Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hillary Bombed, Bruised and Battered at Philly Debate

Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton had her worst performance yet (of not only a debate but of her entire campaign) and got pounded like a side of beef last night at the latest Democratic debate in Pennsylvania. It was debate dodge ball for the harpy Senator from New York.

The Clinton campaign responded by basically saying that no one has the right to challenge her by saying that the other candidates ganged up on her. She's been tearing the other candidates a new asshole all throughout this campaign so far and now when the tables are turned she can't take the heat and whines that everyone is engaged in the, "politics of piling on." Boo-Hoo. It was about time someone took her out to the woodshed and roughed her up a bit. I'm glad that her rivals are finally stating the obvious that she flat out isn't electable!!!

I'm also glad that her two-faced nature is at last being addressed in the debates and hitting home,

Earlier, when Clinton was asked whether she had made one statement on Social Security publicly and a conflicting answer privately, she ducked the question, saying she believed in “fiscal responsibility.”

Her worst moment came when she contradicted herself on the matter of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants all in the matter of about 5 minutes. Check out the video:


Fellow Presidential candidate John Edwards did the best of the night I thought.

Even though last night Clinton stated that she didn't say that they should go ahead with the program, she is today now saying that she does think they should go ahead with the controversial drivers license program. So she flipped, flopped and then has now flipped again.

Over all Hillary seemed to be giving flat, planned statements and kept raising her voice louder and louder. She was one the defensive and shrill. One thing I can't stand is a politician who just yells at you (i.e., Bush). You're not going to convince me by getting impatient with legitimate questions and shouting people down.

Last night's knock-down drag out debate could see the turning point of this presidential campaign season. Everyone thinks that Hillary Clinton is the inevitable Democratic candidate but that isn't quite so. Despite being up in the national polls she is in a tight race in the early primaries. Now is the time to pounce and tarnish that marketed image the Clinton campaign has put forth that she is head and shoulders above everyone else and that she has basically already been crowned the nominee.

She touched a big, fat, electrified third rail on this drivers licenses issue and is clearly out of touch as even 59% of New York Democrats don't agree with the program.

I wonder how the good folks in Iowa and the Independents in New Hampshire are going to respond to her embracing this kooky drivers license idea? If you want Rudolph Giuliani as your next president then by all means keep supporting Hillary. I hope the other Democratic candidates keep this pressure up.

Speaking of Rudy, I thought Senator Joe Biden has the best zinger of the night targeting the former New York mayor:


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Debunking Satan and Hell. Plus, The Governator Not Worried about Marijuana

Here's something to think about regarding the Christian idea of "hell" and "satan" being "god's" strong man, torturing those who don't "measure up" to the so-called, "all-loving" Supreme Being.

Let me get this straight, "satan" (the devil) fought "god" in heaven for control, and lost. He became a "fallen angel" for his disobedience and yet now he obeys "god" by punishing those that "god" doesn't like and deserve eternal suffering? You'd think that "satan" would do the opposite with these "fallen souls" then what his enemy, "god" wants him to do. I mean, if really he is the very opposite of "god" then you'd think that he would let those headed for "hell" to live it up in any behavior that "god" would disapprove of. Why would someone so opposed to "god" and so disobedient then turn around after being rejected, shunned and condemned forever and do "god's" bidding in his own domain, "hell?"

There is a scripture in the book of Revelations saying that in the end, "satan" will be cast into this tormenting "hell" to suffer like anyone else. Yet, my question is, "Who runs "hell" if "satan" will eventually be "kicked out of office??" I guess the implication is that "satan" runs things in the mean time but then "god" will take over the running of said place? So "satan" lost power after the "war in heaven" but he agrees to run "god's" prison until "god" is ready to be the supreme punisher himself? I guess "satan" is covering for "god" doing a double shift in "god's" jail. Then "god" comes back from vacation and repays the person coving for him during that long vacation by throwing the interim warden into that very eternal jail that the warden ran diligently for "god?" Man, "god" sounds like one twisted being and why do we want to be like that? "God" apparently is a prankster and likes to fuck with peoples' minds. So "god" wants to see us tormented and tortured forever in his prison but at the same time as George Carlin says, "He loves you!!"

The aspect of the whole, "satan" vs. "god," "satan" vs. "Jesus" thing that they have going on, sounds like a twisted x-box video game played between the game designers via peer-to-peer gaming over the celestial internet powered by the "holy spirit." The characters "us poor, imperfect ungodly souls" are fought over pawns in a game of the "gods." Basically we are like characters created in the video game, "The Sims." I can just see it, "god" is some lonely, too smart for his own good nerd looking for respect from creations by the way of some supercomputer program via intimidation, manipulation and through some special effects. I can just see him playing this game over the internet with his arch-rival, fellow nerd, computer name, "satan" while talking to each other via microphones. "God" wins over a set of twins and taunts back to "satan," "TWINS!!! That's double points you loser!!! TOP THAT, "Prince of Darkness." You're more like "Loser of Darkness!!" This brings another pesky question to mind, "If 'satan' is so bad then why did "god" create him?

