Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Descriptive Word for Blow Hards

I've been seeing this word all over the blogosphere, and while I got the gist, I was curious about its official definition.
From Merriam Webster Online:
Main Entry: blo·vi·ate
Pronunciation: 'blO-vE-"At
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -at·ed; -at·ing
Etymology: perhaps irregular from 1blow
: to speak or write verbosely and windily
- blo·vi·a·tion /"blO-vE-'A-sh&n/ noun

Chicken Hawks are Chicken Sh*t

Great blog posting about our war mongers.

And here's a great blog posting about the blog posting.

A bad month for American soldiers

The latest body count from MSNBC:
The death toll for American troops in Iraq rose in May to the highest level since January, with the U.S. military saying Tuesday that insurgents have doubled their number of daily attacks since April.

This latest spree of violence by insurgents, who rose up after the American-led invasion in 2003 toppled President Saddam Hussein, put a dramatic end to a period when attacks on U.S. forces had waned after the historic Jan. 30 elections.

At least 77 U.S. troops were killed in May, according to a count of deaths announced by the military. That is the highest toll since 107 Americans were killed in January. It marked the second straight monthly increase since 36 U.S. troops died in March, among the lowest tolls of the war.

FINALLY! Now...what about Jack the Ripper?

Washington Post Confirms Felt Was 'Deep Throat':
Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee Reveal Former FBI Official as Secret Watergate Source
The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was "Deep Throat," the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon.

The confirmation came from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former top editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee. The three spoke after Felt's family and Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source who provided crucial guidance for some of the newspaper's groundbreaking Watergate stories.

Monday, May 30, 2005

There, but for the grace of God

I am so fortunate that my child is a girl. I am so fortunate we are not so poor that we see the military as a way out of our circumstances. I am so fortunate that my husband and my daughter have not been sucked into the "passionate" rhetoric of this administration and its minions. I am so fortunate that I got to wish my daughter a happy birthday in person:
Dear Friends,

26 years ago today, Casey was 6 hours and 49 minutes old. What a joyful day that day was. The birth of our firstborn. He was so wanted and his birth was so highly anticipated. A true bundle of joy.

One year, one month, and 25 days ago (almost to the minute) George Bush and his Crime Cabal killed Casey in Sadr City. One of them, perhaps Condi, Rummy, Bremer, or Cheney, might as well have pulled the trigger that blew off the back of Casey's sweet head.

Hey folks, on this Memorial Day we should not forget the soldiers, but we must also keep in our thoughts those who will never get to be with their children again.

Just re-reading Orwell's 1984

I added a lengthy post on my blog regarding my opinions on what I read. Check it out at my blog

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A Crystal Clear Vision of the Republican Dream

For those group-think Republicans reading this article, don't get excited at the prospect of signing on a new recruit...it's called sarcasm and irony!
After a lifetime voting for and working for Democratic candidates and independents, I'm finally going to make the switch and become a Republican.

The reasons are many, not the least of which is age. I turned 55 recently and, having lived more than half my life, I can't afford to worry anymore about the other guy. It's time for me.

As a Republican, I can now proudly -- indeed, defiantly -- pledge to never again vote for anyone who raises taxes for any reason. To hell with roads, bridges, schools, police and fire protection, Medicare, Social Security and regulation of the airwaves.

President Bush has promised to give me more tax cuts even though our federal government owes trillions of dollars to its creditors. But that's someone else's problem, not mine. Republicans are about the here and now, and I'm here now.

A Memorial Day Tribute by Nightline and Doonesbury

I hope this tradition doesn't have to go on for too many more years.

To all the soldiers who have died in this horrible, unjust war....may you rest in peace.
"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau again listed American war dead in his Sunday comic this Memorial Day weekend.

The strip is titled "Operation Iraqi Freedom -- In Memoriam -- Since 4/28/04-- Part 1." Included are the names of hundreds of soldiers. So many, in fact, that the listing will continue next week in "Doonesbury."

The names fill six panels. The first two panels carry a soldier playing taps and a line of soldiers saluting.

Ted Koppel will read the names, an dshow photos, of 900 American dead on a 45-minute telecast of "Nightline" on Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

History Repeating Itself

I'm sitting here crying as I type this. Thirty-five years later this story is just as poignant:
Roger and Luella McInerny went to the cemetery at Fort Snelling on Thursday for an early Memorial Day get-together with family members: Parents, in-laws and their first-born child:

Roger Jr. Forever 19.

"I wonder what kind of a man he would be," says Luella. "Paul, his brother (a police officer in California), is just a year younger than Rog. So I look at Paul and I wonder if Rog would have looked like him. I always wonder. It's just always there."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Howard the Cool Cat says he's proud of his fellow cool cat, Rep. John Conyers! Conyers is once more fighting the good fight by demanding the president respond to the charges that he trumped up evidence to send America to war.

...and Howard wants us all to take part in history by signing the letter on Afterdowningstreet.org

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Two GOOD Stories to Pass Along

Remember Freedom Fries? Two plus years ago, the Republican propaganda machine ginned up American nationalism to convince us to send our boys and girls to die in Iraq. The cynical process was bizarre on so many levels, but one of its strangest aspects was manifested in this little episode. A North Carolina Congressman got the House of Representatives cafeterias to change their menus, turning French Fries and French Toast into Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast.
It was an intentional slap in the face of the French, who refused to be bullied into supporting the invasion of Iraq. How dare those funny-talking French have their own opinion! So a pair of US Congressmen indulged in bald-faced jingoism in order to fan the coals of the efforts to convince Americans to allow invasion.
It was a really really dumb American episode, at which the world laughed uncomfortably. Who could be comfortable as the world's biggest power prepared to invade a country which hadn't so much as issued a threat to harm America?
Ah, but here's the good news: that North Carolina Congressman now doesn't support the war. He obviously feels a little foolish about his footnote in history, and now distances himself from the I Hate The French movement. I love it when people finally come around!
Remember this: it's never too late to do the right thing.
Speaking of coming around, maybe just maybe Fox News viewers are starting to wise up just a little bit. And since the best way to wise up is to stop watching, you should be encouraged to know that that's exactly what they're beginning to do.
This article details how their ratings in the key demographic--the people their advertisers want to watch Fox News--have been dwindling for the past six months.
"April '05 marks "the sixth consecutive month where FNC declined versus prior month in M-F, primetime P25-54 (every month since Nov '04),""
Since the more you watch Fox the less informed you really are, this can only be good for liberals, Democrats, and truth, and bad for Republicans, the Right wing, and our esteemed President.So as you look around the bleak political landscape and wonder at the future of our country, note this: there are measurements which suggest that all is far from well for the powers of ignorance. These folks are getting tired of their own bull, and it's not a moment too soon!

