Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, April 28, 2006

Rush Limbaugh: Deranged Drug Addict

Today must be a happy day for Rush Limbaugh. For years he’s been spewing out hatred and venom toward drug users. And now, the latest drug-addled pervert to be arrested is: Rush Limbaugh. What goes around...

The other day on his radio show, Limbaugh was gloating over a legal ruling against medical marijuana. He said “This is going to be a setback to the long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking crowd.” Ah, those Compassionate Conservatives.

A few years ago, he said “Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. ... And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up.”

Careful what you wish for.

Now, of course, we know that Mr. Righteous has been partying on OxyContin all this time. He’s accused of doctor-shopping. He received about 2,000 painkillers from four different doctors during a 6-month period.

At least he didn’t smoke marijuana.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Housing Prices

We’ve all seen housing prices going up through the stratosphere these last few years. We keep hearing predictions that the housing bubble is about to burst, and meanwhile prices keep going up and up and up.

But even knowing all this, it’s still a shocker to look at this chart. It shows the five hundred most expensive zip codes in the U.S. It shows the town, county and state of each zip code and the median home price. OUCH!

You expect the obvious places to be on this list. The Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Grosse Pointe, yada yada yada. But there are some real shockers on this list too. It’s so weird to think of a town you haven’t been to in awhile — that you remember as a nondescript ordinary town, or just a wide spot in the road — and then find out that the median home price is over a million dollars. Whew! What’s going on??

New York, New Jersey and California have the most zip codes on this chart, but there are surprises everywhere. Goleta, CA: Beautiful scenery (it’s about ten miles north of Santa Barbara), and the University of California at Santa Barbara is just outside of town. I remember the town itself as being pretty nondescript — I haven’t been there in a long time — and now the median home price is $824,000. The town may have more than one zip code; the last time I saw it, it wasn’t big enough to need more than one.

When we left Sonoma County, CA a year and a half ago, it was already getting more crowded than Coney Island and ritzier and snootier than Beverly Hills. But still: three quaint bucolic little towns in Sonoma County — Occidental, Bodega Bay and Penngrove — all have median home prices over $800,000. Penngrove! If you’re old enough to remember the song “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum — he owned a chicken farm in Penngrove. As far as I know, he never left. Just a funky little downtown area with a few old buildings and a few residential streets — you could probably cover the entire “city limits” in just a short walk — and now the median home price is over $800,000.

Check out the list. You’ll probably be going “What the F%$#&#!!” just like I was.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Internet: End of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is what makes the Information Superhighway what it is — a superhighway. The telecommunications conglomerates have been trying to strangle the Internet by turning it into a bunch of toll roads; fast and slow lanes. More money for telecom executives, and a giant pain in the ass for everybody else.

And now this nightmare is closer than ever. A huge telecommunications bill is working its way through the House of Representatives. Today a House committee defeated an amendment to the bill that would’ve enabled the FCC to enforce Net Neutrality.

Everyone who uses the Internet benefits from Net Neutrality. Unfortunately the telecom giants have spent hundreds of millions of dollars bribing Congress. Guess which group is having more impact on this gang of prostitutes our elected leaders.

This issue should cut across all political lines. If you use search engines, do any kind of business transactions online, write a blog (or read other blogs), do any sort of online political activity, or just generally surf the Net — you’ll find your costs going way up and your service going waaay down if the telecom giants have their way.

Here’s how you can protect your own Internet access. Please click here to send a message to your Congressperson and your Senators. Ask them to preserve a free and open Internet. Please do this now while you still can.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When Crocodiles Cry

Enron. It’s been five years since Enron turned the economy upside down, stole billions of dollars from customers and investors and then pulled the rug out from under thousands of employees.

If you live in one of the Left Coast states, the name Enron will probably be burning in your mind for decades. If you live near Houston, you probably know a former Enron employee who lost his/her job, pension and life savings. People in other parts of the country are probably thinking “Enron? Who?”

Enron’s CEO, Kenneth Lay is in the middle of his trial right now. He’s pretending he didn’t know about the Enron scandals, that his subordinates “betrayed” him. Uh huh. And Richard Nixon didn’t know about Watergate, and George W. Bush is just shocked that somebody in his administration might have leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press.

