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Thursday, September 29, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Mencken

"Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake."

~ H. L. Mencken

1 Comments:

Blogger Electro said...

And be forgiven.

9:56 PM  

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[+/-]
 Judge orders release of Abu Ghraib photos

Judge orders the release of Abu Ghraib photos:
Saying the United States 'does not surrender to blackmail,' a judge ruled Thursday that pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered the release of certain pictures in a 50-page decision that said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they "do not need pretexts for their barbarism."

The ACLU has sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

The judge said: "Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."

The existence of more photos and video was uncovered by Seymour Hersh last year but squelched during the November presidential election.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Dershowitz

"I have always considered 'Pascal's Wager' a questionable bet to place. Any God worth 'believing in' would surely prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite."

~ Alan Dershowitz

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[+/-]
 BushCo demotes prosecutor in Abramoff case

Obstruction of justice, courtesy of BushCo:
The Justice Department's inspector general and the F.B.I. are looking into the demotion of a veteran federal prosecutor whose reassignment nearly three years ago shut down a criminal investigation of the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, current and former department officials report.

They said investigators had questioned whether the demotion of the prosecutor, Frederick A. Black, in November 2002 was related to his alert to Justice Department officials days earlier that he was investigating Mr. Abramoff. The lobbyist is a major Republican Party fund-raiser and a close friend of several Congressional leaders.

Colleagues said the demotion of Mr. Black, the acting United States attorney in Guam, and a subsequent order barring him from pursuing public corruption cases brought an end to his inquiry into Mr. Abramoff's lobbying work for some Guam judges.

Colleagues of Mr. Black, who had run the federal prosecutor's office in Guam for 12 years, spoke on condition of anonymity because of Justice Department rules that bar employees from talking to reporters. They said F.B.I. agents questioned several people in Guam and Washington this summer about whether Mr. Abramoff or his friends in the Bush administration had pushed for Mr. Black's removal. Mr. Abramoff's internal e-mail messages show that he boasted to clients about what he described as his close ties to John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, and others at the department.

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[+/-]
 New bumpersticker!

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[+/-]
 Bigotry in the name of Jesus H. Christ

Good rant:
The Bible contains a lot of hogwash which, in a modern context, has little or no validity. The Bible tells us that anyone who comes into contact with a woman who is menstruating must do penance. The Book of Leviticus, the section of the Bible which is the cornerstone of the frightening Christian Reconstructionist movement, condemns homosexuality under pain of death. It also condemns the touching of pig flesh on Sundays... under pain of death. That would certainly make football interesting. Whoever touches the ball dies.

1 Comments:

Blogger Electro said...

The igorance here is great. First of all the Sunday is not the Jewish Sabath which is what the writer is really trying to get at and there are New testamant writings that release Christians from some of the old laws. and I thought everyone knew that footballs are not made of pig skin. Rants should be intelligent.

8:01 AM  

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Monday, September 26, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Orwell

"Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception. Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also -- since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself -- unshakeably certain of being in the right."

~ George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

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[+/-]
 New evidence supports evolution

When scientists announced last month they had determined the exact order of all 3 billion bits of genetic code that go into making a chimpanzee, it was no surprise that the sequence was more than 96 percent identical to the human genome....

Using a mathematical formula that emerges from evolutionary theory, [scientists] should be able to predict the number of harmful mutations in chimpanzee DNA by knowing the number of mutations in a different species' DNA and the two animals' population sizes.

"That's a very specific prediction," said Eric Lander, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and a leader in the chimp project.

Sure enough, when Lander and his colleagues tallied the harmful mutations in the chimp genome, the number fit perfectly into the range that evolutionary theory had predicted....

Evolution's repeated power to predict the unexpected goes a long way toward explaining why so many scientists and others are practically apoplectic over the recent decision by a Pennsylvania school board to treat evolution as an unproven hypothesis, on par with "alternative" explanations such as Intelligent Design (ID), the proposition that life as we know it could not have arisen without the helping hand of some mysterious intelligent force....

