Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Family Emergency

I will be away for a few days. Thank you for your patience and patronage.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Someone Remembers the Troops

John Edwards sends season's greetings to the mostly forgotten, ignored Americans-- homeless Vets.
Thank you John Edwards.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Not us, we're not going."

A quote from the article at Army Times describing a troop "mutiny" in Iraq. After a staggering number of losses in the same company, soldiers speak out and refuse to return to 'Old Mod.'
“You never really get over the anger,” said Staff Sgt. Robin Johnson, a member of Charlie’s scout platoon who had been especially close to Agami. “It just kind of becomes everything you are. You become pissed off at everything. We wanted to destroy everything in our paths, but they wanted us to keep building sewer systems and handing out teddy bears.”
Read Greg Mitchell's piece and the complete Army Times article here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Willing Suspension of Disbelief

Keith Olbermann is interviewed by veteran journalist Bill Moyers on his PBS program Journal. Keith and Bill discuss the state of the nation and issue another wake up call to Americans in this pivotal point in our country's history to rouse themselves from this state of suspension of disbelief about what is being perpetrated on the American landscape by the Bush administration. Watch it here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One of Ours takes on Mitch McChinless!

Jon Soltz of Vote Vets tells all in his KOS diary.
As an Iraq war veteran, today is pretty exciting for me, and all the other vets I talk with. Today, one of our own took the first step towards knocking off Senator Mitch McConnell in 2008. Iraq War Veteran Andrew Horne jumped into the race.
H/T to Mary for the heads up. As an aside, could Sen. Turtle (no relation, I assure you) have found a less flattering photo? Mitch is not a good-looking man is all I'm sayin'...

The Way of the Buffalo

The general business of winterizing the homestead and the bustle of the holiday season have kept me away from the keyboard. I thank everyone for their patience. All told though, I'm disturbed how buried the N.I.E. and the ensuing cover-up brought about by the CIA torture tapes being destroyed has become. It is all too clear the chimp-in-charge lied--again and he with his republibots, continues still, to gin-up war with Iran as America sleeps. Torture has become de rigueur to the "average" American, the U.S. Constitution is passe, and the most pressing issue seems what the George Mitchell report will say about steroid use in baseball.

In listening to various podcasts this week, Scott Ritter at TruthOut warns of what he believes is a still imminent threat of the emperor-king letting loose on Iran and the endemically incurious American regarding the dangerous threat such an attack would encompass. Meanwhile, the MSM chirps how the war crimes this administration has conducted under the "unitary executive" meme is much ado about nothing.

In another podcast, The National Constitution Center asks the question, Is the Constitution Outdated?. Answering this query are Larry Sabato, Michael Oreskes, and Eric Lane with the start point of agreeing on the erosion of constututional literacy in America. They could have referenced Miss Teen South Carolina as an example of such civic and cultural illiteracy, particularly in America's youth.
"Half of all Americans think that the President has the power under the Constitution, to suspend the Constitution, in times of emergency. Are we the American Republic or a banana republic?"
These days I'm left wondering how far America will have to fall before we the people do something and stop the criminals from taking over forever. Or at least until we go the way of the buffalo.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

KO:Special Comment--IranLies

"There are few choices more terrifying than the one Mr.. Bush has left us with tonight.

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole -- or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked -- at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so -- whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

After Ms Perino's announcement from the White House late last night, the timeline is inescapable and clear.

In August the President was told by his hand-picked Major Domo of intelligence Mike McConnell, a flinty, high-strung-looking, worrying-warrior who will always see more clouds than silver linings, that what "everybody thought" about Iran might be, in essence, crap. ..." - Keith Olbermann

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Little Angel

Heard first on Keith Olbermann:Girl, 7, shot 6 times saving mom
DETROIT -- A 7-year-old-girl is being hailed as an "angel from heaven" and a hero for jumping in front of an enraged gunman, who pumped six bullets into the child as she used her body as a shield to save her mother's life.

Alexis Goggins, a first-grader at Campbell Elementary School, is in stable condition at Children's Hospital in Detroit recovering from gunshot wounds to the eye, left temple, chin, cheek, chest and right arm.

"She is an angel from heaven," said Aisha Ford, a family friend for 15 years who also was caught up in the evening of terror.
Read the rest...

A fund has been set up to help with Alexis medical costs and recovery. Send this brave little girl some Christmas Holiday cheer, I did and I'm sure she'll appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Soldier Persecuted

By no other than the Bush administration--big surprise. A Soldier's Officer.
In a nondescript conference room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1st Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside listened last week as an Army prosecutor outlined the criminal case against her in a preliminary hearing. The charges: attempting suicide and endangering the life of another soldier while serving in Iraq.
H/T to Op for the link.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sunday Music Blogging

Sia formerly of Zero 7 sings Breathe Me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Congressional Intervention

"Hi my name is the 101st Congress, I'm a democrat, and my government has become unmanageable." Hi 101st.

It has become necessary to promote a congressional intervention on the sorry, sick, spineless, addicted-to terror congress and get them into a 12-step program pronto.

Their latest foray into the darkside is HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. Ya gotta give it to 'em though, they sure know how to name a bill in order to scare people into capitulation. Isn't time to let your Senator (this bill has PASSED in the house already)that Orwellian thoughtcrime is OFF THE TABLE? This is YOUR fisrt step, please take it today.