Yesterday Kenneth Lay told the court “Uh oh, I need to act all concerned and pretend I care I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing in my life, including the loss of life of many of my loved ones, that even comes close to the same level of pain, and the same enduring pain, that has caused.”

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap…

Compare that with the millions of people who suffered power blackouts during winter snowstorms and triple-digit heat waves. Or the Enron employees who lost everything. Oh that’s right, Kenneth Lay didn’t know anything about that.

During the height of California’s fake “energy crisis” in 2001, California’s then-Attorney General said he’d like to personally escort Kenneth Lay to his prison cell and introduce him to his 300-pound cellmate.

May he get his wish.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Firing Dick Cheney

The Los Angeles Times has called on Bush to fire his brain vice president, Dick Cheney. The Times editorial urged a “far more audacious makeover” of the Bush administration.

Last week Press Secretary Scott McClellan resigned, and Karl Rove will return to his shadowy Joseph Goebbels role of manipulating the public was demoted.

The Times editorial said “The remaking of the president in the public eye likely will require more than last week’s game of musical chairs.” Treasury Secretary John Snow is considered most likely to be the next chair thrown off the Titanic.

The Times said it would be more meaningful if Rumsfeld resigned and Cheney was fired. “Throwing Cheney overboard would be an implicit repudiation of the excessively hawkish foreign policy with which the vice president, even more than Rumsfeld, has been associated.”

The paper also said “Bush has acknowledged that he has spent much of his political capital on Iraq, and the way to replenish the reserves is to replace the officials most associated with the overreaching that led to the tragedy in Iraq — and with the administration's broader disdain for diplomacy.”

Well, it’s a thought, but is it possible? Dick Cheney getting fired by George W. Bush — imagine that, a ventriloquist getting fired by his dummy.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Country Repossessed?

We’ve sure had a fun trillion-dollar spending spree for the past few years. However...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Elvis Presley: Patent Pending

Elvis Presley’s name, image and likeness are now private property. For real! They’re now the intellectual property of a billionaire named Robert Sillerman.

No, this isn’t a burning issue, and no I don’t go around “seeing” Elvis at shopping malls and ice cream parlors. But seriously, just how anal-retentive can somebody get? How can somebody “own” an image and likeness that’s been an American archetype for over fifty years?

There are about 30,000 Elvis impersonators in the United States. It’s incredibly lucrative — paying up to $300,000 a year in some cases — but right now their career prospects don’t look too good.

Mr. Anal Retendo plans to open a huge Elvis theme park in Las Vegas. The Anal Billionaire said “If we were going to do a show that was based on Elvis impersonators, then obviously it wouldn’t make sense to have unauthorized Elvis impersonators.”

This isn’t the first time some God’s-Gift-to-the-World type has had an inflated sense of “ownership.” A few years ago a billionaire decided he “owned” the image of the famous Lone Cypress Tree near Monterey, CA. He threatened to sue anyone who painted it or took pictures of it. He probably didn't have any legal standing, but as the newspaper article said, “who wants to go to court and go up against a billionaire?”

More recently, Intel was threatening to sue a non-profit foundation called Yoga Inside. This organization was dedicated to teaching yoga to prison inmates. But Intel’s logo — Intel Inside — was supposedly being jeopardized by Yoga Inside, so Intel was ready to sue. Let’s see, yoga and computers, damn, I’m always getting those two things mixed up.

What’ll be the next archetype to be "purchased" by some self-important billionaire?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Health Care in America

The media is full of dire stories about uninsured Americans, or people who are dying because their existing insurance won’t cover the treatment they need. But now there’s some GOOD NEWS.

There’s a benefit plan which provides complete health coverage. This plan also includes a $25,000-a-year retirement pension and a 401(k) account.

AND this plan is fully funded by taxpayers.

Now, the bad news is: This plan is only for members of Congress. Sorry, the rest of you peons will just have to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and start taking some personal responsibility.

