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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

 Red Cross: America tortures Guantánamo POWs

The Bush Cartel makes me ashamed to be an American:
The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion "tantamount to torture" on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

The finding that the handling of prisoners detained and interrogated at Guantánamo amounted to torture came after a visit by a Red Cross inspection team that spent most of last June in Guantánamo.

The team of humanitarian workers, which included experienced medical personnel, also asserted that some doctors and other medical workers at Guantánamo were participating in planning for interrogations, in what the report called "a flagrant violation of medical ethics."

Isn't it comforting to know that the man who greenlighted torture at Guantanamo is to be our next Attorney General? This is an administration guided by a radical ideology opposed to democracy, freedom and human rights.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too feel shame. The direction our government has taken us is wholly un-American. That is not a matter of opinion.

10:44 AM  

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Monday, November 29, 2004

 American presidents' views on religion

Let the record speak for itself.

George Washington:

Washington gives us little in his writings to indicate his personal religious beliefs. Washington commented on sermons only twice. In his writings, he never referred to "Jesus Christ." He attended church rarely, and did not take communion - though Martha did, requiring the family carriage to return back to the church to get her later.

When trying to arrange for workmen in 1784 at Mount Vernon, Washington made clear that he would accept "Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists." On his deathbed he did not ask for any clergy, though one was available. His funeral services were those of the Freemasons.

John Adams
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

Thomas Jefferson
"I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies."

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

John Quincy Adams
"There is in the clergy of all Christian denominations a time-serving, cringing, subservient morality, as wide from the spirit of the gospel as it is from the intrepid assertion and vindication of truth."

Abraham Lincoln
"The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."

William Howard Taft
"I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe."

Theodore Roosevelt
"I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
"The lessons of religious toleration -- a toleration which recognizes complete liberty of human thought, liberty of conscience -- is one which, by precept and example, must be inculcated in the hearts and minds of all Americans if the institutions of our democracy are to be maintained and perpetuated. We must recognize the fundamental rights of man. There can be no true national life in our democracy unless we give unqualified recognition to freedom of religious worship and freedom of education."

Harry Truman
"We have gone a long way toward civilization and religious tolerance, and we have a good example in this country. Here the many Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church do not seek to destroy one another in physical violence just because they do not interpret every verse of the Bible in exactly the same way. Here we now have the freedom of all religions, and I hope that never again will we have a repetition of religious bigotry, as we have had in certain periods of our own history. There is no room for that kind of foolishness here."

Jimmy Carter
"I believe in the separation of church and state and would not use my authority to violate this principle in any way."

George W. Bush
Compare these views with those of George W. Bush:

"Tyrants and dictators will accept no other gods before them. They require disobedience to the First Commandment. They seek absolute control and are threatened by faith in God. They fear only the power they cannot possess -- the power of truth. So they resent the living example of the devout, especially the devotion of a unique people chosen by God." -- George W. Bush, blaming the Holocaust on godlessness, rather than on Christian anti-Semitism, at the National Commemoration of the Days of Remembrance at the US Capitol on April 19, 2001.

"Scripture says: "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, honoring the memory of the thousands of victims of these brutal attacks and comforting those who lost loved ones. We will persevere through this national tragedy and personal loss. In time, we will find healing and recovery; and, in the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, 'one Nation under God.'" -- George W. Bush, directing the religious exercises of his constituents and proclaiming a unity which omits at least ten percent of the population.

"I ask Americans to bow our heads in humility before our Heavenly Father, a God who calls us not to judge our neighbors, but to love them, to ask His guidance upon our nation and its leaders in every level of government." -- George W. Bush, National Day of Prayer Proclamation, January 20, 2001.


Blogger jeremy said...

Those are some pretty intresting quotes there, where did you get all of them from?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

I found the quotes scattered about the web. I tried to get a sample representing different American eras to underscore just how differently Bush views religion and politics. There is nothing traditional about it.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Dave S. said...

I was at Monticello recently and noticed that Jefferson collected a lot of Biblical art work. There is a scene of John the Baptist displayed prominently in his parlor. I asked about this and the tour guide said that, "Jefferson thought Jesus was the shiznit!"

OK, I really didn't ask, but I meant to.

2:40 PM  

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 Religious discrimination at Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy cadets suffer discrimination if they do not participate in religious events. According to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, cadets are hesitant to officially complain about the pro-Christian atmosphere for fear of reprisal:
[A]n August cadet survey found more than half of cadets reported hearing religious slurs, comments and jokes, and that a third of non-Christian cadets said they feel Christian cadets were given preferential treatment....

"If you weren’t part of the prayer groups and all of that, there were negative feelings shown toward you. If you wanted to advance and get leadership positions, you better get in with the Jesus crowd."

Despite continuing complaints from cadets and local groups, the Air Force football coach recently posted a banner reading "I am a member of Team Jesus Christ".

I would be surprised if similar activity didn't go on at the other service academies.


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 Bush's wish for the Clinton Presidential Library

At the dedication of the Clinton library last week in Little Rock, Bush appeared distracted, and glanced repeatedly at his watch.

The dramatic building is a glistening silver, suspended boxcar filled with light and with a panoramic view of the Arkansas river. Flung across the river stands an old railroad bridge - and to Clinton watchers, bridges represent "the bridge to the 21st century", the former president's re-election slogan in 1996.

When Bush stopped to gaze at the river, where secret service agents were stationed in boats. Did he say:
    (a) "Much as that bridge brings together the two banks of the river, 

so must Democrats and Republicans bridge our differences."

(b) "This setting is very peaceful. It reminds me of a river near my
ranch in Crawford."

(c) "A submarine could take this place out."

Find out the answer here.


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Sunday, November 28, 2004

 Thoughts for the day

"Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought."
-- Henry Graham Greene, English novelist and playwright (1904-91)

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded faith."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President (1743-1826)

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."
-- Bertrand Arthur William Russell, British philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer (1872-1970)


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 Petition for Scalia's recusal

Scalia's faith has blinded him to our nation's history. Make sure you sign this petition asking Justice Scalia to recuse himself from all cases involving the separation of church and state.


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 Our allies say election 'did not meet democratic standards'

Nothing gets by Greg Palast:
An international election observer mission - from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe - released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.

The observers' findings were seconded by Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Citing the disturbing fact that official results diverged sharply from a range of surveys of voters at polling places, Lugar said, "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities."

Other prominent Western observers were unsparing in their criticism of the state's conduct of the election.

"Fundamental flaws in Ukraine's presidential election process subverted its legitimacy," the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, sponsored by the Democratic Party in the United States, declared in its preliminary report. The institute, cited "systematic intimidation, overt manipulation and blatant fraud" that were "designed to achieve a specific outcome irrespective of the will of the people."
-- New York Times

This reporter was unable to reach Senator Lugar regarding the inconsistency of official election results and exit polls in the USA; the intimidation of minority voters in Florida and Ohio; nor the failure to count two million ballots cast, half by African-American voters, in America's first post-democratic election held earlier this month.

Eastern bloc observers noted that balloting in Ohio, New Mexico and Florida did not meet Ukrainian standards, but applauded America's attempt to restore democratic institutions after the overthrow of elected government in 2000.


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 Secular Islam awakens

Fascinating and unexpected stuff! The following is a Manifesto prepared by French Muslims denouncing religious tyranny. It encourages all readers to sign the petition.
We are of Muslim culture, we oppose misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism and the political use of Islam. We reassert a living secularism

We are women and men of Muslim culture. Some of us are believers, others are agnostics or atheists. We all condemn firmly the declarations and acts of misogyny, homophobia, and anti-Semitism that we have heard and witnessed for a while now here in France and that are carried out in the name of Islam. These three characteristics typify the political Islamism that has been forceful for so long in several of our countries of origin. We fought against them there, and we are committed to fighting against them again-here.


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 Halliburton lost US property worth millions

A third or more of the government property Halliburton Co. was paid to manage for the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq could not be located by auditors, investigative reports to Congress show.

Halliburton's KBR subsidiary "did not effectively manage government property" and auditors could not locate hundreds of CPA items worth millions of dollars in Iraq and Kuwait this summer and fall.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

 Wall Street economist predicts 'economic armageddon'

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, and one of the most respected voices on Wall Street is predicting that Bush's policies will create an "economic armageddon:"
Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.

His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic "armageddon."...

Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent chance that "we'll muddle through for a while and delay the eventual armageddon."

The chance we'll get through OK: one in 10. Maybe.

In a nutshell, Roach's argument is that America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants.

The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Armageddon come, Armageddon come, Armageddon come..."

