Friday, December 28, 2007

Cheney Impeachment Making Progress

The calls for hearings on Dick Cheney's high crimes has cracked the mainstream media.
A number of newspapers have agreed to publish an Op-ed by Congressman Wexler about why we need these hearings.

Hear Rep Wexler in his own words.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stephen Lynch - "D&D"

This is hilarious. I have played D&D since I was little. Hell, I still play D&D when I can and I still think this is hilarious. It is a stereotype, of course, and as such it holds about as much truth as most stereotypes. Role Playing Games in general are a lot of fun and people of all walks of life play them. They require a lot more imagination on the part of the player then most video games.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What Being A Liberal Means To Me

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself."
- Thomas Paine

I believe that all humans are created equal.

I believe that all humans have inalienable rights regardless of their race, gender, religion, age or sexual orientation.

I believe in effective government.
Smaller government for the sake of smaller government is ineffective government.

I believe that man is essentially good and that government is created to help man achieve his fullest potential.

I believe that I am my brother's keeper and that we are all in this together.

I believe in Democracy.
I believe in the ability of educated people to govern themselves using reason and conscience.

I know that an educated citizenry is necessary to a functioning Democracy.

I know that only an unbiased media can serve as a fourth estate in the checks and balances of our government.

I believe that one purpose of government is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. That means building the things necessary for civilized society, such as infrastructure, schools, roads, power lines, courts and the institutions to maintain them. That means protecting the people from military attack, crime and from exploitation by their fellow man. It means helping the people after natural disasters. It means enforcing laws and setting standards for our society. It means maintaining a floor below which we do not allow our fellow citizens to fall. It means inspecting our food and it means maintaining the quality of our air and our water.

I believe in regulated capitalism. I believe that a free market can only exist with the regulation and oversight of government. A market without government regulation is a black market.

I believe that taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.

I think that cutting taxes without cutting spending is reckless and foolish.

I believe that conservative "borrow and spend" economic policies are suicidal.

I believe that true freedom of religion means allowing people to worship any god they choose and no god if they so choose. I believe that if the government were to give any one religion favor over others it sets a precedent that is dangerous to all religious liberty.

I believe in the power of diplomacy.

I believe that war is a last resort.

I believe that the key to winning the fight against radical Islam is to liberalize their society. We need to give them jobs not guns. We need to put them to work rebuilding their countries. We need to win their hearts and minds and we will never do that with bombs and bullets.

I believe we are a nation of laws, not men.

I believe in the Constitution and what it represents as a contract between the governing and the governed and a written boundary which includes checks and balances.

I believe it is the duty, not the political convenience, of elected representatives to hold their fellow branches of government accountable when high crimes and misdemeanors and subversion of the Constitution are happening right in front of their eyes.

Lastly, I believe in the right of human beings to throw off oppressive government when it no longer represents their best interests.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Barack Obama Gives A Great Speech

Barack Obama gave a great speech at the JJ dinner this past weekend. This was the Barak Obama everyone saw at the Convention in 2004.

I haven't seen him in a while, but he was back on Saturday night.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


This is a new television spot from John Edwards. In my opinion, it shows why John Edwards would be the best candidate. He is a leader, who inspires people, not a boss who makes demands, which is what we have now and is what the Republicans are offering more of.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Only Real Democratic Candidates

The corporate media has apparently decided Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic primary before the first vote has ever been cast. I cannot say why the corporate media is reporting Hillary as the presumptive nominee. It is blatant and shameless at this point. Last Sunday, on Meet the Press, they were discussing who the candidates might choose as their Vice President and they talked about every Republican candidate and Hillary Clinton. They did not even mention who Barak Obama or John Edwards might pick.

This is why john Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are leading the pack in progressive straw polls, despite the best efforts of the conservative corporate media. They actually represent the feelings of the American people.

And here is Dennis Kucinich kicking ass and taking names. He is actually saying what a vast number of people in the United States want to hear.

Monday, October 29, 2007

No Such Thing As "Islamofascism"

I think Paul Krugman said it very well:

[T]here isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t. And Iran had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 — in fact, the Iranian regime was quite helpful to the United States when it went after Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan.

Beyond that, the claim that Iran is on the path to global domination is beyond ludicrous. Yes, the Iranian regime is a nasty piece of work in many ways, and it would be a bad thing if that regime acquired nuclear weapons. But let’s have some perspective, please: we’re talking about a country with roughly the G.D.P. of Connecticut, and a government whose military budget is roughly the same as Sweden’s. […]

Mike Huckabee, whom reporters like to portray as a nice, reasonable guy, says that if Hillary Clinton is elected, “I’m not sure we’ll have the courage and the will and the resolve to fight the greatest threat this country’s ever faced in Islamofascism.” Yep, a bunch of lightly armed terrorists and a fourth-rate military power — which aren’t even allies — pose a greater danger than Hitler’s panzers or the Soviet nuclear arsenal ever did.

All of this would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Worry About the Future...

I know that the entire scenario is set up for Bush, or whoever is President, to take complete dictatorial control if there is ever another disaster or emergency anywhere in the world. He simply has to enact HSPD 51 and he would take control and all other branches would become subservient to him.

We already lost Habeus Corpus.

They already repealed Posse Comatatus.

They already created a private army of foreign mercenaries who have already been patrolling American streets since hurricane Katrina.

All the dominoes are in place, all it is going to take is some force to knock the first one down...

The only thing is, I sincerely do not believe that Bush wants to stay in power. I don't think he thinks being President is fun or cool anymore. I really think he is ready to get back to the ranch and "refill the old coffers".

Honestly, I am very concerned about what is going to happen at the
election of 2008. The Republican Caging Operation remains out there,
for the most part, unopposed and unknown to the public at large. Their
partisan Secretaries of State remain in power in many key states, some
them them still brazen in their partisanship by being involved in a
candidates campaign while at the same time being responsible for the
validity of the election in their state. Does anyone seriously believe
Katherine Harris was not a Bush toady? Especially after her complete
meltdown last year during the election, does anyone still believe that
she was not capable of throwing the election in Florida for Bush? Is
that is why they had to make the inappropriate, desperate, 11th hour
appeal to the Federal Supreme Court to stop the recount in Florida? I
can't prove anything but the circumstantial evidence is there and the
whole thing stinks to high heaven of criminality.

