Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Right Sharpens Knives for "Sicko"

By Jay Diamond
June 27, 2007

In this guest essay, radio personality Jay Diamond writes that Sean Hannity and other right-wing voices are trying to scare Americans with horror stories about "socialized medicine" while ignoring the valuable services performed by VA hospitals and Medicare:

Do a search on "Hannity 'Sicko'" or "Romney 'Sicko''' on any search engine and you will find an assortment of You Tube excerpts of Sean Hannity recycling talking points off the panicked presses of the Heritage Foundation, CEI, AEI, Manhattan Institute, etc., bearing dire warnings of the health care terror Michael Moore and other evil progressives are preparing to inflict on America.

But in all their truculent and fear-mongering invocations of the purported evils of "socialized medicine," there is curiously something that Romney, Hannity, and all the other American rightists consistently omit; and in that deliberate omission is an important lesson in the way America's hard right works their deceptions.

They never mention that there are more individuals right here in the United States who receive their health coverage on what you call "socialized medicine" than there are people in the entire country of France.

Add up all the people on Medicare and the Veterans Administration.

Hey Sean, Hey Mitt, Did you forget about those interesting little nuggets....Medicare and the VA ?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Go see Sicko this weekend at the Bijou at Crossroads

Think about it. We have maternal child death rates that rival a third world country. And for us older folks, we need to think about the fact that our longevity rates are the lowest for developed nations. Worse yet, if you have a long term illness or an acute illness, you may not be able to pay for the medical care and could end up losing everything. Why should a nation that can afford to spend BILLIONS of dollars a day in war, not spend money to ensure the health, safety and longevity of its citizens? Well, I guess because we are disposable to the 2% of our population that are rich. It's a feudal system. Stand up, be counted and notify your legislators that this will not stand!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Upholding the constitution?

William Rivers Pitt put in words what I could barely articulate to my husband when I got home last Thursday. In fact, I can barely state my angst to this day. Our constitution has been dissed by Cheney and Bush AGAIN! This time, it's beyond belief, really. The same constitution that I swore to uphold and defend (with my life) as they did (only not with their lives, actually), was being put away, put down, thrown away, because Cheney, the evil Emperor, will not be questioned, at all, period, the end. It was astounding to me.

So thank you William Rivers Pitt for stating this so eloquently for me.

How Dick Cheney Broke My Mind By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Columnist Tuesday 26 June 2007

I was absolutely savaged by an unexpected emotional detonation on Thursday. Every rough emotion I am capable of experiencing - anger, fear, sorrow, rage, bitterness, despair, loathing, astonishment, woe, regret, horror, fury - erupted within me at the same time that day. I spent hours in the aftermath trying to type an accurate description of what had happened to me and why, but I failed. For the first time in a long, long while, I was completely unable to write. What could have been powerful enough to huff and puff and blow my house down? What manner of mind bomb could hurl me so far off kilter that I was incapable of explaining it on paper? It was, of course, Dick Cheney. The news story that started it all was just another report on Dick being Dick, doing his Dick thing the way Dick always does. If they ever hold a contest to decide which politician has the most appropriate first name, you should bet the farm, the barn, the house, the cow, every crop, every truck, and throw in all your shoes besides, on Dick winning in a walk. Dick would win in such a dominant fashion that the NBA Finals would appear competitive by comparison. It was Dick, and he got me on Thursday but good. You've probably heard the news story by now, and maybe you reacted to it like I did. The National Archives is basically the federal filing cabinet where all governmental paper records are stored and organized. The Archives is an invaluable repository of our governmental history. These documents are publicly available, and are a giant treasure trove for historians, biographers or anyone who loves to feel a bit of history between their fingers. So the Archives people had asked Cheney's office for his papers, because it was time to do so, because doing so is the law, because those papers are the property of the people. We pay for their printing and we pay for their storage, and the return on our investment can be found in the History/Biography/Politics section of any bookstore in America. Dick turned the National Archives down flat, and this is what destroyed me on Thursday. Not only did he turn them down, his office wrote - actually wrote on paper in a letter to the Archives - their amazing explanation for refusing to hand over the papers. If you've not heard this, brace yourself. Dick had the fire-breathing gall, the awe-inspiring temerity, the light-bending arrogance to put forth the argument - which was actually written down - that the office of The vice president of the United States is not actually part of the executive branch of the federal government, and is therefore not required to give any papers to anyone, ever. Breathe. Breathe. It'll pass. I could use a thousand words to describe what this thing did as it ripped through me. I tried all Thursday to do it, and failed time and again. I have finally fixed upon the one word that truly explains how I felt once the shock had passed. I was offended.

