Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday Wacko Round Up

Courtesy of Media Matters. Apparently, from the posts there and some of the trolls that have decided to fan out into Blogtopia (© Skippy), the right wing is in serious meltdown mode. Some of it is particularly funny:
Coulter: "[L]iberal" "health fanatics ... encourage every form of polymorphous perversity [including] ... anal sex and fisting"
You can't make this shit up. Nevermind that there are more Republicans under indictment, arrest or investigation for sex crimes than there are Democrats in the Senate, nevermind that the list I just linked to is woefully out of date and doesn't include Porter Goss or Duke Cunningham, nevermind that there are documented allegations of "boy toy sex rings" operating in BOTH Bush White Houses, no, Ann believes that liberals, are sex offenders.

Which leads me to the question of the day: How does Ann square the fact that she dated a porn merchant with her obsession with moral values? Moreover, why doesn't this shining bastion ( did say "bastION") of American virtue not have kids or even a husband? I mean, even Angelina Jolie managed to adopt a few kids...Next?
Fox's Colby: "[W]hy would North Korea push our buttons ... when they know -- they can see in Iraq -- when we come in, we get the job done?"
Between Coulter and Colby (not to mention preternaturally albinic John Gibson), there must be something they're putting in bottles of hair bleach nowadays to make blondes even dumber, is all I can figure. The occupation of Iraq has been nothing less than an unmitigated disaster, serving only to increase the number of terror attacks and fatalities worldwide since we invaded the country, and these folks think this should scare Kim Jong Il?

Finally, on the Friday Wacko Round Up, we come, sadly, to Norah O'Donnell, who besides being perhaps the foxiest reporter on cable TV (which is sort of like saying Rosie O'Donnell is the straightest lesbian), has somehow seemed to become a lot more partisan as the years have passed, probably due to the right wing working the ref so often on her (and possibly stalking her, altho that's mere speculation on my part). To-wit:
MSNBC's O'Donnell on Cindy Sheehan's hunger strike: "Isn't this really just more of a publicity stunt?"
Now, I have no great love for Cindy Sheehan, but her points are valid and her efforts to wake people up cannot be denied as having been effective, if only for the fact that people are talking about her.

So to say that this is a publicity stunt smacks of cheapness. Cindy has become so intertwined with the anti-war movement, it's not at all unlike President Bush flying secretly into Iraq, and celebrating his 60th birthday at a military base. The question then is, where is Norah on those particular little photo ops?

But my good friend, Elderta, reminded me in comments of this little doozy:
Now, to catch you up to date...a while back, Michelle Malkin had...issues, with UC Santa Cruz. Apparently, the military had sent recruiters, apparently without a permit, to infest attend a job fair, in an effort to sign some kids up. Protestors stormed the fair, and the military fled (sounds like an insurgency in Iraq, but that's a different tale). Malkin went ballistic, but rather than try to track down the students who protested and ask their side of the story, Malkin sent her dark-hearted horde after the school's chancellor, Denise Denton, who had no part in any of what happened.

Well, it worked. Perhaps better than Malkin intended. On June 24, Denton, 46, went and jumped from the roof of one of the tallest buildings in San Francisco. The reasons cited were "politics, scandal, and a high public profile." Basically, if you read between the lines, Malkin killed her with hatred.

You might think that Malkin might at least shed a tear over this. Apparently not:
If I had said anything, his ilk would have jumped all over me for not having the compassion to keep quiet about her various scandals and corruptocrat ways and let her loved ones mourn in peace.
Yah huh. So basically, Mickey, it's "goodbye to bad rubbish," huh?

You might think she'd have a shred of decency, but that would require humanity, and if there's one thing this thread of right wing apologist bitches has shown, there's a bit of a stretch between a human being and a right winger. As I've said before, the only reasons women like Malkin and Coulter exist is so men don't have to change the channel from Fox to Playboy to jerk off.

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How Conservatives Argue

I'm reposting an oldie but a goodie...this is for you, my little KADdy...

An object lesson, forwarded to me by one of the ten smartest men in America (and a liberal):

Liberal: The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: No, it doesn’t.

Liberal: Yes, it does. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: What about Guam? What about that Guam, huh? Or the
Virgin Islands?

Liberal: Those are territories, not states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: Oh, so you’re saying those don’t count?