Hmmm, does Congress have any openings? Talk about a nice cushy job. Sit around all day talking about individual responsibility and railing against the evils of Socialized Medicine, while your own health insurance and retirement pension are paid for by those lowly taxpayers.

Is it just me, or is there just a tad of irony here?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pat Buchanan: Prepare to be Swiftboated!

The Far Right has been savaging anyone who disagrees with the Bush Administration. Their latest punching bag: the six retired generals who have called for Rumsfeld’s firing. It’s kind of ironic, since most of these rightwing attackers wouldn’t know a military uniform if it bit ‘em on the ass.

Pat Buchanan has written a column supporting the retired generals. No doubt, bloggers on the Right will be dragging him through the mud.

According to his column, 75% of the officers currently in Iraq agree with the six retired generals. He says “This is a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the U.S. armed forces by senior officers once responsible for carrying out the orders of that leadership.”

Bush is in sort of a bind here. If he stands by Rumsfeld, he’ll be going against a group of generals who have infinitely more credibility than Bush will ever have. But if he fires him, he will have caved in. Loyalty (or the appearance of it) is one of his last selling points. If a group of retired generals persuades him to fire Rumsfeld, the architect of the Iraqi war, there go his virtues of determination and loyalty. Then even rednecks won’t want to go out and have a beer with him.


Pat Buchanan also says: “It is hard to recall a situation in history where retired U.S. Army and Marine Corps generals, almost all of whom had major commands in a war yet under way, denounced the civilian leadership and called on the president to fire his secretary for war…The generals have sent an unmistakable message to Commander in Chief George W. Bush: Get rid of Rumsfeld, or you will lose the war.”

What’s a sheltered pampered president to do?

Monday, April 17, 2006

America’s Century of Regime Change

We're stuck in a 3-year quagmire in Iraq, and we might be on the verge of another one in Iran. You’re probably wondering if we have a maniac in the White House. Or for that matter, maybe George W. Bush is just a puppet getting his strings pulled by maniacs.

Or, this might just be typical of America’s foreign policy for the past few generations. Maybe we're just becoming more aware of our longtime pattern of global aggression.

That's the view of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change by Stephen Kinzer. The author has been a New York Times reporter in more than fifty countries, and he’s served as bureau chief in Turkey, Germany and Nicaragua.

He says “The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not an isolated episode. It was the culmination of a 110-year period during which Americans overthrew fourteen governments that displeased them for various ideological, political, and economic reasons.”

Furthermore: “The ‘regime change’ in Iraq seemed for a time — a very short time — to have worked. It is now clear, however, that this operation has had terrible unintended consequences. So have most of the other coups, revolutions, and invasions that the United States has mounted to depose governments it feared or mistrusted.”

This book brings together all of these overthrows and shows them as a continuum, rather than a series of unrelated events. The book only covers the cases where our foreign policy played the decisive role in overthrowing a government. Chile is included, even though no American troops were involved, because of the CIA’s huge role in stirring up a revolt against Allende.

On the other hand, Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are not included, even though all three of them have been invaded by the United States. We never sought regime change in any of those countries.

Our century of regime change began in 1893 with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. The President of the United States approved of this invasion. Soon afterward, the next president took office, and he denounced the invasion. Then as now, Americans were having furious debates about whether America should be overthrowing other governments.

In 1909 President William Howard Taft ordered the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government. Taft was supposedly protecting American security and promoting democracy. (Where have we heard that before?) His actual purpose was to pave the way for American companies in Nicaragua to have free reign and be totally unaccountable.

Some things haven’t changed much in the last hundred years.

This regime change in Nicaragua set the pattern. The American government was getting more comfortable with the habit of overthrowing governments in order to protect American interests. The top priority was for American corporations to conduct business anywhere in the world without any interference from anybody. And each of these overthrows was couched in buzzwords like “national security,” “liberation” and “democracy.”

Multinational corporations were emerging as a global force around the same time that America was extending its global reach. Political parties, labor unions and social movements all tried to counteract the power of multinational corporations, but it was no match. Big Business had almost unlimited wealth, and they were getting more skillful at maneuvering their supporters into high-ranking government positions.