Full article:

Monday, June 25, 2007

Trying something new from picasa, a photo album

Friends keep sending pictures

We are blessed to have so many friends who sent pictures taken on our anniversary. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate in style! Special thanks to Sen. Obama who made it a very special day.

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 6/25 -- Steve Vogel -- author, "The Pentagon"

TUESDAY 6/26 -- Bruce Willis -- actor, "Live Free or Die Hard"

WEDNESDAY 6/27 -- Michael Moore -- director, "Sicko"

THURSDAY 6/28 -- Claire Danes -- actress, "Evening"

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 6/25 -- Tom Hayden -- author, "Ending the War in Iraq"

TUESDAY 6/26 -- David France -- author, New York Magazine article "The Science of Gaydar"

WEDNESDAY 6/27 -- Daniel Gilbert -- author, "Stumbling on Happiness"

THURSDAY 6/28 -- Doug Bailey -- founder, Unity '08

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Celebrating 35 years! [Our 35th wedding anniversary]

We were blessed that Sen. Obama met with all the volunteers after the event, and we got to meet him. For my husband and it was even more momentous when we signed the back of my shirt, when he noted that we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary with him today. We will always treasure our anniversary wishes from Sen. Obama. It just made a special day even more special.
although....a bit of a sweaty you can see.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


It’s Not Ethical?

Submitted by Alec Dubro on June 21, 2007 - 10:49am.
President Pro-Life George W. Bush brandished his principles for an audience of activists in the White House East Room and proudly vetoed the federal stem-cell funding bill.

With breathtaking irony, Bush stated, “Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical.” He called the United States “a nation founded on the principle that all human life is sacred.”

Let’s put aside this fanciful rendering of America’s early history, which, if it was founded on such a principle, we had a funny way of demonstrating it to the original inhabitants. Instead, let’s think for a moment about Bush’s record of not destroying human life.

If, in his mind, he was not killing thousands of Iraqis to make life better for the survivors, then why was he killing them? Apparently, then, it’s OK to destroy human life to alter geopolitics, to enhance the power of the United States, to seek revenge on collaterally-placed victims, to try out new weapons and tactics, to give our untested armies a chance to see actual combat, or, just for the holy Hell of it.

In short, destroying human life is fine, unless you’re doing it to save human life. And, if the United States has surmounted its bloody history and moved into a period in which all life is sacred, then a fine way to show it would be to, now and today, stop shooting in Iraq.

But you and I know that Bush means no such thing. When a fundamentalist-posturing, millennial, faith-based militarist says "human life," he means undifferentiated clumps of cells; he does not mean fully-formed human beings. And he certainly does not mean dark, moneyless foreigners.

Of course, Texas Governor George Bush gleefully and self-righteously sent prisoners to their doom, so it’s possible that his moral positions on what does and doesn’t constitute sacred human life are, shall we say, expedient at best and fraudulent at worst.

In any case, Bush’s indifference to human suffering in the defense of nation-building is, at this point, equivalent to any other military dictator—including Saddam Hussein. Sacred life, indeed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Torture at Abu Ghraib

Seymour Hersh on the truth about Abu Ghraib, from New Yorker magazine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The propaganda I grew up with, not unlike today

Duck and Cover

You Can Beat the A-Bomb

One World or None

and then, watch the movie the US vs John Lennon, which we did last night and you can see more fully the propaganda we were subjected to, and why we RESISTED!

Dan Rather, Nixon and Rove

See Karl Rove as a very young man, working for Nixon.

We need Arabic translators, so why do we fire them?

