Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sorry, The Gods Have Moved And Didn't Leave A Fowarding Address.

Recently my reading drifted back to an old love, science. I picked up Origins by Neil Degrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith. It is a compelling introduction to Cosmology and does a fairly nice job of explaining high level physics to the layman. It is not as dense or (my opinion) self- indulgent as another fine work “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene or as incredibly dense as Roger Penrose. Origins would probably be on the same level of complexity as Richard Dawkins' “The Blind Watchmen” and not as heavy as the “The Ancestor’s Tale” (plus Dawkins is married to the hot chick from Dr. Who during the Tom Baker years.)

Anyways, as I am rapidly flying through this wonderful little nugget I had a kind of small epiphany. In fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution and the thirty-five thousands years humans have infested this little orb we are running out of place to hide the boogey-man.

When mankind first gained the capacity for reason and metaphysical thought he was restricted in his capacity to solve the universe by his tools. When ancient peoples gazed up at the sky and saw the shield of blue they didn’t say

“Shit. Good thing that atmosphere is there; else we’d be singed like a sausage.” No our ancestors probably said “Ugh.”, and roamed on their merry way to an untimely death at the hands of a Smileodon. But I digress.

The first human to hear thunder, or see a rainbow did not have the tools necessary to make any more of a leap of thought than “Wow. Where did that come from?”

And… are ya ready! They made shit up!

Must be the Gods on the mountain top, or dwarves bowling, whatever. Well they got up on those mountains and guess what they found… No castle, no gods. They must have moved.

Where did they go? Of course into the heavens!

Then along came smartasses like Aristotle who informed the rest of mankind that the world was round just from observation. Not bad, he was off on the circumference but pretty close considering that he was literally eyeballing it.

The telescope really screwed things up for the superstitious because Copernicus, Galileo, and Brahe were able to say and prove “Y’know that whole we're the center of the universe jive? Forget it! And those crystal spheres that hold up the heavens, There right out as well.

Looks like it wasn’t safe for the boogey men, ghosts, or gods to hide there anymore, call the metaphysical movers! We’re going into space!

Well that lasted a couple of centuries until Hubble, the scientists not the telescope said. “Sorry to break this to ya, but our universe is finite, it’s expanding, and no winged people seemed to be floating around up there.”

The superstitious holding on to the last cliff of their reality proclaimed….. They are INVISIBLE!!!!! We can’t see them, they are there but the boogey man, the whole castle and gate thing, they are invisible.

God groaned,” Hubble you ass, we were just getting comfortable out here! Now I have to be invisible! Please don’t let these monkeys’s start coming around here.”

Sputnik, Mercury, Apollo, Pioneer, et al. allowed us higher- order primates into the ghosts’ and goblins’ new backyard but guess what. No one has come out to great us with metaphysical lemonade or smite us for that matter. Hasn't happened and it never will.

It seems the further we expand our knowledge of this wonderful universe, god has less places to hide. Maybe they moved into one of them new fangled pocket universes?

classic quote of the day

A President needs political understanding to run the government, but he may be elected without it.

Harry S. Truman

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Thanks to
Notes in Samsara for following this story.

Seems that the man who brought us the Passion of The SpongeBob might be in a bit o' trouble with the kind folks at the IRS:

Here's the .pdf of the 99 page complaint.

From The CREW Website:


Washington, DC – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed an Internal Revenue Services (IRS) complaint against Focus on the Family, a conservative, non-profit organization led by its Founder and Chairman James C. Dobson. The complaint asks for the IRS to investigate activities by the group which may violate IRS regulations and require a revocation of its tax-exempt status....

“Mr. Dobson’s egregious violations of IRS code demand an investigation into his improper activities that break both the spirit and the letter of IRS law,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today.
The Washington Post Article included a response from Focus:
James Bopp, an attorney for the Colorado Springs-based conservative Christian group, said the group has fully complied with IRS code....