"What makes evolution a scientific explanation is that it makes testable predictions," Lander said. "You only believe theories when they make non-obvious predictions that are confirmed by scientific evidence."

Link

3 Comments:

Blogger Bigg said...

I live in PA, and while I'm not close to the school district in question, I live amongst the same mind-set. It's rather sad when a few people with an agenda seize control from the majority.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Electro said...

Oh, you men like when a few people want to change something that the majority don't agree with. Like Gay marriage? By the way let me see if I have this correct about evolution. There was a big bang and matter was everywhere unformed into anything just light from the "bang" then stars and planets started to form, like earth and the sun. Then the earth cooled and there was one great continent and a huge ocean. then plants and things began to grow on the Earth. then living things began to live in the ocean, and later birds and animals were living on the land. later and last on the scene are humans. OK I think I got it. Gee sounds very simular to the very first story in the Bible. I mean except it took 6 Billion years instead of seven "days". We are just now figuring this out? I thought this story had been around for a long time.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Electro:

Your criticisms of evolution are misdirected. You are erroneously associating evolution with abiogenesis, the proposition that living organisms came from inorganic matter. Evolution only addresses how already existing organisms change from one form to another. That does not mean abiogenesis is necessarily wrong; just that there is much more research to carry out and complete before it reaches the same level of confidence that the theory of evolution now enjoys.

Note that evolution does NOT directly support the atheistic view. In fact, many people embrace both a belief in God and a belief in evolution. While evolution may contradict particular creation stories such as the Genesis account, it has nothing to say about the existence or non-existence of a Creator in general, because that is not a scientific question.

I find it ironic that creationists only attack a scientific theory when it contradicts their beliefs in the Bible. Otherwise, they seem content to accept theories of other scientific disciplines -- even such notoriously difficult to understand theories as Einstein's relativity -- without question.

10:17 AM  

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[+/-]
 Finger Entry Method: Anal

What does FEMA stand for?

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[+/-]
 Celebrating life

Check out Professor Michael Bérubé as he tears Senator Sam Brownback a new one:
I do not support clerics, mullahs, and their elected-official enablers who insist that the police power of the state be marshalled to compel those families to bear children against their will....

[Y]ou and your cohort of extremists in Opus Dei, together with your extremist counterparts on the other side of the Reformation—profess to be worried about the constitutional rights that accrue to fetuses, embryos, and zygotes. Indeed, you are so worried about the rights of fetuses that you will install at the head of our nation’s highest court a man who almost surely will strip numerous constitutional rights from living humans. But then, your cohort is not always as concerned about humans ex utero as humans in utero.

The full text of the post is worth a read.

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[+/-]
 Iraq war news roundup

Forget about Poland? Well now you can forget Britain, as the Coalition of Bribed and Coerced loses another member:
British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month, The Observer can reveal.

The document being drawn up by the British government and the US will be presented to the Iraqi parliament in October and will spark fresh controversy over how long British troops will stay in the country. Tony Blair hopes that, despite continuing and widespread violence in Iraq, the move will show that there is progress following the conflict of 2003.

Japan willl probably follow soon thereafter:

Britain has already privately informed Japan - which also has troops in Iraq - of its plans to begin withdrawing from southern Iraq in May, a move that officials in Tokyo say would make it impossible for their own 550 soldiers to remain.

Meanwhile opposition to the war continues to grow in the US, as 100,000 anti-war demonstrators marched in protest in DC yesterday:

In the crowd: young activists, nuns whose anti-war activism dates to Vietnam, parents mourning their children in uniform lost in Iraq, and uncountable families motivated for the first time to protest....

While united against the war, political beliefs varied. Paul Rutherford, 60, of Vandalia, Mich., said he is a Republican who supported Bush in the last election and still does — except for the war.

"President Bush needs to admit he made a mistake in the war and bring the troops home, and let's move on," Rutherford said.

You might not have heard of the protests, though, since no major cable news channels sent any cameras to cover it. Here's some video and photo links instead. A counter-protest in support of the war drew a mere 400 persons, and a Bush appeal for donations to rebuild Iraq netted $600.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Cohen

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."