Doesn't "god" need "satan" to act as the alternative to his plan if we truly have to be tested to appreciate "god" and be convinced to follow him instead? And how does "god" repay "satan" for playing the essential part of representative of the "other choice?" He throws him in his eternal prison that is beyond inhumane and very unbecoming of a perfectly loving "god."The Christians will say that being tempted by "evil" is important because it helps us have faith in "god." So in other words "god" wants to play games where he tests us through ambiguous trials without clearly understanding the rules. He pits his children against each other in a all out fight for his love and respect. What kind of father won't accept his children unless they go through his loyalty test first??

That being said, I don't care if people want to practice Christianity and if it really makes them a better person then so be it. It works for my parents and they are some of the best people that I have ever known. That being said, It didn't work for me and I like to talk it out for myself. In addition to blogging about the reasons I left the fold some 10 years ago to tell another side of the story for those wondering if Christianity is right for them.

I myself am a Buddhist as Buddhism is more a religion of philosophy then dogma. I like that it doesn't ask you to believe in a "god" or a "devil." I like that it emphasizes personal responsibility and to experience things for yourself. There are no commandments but instead recommendations on how to live your life but you are free to choose as you will. Not one is going to call you a "sinner." I like that in a "religion." There is no judgment from some "supreme being" but rather just the consequences of our actions whether helpful or less helpful.

It is often called the religion of no religion and whether that is true or not I think at the very least Buddhism is the least dogmatic, elitist, structured and strict of the major religions out there. I also really like that Buddhism does not claim to be the only religion or way of life to follow. Another aspect of the "religion" that I like is that there is no proselytizing to gain more adherents. Buddhism is something that one comes to on their own. No one is going to try and hook you into following the teachings of Buddhism. In fact, many teachers encourage you not to follow that way of life unless you have really researched and studied it extensively on your own. Buddhist generally just let people be. As a so-called "modern Buddhist" I do not take everything literally but there isn't much superstition in the Zen Buddhism that I practice to begin with, it's all about practical teachings that can help our life. It's perhaps more of a discipline then a religion. My practice for me is more about self-improvement, relaxation and peace then any kind of celestial glory that is emphasized by some other religions.
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In other news, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't see marijuana as a drug in the traditional sense and calls it's "a leaf" and I couldn't agree more. It is beyond time that they legalize it, regulate it and tax it. Think of all the tax dollars we could rake in from it. Schwarzenegger is now back peddling and trying to say he was just joking when he said that it wasn't a drug and it is sad to see another politician who is pro-marijuana buckle under pressure from the religious, conservative right.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yet more Evidence that Rudy Giuliani is a Fraud

GOI: A splash of cold water has been thrown over the Rudy Giuliani for president campaign. A leaked document put some damaging cracks on the main pillar of Rudy's platform, his claims that he was Mr. Know-it-all before and during the 9/11 tragedy.

David Shuster, substituting for Keith Olbermann as host of Countdown, reported on Thursday that Rudy Giuliani's description of himself as the only candidate who foresaw the danger posed by al Qaeda before 9/11 has now been refuted by a leaked document.

Typical of Giuliani's claims on the campaign trail is a speech he gave last summer in which he said of the pre-9/11 period, "Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it. ... I thought it was pretty clear at the time -- but a lot of people didn't see it, couldn't see it."

GOI: Get the whole story from the video clip by clicking here. You'll find it at the bottom of the page there.

My take: Even if you believe that Giuliani did a great job on 9/11 it isn't much of a platform to run a presidential campaign on because any mayor in that situation would rise to the occasion. How many mayors do you think would panic and run out of the city leaving the residents to pick up and deal with the mess? He's a one trick pony and a scary one at that. It is quite clear going into the job as mayor that one of your main and most important responsibilities as mayor is being the commander-in-chief for that city in the event of a disaster. Just like Bush, all he has to sell is fear and intimidation.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Faith Based Economic Policy

Our local paper (it's more of a pamphlet) has a feature where citizens can call into a phone number and leave a short message on a topic to be printed in a specific section. Well, our town is full of right-wing nut jobs (although there are some of us liberals who are dedicated to shaking them up) who call in with these inane statements.

Case in point, this clown was saying in his/her comment today that our worthless Representative Marilyn Musgrave (think a female version of Bush) who voted against the children's health care bill was right. This commenter is one of these assholes who doesn't want to help pay for anything other then what affects his life. Anyway, the part that triggered an early morning, profanity laden rant from me was his/her following statement which said that we should pray to "God" if we want a better job and benefits!!!

Well, forgive me if I don't feel too confident in a "faith based" economic policy. And isn't it ironic that these right-wing fundies feel that paying their fair share in taxes is tantamount to being ripped off but they'll turn around on Sunday and shell out all kinds of money to their shake down artist "pastors??" If "God" is supposed to give us a good job with good benefits through prayer then why does he need money?!! So you mean to tell me that "God" has the power to give you a cushy job but can't fund his own operation?? Someone so inconsistent on fiduciary matters isn't qualified in my book to be "President of the Universe." How come with all of his power he can't print up some money but instead needs to bum some money from his kids. No let me see, isn't that the definition of a dead beat dad? I think so.