"Anything Dr. Dobson did to endorse candidates, he did as an individual," Bopp said.
As the CREW webstite states the IRS has been targeting organizations that appear to have a liberal bent. They have targeted Julian Bond (NAACP Chairman) in 2004 and All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California for an supposed anti-war sermon. (Link To WaPo article).

Okay IRS, put up or shut up.

Religion mixing with politics in your community see the folks at CREW or contact:

For more on the Spongebob fiasco a link to an Olbermann article at MSNBC
Richard Goldstein reports on The Cartoon Wars in The Nation

Duke Cunningham Says Farewell.

I could almost feel sorry for the guy, if he wasn't a corrupt piece of garbage.

Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA)
I am resigning from the House of Representatives because I’ve compromised the trust of my constituents.

When I announced several months ago that I would not seek re-election, I publicly declared my innocence because I was not strong enough to face the truth. So, I misled my family, staff, friends, colleagues, the public -- even myself. For all of this, I am deeply sorry.

The truth is -- I broke the law, concealed my conduct, and disgraced my high office. I know that I will forfeit my freedom, my reputation, my worldly possessions, and most importantly, the trust of my friends and family.

Some time ago, I asked my lawyers to inform the U.S. Attorney Carol Lam that I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison term. Today is the culmination of that process. I will continue to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation to the best of my ability.

In my life, I have known great joy and great sorrow. And now I know great shame. I learned in Viet Nam that the true measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I cannot undo what I have done. But I can atone. I am now almost 65 years old and, as I enter the twilight of my life, I intend to use the remaining time that God grants me to make amends.

The first step in that journey is to admit fault and apologize. The next step is to face the consequences of my actions like a man. Today, I have taken the first step and, with God’s grace, I will soon take the second.

Thank you.

And from What I understand Dookie is singing like a damn songbird to the prosecutors.

979344 and 979345
STARRING 778629 and
BIALYSTOCK: (waving his cane and shouting at the top of his lungs)
Higher, you animals, higher! We open Saturday night! Kick! Kick!
Two-three-kick-turn! Two-three- kick-turn! Okay, let's hear it!

PRISONERS: (singing) "We're prisoners of love....

Oh Schmidt!

A worthy cause If I've ever seen one.


Hold Jean Schmidt Accountable

From this day forward, the Democratic Party will commit to putting up a "Shame on You" billboard in the home district of any Republican who attacks a veteran's service in order to score political points.

The first billboard will go up near Jean Schmidt's district office in Portsmouth, Ohio. The message: "Shame on You, Jean Schmidt: Stop Attacking Veterans. Keep Your Eye on the Ball -- We Need a Real Plan for Iraq".

If you contribute now the billboard can be up next week. Your donation right now will take the fight right into Schmidt's backyard -- and the backyard of any Republican who values political posture over a veteran's service.

Colonel Davis, There Is A Colonel Killgore on Line 2!

I can almost hear the rising blare of horns, screaming Wagnerarian Epic across the Hot jungles of Vietnam.

Saw this in this months, The Progressive:

Col. Stephen Davis, commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team 2, which is responsible for much of western Iraq, quoted in yesterday’s New York Times:

“We’re not going anywhere,” he told the murmuring crowd, adding that as long as there were attacks against Iraqi or American troops the house searches and roadblocks and bridge closings would continue.

“Some of you are concerned about the attack helicopters and mortar fire from the base,” he said. “I will tell you this: those are the sounds of peace.”

Jesus, Somebody Call Francis Ford Coppola and tell Duval to dust off that 1st Cav uniform. We got ourselves a live one here.

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:

US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2110
Since "Mission Accomplished" : 1973
Official US Military Wounded: 15704 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:

Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project


Op Ed: A Thorn Returns To Prick Shrub's Side.

So..... Thanksgiving is over my house is decorated and my dining room is painted. I can now return to my passion for shoving my opinions out on the "internets" for your review.

As the Iraqi Occupation continues to devolve into the quagmire of civil war, an old "friend" of Shrub's has returned to stick it in and break it off, Lawrence B. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to ex. Sec'y of State Colin Powell.

