Thursday, December 22, 2005

Activist Judge Cancels Christmas

WASHINGTON, DC—In a sudden and unexpected blow to the Americans working to protect the holiday, liberal U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt ruled the private celebration of Christmas unconstitutional Monday.


Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals issues his ruling
O'Reilly's reaction is not yet known.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Liberty or death

I'd rather get blown up than have people take away my basic rights. People are ready to die around the world for a glimpse of that freedom. Could americans please stop being cowards and face the world for what it is: a dangerous place, but one that we can at least roam free. This might sound like rhetoric but it's better than rhetoric about fear.

- daggotht / Wednesday December 21, 2005 01:52:14 PM EST (from comments)

Good point!

Conyers begins impeachment move

Rep John Conyers (D-MI) has brought three resolutions to the House which is carried would begin the impeachment process of Bush and Cheney.

House Res.635, asks that the Congress establish a select committee to investigate whether members of the administration made moves to invade Iraq before receiving congressional authorization, manipulated pre-war intelligence, encouraged the use of torture in Iraq and elsewhere, and used their positions to retaliate against critics of the war. The select committee would be asked to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

The second resolution, H.Res.636, asks that the Congress to censure the president "for failing to respond to requests for information concerning allegations that he and others in his Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for the war, countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in Iraq, and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of his Administration, for failing to adequately account for specific misstatements he made regarding the war, and for failing to comply with Executive Order 12958." (Executive Order 12958, issued in 1995 by former President Bill Clinton, seeks to promote openness in government by prescribing a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information.)

A third resolution, H.Res.637, would censure Cheney for a similar set of complaints.

Of course under current House leadership of Bushes close cronies, none of these measures stand much of a chance unless they hear from a large number of their constituents. Even then, the Republican leaders are unlikely to act according to the will of the people. Only by taking to the streets will these bastards be run out of town it appears.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The rise and hopefully fall of...

I had always wondered how the German people had let Hitler take so much power and let their Republic wither away into a dictatorship. Oh yes I had read the history, especially "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William L. Shirer, and I knew the steps that were taken to consolidate power, but I never saw why the people let it happen, and when it happened why they didn't question it and protest against the rise of the dictatorial state.

Now I get it.

The recent news of the Bush/Cheney administration performing domestic spying, which was probably illegal, is being defended by the right wingers as necessary in our perpetual war against an emotion (aka "War on Terror"), rather than a group of agressors. Some are questioning the patriotism of anyone who questions it:

Democratic Senators Side With Terrorists!

What is crucial here is not that domestic spying has occured. We all know that is an ongoing necessary action and not many are questioning the need for it. The crucial issue is that there is little or no oversight of the executive branch by the other branches of government. Bush informing Congress is not oversight but rather after the fact on a need-to-know basis. Shame on Congress for not calling Bush on the carpet for this.
Of couse we can look back at the act that congress passed in 2001 in a frenzy of getting in line to look patriotic (aka idiotic) which gave the Bush administration perhaps virtually unlimited authority to do whatever it took to go after anyone that was involved with or supported the attacks of Sept. 11th. Right behind that was probably an effort to go after anyone that questioned granting that authority. I knew in 2002 we were living in dark times, but I didn't realize how dark they were until now that the shroud of secrecy has been peirced in a few places.
Is there a light at the end of this tunnel or is that an NSA searchlight coming after me?


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rep. Hinchey, Evolution, Hillary


House Panel Keeps Alive Hinchey Measure To Obtain All White House Drafts Of 2003 State of the Union Address That Contained False Iraq Uranium Claims

Congressman Says American Public Deserves To Know How Infamous 16 Words About Iraq Seeking Uranium From Africa, Now Proven False, Made It Into Final Draft Of Speech

See full story

Humans in England May Go Back 700,000 Years

Humans Lived in Northern Europe Far Earlier Than Thought, Scientists Say
I wonder what the IDiots will have to say about this. It must be from before the flood...