~ Chapman Cohen

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[+/-]
 The 'myth' of Iraq's foreign fighters

The US and Iraqi governments have vastly overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, according to a new report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). Foreign fighters comprise only about 4 to 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgents.

So much for the Flypaper Theory.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Bowman

"You know our freedoms are not under attack from the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Bathist Party. They’re under attack by the likes of John Ashcroft. They’re trampled by Donald Rumsfeld, they’re disdained by Dick Cheney, and they’re not even understood by George W. Bush."

~ US Air Force Col Robert Bowman

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

[+/-]
 Halliburton serves contaminated water to troops

Halliburton: the most qualified company to serve contaminated water to American troops:
Former KBR employees and water quality specialists, Ben Carter and Ken May, told HalliburtonWatch that KBR knowingly exposes troops and civilians to contaminated water from Iraq's Euphrates River. One internal KBR email provided to HalliburtonWatch says that, for "possibly a year," the level of contamination at one camp was two times the normal level for untreated water.

"I discovered the water being delivered from the Euphrates for the military was not being treated properly and thousands were being exposed daily to numerous pathogenic organisms," Carter informed HalliburtonWatch.

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[+/-]
 War on Terror is over

I think the War on Terror is over. It must be. Otherwise, how do you explain:
  1. Military commandos in the streets of DC;

  2. Bush waiving sanctions on Saudi Arabia for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes and child sex workers; and

  3. The FBI's new war on legal porn.
The troops are coming home now, right?

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[+/-]
 10 questions to ask the religious

Father Dan has ten excellent questions to ask of the religious. Check it out.

1 Comments:

Anonymous subnormal said...

i liked it, but the last one is a little bit weak, sure i agree with him, but still technically its a choice to be made

5:18 AM  

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[+/-]
 Today's quote: Midler

"George Bush is a fan of mine -- he came to see me in the Seventies. His coke dealer brought him."

~ Bette Midler

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Clarke

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him."

~ Arthur C. Clarke

1 Comments:

Blogger MichaelBains said...

Been there. Done that.

Now I'm trying to do something valuable to me: face life on life's terms and live it Reasonably for my remaining years.

But it's still a groovy quote.

2:20 PM  

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[+/-]
 House Republicans derail probes of Plame affair

While you were watching Katrina:
Republicans on three separate congressional committees this week derailed three formal "resolutions of inquiry" by Democrats that would have required the Bush administration to turn over sensitive information and records relating to the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Had the resolutions of inquiry been adopted, they would have led to the first independent congressional inquiries of the Plame affair, and perhaps even the public testimony of senior Bush administration aides such as Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff, and I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, about their personal roles.

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[+/-]
 Judge says FBI can't silence discussion of PATRIOT Act

Chalk up a win for the good guys:
In a victory for First Amendment advocates, a federal judge lifted a gag order on a Connecticut library from whom the FBI demanded patrons' records, allowing them to discuss openly their experience and participate in the broader debate about the PATRIOT Act. The judge issued a preliminary injunction against the government, barring it from enforcing gag orders on recipients of certain orders called National Security Letters (NSL), created under the PATRIOT Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who is also a plaintiff in the case, represent "John Doe," an unidentified member of the American Library Association. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on August 9 against the U.S. Department of Justice, and the case was originally under seal in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Wiesenthal

"None of my "clients" - not Eichmann, not Stangl, not Mengele, and not even Hitler or Stalin - was born a criminal. Somebody had to teach them to hate: maybe the society, maybe the politics, maybe just a Jewish prostitute."

~ Simon Wiesenthal, December 31, 1908 - September 20, 2005.

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[+/-]
 Police forcibly break up Cindy Sheehan rally

The New York City Police Department forcibly broke up yesterday's permitted rally for Cindy Sheehan, moving in as Cindy was speaking at about 3 p.m. in Union Square. The rally had been underway for about an hour, and was about to conclude as Cindy spoke following several other speakers, including a few who are traveling with her on her caravan.