Liberal: Yes.

Conservative: Oh, so the people there don’t count? They’re not good enough, huh? I thought you liberals wanted everybody to be counted.

Liberal: No, I said the territories don’t count as states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: You’re really something, you know that? You liberals are always going on about how all of us conservatives are racists, how we don’t care about anybody but people who look like us. But you don’t even want to count the blacks who live in Guam as Americans.

Liberal: First of all, I never said all conservatives are racists.

Conservative: Yes, you did.

Liberal: No, I didn’t.

Conservative: Michael Moore says it.

Liberal: I’ve never heard him say that.

Conservative: Yes, he does! He most definitely does!

Liberal: Look, I don’t know what he says. That’s beside the point. And the people in Guam “count,” whatever that means. I don’t even know who lives in Guam; I don’t know the first thing about Guam. I’m just saying Guam isn’t a state ­ it’s a territory. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: What about Puerto Rico?

Liberal: What?

Conservative: What about Puerto Rico, huh? You love all those Mexicans coming across the border stealing our jobs ­ you must LOVE Puerto Rico, right?

Liberal: I’ve never been to Puerto Rico.

Conservative: Well, I have, and those kind of people would be pretty offended to hear liberals like you saying they aren’t real Americans!

Liberal: I didn’t say that!

Conservative: You said they didn’t count!

Liberal: I didn’t say that either! No, wait, just wait… (takes deep breath). I only said the USA has fifty states. Puerto Rico isn’t a state ­ it’s a commonwealth.

Conservative: And they don’t speak English!

Liberal: Well, many Puerto Ricans do.

Conservative: How do you know that? I’ve been there ­ you haven’t!

Liberal: All right, OK, fine, whatever. But the USA has fifty states.

Conservative: Well, I say Puerto Rico counts.

Liberal: Fine, but not as a state.

Conservative: Well, that’s YOUR opinion.

Liberal: It’s not my opinion ­ it’s a fact.

Conservative: Says you!

Liberal: No, not just “says me.” It’s a fact. Look it up.

Conservative: I don’t have time.

Liberal: You don’t have time to find out if the USA has fifty states?

Conservative: Listen, you may have time to sit around all day surfing on your liberal websites, downloading Michael Moore, but I’ve got things to do.

Liberal: Like reading about blacks in Guam and Mexicans in Puerto Rico?

Conservative: See, that’s why you guys always lose. I’m trying to have a nice conversation, and you just keep up with the insults!

Liberal: Listen, I didn’t mean to insult you.

Conservative: Oh, yes you did!

Liberal: No, look, I’m sorry, OK? I didn’t mean to insult you. Honestly. It’s just that… well, the USA has fifty states. That’s a fact. And I’m just trying to state a fact, and you’re getting very defensive, and…

Conservative: Oh, so now I’m defensive.

Liberal: Well…

Conservative: You just said you weren’t going to insult me!

Liberal: Look, I’m just trying to say the USA has fifty states!

Conservative: According to YOUR sources!

Liberal: MY sources?! What are you talking about? Look it up!

Conservative: I told you, I don’t have time to spend all day cruising the internet, looking up geography questions! Maybe if you were busier at your job, trying to live the American Dream, you wouldn’t have time for all this hate!

Liberal: I work hard at my job!

Conservative: Then why are you spending all day downloading Michael Moore?

Liberal: I don’t spend all day downloading Michael Moore! I don’t even know what you mean by that! All I’m saying is that the USA has fifty states!

Conservative: Again, according to YOU!

Liberal: Not just me! Here, here’s the World Book Encyclopedia. Look it up ­ it’s fifty states!

Conservative: Oh, sure, the World Book! Yeah, like I’m going to believe the World Book!

Liberal: What?

Conservative: Come on, it’s a liberal rag!

Liberal: (Long, teeth-gnashing pause) Look, just look up “United States of America.” Ten bucks it says, “the USA has fifty states.”

Conservative: Ten bucks, huh?

Liberal: Yeah, ten bucks. (pause) Wait, that’s the “M” volume.

Conservative: I know.

Liberal: You need to look under “U” for “United States.”

Conservative: I’m not looking for “United States.” I’m looking for “Moore, Michael.”

Liberal: What?!

Conservative: And when I find a big glowing article about him, you’re going to owe me ten bucks!

