Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Quote

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.

Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)

"Brownie" Wins An Award!!

On this last day of 2005, we take time to reflect on what a miserable year it has been for Shrub and his minions. With his poll numbers under 50% and reaching new lows several times of the last twelve months, we can not help but just go WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HOOOOOOOOOOO!...


It seems only the self-deluded, the highly gullible, and mean-spirited die hards are all that remains in Shrub's retinue. With that in mind we do have to note, a victory of sorts for Shrub.
From Common Dreams, via Reuters:

Published on Friday, December 30, 2005 by Reuters

President Bush's "Brownie" Quote Wins Award
by Arthur Spiegelman

LOS ANGELES - Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" was named on Thursday as U.S. President George W. Bush's most memorable phrase of 2005.

Former FEMA Chief Mike Brown and President Bush take questions in San Diego, November 4, 2003. Call it the wrong phrase at the wrong time but "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" was named on Thursday as Bush's most memorable phrase of 2005.

The ill-timed praise of a now disgraced agency head became a national punch line for countless jokes and pointed comments about the administration's handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and added to the president's reputation for verbal gaffes and clumsy turns of phrase.

Paul JJ Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors language use, says Bush's statement in support of the then-director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be remembered for years to come.

Congrats Shrub, you earned it!

Friday, December 30, 2005

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2177
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2040
Official US Military Wounded: 16155 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Share The Sacrifice (also works with Vietnam Vets-- Thanks Samurai Sam)
Operation Truth
Fisher House (Vets of All Wars)
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

Bush Was Right Linked To By Dwight Spencer.

Thank You Dwight!

Check his blog out, very informative

Dwight Spencer's Blog

Quote Of The Day

"Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thursday Sexy Sexy Cheese Blogging!

Ekte Geitost

Norway's national cheese, Geitost (pronounced "Yay-Toast") is a farmhouse and creamery, semi-hard cheese. It was originally made entirely from goats milk, but is now more often made with a blend of goats and cows milk. There is a classification based on different propotions of cow and goat cheese in Geitost.

This cheese has a sweetish, caramel-like taste and is dark brown in color. Geitost is a non-perishable dessert cheese that must be sliced paper-thin and placed on Norwegian flat bread. Norwegian children eat Geitost for breakfast. It is made from the liquid whey instead of the curd. There is no ripening period. This results in a sweet, fishy, caramel flavor that is really irresistible. Some sources spell this cheese's name as Gjetost.

Country: Norway
Milk: Goat

Consistency: smooth and firm

Taste: sweet and earthy

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2174
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2037
Official US Military Wounded: 16155 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

Well This Sucks.

The following snipets come from Knight Ridder reporter Tom Lasseter, and were brought to my attention by Common Dreams.
Published on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 by Knight Ridder
Kurds in Iraqi Army Proclaim Loyalty to Militia
by Tom Lasseter

KIRKUK, Iraq - Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.
Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable. The soldiers said that while they wore Iraqi army uniforms they still considered themselves members of the Peshmerga - the Kurdish militia - and were awaiting orders from Kurdish leaders to break ranks. Many said they wouldn't hesitate to kill their Iraqi army comrades, especially Arabs, if a fight for an independent Kurdistan erupted. "It doesn't matter if we have to fight the Arabs in our own battalion," said Gabriel Mohammed, a Kurdish soldier in the Iraqi army who was escorting a Knight Ridder reporter through Kirkuk. "Kirkuk will be ours."
Well isn't that just dandy. So glad we have expended over 2100 of America's best and billions of dollars in taxpayers money to create this mess. The truly sick part of all of this is that we are training the very army, or elements thereof, that will be fighting us sooner or later. I wish I could laugh at the irony, but this crap isn't even remotely funny. We have paid a price in our dearest blood that these bastards infesting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can never hope to make a down payment on.

Now if any lurking neo-cons still think Iraq isn't a total screw up, my first thought would be, "Get your head out of your ass!", however in lieu of that we have this:

Published on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 by Knight Ridder
Many Iraqi Soldiers See a Civil War on the Horizon
by Tom Lasseter
KIRKUK, Iraq - Passions run deep for the Arab and Kurdish soldiers who wear the Iraqi army uniform. Kirkuk lies just a few miles from one of the nation's largest oil fields, worth billions of dollars. Arabs figure that the city's oil wealth should belong to Iraq, while ethnic Kurds see it as part of a future nation of Kurdistan. "If the Kurds want to separate from Iraq it's OK, as long as they keep their present boundaries," said Sgt. Hazim Aziz, an Arab soldier who was stubbing out a cigarette in a barracks room. "But there can be no conversation about them taking Kirkuk. ... If it becomes a matter of fighting, then we will join any force that fights to keep Kirkuk. We will die to keep it." Kurdish soldiers in the room seethed at the words. "These soldiers do not know anything about Kirkuk," Capt. Ismail Mahmoud, a former member of the Kurdish Peshmerga militia, said as he got up angrily and walked out of the room. "There is no other choice. If Kirkuk does not become part of Kurdistan peacefully we will fight for 100 years to take it."
Part of me really hopes that this Iraqi mess was planned by BushCo., because fuck- ups of this magnitude are hard to come by accidentally. If this is the result of some grandiose Realpolitik agenda I can swallow that better than if it isn't.

