Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, October 29, 2007

An America-Hating Flagburner Said This

A local bookstore had these quotations displayed in their front window today:

"A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.

America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.

And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.

The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.

War should only be declared by the authority of the people, whose toils and treasures are to support its burdens, instead of the government which is to reap its fruits.

Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Government.

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."

All right now, enough of this blasphemy! Who's the whiny treehugger? (These quotes are all from the same person.) To find out, click on Comments.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

U.S. Navy’s New Goal: Using Military Power to PREVENT War

Good God, a bunch of leftwing girlymen have taken over the U.S. Navy! Preventing wars??? Will Halliburton and Exxon even permit this?

The new strategy of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard states: “We believe that preventing wars is as important as winning wars.” But, but look at all those ignorant primitive Third World countries out there. They have trillions of dollars worth of natural resources which are rightfully OURS Goddamnit!

According to this article, the strategy is to use aid, training and other cooperative efforts “to encourage stability in fledgling democracies.” This will create relationships around the world which can be leveraged if a crisis breaks out.

The strategy is contained in a 16-page document titled “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” It says “Although our forces can surge when necessary to respond to crises, trust and cooperation cannot be surged.”

This is the first time the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have collaborated on a common defense strategy. Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, gave a speech calling for more international partnerships to make the Navy a “force for good” around the globe.

And Admiral Mike Mullen — who has just become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — said he sees the Navy's humanitarian work as the way to defeat terrorism by winning hearts and minds.

“Hearts and minds” — that’s the phrase Lyndon Johnson used during the Vietnam War: “The ultimate victory will depend on the hearts and minds of the people who actually live out there.”

Well, we saw how that worked out. Maybe it'll be different this time. We’ll see…

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Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA: “FEMA You're Doing a Heckuva Job”

If this had been a skit on Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show, it would be the funniest ever. Trouble is, this really happened. Or as the saying goes, “you can't make this shit up.”

During Katrinagate, Brownie and the rest of the FEMAtoads really were doing a heckuva job. But those damn reporters ruined everything for them by taking pictures and asking embarrassing questions. A few goody-goodies working at FEMA probably thought they should improve their job performance during the next disaster. Riiight. Their bosses had a much better idea:

Let’s stage a press conference, and the “reporters” will actually be FEMA employees. FEMA employees pitching underhand softball questions to other FEMA employees. Brilliant!

Three days ago, FEMA scheduled a press conference to discuss their job performance during the California fires. They gave reporters fifteen minutes notice before starting the conference. Since hardly any reporters had time to show up, some of the questions were asked by FEMA employees playing the role of “reporters.”

In response to one of these “questions,” Harvey Johnson, FEMA’s deputy administrator, replied: “I’m very happy with FEMA’s response.” God only knows what the question was, but it must’ve been a zinger.

Hey, shouldn’t we all get to have this type of Performance Appraisal?

Me: “Please be honest now. How has my job performance been this past quarter? Any suggestions or criticisms? Don’t try to spare my feelings; be blunt.”

Me: “You’ve done an absolutely bangup performance this quarter. I only wish your coworkers had half of your drive and ingenuity. I’m going to see to it that you get a huge raise and a corner office.”

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Congress Plans Tax Overhaul

The House has a plan for repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT was created in 1969 and it targeted only the wealthiest families in America. They were no longer able to use tax deductions to slither out of paying any income taxes. But the AMT was never indexed for inflation, and 38 years of inflation have redefined millions of upper middle class earners as “wealthy.”

In return for repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, the Democrats’ tax plan will reduce the tax burden for most low and middle income workers. And some corporations and investors will be paying higher rates.

Uh oh — you know what this means. Class Warfare! Redistribution of Wealth! Sapping the moral fiber of this great nation!

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) said almost all families earning less than $500,000 per year would have a "net tax reduction." He said “We have attempted to restore equity and fairness to the system.”

This was too much for Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. He said “Those lazy blue collar slobs never contributed to my re-election campaign. What good are they The correction of tax mistakes should never be offset with tax increases.” And Jim McCrery (R-LA) said the Democrats’ plan was “pure snake oil.”

If this new tax law gets passed, corporations will no longer be allowed to use certain “Enron”-type accounting methods. And hedge fund managers will be limited in their use of offshore tax havens. In other words Bush will have a signing statement at the ready.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You Don’t Need to Know This

Move along. Nothing to see here.

sssshhhhhhh…airline travel is very very dangerous, much more dangerous than you ever suspected. NASA interviewed 24,000 pilots over a 4-year period. Near-collisions and runway interference are much more common than anybody imagined.