Liberal: Why would I owe you ten bucks?!

Conservative: You bet me ten bucks that the World Book Encyclopedia isn’t liberal.

Liberal: No I didn’t!

Conservative: Yes, you did! You bet me ten bucks that I couldn’t find a liberal article in the World Book. So when I find Michael Moore’s picture, you owe me ten bucks!

Liberal: Oh, my lord…

Conservative: AHA!

Liberal: Listen, you idiot, just because you found Michael Moore’s picture in the World Book doesn’t mean that I owe you ten bucks! It doesn’t mean the World Book is a liberal encyclopedia! And it certainly doesn’t mean the USA doesn’t have fifty states!!

Conservative: Oh, no? Look at this!

Liberal: (pause) “Massachusetts”?

Conservative: Bingo!

Liberal: What the hell does Massachusetts have to do with anything?

Conservative: The COMMONWEALTH of Massachusetts!

Liberal: So?

Conservative: So you said Puerto Rico is a commonwealth!

Liberal: Oh, no…

Conservative: You ADMITTED Puerto Rico was a commonwealth! Admit it, you said it!

Liberal: Oh, man…

Conservative: So if Massachusetts is a commonwealth, and Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, then they BOTH must be states! HA!

Liberal: OK, look…

Conservative: You owe me twenty bucks!

Liberal: What?

Conservative: Come one, pay up! Twenty bucks, let’s go!

Liberal: I don’t owe you twenty bucks!

Conservative: And I’m not even counting Pennsylvania!

Liberal: Pennsylvania?

Conservative: That’s a commonwealth, too!

Liberal: It’s a commonwealth, but…

Conservative: And Washington!

Liberal: All right, look, I lived in Seattle ­ Washington is NOT a commonwealth!

Conservative: Seattle’s not even a state ­ it’s a city!

Liberal: Yes, it’s a city, in Washington State! Washington’s a state!

Conservative: I’m talking about Washington D.C.

Liberal: What?

Conservative: Washington D.C. It’s a city.

Liberal: I know what it is!

Conservative: Well, you liberals are always going on about “Statehood for Washington!” Which, you admit, is already a state!

Liberal: Washington D.C. is not a state!

Conservative: Washington State is!

Liberal: You just said Washington D.C.!

Conservative: And you said it should be a state!

Liberal: I never said that! I mean, it should be… but I never…look…

Conservative: Should Washington be a state?

Liberal: Well…

Conservative: Simple question.

Liberal: Washington State?

Conservative: Yes or No?

Liberal: Washington State or Washington D.C.?

Conservative: Right.

(Long pause)

Conservative: He snorts cocaine.

(Long, painful pause)

Liberal: (slowly) This is Washington D.C. you’re talking about.

Conservative: Yeah. The mayor snorts cocaine.

Liberal: Actually, he’s no longer the mayor…

Conservative: I don’t think a state should have a governor who’s used drugs.

Liberal: He’s not the governor; Washington’s not a…

Conservative: Except maybe California.

Liberal: OK, OK, stop for a moment…

Conservative: I mean, that was a long time ago…

Liberal: Listen, listen…

Conservative: I don’t see Michael Moore making any movies about cocaine in Washington State, do you?

Liberal: Please, STOP!


Liberal: Look, I’m just trying to make a simple point here…

Conservative: What about…

Liberal: STOP!!!

(long pause)

Liberal: I’m just trying to make a SIMPLE point here. It’s not a big deal ­ it’s just a fact. The USA has fifty states. That’s all! Yes, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, but it isn’t counted among the fifty states. Yes, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are commonwealths too. So are Virginia and, I think, Kentucky. I don’t know about Kentucky for sure, and you know what ­ it doesn’t matter! They’re considered
states, OK? They’re states. Washington D.C. isn’t one, even though I wish it was. Guam isn’t one. There are only fifty. Fifty states. Fifty stars on the flag ­ fifty states. That’s all. Fifty.

(long pause)

Conservative: Rush is so right about you people.

Liberal: Huh?

Conservative: Rush. He gets it. You people are the worst.