If this is just a situation that went totally F.U.B.A.R. then we are truly being led by incompetent morons, syncophants and thieves, rather than just thieves!

Quote Of The Day

There is a higher law than the law of government.
That's the law of conscience.

Stokely Carmichael

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Lest We Forget.

The Washington Post today ran this article, describing the cross race dislocation in NOLA. More articles like this are necessary, so that this American tragedy will not be forgotten. Where is the rebuilding effort. Just where on this Congress' and Administration's list of priorities is NOLA? From what I have been reading not very high up.

A place and its people, once vibrant, self-defining, and truly unique cannot be left to sink forever into the morass of mankind's failures.

Full text is available by clicking the link below.

A Shared Uncertainty
Hurricane Unites Evacuees on Both Sides Of New Orleans's Divide of Race and Class

By Blaine Harden Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 28, 2005; A01 NEW ORLEANS Joseph and Kesa Williams have come home once since Hurricane Katrina chased them off to Atlanta. Once was all they could bear.

Inside their ruined house on Delery Street in the Lower Ninth Ward, they found ceilings collapsed, possessions rotted and mold triumphant. They had expected as much from watching TV news. Much more disturbing was the abandoned-graveyard feel of the entire neighborhood, where working-class black families have owned houses for generations.

"From what I could see, nothing was happening," said Joseph Williams, 32, who has a new job as a probation officer in suburban Atlanta. "The only thing I found in my house that was worth taking was my high school class ring. I threw it back on the floor and we left."

Across town, Gary and Bea Quaintance, together with their son, Steven, 16, have moved back into their house on Memphis Street in Lakeview, a white middle-class neighborhood that was also wrecked by Katrina. Theirs, though, is an isolated, post-apocalyptic style of housekeeping. Lakeview is a neighborhood in name only, especially at night. The Quaintances are the only family on their block.

Women Candidates Need Support

From The Office of Senator John Kerry (D-MA)


In the final 72 hours of 2005, Keeping America's Promise -- the leadership committee I helped launch -- is pulling out all the stops to help women candidates locked in crucial, must-win elections across America. We need to make sure that these impressive women have the resources they need to get their voices heard.

Senator Maria Cantwell has boldly stood up to powerful special interests to defend the Arctic Refuge. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a leader on health care and prescription drugs, faces a tough re-election battle after winning one of the closest Senate races of 2000.

And Lois Murphy is locked in a tight, swing district Pennsylvania Congressional race against a close ally of Karl Rove and Tom DeLay.

I urge you to rush a critical year-end donation to help one, two, or all three of these strong Democrats in must-win 2006 contests:

Make a contribution to help these key races before the end of year deadline.

Our special 72-hour drive - in advance of important end-of-year FEC filing deadlines -- is all part of our 2006 Fight Back strategy. We absolutely refuse to let any Democratic candidate go into the 2006 elections vulnerable to the smear and fear campaigning that has become the trademark of the Rove Republicans and their special interest allies. We won't stand for Swift Boat-style attacks against anyone. That's why it's so critical for you to not only help these impressive women candidates but also fully fund our Fight Back initiatives.

Make a contribution to help these key races before the end of year deadline.

Make no mistake about it. We can only win in 2006 if we support our candidates at every turn and fight back against every unfounded attack and reckless charge. Keeping America's Promise is playing a vitally important role in helping to produce 2006 victories forged in strong convictions and powered by an unshakable determination to win.

I encourage you to support strong women candidates locked in tough races. And I urge you to lend your immediate support to Keeping America's Promise's 2006 Fight Back Fund. There is so much at stake.

Make a contribution to help these key races before the end of year deadline.

With those two steps, you can make 2006 the year we change direction, take power out of the hands of those who have abused it, and move America forward.


John Kerry

P.S. Maria Cantwell in Washington, Lois Murphy in Pennsylvania, and Debbie Stabenow in Michigan are all in need of your immediate support. Please help as many of them as you can - and don't forget to add a special donation to sustain the take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred efforts of Keeping America's Promise's 2006 Fight Back Fund.

Now That Christmas Is Over

With the Right's War On Christmas Bonanza safely over for another year; people of actual good will would do well to note what Nichloas Fearn of the Guardian Unlimited has to say.