WaPo provides these memorable quotes:
"You begin to speculate, you begin to wonder _ Was this intelligence spun? Was it politicized? Was it cherry-picked? Did in fact the American people get fooled? I'm beginning to have my concerns,"
On Cheney's torture fiasco in front of Congress:
Asked whether Cheney was guilty of a war crime, Wilkerson said: "Well, that's an interesting question. It is certainly a domestic crime to advocate terror, and I would suspect that it is, for whatever it's worth, an international crime as well."
On Shrub's State Of mind before the war:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff says President Bush was "too aloof, too distant from the details" of post-war planning, allowing underlings to exploit Bush's detachment and make bad decisions.
On Cheney's Push for war:
Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. Wilkerson said that Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."
On Powell, On Bush:
Wilkerson suggested his former boss may agree with him that Bush was too hands-off about Iraq.

"What he seems to be saying to me now is the president failed to discipline the process the way he should have and that the president is ultimately responsible for this whole mess," Wilkerson said.

Here's A Classic:

Cheney's office, Rumsfeld aides and others argued "that the president of the United States is all-powerful, that as commander in chief the president of the United States can do anything he damn well pleases," Wilkerson said.

This all reminds me of why I LOVE politcs. This is the Great Game.

This is like watching a car wreck, two trains smashing together, or accidently giving your kid that extra bottle of milk. You know what's coming is going to be a mess, but you can't help yourself.

What's pouring out of the Republican party are the curdled remnants of any integrity they may have possessed. Their lies, instead of being shoved aside, are multiplying. Rats are jumping off the sinking ship faster than a stripper grabbing a dollar while ankle locked on a steel pole.

It is disguting to watch, it is embaressing to see our government throwing itself in the muck and then wallow in it. It is humilitaing that this dry drunk and his cronies represent our great nation.

2006 cannot come fast enough. 'Till then grab some popcorn, watch the show, and take notes.

classic quote of the day

In war, truth is the first casualty.

Friday, November 25, 2005

classic quote of the day

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it.

~Mark Twain, "The War Prayer"

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:

US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2104
Since "Mission Accomplished" : 1967
Official US Military Wounded: 15704 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:

Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Damn Freshmen.

I had commented on Freshman Representative Jean Schmidt's foot in mouth disease four days ago and promised a return to the issue of Senorita Wingnutta's propensity of making an ass out of herself for our amusement. Well the entire Murtha-Schmidt-Bubp affair reach proportions of idiocy that even I could not expect. Believe me, when it comes to wingnuts, I expect a LOT of idiotic things, hell I have relatives.

Anyways back to Jean Shi.... ahem almost gave into the temptation.

Lets try that again

Jean Schmidt (R OH-2) and Freshman Ohio state rep Danny Bubp can't seem to decide who is responsible for her statements. To review:
"a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
Bubp responded that:
"There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."

Still, Bubp said the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Hey Bubp why even mention it in the first place, if you didn't expect Psycho Schmidt to whore it on the House floor? Why don't the two of you take your Ten Commandment trophies and smack each other a few times. Maybe your brains will realign and you will join the rest of humanity.

This of course, their conversation not slapping each other with trophies, led to the laughable attempt by the house Republicans called House Res 571 (PDF here). This idotic document introduced by The Honorable Moron Duncan Hunter (R- CA 52) reads thusly:


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Obviously the resolution failed and certain, bloated, cement headed, liars...

Sorry I mean media pundits, I'm talking to you Hannity and Gibson tried to dub this Repug trash as the Murtha ammendment. Suprisingly Baby Jesbus Sean and "War on Christmas" veteran Gibson have yet to recant their "errors"

Nov. 21, 2005 (Media Matters has video)
Gibson: Why then do you think Murtha's suggestion last week, voted down by the House, is causing so much trouble?

Nov. 21, 2005 ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
Hannity: It doesn't mention that his Iraq pullout plan was actually put to a vote, 403 to 3. Even Murtha didn't vote for his own pullout plan.