However lame or ineffectual you may think writing, calling, emailing your senator seems, doing NOTHING, is infinitely more so. Please contact your senator and tell them that this thoughtcrime bill is an UNACCEPTABLE way to thwart terrorism and is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The senate version is s1959.

UPDATE: Yes, someone has started a petition. Please sign it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sick Day

Unfortunately I've been taken down by a nasty virus. I'm gonna rest, drink juice, eat soup and several Tylenol as my doctor-husband steps over my prone body on his way to the refrigerator for a beer. See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Time for November 5th

"Better Late than never." -George Bernard Shaw, discussing his late in life change to vegetarianism.

This quote will do for my posting of "V Speaks," the monologue given by the character V in the film "V for Vendetta." As timely now as ever. Happy belated Guy Fawkes Day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Deep Field Blogging

Thanks go out to And your little dog too... for sending me this Live Leak video of the Hubble telescope's image of deep field space and the most important picture ever taken by humanity. Awesome.

The DemPublicans

Eli (Multi Medium) quotes Athenae (First Draft)on the state-of-the-democrats:
When you roll over for a bully, day after day after day, change your positions based on what people like Klein and fucking Shrum and all these other Beltway dickheads say, promise things and then back down, say harsh stuff and then apologize, take a stand and then forget about it, you look like a pussy.

And people don’t like voting for pussies.
I couldn't agree more and wonder how this game of chicken the dems are playing with the American people will turn out next November. Read the rest of Athenae's First Draft entry and tell me what your plans are come election time.

Soldier told to give bonus money back--after serious injury

Having just been in Pittsburgh, it seems appropriate I post on a 'Burgher.
PITTSBURGH - For one Pittsburgh-area soldier, the holiday season came with an almost unbelievable letter from the Pentagon, telling him to give back nearly $3,000 in bonus money for time not served.

A roadside bomb in Iraq injured Pfc. Jordan Fox. He suffered permanent damage to his right eye and was discharged, coming home to a hero’s welcome.
Cao's Blog has the story and here is some related content.

Tofurkey Will Travel

Clearly it was a light week in posting for me as we went away for the holidays. We were in Pennsylvania visiting Dr. Turtle's family. Visiting the in-laws, while always challenging, had the extra-special delight of meeting Eli of Multi Medium fame. Eli-in-person is as charming as his site is beautiful. I thank him for meeting us and for being our "designated eater."

I hope everyone found something to be grateful for over this long holiday week, and I'm grateful for Eli and the left blogosphere for moving us all into the 'new enlightenment.'

Photo Credit: Me, Tofurkey I made for last Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No End in Sight

Yeah, we'll be leaving Iraq real soon...Isn't it a shame we have to turn to Vanity Fair for news? As it is so, VF writes up:
The Mega-Bunker of Baghdad
The new American Embassy in Baghdad will be the largest, least welcoming, and most lavish embassy in the world: a $600 million massively fortified compound with 619 blast-resistant apartments and a food court fit for a shopping mall. Unfortunately, like other similarly constructed U.S. Embassies, it may already be obsolete.
Read the rest...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Talking Heads

The only ones that matter in my humble opinion. Enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

3-Time Combat Iraq Vet to Dems: Show us some leadership--Get Out of Iraq now

Lifted from Think Progress:Three-Tour Iraq Vet: ‘Our Troops Need To Come Home Now’

At tonight’s CNN Democratic debate, the candidates heard a strong warning against U.S. military action against Iran from Christopher Jackson, a Marine who served three tours of duty in Iraq:

I feel that if we continue on the path we’re at, that’s where we’re going to end up — in Iran. And that’s not what our troops need. Our troops need to come home now.

The entire audience, including the candidates, stood and gave Jackson a rousing ovation. Watch it:

Jackson’s mother, who was standing next to her son at the event, went on to say that after she “finally got her son home” from Iraq, “members of the Bush administration and neoconservative members of Congress are beating the drums of war again.”

She said her son is still a member of the Marines Individual Ready Reserve and could be called up again. She concluded by asking the candidates, “How are you going to show us your leadership on this issue now?”

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wisdom from the Past

"Only the unloved hate." Charlie Chaplin gives this rousing 3 min. speech from "The Great Dictator." Nearly 60 years old, it still rings true. H/T to Corey.

Charlie Chaplain - Amazing Speech - The funniest movie is here. Find it

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's been 'Settled'

Judge Benjamin Settle of the United States District Court ( ever and possibly a new meaning of the verb*) ) issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Lt. Ehren Watada. While not over, this victory greatly increases Lt. Watada's chances of a positive outcome for his case.
“. . . This case concerns an alleged violation of the Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause, which cannot be said to fall within a set of affairs that are peculiar to the jurisdiction of the military authorities. . . . The same Fifth Amendment protections are in place for military service members as are afforded to civilians. . . . To hold otherwise would ignore the many sacrifices that American soldiers have made throughout history to protect those sacred rights." - Judge Benjamin Settle
At approximately 3:39 PM (PST), Nov 8, 2007, Judge Benjamin H. Settle of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (sitting in Tacoma, WA) issued a Preliminary Injunction in favor of 1Lt Ehren Watada.