At least one organizer was arrested.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Dawkins

"I've been reading an Alabama newspaper that one man shot another man because he beat him in a Bible-quoting competition."

~ Richard Dawkins

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Friday, September 16, 2005

[+/-]
 Oppose Federally Funded Religious Discrimination in Head Start

Church-State separation is at risk.

Tell your representatives you oppose any attempt in the School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) to permit federally funded religious discrimination. Urge them to vote "no" on the final passage of the bill if it includes such a provision.

BACKGROUND

H.R. 2123 is a bipartisan bill with provisions to protect, expand, and improve the Head Start program that benefits children across the nation. It currently maintains civil rights protections signed into Head Start legislation thirty-three years ago.

Representative John A. Boehner (R-OH) plans to introduce an amendment that would allow discrimination on the basis of religion in employment.

It would specifically allow taxpayer funded faith-based organizations to hire and fire teachers on the basis of religious beliefs. It could even be used to prevent people with different beliefs from volunteering and prevent underprivileged children from receiving a valuable education at an important age.

If passed, the provision would legally sanction discrimination by jeopardizing the rights of nonreligious and religious Americans alike.

ACTION

We ask you to contact your representatives and urge them to oppose any attempts by Representative Boehner to the School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) that would roll back critical civil rights protections. If such an amendment is added to the bill, urge your representative to oppose final passage of the bill.

You can reach your representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 877-762-8762 and ask to speak with her/his office. The House website http://www.house.gov also lists the direct office lines and e-mail addresses for every representative. It is important that Humanist voices be heard at this critical juncture.

The School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) is expected to go to a full floor vote in the House next week.

Spread the word: forward this to a friend by clicking here!

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[+/-]
 Bush seeking to blame environmental groups for Katrina damage

Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups:
The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

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[+/-]
 A Diebold insider speaks

In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

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[+/-]
 Global warming 'past the point of no return'

A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. The greatest fear is that the Arctic has reached a "tipping point" beyond which nothing can reverse the continual loss of sea ice and with it the massive land glaciers of Greenland, which will raise sea levels dramatically.

"The changes we've seen in the Arctic over the past few decades are nothing short of remarkable," said Mark Serreze, one of the scientists at the Snow and Ice Data Centre who monitor Arctic sea ice.

Current computer models suggest that the Arctic will be entirely ice-free during summer by the year 2070 but some scientists now believe that even this dire prediction may be over-optimistic, said Professor Peter Wadhams, an Arctic ice specialist at Cambridge University.

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[+/-]
 A joke

Q: What is George W. Bush's position on Roe vs. Wade?

A: He really doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans.

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[+/-]
 Today's quote: Chesterton

"When a man ceases to believe in god, he does not believe in nothing. He believes in everything."
~ G.K. Chesterson

3 Comments:

Blogger Electro said...

Now you really have gone too far in mis quoting people. But it is the liberal think to do to take what a man says all out of context. Chesterton is a Christian apologist not an atheist. so many of your other quotes I have left alone but here you show how foolish you are. Since Chesterton sees belief in everything as folly.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

These quotes are meant to be thought-provoking. I'm glad I could help.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous DrDave said...

Chesterton never said this:
http://www.chesterton.org/qmeister2/any-everything.htm

cheers


DrDave

2:57 PM  

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[+/-]
 Cheney makes a power grab for nukes

The University of California regents have lost control of the national nuclear weapons program to the Carlyle Group:
In a stealth takeover by the Carlyle Group, facilitated by five admirals, the management contract will be transferred next year to the University of Texas, where the military and the Carlyle Group will have control. A new "ramping up" of the nuclear weapons program is underway, with program funding at the highest level ever - even higher than during the Cold War – extending nuclear weapons into outer space, into the very atmosphere that makes life on earth possible, and with no "real" enemy in sight.

Wanna bet that this story gets no national news coverage?

1 Comments:

Blogger Samurai Sam said...

Well, that's just super. Let WWIII begin at last.