/The Smiths

10:31 PM  

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 This is how 59 million people can be so dumb

Can someone please explain to me how Bush won? Anyone? Buhler? According to the latest NY Times poll, this is how 59,054,087 people can be so dumb:
Country's direction
  Right Track 40%
  Wrong Track 54%

Bush's handling of foreign policy
  Approve 44%
  Disapprove 48%

Bush's handling of the economy
  Approve 42%
  Disapprove 51%

Bush's handling of Iraq
  Approve 40%
  Disapprove 55%

Is the economy getting better, worse, or staying the same?
  Better 26%
  Worse 29%
  Same 44%

Do you have confidence in George W. Bush’s ability to deal wisely with a difficult international crisis or are you uneasy about his approach?
  Confident 47%
  Uneasy 51%

Do you have confidence in George W. Bush's ability to make the right decisions about the nation's economy, or are you uneasy about his approach?
  Confident 46%
  Uneasy 52%

Do you think George W. Bush is likely or not likely to make sure Social Security benefits are there for people like you?
  Likely 38%
  Not Likely 51%

Do you think large corporations have too much influence, too little influence, or the right amount of influence in the Bush Administration?
  Too Much 66%
  Too Little 4%
  Right Amount 19%

Should Bush's tax cuts expire?
  Yes 45%
  No 41%

What should be the higher priority?
  Cutting Taxes 28%
  Reducing the Deficit 67%

Do you favor a flat tax?
  Yes 26%
  No 34%
  Don't Know 37%

Who would benefit the most from a flat tax?
  The Rich 54%
  The Poor 6%
  The Middle Class 26%

Party Favorability:Republican
  Favorable 49%
  Unfavorable 46%

Party Favorability: Democratic
  Favorable 54%
  Unfavorable 39%

Should we have invaded Iraq?
  Yes 46%
  No 48%

Is the War on Iraq part of the War on Terror?
  Major Part 34%
  Minor Part 9%
  Not Part 51%

The only way I can make sense of this is that we could very well be the stupidest people on Earth.

  • Support the troops! Kill them in a functionless and failing war!
  • Don't kill unborn babies! Let born Iraqi babies die of malnutrition at a much higher percentage than even before the invasion! (AIDS babies don't count. That's the homos' fault.)
  • Hate our foreign policy! Love the way the Bush Cartel is destroying our foreign policy to make us safer!
  • Spread and create democracy abroad! Thwart and subjugate democracy at home!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These numbers, and this conclusion, is meaningless without similar numbers for John Kerry.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice article. I liked it. My friend wrote on here that you might like.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Silence Dogood said...

Maybe the idiots are at the NY Times. CNN has completely different poll results.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Silence DogoodI hope you remember that poll the next time you call CNN the "communist news network" for failing to completely toe the Republican Party line :)

Without access to the CNN data behind the reported results, its difficult to get any analytical traction on why the polls diverge. Probably an oversampling of conservatives for CNN. Wait until the next polls come out to see if there is any consistency.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Silence Dogood said...

Nanovirus said...

Silence DogoodI hope you remember that poll the next time you call CNN the for failing to completely toe the Republican Party line :)

Without access to the CNN data behind the reported results, its difficult to get any analytical traction on why the polls diverge. Probably an oversampling of conservatives for CNN. Wait until the next polls come out to see if there is any consistency.

I call CNN the "communist news network" for toeing the liberal line.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{Bush won through mass voter suppression and fraud}

10:28 PM  

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 Scalia tells faithful to defend their stupidity

Nino "The Fixer" Scalia, who recently stated "sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged," says that the faithful need to defend their stupidity:
US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia urged several hundred lawyers and judges gathered at a Wheaton church on Sunday to not fear being considered foolish for having faith.

"We are fools for Christ's sake," Scalia said. "We must pray for the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world."...

The "wise" consider Christian fundamentalists to be "simple-minded" and irrational because they believe in miracles and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he said. But it is more irrational to reject the possibility of both, he said. Everyone should have "the courage to have their wisdom regarded as stupidity."

Just to be clear, Nino, we of the reality-based community, who favor the humanistic virtues of reason and science, do not regard people of faith as stupid. What we consider stupid is when you put your "god-given intellects" on hold, championing dark-age values like creationism.

Have you actually read the bible? Really? Why do you ignore everything except Leviticus's rant against those who express intimacy differently than you and I? The last time I checked, anal sex and uterus control were not part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, you defender-of-those-that-brought-us-Abu-Ghraib.

If there were a Hell, I'm sure there would already be a specially-equipped torture rack awaiting your arrival.

You see, I have faith. Not faith in an invisible spirit in the sky, but faith in the ability of humankind to use its talents to improve itself. My everyday life is more joyful and more significant than is yours. While you await some heavenly reward that will never come, I know my time is precious. Like Jack London, I will not waste my days trying to prolong them; I will use my time.


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 Ohio recount could unseat Bush

A top-ranking official with Democratic Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign told North County News last week that although unlikely, there is a recount effort being waged that could unseat Republican President George W. Bush.

"We have 17,000 lawyers working on this, and the grassroots accountability couldn't be any higher -no (irregularity) will go unchecked. Period," Kerry spokesman David Wade said.


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Monday, November 22, 2004

 Government tracking your laser-printed documents

Don't print your pro-civil-rights-anti-Bush materials on a laser printer Laser printer manufacturers encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce:
Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page, nestled within the printed words and margins.

"It's a trail back to you, like a license plate," Crean says.

The dots' minuscule size, covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their color combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says. One way to determine if your color laser is applying this tracking process is to shine a blue LED light--say, from a keychain laser flashlight--on your page and use a magnifier.

As one Slashdotter said: "Get dazzling colors, the blackest blacks, and the highest resolution from your new HP Ashcroft." :)


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 Democrats dominate academia because they are smarter than Republicans

I want to point out a couple of choice excerpts from letters to the editor of today's New York Times. These letters are responding to an article from November 18th, "Republicans Outnumbered in Academia:"
[A] national survey of more than 1,000 academics, shows that Democratic professors outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one in the humanities and social sciences. That ratio is more than twice as lopsided as it was three decades ago, and it seems quite likely to keep increasing...

Here they are:

Academics are trained to reason using logic, to question evidence and to consider and evaluate several possible interpretations of events. All these activities are discouraged and indeed ridiculed by the present Republican leadership.


A successful career in academia, after all, requires willingness to be critical of yourself and to learn from experience, along with a lack of interest in material incentives. All these are antithetical to Republicanism as it has recently come to be.

I think these writers are onto something. Other evidence, albeit circumstantial, abounds. Take a look at the aggregate IQ scores of the Blue states vs Red states. Blue states have a dramatically higher IQ. Or to put it more eloquently:

[Republicans] are stupid. They believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for September 11, 2001. They think corn syrup is food. They believe that there's no such thing as stateless terrorism. They believe that "the left" is responsible for the revolting cesspool of popular culture. They don't believe in evolution.

They think Bush is a godly man.... They believe in one paragraph out of Leviticus, but they ignore the rest of the Bible. They let themselves get scammed over and over by robber barons and religious hucksters. And apparently, although I find this hard to conceive of, they believe that the media is liberal. They're fucking stupid....


Blogger Robert Miller said...

Did you ever learn to think critically?

The IQ and Red State/Blue State correlation was de-bunked as a complete fabrication. The IQ data was simply made up. The reference cited has no such table or data.

A statistical test of association between voter preference and education fails to reject the null hypothesis of NO ASSOCIATION.


So you can stop stroking your ego.

As for academia, it is a private club where old members get to select new members and they tend to select like-minded people. Entire academic departments have been created specifically to advance a left-wing agenda. You won't find any (or many) pro-life women in a Women's Studies department or conservative blacks in a Black Studies department!

The smartest conservatives find useful work in the private sector. Leftists need things like tenure to ensure they can retain their employment because they scarcely contribute to GDP.

8:18 PM  

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 Krugman: US in danger of becoming a banana republic

Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman says the economic policies of President Bush have set the country on a dangerous course that will likely end in financial crisis:
The most immediate worry for Krugman is that Bush will simultaneously push through more tax cuts and try to privatize social security, ignoring a chorus of economic thinkers who caution against such measures.

"If you go back and you look at the sources of the blow-up of Argentine debt during the 1990s, one little-appreciated thing is that social security privatization was a important source of that expansion of debt," said Krugman.

In 2001, Argentina finally defaulted on an estimated $100 billion in debt, the largest such event in modern economic history.

