. Meanwhile the government brings down its iron fist on someone who vandalizes SUVs and a church group that wants to continue a centuries-old tradition. Priorities, I guess.

And speaking of irony: Karl Rove is now complaining about the “adversarial” way that the media reports the news. Yes, that same Karl Rove, the Master of the Smear Campaign, King of the Big Lie, Joseph Goebbels reincarnated. He said “We are substituting the shrill and rapid call of the track announcer for calm judgment, fact and substance.”

“Fact and substance.” Ooookay! Karl Rove calling for “calm judgment, fact and substance” — sort of like the Mafia complaining about the high crime rate, or the Ku Klux Klan calling for racial harmony.

Monday, April 18, 2005

It's All Hillary's Fault!!

Who’s behind these treasonous attacks on Tom DeLay? Yes of course it’s the Loony Left, but one particular America-hating socialist is orchestrating this entire disgraceful plot: Hillary Clinton! That’s right. All the rest of those godless liberals are falling in behind Hillary so that Tom DeLay and other decent Americans will be out of the way when Hilary goes to the White House.

According to a spokesman for DeLay: “Hillary's fingerprints are all over it……She has a very clear plan for seizing control of the entire United States government, which includes orchestrating Democrat control of the House in 2006 so it is firmly in place when she is elected president in 2008.”

After Hillary takes over, the first step of her diabolical plan will be — (gasp!) — socialized medicine! Noooo!!!!! Please God, in the name of all that is Holy, save us! Our Christian heritage and our free enterprise system, killed in one fell swoop.

The mystery spokesman also said: “Her focus and her goals go far beyond just the White House.” Hillary is single-handedly directing the Washington Post, New York Times and the rest of the liberal media to wage this relentless character assassination campaign against Tom DeLay.

The spokesman continued: “Hillary knows exactly what she is doing. Target the strongest force the GOP has in Congress — DeLay — keep targeting until Republicans surrender and retreat in disarray, then pick up the easy pieces in 2006.”

Now that we know who the real culprit is, this evil communist must be stopped. We all know how the Lord punished America on September 11th for our wicked ways — Jerry Falwell wouldn’t lie. If we allow this agent of the Devil to take over America, what will God’s next punishment be?

God spoke to me, and He said: "Stop Hillary, or America gets it!"

Saturday, April 16, 2005

China vs. Japan

Japan may finally have to come to terms with their brutal history. Japanese history books have repeatedly omitted any reference to the Rape of Nanking, one of the worst human rights atrocities of the 20th century.

Now that China is a military and economic force to be reckoned with, they are demanding that Japan at least acknowledge this disgraceful chapter in their history. American history textbooks also whitewash the dark side of our history — check out Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen — but the Rape of Nanking is right up there with anything ever done by Hitler or Stalin.

The Japanese invaded China in 1931 and occupied most of the country until the end of World War II. Between 10 million and 30 million Chinese died at the hands of the Japanese during this period — massacres, forced starvation, germ warfare, you name it. In the capital city of Nanking, from December 1937 to March 1938, Japanese soldiers tortured and slaughtered more than 360,000 Chinese civilians. More than 80,000 women were raped and murdered.

And Japan won’t even admit any of this?!?

And now the Chinese are pissed. Tens of thousands of Chinese protesters went on a rampage through Shanghai, stoning the Japanese consulate and smashing the windows of Japanese restaurants. Thousands of police stood around and watched but didn’t intervene (can you blame them?). The Japanese embassy claims that two Japanese tourists were beaten up by Chinese demonstrators.

The Chinese government is trying to prevent Japan from becoming a member of the United Nations Security Council. And Chinese activists are trying to organize a boycott of Japanese products.

Maybe it’s time for Japan to own up to its dark history.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Happy Tax Day

Here it is again, the day we’ve looked forward to all year. How do you like all this tax relief we’ve been enjoying for the past few years? It’s a good thing those tax and spend liberals aren’t in office any more.

If your income last year was over $1 million, your tax cut was probably around $112,000. Yeah! Dude! Then again, if you’re one of those lowly middle class types, your tax cut was apt to be a whopping $304. Whooooeeee! Don’t spend it all in one place.

Let’s see, the wealthiest Americans are getting 6-figure tax cuts, and our government is drowning in a sea of red ink that our greatgrandchildren will be paying for. (And that’s if we’re lucky enough not to have our country repossessed by our Chinese and Japanese creditors.)