11:41 AM  

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[+/-]
 Bill Maher's advice to W

Bill Maher's closing words from last Friday's show:
"Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people.

Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.

Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.'"

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

[+/-]
 Why I oppose John Roberts

John Roberts is unqualified to be Supreme Court Justice, but not for the reasons the left is talking about.

I don't believe Roberts is a conservative, but rather a radical right-winger. Keep in mind that this is a nomination where the guy who endorses torture (Gonzales) was seen as the liberal. Roberts' radicalism would tip the balance of the court in a direction that is profoundly hostile to the civil liberties Americans are guaranteed. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council stated shortly after Roberts' nomination, "The President... promised to nominate someone along the lines of a Scalia or a Thomas and that is exactly what he has done."

Roberts' proclivity to extremism is a good reason to oppose him, but it is not my reason.

I also believe that Roberts is on the wrong side of privacy issues. As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts co-authored an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of the government in support of the domestic terrorist group Operation Rescue and six individuals who had obstructed access to reproductive health care clinics. Notably, the government was not a party in the case and need not have filed a brief.

Opposing Roberts based on his views on the Constitutionality of privacy is a good reason to oppose him, but it is not my reason.

It is also certain that Roberts opposes religious liberty. In 1991, as Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts co-authored an amicus curiae brief filed by the United States in the case of Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992), in which he urged the Court to rule that it was constitutional for a public school to sponsor prayer at its graduation ceremonies. The conservative Justice Kennedy authored a 5-4 decision against Roberts' position. Notably, the government was not a party to this case and need not have filed a brief. Had the position advocated by Roberts been accepted, students in public schools would have been subjected to religious coercion as the price of attending their own graduation ceremonies.

Roberts' opposition to religious freedom is a good reason to oppose him, but it is not my reason.


Why, then, do I oppose John Roberts?

Bush values loyalty over all else, even competence. Whether it is the purging of CIA officers believed to have been disloyal, or the failure to fire those responsible for Abu Ghraib, or the requirement of signing a loyalty oath, Bush demands loyalty.

Roberts demonstrated his loyalty by helping Bush "win" the presidency in 2000. Roberts advised Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on how his Legislature might name George W. Bush as the winner of the state's crucial presidential vote in 2000. In exchange, Bush's first two nominations to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia curcuit -- generally regarded as the stepping-stone to the Supreme Court -- went to Roberts and Miguel Estrada, who had played important behind-the scenes roles in the Florida litigation.

As a judge, Roberts again demonstated loyalty to Bush by joining a ruling that upheld the Bush administration's use of military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay to try battlefield captives and terror suspects, whose access to evidence and rights of appeal are limited.

Roberts loyalty to the Bush regime was further demonstrated when he dissented from his court's refusal to reconsider a ruling that ordered Vice President Dick Cheney to release records of his energy task force.

Roberts' personal loyalty to Bush is the best reason I can find to oppose his nomination. I fear most that such loyalty will erase the final vestiges of independence that the founders designed into this democracy.

Before you dismiss my opinion as just that of one individual, ask retiring US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to give you her perspective. O'Conner recently lamented there was a new tendency in Congress to second-guess every decision by the high court, and that action has caused tension between the two branches of government.

"In all my years of my life I don't think I've ever seen relations (between Congress and the high court) as strained as they are now," O'Connor told a conference of judges and lawyers at the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference in Spokane, Washington.

She said an integral part of the democracy that the United States is promoting around the world is an independent court system.

"And yet, in our country today, we're seeing efforts to prevent that -- a desire not to have an independent judiciary. That worries me," she said.

It worries me as well, which is why I oppose John Roberts' nomination.

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[+/-]
 Reporting the truth

I guess they just call 'em like they see 'em :)

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[+/-]
 Today's quote: Darrow

"I do not believe in god because I do not believe in Mother Goose."
~ Clarence Darrow

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[+/-]
 The republicans should be RICOed

Can the Republican Party be RICOed as an ongoing criminal enterprise?
The Republican Party appears to be running the most extensive ongoing criminal enterprise since the days of the Gambino family. In fact, by comparison the Mafiosi were rather unimaginative....