They can spin it and lie about it any way they like but THEY KNOW that Murtha didn't propose an immediate pull-out. Here go read it for yourself,

Therefore be it
1) Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
2) Congress assembled,
3) That:
4) Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is
5) hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable
6) date.
7) Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines
8) shall be deployed in the region.
9) Section 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq
10) through diplomacy.

Wendesday's Wahington Post quotes John Murtha's (D PA-12) response to Schmidt's and Bubt's subsequent backing off:
Murtha has called Schmidt's comment ridiculous.

"You can't spin this. You've got to have a real solution," Murtha said Monday when asked about her remarks at a news conference in Pennsylvania. "This is not a war of words, this is a war."

Ok. Thats enough, politics, LETS EAT DAMMIT!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Crawford at Thanksgiving.

Crawford TX

Gold Star Families for Peace
Crawford Peace House
Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Endorsed by

  • Veterans for Peace
  • Iraq Veterans Against the War
  • Code Pink
    • Heard on AAR's Morning Sedition this morning that CIndy Sheehan is tending to her daughter's illness. We have no information on the severity of the illness (Anybody know?) but we hope her daughter gets better soon. To those who are heading down there keep up the fight folks, hopefully there will be no need for speakouts like this next year.
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Congress Gets A Pay Raise, well Merry Freakin' Holidays !

    From The Working Families E-Activist Network:

    Dear XXXXXXX,

    Let’s talk about priorities. Congress has not increased the minimum wage since 1997, meaning the real earnings of workers at the bottom of the pay scale have dropped dramatically. So what is Congress doing to address this crisis?

    Giving themselves a pay raise. Again.

    Since the last minimum wage increase, members of Congress have increased their own pay several times, for a total increase of $31,600 per year. That’s an increase of $31,600. Meanwhile, workers in minimum wage jobs earn a total of just $10,700 a year.

    Does that sound like a Congress that has its priorities straight?

    It’s time to take action. Congress has headed home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but you can still tell your representative and senators what you think. Call your members of Congress today. Ask them if they support an increase in the minimum wage, and if so, what they’re doing about it.

    Find the local district phone numbers for your members of Congress:

    House of Representatives

    The congressional pay raise is just the beginning. The House recently pushed through a budget that cuts $50 billion from programs that help working families, including Medicaid, student loans and food stamps. At the same time, congressional leaders are trying to pass $70 billion in new breaks mostly for the very wealthiest Americans.

    Big pay raises for themselves, but no increase in the minimum wage. Big spending cuts aimed directly at working families and even bigger tax breaks for the wealthy. These are not the priorities of America’s working families, and they shouldn’t be the priorities in Congress.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    In solidarity,

    Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO

    Nov. 21, 2005

    Shorter Iraqi Council= US Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Ass On The Way Out!

    Iraqi Leaders Call for Pullout Timetable

    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, November 22, 2005; 12:06 PM

    CAIRO, Egypt -- Iraqi leaders at a reconciliation conference reached out to the Sunni Arab community by calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces and saying the country's opposition had a "legitimate right" of resistance....

    This goes a long way in validating thew continuing insurgency and all but calls the US/UK and occupation force. It is more chilling when read in conjunction with this paragraph a couple of paragraphs down.

    In Egypt, the final communique's attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional. They spoke anonymously, saying they feared retribution....
    Most likely this omission was made with the threat of a Sunni walkout imminent. However, there are more than a few Shia insurgent groups in the Basra area, as well as those of mixed origin.

    On Monday, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr suggested U.S.-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year, saying the one-year extension of the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq by the U.N. Security Council this month could be the last.

    "By the middle of next year we will be 75 percent done in building our forces and by the end of next year it will be fully ready," he told the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera....

    What the Iraqis really fear is the abduction of their oil reserves at gunpoint. The Independent puts it quite nicely:

    On the eve of the war in Iraq, there was a shocking moment of clarity in the Commons when Jack Straw revealed that when it was all over, France and Germany would not be allowed to "get their snouts in the trough"....