This country never ceases to amaze and infuriate me.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

So-Called People of Faith and Values Voters

I'm am so sick and tired of hearing about "values voters" and "people of faith" already!!! Sweet JESUS!!!! This is simply code for "Christian values" and the Christian faith. They use the word as if Christians are the only ones who have "values" or "faith." They are en elitist group of people who honestly think that people of other religions couldn't possibly have any values and forget about Atheists and secular humanists. If Christians had a lock on values then the dictionaries would define the word, "values" this way: "The beliefs and guiding principles of Christianity."

Sadly it seems that the only values some of these "Christians" care about are abortion and being against anything related to homosexuality and any other alternative lifestyle. They say that they are "pro-life" and "pro-family" yet they don't seem concerned that our environment and atmosphere are degrading to the point of endangering the life, health and safety of their beloved children, grandchildren and "snowflake babies." They are "pro-family" yet how many of those rabidly anti-choice people adopt children warehoused in orphanages? They say that they are "pro-family" but they are against a committed, stable homosexual couple from adopting those needy children from those orphanages. They are o.k. with single family homes (as they should be) but are not o.k. with a two parent household. A household where the parents happen to be gay but are otherwise very capable of raising healthy children which increases their chances of being productive members of society. They say that they are "pro-family" and "pro-life" and yet they vote down SCHIP, a program designed to give health care for needy children. They claim to be "pro-life" but many of them support an unnecessary war that is killing and destroying so many lives.

I'm not saying all Christians live and believe all of these things but many "Christian's" do. They talk of fidelity in marriage and yet many other religions believe the same thing, as do many Atheists and secular humanists. Just because you aren't "Christian" doesn't mean that you are "pro-divorce." What kind of thinking is that??? That non-"Christians" are going around trying to get people to divorce?? Absurd thinking.

Jesus spoke often of giving to the poor and abstaining from too much wealth and yet many of these so-called "Christians" make money at any expense and refuse to pay their fair share in taxes to help the poor, sick and needy. They don't want their "hard earned money" to help someone else. Hmmm, I wonder what Jesus would think of that? Then there are all those preachers who make millions off of Jesus and yet often don't come close to living up to his example. While at the same time condemning others.

Then there is the value that Jesus taught of renouncing violence, turning the other cheek. Yet many of these "Christians" are pro-death penalty and pro-war, "get them before they get you." Sound like the "pre-emptive strike doctrine" at all? Somehow that doesn't seem to be in keeping with "turn the other cheek." They are more interested it seems in building more bombs then building peace through dialogue. To many, the symbolism of turning the other cheek means being patient, forgiving and being willing to solve problems non-violently and using war only when all else fails and when the world is united in believing in the necessity of that war.

Then there is the value of forgiving sins, they love to have their sins forgiven but have a hard time forgiving others. Yes, we all have difficulty with doing this sometimes but other religions believe in forgiving too. As do Atheists and secular humanists. Forgiving others is a basic understanding in humanity. We have learned over the evolution of our species that the only way that we can progress and succeed is through compromise and forgiving each other when necessary. And of course these "Christians" are the only ones who believe it is important to try and love your enemy. Never mind the Hindu Gandhi and the Buddhist Dalai Lama who are two amazing examples of the shocking ability of non-"Christians" to love their enemies and forgive.

Today's "Christians" have tacked on other "values" that they consider "Christian values" as well. And somehow they believe that these would be endorsed by their savior, Jesus Christ. These include supporting prayer in school despite Jesus saying that prayer should be personal and done in private. Forcing prayer on non-"Christian" students doesn't seem very inline with "loving thy neighbor." If they honestly believe in that value then they wouldn't want to impose their beliefs upon their neighbors because such an act clearly hurts, offends and disrespects non-"Christians." I think that hurting, offending and disrespecting your neighbor wouldn't be endorsed by the Jesus that I grew up reading in the Bible. Perhaps though I missed that part in the 3 times that I read the entire book. That was sarcasm by the way.

And I know that these "Christians" want to marginalize homosexuals and honestly believe that such acts are sins but I seem to remember there being something in the Bible that went like this, "Hate the sin but love the sinner." To the rational mind that means that you don't have to like homosexuality but you do have a duty to protect them and their right to use the "free will" that they were given by the very "Christian" "God" that these "Christians" claim to be following. This duty to protect others and love they neighbor would seem by most to include adding violent acts against homosexuals to the hate crimes list but the modern "Christian" didn't seem to get that memo. I wonder sometimes if they've ever really cracked that Bible that they love to shove down everyones' throats and wave in everyones face.