I got a bumper-sticker and a request for money from the Hillary for Senate campaign. I sent back the request in the biz-reply envelope and wrote "NOT UNTIL YOU OPPOSE THE IRAQ WAR" on it.
I hope more people do that.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

1000 days of war

I don't usually re-post somebody else's writing, but this one is worth it.

Iraq: 1000 Days of War
By Patrick Cockburn
The Independent UK
Tuesday 13 December 2005

From Shock and Awe to a country torn between insurrection and democracy.

It has been the strangest war. A thousand days ago, on 20 March 2003, the US and British armies started a campaign which ended a few weeks later with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
It seemed so easy. President George Bush announced that the war was over. The American mission had been accomplished. Months passed before Washington and London realised that the war had not finished. In fact it was only just beginning. Of the 18,000 US servicemen killed or wounded in Iraq, 94 per cent have been killed or wounded since the fall of Baghdad.
There is no sign that the election for the 275-member Iraqi parliament this Thursday will end the fighting. The Sunni Arabs, the core of the insurrection, will vote for the first time, but there is no talk of a ceasefire. A leaflet issued by one resistance group in Baghdad yesterday encouraged its followers to vote but warned: "The fighting will continue with the infidels and their followers."
It was such a strange war because the US began a conflict in 2003 to change radically the Middle East, the most volatile and dangerous region in the world. This was in complete contrast to the first Gulf War in 1991, when the main war aim of President George Bush Snr was to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait and restore the status quo.
There was a further sharp difference between the two wars. Mr Bush Snr had expended enormous effort in creating an international coalition under the UN to fight Iraq. His son, by way of contrast, seemed to revel in isolation. He made the Iraq war the supreme test of American military and political strength. The US would fight it alone, aside from Britain tagging along behind, and win it alone. It did not need allies outside or even inside Iraq. The insurgents received vital if covert assistance from abroad, but the rebellion against the US occupation was always essentially home-grown. Disillusionment with their liberators set in among Iraqis almost as soon as the American troops captured the capital in April 2003. The poor poured out of the slums of Baghdad in a frenzy of destruction and theft. Everything was looted, even the stuffed animals in the natural history museum.
Iraqis expected much from the fall of Saddam. They had endured 23 years of war and sanctions. The Iraqi armed forcessimply packed up and went home. Nobody wanted to die for the old regime. Instead they hoped to enjoy the fruits of their oil wealth for the first time and begin to live like Kuwaitis or Saudis.
Instead the US installed a colonial regime. Iraqis were marginalised and their opinions ignored. Iraqi professionals with PhDs and fluent in several languages found themselves being ordered about by young Americans whose only qualification was links to the Republican Party. The army and security services were dissolved. The five million-strong Sunni community was enraged. The first attacks on US patrols and vehicles began. Whenever I visited the site of an ambush I saw young Iraqi men dancing in jubilation around the blazing vehicles.
By November 2004 a serious guerrilla war was under way. The 140,000-strong US Army was hopelessly ill-equipped for such a conflict. Once I saw an American artillery unit trying to quell a fist fight among Iraqi drivers in a queue at a petrol station. They had brought with them an enormous howitzer designed to fire a shell 30km because they had nowhere to store it.
The face of Baghdad began to change. The symbol of the new regime was the concrete block, enormous obstacles to car bombs looking like gigantic grey tombstones. Walls of them sealed off the Green Zone in the centre of Baghdad where the US and Britain had established their headquarters.
The suicide bombers began to make their terrifying impact. Nobody was safe. The UN headquarters was reduced to a heap of rubble, as was the building housing the Red Cross. Iraqi police stations and US positions were all hastily fortified. On some days there were a dozen attacks. Later they fell in number, but became more sophisticated, with one bomber trying to blast a way through the concrete walls so the second could reach the targeted building.
People in Baghdad and the centre of Iraq lived in perpetual terror of suicide bombers, kidnappers, Iraqi army and US troops. The roads to the capital were all cut by insurgents or bandits. Better-off Iraqis, fearful of kidnappers who preyed on their children, fled to Jordan, Syria and Egypt. In the face of Sunni Arab attack, the US relied more and more on the two other great Iraqi communities. The Shia make up 60 per cent of the population and the Kurds 20 per cent. Some Iraqi leaders had an acute perception of the American dilemma in Iraq. "Let them try to run the country without us and they will see what trouble they will be in," said a Kurdish leader in the summer of 2003. "Then they will come running to us for our help."
Last year the US learnt that it could contain but could not suppress the Sunni insurrection. This year has seen Iraq slowly coming under the control of a Kurdish-Shia alliance whose authority is likely to be reaffirmed by the election on Thursday.
Iraq at the moment is an extraordinary patchwork with conditions varying in every part of the country. Kurdistan is more prosperous than at any time in its history. The skylines of its cities are crowded with cranes. In Baghdad there is hardly any sign of construction, and richer districts are often inhabited only by armed security guards. Their inhabitants have fled.
A BBC poll yesterday showed that half of those questioned say that Iraq needs a strong leader, while only 28 per cent cited democracy as a priority. But it would be a mistake to think that Iraqis could agree on the same strong leader. The Sunni would like a strong man to put the Shia in their place, and the Shia feel likewise that the priority for a powerful leader would be dealing with the Sunni.
Iraqis are cynical about their political leaders. The election results are likely to show that the great majority of Iraqis will vote along ethnic or religious lines as Shia, Sunni or Kurds. The country is turning from a unitary state into a confederation.
There is no sign yet of the thousand-day war ending. Every month up to a thousand fresh corpses arrive at the mortuary in Baghdad. A new Iraq is emerging but it is already drenched in blood.