But YOU will never have this information. NASA has refused to release it, and they’ve ordered the contractor who conducted the survey to purge all data from their computers.

A senior NASA official, Thomas Luedtke, said the information could damage public confidence and jeopardize airline profits. “Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey.”

Hey, remember in Jaws when local tourism officials didn’t want anyone to know about those shark attacks because it would jeopardize tourism? Hmmm, wonder what made me think of that. Anyway…

Luedtke also claimed that pilot confidentiality was one of his reasons for suppressing the information. Nice try, asshole. No airlines or pilots were identified in the survey.

The pilots reported more than twice as many bird strikes, near-collisions and runway incursions than government monitoring systems have shown. Pilots also reported higher-than-expected numbers of “in-close approach changes” — last-minute changes of landing instructions.

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) said: “If the airlines aren't safe I want to know about it. I would rather not feel a false sense of security because they don't tell us… The data appears to have great value to aviation safety, but not on a shelf at NASA.”

When asked about NASA suppressing this information, he said “there is a faint odor about it all.”

Feel safer yet? Wanna book an airline flight?

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Monday, October 22, 2007

SCHIP Veto Insults Our Troops (Again)

Here's another example (as if we didn’t have enough already) of phony flagwaving Republicans yelling “Support Our Troops!” while stabbing them in the back.

The SCHIP bill that Bush vetoed — with help from his drones who upheld the veto — contains two provisions for helping the families of soldiers who’ve been critically wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. (I got this link from Christopher Radulich in his comment at this post.)

The SCHIP bill would require one year of employment discrimination protection for family members caring for a severely injured soldier. And the permitted work leave for these family members would be extended from three months to six.

One out of five severely wounded soldiers says that a family member has been forced to stay home from work in order to take care of him/her.

Before Congress upheld Bush’s veto last week, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) was urging Congress to override the veto. IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff said: “Any member of Congress who supports the troops should vote to override the President’s veto. If SCHIP fails, so does this protection for families of our most grievously wounded troops. These service members and their families carry the heaviest burdens of this war and they need all the help they can get.”

Our corrupt pathetic chickenhawks in Congress should just come out and say it: They hate the troops, and they hate everything their country stands for. They should leave America — Now! — with their tails tucked between their legs. Buh Bye.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rudy in Disguise

Check out this video. I hope you'll link to it at your own site and/or forward it to some friends. Word needs to get out. (H/T to Robert at Left of Centrist.)

Giuliani isn't the worst of the Republican candidates, but he's their most skillful con artist. “America’s Mayor” — riiight. And now he's trying to convince the “Family Values” idiots that a 3-times-divorced pro-choice gay rights gun control advocate is “one of them.” And he just might be able to pull it off.

A few flipflops, a lot of spinning — and “America’s Mayor” might actually become known as the “Values” candidate. If you think American voters couldn’t possibly be that stupid, well, look who we've got in the White House right now.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

A Rare Sighting in Congress: Vertebrae

No you aren't hallucinating. “Congress” and “vertebrae” in the same sentence — for this brief moment anyway — is not an oxymoron.

There have actually been two — TWO! — spinal sightings in Congress in the past two days. Enjoy the moment. The one that’s really gotten the wingnuts’ panties in a bunch is Pete Stark’s comment:

“I’m just amazed that the Republicans are worried that we can’t pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? You are going to tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war? You don’t have money to fund the war or children, but you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”

Pow!! You Go Pete! And that’s not all:

“I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best. But I respect neither the commander-in-chief who keeps them in harms way nor the chicken-hawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care.”

John Boehner whined: “I’m just a pitiful chickenhawk but I’m supposed to sound manly and come up with a soundbite about ‘our troops’ and ‘al Qaeda’ Our troops in Iraq are fighting against Al Qaeda and other radical jihadists hell-bent on killing the people we are sent here to represent.”

Technically, Boehner isn't a chickenhawk. He spent eight weeks in Navy boot camp and then got released for a “bad back.” How conveeeenient. Pete Stark served in the Air Force from 1955-57.

Mother Superior Nancy Pelosi had to spoil the fun by reprimanding Stark for his outburst. But Stark so far hasn’t apologized, and according to an online poll (not scientific), 88% say he should stand his ground and not apologize.