In his decision, Judge Settle made the following significant points:

1. The remedy sought by Lt Watada -- a writ of habeas corpus in a pretrial setting -- is rare but appropriate;

2. Lt Watada will suffer irreparable injury if relief is denied;

3. Lt Watada is likely to succeed on the merits;

4. Military Judge Head abused his discretion in rejecting the Stipulation of Fact;

5. Even if Judge Head did not abuse his discretion in rejecting the Stipulation of Fact, there was still a lack of "manifest necessity" for declaring the mistrial;

6. Judge Head failed to adequately consider possible alternatives;

7. The balance of potential harms weighs in Lt Watada's favor; and

8. The public interest favors granting relief.

Go over to Marc Lord's Adored by Hordes for the rest of the story. Marc has summed up Lt. Watada's actions like this:
It takes one kind of bravery to storm a machine-gun nest to save what's left of your comrades. It takes another to storm a hostile establishment to save what's left of a nation. A few people have both kinds. Thank you, Lieutenant Watada.

*Settled, verb:reversing an injustice done by the right-wing hate machine

Monday, November 12, 2007

The 23,000

Thanks go out to the ever-excellent Lotus at folo for her link to this story about the 23,000 women service members serving in Iraq from The Anchorage Daily News.
The death in Iraq this week of Staff Sgt. Carletta S. Davis of Anchorage vividly demonstrates the evolving role of women in the U.S. military. As one of about 23,000 women deployed to Iraq with U.S. and coalition forces, Davis was the 85th woman to die there when a roadside bomb exploded near her Humvee.

VETERANS DAY 2007 -- "Thank you for your service."

Today should be a day of celebration and honor for those that have served, made sacrifices for their country. Instead I'm reminded of the inhumane demands made upon our military without proper rest or follow-up care once tours end, and the callous treatment by the current administration who put our military in harm's way. I cannot help but cringe when I acknowledge the fight war-injured veterans have in front of them for the benefits they were promised.
"Caring for a dead veteran is easy...bring a wreath, say a few
words and walk away. Caring for a living veteran requires
time, money and a life-long commitment. Every Veterans
Day our politicians show they don't know the difference
as they visit a cemetery instead of a VA hospital."

The poor treatment of our soldiers and veterans is shocking. VA Watchdog has story after story of mistreatment by the very government we serve. Today, read at least one story. Let it move you to action. If you "support the troops" actually do something today to show that support. Visit a VA, send an email to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, call your rep. ask them to support the current legislation to provide for Vets.
DAV REFUTES ADMINISTRATION'S CLAIM OF JUST 30,000 WOUNDED IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN -- "That 30,000 number is a fantasy...202,000 have filed claims for VA disability...A quarter million have turned to the VA for treatment...Our government tried to do war on the cheap..."
DEMS FAIL AT PROMISE OF VA BUDGET BY VETERANS DAY --Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO): "These are the men and women we will honor on Monday Veterans Day, with parades and accolades. But thanks to Democrats in Congress, we won't be honoring them with the spending bill they deserve."
Just as an aside, having Dick Cheney, the five-time differed chickenhawk give the invocation yesterday makes irony shake its head in disbelief. Do something for a veteran, indict Dick Cheney. Or as better said in the comments, send Dick the message he has sent us Veterans, "Fuck You for your service."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Home Coup

Frank Rich can be as off the mark as any MSM spinmeister but in the last months he has hit more than a few home runs. Read this one:
So what if America’s chief law enforcement official won’t say that waterboarding is illegal? A state of emergency is a state of emergency. You’re either willing to sacrifice principles to head off the next ticking bomb, or you’re with the terrorists. Constitutional corners were cut in Washington in impressive synchronicity with General Musharraf’s crackdown in Islamabad.
If you need more convincing, read this NYT OpEd, Abdicate and Capitulate

A Call to Arms for Catholics

A little Sunday fare...Heather Wokusch discusses the Vatican Vs. The White House. The 2008 vote implications of the battle between the Pope and the President. Heather gives a brief synopsis of her article, "Pope Versus President," first appearing in Foreign Policy in Focus.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Letter to Dianne

Just sent my senator, Dianne Feinstein this email:


Unfortunately, you have become so corrupt I can no longer vote for you in good conscience. You voted for Judge Mukasey, a man who refuses to call water-boarding torture, who says the president is above the law. A Man who callously sent an AMERICAN CITIZEN to prison for three and a half years without a trial until through the torture Mukasey condones, Jose Padilla lost his mind. You have funneled nearly 1 billion dollars worth of reconstruction contracts to you husband Richard's company, disregarding the obvious conflict of interest. These latest actions, among others, show you no longer possess the integrity to represent us Californians.

Many years ago on several occasions, I served you cocktails in the Wattis Room during your attendance at the symphony. I thought you to be cordial and warm. I remember how you stepped up after Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk’s murders. You calmed the city and it felt like someone was in charge at our most vulnerable moment. You brought a professionalism and strength to the office of Mayor. I voted for you. I’ve also voted for you the first time you ran for senate and every time you've asked to be re-elected.

You took San Francisco and California into the national political scene which now makes our state a more formidable presence than ever before. Your politics were always more conservative than mine, but you so often made decisions and cast votes I could live with, so I’ve continued to support you as my elected official.

But no more Senator Feinstein. You current despicable actions have placed you into
’Lieberman Land’. Another turncoat democrat without integrity or honesty. You should perhaps join Senator Lieberman in his “Party of One.” The two of you could get a table for two and discuss why you’ve gone astray from democracy and let greed, ego and self-intrerest become the ONLY factor in your decision making for the country. I will never vote for you again and shall work tirelessly to see you are not re-elected. That you are never allowed to shame my state and the Democratic Party. I doubt you feel shame over the bad choices you have made in your self-interested votes, no doubt you have lost that element of ethos long ago, yet another trait you share with the GOP and certainly this criminal administration.