Liberal: I don’t…

Conservative: Here I am, trying to have an honest political discussion, and all you can do is bring up this liberal claptrap! You call people like Rush racists, but you don’t want to count Mexicans as Americans. You insult the Governor of California every chance you get. You get all your information from encyclopedias and Michael
Moore. You want free cocaine in Washington, and you want Seattle to become a commonwealth, and you won’t pay me my fifty dollars even after I proved that blacks run Guam! And then, worst of all, you insult our flag and our troops!!! You disgust me!

Liberal: Good-bye.

Conservative: See, there you liberals go again! Sneaking off to download porn from Kentucky! I’m not forgetting you owe me 100 dollars!


Conservative: That’s it, cut and run!

(long pause)

Conservative: Why do you hate America?

UPDATE: Despite the obvious warning given by this and other diatribes about "arguing with a pig," there are still plenty of folks who try. I cordially extend a welcome to the blogroll to Canadian Cynic.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

City Slickers v. Country Rubes

Mayor's stand on immigration
Economy of NYC, U.S. would fall without illegal immigrants, Bloomberg tells congressional panel

Newsday Washington Bureau

July 6, 2006

PHILADELPHIA -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday took aim at hard-line GOP members of the U.S. House, saying their belief that border patrols alone can stop undocumented immigrants "is either naive and shortsighted, or cynical and duplicitous."

Bloomberg also attacked the House hardliners for insisting on the expulsion of undocumented immigrants for breaking the immigration law, and for failing to understand just how important the estimated 11 million undocumented workers are to the well-being of this country.

"Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders," Bloomberg said, "our city's economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported. The same holds true for the nation."
On so many issues that confront our nation, there is a deep divide between the coastals communities where 53% of the population of this nation is concentrated, and the heartland.

Gun control, immigration reform, homeland security, taxes--particularly the estate tax, religion and religious tolerance...and many other issues all mark the divide in this nation between those who live on the coasts and Canadian border and practice a more "New Testament" philosophy, and those who live in the "fly-over" states who temper their Protestant work ethic with a more "Old Testament" eye-for-an-eye framework.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has been on the more tolerant end of the Republican spectrum ever since he switched parties in 2001. You'd think a businessman who practically invented electronic investing (through his Bloomberg box, as well as the Bloomberg information network) would have been a diehard fiscally-conservative Republican, but no. He's fiscally conservative as liberals go, true, but his conservatism is tempered by his social liberalism. He understands the dynamics of how an economy works and how the least among us must be protected.

The juggernaut of capitalism grinds people under its wheels if we aren't careful. What I find disturbing is, the people who SHOULD care about this, the folks most in danger from unfettered capitalism, are the one who fight liberalism tooth and nail.

We're barely a generation removed from the Great Depression, and the Great Dust Bowl. These folks in the heartland seem to have forgotten how horrendously they were hit by both of those. Perhaps a viewing of "Grapes Of Wrath" is in order, I'm not sure.

Churches didn't solve the problems then, and they won't solve them on the next go-round, as Katrina showed. Some problems are just too damned big. The United States is in the throes of a twenty-year long drought from the Southest into the Middle Atlantic states, and the South.

Florida, for example, would need 18 inches of rainfall over the nest three months in order to bring the state back level with where it should be.

Should it occur, the first place they'll come running for help, after they realize they haven't been able to pray the problem away, will be us on the coasts. You know, the folks with the money. And the politicians.

And we'll give. We'll gladly give, despite the contumely and disrespect these folks have shown for us, thumbing their noses at our concerns like gun control and homeland security and the need for immigrants in our cities, and tolerance, and some form of safety net, because you know what?

We step over our homeless. We don't have the luxury of "hoboes" who can traipse along the backroads and camp in people's backyard woods. So we have to deal with our problems, head on, and face them.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mittwoch Nacht Komisch Blogging

Starring Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog

World Cup Update

France 1 Portugal 0

Zinedine Zidane, playing perhaps his best football since France won the Cup, scored on a penalty kick in the 33rd minute after Thierry Henry was fouled in the box. France managed only five shots all game, and only had the ball 40% of the time, but scratched out the win.

So the Finals on Sunday shape up to be France v. Italy, which ought to be a high-flying, high-speed game, and fun to watch.

Still In Holiday Mode

Y'know, after writing two lengthy pieces over the weekend about my country and my freedom, I thought I'd extend my four day holiday with some short, light-hearted pieces...
Man With Faulty Penile Implant Gets $400K

Associated Press Writer

June 27, 2006, 8:10 AM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A former handyman has won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a penile implant that gave him a 10-year erection.