Global corporations and the American government have seemingly merged to the point where, as the author puts it, “defying them has become tantamount to defying the United States. When Americans depose a foreign leader who dares such defiance, they not only assert their rights in one country but also send a clear message to others.”

This pattern was set even more firmly in 1953, when we engineered a coup in Iran. A year later we did the same thing in Guatemala. Both of these coups were ordered by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Before becoming Secretary of State, Dulles had worked with some of the world’s largest corporations.

From this point on, it was easier for American corporations to use the American military or the CIA as their private army, whenever an “unfriendly” government got in their way.

The author says “When the stories of American ‘regime change’ operations are taken together, they reveal much about why the United States overthrows foreign governments and what consequences it brings on itself by doing so. They also teach lessons for the future.”

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Da Vinci Code" is EVIL!

The Da Vinci Code was a popular Satanic book that corrupted millions of readers. And now the movie version will soon be tempting us. The Devil is upon us. We must turn to God.

The Da Vinci Code is an attack upon the very foundation of Christianity, especially those of us who handle snakes, speak in tongues and hate homasexials. Tolerance and open-mindedness are a threat to everything we believe in!

The Da Vinci Code is just the latest battle in the leftwing War on Christianity, and Goddamnit we're gonna win this one. Socialist Revisionists have been trying to rewrite the Bible, telling us that Jesus helped the poor and didn't persecute sinners. Blasphemy!

Fortunately, the American Family Association is here to save us. The Reverend Donald Wildmon has created a DVD: The Da Vinci Delusion. It’s sixty minutes long, and it needs to be viewed by every God-fearing decent American.

We need to return to the Truth. God hates homos, and anybody else who's different. And He never said nothin' about helpin' no poor people!

This DVD is only $25. Click here to order. NOW!

WELL, what are you waiting for??? Get out your God-damn checkbook RIGHT NOW you godless child-killing Pagan!!!

Thank you. Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Iran and Iraq: More Parallels

The outsourcing never ends. The latest job field to be outsourced: Special Ops and Intelligence. The Pentagon is recruiting a rightwing terrorist organization to stir up civil unrest in Iran.

This way our mission can be accomplished faster when we invade.

This terrorist organization is called Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK). Right now they’re operating in two regions of Iran. One area is a Sunni stronghold; the other is mostly Shiite. Their goal is to stage an insurgency of the Iranian Sunni population.

The Pentagon started using MEK shortly after the 2003 Iraqi invasion. The group had close ties to Saddam Hussein. Dick Cheney was the main person in favor of using this group. The idea was opposed by the State Department and Condoleezza Rice.

According to an intelligence official: “The US army secured a key MEK facility 60 miles northwest of Baghdad shortly after the 2003 invasion, but they did not secure the MEK and let them basically be because [then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz was thinking ahead to Iran.”

The same official also said: “We disarmed [the MEK] of major weapons but not small arms. [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld was pushing to use them as a military special ops team, but policy infighting between their camp and Condi, but she was able to fight them off for a while.”

Saddam Hussein used MEK for arresting and torturing non-Sunnis and suspected dissidents. The more things change…

A UN official says MEK has been active in Iran — under U.S. military civilian leadership — for about a year.

But don’t worry. Iran will be a cakewalk. American soldiers will be greeted as liberators, and throngs of grateful Iranians will shower them with candy and flowers. Oh, and Iranian oil will help pay for the War on Terror.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Still More Lies from Bush

Christ, it never ends. Has this sleazebag EVER said anything that was truthful?

On May 29, 2003 — two and a half months into the Iraqi invasion — Bush announced that “we’ve found the Weapons of Mass Destruction!!” Two trailers had been captured by U.S. and Kurdish forces, and these trailers were biological laboratories. WMD! We’ve been vindicated!

For months afterward, the Bush Administration was crowing about the WMD that had been found, and the biological warfare that had been thwarted.

However, a Pentagon fact-finding mission had already concluded that these trailers were not biological laboratories and had nothing to do with Weapons of Mass Destruction. The leaders of the Pentagon mission had transmitted their report to Washington on May 27, 2003 — two days before Bush made his famous WMD announcement.