Add to that the fact that our economy is teetering on the brink of
recession and the whole thing becomes very ominous.

In the 1980s under Reagan, they fundamentally changed our economy with
supply-side economics and instead of fueling demand with wages, as had
been successfully done for decades, they started fueling demand with
credit instead. That was when credit cards really took off and the sub
prime mortgage market started to boom. It worked for two decades, but
you cannot fuel an economy on debt forever and we are at the end of
our rope. All it is going to take is China, India or some other major
foreign investor to stop buying our debt, or for OPEC countries to
peg the price of oil to the Euro instead of the
Dollar and the value of our money will plummet.

The value of our dollar has been in free fall for a while and the
bottom is about to fall out, but I think that they are just trying to
keep it from happening until after the 2008 election.

Imagine, a Republican, chosen by the corporate powers that be, gets
the nomination and after a contentious election, on the morning of
November 8th, 2008 the media simply announces that the Republican
candidate has won the election.

Who is going to stop them?
Who is going to challenge it?

The Bush administration?
The Partisan Justice Department?
The Roberts Supreme Court?

So after being in office x amount of days, a large bomb goes off in a
major US city during rush hour and kills hundreds of people.

The President steps in and the first domino falls...

Karl Rove gets his 100 years of Republican rule...

The neocons get their war with Iran...

"The real question is not whether you are too paranoid, the real
question is are you paranoid enough?" - strange days

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires - Half of Firefighting Equipment in Iraq

This is absolutely disgusting. I thought America might have started to wake up after Katrina, but if this does not hit home the need to have a functioning National Guard here on American soil, I don't know what will.

May 11, 2007
As state forestry officials predict an unusually harsh fire season this summer, the California National Guard says equipment shortages could hinder the guard's response to a large-scale disaster.

A dearth of equipment such as trucks and radios -- caused in part by the war in Iraq -- has state military officials worried they would be slow in providing help in the event of a major fire, earthquake or terrorist attack.

The readiness of the Guard has been described as a national problem and has become a political liability for the Bush administration, which came under fire this week when the governor of Kansas complained that the National Guard response to a devastating tornado in her state was inadequate. National Guard readiness has become a growing concern as the Guard has taken on extra responsibilities caused by the Iraq war and the increased threat of terrorism.

In California, half of the equipment the National Guard needs is not in the state, either because it is deployed in Iraq or other parts of the world or because it hasn't been funded, according to Lt. Col. John Siepmann. While the Guard is in good shape to handle small-scale incidents, "our concern is a catastrophic event,'' he said.

"You would see a less effective response (to a major incident),'' he said.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Wellstone of Hope

“If you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me…” – V in “V for Vendetta”

Like many Americans, I grew up believing that America was a beacon of freedom and democracy and like many Americans; I became disillusioned with that notion in the six years since September 11th, 2001. Like many Americans who care about our freedoms and our rule of law, I am very displeased with the direction our country has been heading for the last seven years and I am frustrated by the lack of results in affecting change.

Despite hundreds of thousands of people gathering around the country in protest, even after giving control of Congress to the so-called “opposition party”, the ill-conceived, illegal and immoral behaviors of this administration continue unabated. We invaded and continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, we continue to hold prisoners, including American citizens, in secret, denying them the basic human right of Habeas Corpus, and we continue to use torture, which is a violation of human rights.

Worst of all though, are the blatant assertions by this President and his supporters that he is above the law. Their unfounded claims that the President has “unwritten powers” is absurd and illegal. The President does not have the constitutional authority to take away anyone’s rights. The only place that authority appears in the U.S. Constitution is Article I, section 9, which gives that authority to the Legislative branch, not the Executive and only in times of “invasion or insurrection.” The failure of Congress to hold the Executive to task for that claim is setting a disastrous precedent of giving the Executive branch more power than the U.S. Constitution allows. Unless we do something now, those powers will be passed onto the next President which will give it the legal standing of precedent and will make it much, much harder to take away. Having a President with swollen, king-like power will only make corruption and abuse of that power more likely as time goes on.

I have always been politically aware, but I have not always been politically active. I grew up around politics, my father being a local politician. I remember following the 1980 election between Reagan and Carter when I was only eight. When I was in high school I founded our school newspaper and even back then, my favorite topic to write about was politics. But my primary activity in regards to politics, besides voting and working on a couple of campaigns, has usually been contained to writing. Although I have written letters to my representatives since high school, I never really knew how to properly lobby my elected officials. I have written articles for online magazines, letters to the editor of numerous newspapers and made phone calls to my representatives, but in the face of the multibillion-dollar corporate lobbying machine my feeble efforts seems futile and insignificant.

On top of that, after I spent months last year working to get Democrats elected to Congress, they have failed again and again to take any meaningful stand. As I watched them roll over repeatedly to the minority party, my frustration only grew until it flirted with despair.

I was on the verge of giving up completely and becoming another member of the disinterested masses when an email, forwarded to me by my father, told me about a place where I could go to learn how to be a more effective citizen activist.

Camp Wellstone.

Camp Wellstone is a three-day course put on by the Wellstone Action group, out of Minnesota. There are three educational tracks to choose from, How to run for office, how to be a campaign volunteer and how to be a citizen activist. I chose the citizen activist track because it seemed to me to be the “introductory level” course.

The citizen activist track teaches you how to build a base around an issue, how to form coalitions between groups, how to stage earned media events and how to effectively lobby elected representatives. They brought in media experts and professional lobbyists who put the students through exercises where we staged our own media events and met with several “Senators” in order to practice our technique and receive constructive criticism from professionals who do it for a living. They also taught how to organize and execute an effective “get out the vote” campaign.

The only thing that they were lacking, as pointed out first by a blogger, farleftfield, who attended the same track as I did, was that they did not have anything on Internet outreach, organizing, or blogging. I can see how that could take up a whole day to itself.

I was fortunate enough to have some of Wellstone’s best trainers running my track. They were able to not only communicate the information necessary, but they also got the students involved and inspired us to take what we learned back to our local communities and put it to use.

But the best thing about the whole experience; the thing that was worth more than the cost of the camp, was not something they taught. It was a natural byproduct of groups of passionate, energetic people gathering together to focus their energy toward a common, positive goal.

The best thing that I took away from Camp Wellstone was HOPE.