I encourage you to change course before you are defeated in 2012.

Sincerely, (my true name, USAF Veteran)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Will 'Noncombat' Deaths be Investigated?

Who Will Probe 'Noncombat' Deaths in Iraq? About 20% of the U.S. deaths in Iraq are officially labeled "noncombat," and that number has been surging. This includes accidents, friendly fire and well over 120 suicides. But the government, and the media, seem reluctant to expose the tragedy, argues vets leader Paul Rieckhoff.
These "noncombat deaths" are commonly referred to as "frags" by foreign journalists and others. Greg Mitchell at Editor and Publisher asks the question: Will these deaths be investigated? The DoD rarely releases information about these deaths and we personally, are trying to get additional information about someone we knew who's death was classified as "noncombat."
[H/T to Lotus for link]

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Double Standards at the New York Times

Dave Lindorff's This Can't Be Happening! posts some truth about the Grey Lady:
The New York Times, which claims to draw a clear distinction between its news articles and its commentary articles, dropped any pretense of such a distinction in its minimalist "coverage" of yesterday's dramatic effort by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to force the House to consider the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a small 230-word piece on Kucinich's privilege motion, and the subsequent vote to send his H Res. 333, now called H. Res. 799, to the House Judiciary Committee, after it has been consigned to limbo for over 6 months by the House leadership, the Times succeeded in dissing both Kucinich and the notion of impeaching the vice president.

As the anonymous Times reporter wrote in the lead of this hit piece:

"It is hard to know which effort has longer odds, the bid by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, to become president of the United State, or his bid to unseat Vice President Dick Cheney by impeaching him".
read the rest...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Over the First Impeachment Hurdle-UPDATE

Dennis Kucinich's H.Res 333 "Articles of Impeachment Against Vice President Richard B. Cheney." Has cleared the first obstacle to becoming. Next it goes to the house judiciary committee.

After Downing Street has a live blog of the attempt to kill the bill. Impeach Cheney Now! Read the Dennis Kucinich essay on why Cheney should be impeached, contact the members of the house judiciary committee. Here are the current members who will be voting on whether it will go up to the full house for an up or down vote.

The painful truth about today's vote is more republicans voted to send this resolution to committee than democrats. Call your rep and tell them you want them to vote to impeach Cheney.

UPDATE: take on the sudden change of heart by the rethuglicans in voting to send this resolution into committee: David Swanson's live blog of the vote opines,
"No doubt the Republicans want to get the Dem leaders on tape on the floor defending Cheney against impeachment."
Or could it be that impeachment has been off the table because the Dems are afraid the truth will come out about their complicity in the very crimes Cheney is accused of. If an investigation gets underway into Cheney's role in lying us into war, the Dems collusion will begin to show. Their constant whining, "we didn't know" will be exposed. The back room deals will come to light. The utter spinelessness of the Dems, repeatedly complained about by the American public, will suddenly make sense.

I believe the mask of connivance is slipping as demonstrated by Dianne Feinstein's vote for Mukasey. Her vote is part of the price she's paying to her master the BushCo war-mongering, war services industry which directly benefits her war-profiteering husband Richard Blum, a 75% partner in Perini Corporation. Perini is a construction company that has received nearly a billion dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds.

There are a number of theories running around the blogosphere, from The GOP is trying to embarrass the Dems, to a thug trick that backfired on them. I'm sticking to my guns. I think this is the reason dems have been so weak since they took the house.

Whatever the case, I hope the truth comes out, for the very survival of our country.

I gave my opinion to Mike Malloy and WaPo, for what it's worth.

Deadliest Year for U.S. troops

Heck of a job Georgie. 3854 and it not even noon. And there's 7 weeks left in the year.

K.O. waterboards the president

Last night Keith Olbermann kicked ass again.
The presidency is now a criminal conspiracy.

It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.
Watch again or for the first time.Larry Johnson at No Quarter adds his and other voices to demand the end of torture in our name. Urgent: Letter from Intelligence, Military, Diplomatic, and Law Enforcement Professionals.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Impeachment is On The Table

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 6)Congressman Dennis Kucinich has called for a "privileged resolution" on Dick Cheney's impeachment. If not now when? This has gone on long enough. Call [(202) 224-3121]AND email your Representative. Let then know you have had enough and encourage them to support and vote yes on Dennis Kuchinich's brave move, H. Res 333. If your rep. is among the 21 co-sponsors, let them know you are pleased with their decision to start the process of holding this administration accountable for the evils perpetrated upon our country and the world at large. 54% of Americans now agree that Cheney should be impeached. Please don't let this opportunity go by to make your opinion count.

Call your member of Congress toll free:

ALSO TONIGHT: Dennis Kucinich will be on the phone, Monday, November 5 5:30 MT
4:30 PT. 6:30 CT 7:30 ET. If you want to listen, call (641)715-3300 The access number is: 324341# This is a one-way call with no restriction on the number who are on the line to listen. Please get everybody together and put it on a speaker phone!

House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment against the Vice President, has 21 cosponsors. They are: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Robert Brady (D-PA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Henry Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD).
And while you're there, let your rep. know that Mukasey as A.G. is a pretty piss poor idea. Anyone that can't say water-boarding is torture is just trying to cover Geogre Bush' ass.