Think about it. Suitcases of government cash in the millions doled out willy-nilly in Iraq with the only stipulation being that a percentage of it be returned to Republican coffers through campaign contributions. Want to throw an election? No problem. They'll jam the phone lines, corrupt local officials, whatever it takes. Contracts to benefit everyone in the family? Sure, they just award them without going through that quaint free-market practice known as "competitive bidding."

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[+/-]
 The Bush agenda is kaput

A CBS-New York Times poll released yesterday trumpets a resounding defeat for Bush's policies and his presidency:
Almost two-thirds, 63 percent, said rebuilding the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina is more important to them than changing Social Security, and almost three-fourths, 73 percent, said rebuilding the flooded city is more important to them than cutting taxes, according to a CBS-New York Times poll released Wednesday.

A large majority of Americans, 73 percent, said they think their taxes will increase as a result of Katrina. More than half of those polled said they were willing to pay more taxes to help with Katrina recovery, job training and housing for victims.

Sidney Blumenthal compellingly posits the reason behind the continuing drop in Bush's support:

Bush's entire presidency and reelection campaign were organized around one master idea: He stood as the protector and savior of the American people under siege.... The deepest wound is not that he was incapable of defending the country but that he has shown he lacks the will to do so. In Bush's own evangelical language, he revealed his heart.

Overnight, the press disclosed a petulant, vacillating president it had not noticed before.... a "rigid and top-down" White House where aides are petrified to deliver bad news to a "yelling" president. [Where] top White House aides, who "cringe" before the "cold and snappish" president, met to decide which of them would be assigned the miserable task of telling Bush he would have to cut short his summer vacation.

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[+/-]
 Bush drinking again



The Chimperor has fallen off the wagon.

This photo was taken at the World Summit and 60th Meeting of the General Assembly.

What is in the glass? My guess is that it isn't apple juice.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

[+/-]
 New rule for presidents

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[+/-]
 Halliburton gets contract to pry gold fillings from New Orleans corpses' teeth

America's Finest News Source reports:
HOUSTON—On Tuesday, Halliburton received a $110 million no-bid government contract to pry the gold fillings from the mouths of deceased disaster victims in the New Orleans-Gulf Coast area. "We are proud to serve the government in this time of crisis by recovering valuable resources from the wreckage of this deadly storm," said David J. Lesar, Halliburton's president. "The gold we recover from the human rubble of Katrina can be used to make fighter-jet electronics, supercomputer chips, inflation-proof A-grade investments, and luxury yachting watches."

3 Comments:

Anonymous subnormal said...

the saddest thing in the world is that this is almost almost almost believeable until you see its from the onion.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Dave S. said...

They are the only company qualified to do that kind of work.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

LOL. Good one!

8:53 PM  

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[+/-]
 Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional

Finally, some sanity:
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was declared unconstitutional today by a federal judge ruling in the second attempt by an atheist to have the pledge removed from classrooms. The man lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation 'under God' violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case last year, saying Newdow lacked standing because he did not have custody of his elementary school daughter he sued on behalf of.

Newdow, an attorney and a medical doctor, filed an identical case on behalf of three unnamed parents and their children. Karlton said those families have the right to sue.

Karlton, ruling in Sacramento, said he would sign a restraining order preventing the recitation of the pledge at the Elk Grove Unified, Rio Linda and Elverta Joint Elementary school districts, where the plaintiffs' children attend.

HEY SENATORS! Please please PLEASE ask for John Roberts' opinion on this ruling!

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[+/-]
 Teach all controversies?

Check out Jay Bookman's excellent piece in the AJC:
I don't believe ID advocates are sincere about wanting to teach the controversy. If they are, they simply haven't thought through the implications.

A controversy, remember, has two sides. And if alleged weaknesses in evolution theory are to be taught in our schools as science, then scientific evidence against the existence of an intelligent designer or God must be taught, too.