Monday, December 12, 2005

The World Can't Wait: Bush Step Down!

On the night of the State of the Union speech, everyone is encouraged to go outside at 9:00 pm, just as the idiot is about to speak, and make as much noise as possible, banging on pots and pans, etc. (how about just yelling "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!").
Then on the following Saturday, a march on Washington DC is planned.
(dates will be posted here as soon as I can find out exactly when they are!)

BUSH STEP DOWN and take your program with you. (to view a flash movie) (to get to the main site which is thankfully swamped at this moment).

Contribute to have this organization take out ads in major publications at 866-973-4463 or at


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bush finally admits mistake

Bush appeared at the Council of Foreign Relations yesterday and admitted that some mistakes were made in the inital reconstruction plans for Iraq. Ok George that's good. Admitting you have a problem is the most important step. Now when you finally realize that your destiny is in the hands of a more powerful force, the people, we may see some real progress. [I'm not holding my breath].
The council's president, Richard Haass has called the war in Iraq a "war of choice" a label that has been rejected by the White House.
Bush was greeted with only brief applause, not the usual wild cheering he gets from the tightly controlled crowds of his loyal supporters at most of his speeches, and of course, Bush declined to participate in the traditional question and answer session following his speech. (Full Story...)
Spineless wimp.


If it's not torture, then it's OK to use it on Cheney

Nevada Appeal Internet Editor

December 4, 2005

"We do not torture."

That's what President George W. Bush said, and we can believe him, right? After all, that whole water boarding thing is just a walk in the park. Here is how CIA sources described this technique to ABC News:

"The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him.

Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt."

And it seems to work pretty well. Another passage from the ABC story:

"According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

They said al-Qaida's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess."

Wow. Two-and-a-half minutes to get the truth. Not bad.

Perhaps the Justice Department could use this to speed up some investigations that are taking forever. How about that two-year investigation into who leaked Valerie Plame's CIA status?

Stick Karl Rove on the water board and we can see who really leaked what in just a couple of minutes. That would be fair, wouldn't it? After all, his boss says it's not torture, right?

And how about this whole question about whether we were lied into the war in Iraq. I bet Dick Cheney would have the answer for that one, though the water board may be tough on his bad heart. At least we would know for sure if 2,120+ brave Americans died for a lie.

Just for fun, we could strap Bill Clinton to the water board and find out a whole lot on what happened during his term in the White House. That's one interrogation people would pay big money to see on pay-per-view.