"So if you ask the question do we look like Argentina, the answer is a whole lot more than anyone is quite willing to admit at this point. We've become a banana republic."


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 Enforcement of civil rights law down

The Associated Press reports that Federal enforcement of civil rights laws has dropped sharply since 1999, even as the level of complaints received by the Justice Department has remained relatively constant:
Criminal charges of civil rights violations were brought against 84 defendants last year, down from 159 in 1999, according to Justice Department data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

The study also found that the number of times the Federal Bureau of Investigation or another federal investigative agency recommended prosecution in civil rights cases fell by more than one-third, from more than 3,000 in 1999 to just over 1,900 last year. Federal court data also show that the government has sought fewer civil sanctions against civil rights violators.

One of the study's authors, David Burnham, said the results showed that civil rights enforcement dropped across the board in President Bush's first term in office. 'Collectively, some violators of the civil rights laws are not being dealt with by the government,' Professor Burnham said. 'This trend, we think, is significant.'

It is unlikely the decline has occurred because of fewer civil rights violations occurring, the study suggests. The number of complaints about possible violations received by the Justice Department has remained at about 12,000 annually for each of the past five years.
When asked for comment about the study, the Justice Department was heard to mutter, "Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all."

Just kidding. Actually, the Justice Department had no comment.


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 CIA: Osama is winning terror war

A former CIA agent says the United States is suffering a major propaganda defeat and is losing the fight for support among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.

Michael Scheuer, who started profiling Osama bin Laden in the mid-1980s and later became head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, said the United States has badly underestimated the power of the al Qaeda leader.

He said the country needs new and more aggressive policies to fight al Qaeda that would send in the military to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives even if there is only a 30 percent chance the intelligence is correct. He said the country also needs to engage in a serious and painful debate over discarding 30-year-old U.S. policies toward the Palestinian cause and support Washington gives to the pro-American regimes in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

"I don't think there is a magic solution," he said. "It's not a choice between war and peace, it's a choice between war and endless war."


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 Republican values in action

What is it they say about the company you keep?

A US congressman Jerry Weller (R-IL) married the daughter of Guatemala's most notorious former dictator on Saturday in a controversial wedding that took place in a high-walled compound ringed with razor wire.

He serves on the US House of Representatives sub-committee for Western Hemisphere Affairs that sometimes sees legislation concerning Guatemala.

"At the very least he should resign from the committee, it's a potentially compromising relationship, in terms of his foreign affairs activity," said Patricia Davis, of the Washington based rights group, the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.

Weller's new father-in-law is Efrain Rios Montt, who took power in a 1982 coup at the peak of Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which pitted the army against leftist insurgents. Weller's wife is a high ranking member of her father's Guatemalan Republican Front party, which held the presidency between 2000-2004, and is seen as a possible future presidential candidate herself.

The retired general's de facto presidency is remembered for his weekly sermons broadcast live on television and for a "scorched earth" campaign that killed thousands of mostly civilian Mayan Indians.

The State Department has described Rios Montt's rule as "probably the most violent period" of the war, in which around 200,000 people were killed or disappeared. Rios Montt is under investigation for genocide charges. He is legally barred from leaving Guatemala City while he is investigated for his role in violent protests held to support his candidacy during 2003 presidential elections.


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 Broadband Internet on Mars

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has teamed up with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory to produce a laser that will transmit data from Mars to Earth at a rate about 10 times faster than that of current transmissions. The technology, which will be used on a 2009 mission, will reach rates as high as 30 megabits per second.

“This is the future,” says Bill Keicher, a researcher at Lincoln Lab. Radio frequency has been the traditional choice for data transmission across the millions of kilometers between Earth and Mars. However, a near-infrared laser, with its shorter wavelengths, can transfer more information per second and will open “communication capacities where radio frequency wasn’t practical,” says Keicher. In particular, he says, “video may be a possibility.” Lasers weren’t considered until now because they weren’t reliable or efficient enough, and because clouds could partially block laser signals. The researchers could avoid this problem by using multiple ground receivers in different locations.

Lincoln Lab will produce the onboard transmitter and a receiver station for the mission. Challenges to overcome before the 2009 test include building space-worthy equipment and determining how weather on Earth affects transmissions.


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Sunday, November 21, 2004

 Democrats must focus on public morality

Barbara Ehrenreich offers some values advice for Democrats:
Of all the loathsome spectacles we've endured since November 2--the vampire-like gloating of CNN commentator Robert Novak, Bush embracing his "mandate"--none are more repulsive than that of Democrats conceding the "moral values" edge to the party that brought us Abu Ghraib. The cries for Democrats to overcome their "out-of-touch-ness" and embrace the predominant faith all dodge the full horror of the situation: A criminal has been enabled to continue his bloody work with the help, in no small part, of self-identified Christians....

In the aftermath of election '04, centrist Democrats should not be flirting with faith but re-examining their affinity for candidates too mumble-mouthed and compromised to articulate poverty and war as the urgent moral issues they are. Jesus is on our side here, and secular liberals should not be afraid to invoke him. Policies of pre-emptive war and the upward redistribution of wealth are inversions of the Judeo-Christian ethic...

Dead right. For too long the dems have allowed the "morality debate" to be about private morality (that is, who can do what to whoom in the privacy of their bedroom). This discussion must be broadened to include public morality: war, poverty, honesty and greed, among others. The task for the Democratic Party in the next four years is to field candidates that can articluate these issues.


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 Thanksgiving advice for atheists

Brent over at Unscrewing the Inscrutable has some atheistic Thankgiving advice:
[I]nstead of thanking your imaginary, homicidal invisible magic man in the sky for something that an actual person has done for you, you know, like cook you a turkey dinner or something, thank the actual person. And mean it. Not as an appeasement, or as a pathetic gratitude for not killing you, but as an actual "thank you" to a real person who deserves it.


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 Congress buys Bush a yacht

Families are taking donations to send body armor to their kids in Iraq so Republicans in Congress can buy Bush a presidential yacht:
The Senate voted 65-30 for the legislation late on Saturday that sets aside funds for a range of priorities including a presidential yacht, foreign aid and energy. It is one of the final pieces of work for the 108th Congress and they may return to finish a spy agency overhaul before the end of the year.

Bush took your kid's Pell grant away so he could spend the money on a yacht.


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Thursday, November 18, 2004

 UC statistical analysis shows Florida vote was rigged

A study by the University of California raises serious doubts about the validity of the November 2nd presidential election. "The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections" finds:
  • Irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 excess votes or more to President George W. Bush in Florida.

  • Compared to counties with paper ballots, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for President Bush between 2000 and 2004. This effect cannot be explained by differences between counties in income, number of voters, change in voter turnout, or size of Hispanic/Latino population.

  • In Broward County alone, President Bush appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes.

  • A 99.9% level of certainty that these effects are not attributable to chance.
Because many factors impact voting results, statistical tools are necessary to see the effect of touch-screen voting. Multipleregression analysis is a statistical technique widely used in the social and physical sciences to distinguish the individual effects of many variables. This multiple-regression analysis takes account of the following variables by county:
  • number of voters
  • edian income
  • Hispanic population
  • Change in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004
  • Support for President Bush in 2000 election
  • Support for Dole in 1996 election
When one controls for these factors, the association between electronic voting and increased support for President Bush is impossible to overlook. The data show with 99.0% certainty that a county’s use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush.


Blogger Angie said...

It doesn't matter what my thoughts are. What this election has taught me is that even if you show people over and over again how wrong a decision can be, they will still make it. It doesn't matter how many people point items like this out. People still will not listen. People will still prefer to be blind.

Yeah. I'm a bit bitter.

11:56 PM  

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 Florida approves first humanist charter school in US

An application to open the first humanist charter school in the United States was approved yesterday by the Hillsborough County School District in Tampa, Florida. The school will be named "Carl Sagan Academy" in honor of the late Carl Sagan, astronomer and humanist.
Jennifer Hancock, executive director of the Humanists of Florida Association, said that creating a charter school is in concert with the educational objectives of her organization. The HFA is dedicated to encouraging free inquiry, teaching of the scientific method, rational problem-solving and democratic principles.... The Humanists of Florida Association is a statewide association of humanist groups and individuals. The HFA works to foster the progressive philosophy that life – without supernaturalism – affirms the ability and responsibility of humans to lead ethical lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

I wonder when the fundies and wingnuts will start protesting....


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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

 Math lessons from Fallujah

Greg Pallast provides some arithmetic lessons:
Today's New York Times, page 1:
"American commanders said 38 service members had been killed and 275 wounded in the Falluja assault."