That's how science works. If you propose a theory, you issue an invitation to others to shoot holes in your theory.

So think about that: Do we really want science teachers exploring the evidence for — but also against — the existence of a designer? I don't think that's wise or useful for a number of reasons, but that's what a rigorous and intellectually honest debate would require....

When advocates of intelligent design deny that they are advancing religious faith, they aren't being honest. They're telling a lie, no matter how well-intended, and it's a lie that fools no one. Yet they want everyone to pretend to believe it.

Of course, I would also want to have the teachings of his Noodly Greatness included in the curriculum.

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[+/-]
 Today's quote: Carlin

"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of 10 things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these 10 things he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever until the end of time...but he loves you."
~ George Carlin

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[+/-]
 Cheney ordered oil pipelines fixed before water pipelines

Cheney says "Go fuck yourselves" to Louisiana hospitals and water systems:
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina roared through South Mississippi knocking out electricity and communication systems, the White House ordered power restored to a pipeline that sends fuel to the Northeast.

That order - to restart two power substations in Collins that serve Colonial Pipeline Co. - delayed efforts by at least 24 hours to restore power to two rural hospitals and a number of water systems in the Pine Belt....

"I considered it a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating," said Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association - which distributes power that rural electric cooperatives sell to consumers and businesses.

"I reluctantly agreed to pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting the transmission lines to the Collins substations a priority," Compton said. "Our people were told to work until it was done."...

Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.

5 Comments:

Blogger Electro said...

You can go days with out water. but your car will go nowhere without gas.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

I see. So you champion the cause of blastocysts but once humans are born, fuck 'em. Evidently you aren't pro-life, just pro-birth.

Your pastor would be ashamed.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Electro said...

I quess sarcasm is not in your vocabulary.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Sorry -- try using emoticons to convey sarcasm.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Electro said...

I'm not very net savy. let me try again.

You know you can go days without water, but your car will go nowhere with out gas. :->

Hows that?

8:26 AM  

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Twain

"There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad."
~ Mark Twain

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[+/-]
 Another day, another Bush lie

Herr Chimperor lied to reporters in Mississippi Monday when he claimed he did not know embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned:
In fact, Bush – who over the weekend told Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to "get rid of Brown any way you have to" – took a call from Chertoff while en route to the Gulf Coast aboard Air Force One. Chertoff told Bush he had Brown’s resignation in hand but the President ordered the Homeland Security secretary to delay announcement of Brown’s resignation until after the New Orleans photo op because he didn’t want his tour upstaged.

White House sources confirmed the timeline Monday night, saying the President was "caught off guard" when a miffed Brown announced the resignation on his own while Bush was in New Orleans and reporters started asking questions.

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[+/-]
 Blackwater mercenaries deputized by LA governor

Unconfirmed, but scary if true.

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[+/-]
 10 things we couldn't have imagined on 9/11

Suzanne Nossel over at Democracy Arsenal lists ten features of today's landscape that we would not have imagined on 9/11:
  1. Osama on the Loose
  2. Homeland security seemingly in disarray
  3. Public diplomacy effort has gone nowhere
  4. Afghanistan having become an afterthought
  5. Nowhere on non-proliferation
  6. That US policy would have resulted in the recruitment of hundreds if not thousands of potential Middle East terrorists
  7. No Sputnik relative to Arab world
  8. Still having detainees at Guantanamo without trial
  9. Energy independence nowhere
  10. No further attack on US soil
  11. No clear sense of whether we're gaining ground against terror or not
Are there any items that you would add to the list?

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Monday, September 12, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Dawkins

"Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked – as I am surprisingly often – why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn’t it sad to go to your grave without wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?"
~ Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow, 1998

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[+/-]
 Halliburton lands fat contract for Katrina relief

I predicted this would happen last week and was called cynical for doing so:
Companies with strong ties to President Bush are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton....

Allbaugh is also a friend of Michael Brown, director of FEMA who was removed as head of Katrina disaster relief and sent back to Washington amid allegations he had padded his resume....