Operation Truth: what our soldiers need and more

This weekend is a holiday weekend...Memorial Day. Take some time out to honor those who have served and those who still serve in the military.

Here are some of the key issues facing our soldiers. Operation Truth will continuously adapt to changing circumstances and focus on the Troops' most pressing needs.

Honoring the Fallen
Soldiers who have given their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom deserve a public memorial. Unfortunately, their sacrifices have often been hidden from public view.

National Guard and Reservists
For decades, Reservists and National Guardsmen have been treated as second-class citizens within the military. Reservists and National Guardsmen should be equipped and trained on par with their active duty counterparts.


"Hmm...Maybe I was a little hasty"

Freedom Fry Guy regrets his rash behavior:
It was a culinary rebuke that echoed around the world, heightening the sense of tension between Washington and Paris in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. But now the US politician who led the campaign to change the name of french fries to "freedom fries" has turned against the war.

Walter Jones, the Republican congressman for North Carolina who was also the brains behind french toast becoming freedom toast in Capitol Hill restaurants, told a local newspaper the US went to war "with no justification".

Are viewers getting wise to the Fox?

This is old news, but it bears repeating!!!
Here's something you won't hear on Fox News -- ratings for the cable news channel have been plummeting since before the November election.

According to TV Newser, the number of people watching Fox during prime time in the 25 to 54 age bracket dropped in April for the sixth straight month.

Can't Really Wrap My Head Around This Yet!

Bolton is gonna have to wait!
Democrats forced the Senate to put off a final vote Thursday on John R. Bolton's nomination to be U.N. ambassador, the latest setback for the tough-talking nominee President Bush has called strong medicine for corruption and inefficiency at the United Nations.

Democrats contended the White House had stiff-armed the Senate over classified information on Bolton's tenure in his current job as the State Department's arms control chief, and demanded more information before the Senate can give Bolton an up-or-down vote.

Republicans needed 60 votes to end the Democrats' procedural delays and move to an immediate final vote on Bolton's confirmation. But the vote to halt the stalling was 56-42, four shy of that threshold. The final Bolton vote will not take place until at least June, after the Senate returns from a Memorial Day recess.

McMoon Face vs. McMoon Face

These yahoos just don't get it that their words are being recorded!

This is from Monday:
Q: One other question. Karzai was quite definite in saying that he didn’t believe that the violence in Afghanistan was directly tied to the Newsweek article about Koran desecration. Yet, from this podium, you have made that link. So --

McCLELLAN: Actually, I don’t think you’re actually characterizing what was said accurately.

Q: By whom?

McCLELLAN: As I said last week, and as President Karzai said today, and as General Myers had said previously, the protest may well have been pre-staged. The discredited report was damaging. It was used to incite violence. But those who espouse an ideology of hatred and oppression and murder don’t need an excuse to incite violence. But the reports from the region showed how this story was used to incite violence.

Q: But Karzai seemed to think that that wasn’t what led to the violence, that it was --

McCLELLAN: That’s right, he actually -- he talked about -- President Karzai spoke about how the demonstrations were aimed at undercutting the progress being made toward democracy in Afghanistan, and the progress on elections. They have elections coming up soon. And I spoke about that, as well, last week.

Q: So could it be said that the Newsweek article played a role, but was not --

McCLELLAN: John, I think we’ve made our views known when it comes to the discredited report. There are some that want to continue to defend what is a discredited report that has been disavowed by Newsweek, and that’s their business. We’re perfectly willing to trust the American people to make their own judgment about it.

Q: Who’s doing that, exactly?

McCLELLAN: I’m sorry?

Q: Who wants to defend it?

McCLELLAN: Well, you can see in the media coverage, there are some that want to continue to do that.

The "Old Arab" vs. Puffy McMoon Face

I found this delightful exchange between my personal hero, Helen Thomas, and White House spokesman, Puffy McMoon Face, on the Drudge Report:

Helen Thomas Rides White House Press Sec: 'Were we invited into Iraq?'
Wed May 25 2005 17:16:06 ET

Wire Queen Helen Thomas today ripped into White House spokesman Scott McClellan over his claims the United States is in Afghanistan and Iraq -- by invitation.

Joined in progess...

Q The other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the United States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are -- that's where we currently --

Q -- in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically-elected governments in Iraq and --

Q Were we invited into Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: There are two democratically-elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, and we are there today --

Q You mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments --

Q I'm talking about today, too.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.

Q Did we invade those countries?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.

P.S. The term "Puffy McMoon Face" is from The Stephanie Miller Show.

P.P.S. The hideous term "Old Arab" is from everybody's favorite snide b**ch, Ann Coulter.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Repubs have rooted out another "traitor"

Here's one of our illustrious congressmen distracting us from real issues:
Rep. Spencer Bachus (news, bio, voting record), R-Ala., takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.

"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."

Army Reserve Pfc. England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."

Here is Maher's response:
I could go on and on, but this is too ridiculous, so I'll just say this: I'm not a congressman, I'm a comedian. There's nothing I can really do to help or hurt our troops (although anyone who's watched my shows or read my books in the last twelve years knows I'm a pretty ardent supporter of the military).

But a congressman, there's someone who can actually DO SOMETHING to help our troops. In fact, a case could be made that it's a lot more treasonous for someone in his position to be wasting his time yelling at a comedian. Shouldn't he be training his outrage at such problems as troops not having enough armor? Wouldn't that ACTUALLY support our troops more? And citizens of this country who claim to support our troops should write this man and tell him GET BACK TO WORK! DO SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOLDIERS IN IRAQ!