One more request: Please call Kucinich's office and show him a little love for having the balls to make a showing.

First Pakistan, Then...

Will it be us?
Much talk around the blogosphere about the possibility of the Emperor Chimp declaring martial law, canceling the election and keeping power indefinitely.
Musharaff has declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution of Pakistan, arrested and jailed lawyers from the opposition party, confiscated the cameras and recording equipment of journalists and fired the supreme court's chief justice. Is this a preview of coming events in America? Randi Rhodes has a good round-up of articles.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Diebold Voting Machines for Mississippi

Mississippi's Republican Secretary of State, Eric Clark has certified Diebold touch screen voting machines for the next election. Can someone explain to me how past CA Sec. of State Kevin Shelly and current California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified the same machines because they can easily be tampered with to change the outcome of an election, while Mr. Clark says they are A-OK?

'Public Service' announcements running on local tv and radio stations tout how reliable and easy to use Diebold's machines are. I haven't heard word one about all the problems with flipping votes and the many states that have decertified the touch-screen voting. If you have any doubts, check on the Diebold machines yourself. Many articles, tests and expert testimony exists.

Fucking criminals. But then who gives a shit? It's just Mississippi, right? The reddest of red states, the dumbest, the most fat. What possible difference could it make to give your opinion, vent your outrage. Remember, they want us disenfranchised, impotent, weak, afraid. Prove them wrong.Call or email Eric Clark and raise hell about the blatant attempt by the GOP to steal another election.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Consumer Safety Approved

One reason I'm grateful I don't have children:
Consumer Product Safety Commission chief Nancy Nord and her predecessor "have taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children's furniture industries and others they regulate," according to internal records. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on Nord to resign.
Former Reichmarshall of "New Mexico Lawyers for Bush," Nancy Nord was made head of the government agency that is currently making sure all those lovely lead toys make it into your kid's mouth. WaPo has the scoop and Jon Carroll at SF Gate piles on. If I had children, they would be screaming, "Mommy make the scary lady go away!!"

The DemPublicans Ride Again

Yeah, I can't believe they did it either boys...'torture boy redux' is going to be the new AG. Great. Unfuckingbelievable. Larry Johnson has something to say about it. Follow his advice.

Kucinich Goes All In

From the Office of Congressman Dennis Kucinich:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 2, 2007) — Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) announced today that he will be offering a privileged resolution on the House floor next week that will bring articles of impeachment against the Vice President, Richard B. Cheney.

“The momentum is building for impeachment,” Kucinich said. “Millions of citizens across the nation are demanding Congress rein in the Vice President’s abuse of power.

“Despite this groundswell of opposition to the unconstitutional conduct of office, Vice President Cheney continues to violate the U.S. Constitution by insisting the power of the executive branch is supreme.
Read the rest...

From reader Op 99: How CBS covers a presidential candidate...

Dog and Cat Honored for Saving Their Humans

On a positive note:
When Debbie Parkhurst choked on a piece of apple at her Maryland home, her dog jumped in, landing hard on her chest and forcing the morsel to pop out of her throat. When the Keesling family of Indiana was about to be overcome by carbon monoxide, their cat clawed at wife Cathy's hair until she woke up and called for help.
Read the rest...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Blackwater Goes to Mexico

We returned last night from a week in Cozumel. We had a great time. Several adventures complete with an interesting cast of characters. We met several retired military couples, some progressive west-coasters and a couple of Blackwater USA guys. Who knew?

Our Blackwater fellow resort patrons are from Texas, which should surprise no one. They are young (23), from conservative homes, and based on my impressions, see Blackwater as their 'shot' (no pun intended) at the 'American Dream.'

High wages. Adventure. Patriotism. These are the benefits as viewed by these very nice young men who find going to Afghanistan and Iraq as "military contractors" a dangerous thrill not to be missed. The one young man, a 6'6", 270 lbs. teddy bear named Drew, talked big and carried a large tequila bottle. His more demure friend Will acted more the chaperon. We had several conversations about the "war" and the Blackwater role. They sympathized with the disparate differences between wages and rules for them as compared to us, the active duty military. The scrutiny they don't receive for what can only be described as war crimes as compared to the prosecutions of only low-level military for crimes they were complicitly ordered to commit.

I reiterate, I do not support the policies and posturing of the American military establishment in regard to the heinous acts committed by the persons prosecuted. I do not cotton to the "My Lai defense." Simply said, investigations and imprisonments need to happen at much higher levels, e.g., Rumsfeld,et al. (speaking of which, I just heard this...) and the rules of engagement and pay need to be commensurate. At bottom though, it is clear that Blackwater is now substituting as a private army at ten times the cost to avoid a draft, any participation, or impact being felt by the American public in this quagmire called "The Iraq War."

Drew, while talking extensively about "being in the shit," had many moments of doubt about the role he plays in "the sandbox" during our conversations. The day before we left Cozumel, he got so drunk, he stumbled around and hit his head poolside. My feeling was he was 'drinking his feelings.' Not to mention, it is quite a feat getting cut off at an all-inclusive, hotel bar in Mexico. He was carried up to his room by hotel security, and turned out be be no worse for wear the next day. And Dr. Turtle did check him out for serious injuries.