Even the conversations during breaks and in the dining room were crackling with energy and passion. Everyone, regardless of race, sex, appearance or ability all shared a deep, passionate love of liberty and desire to make things better. There were three people in my track of the camp who had traveled all the way from New Mexico to attend. The knowledge that I am not alone in the fight to restore fairness, justice and liberty to America; the fact that there are other people out there who care as deeply as I do, gives me the motivation and energy to continue the good fight. And all I have to do to participate in the good fight is to help and support these other people. Camp Wellstone made me believe that, together, we really can change this world.

The overriding lesson of the camp is a simple one that Paul Wellstone himself used to chant like a mantra. If you want to affect political or social change, you have to “organize, organize, organize!”

The people who came out from Minnesota to put on this camp were extraordinary and inspiring in their own right. You could sense their passion and commitment to the cause of getting ordinary people involved in our political process. One of them even announced she had decided to run for Congress in Minnesota that week and we were among the first people she told. The simple fact that they were here, taking action and working constructively toward a positive goal made those of us attending the camp feel motivated to get out and do more ourselves. Historian Kenneth Davis once wrote that human history has been influenced by the presence of strong personalities in the right place at the right time, like Washington, Lincoln, or King. In my opinion, the Wellstone Action group may well be a gathering of strong personalities.

The fantastic folks at Wellstone Action have been busy. As of this writing they have trained over 14,000 people so far to either run for office, work on a campaign or work as an activist on an issue. And those of us who have been through the training are taking what we learned back into our communities and not only putting it to use, but we are also teaching others what we learned so that the effectiveness of all our efforts can grow exponentially.

For anyone who has felt the creeping sense of despair that our country is going down the wrong path and is headed straight for a cliff, that despair is caused by fear… fear that there is no solution to the problem.

But there is a solution.

The solution is for all of us who feel this way to get organized. If you aren’t sure how to do that, or where to start, of even if you just need a booster shot of hope and motivation, there is no better prescription than attending a session of Camp Wellstone.

That is why I ask that all of you reading this, who sees what I see, who feels as I feel, who would seek as I seek, to go the Wellstone Action website. Donate if you can spare the money. Sign up for Camp Wellstone if it is coming to your area. If it is not coming to you then you go to it. If you can’t travel that far then call them or write them and ask them, beg them or bribe them to come to your area. It may be the single most important thing you do this year.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Naomi Wolf - The End of America

This is a fantastic talk by Naomi Wolf (the other Naomi) about the weakening of our Democracy, the fascist-shift taking place in our society and it's parallels in history. She also emphasizes just how urgent this threat truly is.
This is a bit long at 47 minutes, but it is definitely worth the time!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Naomi Klein Speech from 2005

This is a fantastic speech by Naomi Klein, the author of The Shock Doctrine, the rise of disaster capitalism. This is the first of eight parts. You can find the rest by clicking here. Here she talks about the true story of the struggle for Democracy in Iraq and relates how the U.S. actually fought against Democracy in Iraq at every turn. Everything she brings up has been documented in other locations, such as the book, Fiasco.

The 8th part is a Q&A where she talks about some important points in moving forward that is definitely worth watching!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Into the Great Wide Open

My buddy made this awesome video during his recent travels across the country.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The View from Inside Detroit of the UAW/GM Strike

The UAW began a nationwide strike yesterday against GM. It was the first since 1976 and it may well be one of their last.

When I passed the GM plant on my way into work today there were a total of four guys walking a lonely, pathetic looking picket line at the front entrance with signs that didn’t explain why they were striking at all. They just said “UAW on strike”.

On my way home there were only two people walking the line. It is almost as if they are trying to fit the stereotype of the lazy, greedy union member who just wants to strike to get out of work and get more money.

This may well be the last dying gasp for Organized Labor in America.

At first it was speculated that the strike would be about the auto companies trying to push the cost of their health care expenses for retirees off on the unions, which cannot possibly end well for the retirees themselves since the unions are in worse financial shape then the struggling auto companies.

Instead they decided to use the opportunity to raise a larger issue, The Right of the People to Work. The right of the people to organize as labor and represent themselves on a more equal level with the global superpowers that today’s multi-national corporations have become.

According to the statement on their website, the UAW went to strike over a number of issues, “job security, economic issues, benefits for active workers and winning investment in future products”.

What the UAW is really fighting against the idea that Americans should lower their standards to those of the workers in the Chinese sweatshops if we want to compete in the global marketplace.

The Milton Friedman disciples, The Corporatists, who believe in a nonexistent, quasi-mystical “free market” that can support itself with no government regulation to back up its legitimacy, say that American workers are lazy and greedy for wanting to cut into the profits of Capital and demand all those pesky, “expensive” rules about “trivial” matters such as safety and quality. They say that there should be no “barriers” to trade like Tariffs and Taxes, at least not for America. Everyone else can protect their economies and their jobs all they want, just not us Americans. The Corporatists say we have to leave ourselves economically defenseless in order to “compete”.

Globalization is destroying the middle class in America and that is really what the UAW is striking against, even though they aren’t framing it that way. They are striking against the Conservative ideology that says Americans should have to compete for our jobs with peasants in Chile and China who don’t have any of those “expensive” government regulated workplace standards.

Thirty years ago Trade Unions comprised about 27% of the workforce, but today they only represent about 7%… and they were struggling to win any concessions thirty years ago.

They don’t stand a chance today. Not unless something radical happens.

When I started there, the Auto Companies had two different types of plants in North America, “Manufacturing”, where the metal was cast and the parts were actually made, and “Assembly” where the parts were assembled and rolled off the line a finished product.

In my time there, I have watched as all the “Manufacturing” jobs have been moved out of the United States and down into Mexico and South America. A couple of years a ago a group of IT employees from various South American plants came to our Headquarters for a series of meetings. During their time here, I got to know several of them. They told me about the conditions at the plants in South America where they manufacture our auto parts now. They all told me about large security forces in all their properties, usually armed with automatic weapons. At one plant, which was built miles away from town for “security” reasons, they pay the people so little that they cannot afford to go home during the week so there is a shanty-town set up of tents and lean-tos outside the fences of the plant property where the employees live during the week in their off time. They told me about how the plant management drives in every day in a large, black SUV, always with their armed escorts. At another plant, I was told that they have a large bin of used shoes for the employees at the entrance because they don’t make enough money to buy themselves new shoes. These are the “cost-saving” measures enacted by most multi-national corporations in the last couple of decades in order to keep increasing their profits.