Monday, May 23, 2005

How do you qualify for Medicaid in Texas?

If you are a single mother, and earn $400 per month, and are over the age of 21 you do not qualify for Medicaid, even if your children do. BUT you can qualify for Carelink through University Hospital, for a monthly charge.
Pardon me, but if you only make $400 per month, how in the heck do you afford to pay a monthly fee for healthcare?

What a state and country we live in. Bush is a big supporter of life...but what life is that, a potential fetus only? What garbage is that?

Source: my daughter, single mother of 2.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

No More Fantastic Future

It suddenly occurred to me tonight as I was watching a futuristic commercial for sunglasses, that those visions of cool gadgets and modern cars and buildings are rapidly fading from our imaginations. Can you really see this administration doing anything futuristic? We're going back to the Dark Ages faster than you can say Judy Jetson! It made me sad as I realized that I'll never get to drive a flying car that drops me off at my 100th-story apartment. Thanks a lot, you right-wing wackos! You're finally transforming science into just science fiction!

Spotlight on Dean

It's a lovely Sunday morning, and I just finished watching Howard Dean on "Meet the Press." I thought Dean held up very well under the questioning by Tim Russert, but it bothered me that Russert brought up every negative thing ever said about Dean and asked, "So what do you have to say for yourself?" In other words, Dean spent most of his time defending himself instead of being able to spell out Democratic plans and strategies! Does he do this with Republicans as well? I don't watch his show often enough to get a real sense of that.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I know we're supposed to support them, but.....

I'm listening to The Mike Malloy Show. He's reading the results of the investigation into the deaths of two Afghan detainees in the custody of American soldiers. It's making my stomach turn, and I feel shame and disgust that humans are capable of treating others like that, but it's even worse knowing they're our fellow countrymen. I understand we were crazed with anger and fear after 9/11, but these detainees were apparently completely innocent!

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Webster the Liberal Lab asked us to post the definition of "liberal," which can be found in the dictionary he co-wrote with some guy named Merriam:

a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED (a liberal giver) b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way (a liberal meal) c : AMPLE, FULL

BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms

Repeat after me...and Webster: it's good to be liberal. We're generous and open-minded. Not a bad way to live life!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

How many Christian does it take to change a light bulb?

Charismatic: Only 1 - Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal: 10 - One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the
spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None - Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: None - Candles only. (of guaranteed origin of course.)

Baptists: At least 15 - One to change the light bulb, and three committees
to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried

Episcopalians: 3 - One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and
one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons: 5 - One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how
to do it.

Unitarians: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or
against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you
have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or
compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in
which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including
incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are
equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely
out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb.
Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered
dish to pass.

Nazarene: 6 - One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church
lighting policy.

Lutherans: None - Lutherans don't believe in change.

Amish: What's a light bulb?

Galloway wasn't even really in Washington that day!

Now this is really creepy! Thanks DailyKos for pointing out the rapidly disappearing Galloway testimony. As you can see, all the others have a link to their transcripts. Reminder: THIS IS A GOVERNMENT SITE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Do they really think it will disappear from our eyes and our minds? I repeat...this is creepy.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, visit Michael Moore's website to view the video of British MP George Galloway's testimony in the Oil For Food hearings.

The Irony of the Day

This article is from two months ago. Check out Santorum's remarks!
A pair of Jewish groups Wednesday accused U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., of making an outrageous and reprehensible comparison between Adolf Hitler's Nazis and a Senate GOP plan to block Democrats from filibustering. And U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn Hills, has called for Byrd to retract his remarks.
Byrd spokesman Tom Gavin denied that the senator had compared Republicans to Hitler. He said the reference to Nazis in Byrd's Senate speech Tuesday was meant to underscore that the past should not be ignored.

Galloway good----Santorum stupid!

The newest sex symbol is British MP George Galloway yelling at Sen. Norm Coleman with a Scottish accent. This guy is a dopey, inarticulate fool trying to sound intense, eloquent and outraged. Sadly (actually, quite humorously) he comes off looking like a big idiot!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Thinkers Anonymous

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home.

One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.

She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job.

I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka.

I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss.

"Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche.

I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors...

They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line.

It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting.

At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today, I registered to vote as a Republican...

The Brits' perspective of Galloway's performance

[Photo Caption]George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, testifies at the Senate subcommittee for homeland security and governmental affairs in Washington. Photograph: Dennis Cook/AP

I didn't really know about this particular drama being played out on Capitol Hill yesterday, but everything I've heard since then indicates that British MP George Galloway kicked some congressional bootie! He actually said what our media should have been saying all along. Whenever we think there's nothing positive to look forward to, something like this happens and it gives us all hope and optimism.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Putting It All Into Perspective

Think about it--
A car company can move its factories to
Mexico and claim it's a free market.

A toy company can out source to a Chinese
subcontractor and claim it's a free market.

A major bank can incorporate in Bermuda
to avoid taxes and claim it's a free market.

We can buy HP Printers made in Mexico.

We can buy shirts made in Bangladesh.

We can purchase almost anything we want
from 20 different countries

BUT, heaven help the elderly who dare
to buy their prescription drugs from a
Canadian pharmacy.

That's called un-American!
And you think the pharmaceutical companies
don't have a powerful lobby?
Think again!
Please share this with every person you
know over age 50.
It is an interesting point of view.
Maybe this is an issue that should come up
in the next election!
Forget the 50, share it with everyone!
We're all in this boat together.

The Loyal 500 Fundraising Drive

Already almost 50 people have decided to become members of our Loyal 500 group to support the Kendall County Democratic Party. Their contributions amount to almost $1000.00. This is a good start, but we need more to join our group of Loyal 500 supporters. Our goal is to form a group of at least 500 Democrats who will give the Kendall County Democratic Party $10 each year.