Charles "Chick" Lennon, 68, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before Viagra went on the market. The Dura-II is designed to allow impotent men to position the penis upward for sex, then lower it.

But Lennon could not position his penis downward. He said he could no longer hug people, ride a bike, swim or wear bathing trunks because of the pain and embarrassment. He has become a recluse and is uncomfortable being around his grandchildren, his lawyer said.
I'm not sure which is funnier about this story: the ten-year erection or that Lennon is a handyman...

Just kidding, of course. I, like every man in the world at some point, have often found myself in situations where my tumescence has taken some, um, handiwork to move out of embarassing moments and positions. Fortunately, my erections can wilt quickly when I need them to (I just imagine Ann Coulter nude). I can only imagine what it would be like to have to do that for ten years.

But now Lennon can ride a bike, swim, and be active with people again! Sounds like a tampon ad, but what the hey...Oh. In case you're wondering why he just doesn't have the implant removed, he has other health issues, such as heart trouble, that preclude surgery for this.
Fake agency offers ads on hookers' thighs

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch design student bored with conventional advertisements has set up a fake online agency offering advertising space for beer, cars and TV stations on prostitutes' thighs and cleavage.

On his website, Raoul Balai also proposed painting brand names on zoo animals and floating huge billboards off popular beaches to get vacationers' attention.

"I was getting sick and tired of advertising everywhere," Balai told reporters. "But I don't want to preach, and I thought satire would work better."

Far from taking his ideas as a joke, an Amsterdam zoo had its lawyer threaten Balai with a defamation suit after his website depicted fish from the zoo bearing the brand name of a frozen fish company.

Prospective customers phoning his fake agency are kept on hold and bombarded with sales pitches until they give up.
I don't read Dutch very well, but the gist of his website is that this is all satire, and as such, a joke. Wait a bit when you click the link, it loads slowly.

Scientist makes tiniest soccer pitch

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German scientist has created the world's smallest soccer pitch -- so minute that 20,000 of them could fit onto the tip of a human hair.

The imitation playing field, created by using nanotechnology, measures 500 by 380 nanometres and can only be seen through a special microscope, said creator Stefan Trellenkamp, whose country is hosting the 2006 World Cup.
A field on which the US stands an actual chance of winning the World Cup...

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

World Cup Update

When passion meets efficiency, you expect a difficult game to watch, with spurts of excitement followed by stretches of workingman like precision.

Italy beat Germany 2-0 in the final minute of extra time in a game that saw passion overcome efficiency, extreme heat and humidity and the home field advantage. Ironically, Italy, the team that had played wth passion all game, relied in the end on efficiency, scoring two perfectly-placed goals, the first off a set piece by Fabio Grosso, who curled a pass from Andrea Pirlo just past a diving Jens Lehmann. The second goal came on an 80 yard passing play that culminated in Alessandro Del Piero slamming a perfect shot just under the crossbar for the killer.

tags technorati :

Attention FReepers!

Why be like the brown people of this country, and go and fight the war? Why be like the poor shnooks living in Pennsyltucky who signed up for the college bonuses? You can fight the war, from the comfort of your keyboard!

We Hold THESE Truths To Be Self-Evident...

...because without this, the Constitution makes no sense.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." Says a lot to what's going on in this country today, don't you think?

Reading this document on the Fourth always put a thrill up my spine, but lately, as I read the bill of charges against King George, I get more and more disturbed and saddened. Liberals have a responsibility, and that is to take this country back from the felons and thugs of the right wing, by force if necessary.

The United States was born in the forge of democracy, a firey hot furnace of passion and conviction. We on the left MUST, for the sake of our children and their children and their children's children, reignite that fire and reform America for the 21st century.

For too long, we've let the right speak for the nation. No longer can we allow that, while assuming "our time will come." That time is now, and we must take it. They are greedy and will not yield power readily. The 2000 and 2004 elections proved that.

The Founders pledged, as it says above, "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." We must ask no less of ourselves now. The Revolution is not over. We must fight the good fight against tyranny here. We're all in this together, and we all have to do our part. Those who can do more, shall and should, but all must fight the fight.