All that is left in North America are the assembly jobs. Why is that important? Because manufacturing is the hard part to move to another country, it requires secure supply lines, access to raw materials, which have to be processed, and that process produces a lot more waste than assembly does. Waste, which has to be dealt with somehow. Manufacturing is the dirty work. It is the really dangerous work. They deal with the molten metal and the processing of raw material. Most importantly, manufacturing is usually considered the EXPENSIVE work.

Manufacturing is the work that requires a lot more of those “costly” worker safety standards and it is the harder to send overseas because it requires a whole supply chain of raw materials that is harder to deal with then the pre-made, pre-packaged parts are that arrive at the assembly plant in their neat stacks on pallets. Once they move manufacturing overseas, then “tightening the supply chain” and moving the assembly closer to the manufacturing simply excused as a “cost-savings” measure.

This strike by the UAW is thus far a pathetically ineffective, disorganized sham that lacks the quality of media representation necessary to even make their case properly. Ron Gettelfinger looked like Britney Spears at the VMA when he was in front of those cameras today; meekly stating how he was “disappointed” in General Motors.

Why doesn’t the UAW hire a PR firm to help them present their case?

Seriously guys! Hire a professional or a celebrity to get in front of the cameras and make your case for you. This is 2007…the media is all about entertainment value for short attention spans. Think in terms of what would make a good clip on YouTube.

The UAW don’t seem to realize how much popular opinion matters to their own fate, which is sad considering how a free and independent press played a large role in fostering the public opinion that created the labor unions in America in the first place. Granted, we don’t have a free and independent press anymore. There is no longer any such concept as serving the public good in the corporate media of today. What we have now is Infotainment for profit.

This action by the UAW is about 6 years too late.

If they had led a major push for national solidarity in labor after 9-11, the UAW could have pulled off a complete image makeover and forced this country in a completely different direction, against the tide of radical “free”-market disaster capitalism.

But they didn’t. And now we are witnessing their last gasps of breath while they are being successfully squeezed out of existence so we can be more like the Chinese, Brazilian and Chilean Peasants we now have to compete with for our jobs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Shock Doctrine at the University of Florida


-Howard Beale

If you have not seen this yet, you should.

Every American should see this.

I was so pissed off I felt physically ill while watching it.

Then I felt worse as I watched the public reaction to what I thought was an obvious and disgusting violation of a young citizen’s right to free speech and to redress his grievances with his government.

At the University of Florida, a 21-year-old student, Andrew Meyer, was tasered into silence for asking John Kerry controversial questions at a public forum.

Let me get this straight.

It is a public forum, at a public university, specifically for the purpose of letting the public ask questions of an elected public official.

Yes, the kid is acting like a bit of a jerk while he is asking his questions, but being a jerk is not a crime in itself.

If it were, Bill O'Reilly and Glen Beck would have been tased into silence long ago and Ann Coulter would be court-ordered to wear a shock collar around her neck 24/7… and Barbara Streisand would get to keep the remote. …But I digress.

You can see at the beginning of the video that everyone is just standing around calmly while John Kerry is speaking. There is no disturbance or commotion and everyone is focused on John Kerry. He finishes speaking, looks up, points directly at this kid and says, "You have a question?” giving this kid the floor.

The kid launches into his piece by presenting the context of his questions, a book, Armed Madhouse, by Greg Palast, which lays out the evidence of widespread Republican election fraud in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Senator Kerry states that he has read the book.

Then he asked his questions.

  1. Why did you concede the 2004 election so quickly? There was ample evidence that something was wrong because the exit polls were so far off from the “official” results that if Senator Kerry has waited and demanded a recount, he may well be President today.
  2. Why won’t you support impeaching President Bush? Again, there is ample evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors by the entire Bush Administration.
  3. Were he and George W. Bush both members of the secretive “Skull and Bones Society” at Yale?

His questions are important ones. He obviously did a lot of preparation and thought about his questions. You can see he is very emotional and feels very strongly about what he is saying and asking. Even John Kerry could be heard responding, “Those are important questions.”

The point at which the line was crossed was when the campus police decided to grab the kid and escalate the situation to physical confrontation. Any properly trained police officer knows that in that situation the “fight or flight” instinct will kick in and they always run the risk of the person they are grabbing fighting back reflexively.

When the police grabbed the kid and started pulling him away from the microphone, you very clearly hear John Kerry telling the campus police, "That's all right, let me answer his questions."

Right then, they crossed another line. They should have stopped right when the Senator and main speaker of the event tells them to stop and let him continue the dialogue.

In my opinion it was at that point that it became a crime committed by the campus police.

If the officers has stopped assaulting the kid then and let the Senator answer his questions, there would not have been an “incident” at all.

But they didn’t stop; instead six officers dragged the kid to the back of the room, cuffed him and sat on him.

He was asking repeatedly “What did I do?” But aside from that he was contained and they could have picked him up and carried him outside.

But they didn’t do that either.

Instead, they tortured him into silence with a taser! Right there in front of everyone, with at least three cameras rolling.

A taser is not a toy. A taser is no joke. A taser is 20,000 volts of electricity conducted through your body. Tasers are extremely painful. They have been known to cause people to lose control of their bowels, have seizures and people have even died from having a taser used on them!

Tasers are meant to be a non-lethal means to stop someone who poses a threat to physical safety.

Tasers are not supposed to be used as torture devices to force citizens into silence for asking controversial political questions!

Obviously the kid staged all this on purpose, supposedly to make a video of him publicly confronting John Kerry with these controversial questions so he could post it on YouTube. The talking heads on the conservative corporate media will point to that as if it were justification for the campus police physically assaulting the kid and torturing him into silence with a taser.

They are wrong.

The Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

The Bill of Rights:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It is Mr. Meyer’s god given, inalienable right to make a video of him asking questions of a public official in a public forum and to make that video public.

I say God bless Andrew Meyer for having the courage to risk his neck asking controversial, emotionally charged, political questions in such a straightforward and public fashion. We see now how dangerous that simple act is in 2007 America.

What disturbs me the most about this whole situation is number of people who actually defend the campus police in this situation. Are some of us suffering from Helsinki Syndrome?

Case in point, a friend of mine, immediately after watching the video of the confrontation, said:

“That kid was a dumb-ass. Any time someone in a position of authority like that tells you to do something you should just do it. If they don’t want you to speak, you shouldn’t get to speak.”