Six-figure tax cuts being lavished on the wealthiest Americans during a record budget crisis — let’s see who’s taking up the slack…A lot of federal tax burdens are falling to the states — health, education, homeland security — and this is expected to cost state and local governments $185 billion over a 4-year period. As a result, local services are being slashed to the bone, while state, county and property taxes are going way up.

It’s a deal! I’ll take my $300 federal tax cut, and then sit back and watch while libraries and fire departments close and buses stop running. And in return my property tax and state income tax will shoot through the roof. Oh boy, this sounds too good to be true. OK, what’s the catch?

The Bush administration is financing these tax cuts by taking $500 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund. Wait — isn’t there supposed to be a Social Security crisis?!? Hmmm…the plot thickens…dots are being connected…Bush also borrowed an additional $500 billion from our foreign creditors, giving them an even stronger grip on America’s shorthairs.

For every $100 of your tax cut: $40 was borrowed from foreigners, $40 was taken from Social Security, and $20 was borrowed from Americans. Do you get the feeling that we’re all sitting on a house of cards?

There’s a Republican expression that “Democrats think every day is April 15th; Republicans think every day is July 4th.” I think that saying is a little outdated now, if there ever was any truth to it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Negroponte: Not Qualified

If someone has been repeatedly accused (but not convicted) of child molesting, would you hire this person to be your babysitter? How about a school bus driver who drinks like a fish and has hundreds of speeding tickets?

John Negroponte is in the middle of his Senate confirmation hearings to be the first Director of National Intelligence. Negroponte was up to his eyeballs in every phase of the right wing terrorist attacks in Nicaragua during the 1980s. So he’s never been convicted of a crime — does that qualify him to be in charge of our entire intelligence operation?

Negroponte was the American ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. Death squads, assassinations, terrorist attacks — he da Man!

He worked secretly as a go-between for the CIA, Central American generals and death squad leaders, and he played a major role in packaging and selling this whole operation to Congress. And Presto! The right wing terrorists were re-christened the “Contras” and “Freedom Fighters,” and eventually President Reagan was even able to keep a straight face when comparing the “Contras” to our own Founding Fathers.

Negroponte was constantly complaining about negative press coverage of the “Freedom Fighters,” and frequently tried to intimidate the American media. Hmmm, sounds like our current “leaders” have learned a few things from him.

The Director of National Intelligence should be a person with integrity, decency and a respect for international law. A sleazy thug like Negroponte is not qualified for this position.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Deaths from Depleted Uranium

The latest death toll from Depleted Uranium, the highly toxic weapons component, is now up to 11,000 soldiers. Lauren Moret has named depleted uranium as the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome, which has killed 11,000 of the soldiers who served in the first Gulf War.

56% of the soldiers who fought in the first Gulf War have permanent medical problems. For a comparison, there was a 10% disability rate for Viet Nam war veterans. For both World Wars it was 5%.

According to the executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law, “the Veterans Affairs secretary was aware of this fact as far back as 2000. He and the Bush administration have been hiding these facts, but now, thanks to Moret’s report, it is far too big to hide or to cover up......The long-term effect of Depleted Uranium is a virtual death sentence.”

How’s this for supporting our troops? Do you think our soldiers are harmed more by A) anti-war protesters and liberal media; or B) depleted uranium? Don’t worry, if you have a yellow ribbon decal on your car, you’ve done your part.

Counting both Gulf wars, the total number of veterans on disability is over 518,000.

This was one of Project Censored's Top Ten Censored Stories of 2003-2004.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Danger from The Occult!!

Whistleblower — a Christian Right magazine — has a preview of their upcoming “exposé” of the ever-growing and menacing Death Movement in America. This feature story begins with Terri Schiavo being brutally murdered by wicked judges, and then expands into physician-assisted suicide, abortion and stem cell research.

Underlying America’s expanding Death Movement is, of course, the Occult! Ooooohhhh!!! You know the drill — an Eagle Scout listens to something by Slayer, and instantly turns into a bug-eyed, cat-torturing fiend.

Apparently just before Terri Schiavo died, Michael Schiavo’s attorney described her as looking “beautiful” and “peaceful.” And that’s all it took — the right wing hysteria machine went into high gear.