If you have not sent in your contribution yet, please consider our invitation to become one of the Loyal 500. If you are like our household you are being inundated with requests for financial help from Democrats throughout the country. Many of these are for worthy causes and candidates and I urge you to give what you can. But please do not forget your local Kendall County Democratic Party. We are the ones who are paying for election headquarters and trying to expand the Democratic base here in Kendall County. If you would like to see the Democratic Party continue to make progress here please give us your support. Neither the national, the state party, or any of these other groups are going to spend a dime to help us here.

If somehow we slipped up and you did not receive our invitation to become one of the Loyal 500, please let me know and I will send you an invitation right away.

District 25 Meeting This Saturday
All of the county chairs in the 25th Senatorial District will meet in Austin this Saturday to discuss how we can improve cooperation between our counties. If you have any suggestions on topics you would like to see discussed, please let our County Chairman know.

Conyers is King!

Congressman Conyers has put in more more eloquent terms my feelings exactly! Once again he takes the White House to task for their complete lack of regard for the truth, or for that matter, sanity!
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) has issued a sharply worded letter to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan over the Administration's response to a Newsweek article, RAW STORY has learned.

Conyers raps the Administration for the demand that Newsweek retract their report, saying it "smacks of political exploitation of the deaths of innocent and a shameless attempt to intimidate reporters from critically investigating your Administration's actions."

He also says he finds it ironic that the Bush Administration is calling Newsweek to task for any loss of life based on reporting.

There is, Conyers said, "a sad irony in this White House claiming that someone else's errors or misjudgments led to the loss of innocent lives. Over 1,600 Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives in the Iraq war, a war which your Administration justified by falsely claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."

Be sure to read his sharply worded letter at the end of the article.

A Glimmer of a Free Press?

Atrios posted this link to what he thinks may be a place where the journalists actually work hard on their stories. Now that's a concept! I went there and it seems to be legit. Give it a shot.

A Coordinated Campaign of Repression?

I'm starting to believe that the strategies were discussed years ago and all the soldiers for Bush have been put in place to systematically destroy any vestige of freedom of speech.
My heart cries in sadness at this state of affairs.
WASHINGTON, May 15 - Executives at National Public Radio are increasingly at odds with the Bush appointees who lead the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

In one of several points of conflict in recent months, the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which allocates federal funds for public radio and television, is considering a plan to monitor Middle East coverage on NPR news programs for evidence of bias, a corporation spokesman said on Friday.

The corporation's board has told its staff that it should consider redirecting money away from national newscasts and toward music programs produced by NPR stations."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Bill Moyers fights back against Tomlinson

I watched Bill Moyers tonight on C-span, and his speech was marvelous as usual. His eloquence and personal ethics are awe inspiring. He totally disagrees with the misuse of the purpose of public TV and radio as instruments of the Bush agenda, and spoke out eloquently on the subject.

"I should put my detractors on notice," declared the veteran journalist who stepped down in January as the host of PBS's NOW With Bill Moyers, who recently turned 70. "They might compel me out of the rocking chair and into the anchor chair."
Moyers closed the National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis on Sunday with his first public response to the revelation that White House allies on the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have secretly been holding PBS in general -- and his show in particular -- to a partisan litmus test.

"I simply never imagined that any CPB chairman, Democrat or Republican, would cross the line from resisting White House pressure to carrying it out for the White House. And that's what (CPB chair) Kenneth Tomlinson has been doing."
read more

Virtual March on Washington to stop global warming

follow this link
Global warming is reality, not a joke like "intelligent design."

Her legacy lives on in those whose lives she touched

Although she was born in Foo Chow China, she wasn't Chinese. Although she had all the benefits of an upper middle class life, most of it was spent working to benefit those who had less. Though she had a passionate liberal streak a mile wide, she was one of the most respectful people I've ever known, even to those without the benefit of her liberal perspective.

I didn't meet her 'til she was 76 years old, but the day I met her she was out cross-country skiing. She was a textbook example of how to live life, then how to greet death. She found out last Thursday that she was going to die, then on Saturday she passed on. At home. In bed. If you've gotta go, but there aren't that many more better ways to say adieu than that.

She was former Vermont State Senator Jean Ankeney. Jean was an old school liberal, and if you don't know what that means, let me illustrate. When she lived in Cleveland as the wife of a surgeon, she started a library in a very rough, decidedly un-white neighborhood. Active in family planning, once she moved to Vermont she established the first Planned Parenthood outlet there. Jean thought life should, if at all possible, make sense. Things like libraries and Planned Parenthood are great dispensers of sense.

In 1992 the leader of the Democratic Party in Chittenden County came to her and asked her to run for the state senate. She didn't really want to, but she figured if this young man could raise kids, complete his residency at the local hospital to become a doctor, all while being a lieutenant Governor at the same time, maybe she could give that Senate seat a run. So she told Howard Dean that she'd do it. And did. And won re-election four more times.

She and the soon-to-be Governor Dean went head-to-head a lot, though. His inflexibility on balancing the budget conflicted often with her primary focus: early childhood development and education issues. Governments often find spending wherein there's not a statue or a building to put a plaque on the most expendible, when something's got to go. But she and Dean came together more often than not, and remained friends to the end.

There are many kinds of great people in this world. Some demand attention and adulation, which powers their efforts. But some of the great ones just go about their work quietly, their determination to make this world a better place quiet, but resolute. Jean made no more noise than she had to, but her efforts were felt in large and small ways. Vermont without her would have still been a wonderful place, but less so.

I thank the powers that be that Jean's and my paths crossed. I think she made me a better person without my even knowing it.

Dr. Hager, FDA advisor and wife rapist, blocked Plan B

After reading this it just added to my outrage. Again right wing religious zealots, (who are obviously saddled with sexual problems due to the repressive views of their religous beliefs) reveal the ugliness that lies beneath their hypocritcal Christian exteriors:

"In a special investigation published by The Nation, reporter Ayelish McGarvey profiles FDA adviser Dr. W. David Hager, who played an instrumental role in blocking the availability of the "Plan B" morning-after pill for moral reasons, and who is accused of sexually abusing his former wife link

Hager is a prominent, socially conservative Ob-Gyn and a Bush Administration appointee to the FDA's Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health Drugs. The article reveals that Hager wielded crucial influence behind the scenes of the FDA's highly controversial 2004 decision to prohibit the sale of Plan B over the counter. According to Hager, he authored a "minority opinion" that was read by the FDA commissioner and used in the ruling against Plan B."