Then there is this so-called "value" that "Christians" have a duty to prevent birth control options from being supported and emphasized in society, this despite such actions being so irresponsible as to increase the risk of people (especially teen-agers) in getting a life threatening sexual disease. How is that pro-life? Here's the thing, their "God" "created" us with a sexual drive and any sensible person knows that the majority of humans will engage in that very natural act. It's an instinct of survival and you can not just shut off an instinct, especially one that demands the survival of the human race!!

Thus, If the chances are that most young people will have sex before marriage then wouldn't the pro-life action be to support sexual education that includes how to protect our kids from getting diseases that could kill them?? And teaching abstinence only is playing with a loaded gun because you can not prevent all (or even most) hormone juiced youngsters from engaging in sex and if they don't know how to protect themselves then they will end up pregnant at a young age. And while there are many success stories of young mothers and fathers making it, there is also an increased chance of them not making it. Such young couples are often driven apart due to the heavy responsibility placed upon such young minds not yet always capable of handling such a responsibility. How is driving young families apart a pro-family? Or they will get a life-long disease or a death sentence via HIV/AIDS.

Finally, these "Christians" think that censorship of anything sexual is helping their children respect sex and have a healthy and happy sex life when they are married. Yet here's the thing, I was raised that way and it did the opposite. I was totally unprepared for sex, terrified of the act and was told my whole life not to engage in sex before marriage and then when I was married I was told to go for it and have sex. However, you can't just "turn it on" after being conditioned all throughout your young years that sex is dangerous and that sex without a whole list of conditions is bad. Repressing sexuality is an exercise in futility that can lead to deviant behavior and abnormal guilt, shame as well as violent sexual acting out.

Then there is this sentiment out there amongst some Christians that the ten commandments are unique and therefore the only basis for a system of government and guide for humanity. Their elitist thinking prevents them from honest investigation which breeds ignorance and intolerance. If one performs but a basic search into the great world religions then they will find that most of them have a similar set of guidelines to the ten commandments. They either conveniently forget this or shamelessly shut off the minds to such realities.

And as for Atheists, they understand the importance of not killing, not lying, not stealing, etc. It doesn't take a "God" to figure out that doing such things brings harm to our loved ones, hurts society and restricts our personal freedoms. You don't need a "God" to know how to act in a society. We are the product of countless generations and they have figured out what works and what does not. Whether it was from a "God" or through just trial and error it doesn't matter how you got to that conclusion, it just matters that we all know how to act and how not to act. There are some general guidelines that most societies follow and the rest is trusted and left up to the individual to decide for themselves. As it should be.

You are free to believe whatever you like but when you start to infringe on the beliefs of others then you are out of line. Everyone is a value voter. There are very few people in human society who have no values and most of them are locked up in prisons or mental wards.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Hillary Clinton's Money Problems

By Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 19, 2007
Photo Credit: Denny Henry/EPA
NEW YORK -- Something remarkable happened at 44 Henry St., a grimy Chinatown tenement with peeling walls. It also happened nearby at a dimly lighted apartment building with trash bins clustered by the front door.

And again not too far away, at 88 E. Broadway beneath the Manhattan bridge, where vendors chatter in Mandarin and Fujianese as they hawk rubber sandals and bargain-basement clothes.


All three locations, along with scores of others scattered throughout some of the poorest Chinese neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been swept by an extraordinary impulse to shower money on one particular presidential candidate -- Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury. In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000. When Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) ran for president in 2004, he received $24,000 from Chinatown.


And Clinton's success in gathering money from Chinatown's least-affluent residents stems from a two-pronged strategy: mutually beneficial alliances with powerful groups, and appeals to the hopes and dreams of people now consigned to the margins.


Clinton has enlisted the aid of Chinese neighborhood associations, especially those representing recent immigrants from Fujian province. The organizations, at least one of which is a descendant of Chinatown criminal enterprises that engaged in gambling and human trafficking, exert enormous influence over immigrants. The associations help them with everything from protection against crime to obtaining green cards.


Many of Clinton's Chinatown donors said they had contributed because leaders in neighborhood associations told them to. In some cases, donors said they felt pressure to give.

The Times examined the cases of more than 150 donors who provided checks to Clinton after fundraising events geared to the Chinese community. One-third of those donors could not be found using property, telephone or business records. Most have not registered to vote, according to public records.

And several dozen were described in financial reports as holding jobs -- including dishwasher, server or chef -- that would normally make it difficult to donate amounts ranging from $500 to the legal maximum of $2,300 per election.

The tenement at 44 Henry St. was listed in Clinton's campaign reports as the home of Shu Fang Li, who reportedly gave $1,000.


In a recent visit, a man, apparently drunk, was asleep near the entrance to the neighboring beauty parlor, the Nice Hair Salon.

A tenant living in the apartment listed as Li's address said through a translator that she had not heard of him, although she had lived there for the last 10 years.


James: Peter Kwong, a professor at Hunter College in New York who studies Chinatown communities all over the country thinks Clinton may be "exploiting the vulnerabilities of recent immigrants." These Chinatown "associations" sound a lot like organized crime outfits to me.