This lawyer used to be a hospice volunteer, and he wrote a book describing some of his spiritual experiences with dying patients. The Whistleblower article — and their description of his book — is using out-of-context quotes to conjure up this vast evil occult conspiracy to take over America. And of course the press is guilty because they failed to publicize the lawyer’s New Age beliefs. This evil menace was kept hidden from the public by the godless liberal media.

There’s a sharp clash between Christianity and New Age/Occult philosophies. One believes that you’re just a sinning sack of S&%# who needs to turn to God for mercy and guidance. The other believes that you have a large degree of knowledge and power over your personal life; that you create your own destiny. And the Christian Right believes that “there ain’t room in this town for the two of us.”

A lot of Christian leaders hate the New Age movement more than anything, and they’ll use every available Rovian/Joseph Goebbels technique to smear it and suppress it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Boycott RJ Reynolds

The previous post showed a link (http://www.dropthehammer.org/) where you could e-mail the five largest corporations who are contributing to Tom DeLay’s defense fund. RJ Reynolds is one of those five companies, and guess what their response has been? They are now blocking all e-mails from this organization’s server.

Here are some addresses where you can e-mail RJ Reynolds directly instead of through the server of http://www.dropthehammer.org/. Or, if you smoke and your brand is Camel, Kool, Winston, Salem, Doral, Pall Mall or Eclipse, you could change brands (these are all RJ Reynolds brands). If you know anyone who smokes one of those brands, you might want to convince them to change brands too.

Nobody ever thought the tobacco companies were upstanding corporate citizens, but this is a new low. Let’s show RJ Reynolds that sleaze doesn’t pay.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Want DeLay Out? You Can Help!

If you want to drive a stake through Tom DeLay’s heart (if there even is one), try communicating through the major corporations who are supporting him. When you think of the Texas Pusbag, you probably don’t think of Verizon, Nissan, Bicardi, American Airlines or RJ Reynolds. Yet these five companies have made huge contributions to DeLay’s legal defense fund.

Some of DeLay’s favorite pastimes include:

A) threatening judges;
B) rewriting the ethics rules every time he gets caught in another violation; and
C) bribing congressmen.

Do you find this acceptable?

If not, please visit this site and send an e-mail (text already filled out) to these companies. Tell them, in the one language they understand — money — to stop enabling the shameless, execrable behavior of this greasy sack of sleaze.

Check this out for more grimy details on DeLay’s colorful history. Repulsive, no?

This is beyond politics. If you agree with DeLay’s political stands, that’s fine. But do you want to be represented by someone so power-crazed, so corrupt?

Please send that e-mail. He's a disgrace to our country.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Who Wants Democracy in the Middle East?

We all want democracy in the Middle East, right? Some of the leading Arab intellectuals are calling for “rapid progress toward democracy,” and they’re saying this progress is being hindered by Israel and the United States.

The Arab Human Development Report has been released, after six months of being blocked by the Bush administration. The report says Arab governments will be facing massive civil unrest unless democratic reforms begin soon.

The report puts most of the blame on the centralized structure of Arab governments. But in earlier drafts, the report also said Israeli control of Palestinian territories and U.S. occupation of Iraq were hindering the spread of democracy in Arab countries.

Sure, that’s reason enough to suppress this document for six months. We’d like to have democracy in the Middle East, but here are the priorities — First and Foremost: everyone have the utmost praise and respect for the United States and Israeli governments. Distant Second: democracy for the Arab countries — if they’re good. Diss us, and democracy gets it!

What did Laura Bush do on her recent trip to Afghanistan? Check out the little-known inside story.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Minuteman Project

By now, we’ve all heard about the courage and dedication of this band of vigilante rednecks who have “volunteered” to patrol for illegal aliens at the Arizona/Mexico border. These “Minutemen” (as they’re calling themselves) are mostly armed — some of them are white supremacists — and are facing down those big bad “Greenbacks” (as George W. once called them) trying to sneak across the border.

I realize illegal immigration is a serious matter, and I don’t have any simple answers to the problem. And that’s just the point. It’s a complex issue involving the U.S. and many other countries (not just Mexico). And many powerful people are publicly outraged by illegal immigration while privately benefiting from all that cheap labor.

Lawmakers and the Border Patrol don’t have any easy answers; what do Jim Bob and his 14 cousins know that the government doesn’t?

Now, having a bunch of armed vigilante “volunteers” streaming down to the border is an accident, or a tragedy, just waiting to happen. And aside from that — “Courage”? Right, these desperate, poverty-stricken Mexicans sneaking over the border can be pretty terrifying, especially if there are only 200 of you and most of you are armed.