BUSTED!! Lying sack of shit. Again.

By now, Bush has been caught in so many lies, it has kind of a numbing effect to hear about yet another one. Downing Street Memos, Hussein buying uranium from Niger, “I’ll fire anyone in my administration who leaked that CIA agent’s name,” “a wiretap requires a court order; nothing has changed.” Etc.

What will it take for the “Family Values” conservatives to finally get disgusted with this sleazy pisspoor excuse for a president?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Diebold Wants Your Vote

Diebold, as you probably know, is the company that makes most of the electronic voting machines. Your vote leaves no paper trail, so if your vote gets “lost” — Tough. Prove it. Some say Diebold is a German phrase for “Vee Vant to cancel zee votes of zee liberals.”

The CEO of Diebold is a gung ho rightwing Republican, and that’s how he wants his “customers” to vote. There’s been a growing public awareness of the danger of electronic voting machines — no paper trail, no accountability, no proof that you ever voted.

More and more precincts are switching to paper ballots. This is necessary. Our democracy is at stake here. And now Diebold is fighting back. They’re on the march, and they’re getting closer to YOU.

Representatives from Diebold have been making “sales pitches” to county and local voting offices — usually when the supervisor isn’t around. This way they're able to bully the lower-level employees and gain access to the voting equipment.

There have been reports that Diebold reps have been slyly inserting a card into the voting equipment and altering the software. County employees have been advised that if Diebold comes a-courtin’, to tape record and videotape the entire meeting, and have several witnesses present.

The more desperate the Republicans get — Bush’s sliding poll numbers, etc. — the more aggressive and determined Diebold will become.

If you haven’t already done so, please click here to urge your precinct to supply paper ballots. If they aren’t available, the next option is to vote absentee — this leaves a paper trail.

Hat Tip to Daughter of Liberty.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gene Pitney

This name probably won’t ring a bell unless you’re well over forty and/or listen to lots of oldies stations. Gene Pitney had a string of hits in the early and mid-1960s. He was found dead in a hotel room in Wales a few days ago.

He wrote some of his own songs, and also wrote hits for other people, including the Crystals and Ricky Nelson. He wasn't at all bluesy or hard-rock, but his songs were beautiful and he sang with passion and sincerity. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

I saw him in concert in New Haven, CT in 1965, along with the Crystals and the Reflections (they had a big hit with “Just Like Romeo and Juliet” and then promptly fell off the edge of the earth). There was so much screaming in the audience, you couldn’t even hear any of the music. During Gene Pitney’s set, some of the audience jumped up on the stage and tried to grab him, and the concert was cut short.

He was 65 years old. He had no health problems, according to friends, but nobody suspects foul play. (He wasn’t exactly a controversial figure.)

His best songs (IMHO) were “Town Without Pity” (Ronnie Montrose does a dynamite instrumental version of that song), “Looking Through the Eyes of Love,” “Half Heaven Half Heartache,” and “It Hurts To Be In Love.”


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Civility and Decency Among Bloggers

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a blogger. You’ve probably commented at other blogs, and gotten all kinds of responses. After you’ve been called enough names you develop a thick skin, but there are other lowdown skanky responses that some bloggers are stooping to.

Last summer I thought I’d seen a new low when this asshole created a new blog (using a different screen name) solely dedicated to dissing other bloggers whose politics he disagreed with. The same limp-wristed coward followed up this act by creating several gay porn sites that used the names (and Blogger Profile information) of bloggers he disagreed with.

At the time, that was the lowest, most cowardly shit-licking tactic I’d ever seen. But records are made to be broken, and now a new low has been reached.

This little brown-nose fuck responded to a negative comment (no, it wasn’t me) by tracking the commenter’s IP. (Nothing new so far.) Then he discovered that the IP came from a place of business, and he contacted the employer to inform the company that one of their employees was surfing the net using company time and equipment.

He even did a separate post just so he could brag about this. And his little private harem of yes-men fell all over him with agreement and admiration. Come on, Asshole — get somebody possibly fired just for disagreeing with you on your blog?? Seek professional help, Douchebag.