This actually started out as being a travelogue, but I found even being on vacation in paradise, an inability to quiet the nagging of my consciousness regarding the state of the world. We did see some extraordinary sights and the damage that remains of Hurricane Dean. The largest loss seemed to be in the iguana population which suffered many deaths for which I mourn. The Mexican middle class seems to be growing but the significant observation for me was how similar our countries have become. While our middle class is shrinking and poverty is on the rise, corruption in government between the two countries is virtually indistinguishable, and the politics of greed are in full swing, bringing us closer together in national temperament and template.

Clearly, I can't be trusted to go on vacation and just relax. I apologize to my dear husband. And also for the nasty squall we encountered while on scooters (my idea), in shorts and tees (mine too), 13 miles (!) from our hotel. And what is it with us and driving through rainstorms lately?

Follow Me

Lotus is kicking ass and taking names on her blog "folo." She follows the Pat Lang piece, 'Drinking the Koolaid' with “Any other embassy in the world would be closed by now.”
Talk about “must read”: Karen DeYoung in today’s Washington Post has one fer sher. Yesterday at the State Department, a peptalk turned into an out-and-out pantsing — one that, in any sane part of the world, would at the least herald Madame Secretary’s resignation by the end of business today.
Go show Lotus some love.

Turtle Travels

Dr. and Mrs. Turtle went to Cozumel, Mexico to relieve themselves albeit temporarily, of the burdens of today's world. Being underwater or drunk most of the time, I got virtually no news but was able to speak to several Americans about the state of the nation. Even the average,conservative republican seem fed up with what's been going on. A strange confluence of circumstance found The Turtles vacationing among many from the San Francisco bay area and Texas. We just moved from Texas a few months ago, and from San Francisco before that. It was a kind of old home week. It was a treat. I apologize for my absence, and I'll post some pics and tell of my travels later today.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Regarding Spines

Digby's got a Hull-ab-lot to say about the FISA court and congress' unwillingness to find a spine. She says, "It's Not a Tough Call."

Thoughts from Ralph and Jim

Stolen from Mike-o at Dept Of Homeland Conspiracy: A snippet of Ralph Nader discussing impeachment, and the current congressional perspective on its initiation. Followed by Jim Hightower's article, "Is a Presidential Coup Under Way?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dead Dems Walking

Dave Lindorff at This Can't Be Happening! has a great few posts up exposing the democrats catatonic response to BushCo and his Thuglicans ability to continue to pass or block legislation at will and praising Chris Dodd for showing some backbone.
The Democratic Party in Congress, and indeed the leading candidates for the party's presidential nomination, are all dead men and women walking.

They look alive. They may even think they're alive. But their political futures are close to moribund.

President Bush is no chump. He has figured out how to emasculate the Democrats (those that aren't already eunuchs). Instead of making a decent estimate of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and asking for it up front for the 2008 fiscal year, he is asking for it piecemeal, giving Democrats opportunity after opportunity to turn him down and end it all, knowing all the while that they'll cave and give him his war money.
This bullshit of not being able to pass bills without, what they call, the requisite 60 votes in the senate. Chris Dodd has proved it can be done, by one.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Twisted Twister

Just drove through a tornado...check in later...sheesh.

A tornado cell to be more exact. we were crossing a bridge no less, when a water spout appeared about a hundred yards away. We had to continue driving across the bridge through sideways rain going both directions. we are safe, sound and grateful. I don't recommend this experience.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Get Me My Gun

Clearly the American people don't give two shits about what goes on in their own country and with its leadership. The story of the waste and fraud occurring during the is illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq has been tantamount to the biggest boondoggle in American history, yet is barely glanced upon in the mainstream media, and virtually ignored by congress.

Did you know of the nearly 1/2 a trillion war dollars spent, 88 BILLION dollars of "contractor money" is under investigation for fraud? Did you realize the 630 private companies are under contract to the US government to deliver "services" to Iraq? Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater:The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, sat in on a DOD authorization hearing and listened to representative after representative ask scores of military and government officials,"How many contractors do we have? What are they doing? How much are they being paid? What nations are they drawn from? The answers were, 'I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know' ". Would you let ANYONE spend your money like this?

Bill Moyers does a great intense round-up
of the national treasure wasted on this futile exercise called the Global War on Terror. Best of the Left compiles a podcast "best of" moments from around the blogosphere about the discussion. All the while the republicans can't fund health care for children which amounts to 40 days in Iraq spending.

Preaching to the choir I guess, but I wonder when people will be angry enough to act.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Stark Truth

Pete Stark Rocks! Finally a democrat with the balls to call Bush a liar and a sociopath in the same statement. Admit it, you were glad he said what you've been feeling. I sure am. Send him an email showing your support.

Herding Cats

Watch this little funny, Cat Herders, and then tune into an interesting debate between TruthDig's Robert Scheer and Ralph Nader. I like Nader's position on most things but did feel he was a spoiler in the 2000 election. I also agree with most of Scheer's points of compromise, but find him to be a bit of a apologist for the shortcomings of democrats. The interesting thing about the debate is how clearly both speakers highlight the in-fighting the dems are constantly accused of.

This constant attempt to "herd cats" seems ultimately counter-productive, yet how can we find compromise without the rethugs using our differences to split us and ram through their agenda? The conclusion I have come to is we get too focused on 'being right' and we lose. An age-old spiritual technique I've know is to mentally and emotionally get to the point where polarization does not exist. One gets to this neutral be being willing to have what you want and not have what you want. Sounds harder than it is to achieve.