On Friday, Kellogg Brown & Root received $29.8 million in Pentagon contracts to begin rebuilding Navy bases in Louisiana and Mississippi. Norcross said the work was covered under a contract that the company negotiated before Allbaugh was hired.

Halliburton continues to be a source of income for Cheney, who served as its chief executive officer from 1995 until 2000 when he joined the Republican ticket for the White House. According to tax filings released in April, Cheney's income included $194,852 in deferred pay from the company, which has also won billion-dollar government contracts in Iraq.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

[+/-]
 The new American motto

The new American motto, as reimagined by BushCo:
Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, and we'll let them die in a filthy and decrepit storm-ravaged American football stadium while our president languishes on vacation and ponders his oil futures and fondly remembers his good ol' days of getting drunk at Mardi Gras before going AWOL from the military. God bless America.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

[+/-]
 Today's quote: Darrow

"In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality."
~ Clarence Darrow

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Friday, September 02, 2005

[+/-]
 He's just not there

Thanks to The Evangelical Atheist for saying it best: "In the worst case, god is culpable. In the best case, he’s powerless to help. In actuality, he doesn’t exist. He’s not testing you. He’s not punishing anyone. He’s just not there."

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No he is not... NO FUCKING SHIT PEOPLE!!! Oh well... fuck you all. Believe in your retarded little fairytale. Humans create myths. Reflect on this. Research. Postmodernism is not irrelevant and is so much more than a academic wank...WAKE UP!

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous also say:

Humanists perhaps misguided. People not self-aware in any real sense of the word. This include anonymous. Anonymous working on this. This problem of life. Humanism put much faith in strength and potential of humanity. For anonymous misanthropy just work.

-- just a proverb... made up of personal baggage. get a clue or don't. misanthropy cares not. analyze not these rants...








never forget to laugh... especial at self!



Bitter? I can almost taste it.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Bigg said...

Well, I agree with anonymo's enthusiasm, if not with his grammar. You have a really well designed, thought provoking site, so I guess it's not surprising that it got someone worked up.

10:41 PM  

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[+/-]
 Today's quote: Ingersoll

"There is no evidence that God ever interfered in the affairs of man. The hand of earth is stretched uselessly towards heaven. From the clouds there comes no help."
~ Robert Ingersoll

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[+/-]
 Study finds Iraq war costlier than Vietnam

A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), The Iraq Quagmire: The Mounting Costs of War and the Case for Bringing Home the Troops, finds:
  • According to current estimates, the cost of the Iraq War could exceed $700 billion. In current dollars, the Vietnam War cost U.S. taxpayers $600 billion.

  • Staying in Iraq and Afghanistan at current levels would nearly double the projected federal budget deficit over the next decade.

  • Since 2001, the US has deployed more than 1 million troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Broken down per person in the United States, the cost so far is $727, making the Iraq War the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years.

  • The number of journalists killed reporting the Iraq War (66) has exceeded the number of journalists killed reporting on the Vietnam War (63).

  • The U.S. controls 106 military bases across Iraq. Congress has budgeted $236 million for permanent base construction in FY2005

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[+/-]
 How the US got its way in Iraq

Not content with god-fathering an Islamist Constitution for Iraq that establishes Islamic religious principles as the basis for all laws -- also succeeded in scrapping a constitution, drafted by the Iraqis, that was modeled on that of the social-democratic Scandinavian countries, and replacing it with one that fulfilled "the wish-list of international investors." It is a remarkable tale told in carefully documented detail in yesterday's (Sept. 1) Asia Times. Check it out.

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[+/-]
 Rove makes surprise visit to Camp Casey

This turns my stomach:
Driving his own pickup, with two trucks blockading both sides of the street, Bush Administration Senior Political Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove made a surprise sunset visit/photo-op Tuesday night to the half dozen or so Bush supporters camped across the street from 'Camp Casey' in Crawford, Texas where Cindy Sheehan -- whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq -- originally made her stand requesting a meeting and an explanation from George W. Bush...

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