Thanks to Tony from Other Men's Flowers for bringing this article to my attention:

From The UK Guardian:
...the plight of the poor and needy is no worse at Christmas than at any other time...There is something profoundly mistaken in our acceptance that morality can take the form of a holiday. After all, the real holiday here is the 11 months of the year when it is more or less acceptable to look after number one, yet no-one talks of an extended "season of selfishness"...
...If there is such a thing as a season of goodwill that begins officially on a certain day, ushered in by a wave of televised celebrity appeals for charity, there must of necessity be another day, some time between Christmas Day and New Year, when all this comes to an official end. We wait in vain for newsreaders to announce the relaxation of festive requirements and a return to our default stinginess...
...Christmas is not the only manifestation of our irrational observance of "seasons": for example, you shouldn't make someone cry on their birthday; you should be especially kind to your partner on Valentine's Day; annoying people is fine on April Fools' Day, as is terrorising them at Halloween...
...The Season of Goodwill does more than merely highlight the lack of fellow feeling that is the norm throughout the rest of the year, it also works to make it permissible. The question of how much we should give to those less fortunate than ourselves does not have an easy answer, but as to whether we should make December a special time of giving, the answer is certainly "no".
Seriously what is the point of faking good will during December if you are going to be a miserable shit the rest of the year. Charity and love of your fellow person is not a faucet that can be turned on and off just because December 25 looms.

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2172
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2035
Official US Military Wounded: 15881 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

No Honor Amongst Thieves.

In answer to a familiar question, "WHEN IN BLOODY HELL ARE THEY GOING TO LOCK UP THAT CROOK KEN LAY?!?!", or something like that.

WaPo reports:
Enron Executive Agrees to Plea Deal
Prosecutors Gain Witness Against Lay and Skilling
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 28, 2005; A01

Enron Corp.'s former chief accountant agreed to plead guilty today to criminal conduct that preceded the company's collapse into bankruptcy, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, sealing a deal that gives prosecutors another key witness against former chief executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling on the eve of their fraud trial.

Richard A. Causey, 45, who is facing more than two dozen criminal charges, is scheduled to appear in a Houston courtroom at 3 p.m. Eastern time today, according to court records. He reported directly to Skilling for years and participated with Lay on conference calls and analyst meetings in the weeks before Enron fell apart.
Excellent. Like rats fleeing a sinking ship these lower functionaries seem to be high tailing over the bodies of the big rats. One can only hope that the current and former employees of Enron who were bilked out of jobs and pensions can gain some form of vindication from this. Let's hope that the prosecution is swift and as on the ball as they seem to be.

Monday, December 26, 2005

classic quote of the day

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sunday, December 25, 2005

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2168
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2031
Official US Military Wounded: 15881 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Got this over at the Bulldog Manifesto :

Iran Focus reports

“Of the 275 seats in Iraq’s new parliament, 140 will belong to pious Islamists, 60 will be occupied by Kurds with excellent ties with Iran, and 40 will belong to Sunni Arabs, most of whom want a sovereign, Islamist state”, the daily Kayhan’s Saturday editorial noted. “The new government – including the President, the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the armed forces and the judiciary – will emerge from this new assembly”.
Well that was worth over (so far) 2100 American lives eh? We take out a secular nutjob so we can hand it over to a bunch of religious nutjobs! Well I guess they are learning from our example, after all.

How To Get A Job In The Bush Disaster.

WaPo reports:
Alito Urged Wiretap Immunity
Memo Offers Look at Nominee on Privacy

By Jo Becker and Christopher Lee
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, December 24, 2005; A01

Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. once argued that the nation's top law enforcement official deserves blanket protection from lawsuits when acting in the name of national security, even when those actions involve the illegal wiretapping of American citizens, documents released yesterday show.

As a lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department, Alito said the attorney general must be free to take steps to protect the country from threats such as terrorism and espionage without fear of personal liability. But in a 1984 memo involving a case that dated to the Nixon administration, Alito also cautioned his superiors that the time may not be right to make that argument and urged a more incremental approach.

"I do not question that the Attorney General should have this immunity," Alito wrote. "But for tactical reasons, I would not raise the issue here.

It its ironic that the date of that memo is 1984, just sadly freaking ironic. It also has to make you sick that these bastards have been working on this since that addled actor ascended the throne. If this fascist makes it past committee then he MUST be filibustered, no question, no excuses.

Mr. Orwell there is a Mister Alito on line two.

Friday, December 23, 2005

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2162
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2025
Official US Military Wounded: 15881 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

Christmas In New Orleans.

A somber note in this season of holidays, feasting, and fun. In These Times' Fatima Shakir takes us to New Orleans for the holiday (LINK). It is a touching article that will enlighten, anger, and touch your heart.

An excerpt:

"Now, life means close quarters, small irritations and long hugs with too many memories of home. Evacuees send e-mails to each other with Christmas poetry wistful for beignets, king cakes and burgers at Port of Call. People who lived for their front porches and pecan trees are getting used to seeing a clear, cold night sky.