From the Feminist Majority Foundation: "Shocking news! We have just learned that Dr. W. David Hager, an evangelical doctor who prescribes prayer for PMS, may have had undue influence over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision on over-the-counter status for the emergency contraceptive Plan B."

Take Action Today!

The FDA has been playing politics with women’s lives and health for too long.

Click here to tell the FDA to immediately approve over-the-counter status for emergency contraception.

Just one other comment: Ladies would you go to an OB/GYN who did not know one hole from another? In interviews, he has professed ignorance as to which hole was which. Isn't that a bit scary?

A shining beacon of hope amongst the dopes

I really do enjoy Keith Olbermann when he tells it like it is! His commentary on this whole Newsweek fiasco is priceless:
I smell something - and it ain’t a copy of the Qu’ran sopping wet from being stuck in a toilet in Guantanamo Bay. It’s the ink drying on Scott McClellan’s resignation, and in an only partly imperfect world, it would be drifting out over Washington, and imminently.

Last Thursday, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Donald Rumsfeld’s go-to guy whenever the situation calls for the kind of gravitas the Secretary himself can’t supply, told reporters at the Pentagon that rioting in Afghanistan was related more to the on-going political reconciliation process there, than it was to a controversial note buried in the pages of Newsweek claiming that the government was investigating whether or not some nitwit interrogator at Gitmo really had desecrated a Muslim holy book.

Chimpy McFlightsuit Thinks He's Better?

From Joe Conason's column:

Having rather easily overthrown the weak, backward regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, he now seems to regard himself as superior to men who faced enemies possessing enormous military and industrial power. Having acted on entirely wrong information about Iraq, despite all the advanced technology at his disposal, he now second-guesses the decisions of leaders who had to rely on far less sophisticated intelligence sources.

White House Refutes Iraq Memo

Hmmm...whom to believe, whom to believe. Ok, I've thought about it, and quite frankly I have a hard time keeping from shooting my computer screen when I read such crap from the White House.
Claims in a recently uncovered British memo that intelligence was "being fixed" to support the Iraq war as early as mid-2002 are "flat out wrong," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Monday.

McClellan insisted the process leading up to the decision to go to war was "very public" -- and that the decision to invade in March 2003 was taken only after Iraq refused to comply with its "international obligations."

The death of news in America

I could just hang my head and weep over Newsweek's capitulation. As Randi Rhodes has said, "The news has been cancelled." When searching on Google news, I was horrified at how many people were screaming and yelling for Newsweek's and Isikoff's heads for this. Where is the outrage at the gross mendacity of this Bush administration, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths?
From Scotty McClellan:
"It's puzzling that while Newsweek now acknowledges that they got the facts wrong, they refused to retract the story," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "I think there's a certain journalistic standard that should be met and in this instance it was not."
"The report has had serious consequences," McClellan said. "People have lost their lives. The image of the United States abroad has been damaged."

Oh, the nerve of these people!

We Like Ike

"Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are...a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 11/8/54

Aaargh! Run Screaming from the Room!

This bit of speculation is enough to curdle my blood and the milk in the fridge!
A trial balloon for a Cheney for President run in 2008 is being launched by a surprising source, Washington Post star reporter (and White House insider) Bob Woodward.

Appearing on Chris Matthews' NBC talk show on Sunday, Woodward labeled Vice President Cheney “a serious dark horse candidate.” He said that with "a number of people" going for the GOP nomination, “a guy named George Bush might come out and say ‘What about Dick?’"

As we have seen, many of the American people seem to feel comforted having crooks(war profiteers) and buffoons running their government, so this possibility, unfortunately, is not that far out!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bill Moyers is back, baby!

Go to this blog and click on the link in the posting. You'll be glad you did!
One thing he said that drew thunderous applause was when he remarked on his detractors that are still criticizing him even though he's retired, that they might be motivating him to "get out of my rocking chair, and back into the anchor chair".

It's On the March!

We're definitely spreading something in the Middle East, but I'm just not sure it's freedom and democracy.

(Photo Caption)May 12, 2005, The biggest anti-US protests since the fall of the Taliban spread across Afghanistan sparked by alleged abuse of the Koran at the US jail in Guantanamo Bay.
(Photo: David Guttenfelder / AP)

Kabul, Afghanistan - Thousands of Muslims, from Gaza to Pakistan to Indonesia, emerged from prayer services on Friday to join Afghans in rapidly spreading protests over the reported desecration of a Koran by American interrogators at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

In Afghanistan, at least 8 people were killed and more than 40 injured in clashes, bringing the death toll over four days of anti-American rioting to at least 16, with more than 100 injured. For the first time a policeman was killed in the violence.

Awww, and It Was Such an Important Piece of Legislation!

I have to admit I think that the suggestive dancing by cheerleaders is a little unnerving to watch, but it's more unnerving to think of their moves being legislated by a bunch of dirty old men and repressed, pursed-mouth women on some state commission! This issue needs to stay within each school district, and needs to be governed by parents and school officials. Hey, Texas Legislators, be more worried about our students' education, and how to increase their intellectual curiosity! Now that's something I can shake my bootie about!
The House approved the legislation May 3 and sent it to the Senate Education Committee, where it is expected to die.

“We have some very important work to do in the next two weeks, and that’s not one of them,” Republican state Sen. Florence Shapiro, who chairs the education committee, said Friday.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

SEALs for the Savior!

In case you're not already terrified of where this country is headed, visit this blog to scream even louder!

The site they're referring to is called Force Ministries. One of their links is called skydiving/evangelism.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Tonight's "Real Time"

From the HBO site:

Catch Real Time's last edition before our hiatus - Friday, May 13 at 11 pm - when Bill welcomes former NBA star Charles Barkley, talk radio's Al Franken, reporter Liz Marlantes, writer Gore Vidal and Sen. Norm Coleman.

This week's Hot Topic - President Bush was on a trip this week to the former Soviet Union: Should this Administration be lecturing others on the purity of democracy?