Today's New York Times, page 11:
"The American military hospital here reported that it had treated 419 American soldiers since the siege of Falluja began."

Questions for the class:
1. If 275 soldiers were wounded in Falluja and 419 are treated for wounds, how many were shot on the plane ride to Germany?
2. We're told only 275 soldiers were wounded but 419 treated for wounds; and we're told that 38 soldiers died. So how many will be buried?
3. How long have these Times reporters been embedded with with military? Bonus question: When will they get out of bed with the military?
You get the idea.


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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

 New seal for CIA

In light of the purge of career specialists at the Agency, Uggabugga continues his redesign of federal branch logos. Bush's goal is to silence any views that differ from his. So out with the eagle; in with a myna bird. And the motto "nemine contradicente" (with no one speaking in opposition) goes on the shield, replacing the compass:


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 Republicans ditch ethics rules to assist DeLay

In 1993, House Republicans adopted the rule that requires a party leader to surrender his or her post if indicted by any grand jury, federal or state. This action was intended to underscore the ethics problems of Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), then-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

In the modern GOP, by contrast, power trumps the rule of law. The ends justify the (illegal) means:
House Republicans plan to change their rules in order to allow members indicted by state prosecutors to remain in a leadership post, a move designed to benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, GOP leaders said today.

The rules change, which leaders said is likely to be adopted Wednesday, comes as House Republicans return to Washington indebted to DeLay for the enhanced majority they won in this month's elections. DeLay led an aggressive redistricting effort in Texas last year that resulted in five Democratic House members retiring or losing reelection. It also triggered the grand jury inquiry into fundraising efforts related to the state legislature's redistricting actions.


Blogger trueforyou said...

as to tom delay,,,,,the democrats needs to tell people what his problem is,,,,,and what crimes he may be part of. This is not clear. They have money left over from the presidentail campaign to use to publish what the moral issues are.......they should not let the republicans off the hook,,,,,they should be more vocal....about tom delay....and publish all the votes,,,by those who support him,,,

3:16 PM  

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 Is God a celestial lab rat?

In the current issue of Scientific American, Michael Shermer writes that scientific experiments claiming that distant intercessory prayer produces salubrious effects are deeply flawed and fraught with methodological problems:
In 2001 the Journal of Reproductive Medicine published a study by three Columbia University researchers claiming that prayer for women undergoing in vitro fertilization resulted in a pregnancy rate... double that of women who did not receive prayer.... [O]ne of the study's authors, Daniel Wirth, a.k.a. John Wayne Truelove, is not an M.D. but an M.S. in parapsychology who has since been indicted on felony charges for mail fraud and theft, to which he has pled guilty....

Many of these studies failed to control for such intervening variables as age, sex, education, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, marital standing, degree of religiosity and ignored the fact that most religions have sanctions against such insalubrious behaviors as sexual promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking. When such variables are controlled for, the formerly significant results disappear....

When experiments are carried out to determine the effects of prayer, what precisely is being studied? For example, what type of prayer is being employed? (Are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan and shaman prayers equal?) Who or what is being prayed to? (Are God, Jesus and a universal life force equivalent?) What is the length and frequency of the prayer? (Are two 10-minute prayers equal to one 20-minute prayer?) How many people are praying, and does their status in the religion matter? (Is one priestly prayer identical to 10 parishioner prayers?) Most prayer studies either lack such operational definitions or lack consistency across studies in such definitions.

The ultimate fallacy is theological: if God is omniscient and omnipotent, he should not need to be reminded or inveigled into healing someone. Scientific prayer makes God a celestial lab rat, leading to bad science and worse religion.


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 Rats fleeing the ship: 8

In the continuing saga of what's shaping up as a major second-term shakeup, CNN is reporting that two senior-level White House sources told them that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, and Health and Human Services chief Tommy Thompson, have resigned.

The White House on Monday announced the resignations of Secretary of State Colin Powell, Education Secretary Rod Paige, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. Veneman had said last week she wanted to stay. Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Don Evans quit soon after the president's re-election.

Thompson, and Ridge's resignations would bring the number of rats fleeing the sinking ship of state Cabinet chiefs leaving to eight out of a total of 15.


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 Pentagon must ban Boy Scouts

In a victory for civil liberties, the Pentagon has agreed to warn military bases worldwide not to directly sponsor Boy Scout troops, partially resolving claims that the government has engaged in religious discrimination by supporting a group that requires members to believe in God.

The settlement announced Monday is part of a series of legal challenges in recent years over how closely the government should be aligned with the Boy Scouts of America.

Civil liberties advocates have set their sights on the organization's policies because the group bans openly gay scout leaders and compels members to swear an oath of duty to God. The ACLU believes that direct government sponsorship of such a program amounts to discrimination. Other scouting organizations, such as Campfire USA, do not discriminate.

The rule does not prevent service members from leading Scout troops unofficially on their own time, and Scouts will still be able to hold meetings on areas of military bases where civilian organizations are allowed to hold events.

The settlement does not resolve other ACLU claims involving government spending that benefits the Boy Scouts, such as money used to prepare a Virginia military base for the Boy Scout Jamboree and grants used by state and local governments to benefit the Boy Scouts.


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 Mencken on morons

Forwarded via my aunt:
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

-- H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)


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Monday, November 15, 2004

 America's 'moral values' army is three strong

Good investigative work by Jeff Jarvis.
With not much original reporting, I discovered that the latest big fine by the FCC against a TV network -- a record $1.2 million against Fox for its "sexually suggestive" Married by America -- was brought about by a mere three people who actually composed letters of complaint. Yes, just three people.

I filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Oct. 12 asking to see all of the 159 complaints the FCC cited in its complaint against Fox.

I just received the FCC's reply with a copy of all the complaints -- and a letter explaining that, well, there weren't 159 after all... The FCC confesses that they come from only 23 individuals.... [A]ll but two of them were virtually identical. In other words, one person took the time to write a letter and 20 other people then photocopied or merely emailed it to the FCC many times....

So in the end, that means that a grand total of three citizens bothered to take the time to sit down and actually write a letter of complaint to the FCC. Millions of people watched the show. Three wrote letters of complaint.

And on the basis of that, the FCC decided to bring down the heavy hammer of government censorship and fine Fox an incredible $1.2 million for suggesting -- not depicting but merely suggesting -- sex on a show that had already been canceled because the marketplace didn't like it anyway....

Reading stories about the FCC's actions, you'd think that millions are outraged by what's on TV.

No, millions watch TV. Only three are outraged.

This is America's "moral values" army: three strong.


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 Pharisees line up to cast stones

This is awesome:
If we are going to start ranking the "sins," marriage between two gay people who love each other and seek a lifelong commitment doesn't even make the Bible's best-known top-10 list....

On the other hand, you know what IS right smack in the Ten Commandments?

Adultery. [...]

The Florida Constitution should be amended to say that there can be no marriage licenses for anyone who has ever had sex outside marriage....

Bearing false witness is one of the Big 10, too, if I recall. Lying is a pretty big threat to marriage.

No legal rights for liars! God created Adam and Eve, not Adam-You-Can't-Believe.


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 Bush is my shepherd

A Psalm for the next four years, created by a priest from a remote section of the island of Hawaii:
Bush is my shepherd, I dwell in want
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests
He sendeth the innocent to die for his vanity
He restoreth my fears
He leadeth me in the paths of ridicule in the face of the world, for his ego's sake,
Yea, as I walk through the valley of pollution and war, I will find no exit, for thou art in office
Thy tax cuts for the rich and disdain for the poor, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception and pretendest to be religious
Thou hast anointed my head with foreign oil
My health insurance runneth out
Surely greed and corruption shall follow thee all the days of thy term
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever


Anonymous Anonymous said...

may you burn in hell

10:26 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Nice! Very Christian attitude to hold against the author, a Catholic priest! Fucking hypocrite.

3:18 PM  

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 Blue state mentality

Tom Tomorrow succinctly summarizes the mentality of "Blue State" inhabitants:


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 Three more rats flee the sinking ship

More rats are fleeing the sinking ship of state: Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, are following Colin Powell and John Ashcroft into the dustbin of historical infamy.


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 Backward, Christian soldiers

Robyn Blumner writes:
We used to worry about the so-called stealth candidates of the Christian Right - candidates who would run for public office and hide their fundamentalist views in order to appear electable. Well, the last election proves that those views can be fully unfurled without risking voter flight. The 2004 Texas GOP platform audaciously stated: "The Republican Party of Texas affirms that the United States is a Christian nation."