And I seem to hear that same sentiment being echoed all around me and I cannot understand how people are not rejecting it out of simple common sense.

It sounds like someone who is beaten down, has given up and embraced Helsinki Syndrome, and perhaps that is what propels them to defend such an abhorrent public abuse of a citizens rights.

In her new book, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein presents a compelling case study of how shock can be used to pacify and manipulate people, not only on an individual level, but also on the societal.

Shock caused by trauma or crisis, real or perceived, causes a person to regress into a primal, childlike state where they are easily manipulated and pacified.

In other words…“Shock and Awe”

We have been conditioned to live in fear.

This has been happening to America increasingly since Kennedy was shot live on national television. It could be argued that they initially noticed the potential for manipulation of the public after Pearl Harbor, but Kennedy’s assassination was even more powerful because it was delivered live on national television.

Then the little shocks started coming in regularly. Vietnam. Reagan shot live on national television. Then an Army Base in Beirut is attacked. The World Trade Center gets bombed, the USS Cole gets bombed, the US Olympics in Atlanta are bombed, 9-11 (again, live on national television), Anthrax being sent in the mail, snipers killing people in Washington D.C. and Ohio, little girls being kidnapped left and right… the constant drum-beat in our corporate media, repeating the mantra: “Be Afraid.”

Andrew Meyer showed extraordinary courage in standing up to all that fear and loudly, assertively asking tough questions that millions of Americans sincerely want to hear the answers to but will never get from the corporate media.

We all have to take inspiration from Mr. Meyer’s example and do what is right despite our fears.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting despite fear.

We all need to start taking more action, despite our fear, to regain the freedoms we have lost and to defend the rest, which remain threatened by authoritarians who take advantage of every tragedy and use the shock they create to push their own agendas.

This story and some Americans’ reactions to it are a strong example of how badly we are losing the battle of ideals against the authoritarians. They show how badly we are beaten down, how terrified, how demoralized and how pacified we all are that we not only sit by as a 21 year old kid is tortured into silence with a taser but that some of us actually defend that action instead of the student’s rights and freedoms.

People who believed they had to be quiet or polite when speaking to public officials about controversial politics did not create this country.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams, speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776. Trying to convince them to join the American Revolution.

This goes especially for you Democrats in Congress.

Grow some balls.

As Dorothy Sayers once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” So far you have been falling for everything. The time to stop that is now.

This is your last chance. If you can find the time to condemn for stating an opinion shared by a large portion of America then you damn well better be able to find time to condemn this immoral violation of a young citizen’s rights.

The founders only left us with one piece of advice in the case you continue to fail us.

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Coconator

My 9 month old Great Pyrenees / Lab mix went to the Vets this weekend and weighed in at 71 lbs!!!

It is hard to believe that this was her just this past February.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On My Impending Nuptuals


It seems like I have spent a lifetime chasing women, looking for love but finding only lust. It has really only been since my teenage years, of course, but it feels like longer. I actually got to a point not all that long ago that I resigned myself to being a permanent bachelor.

During my childhood I was not the prettiest kid. I had a large mole on my cheek. I wore glasses. I wore a lot of hand me down clothes from my older brothers and that my Mom got from garage sales. Then when I was in junior high, I lost some weight, had the mole removed and got contact lenses. Suddenly, just in time for high school, I was a lot more attractive. I started learning about girls right away. One of my first dates with a girl was when I was 13 years old. She was 18. I told her I was 16 and she believed me. She drove a Firebird and we went to see Rocky IV. After the date I told her my real age. I never saw her again.

I sowed my wild oats early and often, so to speak. Especially after high school when I moved to California, I was working in a gym and at a night club. I was 18, tan, in the best shape of my life and I was almost literally picking up every single girl I set my sights on. For a short time in my life it seemed like there was literally no woman I could not have. I had women throwing themselves at me every single night at the nightclub I worked at.

I recognized very quickly the transient nature of these good looks that were suddenly making me so popular with women. I recognized that none of the relationships I had then could possibly last. A lot of the women I dated had a particular mold they wanted to try and fit me into in order to make me the "perfect boyfriend". Many of them tried to dress me in certain ways or get me to do my hair in certain ways. Some women wanted me to quit collecting comic books. One wanted me to stop watching sci-fi movies. One particularly beautiful woman told me that I would have to "accept Jesus as my personal savior" (i.e. join her particular sect of Christianity) if I wanted to date her. When I was 20, a girl I dated for a year proposed to me. She was joining the Air Force and wanted to marry me so I could go with her. Although we had a passionate relationship, I found myself reflecting on the fact that she was highly critical and prone to saying mean things without thinking. I realized that I didn't want to spend my life with her. Passion just isn't enough by itself.

I dated around and after I moved back to Michigan I met a girl that I got serious about. We dated for over four years.I planned on marrying her eventually. She seemed sweet and sincere. I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her. But then my mother had a relapse of breast cancer. I spent a year and a half taking my mom to the hospital for her chemotherapy treatments and watching her waste away right before my eyes. She grew so weak and brittle that she fractured a rib rolling over in bed. It took its toll on me. I grew depressed and my girlfriend decided she didn't want to be there for me and she left. That took an even bigger toll on me. I went through an extremely turbulent time where for years, I felt very angry, bitter and cynical. I got through it with a lot of help from my friends, from reading a lot of books and from a daily practice of meditation.

Eventually I met Renea. We met online and the first thing I was drawn to about her was her personality. She has a quirky, silly sense of humor. After a short time we decided to meet in person. The first thing I noticed was her big toothy smile and her excitement. I could tell she was very excited to meet me. Instead of having her questions feel like an interview, like a first date normally does, Renea and I just had a good conversation. We talked about our families, our lives, what we had done up till now, and it was all so casual and so... normal... that after only a couple hours in Renea's company, I felt like I had known her my whole life.

I genuinely love Renea and I can tell she loves me. Not because she buys me some expensive presents, but because of all the little things she does for me. The occasional greeting card for no reason. The heart she draws on the top of a mocha with the chocolate syrup. Cutting large letters out of construction paper to spell "I love Kyle" and putting them up on my office wall. All of these are examples of why I love her but the reason goes deeper.

After meeting Renea, my good friend Kristin observed, "She adores you. Do you know how lucky you are?"