We’ve all grown up with little suckass squealing fucks like this. “Teacher, somebody’s smoking in the Boys’ Room.” “Those people are passing notes back and forth.” “Hey, you forgot to assign homework over Christmas vacation.”

People don’t generally change much from whatever they were during adolescence. (The older you get the more you realize this.) Assuming this pusbucket was a tattle-tale during his school days as well as now, just try to imagine what junior high was like for this dork. How many wedgies and swirlies do you think he got?

Whatever the number is, it’s not enough.

Come on, people. The Blogosphere is a new and vital force, nationally and globally. Call people names if you have to let off steam, but for God’s sake — sabotage someone’s job and livelihood just because they disagree with you?? Come on, get a grip.

As someone said to Joseph McCarthy: “Have you no decency? Have you no sense of shame?”

Thursday, April 06, 2006

How to Punish Drug Users: Poison Them!

The House of Representatives has decided that the best way to prevent drug use is to poison the crops. That’ll teach those lowly drug users a lesson. And for good measure let's poison everyone else in the community as well.

The House wants to authorize research into an herbicide that’s so dangerous, some governments have stockpiled it as a weapon. Even John Walters — our gung ho Drug Czar — is against using this herbicide because of the hazards.

The herbicide is a toxic, mold-like fungus which kills crops. These fungi — called mycoherbicides — have been heavily researched for the past thirty years. Practically everyone has agreed that this is not an option for controlling coca leaves or opium poppies. That is, everyone except for our House of Nazis Representatives.

These herbicides attack neighboring crops and orchards as well as the “drug” crops that are being targeted. They cause severe symptoms in any people or animals that come in contact with them. They also contaminate the soil so that nothing else will grow there.

Our government is ready to conduct “field studies” in Columbia and Afghanistan. Some governments might interpret this kind of “field study” as an act of war.

The Senate hasn’t yet voted on this bill. If you think this is the sickest wackiest law you’ve ever heard of, please tell your senators. Click here to e-mail your senators and ask them to vote AGAINST this madness.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

America’s Next Military Operation: Paraguay??

The United States military has been performing secret operations in Paraguay, not too far from the Bolivian border. Supposedly these operations are only related to terrorism and the War on Drugs. And if you believe that…

About 500 American troops arrived at a Paraguayan military base last July. This base is 124 miles from Bolivia. Human rights workers in the area are concerned that this buildup — combined with rhetoric about terrorism — is reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraqi invasion.

This base is capable of housing 16,000 troops. It’s too large to be needed by the small Paraguayan army. It was constructed in the 1980s by American technicians during the reign of Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner. It’s already equipped with a large radar system, huge hangars and an air traffic control tower.

The Guarani Aquifer — one of the world’s largest water reserves — is near this base. The base is also close to Bolivia’s natural gas reserves. Bolivia’s new Leftist leader, Evo Morales, has talked about nationalizing their natural gas supply (the second largest in Latin America). Global corporations don’t like this idea, and they might be asking their private army (America) to do something about it.

Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel talked about American troops arriving in Paraguay. He said “Once the United States arrives, it takes a long time to leave. And that really frightens me.”

A Paraguayan defense analyst said the location of the base “is ideal because it is operable throughout the year ... I am sure that the U.S. presence will increase.”

The American Embassy in Paraguay officially denies any intent to set up military operations in Paraguay. However, there’s an $80 million American military base in Ecuador, and those same denials were issued while that base was being set up. It’s official purpose was for “weather monitoring.” And now the base is heavily involved in “security-related” missions. So, we’ll see…

A Paraguayan political analyst said “In practice, there has already been a U.S. base operating in Paraguay for over 50 years. In the past, they needed congressional authorization every six months, but now they have been granted permission to be here for a year and a half.” American troops in Paraguay now have total immunity from national and international criminal courts. This immunity lasts until December 2006 but can easily be extended.

Since 2004, the U.S. has been pressuring Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay into signing a deal to grant immunity to the U.S. military. The Bush administration threatened to deny the countries up to $24.5 million in economic and military aid if they refused to sign the immunity deal. So far Paraguay has been the only country to accept this offer.