What we are experiencing is the rise of Dominion Theology. This ideology says Christians must begin to take over all secular institutions of government, reclaiming them for Jesus Christ. It is seen as a readying for the Second Coming. See www.theocracywatch.org for more information.

"Our aim is to gain dominion over society," Pat Robertson told a gathering in 1984. He later described how this would be accomplished: By gaining a working control of the Republican Party.

And they've succeeded.

Check it out.


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 Colin Powell bailing from Bush cartel

Secretary of State Colin Powell has reportedly told top aides he intends to resign from President Bush's Cabinet, high-ranking State Department officials said today. Powell, who long has been rumored planning only a single term with Bush, told his aides that he intends to leave once Bush settles on whom to succeed him, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The former chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff lost all credibility after leading the Bush administration's argument at the UN for a military attack to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, arguing a WMD threat that the administration could never prove.


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Sunday, November 14, 2004

 Liberals are the party of good science

Pharyngula states the obvious:
Liberals are the party of good science, empiricism, and reason! Conservatives are sad little know-nothings who prefer obsolete, falsified superstitions over evidence.


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 Bush making illegal purge of CIA

Guess what? The largest spy agency in the world has a new mission: telling Bush exactly what he wants to hear.
WASHINGTON -- The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers believed to have been disloyal to President George W. Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the Iraq war and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources. "The agency is being purged on instructions from the White House," said a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to both the agency and to the White House. "Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda." Link

Why is this move illegal? Because US Code TITLE 5, PART III, Subpart A, CHAPTER 23, Section 2301 states:

 (a) This section shall apply to--
   (1) an Executive agency; and
   (2) the Government Printing Office.
 (b) Federal personnel management should be implemented consistent with the following merit system principles:
   (1) Recruitment should be from qualified individuals from appropriate sources in an endeavor to achieve a work force from all segments of society, and selection and advancement should be determined solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge, and skills, after fair and open competition which assures that all receive equal opportunity.
   (2) All employees and applicants for employment should receive fair and equitable treatment in all aspects of personnel management without regard to political affiliation, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or handicapping condition, and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights. [emphasis mine]

Purging the intelligence community of those disloyal to the president? Purging liberal Democrats? Scared yet? You should be. He is going to kick a bunch of competent people, who were actually paying attention and doing analysis, out of the CIA, and replace them with yes-men who are going to tell him exactly what he wants to hear.

Bush likes to operate in secret. Information is the enemy. Write your senator. Write your congressmen. Write all your newspapers. If Bush is intent on behaving this way, do not let him do it in the dark.

This administration is reminiscent of a Soviet style operation...

Is this a democracy? Or a one-party dictatorship?


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 The face of American Christianity

Maureen Dowd sums up my own feelings about the activities of the "Christian" right these last two weeks:
You'd think the one good thing about merging church and state would be that politics would be suffused with glistening Christian sentiments like "love thy neighbor," "turn the other cheek," "good will toward men," "blessed be the peacemakers" and "judge not lest you be judged."

Yet somehow I'm not getting a peace, charity, tolerance and forgiveness vibe from the conservatives and evangelicals who claim to have put their prodigal son back in office.

I'm getting more the feel of a vengeful mob - revved up by rectitude - running around with torches and hatchets after heathens and pagans and infidels....

Norman Solomon makes a similar point, but with regard to our foreign policy:

For public consumption, U.S. military officers – like their civilian bosses and American journalists – usually discuss this war in secular, even antiseptic terms. When the Times quoted Marine battalion commander Gary Brandl in another front-page story, on Nov. 6, the lieutenant colonel sounded straightforward: "We are going to rid the city of insurgents. If they do fight, we will kill them."...

Providing a fuller, more revealing quote from Lt. Col. Brandl, the Sunday Times of London included a lead-in sentence: "The Marines that I have had wounded over the past five months have been attacked by a faceless enemy. But the enemy has got a face. He's called Satan...." In other words, Satan started this conflict. And we – the anti-Satan forces – fully intend to finish it by destroying him.

Sounds very fundamentalist.

Sounds a lot like Osama bin Laden.

This country is becoming less welcome for humanists, and I fear a lot less safe.


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 New DOJ seal

Thanks uggabugga! (Translation: The ends justify the means.)


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Saturday, November 13, 2004

 Zealots on the Mount

Pierre Tristam nails it:
Iran has its mullahs. Afghanistan has its Taliban. Saudi Arabia has its Wahhabites. We have evangelicals, whose world view is different from those doctrinaire brigades in dress only.

What they all have in common is the subordination of private and public conduct to God's law as they understand it and the rejection of the secular values of the Enlightenment on which America's constitutional principles were founded, what historian Garry Wills sums up as "critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences."'

Quashing those principles may not be what we want as a society. But, for now, it's what we're headed toward.


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Friday, November 12, 2004

 Turn your back on Bush

New protest tactics are required for the inauguration. Turn your back on Bush.


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 Election outcome was statistically impossible

In "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," Professor Steven F. Freeman, of the University of Pennsylvania, says:
As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states [Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania] of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error.
The odds of those exit poll statistical anomalies occurring by chance are, according to Freeman, "250,000,000 to one." That's 250 MILLION to ONE.

He concludes the paper with this:
Systematic fraud or mistabulation is a premature conclusion, but the election's unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate.


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 "Anonymous" quits CIA

A senior CIA officer who has become an outspoken critic of the fight on terrorism turned in his resignation this week, citing a desire to speak more freely about problems in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the debate over intelligence reform.

Current government officials are rarely as vocal as Mike Scheuer, who wrote Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. But he called the decision to leave the agency after 22 years "entirely my own."

"I have concluded that there has not been adequate national debate over the nature of the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and the forces he leads and inspires, and the nature and dimensions of intelligence reform needed to address that threat," Scheuer said in a statement sent to reporters Thursday via electronic mail.

Scheuer's CIA assignments included running the bin Laden unit from January 1996 to June 1999. He hopes his experience and views will produce a more substantive debate. This week, Scheuer ignored agency orders and began granting interviews about shortfalls in the hunt for bin Laden, the findings and recommendations of the Sept. 11 and the intelligence community overall.

During a wide-ranging interview Sunday evening, Scheuer was highly critical of the Sept. 11 Commission's "refusal" to point fingers at senior government officials whose actions contributed to the attacks. Rather than changing the structure of government, as Congress is considering, he said a signal must be sent that people will be held accountable for their actions.

"No one seems to be capable or inclined to find anyone responsible for 9/11," he said.

Scheuer doesn't think the 9/11 attack could have been stopped, but believes the various commissions that have investigated the attack should have better considered whether the intelligence community was working optimally. For instance, Scheuer finds flaws with the FBI agents who were sent to the CIA to work with the bin Laden unit under his watch. He said the CIA shared information with the agents, but they didn't take it back to their headquarters. He said they were more interested in "travel overseas" and "war stories."

"They were interested in doing everything but work," he said. He could think of only limited exceptions. Scheuer is also critical of how CIA resources and personnel are now being distributed to go after al-Qaida.

Spokespeople at the CIA and the FBI declined to comment.

Even after his resignation, Scheuer must abide by regulations that govern all former agency employees. He won't be able to discuss classified information, and speeches, books and articles on intelligence subjects will have to be cleared by an agency review board.


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 Dawn of the Brain-dead

Yeow! Doug Thompson lets loose:
Bush returned to office because an army of brain-dead cretins, their minds turned to mush by years of right-wing propaganda, marched to the polls and exercised what little grey matter remained to pull the lever, touch the screen or mark the ballot to elect anything Republican....

Thanks to them, America is no longer the land of the free or home of the brave. Thanks to them, we have become the land of the moronic and home of the oppressed. They are a greater enemy to freedom than any Farsi-spouting Muslim cleric ever can be.


Blogger Dave S. said...

Whose the real morans?

10:12 AM  
Blogger trueforyou said...

republicans are not dumb. They are great salesman. The democrats make thier ideas too complicated....with too many if.....ands.....or ...buts.....

3:19 PM  

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

 Tank deployed against Los Angeles protesters

A tank was deployed yesterday against peaceful protesters in Los Angeles (watch the video). Not a police car, a fucking tank!
LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2004 - At 7:50 PM two armored tanks showed up at an anti-war protest in front of the federal building in Westwood. The tanks circled the block twice, the second time parking themselves in the street and directly in front of the area where most of the protesters were gathered. Enraged, some of the people attempted to block the tanks, but police quickly cleared the street. The people continued to protest the presence of the tanks, but about ten minutes the tanks drove off. It is unclear as to why the tanks were deployed to this location.