And now, the other spinal sighting: Sen. Chris Dodd has put a hold on that Godawful bill that pretty much says large telecom companies are above the law. The bill seemed like an unstoppable force plowing through a sea of invertebrates until Dodd put a hold on it. He says he's prepared to filibuster the bill if his hold is not honored.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

I’m Fluent in German

Actually, no I'm not. Not at all. Funny story…

If you have a blog or website, you're probably checking your HitCounter / SiteMeter frequently (come on, fess up). We all want to know how many visits we’re getting and what type of visits — web searches, other bloggers, “unknown,” etc.

The other day, somebody’s search brought them to my archived posts from October 2006 — translated into German. Seeing my own blatherings in a foreign language — too funny. I have no idea what I was talking about but I can rant and snarl in German with the best of them.

The comments on the posts are still in English, but all of the links are in German. The names of the sites might still be in English, especially if they're not translatable, but if you click on the link, all the text is in German.

And here (in case anyone could possibly be interested) is my entire blog — not just the October 2006 archives — translated into German.

But hey, enough about me. If you want to translate your own blog — or any website — into a foreign language, here's the menu. Or you can translate from a foreign language into English. You can select a website or just a block of text. It could come in handy for foreign-language newspapers. Knock yourself out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Disaster Capitalism

This phrase was coined by Naomi Klein. Two recent examples of disaster capitalism: Hurricane Katrina provided an opportunity to close down housing projects in New Orleans; and the chaos in Iraq has made it possible to ram through an oil privatization law.

As Klein puts it: “The window of opportunity opens up, and it is deliberately exploited.” Her newest book is called The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

For years, global corporations have been thriving on national economies that are in meltdown. And to complete the circle, these meltdowns are often created or exacerbated by the IMF and the World Bank.

Using Katrinagate as an example, Klein says: “I was in New Orleans when the city was still flooded. I was interviewing lobbyists who were already camped out at the state legislature building in Baton Rouge, talking about all the tax cuts they were going to get, and the new labor flexibility, and what a great opportunity this was…There was a great deal of excitement.”

The term “reconstruction” is just a euphemism for a war on the public sector. In present-day New Orleans: “The public housing projects are boarded up and stand empty. You have condo developers circling. Their largest public hospital, Charity Hospital, is empty. This was the hospital that was treating the uninsured. The New Orleans public education system is now the country's leading laboratory in the charter school model…All of that happened, not because there was a community consensus for it, but because the disaster was expertly exploited by politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists to push through radical policies in the chaos after the disaster. That's disaster capitalism.”

She continues: “New Orleans is a laboratory for the corporatization of disaster response. You had Carnival Cruise ships providing housing. You had the big contractors from Iraq such as Bechtel building privatized trailer parks guarded by private security. What we're seeing is that, first, disasters are used to push through the radical privatization of hospitals, schools, roads, and so on.”

And the parallels between Iraqmire and Katrinagate: “Many of us in New Orleans who had been to Iraq felt that the Green Zone had just been lifted out and moved to the Gulf Coast…The parallels were very striking. There were the same contractors — Blackwater-Halliburton-Bechtel. The point of this is that disaster zones are laboratories. They're testing grounds. In the chaos of this moment, you have these leaps forward for the privatization agenda. What was Blackwater doing there? They claim that they had just seen the disaster on television and wanted to help, right? But this was an extraordinary incursion into what we think of as a core state function. Why wasn't the National Guard there? Where were the local authorities?”

And referring to the “reconstruction” in Iraq, she says: “The dream of building a model state in someone else's land is a deeply dangerous and racist dream, and a violent dream.”

So it appears.

Here are some more links to Disaster Capitalism.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

“Friends With Low Wages”

After you’ve checked out this hilarious video, please sign this petition. Tell Wal-Mart to stop screwing their employees.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Insurance Industry Creates Fake “Grass Roots” Group

If you notice your insurance rates going up in the next few months, the culprit might be the insurance industry’s multi-million dollar sleaze campaign in Washington State. The money has to come from somewhere; and that would be You The Consumer.

The Washington state legislature has passed a law that allows people to sue their insurance company for triple damages if the company denies a valid claim. And the insurance industry is spending millions to trick voters into repealing this law.

It’s bad enough that the insurance industry is trying to buy their way out of doing their jobs. But the way they're going about it is even sleazier. Since they're the ones who wanted this issue to be on the ballot, you'd think the initiative that they got on the ballot (it’s called R-67) would require a Yes vote. However, it’s well known that the “No” side of an initiative has the advantage. If voters aren't totally clear on what an initiative means, they tend to vote No on it.