    Straw's remarks revealed the focused on Iraqs oil. The World's four oil giants (BP, Exxon, Chevron and Shell) , have been desperate to get back into Iraq, since being booted out in the nationalisation of 1972....
    Iraq's new constitution - practically written by US and Foreign office advisors, guarantees a major role for foreign companies. Production Sharing Agreements would hand over control of dozens of oil fields, like the gian Majnoon .
    I am not an oil & gas analyst nor am I a constitutional expert but here are the salient provisions:

    From the Iraqi Constitution (Link opens a PDF)

    Article 109:
    Oil and gas are the property of the Iraqi people in all provinces and districts.

    Article 110:
    1 - The federal government handles, in cooperation with the producing province and district cabinets, the management of oil and gas extracted from the present fields, provided the proceeds would be evenly distributed, in keeping with the demographic distribution all around the country.
    In addition, a share shall be allotted, for a specific period of time, to the afflicted provinces, which were unjustly deprived by the previous regime, and later affected, in a way to secure abalanced development of the different areas in the country. This shall be regulated by a law.

    2 - The Federal government, along with the producing province and district cabinets, shall put forth strategic policies that are necessary to promote oil and gas resources in order to provide the Iraqi people with the utmost benefits by adopting the latest market values and investment promotion techniques.

    Issam el Jalabi. the former Oil Minister and President of National Oil Company put forward an interesting critique at Alexander's Gas and Oil Connection. Mr. el Jalabi argues that the new constitution puts ultimate power over present gas and oil, fields, at the provincial level rather than the federal level. Also, the constitution leaves up in the air who has administrative control over and NEW fields. These just feeds into article 150:

    Article (150): Laws legislated in Kurdistan since 1992 remain in effect, and decisions made by the government of the Kurdistan region - including contracts and court decisions - are effective unless they are voided or amended according to the laws of the Kurdistan region by the concerned body, as long as they are not against the constitution.

    The WaPo article concludes on this sobering but cryptic note:

    The Cairo meeting was marred by differences between participants at times, and at one point Shiite and Kurdish delegates stormed out of a closed session when one of the speakers said they had sold out to the Americans.

    And So It Goes.

    At the time of this posting:

    US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2096
    Since "Mission Accomplished" : 1959
    Official US Military Wounded: 15704 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

    Ways You Can Help The Survivors:

    Operation Truth
    Fisher House
    Wounded Warrior Project


    Bush Was Wrong! (Parody of Right Wing Jingo BS "Bush Was Right "Approx 1MB)
    Visit Honor The Fallen
    What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

    classic quote of the day

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
    ~Voltaire, War

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Thought Of The Day

    The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters.

    -- H. L. Mencken, "Homo Neanderthalensis" (coverage of the Scopes Trial) The Baltimore Evening Sun, June 29, 1925

    New Video

    Whlie surfing the internets I came across this great .mp3 by KO. Its utilizes Kanye West's "Goldigger" to express the rage felt by the forgotten victims of Katrina. The song is entitled "George Bush Don't Like Black People"

    Check out the website
    George Bush Don't Like Black People.

    I have also put together a video montage to accompany the song hope you like it.

    LHC's version of "George Bush Don't Like Black People" (RealVid (6.6 MB)

    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Bush Was Wrong!

    Shrub Was Wrong (Video REDUX)

    A Parody of the Right Brothers' Bush Was Right

    (Approx 1MB .wmv)

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    What Murtha (D- PA 12th) Said.

    "The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.

    "General Casey said in a September 2005 hearing, 'the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.' General Abizaid said on the same date, "Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is part of our counterinsurgency strategy."

    "For two and a half years, I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait - the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction - but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.

    "We spend more money on Intelligence that all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

    "I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.

    "The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We cannot allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S.

    "Much of our ground transportation is worn out and in need of either serous overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace." We must rebuild out Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being "terrified" about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.

    "Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.

    "I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the condition on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included to Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have not received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects have been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American causalities have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.

    "I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won 'militarily.' I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.