Like children making their wish lists to Santa, the evacuees are hoping hard and wondering if they will ever regain shelter, sanity and a decent future."

For my money ITT is one of the best independent news journals around. Check out the free articles and you will see what I mean.

Then do I like I did subscribe.

Sheer Genius From Attaturk

This One Is Just Too Easy.


Donald "Donny" Rumsfeld

Likes: Gilead stock reports, passing the buck

Dislikes: Congressional Oversight, Questions, Spinich, Signing Condolence Letters.

Favorite: Phrase, "Who Knows?"

Talents: Poetry

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things

We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Thursday Sexy Sexy Cheese Blogging! (Belated)

Crottin de Chavignol

The true Crottin de Chavignol is produced from the raw milk of an alpine race of goats, easily recognized by their brown thick coats. This is one of the rare cheeses that can be eaten at different stages of maturity. Fresh from the cheese vat, it is often eaten clothed in fine herbs and at this stage in the maturing process it has a creamy, nutty taste. After about six weeks, the smell is stronger and its pâté becomes dry and brittle and has a harder texture with a pronounced flavor. After this period, the cheese continues to mature and the robust taste increases, but is never sour. The rind becomes rough and hard over time.

Country: France

Milk: goat milk

Texture: hard
at content: 45 %

Wine: Sancerre de Chavignol


Tourte (pie) with Crottin de Chavignol and Comte
Goat's Cheese Beignets
Goat's Cheese Aigrettes
Warm Lentil Salad
Goat's Cheese Strudel
Warm Chèvre Chaud

Petition Pimping Again- Censure!!!!

This would be my personal Christmas Card to Shrub and the Prince of Darkness

Letter Advising the President of Censure
Steps to Begin Special Committee Investigation

(Link To Petition)

Dear Mr. President:

We are brave, proud, patriotic citizens of the United States. We love our country and are writing to express our profound disappointment with you and your administration for your conduct surrounding the Iraq War, the collection and use of intelligence, and your disrespect for the laws of this great nation.

We are calling upon Congress to form a Special Committee to investigate your administration's abuses of power and report any offenses which rise to the level of impeachment.

We are also calling upon Congress to immediately censure you and Vice-President Cheney.

We have great love for our country and faith in the government institutions provided for in our constitution. We believe that the integrity of our nation is at stake and have supported these steps only after your administration has refused to come clean with the American people at every opportunity.
John Conyers

Thursday, December 22, 2005

christmas quote

I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become... but there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress.
~May Sarton

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.
~Washington Irving

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Don't F&^k With Your Own People!

Thanks to Atrios for finding this:
Wiretap Mystery: Spooks React

A few current and former signals intelligence guys have been checking in since this NSA domestic spying story broke. Their reactions range between midly creeped out and completely pissed off.

All of the sigint specialists emphasized repeatedly that keeping tabs on Americans is way beyond the bounds of what they ordinarily do -- no matter what the conspiracy crowd may think.
"It's drilled into you from minute one that you should not ever, ever, ever, under any fucking circumstances turn this massive apparatus on an American citizen," one source says. "You do a lot of weird shit. But at least you don't fuck with your own people

Another, who's generally very pro-Administration, emphasized that the operation at least started with people that had Al-Qaeda connections -- with some mass-spying master list. As the Times, in its original story,...


XXXXXXX, Click For Full .PDF of request

This is not an easy letter to write, and I'm afraid it may be a hard one to believe.

By now you have probably heard the news that George Bush is using the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance on American citizens without the consent of any court. After initially refusing to confirm the story, the President has admitted to personally overseeing this domestic spying program for years and he says he intends to continue the program.

These actions explicitly violate a law designed to protect US citizens. But the administration says that other laws somehow allow for this unprecedented use of a foreign intelligence agency to spy on Americans right here in the United States. According to reports, political appointees in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel wrote still-classified legal opinions laying out the supposed justification for this program.

I have asked our General Counsel to draft a Freedom of Information Act request for the relevant legal opinions and memos written by that office. Since the program's existence is no longer a secret, these memos should be released -- Americans deserve to know exactly what authority this administration believes it has.

You can help pressure the administration to release these documents by signing on to our Freedom of Information Act request in the next 48 hours:

This extra-legal activity is even more disturbing because it is unnecessary -- the administration already has access to a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That court was created precisely to provide speedy, secure judicial review to the actions of our intelligence agencies.

To allow authorities act as quickly as possible, officials can even apply for a retroactive warrant days after the surveillance has already begun. Secret warrants have been approved over 19,000 times -- only five applications were rejected in nearly thirty years. The court, which regularly acts within hours, is hardly a roadblock, but it prevents abuse by providing the oversight required by our system of checks and balances.