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Speck the Progressive Pussycat says "I may be black and white, but that doesn't mean America's policies and philosophies can't be more nuanced!"

Fox News--Fair, Balanced, and Devoid of Democrats!

This is just a funny little tidbit that makes one roll one's eyes and say to oneself, "Yeah, Fox News, we can count on you to give us a laugh!"

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Silly but Satisfying Game

Test your hammering skills on Tom DeLay! It's great fun.

Not quite a miracle--but very close!

Wonder what will happen to Voinovich for showing some spine?
In a tense atmosphere, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee debated John Bolton's fitness to be United Nations ambassador on Thursday. A critical Republican senator, George Voinovich of Ohio, agreed to let the nomination go to the full Senate but he called the diplomat "arrogant" and "bullying."

"This administration can do better than that," Voinovich said in the first big battle of President Bush's second term

Voinovich said he could not vote for the nomination, but would agree to send it to the floor without a recommendation of approval or disapproval.

"We owe it to the president to give Mr. Bolton an up-or-down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate," Voinovich said.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

When the President Talks to God

Just found out about this song from VTexan tonight. It aired on the Tonight Show on May 2, and quite frankly I'm surprised that they aired it! It's deliciously angry and heartfelt.

This is truly, truly an oxymoron!

Go to this website to see how you can help the Son of Satan do the Lord's work!

Gag me with a Bush fish!

Can you say "Separation of Church and State?"

White House evacuation

Ok, I didn't sleep through all my Army training because I seem to remember that tactically it is not expedient to have large groups of people gather in one place. So what in the heck was the point of evacuating the White House and the Capitol...and having everyone stand around outside in large groups?
Think about it. Plane #1 goes over, the buildings are evacuated to the great outdoors, then plane #2 comes over and can hit the folks standing outside. The number of scenarios possible isn't difficult to figure out, all you have to do is to have watched some movies or read a novel or two.
Why not use the basements, tunnels and subway system as places to evacuate? Duh! And we trained these people on tax dollars?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Here's How to Thank a Vet--NOT!

Thanks, Wild Horse Annie, for bringing this story to our attention:
This Wednesday, May 11, the court-martial of Sgt. Kevin Benderman begins. Sgt. Benderman, who has served in the military for eight years including one tour of duty in Iraq, filed for conscientious objector status after seeing the reality of war in Iraq. He has been denied and now faces court-martial on two counts, desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous duty and missing movement by design. He could spend five years incarcerated if found guilty of the first charge and up to two years for the second.

Kevin Benderman's opposition to war – all war – is based on his experience in Iraq. As Rep. Cynthia McKinney said on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 28:

"Sgt. Benderman's opposition is not the theoretical if sincere opposition of a student peace activist. Kevin Benderman has seen things that none of God's children should have to endure. He was present when his superior ordered his unit to open fire on small children who were throwing rocks at the soldiers of his unit. He chased the hungry dogs from an open mass grave filled with the bodies of young children, old men, and women. Kevin saw the burned child, crying in pain, while all around her ignored her injuries."

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!

You gotta wonder if he has any clue what he did wrong. Many of his congregants sure don't!
A Baptist preacher accused of ousting nine congregants who refused to support President Bush resigned Tuesday.

"I am resigning with gratitude in my heart for all of you, particularly those of you who love me and my family," the Rev. Chan Chandler said during a meeting at East Waynesville Baptist Church.

Congregants of the 100-member church in western North Carolina have said Chandler endorsed Bush from the pulpit during last year's presidential campaign and said that anyone who planned to vote for Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry needed to "repent or resign."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy Mother's Day---yeah, right.

What a happy Mother's Day this poor woman celebrated. Read Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation below to feel the full impact of this story.
Rebecca McGee of Cary got a Mother's Day card on Monday from her son, Sgt. John McGee, who was stationed with his Alabama National Guard unit in Iraq.

The next day, the 72-year-old mother was getting ready for work when an Army chaplain arrived at her front door.

"I knew why he was there," McGee said. "I was stunned for words."

Sgt. John McGee, 36, was one of 23 soldiers who died in an explosion earlier this week while riding in a vehicle, said his mother. She did not know the cause of the blast.

"I really didn't cry," McGee said. "I said, 'Lord, have mercy' as I was walking around."

The TRUE Reason We Celebrate Mother's Day

I heard about this on the Laura Flanders Show last night and I couldn't resist! The words are a very powerful plea to refrain from sending our children to unnecessary war.

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Spiritual Progressives: A Dialogue on Values and Building a Movement

From George Lakoff's Rockridge Institute....

May 9th-May 20th, 2005 sign up here

"Religion and Politics
Religious fundamentalists have become a dominant voice in American politics—so much so that the word “religion” has become synonymous with the conservative political perspective. Because of this perception the progressive movement has been reluctant to embrace religion of any stripe, seeing it as counter to values such as compassion, freedom and trust.

Progressivism, in general, has not recognized the millions of Americans who possess a strong and vibrant faith that complements their progressive political views. The voices of these Americans have yet to be heard in significant numbers. The Spiritual Progressives conference is a step towards a remedy.

An Online Dialogue

On May 9th through the 20th, the Rockridge Institute, together with the People for the American Way Foundation, Tikkun, Christian Alliance for Progress, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Muslim Peace Fellowship and a coalition of religious organizations, will be hosting an online dialogue on religious values and progressive political debate. Also joining us in the conversation will be scholars and noted leaders in the religious and spiritual community. Progressives from all faiths and perspectives are invited to participate."

Vigilante Man

As a descendant of Irish immigrants (and of a Revolutionary War Veteran) and as a person who worked long and hard for civil rights in the 60's, this article spoke volumes to me. Our society seems to be excellent at singling out groups to discriminate against. Now immigrants (legal and illegal) and gays are in society's sights, and bear the brunt of persecution. At what point will we wake up and see our own faults? We, as a nation, seem to be able to point out the splinters in other country's eyes, but not the log in our own.