Oh wait, we fire them for being gay. How stupid. As a person who has served in the military, with gay people, I might add, I see no problem in letting everyone serve that wants to serve. I personally have showered in "gang showers" those big open shower rooms, with gay people, and all we did was shower for crying out loud. You are hot, sweaty and tired and a shower is the biggest deal when you have been the field for a long time. That, and flush toilets. Gay or not, who cares?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Randi Rhodes and Greg Palast on the vultures

More on voter caging from Palast and BBC

We need to be aware and make this stop!

For more, go to Brad Blog

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 6/18 -- Steve Carell -- Actor, "Evan Almighty"

TUESDAY 6/19 - Brian Williams -- Anchor, NBC Nightly News

WEDNESDAY 6/20 - Fareed Zakaria -- Editor, Newsweek International

THURSDAY 6/21 - Greg Bear -- Science fiction writer

This Week on the Colbert Report

MONDAY 6/18 -- Toby Keith -- musician, Big Dog Daddy

TUESDAY 6/19 -- Anne-Marie Slaughter -- author, "The Idea That Is America"

WEDNESDAY 6/20 -- Will Schwalbe -- author, "Send: The Essential Guide to Email For Office and Home"

THURSDAY 6/21 -- Vincent Bugliosi -- author, "Reclaiming History"

A Funny Bush Joke

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to former Texas governor, George W. Bush and his elevation to the White House. The old Texan said, "Well, ya know, Little Georgie Bush is just a post turtle."

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain, "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what do do while he's up there, and you just want to help the dumb shit get down.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all

Tuesday April 24, 2007
The Guardian

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.

They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.
complete article

------------- my comment....
I have been saying this for months and months. We need to understand the roots of fascism and realize it is here, now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Advice From Seven Iraq War Veterans

With the terrible situation in Iraq, and Afghanistan getting worse, the military vote appears to up for grabs. Three years ago, the Republicans polled at 60%. The military now polls at 46%. A Washington Monthly article, How A Democrat Can Get My Vote , asks seven Iraq war veterans how Democrats can win the votes of the military. I hope our politicians will be reading the resulting essays.
It sounds like we should all pay more attention to what Virginia's new senator Jim Webb has to say.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Magna Carta

Happy birthday to habeus corpus!
Why is habeus corpus important?
From wiki:

In common law, habeas corpus (/ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔɹpəs/) (Latin: [We command that] you have the body) is the name of a legal action or writ by means of which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. The writ of habeas corpus has historically been an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action.
Also known as "The Great Writ," a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a prisoner be brought before the court so that the court can determine whether that person is serving a lawful sentence or should be released from custody. The prisoner, or some other person on his behalf (for example, where the prisoner is being held incommunicado), may petition the court or an individual judge for a writ of habeas corpus.
The right of habeas corpus—or rather, the right to petition for the writ—has long been celebrated as the most efficient safeguard of the liberty of the subject. Albert Venn Dicey wrote that the Habeas Corpus Acts "declare no principle and define no rights, but they are for practical purposes worth a hundred constitutional articles guaranteeing individual liberty."\

The writ of habeas corpus is one of what are called the "extraordinary", "common law", or "prerogative" writs, the last indicating that the petition is to be heard ahead of any other cases on a court's docket except other such writs. The most common of the other such prerogative writs are quo warranto, prohibito, mandamus, procedendo, and certiorari.[2]
The due process for such petitions is not simply civil or criminal, because they incorporate the presumption of nonauthority,[3] so that the official who is the respondant has the burden to prove his authority to do or not do something, failing which the court has no discretion but to decide for the petitioner, who may be any person, not just an interested party. In this they differ from a motion in a civil process in which the burden of proof is on the movant, and in which there can be an issue of standing.

a cooking blog from Iraq

It is fascinating. This link is to a section regarding 10th century cooking rules, amazing how we still follow many of these rules.

Legislation for veterans healthcare

A step in the right directon. If only the troops could be covered for traumatic brain injury treatment at some of our nations large civilian head injury center. Guess they did not consider that to be important, but all in all, this should be a vast improvement.