    "Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are untied against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraq security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United Stated occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a "free" Iraq.

    "My plan calls:

    • To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
    • To create a quick reaction force in the region.
    • To create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines.
    • To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.

    "This war needs to be personalized. As I said before, I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.

    "Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our obligation, to speak out for them. That's why I am speaking out.

    "Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home."


    From The Washington Post:

    Showing more collective SPALLS (SPINE & BALLS) than there Republican colleagues, the House Democrats refused to fall for a Republican ploy and then told them where to stick it! Yes folks I am talking about the Democrats in the House.

    I know, I forgot we had any representation in the house too.
    Check for the links in the article to help support those Democrats who relocated there testosterone glands! Also special commendation to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D- CA 8th),
    who has been showing more bravado than most of her male colleagues. BIG SHOUT OUT to John Murtha (D- PA 12th), who has the SPALLS to call a Bush's failure a failure.

    House Rejects Iraq Pullout After GOP Forces a Vote

    Democrats Enraged By Personal Attack

    By Charles Babington Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, November 19, 2005; A01

    Differences over policy on the Iraq war ignited an explosion of angry words and personal insults on the House floor yesterday when the chamber's newest member suggested that a decorated war veteran was a coward for calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops....

    Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) drafted a simpler resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops, saying it was a fair interpretation of Murtha's intent. Members were heatedly debating a procedural rule concerning the Hunter resolution when Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) (link to vid from Think Progress) was recognized at 5:20 p.m. Schmidt won a special election in August, defeating Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, and is so new to Congress that some colleagues do not know her name.

    She told colleagues that "a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

    Dozens of Democrats erupted at once, pointing angrily at Schmidt and shouting repeatedly, "Take her words down" -- the House term for retracting a statement. For a moment Schmidt tried to keep speaking, but the uproar continued and several GOP colleagues surrounded her as she sat down, looking slightly dazed. Presiding officer Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) gaveled in vain for order as Democrats continued shouting for Schmidt to take back her words. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) yelled "You guys are pathetic!" from the far end of the Democratic section to the GOP side.

    Just as matters seemed to calm a bit, Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) suddenly charged across the aisle to the GOP seats, jabbing his finger furiously at a small group of GOP members and shouting, "Say Murtha's name!" Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), who had led the chants for striking Schmidt's comments, gently guided Ford by the arm back to the minority party's side.

    More on the wackiness that is Jean Schmidt, OH ! The temptation for a vulgar play on words, will follow.

    And So It Goes.

    At the time of this posting:

    US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2085
    Since "Mission Accomplished" : 1948
    Official US Military Wounded: 15704 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

    Ways You Can Help The Survivors:

    Operation Truth
    Fisher House
    Wounded Warrior Project


    Friday, November 18, 2005

    Quote Of The Day

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, 'n'how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
    The answer is blowin' in the wind.

    B. Dylan, Blowin' In The Wind

    Thursday Cheese Blogging! (Belated)

    Brin d'Amour

    A.F. Touch Cuisine de France:

    Corsica is a rich area of traditions and history, and the Brin d'Amour (literally "wisp

    of love"), although relatively recent in its creation, was born from this Corsica attached to the lovingly prepared products. Of artisanal manufacture, this cheese with the ewe's milk "breathes" its Island as of the first mouthful. Indeed, the Bit of Love is coated with savory, rosemary and juniper, these herbs aromatic which one finds in the Corsican maquis.

    Its soft paste with flowered crust of ivory color progressively hardens its refining which lasts on average one to two months. The Corsican grasses which cover it, confer to him a fine and slightly acidulous savour. The best period of the year to taste it, it is without any doubt the summer, period when the ewe's milk is scented the most. Test the Brin d'Amour accompanied by Madiran, a wine of Corsica or a "Côte de Provence Rosé", you will regale yourselves.




    ewe or goat milk



    Wine pairing suggestion:
    a dry rosé or light red, Sauvignon Blanc,

    My suggestion would be a good

    To learn more about this most unique and beautiful cheese:

    The San Francisco Chronicle 08/26/04

    For information on the beautiful island of Corsica

    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Ze Germans are at it again

    This is a depressing piece of news.