Vigilante Man
By Mike Davis

"The local people whipped themselves into a mold of cruelty. Then they formed units, squads, and armed them -- armed them with clubs, with gas, with guns. We own the country. We can't let these Okies get out of hand." -- John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

The vigilantes are back. In the 1850s, they lynched Irishmen; in the 1870s, they terrorized the Chinese; in the first decade of the twentieth century, they murdered striking Wobblies; in the 1920s, they organized "Bash a Jap" campaigns; and in the 1930s, they welcomed the Joads and other Dust Bowl refugees with tear gas and buckshot.

Vigilantes have always been to the American West what the Ku Klux Klan was to the South: vicious and cowardly bigotry organized into a self-righteous mob. Almost every decade, some sinister group of self-proclaimed patriots mobilizes to repel a new invasion from some subversive threat or other.

To read more

Kansas--The Anti-Reason State

Ron Reagan takes exception to the wacked out "educational" folk in Kansas!
The state of Kansas is poised to vacate the Age of Reason. If all goes according to brain-addled plan, the Kansas school board will soon vote to water down the state’s public school science curriculum, minimizing Darwinian evolution and giving credence to a half-baked, non-scientific notion variously called “creationism” or “intelligent design.”

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Boerne Election Results

From the Boerne Star:


Heath wins bid for 10th term, Heckler and Manning elected to City Council

The following are unofficial results from Saturday's city election in Boerne:


Patrick Heath: 517

David Helmke: 452


Dan Heckler: 593

Bob Manning: 588

R.L. Bien: 409

Thom Rickert: 248

Listen til your ears fall off!

Here's a cool compilation of progressive radio personalities and when their shows air.

Friday, May 06, 2005

What we're NOT seeing in the mainstream press

This has GOT to be more earth shattering than Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul and the runaway bride!
Eighty-eight members of Congress have signed a letter authored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) calling on President Bush to answer questions about a secret U.S.-UK agreement to attack Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

In a letter, Conyers and other members say they are disappointed the mainstream media has not touched the revelations.

"Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States was too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover a bombshell report out of the British newspapers," Conyers writes. "The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justifications for doing so."

Osama...gay guy...Osama...gay guy....hmmm.

You really gotta wonder who is most dangerous to this country...Osama bin Ladin, heathen Democrats, or the poor little gay guy who loves his country as much as the next fellow. This story just boggles the mind!
To the dismay of gay-rights activists, the Food and Drug Administration is about to implement new rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor.

The FDA has rejected calls to scrap the provision, insisting that gay men collectively pose a higher-than-average risk of carrying the AIDS virus. Critics accuse the FDA of stigmatizing all gay men rather than adopting a screening process that focuses on high-risk sexual behavior by any would-be donor, gay or straight.

"Under these rules, a heterosexual man who had unprotected sex with HIV-positive prostitutes would be OK as a donor one year later, but a gay man in a monogamous, safe-sex relationship is not OK unless he's been celibate for five years," said Leland Traiman, director of a clinic in Alameda, Calif., that seeks gay sperm donors.

What kind of psychedelic drugs are the people of this country taking!!!???

Amazon.com's most popular political book

God's Politics by Jim Wallis

Steven Waldman - The Washington Post
It's Wallis's critique of the secular left as well as the religious right that makes this such an important book. After toiling as an anti-poverty crusader and magazine editor for many years, Wallis hit his stride in the 2004 campaign by challenging the religious conservative monopoly on political God-talk. Now there is a debate over the nature and role of the religious left, and God's Politics is a seminal contribution to the timely discussion.

If you don't have a busy nightlife.....

From the HBO site:

10 pm Tonight

Tonight, Bill welcomes actor Michael McKean, former Canadian PM Kim Campbell and blogger Andrew Sullivan. Plus, via satellite former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright and Rep. Bernie Sanders.

Friday Night Critter Blogging

Mitzi the Dem Dog understands that as a good Democrat, she must help carry the smallest and the weakest of our country in order to make us a stronger nation.

A scary scary story that is a portent of things to come

Read this disgusting story that showed up yesterday!

Not GOP? You're Excommunicated!

Statement from Ralph G. Neas

Following the report that nine members of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in western North Carolina were excommunicated because they did not support President Bush in the election, Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way Foundation, had the following statement:

“What have we come to when the doors of a church are closed to longtime members because of their political beliefs? When a pastor equates political support for the ‘wrong’ candidate with a sin before God?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

A is for Auschwitz, a teen's documentary

This is well worth watching. The documentarian, Zach Smilovitz, has now turned all of 18 and is headed for the University of Michigan.

The documentary is called "A is for Auschwitz," and has been endorsed by Amnesty International and selected for several film festivals for the way it tells the story of what happened in the Holocaust.

watch the film

Facts were fixed regarding military action in Iraq

Greg Palast of BuzzFlash noted:
"Here it is. The smoking gun. The memo that has "IMPEACH HIM" written all over it.

The top-level government memo marked "SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL," dated eight months before Bush sent us into Iraq, following a closed meeting with the President, reads, "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Read that again: "The intelligence and facts were being fixed...."

Link here

DeLay ducking cameras

DeLay speaks out in anger, calling people like us "leftists." How dare he! Since when is ethical behavior a leftist value? I thought it was a Christian value, hmmm.

"There, away from the cameras, DeLay gave vent to his anger. Told that Democrats are seeking bipartisan support for new ethics rules, he laughed and said: "I bet they are. I'm not interested in the water that they're carrying for some of these leftist groups."

Asked about criticism of his ethics from an outside organization, he replied: "You really think a leftist group like that will have an impact on people that support me and support what I'm trying to accomplish here? Heh, heh, heh. I don't think so."

For the full story

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

We know something THEY don't know!

I don't usually do much in the way of putting my feelings to computer, but I had some thoughts on my way home today that I just needed to share! When I woke up on the morning of November 3 I was crushed, devastated, and overwhelmed with a sense of defeat. I thought the country had truly spoken and that they wanted George Bush as president. Here we are 6 months later, and I think to myself that I and my fellow Democrats are the ones who are right, good, and preparing to prevail! Doesn't it just warm the cockles to think about how we ARE NOT in the party of nut jobs who have buried their heads in the sand and are willing to let this president destroy everything we have fought for for the last 230 years. We are on the side of RIGHT! That thought alone will keep me fighting for what I know is good and decent.