America has enormous challenges facing it, and nearly every time this country has faced challenges, it has turned to Democrats. And Democrats have solved them. The one exception? The Civil War. And Lincoln would be a "tax and spend liberal" today, for his support of income, capital gains and estate taxes .

We are faced with a huge fiscal crisis thanks to the bungling by the Bush administration of the Clinton legacy of "peace and unparalleled prosperity". Clinton may have been called "Bubba," but Bush has acted like one. Our economy is staggering along under the weight of the enormous deficit we owe China and Japan and the Saudis, and shows no glimmer of hope for vast improvement anytime soon. We are engaged in a great civil war, pitting the culture of progress against the culture of rootedness. Both cultures can contribute to America's future, but not with the slanderous cynicism of the Rovian wing of the Republican party. We must eliminate that.

We have the challenge of occupying two nations while baiting two others to war with us, as we stretch our underfunded and underequipped military beyond its limits. Lastly, our reputation around the world as a model of democracy and rule-by-law has been shattered and there is little we can salvage to make our word our bond once again.

It is up to us, liberals and Democrats, to take on these challenges, to make America a place we can be proud of again, and not proud in a "wave the flag" way, but proud to step up to the customs counter in any country, and declare "I am an American," and not have to check to see how the agent reacts. Hell, I can't even do that at JFK now!

We on the left and in the center must make a clear articulation of these challenges, but more, what we intend to do about them. And this is not something we should be leaving up to the pollsters and consultants and the "powers that be," but we, the people, should be speaking to our representatives and our Congresscritters and Senators, daily if necessary, to ensure that our voices are heard and that we are taken seriously.

America is strong, but it's strength is being used improperly by those who would not "ask not what your country can do for you," but would "ask more." This selfishness must stop and it must stop now. There is far too much at stake: a weakened economy, a weakened military, and a weakened people is a recipe for invasion and overthrow. Just ask Saddam Hussein.

And this also means we have to start reaching out across the aisle. A house divided cannot stand, a great man once said, and the foundation is showing cracks once more. We can fix them, but we cannot fix them alone. We cannot, however, abdicate the credit for fixing it to a party that has shown time and time again it will take credit for anything, and lay blame for everything.

Above all, Democrats must stand for big ideas, for the future and for our children. Security, yes, but progress, because America didn't become a superpower by imitating Britain or France or Germany (although lately...). We became a great nation because we dreamed of things that weren't and said "why not?" The world will move on, with or without us. We ought to be there, leading the way to freedom, to democracy and to the future.

This will all take a lot of work, but the most powerful phrase in the Bible is (Acts 18:9) "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace." Many hands lighten the heaviest load.

So tell your friends.

God bless you, my readers (and if you're atheist or agnostic, HIGH FIVE!), and God bless America.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Gee...I Wonder Why....

Bloomberg has this story posted on June 30. I can't imagine why the Administration Bloomberg News would leak publish this story in the wee hours ahead of the July Fourth holiday, can you?
Spy Agency Sought U.S. Call Records Before 9/11, Lawyers Say

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.

The allegation is part of a court filing adding AT&T, the nation's largest telephone company, as a defendant in a breach of privacy case filed earlier this month on behalf of Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. customers. The suit alleges that the three carriers, the NSA and President George W. Bush violated the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the U.S. Constitution, and seeks money damages.

``The Bush Administration asserted this became necessary after 9/11,'' plaintiff's lawyer Carl Mayer said in a telephone interview. ``This undermines that assertion.''

The lawsuit is related to an alleged NSA program to record and store data on calls placed by subscribers. More than 30 suits have been filed over claims that the carriers, the three biggest U.S. telephone companies, violated the privacy rights of their customers by cooperating with the NSA in an effort to track alleged terrorists.
The story?
The NSA initiative, code-named ``Pioneer Groundbreaker,'' asked AT&T unit AT&T Solutions to build exclusively for NSA use a network operations center which duplicated AT&T's Bedminster, New Jersey facility, the court papers claimed. That plan was abandoned in favor of the NSA acquiring the monitoring technology itself, plaintiffs' lawyers Bruce Afran said.

The NSA says on its Web site that in June 2000, the agency was seeking bids for a project to ``modernize and improve its information technology infrastructure.'' The plan, which included the privatization of its ``non-mission related'' systems support, was said to be part of Project Groundbreaker.
Stay tuned for how this one turns out. This could be the final nail in the coffin for Bush, and the GOP in 2008.