So, summing up: Bolivia has a new Leftwing leader who’s hated and feared by Neocons and Big Business. There’s been lots of speculation about American military and intelligence operations inducing a coup in Bolivia. And now the U.S. is setting up a huge military base in Paraguay near the Bolivian border.

Think there's any connection?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

If We Attack Iran, They Might Retaliate

And now, straight from the cover of DUUUHHH!!!! Magazine — U.S. intelligence experts think Iran would retaliate if we attacked their nuclear sites. Oh my God, what a bunch of savages! They might attack us just because we attacked them? No!!!

If nothing else, our intelligence analysis has made a tiny bit of progress since the last war. So far they haven’t predicted that Iran would be a cakewalk, or that hordes of Iranians would greet American soldiers as liberators and shower them with ice cream and flowers.

But what kind of “reasoning” is this anyway? If we attack them they might counterattack — Duuuhhhh!!!! Who wouldn’t? The fear is that Hezbollah would launch worldwide terrorist attacks if we attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. So don’t attack them. Helllooo!!!!

See that big guy over there? If I walked up to him and punched him in the face, he’d probably beat the shit out of me. That fuckin’ asshole!! I might need to stage a pre-emptive strike — hire some bodyguards to take him out. I just don’t want him around. I’d feel safer if he wasn’t here.

Our pre-emptive attack against Iraq sure has accomplished a lot. We’ve killed over 2,300 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, pushed ourselves trillions of dollars into debt and alienated most of the world. What do our “leaders” think would be any different about a pre-emptive strike against Iran?

Susan Sarandon Hates America

Susan Sarandon wants the next American presidential election to be monitored by international observers. She said the 2004 election was so fraudulent that we need oversight — just like third world countries.

She said “I believe our next election should be monitored by international entities, just like it happened in Haiti and Iraq. The last one was an embarrassment. Everybody knew there was fraud, but nothing was done about it. In some states there were more votes than people able to vote.”

Aw, come on, it can’t happen here.

About the Bush Administration, she said “I think we’ve never been as close to George Orwell’s ‘1984’ as before. We live in a society where individual rights and legality are definitely threatened and that’s scary.”

Susan Sarandon is already a favorite punching bag for rightwing bloggers. The wingnuts are probably gonna have a field day with this.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jesse Helms Has Dementia

The former rightwing Senator from North Carolina has dementia.

This mean-spirited Biblethumping demagogue has spent his life race-baiting, gay-baiting and generally stirring up hatred against the most marginalized members of our society. And NOW he’s suffering from dementia??

How can they tell?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pope Glass

No, this isn’t a manufacturing company in the Vatican, or the name of an obscure pope you’ve never heard of. It’s the latest jury-rigged equipment that our soldiers in Iraq are putting together. And it’s saving lives.

To paraphrase our defense secretary, you go to war with the equipment you have, not the equipment you wish you had. And the more ingenious you are at fashioning your own equipment and armor, the greater your chance of survival.

Pope Glass is a 2-inch-thick cocoon of bulletproof windshields welded together. This glass cocoon is used to protect the turret of a Humvee. Pope Glass is becoming more and more common on Humvees in the most violent parts of Iraq. Troops are having to be more and more inventive to protect themselves against snipers and roadside bombs.

They call it Pope Glass because it looks similar to the thick glass box that Pope John Paul II used to travel in after his assassination attempt in 1981.

A Vermont National Guardsman was the first person to use Pope Glass in Iraq last July. He said “It was really uncomfortable keeping myself above the turret that first time. I felt exposed. When I put the glass on, everybody was like, what the hell is this guy doing? But then they started asking for it.”

A 21-year-old gunner whose life was saved by Pope Glass said “I would have been gone if that glass hadn’t been there. I probably wouldn’t have a head.”

Thank God for the ingenuity of our troops. The Army sends you into this hellhole, and then it’s up to you to keep inventing your own safety gear if you want to stay alive.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dick Cheney Shoots Bush, Rumsfeld; Sets Fire to White House; Then Kills Himself

Happy April Fools Day!