Think of all the situations this could be used for. Hook up Tom DeLay, see if he really did break Texas campaign laws. Get the Halliburton executives in there and ask what happened to all our money. Stick O.J. Simpson on the water board and find out if he killed his ex-wife.

Remember, it's not torture. Bush says so.

Of course, this method isn't foolproof. The confessions obtained this way aren't exactly trustworthy.

The ABC story recounts how one subject was water boarded into claiming Iraq helped train al-Qaida members to use biochemical weapons. This information then was used by the Bush Administration to justify the war. As it turns out, the subject had no knowledge of such training, and he fabricated the story in order to stop the treatment.

"This is the problem with using the water board. They get so desperate that they begin telling you what they think you want to hear," a source told ABC.

So maybe we weren't lied into war, just water boarded into it.

At least it's not torture. Bush said so. And we can believe him, right? Perhaps he can volunteer for the water board and prove he's telling the truth.
Kirk Caraway is Internet Editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at or 881-1273.

Playwright Takes a Prize and a Jab at U.S.

New York Times
LONDON, Dec. 7 - The playwright Harold Pinter turned his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on Wednesday into a furious howl of outrage against American foreign policy, saying that the United States had not only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but had also "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship" in the last 50 years.
    "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them," Mr. Pinter said. "You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."

The playwright Harold Pinter, who has cancer, addressed the Swedish Academy by video from London.

Brooks has a moment of Clarity

An online version isn't avilable (yet) but I actually agreed with everything NY Times columnist David Brooks said today - probably for the first time ever. In today's column he points out why the Conservatives have "Run out of Steam". I'll try to provide the text here later.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Declaration of War
Thank "GOD" someone has put into a movie the Mythology of Christ and how the Christian belief system is ruining our country. Don't get me wrong: I think the Sermon on the Mount (Mat. 5) has some good things to live by, if only the majority of Christians (especially the loud ones) followed them. I guess I missed this when it was first released, but the timimg of this ad is superb during the HOLIDAY SEASON to promote this. I haven't seen the movie yet but I plan to soon. Meanwhile look for me at a nearby public nativity scene holding a protest placard (He he he!).

Specifically, this clip holds dire relevancy for today's political landscape and is required viewing.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Some web links for today

This is disturbing: Ohio Republicans Plan Holiday Burial for American Democracy ( Republicans are still attempting to have a one-party state (and that's not just the State of Ohio). Their love of authoritarianism and utter defeat of any opposing idea leads me to a comparison with the USSR. I don't think all of those agreeing with this policy can see where this ultimately leads. Hopefully the opposition parties will be able to challenge this in the courts. That is before the courts are also part of the one-party state.

Take the test to see where on the political compass you sit. I ended up sitting alongside of Ghandi, the Dali Lama and Nelson Mandella. Why am I not suprized?

Shows the civil liberties and democracy levels of many of the countries of the world. I can't see how US ended up with the same civil liberty ranking as Sweeden in light of this country's homophobia and belief in torture.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Real Lying SOB's

Dark Lord Dick insists that the Cheney administration did not mislead the country into war.

So consider these points:

1. Even after it was debunked by the CIA, the administration continued to claim that there were strong ties between Saddam and al Qaeda.

2. Even after the CIA confirmed that the meeting did not take place, the administration continued to claim that one of the 9/11 hi-jackers, Mohammed Atta, met with Iraq officials, supposedly in Prague, while Atta was in Virgina Beach.

3. The administration claimed that Saddam was importing nuclear material from Africa, more than a year after Ambassador Joseph Wilson, sent by the CIA, proved that it was untrue. Ironically, Cheney's office was the one who requested this investigation.

4. The administration claimed that Iraq had mobile bio-weapon factories, long after the source for this claim, "Curveball" had been discredited. The mobile "factories" were never found.

5. They continued to claim that al Qaeda had recieved weapons training from Iraq long after the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that it was most likely false.

6. Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld insisted that the administration knew exactly where the WMD's were. Three teams of UN weapons inspectors had reported that the likelihood of WMD's were remote. After the invasion, none were found.