Yes, I do.

That is why I am choosing to stop chasing other women, a practice that comes natural to all men, and that I used to be extremely good at, and I am choosing to marry my life to the one woman whom is both my friend and my lover.

Granted, I haven't chased other women since I met Renea, but legally, the possibility was always there. By marrying her I am choosing to move on to a new chapter of my life.

And I do so gladly.

I look forward to spending the future together.

Monday, August 27, 2007

For Tyranny to Reign, First Kill All the Lawyers

Charles Schumer just pointed out the fact that our country currently lacks anyone in any of the top three positions in the Justice Department.

Right now, we have no Attorney General, no Deputy Attorney General or Associate Attorney General.

And one has to ask, which is preferable, bad leadership or no leadership?

Gonzo was one of the worst, most dishonest and most partisan Attorney Generals America ever had to suffer through. The damage he did to our justice system with his unethical, blatent partisan politcization of the justice system will be with us for years, possibly decades to come. By following Karl Rove's directives, he set a prescedent of making the Attorney General nothing more than a partisan stooge.

The Democrats have an opprotunity to redeem themselves by finding their spines and NOT voting to confirm any replacement that is going to be another partisan stooge who compromies our entire political system. They have a responsibility to make sure that any replacement is going to be independant and will enfore the law evenly, on everyone, including members of the party that nominated him/her.

Contrary to Republican beliefs, no one should be above the law.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Great post for Sunday

You have to watch it all the way to the end. The obvious connotation in the metaphor is Jesus, but the metaphor holds just as true if taken as God, the Budda-Nature, or Enlightenment. It is the story of one girl's life and at the same time it is Campbell's, "Heroes' Journey".

Friday, August 24, 2007

Did George W. Bush restart the cold war?

Crooks and Liars had this yesterday.

Vladimir Putin: US Wants To Dominate The World.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in one of his harshest attacks on the United States in seven years in power, accused Washington on Saturday of attempting to force its will on the world.

The White House said it was “surprised and disappointed” by Putin’s accusations but added Washington expected to continue to work with Moscow in areas such as counter-terrorism and reducing the spread and threat of weapons of mass destruction.

In a speech in Germany, which one U.S. senator said smacked of Cold War rhetoric, Putin accused the United States of making the world a more dangerous place by pursuing policies aimed at making it “one single master”.

Attacking the concept of a “unipolar” world in which the United States was the sole superpower, he said: “What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term it means one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master.”

“It has nothing in common with democracy because that is the opinion of the majority taking into account the minority opinion,” he told the gathering of top security and defense officials. Read more…

Unfortunately Vlad is correct regarding the neo-conservatives current in power. They have openly stated their goal is American dominance.

The 11th Hour

I have been looking forward to this movie. It comes out here in the Detroit area this weekend.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cheney's Biographer on the Daily Show

Once again, Jon Stewart absolutely puts to shame every talking head that the conservative corporate media puts forward as "Journalists" by having the conversation that the public needs to have.

Thanks to the rise of progressive media like Air America and the blogosphere, we are now able to see confrontations like this in the more mainstream media and the audience knows exactly what Jon is talking about when he mentions "The clip of Cheney from 1994".

The conservative corporate media sure as hell wasn't bringing that up in 2002!

The Democratic Underground has a great list of the claims made by Bush Administration officials and their supporters, against the patriotism, integrity and intelligence of progressives who just happened to be concerned about the same things Cheney mentioned in 1994 and that have all since come true!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What the hell is wrong with Chris Matthews?

This is so typical of the conservative mindset. Erin Burnett thinks China is our best friend for sending us poison food on the cheap.
Chris Matthews is too busy leering at Erin and telling her she is "a knockout" to bother calling her out on this outrageous nonsense. Would someone please get that letch laid so he can start doing his job as a journalist for a change?

“A lot of people like to say, uh, scaremonger about China, right? A lot of politicians, and I know you talk about that issue all the time. I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. Ya know, if China were to revalue it’s currency or China is to start making say, toys that don’t have lead in them or food that isn’t poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now, they’re keeping prices low and they’re keeping the prices for mortgages low, too.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rumsfeld Busted

Here is a great video of Rumsfeld getting busted for his lies leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Ironically it is a conservative who was a cheerleader for the war, Tom "Globalization is great" Friedman, who busts Rummy.

Cheney was right the first time

Dick should have stuck to his original assessment, seeing as how we all now know Iraq is a quagmire.

Here is Dick in 1994 describing why invading and occupying Iraq would be a huge mistake.

We will file this under... "Duh."

Candorville Slams Obama

I have to admit this is a legitimate slam on Obama and every other Democrat who shares his incorrect opinion about Impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Rising Undercurrent of Popular Discontent in America

I have noticed something recently, both around the "water cooler" at work and creeping into the public discourse.

I keep hearing the same sentiment expressed in conversations between ordinary Americans: "things in this country are only going to continue getting worse until we have an armed insurrection."

And it isn't just progressives and liberals. I have heard some conservatives say the same thing.
Everyone is thinking the same thing; Are we headed toward another civil war?

A woman recently asked Michael Moore about this on Hardball.

"UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Michael, my name is Becka Baker. I‘m from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My question for you is with 71 percent of the American people dissatisfied with this country today, dissatisfied with the war, health care, education, that the sky is blue, you name it, they‘re dissatisfied. Do you think America is ripe for a revolt? Will a revolution put this nation back on track?"

Also recently, Hugo Award winning Author Orson Scott Card wrote "Empire", a fiction about a near-future revolution in the United States between liberals and conservatives.

This thought is on every one's mind, because there are no practical solutions being offered. The corporate control of our government seems total and immovable without violent overthrow. The conservative world-view that government cannot do anything right and that only private, for-profit enterprises can do anything for America infects our media and therefore infects a great many Americans, to the detriment of all Americans. We are being polarized into classes again and the media is keeping everyone ignorant to that fact.

That is what John Edwards is talking about when he talks about "Two Americas". My brother delivered a truckload of relief supplies to the Gulf Coast after Katrina and afterwards he told me that "those people needed those supplied desperately... before Katrina had ever hit."

There is a new book, "Richistan", that talks about how the wealthy live in a completely isolated world of their own. They send their kids to private schools and use private hospitals. Executives have private parking spaces and private entrances in most of the largest corporations. They live in gated communities and use personal assistants to do their shopping.