Welcome to George W. Bush's Amerikkka.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, those were armored cars--lightly armored vehicles with wheels rather than tracks. It looked like an attempt at intimidation, especially considering how small the crowd was. Jeez.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Karlo said...

What were the authorities worried about? That the protesters would toss boiled eggs instead of raw ones?

11:59 PM  

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 A six year-old humanist

Little Susie, a six-year-old, came home from school whining, "Mommy, I've got a stomachache."

"That's because your stomach is empty," her mother replied. "You'd feel better if you had something in it." She gave Susie a snack and sure enough, Susie felt better right away.

That afternoon the family's minister dropped by. While he was chatting with Susie's mom, he mentioned he'd had a bad headache all day long.

Susie perked up. "That's because your head is empty," she said. "You'd feel better if you had something in it."


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 Detroit man killed for his atheism

A 49-year-old Detroit man has admitted he killed a man with a revolver and a shotgun because the man said he didn't believe in God.

After the murder, the man called police. The dispatcher said the shooter told him he'd just shot "the devil himself" and was still armed and standing over the body of the 62-year-old victim in case he moved. "I want to make sure he's gone," the shooter told the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked the suspect how many times he shot the victim.

"Hopefully enough," was the suspect's chilling reply, according to the dispatcher.

The suspect, an Eagle Scout, said the victim had told him there was nothing he could say that would convince the 62-year-old to believe in God: "I did it because he is evil; he was not a believer," he told police.

At the police station, the suspect commented that he believed there is a God. Then, looking at the floor, he seemed to have second thoughts: "Maybe there's not," he said.

Try as I might, I find it difficult to imagine the reverse. When have we ever read of an atheist murdering a believer over religion? Despite the Christian PR about how they are so persecuted in this country, it just doesn't happen.


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 Crusaders on the march

I guess this will dispel any Islamic conspiracy theories that we are waging a new crusade, right? Right?


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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

 Secession news update

Here's a smattering on Blue state secession from the Albequerque Tribune, the Jerusalem Post, the Boston Herald, the Washington Times, and Newsday.


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 Life on a chain of islands

Dan Savage gives good metaphor:
Provided we don't all leave, here's how we get through a second Bush term: For at least the next four years, American lefties, artists, and queers should not consider this land our land. It is not a land of opportunity that spreads from sea to shining sea. No, we live on a chain of islands, an archipelago, not a continent. Sane people live on our islands—New York, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Madison, Austin, Boston, and on and on; basically all the cities, in red states and blue, that voted for Kerry—and we may not be the majority right now, and it may feel like sea levels are rising. But, hey, we own all the best real estate. We've got the cities, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West Coast. And what have they got? The Wal-Marts, the West Virginias, the Alabamas, the McMansions, and the mega-churches. Fuck 'em. Let 'em have that crap. We'll fight the fuckers in two years during the midterm elections and take back Congress. And we'll take 'em on again in four years and take back the White House. In the meantime, enjoy island life.


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 Americans value more than intolerance

It seems that the moral values held by most Americans are much broader than uterus control and anal sex.

Battling the notion that "values voters" swept President Bush to victory because of opposition to gay marriage and abortion, religious leaders released a post-election poll revealing that 33 percent of voters said the nation's most urgent moral problem was "greed and materialism" and 31 percent said it was "poverty and economic justice." Sixteen percent cited abortion, and 12 percent named same-sex marriage.

The nationwide telephone poll of 10,689 voters was conducted by Zogby International for the Catholic peace group Pax Christi, the New York-based civic advocacy group Res Publica and the Washington-based Center for American Progress, a think tank allied with Democrats. It had a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.

The poll found that 42 percent of voters cited the war in Iraq as the "moral issue" that most influenced their choice of candidates, while 13 percent cited abortion and 9 percent same-sex marriage. Asked to name the greatest threat to marriage, 31 percent said "infidelity," 25 percent cited "rising financial burdens" and 22 percent named same-sex marriage.


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 Ashcroft's record of incompetence

From the time he took the oath of office as Attorney General of the United States, John Ashcroft declared war on the Constitution and freedom as we know it in the United States.
  1. Ashcroft showed his true colors from day one, ordering drapes for nude statues in the Justice Building of Washington, and setting up a "large-scale campaign against pornography," with hundreds of FBI agents, lawyers and researchers gobbling up millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. (To date, the Justice Department has brought 43 cases to trial - and lost every one.)

  2. As Missouri attorney general, Ashcroft often put his own extremist beliefs over the law, threatening to prosecute business who opened on Sunday even after a statewide voter referendum overturned the state's archaic "blue laws" that forced retail establishments to close on the Seventh Day. "God's will supersedes the laws of man," Ashcroft declared at the time. The Supreme Court of Missouri disagreed and forced him to cease and desist. It would be the first of many clashes between Ashcroft and the courts and the courts always won.

  3. Ashcroft also broke the law. Last December the Federal Election Commission slapped Ashcroft’s failed US Senate Campaign (the one where he lost re-election to a dead guy) with a $37,000 fine for “at least four violations of federal campaign law.”

  4. Ashcroft compiled a horrendous record on civil rights, opposing outright desegregation of schools in St. Louis and laws granted equal rights to women and minorities.

  5. Ashcroft authored much of the USA Patriot Act, a rights-robbing set of laws that ignored basic freedoms of the Constitution and gave the Federal Government broad powers to hold American citizens without cause, deny them right to counsel and wiretap any person almost at will.

  6. All of his high-profile arrests of so-called terrorists have stalled or been tossed out. Ashcroft is 0 for 5000 on terror convictions. Legal scholars say the Justice Department under Ashcroft is "inept" and unable to build cases against those in custody because they "don't know the basics of building a case."
While this anti-humanist tyrant is gone, the tyranny of his actions remain as a constant threat to the freedoms we once accepted as a guarantee in this country.


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 Evidence mounts that the vote was hacked

Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant to the first Clinton campaign who became a Republican consultant and Fox News regular, wrote an article for The Hill, the publication read by every political junkie in Washington, DC, in which he made a couple of brilliant points:
"Exit Polls are almost never wrong," Morris wrote. "They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state."

He added: "So, according to ABC-TVs exit polls, for example, Kerry was slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, all of which Bush carried. The only swing state the network had going to Bush was West Virginia, which the president won by 10 points."...

"This was no mere mistake. Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the board as they were on election night. I suspect foul play."

I work in the tech industry, and I can hack. However, the Diebold vote tabulators are so easily hackable it doesn't take someone like me to do it. Check out this video of Howard Dean hacking one. It took him 90 seconds.

Dean's hack left no tracks whatsoever. It would be nearly impossible for the election software – or a County election official - to know that the vote database had been altered.


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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

 Fuck the South



Blogger Knott said...

That is HYSTERICAL. I couldnt' agree more. As my kids would say, "Dude, you rock!"

8:45 AM  
Blogger trueforyou said...

the south cannot be ignored,,,,,,I wished John kerry had selected the female governor of louisiana as his running mate...I think he could have taken louisiana if he had....ignoring the south....is just plain,,,ignorance by the democrats....especially,,,since the south and all the southern states have about 1/3 black voting blocks....and the majority of black democrat elected officals are from the South,,,,There are over 5,000 black elected democrats in the south

3:23 PM  

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 The origins of hate

The next time you read or hear about how liberals look down on their fellow Americans and how our enduring nastiness and intolerance of conservatives is what keeps us from winning elections blah blah blah, remember this.


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 A 24 year record of conservatism

Nice analysis from Richard at Dispatches:

Here is an interesting statement from Thomas Oliphant. The op-ed piece is about the Specter controversy going on, but within it he makes this statement that really jumped out at me:
It's important to see all this through the right's lens. Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980; since then, conservatives have been president 16 of 24 years; the party has held the Senate for 16 different years and directly controlled the House for 10 and had effective control of the floor for two more (1981-82).

From one Christian conservative perspective, during this period there have been more than 25 million abortions, gay rights have advanced rapidly, family structures have come under cultural assault, pornography has become an industry, and Hollywood continues to undermine parents' authority.

Other conservatives note that the federal government has expanded instead of shrunk, its spending has not been restrained, its direct influence over public schools has increased, and entitlement programs have been added. Many conservatives see the Republican Party as successful at running campaigns and winning elections, but they wonder if their standard-bearers and strategists (right now that means George Bush and Karl Rove) have any interest in actually changing things.