The only thing more courageous I can think of are those brave, dedicated fetus-worshippers who stand outside abortion clinics so they can harass those wicked girls from the bad side of town. Ooooohhh!! Careful, she has a purse and she’s not afraid to use it, and there are only 50 of us.

And on top of that, some of these Minuteman volunteers are accidentally setting off the Border Patrol’s sensors and causing false alarms for the Border Patrol to respond to. Duuhh!! This reminds me of that sign at some garages: Labor — $30 an hour; $40 an hour if you watch; $50 an hour if you help.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Al Qaeda/Iraq Connection: Bush was Right!!!

Al Qaeda has struck a deal with the most ruthless insurgency leader in Iraq. After all these years of arguing — Yes, there is an Iraqi/al Qaeda connection. Oh my God, Bush was right about this. He knew!! Of course, this connection didn’t exist three years ago when Bush was drumming up hysteria about Iraq.

But he must have known that invading Iraq would alienate millions of Iraqis and turn this previously secular country into a magnet for religious terrorists. Since there wasn’t an Iraqi/bin Laden connection when he said there was one, he probably figured “by God, I’m gonna be right and create a connection between them.”

Sort of like when the government was wrong about marijuana being a killer weed, so they decided to make it a killer weed by spraying paraquat on it.

And speaking of the Iraqi war and how long we’ll probably be quagmired there, here is the real reason Bush is so strongly Pro-Life.

Have you been faithfully waiting for the Rapture, that long-awaited event in which God will summon the Faithful to Heaven? Well, sorry Bub — you missed it. According to observers, the Rapture already happened several weeks ago.

If you’re still here — well, don’t know how to tell you this, but that ship has sailed. Sorry, no magic pudding, no spaceship. Looks like you’re gonna have to stick around and help us solve the world’s problems — as God intended.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Stealth Attacks on the Environment

Admit it, you’ve never heard of the Information Quality Act. I hadn’t heard of it until I read this article. This perfectly innocuous sounding law (just two paragraphs) was quietly attached to an appropriations bill in 2000. Most senators and representatives weren’t even aware of it when they voted for it.

This law — passed with no hearing or debate — has now become one of the Bush administration’s most powerful weapons against environmental protections. The law directs the Office of Management and Budget to distribute “policy and procedural guidance to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility and integrity of information ... disseminated by Federal agencies.”

Sorry, there wasn't an English translation available. So, using that meaningless piece of bureaucratspeak, the administration is enabling industries to block safety laws by challenging all government information regarding a particular safety regulation. Industry has been clogging the regulatory process with countless Information Quality Act (IQA) challenges.

Regulatory agencies have been spending more of their resources responding to IQA challenges, and having less time and money for protecting the public. This delaying tactic is becoming much more common.

Since most of the public favors the environment, conservatives will do anything to avoid voting on environmental issues in the light of day. Stealth tactics are much easier and more effective, especially if you have no sense of integrity or decency.

Sometimes you have to wonder who the Far Right hates more, Osama bin Laden or liberals. Check this out and see where liberals, the Radical Right and bin Laden stand on various issues. A little ironic, no?

Thanks to Realistic Revolution for showing this link.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pharmacists? Maybe. It Depends.

The governor of Illinois has issued an emergency rule requiring pharmacists to fill all birth control prescriptions. This is the result of the increasing complaints about pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions because of “moral” objections. This rule also establishes a toll-free number for reporting pharmacists who refuse to comply.

This emergency rule takes effect immediately and will last 150 days. Hopefully, a permanent version of the law will be passed during this period.

It’s too bad they need a law to spell out the obvious. But if too many pharmacists are confused about what their job entails (filling medical prescriptions) and doesn’t entail (a Bible lesson), then the obvious needs to be spelled out.

Usually the offending pharmacist will refer the customer to another pharmacist who’s willing to do his/her assigned job. But there have been cases where the pharmacist not only refuses to provide the medication, but holds onto the prescription as well. Assholes like that should be locked up for a looong time.

There are no federal laws requiring pharmacists to fill prescriptions. Four states — Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Dakota — have laws specifically allowing pharmacists to refuse prescriptions. Eleven states are considering laws to allow pharmacists to shirk their responsibilities; and California, New Jersey and Missouri are considering laws to require pharmacists to earn their salaries by performing their jobs.