(hat tip to Habanero at dKos)

UPDATE: Duncanidho, in comments, points out this article from April 12, 1999, in which the NSA had already announced plans for Project Groundbreaker. This is more than a year ahead of the June 2000 announcement on its website, as mentioned above.

You Wonder Why It Took Them So Long

Editor defends Times story

July 3, 2006

Published reports that the United States was monitoring international banking transactions were not news to the terrorists who were its target because the Bush administration had already "talked openly" about the effort, The New York Times' top editor said yesterday.

In defending his paper's decision to reveal details of the program, executive editor Bill Keller told an interviewer on CBS's "Face the Nation" that such operations are important to an informed public.
And no less an old Republican war horse than William Safire had this to say on Meet The Press in defense of his long-time employer, The New York Times:
Look, I don’t speak for the Times. I’ve been in the Times for 30 years disagreeing with Times editorial policy right down the line. On this one, I think they did the right thing. Here we are on Independence Day weekend, 230 years ago, celebrating what was the resistance to a king who said “We’re going to hang you for treason.” And here we have a Long Island congressman, happens to be named King, who’s saying “treason” and “put these reporters in jail.” I think there’s a big fundamental thing going on here now, and across the board, of “get the press, get the media.” And, look, I used to write speeches for Spiro Agnew, I’m hip to this stuff, and, and I can say that it gives you a blip, it gives you a chance to get on the offensive against the, the darned media. But in the long view of history, it’s a big mistake.[....]

Let me respond to what Bill, to the point he’s making, that who elected the media to determine what should be secret and what should not? And the answer to that is, the founding fathers did. They came up with this Bill of Rights beyond which the constitutional convention would not move unless there were a First Amendment to challenge the government, just as the American founding fathers challenged the British government. Now it’s not treasonable, it’s not even wrong for the press to say we’re going to find out what we can and we’ll act as a check and balance on the government. Sometimes we’ll make mistakes. Sometimes the government will mistake.
Now, they don't come more conservative than William Safire, who at least keeps in the back of his mind that this nation was founded on laws and on laws the future of this nation rests, not on people and certainly not on contravening those laws, however artfully or even brashly.

Courageous treasons, such as publishing the name and address of a Times' photographer by some moron on the right are not doing the country any good, especially when all she did was take pictures of a place that's already in the public domain.

The right, frustrated and beliigerent, has ramped up the bellicosity of their insanities. We on the left, instead of being cowed, should be standing up for those institutions that draw the ire of these brownshirted rabble-rousers, so long as they've earned that protection, which I believe a free press has, with some exceptions (notably Fox news, which has made its own bed and will eventually sleep in it.) And the publisher of the Times shouldn't have waited even a full day before making his vigourous defense of his paper and our freedom.

That this ire is coming ahead of an election cycle where the entire conservative philosophy will be not just rebuked but repudiated, is no surprise to me. They got "lucky" in 2004, manipulating the electorate by hook and by crook (literally banning people from voting for simply having been convicted for felonies at some point in the distant past.) This time around, not only does the Emperor have no clothes, but the little man behind the curtain ran out of quarters for his "smoke and mirrors" machine.

It is fitting that, on this July 4 weekend, a Constitutional issue should dominate much of the political news. 230 years ago, our fathers and mother brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (see that Revolt? ALL, not just rich white landowning men, the way you'd like it to be).

For now, again, we are engaged in a great civil dispute, North against South, West against East, for the very soul of our country. The Southernification of the United States must stop and we must move forward to the destiny that Fate holds for our country: to lead the world by example, not by cudgel.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


That's twice in the past week that a right wing site has linked to me.

I won't mention names, but the site that does their blogging in fluffy bunny slippers linked to my post about the judge sparing Lewis the vicious cat that....HORRORS!...stalks neighbors and was to be put down.

And now yesterday, apparently, some site which hawks giving away this nation's form of government (memo to FReeperville...take a lesson from your overlords and make a profit when you try to sell something,) read my post about a counterprotest for July 10.

Lordy, lordy, lordy, Armageddon is coming fast! The right wing won't know what hit them...You'd think they'd have read the file they opened on me when I was kicking their asses all over cyberspace on Al Franken's blog!

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