One could easily add to this analysis that during the 8 years in this time period that the Republicans did not control the White House, they had a President in Clinton who signed several major pieces of legislation that had long been part of the Republican agenda and that were opposed primarily by Democrats - NAFTA, GATT, welfare reform, the Telecom bill, deregulation of the financial industry. The irony is that Clinton's agenda on these matters was more consistently conservative than Bush's agenda. Clinton was pro-free trade; Bush has imposed tarrifs in several industries. Clinton pushed through deregulation bills; Bush pushed through the first major new entitlement program, to the tune of some $500 billion, since the Great Society of the 1960s. Clinton made it a major priority to balance the budget and did so; Bush brought back record deficits.

The irony of all this is that in controlling government for most of the last 24 years, the alleged party of 'smaller government' has overseen a spectacular growth in government on virtually every front. And despite their heated rhetoric on issues like abortion, pornography and gay rights, their followers have more to hate in our culture today than they did in 1980. Their rhetoric clearly does not match reality, and I suspect that rank and file social conservatives have to be getting a little frustrated over it. How long can this charade continue?


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 Next steps for red and blue America

This piece is by far the best election post-mortem that I've ever read for any election. Give yourself about twenty minutes to digest it all -- it's long but worth ever word:
[Republicans] are stupid. They believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for September 11, 2001. They think corn syrup is food. They believe that there's no such thing as stateless terrorism. They believe that "the left" is responsible for the revolting cesspool of popular culture. They don't believe in evolution.

They think Bush is a godly man.... They believe in one paragraph out of Leviticus, but they ignore the rest of the Bible. They let themselves get scammed over and over by robber barons and religious hucksters. And apparently, although I find this hard to conceive of, they believe that the media is liberal. They're fucking stupid....

We have the skills. We have the knowledge and science and art and decency. We have the money. Blue state taxes go to red states.

We subsidize their bigoted, murderous asses.

All we have to do is help the Republicans stomp the federal income tax into oblivion and then crank up our state's income tax to cover our social programs.

So, let's teach them evolution first-hand, and let them starve. No more Blue State funds to Red States....

If red state voters want to vote GOP, let them live in the world they vote for.


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 Why the Dems shouldn't abandon gay rights

In the wake of last week's election results some within the Democratic Party have talked openly about abandoning the issue of civil rights for all. Here's why they shouldn't:
There was a very strong correlation between President Bush's share of the vote in 2000 and his share of the vote in 2004 across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The president consistently ran a few percentage points ahead of his showing in 2000, but he did not improve on his 2000 performance any more in states with gay marriage referenda than in other states. In 11 states with gay marriage referenda on the ballot, the president increased his share of the vote from an average of 55.4 percent in 2000 to an average of 58.0 percent in 2004--an improvement of 2.6 percentage points. However, in the rest of the country the president increased his share of the vote from an average of 48.1 percent in 2000 to an average of 51.0 percent in 2004--an improvement of 2.9 percentage points.


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 Firefox browser goes 1.0 today

Firefox, the finest, most secure Web browser ever created for average-user applications, went 1.0 today. You can download it, toss out Internet Explorer, and be relatively assured that you computer won't be compromised due to Microsoft's bad design decisions and lax security maintenance.


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 Quote of the Day - John Lewis

"Politics is just like driving a car. If you want to go backward, you put it in 'R.' If you want to go forward, you put it in 'D.'"

-- Rep. John Lewis (D-OH) during the Ohio breakfasts at the DNC


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Monday, November 08, 2004

 Some dogs are smarter than people

Good dog!


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 The problems with Jesusland

Ken Layne and I are of like minds:
I've never had a problem with actual conservatives, because actual conservative thought -- as defined by William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, etc. -- is just a way of looking at the role of government. Hell, I've had a lot more trouble with True Believer Liberal Democrats, always telling me what to eat and oh that song is sexist and that's not funny. There just aren't that many actual conservatives. (If there were, Mr. TaxCut-and-Spend wouldn't be reading his Victory Prayer on teevee today.)

But I've got a big problem with Jesusland. If you want to worship the ghost of a jew from the Roman Empire, that's cool. Enjoy it! But when you people and your bizarre mystery cult claim the goddamned president as your prime convert who rules by the voices in his head, I call bullshit. I don't care so much about party politics, but I will fight long and hard to prevent this country from becoming a Complete Theocracy -- if you can call the intellectually vapid mishmash of evangelical Christianity a true Theology. Or, maybe you people just take Jesusland. You won't need the economic power of the coasts, because you don't care if you're employed. Your entire economic output will be shoddy Jesus booklets, Christian rock and bad food. It'll be great.


Blogger LittleDoc said...

The downside I see is that Jesusland will have the nukes (e.g. the Pantex plant in Amarillo) and the high explosives (among the explosives stolen in Iraq was HMX, the bad news stuff that is used in contructing nukes and "maximum-performance explosives". It's only made in Tennessee). When the Fundie jihad occurs that will put the rest of us in a bit of a bind. :-(

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Thomas Jefferson said it best, "I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature."

If anyone is in favor of living in a country where the government rules according to the teachings (or their distorted interpretations of said teachings) of religion, pack your bags and head to Iran - you'll find out why America's founding fathers structured our country to have separation of church and state.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Writing as a Christian Humanist of the Anglican persuasion, your an insulting heathen. :) For myself and many liberal thinking Christians, We don't claim this President anymore than you do. However, name calling on your end is destructive to the progressive movement and your own intolerance and atheistic tribalism is appaling.

Maybe your talk about non-tribal humanism is just a load of crap. I don't think so but the more you post flamebait such as the above, the more you allow people in the center (and yes they do exist) to buy into the myth of "liberal intolerance."

Please watch the flaming. Especially since Humanism is supposed to cross all cults... including Atheism. :)

12:58 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

I'm not quite sure what you are accusing me of.... This link to Ken Layne's post is just that: a link.

If a call against morphing America into a theocracy is "atheistic tribalism" then so be it. You may be happier in Iran: it is a theocracy, after all.

10:16 AM  

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 Real conservative values

Via MyDD.com:
84% of those people who identify as conservatives voted for George Bush, thereby endorsing his policies. I say, and my Catholic upbringing says, that your actions are your beliefs, and there is no difference between the two. Considering this, it is time to face some facts:

  • Real conservatives value fiscal insolvency, including irresponsible tax cuts, corporate giveaways, massive spending increases, huge undisclosed pork-barrel spending projects hammered out during congressional conference, rather than actual budget legislation on the Congressional floor that is open to the public and recorded in the public record. You know that conservatives value these things, because these are the things the vast majority of self-proclaimed conservatives do.

  • Real conservatives do not value your personal liberties. They like disenfranchising voters, challenging voters, and making it more difficult to vote. They like it when the government is in your bedroom. They want to be able to spy on your personal files. They do not respect your right to privacy. They like to tell you who you can and cannot love, and what you can and cannot do to your own body. You know these are conservative values, because conservatives regularly pass laws of this nature.

  • Real conservatives like to recklessly use the military They love war, and regularly resort to it as one of their first choices. They have no respect for the lives their policies destroy, as long as they have more bases overseas. They derive their values from violence, and detest peace. They will come up with any excuse possible, and cynically invent several more, to use force whenever possible, wherever possible. You know these are conservative values, because these are the actions conservatives take.

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     Currency markets hate Bush win

    Currency traders say that the dollar could slide still further, in spite of hitting an all-time low against the euro last week in the wake of George W. Bush's election.

    The dollar sell-off has resumed amid fears among traders that Mr Bush's victory will bring four more years of widening US budget and current account deficits, heightened geopolitical risks and a policy of "benign neglect" of the dollar.

    Many currency traders were taken aback on Friday when the greenback fell in spite of bullish data showing the US economy created 337,000 jobs in October: "If this can't cause the dollar to strengthen you have to tell me what will. This is a big green light to sell the dollar," said David Bloom, currency analyst at HSBC, as the greenback fell to a nine-year low in trade-weighted terms.

    The market has been rife with rumours that the latest wave of selling has been led by foreign governments seeking to cut their exposure to US assets. India and Russia have reportedly been selling US assets, as well as petrodollar-rich Middle Eastern investors. China, which has $515bn of reserves, was also said to be selling dollars and buying Asian currencies in readiness to switch the renminbi's dollar peg to a basket arrangement.


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     Osama is a happy man

    James Wolcott eloquently argues that a Bush election is exactly what Osama wanted:
    The election was a victory for George Bush and Rovianism, a victory for Grover Norquist. It was also a victory for Osama Bin Laden. I don't believe for a moment Bin Laden was trying to sway voters to Kerry with his taped address. This was the outcome he wanted, a gift from us to him: an unapologetic Christian Crusader in the White House whose reelection giving lie to the notion that Abu Ghraib was an aberration and that the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians weigh upon America's conscience. This morning America could not look more like a grinning aggressor to the Arab world, an aggressor with fresh marching orders.