Legislation to ensure quality care for wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan was unveiled in the Senate Thursday, winning instant praise from veterans organizations.

"The days of not paying attention to our service members are over," declared Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, a leading force behind the legislation for the Senate Democratic leadership.

The bipartisan legislation, called the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act, follows reports of deplorable housing for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

But similar conditions and bureaucratic red tape interfering with the treatment of troops injured on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan were found at facilities around the country.

The legislation requires a comprehensive policy on the care of veterans as they move from active military duty into Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including adoption of the VA standards for assigning disability levels.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Five Pillars of George W. Bush’s Republican Party

Updated at 12:34 AM

The best characterization of George W. Bush that I can recall ever reading comes from Al Gore’s new book, “The Assault on Reason”. Gore points out in his book, and I agree with him, that the two stereotypes of George W. Bush as a dimwitted stooge or as a religious fanatic are flat out wrong. Rejecting the idea that Bush is either stupid or truly religious, Gore characterizes Bush in a nutshell like this:

I’m convinced, however, that most of the president’s frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with his right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible…. Now, with the radical Right, we have a political faction disguised as a religious sect, and the president of the United States is heading it. The obvious irony is that Bush uses a religious blind faith to hide what is actually an extremist political philosophy with a disdain for social justice that is anything but pious by the standards of any respected faith tradition I know.

The truth about this particular brand of faith-based politics is that President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what belongs to the American people and give as much of it as possible to the already wealthy and privileged…

Make no mistake: It is the president’s reactionary ideology, not his religious faith, that is the source of his troubling inflexibility. Whatever his religious views, President Bush has such an absolute certainty in the validity of his rigid right-wing ideology that he does not feel the same desire that many of us would in gathering facts relevant to the questions at hand.

For more read it in

Buzzflash gives Gallegos of Tx "Wings of Justice" award

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently noted that had awarded its weekly "Wings of Justice Award" to a Texas State Senator:

State Sen. Mario Gallegos was recently honored for his efforts to help scuttle a bill that would have made voters show official identification at the polls.

Gallegos, D-Houston, had missed much of the 2007 legislative session while recovering from liver-transplant surgery. But in the waning days of the session, he brushed aside doctors' orders to attend the session's final days -- to make sure the voter ID bill didn't get through.

The liberal Web site gave Gallegos its "Wings of Justice" award for his efforts.

"Because of the devotion of Mario Gallegos to democracy, the legislative clock ran out on the dastardly Texas Republicans," BuzzFlash said in its tribute.

Actually, as we noted in our "Wings of Justice Award" citation last week, Gallegos, at times, needed a hospital bed to recover on. It was temporarily placed next to the Texas senate chambers, until he was assured that the Republicans couldn’t pass the "Jim Crow" voter ID law that is so near and dear to Karl Rove’s plans for stealing in the election for the GOP in 2008.

For more go to

WORK for peace

Stop the war now.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Orwell Rolls in His Grave, part 2

Orwell Rolls In His Grave: Doc. On Corporate Media In U.S. part2

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Part one is available on YouTube. Support independent films and buy the video here

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

Imagine How the Media Would Cover the Divorced Rich Republican Presidential Candidates, If They Were Democrats

This article was sent to me by a friend, and it's oh so appropriate. The media calls Edwards the "$400 dollar haircut boy," and they have worse to say about Clinton and Obama. Of course the voter caging, outed by the great sleuth Greg Palast, will never see the news, but if there is a democrat to bash, the "liberal" media will have a field day. I am sick of it. There is no real news, just propaganda. Like the so-called terror plot over the weekend. Baloney! It was a way to misdirect the attention of the sheeple, and believe me, it will only get worse the closer we get to the election. Why, we might have the terror level raised to Ernie. Even now we still remain at Bert.

Enjoy reading another article from Media Matters; the link to the complete article will be at the bottom of this post.

By Jamison Foser, Media Matters for America
Posted on June 4, 2007, Printed on June 4, 2007

Imagine how the media would react if a multimillionaire, East Coast, big-city, thrice-married presidential candidate who was a progressive Democrat said his most recent music purchase was opera, his favorite fitness activity, golf, and added that he doesn't drive -- he navigates.

Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who had launched his political career by marrying into a wealthy and politically connected family, and then promptly ran for Congress, revealed that he has pet turtles named "Cuff" and "Link."

Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who was the son of a governor, who has a net worth of around $200 million, whose own campaign staff was concerned he is seen as not tough enough and that his hair looks too perfect ... imagine if such a candidate said that if he weren't running for office, he'd probably be chief executive of an auto company and that his staff boasted that the difference between him and the president is "intelligence."

The media would have an absolute field day, yammering endlessly about how the candidate is too "soft" and is an elitist, an arrogant know-it-all with a misguided sense of entitlement who is hopelessly out of touch with the rugged regular-folk who live in Michigan and enjoy NASCAR and country music and drive pickups. There would be a real danger of Chris Matthews literally exploding on live television, unable to contain his incredulity that such a clueless candidate could possibly think a Pennsylvania steelworker would care what he has to say. (Then, with the Klieg lights turned off, Matthews would head off to one of the glitzy balls that he frequents, maintaining his place on Washington Life's "Social List" -- or perhaps he'd take a quick trip to relax by the pool of his vacation home nestled among the dunes of Nantucket. Railing against cultural elites on behalf of the Working Man is tiring, after all.)

But when the three leading (for now) Republican presidential candidates reveal their fondness for opera (Giuliani), have their pets named after fashion accessories (McCain), and boast that if they weren't running for president, they'd probably be running an auto company (Romney), it passes without notice.

This Week on the Daily Show

MONDAY 6/4 -- Rep. Ron Paul -- Congressman (R-TX) and Libertarian presidential candidate

TUESDAY 6/5 -- Paul Rudd -- Actor, "Knocked Up"

WEDNESDAY 6/6 -- Michael Barone -- Author of "Our First Revolution"

THURSDAY 6/7 -- Eddie Izzard -- Actor and comedian

Tonight on The Colbert Report

MONDAY 6/4 -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky; and Leon Botstein -- President of Bard College

TUESDAY 6/5 -- Jessica Valenti -- author, "Full Frontal Feminism"

WEDNESDAY 6/6 -- Carl Bernstein -- author, "A Woman in Charge"

THURSDAY 6/7 -- Cullen Murphy -- author, "Are We Rome?"

Sunday, June 03, 2007


It's 10:22PM, the 3rd day of June and already 17 soldiers have been killed this month. Is this what they meant by 'surge'?

Peggy Noonan: Bush Lacks Wisdom

Peggy Noonan, in her WSJ Opinion column asserts that the Bush White House has broken with its Conservative base, that "for three years they have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome". She writes, "This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place". She calls this Bush's "Too Bad" governing style, one that has been tearing apart the conservative movement.
Noonan, once a speech writer for Reagan, believes that this administration is lacking wisdom. Duh!

Senator Palpatine and Darth Vader

Bush has issued a directive that would place all governmental powers in his hands in the case of a catastrophic emergency. If a terrorist attack happens before the 2008 election, could Bush and Cheney use this to avoid relinquishing power to a successor administration?

As my daughter says, Does this mean that Bush will be like Senator Palpatine and Cheney like Darth Vader, in the movie Star Wars episode 3? Could be. link

Saturday, June 02, 2007

So What's Caging All About?

Caging "is a direct-mail term. It derives from caging categories of mail in steel shelves and files." However, it is used illegally by Republicans to keep the minority (Democratic votes) vote down. Monica Goodling talked about it in front of the judiciary committee, but the mainstream media has ignored it. To read more about it, see Dahlia Lithwick's Raging Caging in Slate Magazine.

What's He Got to Hide?

The secret service keeps visitors' logs for the White House Complex, and for the Vice President's home. But it's been revealed that White House lawyers have declared them as presidential records, which shields them from reporters using the Freedom of Information Act to find out who's been there.

The President and Vice-President work for us. They're not some elite, there-by-birth royalty, insulated from hard scrutiny, and from the prying eyes of a press who also serves our best interests.

Or are they?