This administration must demonstrate clearly what legal authority allows it to disregard criminal prohibitions on unilateral domestic spying. Sign on to the request now -- it will be delivered on Thursday:

In an interview on Monday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez admitted that the administration asked certain Members of Congress about getting a new law to allow spying on Americans without a warrant. Realizing that even a Republican-controlled Congress wouldn't authorize such a measure, they decided to manipulate current law and proceed with the program anyway.

Manipulation of a law like this is dangerous. The same Office of Legal Counsel used vague assertions of sweeping authority in the infamous torture memos. The victim of this reasoning is the rule of law itself -- when this administration asserts sweeping authority to step over any line of legality, it asserts that there are no lines at all.

Does this administration believe there are any lines it can't cross? Americans deserve to know. Join our Freedom of Information Act request now:

Some Republicans will try to pretend that this is just another political fight. But Americans of every political viewpoint are rightfully disturbed by this extra-legal activity. The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, shocked by the report of this activity, promised to convene hearings in January.

Even Bob Barr, who was one of the most conservative members of Congress and the first member to file articles of impeachment against President Clinton, said:

"What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order."

We need to know whether George Bush went beyond the limits of the law -- and whether he and his administration believe that there are any limits at all. Please join this important request:

Even after the press found out about these actions, the administration tried to cover up its existence. According to Newsweek, George Bush summoned the publisher and executive editor of the New York Times to the Oval Office to try to stop them from running the story of these illegal activities.

We have seen this kind of arrogance of power before.

Richard Nixon once said in an interview that, "if the president does it, it can't be illegal."

He found out that wasn't true. This administration may need a reminder.

Thank you.

Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

Another Victory For Reality!

WaPo Reports
A federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled today that a public school district in the south-central part of the state cannot require the inclusion of "intelligent design" in biology classes as an alternative to evolution.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, issuing his decision in a case that was heard in the fall, ruled that the school board in Dover, Pa., violated the Constitution when it ordered high school biology teachers to read to students a short statement that cast doubt on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and offered intelligent design as an alternative theory on the origin and development of life. Jones ruled that the requirement unlawfully promoted a religious purpose in a public school.
Yet fellow citizens The War On Brains continues. Media Matters reports that Pat Robertson, Jackass For Christ & Diamond Miner For Salvation said:
ROBERTSON: You know, what we have got to recognize just there in this case is that the evolutionists worship atheism. I mean, that's their religion. And evolution becomes their religion. It is a matter of religion. So this is an establishment of religion contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. And the fact that somebody comes along and says, "We are not sure that it's accurate, it's a theory and not a fact" -- how can you say it's a fact? You are talking about 10 to 15 billion years ago. Who was there?
Um hi Pat but.....

A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests....

The validity that we attach to scientific theories as representing realities of the physical world is to be contrasted with the facile invalidation implied by the expression, "It's only a theory." For example, it is unlikely that a person will step off a tall building on the assumption that they will not fall, because "Gravity is only a theory."
I guess in short, Pat once again you have NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE TALIKING ABOUT!!!

Of course that's only a theory.

A Money Grab For The Family?

Displayed Prominently On The FOF website. It seems Dobson has found a way to whore more money for his Church built on fear, uncertainty, an doubt. Yes right now even non-Katrina charities can... well lets let them tell us:
The Hurricane Katrina disaster has dramatically affected not only those living along the Gulf Coast, but Americans all across the country.

In an unprecedented move, Congress has recently made temporary tax law changes to encourage more charitable giving. The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA) includes a number of important provisions pertaining to charitable giving. Among these provisions are incentives for taxpayers who give gifts of cash between August 28 and December 31, 2005. It is important to note that KETRA is not designed to benefit only those charities specifically involved in hurricane relief efforts. Rather, one of the goals of KETRA was to ensure that charities in general don’t suffer from a downturn in giving as they did following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Well, isn't that interesting, because as FOF points out :
Focus on the Family is not a disaster relief organization and is no longer acting as a conduit for donations to the relief efforts. (Link)
Nice, if I were a different kind of person I might insinuate that FOF was engaging in a MONEY GRAB THAT WOULD DENY MONEY FROM DISASTER RELIEF AGENCIES.

Hey Dobson, I hear there is going to be a Teletubby/Spongebob Gay Marriage Ice Spectacular why don't you go take care of that for us.

There! That should keep him busy for a while.

Who Exactly Should Feel Ashamed Shrub?

WaPo reports:
"This is a different era, a different war," the president said at a year-end news conference in the East Room. "People are changing phone numbers and phone calls, and they're moving quick. And we've got to be able to detect and prevent. I keep saying that, but this . . . requires quick action."
Yep especially those criminal Quakers and Greenpeace! Right Shrub because, Lord knows they are right up their on your enemies.... I mean terror watch list! Is there anyone left in this country, that has three operative brain cells, who believes this clown anymore? Are you that stupid, gullible, mean- spirited, or just hate democracy so much that you are willing to still be doing shooters with this guy?
"I want senators from New York or Los Angeles or Las Vegas to go home and explain why these cities are safer," Bush said. "It is inexcusable to say, on the one hand, 'connect the dots' and not give us a chance to do so."
Wow how full of dung can one person be? If this was so right, if this was so just then why in the hell am I reading in the L.A. Times today that:
The New York Times first debated publishing a story about secret eavesdropping on Americans as early as last fall, before the 2004 presidential election.