Boy she just keeps flirting with those questionable donors. This is not the only problem that Clinton has had in relation to shady campaign donors. Remember fugitive businessman Norman Shue?

Now I know that all politicians have some shady donors but Hillary seems to have more then her share of questionable donations/donors.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Paul Most Popular with the Military. Plus, Brownback to Back Out of Race

A recent study shows that Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul is the candidate with the most support from members of the U.S. military, despite calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

While I don't support many of Paul's positions and probably wouldn't vote for him, I like his honesty and sincerity as well as his position on the war. This is another example that despite what the Republicans say, our service men and women are not all blind followers of the far right-wing agenda. Just because they don't traditionally speak out on political matters doesn't mean that they all support what is going on in Iraq.

When this study was brought to Paul's attention by a FOX News correspondent he replied:

"We take the traditional position that you should only go to war under a declaration and win and get out," Paul explained. "It's protecting the troops ... and the fact that we get the money from the military more than all the other Republicans put together is a pretty darn good endorsement."

By LIBBY QUAID
The Associated Press

- Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, the Kansas conservative who struggled to raise money and gain recognition in the 2008 presidential campaign, will drop out on Friday, people close to him said Thursday.

GOI: Well it's about time this troglodyte knuckle scrapper dropped out of the race. Even though he really never had a chance It's nice to hear one less conservative bloviate about 15th century thinking. You name the issue and he's so far right that he walks in circles. It's always a great day for me when someone like that drops out of the national spotlight. It was nice that he barely even registered in the polls, there might be hope for fending off the religious radicals after all.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

President George W. "Contradiction" Bush

During a press conference today, President said this in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "The U.S. can not impose peace."

My response, "Except in Iraq according to President George W. Bomb, er, I mean Bush." Of course one could possibly extrapolate here that Bush has learned his lesson from the Iraq war that one can not force peace but "W" never was a very good student.

GOI: In another part of the conference, Bush was asked by NBC White House correspondent David Gregory if he agreed with Israel's decision to bomb the Osirak nuclear facility near Baghdad in 1981. Bush responded:

Ah, Dave, you know I don’t remember what I was doing in 1981. I was living in Midland, Texas. I don’t remember my reaction that far back.

GOI: Yeah that's because you were drunk and high on cocaine all the time back then, President Jack Daniels. You admitted yourself that you didn't stop drinking until 1986. You probably couldn't even remember your own damn name before 1986 let alone anything going on in the world of politics/global affairs. Oh yeah and since you can't remember anything from back then, let me take this moment to remind you too that your daughters were born in 1981.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rudy Giuliani, "Shadow of the Vampire."

Have you ever seen that movie, Nosferatu? Well there was a spin off movie made of that original film in 2000 titled, "Shadow of the Vampire" and I've noticed that Rudy looks a lot like that vampire. Check it out:

Here's Rudy:


And here is Willem DeFoe as the vampire Count Orlock/Nosferatu in the movie, "Shadow of the Vampire:"



Oh and why in the HELL are the Democrats trying to pass that resolution labeling the killing of Armenians by the Turks as a massacre? Of course it was most likely a massacre but do we need to spend our time passing such a resolution when more pressing matters are at hand? This event happened some 100 years ago and had NOTHING to do with America!!!

Especially when Turkey is warning that doing so could damage relations between the two countries as well as disrupt supply lines for our military in Iraq. Now, I'm all about getting our troops home but if it means hurting our troops from supply lines being severed through Turkey and upsetting this NATO ally in the process then I say, no.

In addition, passing such a resolution could only spur Turkey on more to launch an incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Get a clue Democrats!!!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Yet Another Former Iraq War General Slams Bush and the War

Last Friday, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez blasted the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war, calling it a "nightmare with no end in sight." Sanchez, who has received praise from President Bush for his "strong leadership" and for doing "a fabulous job," joins a growing list of military officials who have attacked the Iraq war. His critique is notable not only because he is the most senior military officer to speak out against the war so far but also because he served as the top American commander in Iraq from 2003-2004. "From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan to the administration's latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize its political, economic and military power," Sanchez said. "There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. ... There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight." He added, "Who will demand accountability for the failure of our national political leaders involved in the management of this war? They have unquestionably been derelict in the performance of their duty."

GOI: The right wing sound machine is predictably trashing the general after these comments attacking his service. And here I thought the Republicans supported the troops. This is true as long as the troops agree with them. However, if they don't, then they get thrown under the bus of belligerent nationalism just as anyone else who dares question or criticize this war and the administration behind it.

And the fact of the matter is that, yes, Sanchez did have some troubles during his service as the top commander as he presided over all military operations in Iraq during the Abu-Ghraib scandal. Yet be that as it may, it doesn't change the accuracy of his criticism of the administrations doomed orders and policies throughout this war. His record in Iraq is an entirely different debate.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Turkey Problem

While much of the world has focused on the Iraqi war and especially the sectarian violence/tension between the Sunni and Shia communities, as well as Iran's influence, tensions have been growing between the Turks and the Iraqi Kurdish population. There has long been a rift between the Turks and the Kurds and the Iraqi war has only raised the pressure between the two groups.