Listen to the debate and please check in with your opinion. I'm terribly interested to find a way through this morass of confusion into a more productive path to liberal values.

TruthDig Debate with Robert Scheer and Ralph Nader.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

2007 Weblog Award Nominations

OMG...thank you Jon Swift. I have been nominated for a 2007 Weblog Award in the category 'Best of the Rest of the Blogs (8751+)'. It's an honor just to be nominated. Are they called 'webbies' or 'bloggies'? I don't know but I am really honored to be noticed by the illustrious Mr. Swift. Thanks again Jon, and oh yeah, Vote for Deep Confusion, the rest of the country has...

Prayer for America

Kucinich style. I really love this guy. He says what I think and feel. This primary, I will be voting for Dennis Kucinich. I will not listen to the naysayers who say he is unelectable, too short, not rich enough. He is my candidate. I will not be party to the lesser-evil-vote. I will be voting for Dennis Kuchinich. He is electable if people vote their consciences instead for who the propaganda noise machine tells you to. Fuck that, I'm voting for Kucinich

Like I've Been Saying...

San Francisco, my hometown, was just names by a Conde Nast magazine reader's poll, Best Destination in the world. Just like I've been saying. Sheesh.
Why Go?
The view—those fabled hills guarantee stunning vistas from almost every vantage point
America's best food (locals claim), from burritos to haute-organic California cuisine
Neighborhoods that span the spectrum from funky (Upper Haight) to industrial chic (SoMa) to posh (Pacific Heights)
It's no surprise that San Francisco is a perennial favorite among travelers both foreign and domestic. Often described as almost European in ambience, the City by the Bay packs a panoply of vibes into its surprisingly small 50-odd square miles at the tip of its namesake peninsula. Golden Gate Park, a masterpiece of nineteenth-century urban planning, combines the natural beauty of its gardens with the culture of its museums. The city's Chinatown, the largest in the western United States, serves tastes of the East, and the ever-gentrifying Mission district has some of the nation's best taco shops. Haight-Ashbury clings to traces of its hippie past, while well-heeled hoods such as Pacific Heights claim some of the priciest real estate on the planet.
When are you going? Drop me a line, I'll go with.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Prince of Tides

And the tide is turning: Blackwater likely to be out of Iraq

Lotus for the World

Please take a look-see at our own Lotus on her new blog folo--Bee-u-tee-ful! She describes it as such:

To name this news-following blog, I’ve borrowed a term (rhyming with hollow, not polo) which journos use for “a follow-up to or expansion of the original story.” I’m not doing reporters’ work here, so I hope they forgive me for bumming their wonderful word.

If any show up, it might also stand for “friends of lotus online.”

WTF Alert:Jeb in 2008?

James Carville, Clinton strategist in '92 predicts: Jeb Bush will be GOP nominee in 2008. Color me puke green.

'Pockets' Kuchinich

Dennis Kuchinich on the Colbert Report empties his pockets to our delight. A bit of light hearted politics for a change.

The New Gestapo

Cheney looking comfortable while visiting Auschwitz

PBS' Frontline broadcast last night, 'Cheney's Law', was utterly jaw dropping in its reporting of the "dark side" of the Cheney/Bush collaboration to undermine the U.S. Constitution and the freedom of not only Americans, but the entire world. I'm still in shock from the assault on my sensibilities and the horrific damage done to our system of government portrayed in this stunning documentary. If you have not seen it, do so now. If you are not frightened by the depth of secret police-like tactics and operations of Cheney's decisions since in power, you are asleep. The parallels between Hitler's SS and the Gestapo are uncanny and terrifying. Watch it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Duty to the Wounded

Why won't anyone call Bush on this shit? Bob Dole and Donna Shalala were part of a presidential commission on reforming the VA several months ago in the aftermath of the Walter Reed malfeasance scandal. Today they co-wrote a WaPo OpEd calling on Chimpy to put these recommendations into action. Meanwhile, the VA operations budget has just enough for current recipients and no money for our newest war-injured veterans. Yet another show of support for the troops from this criminal enterprise called BushCo
We have also testified before Congress and met individually with lawmakers. Overall, we are buoyed by the strong bipartisan support being given to the proposals.

Despite this support, however, it is clear that our recommendations are being swept up in a decades-long battle to reform the entire disability system for all service members. It is important to remember that our commission was tasked with improving care and benefits for those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While we hope that our recommendations will help many others, our mission was to make the system work better for this new generation of veterans.
DKOS has more on this story.

The Real Iraq

As seen through the eyes and experiences of 12 Army Captains who served in Iraq. WaPo posts an OpEd in the vein of the seven enlisted members of the 82nd Airborne's, The War As We Saw It.
As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.
Read the rest...

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Good Americans

Frank Rich swats another one out of the park with his essay 'The Good Germans'. How much longer will it take Americans to figure out how dangerously close we find our selves to being 'Good Americans'?
By any legal standards except those rubber-stamped by Alberto Gonzales, we are practicing torture, and we have known we are doing so ever since photographic proof emerged from Abu Ghraib more than three years ago. As Andrew Sullivan, once a Bush cheerleader, observed last weekend in The Sunday Times of London, America’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques have a grotesque provenance: “Verschärfte Vernehmung, enhanced or intensified interrogation, was the exact term innovated by the Gestapo to describe what became known as the ‘third degree.’ It left no marks. It included hypothermia, stress positions and long-time sleep deprivation.”