But the newspaper held the story for more than a year and only revealed the secret wiretaps last Friday, when it became apparent a book by one of its reporters was about to break the news, according to journalists familiar with the paper's internal discussions.

Both of the journalists said they thought that Times editors were overly cautious in holding the story for more than a year. But they said they thought the delays appeared to be in good faith, with the editors taking to heart the national security concerns raised by the Bush administration.
Concerns about National Security? Bullshit! Concerns about the elections? Definetly. As far as the New York Time' s editors whining:
"You are damned if you do and damned if you don't," said Okrent, who often wrote critical reviews of the Times before leaving in May to write a book. "For the right, this information never should have come out. And for the left, it never could have come out early enough."
Guess it sucks to be "The Paper of Record", huh? Perhaps it wasn't "Fit to Print"? Thank you for turning a once proud paper into a doorstop rag.

Camp Wellstone Is Coming To New York City January 27-29!

Camp Wellstone is coming to New York City January 27-29!

Camp Wellstone is coming to New York City for the first time! Click here to register!

Camp Wellstone is a training program that teaches progressives how to win on issues and elect good candidates. We use a distinctive approach to politics, based on Paul Wellstone's success at integrating grassroots organizing, electoral organizing, progressive public policy and ethical leadership.

The training is highly interactive, combining exercises, lectures, and simulations over the course of 2.5 days. Camp runs Friday from 2:30pm-9:00pm, Saturday from 9:00am-6:00pm, and Sunday from 9:00am-3:00pm. We keep you busy the whole time! The exact location of each camp will be announced in the coming weeks.

Camp Wellstone is divided into three tracks:

* Candidate track. This is for people who have made the decision to run for office.
* Campaign track. This track focuses on how to be an effective staff or volunteer member of a winning progressive campaign.
* Citizen activist track. For people interested in citizen lobbying, issue advocacy, and community organizing, this track provides skills in how to win on issues.

For more information about Camp Wellstone or to see which track is right for you, click here.

Camp Wellstone fills very quickly. If you are interested, sign up online by following the link above or visit

The cost is $75 or just $35 for students, low-income, or unemployed participants. We are not able to guarantee your space for the the camp unless payment is received 2 weeks prior to the starting date. Camp participants are responsible for their own accommodations.

If you have questions about the training, contact Sultan Shakir: or 202-419-3161.

Click here to sign-up for Camp Wellstone

christmas quote

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
~Charles Dickens

Monday, December 19, 2005

OpTruth Now Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Dear Friend,

Starting today, Operation Truth will be known as IAVA: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The first question we always got when we introduced ourselves as Operation Truth was, “What is that?” We’re America’s first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan veterans organization. We couldn’t think of a simpler way of saying that than by calling the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Does this mean Operation Truth is changing course or its mission?

No. Our mission is still exactly the same.

I’ve never served in Iraq or Afghanistan. Can I still support your work?

Yes! If you’re a civilian, military family member, or a veteran of other conflicts, Operation Truth is still the place for you. IAVA’s Operation Truth is now the name of our grassroots action group. You will still receive our emails and be kept informed about issues facing the Troops and how you can show your support for our work. As usual -- please spread the word to anyone (civilian or veteran) who you think would be interested in our work.

If you’re an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran, click here to join IAVA’s TroopNet.

What do you think of the name change? Sound off by commenting on our blog.

Paul Rieckhoff
OIF Veteran
Executive Director, IAVA

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes?

Jack Anderson
"The Paul Revere Of Journalism"
Muckraker/ Journalist

Part circus huckster, part guerrilla fighter, part righteous rogue, Anderson waged a one-man journalistic resistance when it was exceedingly unpopular to do so. That no one has emerged to take his place shows not only the void he leaves behind but also how much America's media landscape has changed.

WaPo Article
Biography at Spartaus Schools (w/ AUDIO)
CNN Report

The New York Times quotes J. Edgar Hoover as calling Jack Anderson "lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures," , and that Jack loved the idea of being first on Nixon's enemies list. My kind of guy!

Where are the new Jack Andersons?