    It seems that the Germans dont just limit themselves to books anymore.
    Overreaction...maybe, but this line of thinking in any society is not healthy for expression.

    This comes on the heels of a news report that a Missisipi judge recently shot down a similar bill citing "obvious harm to free speech that could result of the law's enforcement"

    To judge Steeh i say bravo.
    It may seem trivial, but something like this can open the floodgates and set us back a few centuries in terms of freedom of expression.

    Shrub Was Wrong

    In response to the Right Brothers request that someone make a video for their screed, "Bush Was Right!" I offer this.....

    classic quote of the day

    I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
    ~Abraham Lincoln

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Kudos to SCOUT PRIME for sticking with this story.

    Link to Part I

    The fact that people will return to the most devestated parts of the 9th ward only to find the decomposing remains of their loved ones is beyond sick.

    Scout Prime has fought the good fight and has been able to provide us with a follow up.
    On Oct 3 the search for bodies in NOLA was called off despite the knowledge that bodies remained in unsearched homes in NOLA's 9th Ward (see previous post) The plan was for people to call 911 if they found a body despite the fact that people were not even allowed into the 9th ward. On October 12th, parts of the 9th Ward were opened for a "look and leave." The death toll rose as bodies were found. And the lower 9th ward, perhaps the most devastated area of NOLA, will not open to residents until December.

    And So It Goes.

    At the time of this posting:

    US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2077
    Since "Mission Accomplished" : 1940
    Official US Military Wounded: 15477 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

    Ways You Can Help The Survivors:

    Operation Truth
    Fisher House
    Wounded Warrior Project


    Pennsylvania Says," Rick Santorum Sucks"

    From Santorum Exposed

    14. Do you approve or disapprove of United States Senator Rick Santorum's job performance?
    Approve 38%
    Disapprove 48%
    Undecided 14%

    Does this poll imply that
    A) 38% of Pennsylvania is stupid.
    B) 14% of Pennsylvania is freaking
    C) 48% of Pennsylvania's Population has heard Santorum speak.
    D) All of the Above

    Biblical Satire Part I: masturbation

    Empress Nympho: Ah! But the servant waits while the master baits
    --History of the World Pt I

    I have not decided whether to make this a daily, weekly, or irregular part of the site. However I have a simple formula : article/pissed of fundies= how often I do this, in short hand


    Anyways, today's reading is from
    Genesis 38:6-10

    6And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.
    7And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
    8And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
    9And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
    10And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

    I am not a biblical scholar, but I don't see where the whole masturbation thing comes (heh! heh!) into play here? Seems the Big G was upset about Onan pulling out.

    While this may constitute a biblical damnation against the porn ( ahem, adult entertainment) industry we must keep two things in mind:

    1) Vivid video had not been invented yet (unless you count some really bizzare
    Egyptian statues)

    2) Even at that, spilling seed on the ground is not a common fetish for porn. One could argue that Peter North does this all the time but that is more a consequence
    of velocity rather than intent.

    What's with the smiting anyway. Why was Er considered wicked? What was so bad that he was struck down? We don't know. We are never told; but we can speculate.

    I can understand Er being an asshole. Wouldn't you if your parents named you Er. Seriously, WTF is that? Its a colloquial pause for Jesbus' sake. How far could you expect a kid to get in life named after a colloquial pause.

    Then there is Onan, his father wants him to bang his dead brother's wife. I can understand Onan's hesistancy, considering what happened to her first husband. Not only does dad want her banged but he wants her preggers. This is quite possibly one of the most sexually liberated families I have ever read about.

    I know my father wished me that wink and a nod "good luck" as I headed out the door in my hormone dominated puberty, but ride the hobby horse with my brother's wife...... not so much.

    Major serious problems with the phraseology of this passage:

    Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

    First off I am holding off on the "Go in unto" part because that's just self-explanatory if not a bit too explicit. I will say this about the "marry her" part, was there a rabbi waiting in the tent?