The corporate media keeps telling us that the economy is doing great, but their only evidence for that is that corporate profits have been going up.
At the same time, for average workers, real wages have been falling and our benefits have been drying up right before our eyes. We are watching our neighbors and families going bankrupt and losing their homes because of medical costs, outsourcing of jobs or because they were patriotic enough to go over and serve in Iraq.

Protests have not worked.
Writing letters has not worked.
Calling our Representatives has not worked.
They just caved-in AGAIN and gave into Bush on his warrentless wiretapping.

And the rightwing is thinking about it too. They are waiting and watching for the straw that breaks the camels back.

After Supreme Court Justice Roberts collapsed this week, rightwing radio host Michael "Savage" Wiener claimed that it was because of a "conspiracy by Democrats".

This country is headed straight for another civil war.

The signs are right under all our noses.

A Democratic victory in 2008 will only prolong the inevitable unless something radical happens and a real progressive populist is not elected. That will only happen if enough concerned Americans get together and take back the Democratic party.

A Republican victory in 2008 will only guarantee that the next American civil war happens sooner rather than later.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

This is why I love Rachel Maddow

Rachel has a way of going straight to the heart of a matter and exposing the "soft white underbelly" of politics in our society.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What is wrong with America?

This is a good clip from Michael Moore's appearance on Hardball the other day. He is absolutely correct that Universal Health Care is Christianized Health Care. It is what Jesus would do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

RFK Jr. and Greg Palast discuss "Caging"

FYI - "Caging" is the term for the Republicans' election fraud program.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Obama Girl vs Guliani Girl

This is pretty funny. It has some great lines like, "I want Rudy to Guli-on-me."
From here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Conservative Christian Bigots Disrupt Senate Floor

For the first time in American history a Hindu led the opening prayer for the Senate on Thursday. A conservative group calling itself, "American Family Association" disrupted the Senate and interrupt the prayer to protest the prayer being led by an "evil" Hindu. I recommend that everyone write them and let them know what you think of their behavior.

They call themselves "Christians" but they certainly do not appear to be very familiar with the teachings of Jesus.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
- Matthew 5:43-48

More information can be found here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Robert Kennedy Jr. at Live Earth 2007

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of and Air America's Ring of Fire gives a speech at the 2007 Live Earth concert in New Jersey. An estimated 2 billion people viewed the concerts online and on television, and they featured performances from such acts as Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, Jack Johnson, Lenny Kravitz, and Garth Brooks.

Friday Funny

Bush and Rove discuss Net Neutrality.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crime Paid Off Big Time for Scooter Libby

Enjoy this Fourth of July because this may be our last.

This has been a horrible couple of weeks for Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam.

The Fascist Five have been dominating the Supreme Court in decision after decision, ignoring precedent and legislating from the bench so brazenly they have openly written about how they would do away with Roe v Wade "if they could" and how they think that forcing a school not to discriminate is somehow "a form of racism". They have overturned the standing opinion that "A student's right to free speech does not end at the classroom door." and have now said that a school officials right to discipline a student extends outside the classroom and have left gaping legal questions in their wake... "How far does a teacher's right to discipline a student extend? ...Into the home?"

I should also mention that Justices Thomas, Alito and Roberts are all guilty of Lying under Oath to Congress. They all said under oath that they would abide by Stare Decisis (precedent) during their confirmation hearings before Congress, but in four of their last five decisions they have purposely ignored precedent, thus putting the lie to their words.

And to top it all off, yesterday Bush commutes "Scooter" Libby's sentence because he said it was "harsh"...

Yes, this is the same guy who bragged about how many people he executed as governor of Texas.

Lets remember what Scooter was convicted of:

two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice in a grand jury investigation, and one of the two counts of making false statements to federal investigators

And lets remember what this case is ultimately about, the outing of an entire undercover operation run by the CIA that has cost an untold number of lives as the undercover operatives of Brewster Jennings were all left exposed and it severely damaged America's intelligence about nuclear proliferation worldwide and ironically, especially towards Iran.

What does Bush do with this guy who got caught covering up what should be one of the biggest scandals in American history?

He lets him walk.

Oh, he has to pay a "fine" of $250k...pocket change for a multimillionaire like Scooter and his friends.

He already has that covered with a very tidy profit on top of it.

Yes, crime certainly did pay for Scooter Libby.

I am forcibly reminded of Barbara Jordan's words:

James Madison, from the Virginia ratification convention. "If the President be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him, he may be impeached."

But it won't happen and we all know it. Why?

Because the Democrats only barely have control of Congress. They lack the seats.

And instead of seeing the "Checks and Balances" at work, we all get to witness as our system is perverted to benefit the privileged few right in front of our eyes... with more than impunity... with contempt.

And instead of seeing badly needed action to remedy these critical wounds to our Democracy, true Patriots like myself are left furious and frustrated this Fourth of July, wondering what happened to America and why we celebrate this holiday anymore anyway...

But enjoy this Fourth of July anyway, because we are only one disaster away from Bush instituting Presidential Directive 51 and ending the existence of the United States of America anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The evidence continues to pile up... the investigations in Congress are showing a clear pattern of corruption from the GOP. This is the kind of stuff I would expect from Organized Crime, not a political party.


Monday, June 18, 2007
Administration Oversight, White House Use of Private E-mail Accounts

The Use of RNC E-Mail Accounts by White House Officials

The Oversight Committee has been investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush Cheney ‘04 campaign for official White House communications. This interim staff report provides a summary of the evidence the Committee has received to date, along with recommendations for next steps in the investigation.

The information the Committee has received in the investigation reveals:

The number of White House officials given RNC e-mail accounts is higher than previously disclosed. In March 2007, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said that only a “handful of officials” had RNC e-mail accounts. In later statements, her estimate rose to “50 over the course of the administration.” In fact, the Committee has learned from the RNC that at least 88 White House officials had RNC e-mail accounts. The officials with RNC e-mail accounts include Karl Rove, the President’s senior advisor; Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff; Ken Mehlman, the former White House Director of Political Affairs; and many other officials in the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Communications, and the Office of the Vice President.

White House officials made extensive use of their RNC e-mail accounts. The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov” e-mail accounts. Other heavy users of RNC e-mail accounts include former White House Director of Political Affairs Sara Taylor (66,018 e-mails) and Deputy Director of Political Affairs Scott Jennings (35,198 e-mails). These e-mail accounts were used by White House officials for official purposes, such as communicating with federal agencies about federal appointments and policies.