For many years the Turkish government has cracked down on Turkey's separatist Kurds but now the Turkish government is about to launch incursions into Iraq. They have done this before but given the extremely unstable situation in Iraq this time could be very different and not in a good way.

SIRNAK, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish warplanes bombed positions of suspected Kurdish rebels Wednesday, and the prime minister said preparations for parliamentary approval of a military mission against separatist fighters in Iraq were under way.

A cross-border operation could hurt Turkey's relationship with the United States, which opposes Turkish intervention in northern Iraq, a region that has escaped the violence afflicting much of the rest of the country.

U.S. officials are already preoccupied with efforts to stabilize areas of Iraq outside the predominantly Kurdish northern region.

The military activity followed attacks by PKK rebels that killed 15 soldiers since Sunday and prompted Turkey's government to push for a possible cross-border offensive against separatist bases in Iraq. Turkish Kurd rebels have been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Turkish troops were also shelling suspected PKK camps in the regions of Kanimasa, Nazdur and Sinath, in northern Iraq, from positions in Turkey's Hakkari province, just across the border, Hurriyet reported.

GOI: There are many questions to consider with this anxious situation. How will the Iraqi government respond to an incursion into their country? Specifically, how will the large percentage of Kurds in the Iraqi parliament, including the President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani re-act? How will the U.S. government/military re-act? How will Iran act given they too have a sizable Kurdish population and share a border with Iraq as well as Turkey?

Those of us who understood the region before the disastrous invasion of Iraq have long wondered if/when and how Turkey would embroil itself in the Iraqi instability. I figured it was a matter of time and it appears that things are going to get even more complicated for everyone over there. Great (insert sarcasm).

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Disgraced Senator Larry Craig to Enter Idaho, "Hall of Fame."

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Sen. Larry Craig has been chosen for induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame, despite his well-publicized arrest and guilty plea in an airport sex sting, officials said. "Larry Craig has made a great contribution to Idaho over the period of 20-some years. At the time it was considered, this other matter had not come up," Harry Magnuson told The Spokesman-Review newspaper Saturday.

But some Republicans said the honor is inappropriate now. Kootenai County Republican precinct committeeman Phil Thompson said Idaho Hall of Fame officials should consider at least postponing the induction.

"Maybe in 10 or 15 years we can think of this hall of fame stuff. Now is not the time," he said. "It's a sad day to be a Republican."

GOI: I think it would be more appropriate to say that he is entering the, "Bathroom Stall of Shame."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mitt Romney Ignores Medical Marijuana Patient's Question.

GOI: Ask Mitt Anything my ass. Ask Mitt Anything--and be ignored. His non answer speaks volumes, he would arrest that man for easing his pain by using medicinal marijuana.

He's a coward for not saying that to this man's face. It's easy to sit there and condemn people for seeking pain relief from marijuana but when you have to look them in the face, these gutless scoundrels are left speechless and slink away. They don't want to have to worry their pretty little minds with images of people wasting away in wheel-chairs throwing up from re-actions to "accepted" pain medications.

I know for a fact that medicinal marijuana works wonders for people. I myself have used it many times when faced with the flu and stopping vomiting long enough to enable me to take all the meds that I have to take daily. And don't tell me to just take pepto because that stuff doesn't even touch the nausea and in fact often makes me even more sick!!

Then there are times when I forget to take one of my medications the night before and the next day I get violently sick, throwing up constantly from withdrawals. On those occasions I can not keep my meds down and the longer I go without my meds the greater my chance of having to be hospitalized. That being said, marijuana stops that down-ward spiral by allowing me, again, to keep my medicine down. It calms my stomach better then anything I've tried before and I've tried everything. And not only does it calm the stomach but it increases appetite which is vital for AIDS and cancer patients to name only two examples.

Also, I am one of those people that can not handle prescribed pain pills, I throw up every. time. However, when I smoke marijuana in conjunction with taking the pain pills then I am able to keep them down.

And I know many, many people who smoke marijuana for stomach ailments and some pain conditions and that includes people who are highly trained professionals who are not "stoners" in the least.

These prohibition nuts are all in the pocket of the drug companies who push drugs that are often worse for your body then marijuana.

It is beyond time that we stop criminalizing the terminally ill for using marijuana to ease their suffering. In fact, I think marijuana should be legalized period. It is clearly less of a problem then both tobacco and alcohol.

---End of Transmission---

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The United Blue States of America

I thought this was pretty funny:

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals.

Actually, we're a bit ticked off here in California, so we're leaving.

California will now be its own country. And we're taking all the Blue States with us. In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the North East.

We spoke to God, and she agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, she's going to shift the whole country at 4:30 pm EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. (Okay, we have to keep Martha Stewart, we can live with that.)

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Old Miss.'

We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama.

We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share. Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms to support, and we know how much you like that.

Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation's veggies? But heck the only greens the Bible-thumpers eat are the pickles on their Big Macs. Which means trouble for you because most of the medical innovation in the U.S. happens in blue states, too. Oh yeah, another thing, don't plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it's imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts.

Just so we're clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and anti-war. Speaking of war, we're going to want all Blue States citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals.

They have tons of kids they're willing to send to their deaths for absolutely no purpose. And they don't care if you don't show pictures of their kids' caskets coming home.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously. Soon.

Sincerely,

California

---End of Transmission--

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Evolution of This Blog

I have been tagged by Tattoed Atheist to post about the evolution of my blog, so here goes!!!

1). I started this blog originally to blog about living with Schizo-affective disorder which is basically Bipolar with some symptoms of Schizophrenia. It is considered a subtype of Schizophrenia. Despite the bipolar aspect, t is classified as the depressive type. The Schizophrenia for me is manifested by paranoia, hallucinations (mostly auditory, voices) disorganized behavior and delusions. I take 7 heavy-duty medicines to keep things in check to a degree. No amount of drugs will "cure" this disease so in that regard it is chronic. It is debilitating enough for me that I am unable to work and am on disability. I wanted to blog about my situation to educate, to give people an idea of what this rarely diagnosed illness is all about and to just express my frustrations, fears, triumphs, anger, sadness and hope surrounding it. Please note that Schizophrenia and Schizo-affective is not having different personalities, (a common misunderstanding) that is multiple personality disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Oh yeah, and I've been blessed as well with A.D.D and dash of PTSD for good measure.

2). The name of the blog reflects the common school of thought that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. I do not exactly consider myself a genius (although I have been called one several times), rather the title of the blog is meant to say that If I'm a genius it is genius of insanity. In other words, I'm a genius of all things insane. My first post was a picture of myself.

3). My blog evolved into a purely political blog because I am very politically active and felt that I was neglecting my deep passion for politics and all things intellectual. It was also because I had started my blog during the 2004 election and I felt a need to do my part in trying to kick President C- out of the White House. I didn't want my personal blogging, however, to die. So, I decided to create a new blog that was to become my new home for blogging about the Schizo-affective and other venting from my personal life. Now I have a total of four blogs that I maintain!!

---End of Transmission---

Friday, October 05, 2007

Larry Craig Changes His Mind, Yet Again. Also, New Torture Questions Arise for Bu$h. Plus, Blackwater.

As many of you know, Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig was denied a motion to withdrawal his guilty plea in the now infamous bathroom sex sting in a Minnesota bathroom.

And despite saying he would step down from his Senate seat upon being denied such a motion, he's staying. It's a wonder how anyone would trust this guy after all the promises he's broken and decisions changed.

I'm all for the toe-tapping senator staying because it only helps the left make the case that the Republicans are not trust worthy with power. He is a symbol of everything that has gone wrong with the Republicans over the last half decade. He is a reflection of the disingenuous man who leads his Republican party, President George W. Bush.

The Republicans just can not help themselves with their lust for power and have no ability it appears to follow the rule of law. Mr. "I'm not gay" Craig is just the latest GOP charlatans who thinks the laws do not apply to him.

Is it any wonder then that the Democratic candidates in this up-coming election are polling higher and raising more money then the the Republicon-artists? It certainly is no surprise to me.
NEW TORTURE QUESTIONS ARISE FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION:

GOI: In yet another example of Republicans ignoring the rule of law, the Bush administration is in hot water again regarding the torture of so-called, "detainees:"

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency. The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning (GOI: also known as "water boarding," which is pouring water over a bound prisoner’s cloth-covered face to induce fear of suffocation.) and frigid temperatures. (GOI: Often these tactics are combined such as exposing "detainees" to frigid temperatures for an extended period of time and then water boarding them).

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard. Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.

More than two dozen current and former officials involved in counterterrorism were interviewed over the past three months about the opinions and the deliberations on interrogation policy. Most officials would speak only on the condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the documents and the C.I.A. detention operations they govern.


But in July, after a month long debate inside the administration, President Bush signed a new executive order authorizing the use of what the administration calls “enhanced” interrogation techniques — the details remain secret — and officials say the C.I.A. again is holding prisoners in “black sites” overseas. The executive order was reviewed and approved by Mr. Bradbury and the Office of Legal Counsel.


“The problem is, once you’ve got a legal opinion that says such a technique is O.K., what happens when one of our people is captured and they do it to him? How do we protest then?” he asked.

GOI: And what has been Bush's defense? It's your fault, he's trying to guilt trip the American people. He's doing this for your own good:

"And by the way," he said, "we have gotten information from these high-value detainees that have helped protect you."

GOI: Mr. President, I would rather die then live safe and sound knowing that my safety was gained by the torture of someone else.

BLACKWATER:

They are mercenaries plain and simple, so why are we surprised when they act like mercenaries? The U.S. military has been using them extensively and wants them to remain in Iraq despite the Iraqi government saying they need to leave. This flies in the face of Bush's promise that we will leave Iraq when they want us to leave. I guess that doesn't apply to their "hired guns." I'm sure that is why they wanted them in the first place. To have a private army that was only accountable to the White House.