So the initiative is worded in such a way that it’s asking the voters if they want to keep this insurance law that’s already been passed. The insurance industry put their own initiative on the ballot so they could ask the voters to vote No on it. Pretty slick, huh?

Not surprisingly, the four insurance companies that have generated the most complaints are the largest contributors to the “No on-R-67” campaign.

Sen. Brian Weinstein, D-Mercer Island, the law’s main sponsor, said: "The complaints brought against them are just the tip of the iceberg. It seems to me $6 million is a fantastic investment if they can stop this from becoming law and continue to delay and deny claims."

The cloying smothering TV ads against R-67 are financed by a “grass roots” (i.e. Astroturf) group calling itself “Consumers Against Higher Insurance Rates.” As you've probably guessed, “Consumers Against Higher Insurance Rates” is comprised of — insurance companies. Slippery scumbags.

If you live in Washington State — or if you're within broadcasting range of a Washington TV station — you’ve gotta be sick to death of these TV ads. They're even worse than those fake-folksy Harry and Louise ads that blighted the airwaves when Clinton tried to expand health coverage.

Hopefully Washington’s voters will be smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jimmy Carter Nails the Bush Administration

Jimmy Carter enraged the knuckledragging community yesterday by criticizing Bush, his puppetmaster and Iraqmire. He only said what seventy percent of the country is already thinking.

Regarding Dick Cheney, he said: “He's a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military and he has been most forceful in the last 10 years or more in fulfilling some of his more ancient commitments that the United States has a right to inject its power through military means in other parts of the world…You know he's been a disaster for our country. I think he's been overly persuasive on President George Bush, and quite often he's prevailed.”

He also said the U.S. tortures prisoners in violation of International Law and that Bush makes up his own definition of torture.

Carter himself was an inept president, but compared to the imbecile currently blighting the White House…

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

China's Newest Recall

If you think poisoned pet food and lead-filled toys were the most dangerous Chinese import, think again. Do not buy this product for your child's playground.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

George W. Bush Believes in the Right to Privacy!

It’s true! You’ve gotta check out this short video (H/T to Let’s Talk.)

No, you're not losing it. The Great Eavesdropper is actually sitting there, with a straight face, telling us that he doesn’t want other people reading his mail or sticking their noses into his private affairs.

[sputter] But…But — This is the same flaming douchebag who wants to spy on three hundred million Americans. What are you reading? Who’s that letter from? What's it say? What's on that sales receipt? Where were you last night? Explain!

The frazzled fratboy wants to know everything about YOU. But if YOU want to find out something — for instance, how your tax dollars ended up being squandered in an illegal trillion-dollar war — Hey, mind your own business, Peon! The King has a right to privacy but you don’t. You got a problem with that???

Even though it’s obvious that Bush is only referring to himself in this video, still…hearing a one-man KGB talking about privacy — ROTFLMAO! You can't help doing a double take and wondering if you're hearing voices.

It’s the same double take you'd be doing if you heard David Duke talking about the importance of good race relations, or Tony Soprano complaining about the high crime rate.

Your life is an open book, but our Oligarchs are hidden behind a steel fortress. Mind your own business.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Corporate Thieves vs. Consumers and Investors: Strange Bedfellows

Congress is considering legislation which would derail the corporate “Enron” reforms that were passed in 2002. Unfortunately it’s supposed to have a good chance of passing.

This law would give corporate sleaze captains a lot of “constitutional” protections that don’t exist if you're just an average citizen. If it passes, prosecutors won't be able to urge companies to reveal confidential talks with their lawyers in return for leniency. And the SEC won't be able to force companies to cut off legal support for employees who are under investigation.

These are some of the tools that helped to prosecute Enron and WorldCom. A former SEC accounting chief said: “Pre-Enron, U.S. attorneys never brought these cases, and after this bill is passed, they will quit bringing them again. This is a very clear message from Congress: Don't touch white-collar criminals.”

Lining up in favor of the corporate sleazewipes: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, Arlen Specter, John Conyers, the American Bar Association and the ACLU.

Prosecutors and the Justice Department are on the side of consumers and investors. This has to be the wackiest collection of strange bedfellows I’ve ever seen.

Karin Immergut, U.S. attorney and head of a Justice Department white-collar crime committee, said: "This bill would certainly make it harder for prosecutors to protect victims and the investing public. I frankly find it kind of baffling that people are proposing legislation that protects corporations and corporate officers like CEOs more than other individuals.”