There has been extensive destruction of the e-mails of White House officials by the RNC. Of the 88 White House officials who received RNC e-mail accounts, the RNC has preserved no e-mails for 51 officials. In a deposition, Susan Ralston, Mr. Rove’s former executive assistant, testified that many of the White House officials for whom the RNC has no e-mail records were regular users of their RNC e-mail accounts. Although the RNC has preserved no e-mail records for Ken Mehlman, the former Director of Political Affairs, Ms. Ralston testified that Mr. Mehlman used his account “frequently, daily.” In addition, there are major gaps in the e-mail records of the 37 White House officials for whom the RNC did preserve e-mails. The RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Mr. Rove during President Bush’s first term and no e-mails sent by Mr. Rove prior to November 2003. For many other White House officials, the RNC has no e-mails from before the fall of 2006.

There is evidence that the Office of White House Counsel under Alberto Gonzales may have known that White House officials were using RNC e-mail accounts for official business, but took no action to preserve these presidential records. In her deposition, Ms. Ralston testified that she searched Mr. Rove’s RNC e-mail account in response to an Enron-related investigation in 2001 and the investigation of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald later in the Administration. According to Ms. Ralston, the White House Counsel’s office knew about these e-mails because “all of the documents we collected were then turned over to the White House Counsel’s office.” There is no evidence, however, that White House Counsel Gonzales initiated any action to ensure the preservation of the e-mail records that were destroyed by the RNC.

The Presidential Records Act requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” To implement this legal requirement, the White House Counsel issued clear written policies in February 2001 instructing White House staff to use only the official White House e-mail system for official communications and to retain any official e-mails they received on a nongovernmental account.

The evidence obtained by the Committee indicates that White House officials used their RNC e-mail accounts in a manner that circumvented these requirements. At this point in the investigation, it is not possible to determine precisely how many presidential records may have been destroyed by the RNC. Given the heavy reliance by White House officials on RNC e-mail accounts, the high rank of the White House officials involved, and the large quantity of missing e-mails, the potential violation of the Presidential Records Act may be extensive.

There are several next steps that should be pursued in the investigation into the use of RNC e-mail accounts by White House officials. First, the records of federal agencies should be examined to assess whether they may contain some of the White House e-mails that have been destroyed by the RNC. The Committee has already written to 25 federal agencies to inquire about the e-mail records they may have retained from White House officials who used RNC and Bush Cheney ’04 e-mail accounts. Preliminary responses from the agencies indicate that they may have preserved official communications that were destroyed by the RNC.

Second, the Committee should investigate what former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales knew about the use of political e-mail accounts by White House officials. If Susan Ralston’s testimony to the Committee is accurate, there is evidence that Mr. Gonzales or counsels working in his office knew in 2001 that Karl Rove was using his RNC e-mail account to communicate about official business, but took no action to preserve Mr. Rove’s official communications.

Third, the Committee may need to issue compulsory process to obtain the cooperation of the Bush Cheney ’04 campaign. The campaign has informed the Committee that it provided e-mail accounts to 11 White House officials, but the campaign has unjustifiably refused to provide the Committee with basic information about these accounts, such as the identity of the White House officials and the number of e-mails that have been preserved.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Breaking News: Judiciary Committee votes to restore Habeus Corpus

This is great news! Putting the Democrats back in control of Congress is paying off! This is specifically because the Democrats now control the agenda. This would never have even been considered if the Republicans remained in power. The Nation has the story:

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee passed an important bill to restore habeas corpus, the sacrosanct Constitutional right to challenge government detention in court, by a vote of eleven to eight.

Habeas corpus was revoked by last year's Military Commissions Act, which has been assailed as unconstitutional and un-American by leaders across the political spectrum.

Today's vote means the habeas bill can now be brought to the Senate floor at any time. One source with knowledge of the legislative plan said Majority Leader Harry Reid has committed to bringing the bill to a vote within the month.

The Republicans, who are politically reeling from the backlash to their draconian rule, are desperately trying to spin this to make themselves look better but they are insulting the intelligence of everyone who can remember past November 2006.

Today's habeas bill was backed by the Judiciary Committee's Democratic Chairman, Patrick Leahy, and its Republican Ranking Member, Arlen Specter. "The drive to restore this fundamental right has come from both sides of the aisle," said Sharon Bradford, an attorney at the bipartisan Constitution Project, in response to today's vote. "Restoring America's commitment to the rule of law is not a partisan cause; it is a patriotic one," she added.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The President Implicated!!!

This is some of the most dramatic footage to come out of the investigations into the US Attorney scandal so far. This is former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testifying before Congress about the time Alberto Gonzales tried to illegally pressure a gravely ill John Ashcroft into signing off on the illegal wiretapping program after he had transferred his authority to James Comey.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Conservatives Never Take Responsibility For Themselves

Here is another example of what I have been saying for years, that Conservatives do not believe in responsibility and will do everything they can to avoid taking responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Wolfowitz Blames Media For Resignation

May 28, 2007 06:05 AM EST

LONDON — Departing World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz in a radio interview broadcast Monday blamed an overheated atmosphere at the bank and in the media for forcing him to resign.

Wolfowitz, who has announced he will step down June 30, denied suggestions that his decision to leave was influenced by an apparent lack of support from the bank's employees.

"I think it tells us more about the media than about the bank and I'll leave it at that," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "People were reacting to a whole string of inaccurate statements and by the time we got to anything approximating accuracy the passions were around the bend."

Wolfowitz said that he was pleased the bank's board accepted that he had acted ethically, and in good faith in his handling of a generous compensation package for his girlfriend and bank employee Shaha Riza in 2005.

"I accept the fact that by the time we got around to that, emotions here were so overheated that I don't think I could have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish for the people I really care about," he said.

By tradition, the United States _ the bank's biggest financial contributor _ names an American to run the institution.

Wolfowitz's departure ends a two-year run at the development bank that was marked by controversy from the start, given his previous role as a major architect of the Iraq war when he served as the No. 2 official at the Pentagon.

Gee Wolfie, you don't think the fact the Bank's employees hate you could have had anything to do with the fact you were showing favoritism to your girlfriend by giving her promotions and $60,000 raises, do you?

No, of course you don't...