You wouldn’t go to a church and ask the minister to fill your medical prescription; and you don’t expect a pharmacist to refuse your prescription while giving you a sermon. What’s complicated about this?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

We Are A Debtor Nation

Democrats are trying to turn our huge foreign debt into a campaign issue. Trouble is, anything related to finance is such a boring, dry subject, how are they going to rally the voters? What slogan or buzzword could get people all fired up over our deficit? Republicans just have to yell out “Gay Marriage!” or “Family Values!” and millions of worker bees will snap to attention, ready to Fight The Enemy. But what buzzword could you use for our foreign debt that wouldn’t just put everyone to sleep?

I posted on this subject last December. This was before I joined Blog Explosion, so with all due respect to the four people who have already read this, I’m running it again:

Of all the looming catastrophes and “what-ifs” facing this country, perhaps the most serious long-range crisis (and the one that gets the least headlines) will be our huge foreign debt. The combination of being perceived as the world’s 800 pound gorilla, and being in debt up to our eyeballs, is going to create some major problems down the road.

If you fall behind on your car payments and/or mortgage payments, your car gets repossessed; your home gets foreclosed. So if our foreign debt keeps snowballing and careening out of control, will our country get repossessed? Don’t laugh – our foreign debt is in the trillions. And most of our creditors don’t like us.

We could always just ignore the foreign debt, stop payments, say “what’re you gonna do about it?” (In other words, what we already do with the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.) However, with over 200 military bases in foreign countries, this wouldn’t be a smart move. Countries that have American military bases could isolate those bases: American military personnel would be unable to leave the base, and local businesses would be unable to sell supplies to them. Japan, South Korea and Germany (among others) are already “in-between” about whether they even want to continue having an American military presence.

If one of our major creditors (Japan, for example) decided to seize American assets, they would have the support of other creditor nations. The combination of having American assets seized by our creditors, having American military bases isolated by their host nations and not being able to use the airspace of these countries for any military operations – what would happen to our empire?!?

Would the usual “patriotic” chest-pounders and xenophobes still be “rah-rah-rah”-ing for the president to threaten and invade anyone who looks cross-eyed at us if our entire economy has collapsed? Would other countries start calling our bluff if they knew we were about to be foreclosed? Would we still be able to start wars and stage pre-emptive attacks if our country has been repossessed? Or, would our creditor nations have the ability (and the nerve!) to foreclose on us if American tanks and missiles are zeroing in on them? Stalemate! Gridlock!

Friday, April 01, 2005

A Tale of Two Democracies

Surrounded by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, Qatar is an island of sanity. In the mid 1990s, the government of Qatar abolished the Orwellian Ministry of Information. Two thirds of the Assembly is elected by the people, and the constitution guarantees freedom of the press. Women have the right to vote, and a lot of women have run for public office.

Al-Jazeera, the Arabic news service, was founded in Qatar in 1996. A lot of conservatives dismiss Al-Jazeera as just another anti-American pro-Arab propaganda tool, but think about it: a free, uncensored 24-hour news service in the Middle East?!? Al-Jazeera beams its message into the furthest reaches of neighboring medieval police states, and covers all sides of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. At one point, the Bush administration was trying to get Qatar to shut down Al-Jazeera. Hmmm, unclear on the concept, George?

The Lebanese people’s movement to drive Syria out of their country is being broadcast all over the Arab world by Al-Jazeera. Whether dictators throughout the Middle East like it or not, their people are getting this message.

Now, in this other democracy, things seem to be going in the opposite direction. 47% of the electorate strongly disagrees with the current Leader on most issues, but the Leader is steamrolling and bulldozing his opponents as if he had 99% of the vote.

The party in power is trying to change the rules in the ninth inning by eliminating a legislative procedure that the minority party has been using for 150 years. Even though politicians in this country are elected, they are so heavily bribed by multinational corporations that they’re basically owned by them. They may have democratic-sounding titles, but they’re pretty much the personal harem of Exxon, Halliburton, MBNA, and a few other caliphs.

The Leader’s highest-ranking appointees are now being required to spend even more time working very closely with the Leader, just to make sure nobody goes “off message” and says something to contradict the Leader.

I assume it’s safe to be writing this even though, with the direction our Leader is going, it's hard to tell sometimes. Just a minute, there’s a group of uniformed guards walking up to the front door. This looks pretty urgent, I’d better go see what they want. I’ll be right back just as soon as I