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger said: "Federal agencies have stepped up to the plate over the last few years in a way that was entirely appropriate. They were doing the job Congress asked them to. And the reward they're getting is that they're being punished for success."

I still can't get over the fact that I’m on the side of the Justice Department and against the ACLU. Well, that’s it —there's a snowball fight in Hell right now, and a winged pig just crashed into my upstairs window.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Iraqmire, South Africa and America

The United States isn't the only country having the life sucked out of it by Iraqmire. The same thing is happening in South Africa.

Thousands of white soldiers and police officers — most of them are veterans of the disgraced apartheid regime — have left their jobs and families to work as contractors in Iraq. This is causing a lot of tension and controversy in South Africa; much more so than in the United States.

South Africa is still recovering from the infamy of being one of the world’s worst police states not too long ago. They're trying to live down that image. Compare that to the U.S., which seems to get off on being the global tough guy. While the American Powers That Be are doting and swooning over Blackwater, South Africa has a different reaction.

Their current government has drafted a law that would criminalize all South African citizens who are working as contractors in Iraq. Maybe we could learn something from them.

(Yes I know Condoleezza Rice has issued an order cracking down on Blackwater. Those orders can be rescinded just as quickly as they were issued. We'll see how long this "order" lasts when the cameras have gone.)

The internal tension and embarrassment aren't South Africa's only problems. South Africa’s security is in jeopardy. Local police departments have been drained by the mass exodus of officers fleeing to Iraq for more money (up to ten times what they were making in South Africa). And most of the country’s special forces trainers are now on the U.S. payroll in Iraq.

The country is being bled dry by the War in Iraq. Sound familiar?

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Larry Craig Should Stay in the Senate

Larry Craig should not resign, as those whiny liberals keep hoping he’ll do. He needs to finish what he started and remain in the Senate until his term us up in 2008. He’s been slandered and vilified by the leftwing media and he should stay and fight for his reputation. Come on, give him a break. He just has a “wide stance” and he happened to be jiggling his feet that fateful evening in Minnesota.

Not too convincing, eh? OK, Take Two: I want that spineless two-faced asshole to stay and stay and stay. Let’s keep him in the spotlight from now through November 2008 — front and center. Those Biblehumping fire-and-brimstoners created this judgmental hateful paranoid atmosphere that’s been smothering our country for decades. Now they’ve been hoisted on their own petard. It’s about F#ckin’ time.

These bookburning snakehandling shitheads have made their bed, and now they need to lie in it and fester in it. Another Roadside Attraction — look, it’s Larry Craig, the Human Albatross. See him rotting and putrefying around the necks of the Salem Witch Hunters. See them flailing and thrashing as they fall deeper and deeper into the muck.

The Spanish Inquisitors are in sort of a touchy position. Should they urge Craig to resign, and show everyone what a bunch of spineless fair-weather friends they really are? Or should they circle the wagons and protect their buddy, and show the world what a bunch of hypocritical assholes they are? “God Hates Fags! Er, I mean, unless it’s one of OUR fags, uh, what I meant was…”


Which way to turn? What Would Jerry Falwell Do?

Come on Biblewipes, let’s see you do some twisting and squirming.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Join the National Guard, Spend Two Years in Iraq, Get Stabbed in the Back

This is how the Far Right “supports” the troops:

2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard spent almost two years deployed in Iraq. It was the longest deployment of any ground combat unit.

When they returned to the States, they found out that they were — JUST BARELY — not qualified for the educational benefits they thought they'd be receiving under the G.I. Bill.

In order to receive the G.I. Bill and other benefits, this unit would have had to be gone for 730 days. By the sheerest of coincidences, they were gone for only 729 days. Sorry — Disqualified! Move along, nothing to see here.

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said “It's pretty much a slap in the face. I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers…I had 23 guys under my command. I promised to take care of them. And I'm not going to end taking care of them when this deployment is over, and it's not over until this is solved."

Anderson’s fellow platoon leader, John Hobot, said “I would assume, and I would hope, that when I get back from a deployment of 22 months, my senior leadership in Washington, the leadership that extended us in the first place, would take care of us once we got home.”

So far the Army hasn’t responded to any questions about this.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Red States: Lower Cost, More Efficiency

Not to mention their superior morals and decency.

Senator John Thune (R-SD) summed it up best. He was defending Bush’s veto of that disgraceful socialized medicine bill that was passed by Congress. The trouble with that well-intentioned-but-fuzzy-headed legislation, he said, is that “low-cost, efficient states such as South Dakota...end up subsidizing higher costs in inefficient states.”