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2156
Since "Mission Accomplished" : 2019
Official US Military Wounded: 15881 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project

Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like?
(Music Video)


WaPo reports:
Responding to Gonzales this morning was Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) "Nobody, nobody, thought when we passed a resolution to invade Afghanistan and to fight the war on terror, including myself who voted for it, thought that this was an authorization to allow a wiretapping against the law of the United States," Feingold said on NBC's "Today" show.
That's because Congress didn't authorize it Senator. The administration is not following the law anymore, they are making there own reality and hoping to drag us along into it. The really sick part is that the Attorney General of The United States has chosen to try and justify this dictatorial policy.
Bush and Gonzales both argued that they resorted to the new eavesdropping program because wiretaps under FISA were too slow because of the judicial participation. "This is a different era, a different war," the president said. "People are changing phone numbers. We've got to move quick."
9-11, 9-11, 9-11 Changed EVERYTHING! , Ocean's do not protect us anymore!

CHRIST ON A CRACKER! We've been listening to this bullshit for five years now Shrub. It didn't wash then and it certainly is not going to convince me now. In fact many American's are getting tried of this dog and pony show you call an administration.

Answer this Shrub how in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster do you intend to protect freedom when you and your band of thugs keep pissing on it?

Also, running roughshod over US law and Senate oversight, if I read my unabridged version of the Constitution and US Law correctly, constitute impeachable offenses.

Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) from the Bill Press show:
My interpretation of the law would be yes, that he did not have the legal authority to do this under the Afghanistan war resolution or under the general powers as commander-in-chief. The Congress in 1978 — and there‚’s been no effort to modify it in any significant way since that time — understood that circumstances might change, but it did not provide for any circumstance in which the president alone, without consulting any other legal authority, judicial authority, could waive the rights of U.S. citizens to be free from having their phones wiretapped.
Thank You Senators Graham and Feingold! Okay where is the rest of this vacillating freakshow called the Democratic Party! C'mon Guys and Gals lets get behind these two and really push!. Maybe just maybe, we might pull a few of the remaing conscientious Republican's with us!

Jib Jab Does It Again!

The Folks Over At Jib Jab won't let a disaster of a presidency die in peace. Watch and laugh as they give Shrub a good year-end kick in the pants!


classic quote of the day

War makes thieves and peace hangs them.
~George Herbert

Sunday, December 18, 2005

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2154
Since "Mission Accomplished" : 2017
Official US Military Wounded: 15881 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Operation Truth
Fisher House
Wounded Warrior Project

Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like?
(Music Video)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Politics of Fear

Dwight Spencer of Dwight Spencer's Blog apparently caught the segment of the Randi Rhodes Show I missed. The discussion was on the BBC documentary "The Power of Nigtmares: The Rise of The Politcs of Fear". Guess I know what I'll be watching tonight!

And thank you Dwight for promoting my little vid of "Bush Was Wrong!"

A Shameless Plug!

Recently I have had my life consumed by a new game/simulation, Lionhead's The Movies! It is truly amazing what one can do with it!

I have produced a movie for the Christmas Season. It is loosely based on the "Truce of 1914"


Dudes Of The Season PT 1

Former State Assemblyman Frank Seddio (D- Bklyn 39) has provided a Christmas treat outside his law offices in Canarsie for many years. The display surrounds this large house and brings joy to those who stop and even for those forced to brave the nuthouse that is Flatlands Avenue.

Thank You Mr Seddio. And Now Some Pics. (Click For Larger Version)

Friday, December 16, 2005

classic quote of the day

The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst.
~Henry Fosdick

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Samurai Sam Nails It

A fellow Eschatonian posted an excellent Op-Ed on his blog A Beginners Mind. It is a definite must read.

An excerpt:

The first issue with the Iraq vote is that too much emphasis is being put on the vote itself. A popular vote doesn't make a functioning democracy. A democracy requires legal institutions and governing infrastructure. Iraq has the beginnings of these institutions but much work is still needed. This is the area where conservatives' comparisons of Iraq to post-WWII German and Japan really fall apart. Germany and Japan had these institutions and had democratic governments in their recent history. Iraq has no such advantage. While voting is certainly part of building and maintaining a democracy, it is not the only important part. In fact, given some of the other issues Iraq faces, today's vote may not move the democratization efforts along very much at all.
Well said Samurai Sam, well said.

Thursday Cheese Blogging!

Livarot is one of the oldest cheeses in Normandie. The cheese is circled by five bands of rush leaves that prevent the cheese from collapsing during maturing. These five bands are reminiscent of the five stripes, a colonel wears on his uniform, for this reason the cheese is known as the Colonel. Today, these bands are more for show than necessity in production. In fact, industrial dairies replace the rush leaves with bands of green paper. In the course of its maturing, Livarot is colored reddish-orange with the natural taint of rocou, a South American plant. This makes the rind smooth and brilliant. Depending on the length of maturing, the pâte is golden yellow with a taste that is perfumed and slightly piquant. The lovers of this cheese delight in its strong odor and full flavor.