Still, the drill remains the same. The administration gives its alibi (Abu Ghraib was just a few bad apples). A few members of Congress squawk. The debate is labeled “politics.” We turn the page.
Read the rest... [links within quote are mine...]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lawyer Up Gonzo

NewsHoggers has the scoop. From the Newsweek article they quote:
The top concern for Gonzales, and now Terwilliger, is the expanding investigation by Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s fiercely independent inspector general, according to three legal sources familiar with the matter who declined to speak publicly about ongoing investigations. Originally, Fine's internal Justice probe—conducted in conjunction with lawyers from the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility—focused on the mass dismissal of U.S. attorneys late last year. The investigation has since broadened to include, among other matters, charges that Gonzales lied to Congress about the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program and the circumstances surrounding his late-night March 10, 2004, visit to the hospital room of then attorney general John Ashcroft. At the same time, Congress is continuing to pursue more documents on harsh CIA interrogation techniques approved by Gonzales.
We can only pray something comes to fruition in the hunt for Fredo's October surprise.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I had a chat with Jim Yancy today. We talked about politics, Katrina recovery, the Bush administration, how the USAF has changed and a general shooting of the shit. I left him today feeling a bit more hopeful about the state-of-the-nation in spite of the impending doom that has been lurking.

I've been really busy with work and have had less time to post the last couple of months but a lot of why has been due to feeling so down about the way things are going in the world. Today, just music and a bit of recharging for my spirit, and maybe yours as well. I give you Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger as interpreted by the clever "Daft Hands"

And Kanye West's hip hop version:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Who Killled Ciara Durkin?

Now it would appear the good ole' US of A is fragging women soldiers, although this isn't the first by a longshot. From Crooks and Liars comes another shocking story of another dead woman soldier which the US Army appears recalcitrant to investigate.

Spec. Ciara Durkin said to her family three weeks ago:Ask many questions if I die; ‘I made some enemies,’ Sound familiar?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Face the Music Rush

Vote Vets answer Rush "never worn the uniform" LImbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment.

Honor The Fallen REDUX

We found out this past week we lost a friend in Iraq. Someone my husband served with until this past July at BAMC. Dr. Roselle Hoffmaster, Captain, US Army, Godspeed and Rest in Peace. Roselle was the 90th military female to die. DailyKOS has a nice write-up about Roselle. Also there is a guestbook for her friends and family at

UPDATE: The Patriots over at Comments From Left Field have added Roselle to their tribute for Fisher House. I posted on this here.
If you want to really support the troops, real people not just faceless numbers, give what you can to support Fisher House, the organization that houses military family members while their loved one is treated in a military hospital. It's gotten a bit viral and they have raised over $5,000 and are trying to raise five more over the next 5 days. Read all about it and give what you can, it may make the difference between someone making it to recovery or someone dying alone. I guarantee it will do more than that ribbon magnet made in China.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Of Armies and Statesmen

In light of the breakdown of our military from overuse and the rise of private, mercenary armies like Blackwater USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation seems timely.

On a related note, McClatchy News has this 'feelgood' story. (At least it made me feel good... H/T to Lotus for the linky.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Honor The Fallen UPDATED

We just found out we lost a friend in Iraq. Someone my husband served with until this past July at BAMC. Dr. Roselle Hoffmaster, Captain, US Army, Godspeed and Rest in Peace. DailyKOS has a nice write-up about Roselle. Also there is a guestbook for her friends and family at

UPDATE: The Patriots over at Comment From Left Field have added Roselle to their tribute for Fisher House. I posted on this here.
If you want to really support the troops, real people not just faceless numbers, give what you can to support Fisher House, the organization that houses military family members while their loved one is treated in a military hospital. Read all about it and give what you can, it may make the difference between someone making it to recovery or someone dying alone. I guarantee it will do more than that ribbon magnet made in China.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Actually Supporting the Troops

Via Skippy: Comments from Left Field has posted a memorial contribution fund for Fisher House in honor of the two soldiers who died in Iraq after speaking out about the war in a NY Times OpEd., The War as We Saw It

Please check out the post and give what you can to Fisher House. Fisher House fills some of the gaps the military misses. We know this firsthand from our time at BAMC.

A special thank you to the bloggers who are reposting this and Comments From Left Field for their actual efforts on behalf of those simply doing what they promised to do and more.

Anorexic Army

Think Progress writes up Gen. Casey's report to the Senate Armed Services committee:Army ‘Out Of Balance,’ ‘Current Demand’ On Troops ‘Exceeds The Sustainable Supply’
According to “Pentagon insiders” who spoke to the Boston Globe, “Casey’s apparent alarm about the Army heightened when he returned from nearly three years of duty in Iraq.” Casey also said that “Army support systems…are straining under the pressures from six years of war.”
See the video.

Another day in Paradise

A video worth watching. Courtesy of Political Dogfight. And then just another day in Iraq...11 seconds of it anyway.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stick It and Bury the Lead

Since I don't watch TV (except for Olbermann and a little PBS...c'mon, who can resist Antiques Roadshow?) I just heard about this summation done by the James Spader character, Howard Shore on the show Boston Legal. Great little Bill of Rights monologue worth watching.

To be expected, he lost the case.

In the "burying the lead" department:When you're done with Boston Legal, run over to Think Progress and watch Jim Webb have to practically beg our lawmakers to do the right thing in regards to the Lie-berman/KKKyl amendment which would give Chimpy permission to attack Iran.