Ah, efficiency. Mississippi is the most efficient state in the Union, and for some odd reason Southerners are always saying “thank God for Mississippi.” Apparently these people are GLAD not to live in America’s most efficient state.

The economy is generally better in the blue states. And because of that, a larger amount of federal tax money is spent subsidizing those hardworking bootstraps-as-a means-of-self-ascension Red States.

Check out this table showing the ten states which are the largest federal tax consumers. Nine of these states are…drumroll…RED.

The next table shows the ten largest tax-PAYING states. Eight of these are BLUE. These socialist layabouts are actually subsidizing those stand-on-your-own-two-feet Red State residents.

Well, at least the people’s morals are better in the red states. Decency, clean living and a healthy Fear of The Lord — that’s what really counts. Oh wait. Divorce rates are higher in the red states; lower in the blue states. A sociologist at Catholic University of America says “the higher the educational level, higher the occupational level, higher the income, the less likely you are to divorce.”

Now check out this page and see how much everything has changed since the Civil War. Before the Civil War, the Free States and Territories were almost exactly the same as…[fast forward 150 years]…the Blue States.

Too bad those Northern states were so damn inefficient.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Investigation of Blackwater

A sighting! Erik Prince, religious fanatic, former Navy SEAL and founder of Blackwater USA, has testified before a Congressional Committee. Protecting New Orleans mansion-owners from the riffraff after Hurricane Katrina, shooting at suspicious-looking swarthy people in Iraq — Blackwater has earned a hell of a reputation over the years. And now Congress has finally taken an interest.

Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said: “Privatizing is working exceptionally well for Blackwater. The question for this hearing is whether outsourcing to Blackwater is a good deal to the American taxpayer, whether it’s a good deal for the military and whether it’s serving our national interest in Iraq.”

Prince responded: “I could break your neck in five places you little twerp I believe we acted appropriately at all times.”

One of the Blackwater incidents being investigated: In December ’06, a drunken Blackwater employee shot an Iraqi guard. The State Department advised Blackwater to offer a payment to the deceased’s survivors, and then quickly hustled the Blackwater guard out of Iraq. Internal e-mails showed State Department employees arguing over how much money to pay the Iraqi family.

Regarding that incident, Waxman said “It’s hard to read these e-mails and not come to the conclusion that the State Department is acting as Blackwater’s enabler.”

Right now there's a bill pending in the House — by David Price (D-NC) — that would make all contractors subject to prosecution in American courts. Right, that'll happen.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Freedom’s Watch

Great — this is exactly what America needs: another billionaire-funded non-profit (i.e. tax-exempt) organization to promote the rightwing extremist agenda. The problem with America is that there's too much public participation and not enough iron-fisted control by the Powers That Be.

And now help is on the way. Freedom’s Watch is claiming to be a “grassroots” conservative counterpart to MoveOn.org. The executive director of MoveOn.org says: “The main difference is that MoveOn is a group of 3.3 million. Freedom’s Watch is a few mega millionaires.”

If you liked Swiftboat Veterans For Truth and the Project For A New American Century, you'll love Freedom’s Watch. It’s basically the same people with the same agenda: staying the course in Iraq (forever and ever and ever), attacking Iran and strengthening the Religious Right.

If you’ve wondered why so many Republicans keep voting for everything Bush wants, Freedom’s Watch might be the culprit. Part of their M.O. is to go after ANY Republican who dares to criticize or vote against Iraqmire.

The group is made up of people who’ve been Bush Administration insiders and corporate donors throughout Dumbya’s career. And yet officially they're an independent non-profit organization which is “not affiliated” with the White House. Riight.

For their public persona, Freedom’s Watch has chosen a few disabled Iraqi veterans and their survivors. Get ready to have your buttons pushed and your emotions manipulated: “cut and run,” “Victory,” “if we don’t defeat the terrorists over there they’ll follow us home,” etc. And these slogans are being presented by a disabled veteran or by the mother of a Marine who was killed in Iraq. Come on, where's your Patriotism? Why do you hate our troops?

And speaking of the troops, how many members of Freedom’s Watch do you think are veterans? How many of them have sons or daughters who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq (and soon Iran)? I’m gonna guess ZERO.


Just to show how people can transform and mutate over a 7-year period, here's an early quote from the president who has caused our checks and balances to go the way of the hula hoop and the covered wagon: “We don’t believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans.”

George W. Bush — September 6, 2000