Country: France
Milk: Cow Milk
Texture: semi-soft
Fat Content: 40%
Recommended Wine: Tokay Pinot Gris d'Alsace Pomerol jeun
Producer: Phillipe Olivier
43-45 rue Thiers
62200 Bolugne-sur-Mer

King Kong

Midnight showings are always a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand they leave you tired as hell and a walking zombie the next day. . On the other hand when I got the call tonight from a buddy of mine( ‘Kong. Midnight. You in?’ were his exact words) I didn’t hesitate. I’ve been waiting for this movie since I saw the first production still of the great ape himself.

You see, Kong has always held a special place in my mind. A favorite of my father’s, the black and white original was shown to me at an early age and has sat in my psyche ever since. The Universal horror flicks (Dracula, the mummy etc…) were his bread and butter growing up and thus mine as well, but Kong was special. Kong was more than just a thing in the closet that shouted boo. Kong was familiar yet exotic and tapped into every little boy cell in my body that screams for an adventure. There was such a joy for him to share that experience with me, the majesty of the big monkey and unparalleled work of Harryhausen, the simple story of heroics and love.

I found it amusingly apt that this film is directed by Peter Jackson. His film ‘Dead Alive’ (‘Braindead’ to you non Americans) was probably the next most memorable movie moment shared with my father. Clear, vivid memories of being the only two people in the local theater during that bloodbath have yet to fade.

So, down to business. Most of you have already read the obvious: Stunning. Breathtaking. Epic. Accurate descriptions? Yes, but at the same time fall so astoundingly short when describing this treat of a film. To save time for those of you who don’t like to read: It’s pretty, it’s Kong see it now. For that to be my only recommendation though would be a travesty.

It’s plainly clear that all involved with this film have given more of themselves than anyone else in the business in recent memory. Jackson himself LITTERALLY gave most of himself to the film. Andy Serkis spent a mind boggling amount of time to learn every aspect of walking like a monkey, standing like a monkey and just being a monkey and man does it show.
Kong has one of the most sympathetic faces I’ve ever seen on most real actors (Nic Cage I’m looking at you) never mind a digital creation.Most movie tech geeks out there will marvel at all the creases in his skin and how naturally the fur moves (usually a notorious rendering headache) but the rest of us will forget that he’s not actually alive. One look into those sad eyes and you connect immediately.

Most of the actual actors do a grand job as well. Naomi Watts shines in a simple classic role such as Ann Darrow, working her good girl smile and bright voice for all it’s worth. The added moments between her and Kong actually give their relationship some form of a natural arc as she slowly comes to realize that she feels something strangely powerful for this beast.
Brody is dynamite as Driscoll. He’s the guy we can understand and bond to quickly, but his quiet heroics remind us that he’s who we wish we could be. Modest yet iron clad strong.
Which leaves us with the slightly controversial casting of Jack Black as Carl Denham. Put down the pitchforks folks, he’s electric as the hyperactive little slimeball who we like despite our best efforts.

Much credit has to go once again to the writing team. The same collective who pulled of a veritable miracle with ‘Lord of the Rings’ takes the simple two dimensional original story and give the audience so much more meat to sink our teeth into while still capturing the simplicity of the original. Completely useless scenes such as Driscoll doing re-writes in a cage in the ships cargo hold with Denham could have easily been cut but make the movie much stronger for being there. We are given a concrete sense of character for every face on the screen. We never question their motives and we simply cannot help but care. They keep the pacing pitch perfect, switching between lighthearted moments and the ‘Indiana Jones’ style sequence of thrilling bad luck (oh no stampede!, whew we’re safe…except for those giant bugs!!!) with completely confident fluidity.

But the absolute star of this movie has to be depression era New York. Much as the first hour or so of ‘Fellowship of the Rings’ is my favorite part of the Rings trilogy, the opening sequence here is similar in tone. Showing my home amidst skyscraper skeletons, trollys and old time Broadway transported me wholesale into the movie. Man oh man did I want to stay, even in the desperate state shown on film. The only other movie to do this to me this year was ‘Sin City’.

Just as that movie was a resoundingly loud love note to the source material from which it was adapted, ‘Kong’ is quite clearly and refreshingly a work by a fan for a fan. Some of the scenes seem almost masturbatory as the camera dwells on a particular subject a bit longer than normal or a certain scene runs longer than it should. Think Jackson’s final hour of ‘Return Of The King’ and you get the idea. All of it , though, works astoundingly well packing in all the little details and visual cues that your eye can handle.

The topper to all this is, of course, the iconic showdown on the Empire State Building. Despite his new look, despite the ultra HD tech behind the animation this is still the same exact scene as the original. Shots of Kong beating his chest as he smashes a plane bring back that nostalgia with extra goosebumps. The soul of this movie is firmly intact and shining throughout.
And after all, isn’t that what all the film makers have been lacking recently? We need more directors Like Rodriguez and Jackson who are hell bent on telling the best god damn story no matter what the cost. They understand the magic of the movies, and for that I thank them.

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