Ok, I'm done. I just had to get that out, and with any luck, it will make others feel better about being Democrats! Yay for us!

Petition to save Public Broadcasting

I got this petition today. Please consider following this link to the petition, and sign it. Then send to friends.
My comments on the petition included the following: The reason I listen to public radio is because it is the only place that I can get in depth news and stories, not just sound bites....and that I am a member of my local radio station, thus putting my money where my mouth is.

A Truly Eloquent Voice Raised Against Intolerance

Yes, she's one of our own. Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson takes an impassioned stance against the Texas State Legislature's work on an anti-gay marriage bill.
I have been a member of this august body for three decades, and today is one of the all-time low points. We are going in the wrong direction, in the direction of hate and fear and discrimination. Members, we all know what this is about, this is the politics of divisiveness at its worst, a wedge issue that is meant to divide.

Members, this issue is a distraction from the real things we need to be working on. At the end of this session, this Legislature, this Leadership will not be able to deliver the people of Texas, fundamental and fair answers to the pressing issues of our day.

Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP, who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas' Third World access to health care. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bush struck by a Bolton of lightning

Wouldn't it be great if Bush actually, for once, supported people who deserved these powerful positions? Gee, what a concept!
President Bush, stunned when John R. Bolton's nomination for United Nations ambassador hit a Republican road bump, is working hard to avoid a political setback at the outset of his second term when senators hold a showdown vote next week.

Since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unexpectedly delayed a vote on Bolton's nomination last month, the White House has reiterated its support daily, worked to reassure wavering Republicans he's the right choice and ensured that Senate GOP leaders are on board.

The desperation is becoming obvious

This unethical practice was brought to the nation's attention this week:
It was late September when the 21-year-old man, fresh from a three-week commitment in a psychiatric ward, showed up at an Army recruiting station in southern Ohio. The two recruiters there wasted no time signing him up, and even after the man's parents told them he had bipolar disorder - a diagnosis that would disqualify him - he was all set to be shipped to boot camp, and perhaps Iraq after that, before senior officers found out and canceled the enlistment.

Despite an Army investigation, the recruiters were not punished and were still working in the area late last month.

Monday, May 02, 2005

The PUBLIC Broadcasting System

Could we play a little game here? Let's play like you've never heard of PBS, and I'm going to tell you some things about it. I really want you to try to discorporate from whatever suppositions you have about the network. Here's a 1-paragraph snapshot of its purpose:

PBS was created in 1967 "not to sell products," but to "enhance citizenship and public service." This vision was articulated by the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television, which proposed a system free of commercial constraints that would serve as "a forum for debate and controversy," providing a "voice for groups in the community that may otherwise go unheard" so that we could "see America whole, in all its diversity."

1. PBS was created to be free of commercial influence.
2. PBS was created to help Americans be better citizens.
3. PBS was created to be a forum for debate and controversy.
4. PBS was created to be a vehicle for the disenfranchised to be heard.

It's important to keep these things in mind because PBS is up to its eyeballs in criticism these days. In its attempts to be free of commercial influence, it's run donors and potential donors off because of programs which haven't pulled punches in their criticisms of those donors, or the industries they represent. People who give millions of dollars to have their names associated with PBS aren't fond of being criticized by same.

PBS lives up to its pledge to help make Americans better citizens by holding candidate forums and debates, both regionally and locally so that voters can become more acquainted with candidates' views. The Newshour with Jim Lehrer takes the time it takes to go into stories in depth. And there are dozens of other ways that PBS empowers viewers with information that will only enhance their understanding of our world.

#3 above is where PBS really gets into hot water. Its mission is to be a forum for debate and controversy has gone more unrealized than not. Though every few years some Republican or another gets so angry that tax dollars are going towards a network which doesn't cowtow towards him that he proposes de-funding PBS. As quickly as the politician proposes it viewers shout them down, and the de-funding attempt tends to rot on the vine. But now Republicans control the House, the Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court. If ever there were a time when it could happen, now's that time.

And then there's #4: Gays are disenfranchised. Don't believe it? What other subset of our culture has had the President propose a constitutional amendment to keep them from having the rights that the rest of us do? If they'd been black, hispanic, oriental, the President would have been shouted down as a bigot. But since it was gays Bush was talking about, he didn't get his way, but he got his objective: to enflame his bigoted base just in time for last November's election.

That aside, I'm referring here to this controversy about this children's program on PBS. Postcards From Buster is about an animated rabbit who goes all around the country finding out how different Americans live. Well, how dare Buster go off to Vermont and visit a household with two mommies who were operating a farm that was turning maple sap into maple syrup. There was of course no mention of homosexuality or gayness. There were just two mommies in that house.

By the reaction of the right wing media you'd think Michael Jackson had declared he was opening up a home for wayward boys. In the firestorm of controversy, PBS pulled the episode from its schedule and took a pretty big black eye from right wing special interests.

However, going back to its charter, PBS failed to live up to #3 or #4, despite its best efforts. So as you read this with your own opinion, and you're perhaps thinking that "yeah, but PBS needs to be fair and balanced" I'll tell you that no--it doesn't. It needs to live up to its charge.

The ideas of the right wing and of conservatives, and of business and the mainstream culture is well represented in the media. There are what? 2 or 3 all business networks, plus all the cable news outfits have hour-long programs on about business + special cut-ins constantly letting us know where the stock market is going.

But let's just say you're disenfranchised. What the heck--I'll say gay. Where's your network? Which programs can you point to which represent your interests, push information that's important for gay people to know? I don't think a half-hour of Will and Grace every week quite cuts it.

My point is that the units of measure we might judge PBS--that fair and balanced one--is not a valid measure because that is not its purpose. And indeed, to judge it on only that criteria is to make it just another channel. With hundreds of channels on satellite, the last thing we need is another channel. What we need...is Public Broadcasting.

Kooks Say the Darndest Things!

Awww, isn't Pat Robertson so cute with that little monkey face and that endearing little chuckle...as he says some of the most heinous stuff in the world!