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    Sunday, November 07, 2004

     Why Poli Sci is right, and the pundits are wrong

    Mark Penn argues that the election was won and lost, not primarily by who turned out the base, but who best appealed to moderate voters.

    Two key groups -- Hispanics and married white women -- voted more strongly for Bush and are the reason he edged out Kerry. The hype of this election, that it would be about a huge new youth turnout, or that it was all about the religious right, was not borne out by the numbers: In 2000, Bush received 35% of the Hispanic vote and 49% of the women's vote. In 2004, the numbers rose to 44% and 55%, respectively. Given those numbers, it seems quite plausible that the Hispanic and women's vote decided this election.

    This is exactly the outcome predicted by most mainstream models of voter behavior in the field of political science. Whoever appeals best to their base, while relevant, is not as critical as appealing to the median voter.


    Blogger Matt said...

    Saw your conclusion from the statistics and I hope you are joking. Women may have decided the election, but it is very doubtful that it was decided by Hispanics, and even less likely by women Hispanics. Higher percentages of Hispanics are situated in the southern states where they have voting blocs. The only ones of these states that were close were Florida, NM and NV. Although FL wasn't really that close. You have to look at the #'s that vote, while Hispanics are a large minority, they don't vote in high percentages. The increase may have decided NM, or NV, but I doubt FL. And Bush didn't need NM or NV, so unless they decided FL I think youre incorrect. You should never draw generalizations from statistics, they tend to be misleading.

    3:59 PM  

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    Friday, November 05, 2004

     What the Democrats must do

    Two veteran New York Times columnists have some good advice applicable not just to Democrats but to Republicans that still value democratic principles. First, Bob Hebert says, "Get back to work:"
    You had a couple of days to indulge your depression - now, get over it. The election's been lost but there's still a country to save, and with the current leadership that won't be easy. Crucial matters that have been taken for granted too long - like the Supreme Court and Social Security - are at risk. Caving in to depression and a sense of helplessness should not be an option when the country is speeding toward an abyss.

    Roll up your sleeves and do what you can. Talk to your neighbors. Call or write your elected officials. Volunteer to help in political campaigns. Circulate petitions. Attend meetings. Protest. Run for office. Support good candidates who are running for office. Register people to vote. Reach out to the young and the apathetic. Raise money. Stay informed. And vote, vote, vote - every chance you get.

    Democracy is a breeze during good times. It's when the storms are raging that citizenship is put to the test. And there's a hell of a wind blowing right now.

    In a similar fashion, Paul Krugman says, "No surrender:"

    [W]hile it's O.K. to think things over, those who abhor the direction Mr. Bush is taking the country must maintain their intensity; they must not succumb to defeatism....

    Democrats are not going to get the support of people whose votes are motivated, above all, by their opposition to abortion and gay rights (and, in the background, opposition to minority rights). All they will do if they try to cater to intolerance is alienate their own base.

    Does this mean that the Democrats are condemned to permanent minority status? No. The religious right - not to be confused with religious Americans in general - isn't a majority, or even a dominant minority. It's just one bloc of voters, whom the Republican Party has learned to mobilize with wedge issues like this year's polarizing debate over gay marriage.

    Rather than catering to voters who will never support them, the Democrats - who are doing pretty well at getting the votes of moderates and independents - need to become equally effective at mobilizing their own base....

    What's at stake isn't just the fate of their party, but the fate of America as we know it.


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    Thursday, November 04, 2004

     What the rest of the world thinks about the election

    Official statements, of course, are full of ass-kissing. But the view from the street is more forthright. For example, from the Globe and Mail:
    "I had previously told my friends that I support the American people but that I do not support their leader, who they did not truly choose and who did not represent their beliefs," a Parisian student said on Radio France last night.

    "Now I understand that there is truly unity in their beliefs, and I am not so confident about America."
    Arabs are in shock, and pissed:
    "The American people approve the actions of this pig," said one.

    "They want war and we are ready," said another, "Muslims living over there (in the United States) must leave quickly."

    "Enough of the defeatists' lie that there are innocent people in America," wrote another.

    "The United States is beating the war drums. This will be World War Three. So, get ready for war," said another, signing himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born militant believed to be Al-Qaeda's chief operative in Iraq.
    Turkey's Milliyet:
    The American voters found the "danger" of gay marriages or the expansion of adoption more important than the soldiers being killed in Iraq. Mostly, the white conservatives of the American rural areas voted for the "tough cowboy from Texas". The youth vote in the port cities, the women, the Hispanics, the blacks were not sufficient for a change. Fear has won. The world has lost.
    Finally, from Russia's Nezavisimaya Gazeta:
    [T]he victory of militant Republicanism which rules America, bearing in mind our psychological dependence on the USA (although we try not to admit to it) will inevitably induce new anti-liberal tendencies in our country.


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    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

     A new map for North America

    Thanks to the creative commenters at DailyKos.


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     Bush on cover of Time

    Forwarded from my cousin:


    Blogger Me said...

    That is now my screen saver. (But if you look closely, it appears to be dated 2000?)

    12:24 AM  

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     Mandate for a culture war

    Bill Bennett is claiming that W's win is a mandate for a culture war. Fuckhead.


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     Expect a scandalous second term

    Kevin Drum provides an interesting analysis of what to expect in a second Bush term:
    Consider the highlight reel of reelected presidents over the past 50 years. Ike won a second term and watched in dismay as his chief of staff was forced to resign over a vicuña coat. Richard Nixon buried George McGovern in 1972 and then resigned a year and a half later when Watergate finally caught up to him. Ronald Reagan sweated out his second term wondering if he'd be impeached over Iran-Contra. Bill Clinton didn't have to wonder: Two years after his reelection, he was defending himself in the first impeachment trial in over a century....

    George Bush is especially vulnerable to this since his first term already has several good candidates for scandals waiting to flower. Take your pick: Valerie Plame? The National Guard? Abu Ghraib? Intelligence failures? Or maybe something that hasn't really crossed anybody's radar screen yet, sort of like the "third-rate burglary" at the Watergate Hotel that no one took seriously in 1972.

    Drum's scenario seems a lot more likely than some of the alternatives, like the coward trying to tackle climate change seriously.

    (Originally posted to Nanovirus September 13th)


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     Alterman: More 'them' than 'us'

    Eric Alterman on what it all means:
    The problem is just this: Slightly more than half of the citizens of this country simply do not care about what those of us in the “reality-based community” say or believe about anything.

    They don’t care that Iraq is turning into murderous quicksand and a killing field for our children. They don’t care that the Bush presidency has made us less safe by creating more terrorists, inspiring more anti-American hatred and refusing to engage in the hard work that would be necessary to make a meaningful dent in our myriad vulnerabilities at home. They don’t care that he has mortgaged our children’s future to give trillions to the wealthiest among us. They don’t care that the economy continues to hemorrhage well-paying jobs and replace them with Wal-Mart; that the number without health insurance is over forty million and rising. They don’t care that Medicare premiums are rising to fund the coffers of pharmaceutical companies. They don’t care that the air they breathe and the water they drink is being slowly poisoned and though they call themselves conservatives, they even don’t care that the size of the government and its share of our national income has increased by roughly a quarter in just four years. This is not a world of rational debate and issue preference.

    It’s one of “them” and “us.” He’s one of “them” and not one of “us” and that’s all they care about. True it’s an illusion. After all, Bush is a millionaire’s son who went to Yale and Harvard and sat out Vietnam, not even bothering to show up for his cushy National Guard duty, and succeeded only in trading on his father’s name and connections in adult life. But somehow, they feel he understands them. He speaks their language. Our guys don’t.


    Blogger Dave S. said...

    Or maybe Alterman just doesn't get it.

    10:07 PM  

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     What the international election monitors say

    The global implications of the US election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.

    The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system....

    "To be honest, monitoring elections in Serbia a few months ago was much simpler," said Konrad Olszewski, an election observer stationed in Miami by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Link


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     'Don't Mourn, Organize'

    Good advice from DailyKos:
    Why were we in this fight in the first place? Because terrible leaders are doing terrible things to our country and calling this wonderful. Because radical reactionaries are trying to impose their imperialist schemes on whoever they wish and calling this just. Because amoral oligarchs are determined to enhance their slice of the economic pie and calling this the natural order. Because flag-wrapped ideologues want to chop up civil liberties and call this security. Because myopians are in charge of America’s future.


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