    What's this raising seed to thy brother shit anyways. Think about that, better yet don't. Was Onan supposed to let it fly in the air, defying gravity, and potential outrage, should it have landed on anyone in that increasingly crowded tent?

    Again we do not know about Onan's potential, except that he may have been the Peter North of the Old Testament.

    So the moral of the story is good friends. If your brother is an asshole and is killed for it, and you are told to bang his wife, at your father's request no less, don't pull out. It apparently pisses off some tempermental desert gods.

    classic quote of the day

    God punishes us mildly by ignoring our prayers and severely by answering them. ~Richard J. Needham

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005


    WaPo reports:

    "He said first of all it was different then," she said. "He said, 'I was an advocate seeking a job, it was a political job and that was 1985. I'm now a judge, I've been on the circuit court for 15 years and it's very different. I'm not an advocate, I don't give heed to my personal views, what I do is interpret the law.'"

    Apparently this was enough to convince Diane Feinstein, part time Democrat, of the judges integrity. Diane wake up, or take you and Joementum to the other side of the aisle and get it over with.

    Ummm.... yeah, the Supreme Court is not a political job, right? Right?

    Hi! Its Twenty Years Later, and I'm not seeking a politcal job just a seat on The Supreme Court.
    Trust Me.

    That's De Sound Of Da Men Workin' On De Cheney Gang.

    Vito Fossella, Right Wing Idiot Of The Month.

    The month of November is noted for being cold, biting, and damp as a wet blanket. Oddly enough these are three adjectives that I could attribute to a local wingnut in New York, Rep. Vito Fossella (NY- 13). Located in the Republican hinterland of Staten Island, Vito was raised in cold wet under-belly of the "allegedly" corrupt Molinari machine, which has controlled Staten Island for almost 20 years. A proud Reagan Republican, Vito has consistently trumpeted the 80's policies that failed so miserably over twenty years ago. It is not surprising that he has been re-elected in the borough that culturally left the the Nixon Era only recently.

    A look at Vito's Record:

    From Issues 2000
    • Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating an anti- choice voting record. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 7% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
    • Rated 96% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003) R
    • ated 30% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
    • Rated 22% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 10% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 81% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated B+ by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 0% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 20% by the AFL-CIO, indicating an anti-labor voting record. (Dec 2003)
    • Rated 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)
    Where does he get his money?
    From Open Secrets (2006 Election Cycle)

    1 Adco Electrical Corp $20,000
    Pfizer Inc 9,000
    National Air Traffic Controllers Assn 7,500
    Independent Insurance Agents of America 6,000
    Wal-Mart Stores 5,000
    Every Republican is Crucial PAC
    Cmte for the Preservation of Capitalism
    Waste Management Inc
    Texas Freedom Fund
    Superior California Fed Leadership Fund

    Check out this article on Fossella at Irregular Times.
    Oddly this is on Fossella's re-election website, Vito Fossella making the US safe for the coal industry.
    And looky looky another Republican War-Hawk with a distinguished military record (BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!) invites everyone to pay a visit to Vito's office in
    Staten Island tomorrow November 16, 2005

    On Wednesday, MoveOn members in Staten Island are organizing a "Speak Out"—one of over 100 events this week to stop the reverse Robin Hood budget. Local folks will gather to tell the public and the media their personal stories about Medicaid, food stamps and student loans.
    We've invited the media. The success of the event depends on how many of us show up in support. Can you join us? Here are the details:Speak-Out at Vito Fossella's office

    4334 Amboy Rd(nr Richmond Ave and Eltingville Blvd)
    Staten Island, NY
    Wednesday, 16 Nov 2005, 12:00 PM

    Anti- Middle Class, Chickenhawk, Anti-Choice, Anti-Senior, and Anti- Education, and Anti- Clean Environment, Vito Fossella has earned the title of NOVEMBER's RIGHT WING JERK OF THE MONTH!! Congrats Vito!

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