---End of Transmission---

Thursday, October 04, 2007

International Bloggers Day for Burma 2007


If you are thinking about buying rubies, may I suggest you refrain. Ninety percent of the world's rubies come from the junta led government in Burma.

$750 million dollars a year worth and it all goes to the generals. However that statistic is probably low. The red color of the rubies is a horrible symbol of the blood shed to obtain them. They are quite literally, "Blood Rubies."

~Peace to Burma~

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Burma's Silent Protests and Smuggled Video Appears

Burmese Launch Silent Protest:

YANGON, Myanmar - A growing number of citizens in Myanmar's largest city are shutting off the government-run nightly newscast, trying to send the subtle message to authorities that they are tired of listening to their propaganda, residents said Tuesday.

Most are switching off the news for the first 15 minutes of the hour-long broadcast, while some also are shutting off all the lights in their homes.

It was unclear how many people participated in the protest, which spread by word of mouth.

"This is the least dangerous anti-government activity that I can take," said a resident of Yangon taking part in the protest that began Monday. "By doing this, I am showing that I am not listening to what the government is saying," the woman said, refusing to give her name for fear of government reprisal.

James: What a great example of the power of knowing we are all united, interconnected. The Burmese know that they are One in intention as well as One with people outside their country. It is an example of the saying, "United we stand, divided we fall." Anything can be accomplished when we awake from the sleepy, numbing delusion of separateness.

Video Smuggled out of Burma. CNN obtained this video taken at least two days ago in Burma:
James:
The ironic thing is this video was likely taken before the Foreign Minister claimed that they have been using the "utmost restraint" in dealing with the pro-Democracy movement. In other news:

Many of the imprisoned monks are refusing to touch food from their military captors, symbolically maintaining their boycott of the Myanmar regime, according to reports emerging yesterday from unofficial sources in the isolated country.

The guards are trying to force them to eat, which is a form of torture," said Bo Kyi, head of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a group based in Thailand. "I'm very worried about them. Some of them could die in detention. It's really heartbreaking for the people of Burma."

Burmese Major Flees Country After Refuses Orders to Kill Buddhist Monks:

by Nick Meo, The Times, October 3, 2007

Rangoon, Burma -- As demonstrations mounted in Rangoon and the military prepared for a crackdown, an agonising decision loomed for Major Htay Win. The soldier, who has fought ethnic rebels for 21 years, knew that he would be executed if he refused to shoot demonstrators. But as a devout Buddhist he was convinced he would burn in Hell if he killed the monks. “There were secret codes to start shooting monks. But for a Buddhist this is a terrible crime. Monks are the sons of Buddha. The account Major Htay gave The Times was of an angry and divided army, horrified at being forced to crush protesters they broadly sympathised with, but also fearful of the hard-core of officers loyal to Than Shwe, Burma’s military leader. “I am just the first who will come to Thailand,” he said. “There are many officers like me who are deeply unhappy. They didn’t want to kill the monks. Many officers are also angry because the Burmese people are hungry.” He claimed that many sympathise with Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s jailed pro-democracy leader. “The problem is that they are afraid of Than Shwe. He is so cruel,” he said.

“I am sure officers must have refused their orders to shoot monks. They will themselves be shot — it will happen in a prison and we will never hear about it. If I went back to Burma, I would be executed by them without a moment’s thought.”

"Than Shwe will try to hang on to power, but I believe this time next year he will be gone. There are other soldiers who want his power.”

None of his colleagues believed the regime’s claim that protesters were in league with foreign powers. “They know that is bulls**t. The generals just want to cling on to power,” he said.

James: The top cadre of leaders within the junta has gone too far this time in killing the most revered people in Burma, the Buddhist monks. Yet the irony is that the top leadership will most likely be toppled by a revolt from their own soldiers. And finally, I'd like to add this quote from His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

Lack of understanding of the true nature of happiness, it seems to me, is the principal reason why people inflict sufferings on others. They think either that the other's pain may somehow be a cause of happiness for themselves or that their own happiness is more important, regardless of what pain it may cause. But this is shortsighted: no one truly benefits from causing harm to another sentient being. Whatever immediate advantage is gained at the expense of someone else is shortlived. In the long run, causing others misery and infringing their rights to peace and happiness result in anxiety, fear, and suspicion within oneself. Such feelings undermine the peace of mind and contentment which are the marks of happiness. True happiness comes not from a limited concern for one's own well-being, or that of those one feels close to, but from developing love and compassion for all sentient beings. Here, love means wishing that all sentient beings should find happiness, and compassion means wishing that they should all be free of suffering. The development of this attitude gives rise to a sense of openness and trust that provides the basis for peace.

--The Dalai Lama, from The Dalai Lama: A Policy of Kindness, edited by Sidney Piburn From Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

~Peace to all beings~