Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Petition Pimping Again!

We, the Undersigned, endorse the following petition:

Sponsor: Democratic Congressonal Campaign Committee

* Signatures: 10,775
* Goal: 20,000
* Deadline: Ongoing...
* See Full Petition
* Email this Petition

The Bush Administration released its fiscal year 2007 budget which slashed Medicare by $36 billion over the next five years and $105 billion over the next ten years.

These are cuts to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, ambulance services, and other providers and increases in Medicare premiums for certain beneficiaries. At the same time that the budget slashes Medicare funding, it protects the special interests, leaving intact the $10 billion Medicare slush fund for HMOs. We can't let our parents and grandparents pay the price for Republican corruption.

We must stop the reckless Bush Administration agenda. Join the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in sending this petition to tell Congress to put our seniors ahead of their big industry donors. Democrats are ready to act but need Republicans to vote against it as well. There are simply not enough Democrats to stop it without bipartisan support. Helping elect Democrats in the November election will ensure a Democratic Majority who would restore the People's House once again to the people putting our seniors first.

Sign the petition and tell Congress to Protect our Seniors from Billions In Harmful Medicare Cuts!

IAVS presents Veteran Films!

Paul Rieckhoff, Iraq Veteran and founder of IAVA (aka Operation Truth), a NON-PARTISAN veterans organization, continues his fight to get the message of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to the public. Their new project:
IAVA Joins Forces with "Veteran Films" Project

IAVA has teamed up with CA-based Sand Storm Productions to present the Veteran Films project. OIF Veteran Sean Huze, the mastermind behind Sand Storm Productions and this project, had this to say about the project's first film:

"Homecoming is the first in what we hope will be a series of short films related to the war in Iraq and/or the veterans' experience upon return. Homecoming focuses on the turmoil war inflicts on its combatants and their families and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Produced by Sand Storm Productions in association with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the hope is that the film will raise both awareness and funds so that IAVA can make this veteran's issue a part of mainstream media and conversation."

CLICK HERE to find our more about the project and how you can help.

These are our brave men and women. They have a story to tell, help them tell it! This Link will take you to IAVA main page, read, understand, and donate!

Quote Of The Day

"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living."
Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981)
General of The Army, of the United States

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2295
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2158
Official US Military Wounded: 16653 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

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

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Evening Headlines

Monday Morning Headlines

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Democrat.com Event!

Hello folks it has been a bit since I last posted something. Had a run in with a patch of ice leaving my back in a whole world of hurt. Any way down to business.

I like Hillary Clinton, I really do, however I think her postition on the war is completely and utterly wrong. While I think her primary challenger has a snow ball's in hell chance to beat her, I feel someone challenging her on this issue is good for the party. Perhaps a decent showing by her challenger will provide Hillary with a wake up call:
Monday Feb. 27, 2006, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Progressive Democrats of America
New York Metro Meeting

At our first PDA organizing meeting last month in Manhattan, we decided to form a New York Metro Group to focus on important New York issues such as the upcoming Senate primary, election machine reform, and garnering support for various congressional bills to bring the Iraq war to a swift close and to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Come Meet Progressive candidates:
Chris Owens, running for Congress in CD 11
Jessica Flagg, who is running for Congress in CD 17
Jonathan Tasini, New York Candidate for Senator

Learn How We Can Challenge Hillary Clinton's Support for the War!

SEIU Local 1199, 310 West 43 St., Auditorium, A Floor
As a blogger I cannot help but be optimistic about there future in the New Media:
Thurs, March 2, 2006 | 6:00-8:00pm
The Republic of Blogs: New Media and Democracy

Join Demos, Center for Social Media, Center for Media, Culture and History, People for the American Way and Air America for an event on blogging, media and democracy.

Lakshmi Chaudhry Senior Editor, In These Times Co-Author, Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics
Rebecca MacKinnon Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School Co-Founder, Global Voices Online
Drazen Pantic Founder, OpenNet Co-Director, Location One
Christopher Rabb Founder and Chief Evangelist, Afro-Netizen
Moderator: Rich Benjamin Senior Fellow, Demos

Andrew Heiskell Center for Democracy
149 5th Avenue, 7th Floor
Register online
or call (212) 633-1405 x533
One of the icons of the New York Progressive movement, Liz Holtzman will be a speaker at this one! Check out her recent article in THE NATION (link)
Thurs, March 2, 2006 | 8:00pm

Is There a Case for Impeachment?
* Rep. John Conyers
* Elizabeth Holtzman
* John Dean
* Michael Rattner
* Lewis Lapham

Moderated by: Sam Seder
Tickets $10
Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Quote Of The Day

"I forgot out there on the stage to thank my cast. So if I could do that now, I want to thank Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. I thought the love scene between Cheney and Rumsfeld brought a tear to my eye."
Michael Moore (1954)
Director, Author, & Activist

Hallelluia! Can I get a witness from the congregation!

So I guess they aren't coming to MSG? Damn and I had my kids all ready to go in the car! Bummer!

VIA The Seattle Post Intel:

Thursday, February 23, 2006 · Last updated 7:03 p.m. PT
U.S. agrees not to fund abstinence program

BOSTON -- The federal government agreed to stop funding a nationwide program that promotes teen abstinence to settle a lawsuit alleging the money was used for Christian proselytizing.

The agreement was reached Wednesday between the Department of Health and Human Services and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Under the deal, the Silver Ring Thing program won't be eligible for more funding unless it ensures the money won't be used for religious purposes.

"Public funds were being used to fund a road show, really, to convert teens to Christianity," said Julie Sternberg, an ACLU attorney.

Hello again...let the bitching commence

So yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve decided to group some random thoughts together, slap it on the internet and have the balls to call it an article, but here I am once again ( and before you get on you’re high horse may I also remind you here YOU are again.)
Why the absence, you ask? Well, despite reports of a roving band of wolves circling my desk and the wildly inaccurate theory that I had, in fact, grown up , the explanation is simple.
I’ve been pretty damn lazy.
It’s funny though what gets us motivated, what lights a fire under our asses and tells us yeah, stop dicking around and DO something. For me it was a visit from an old friend: Monty Python.
Tonight started the first of six parts of ‘Monty Python’s personal best’ on PBS (channel 13 here in the real world), which is really just a glorified clip show of archived Python moments. Eric Idle kicked it off tonight (bonus geek AND style points if you can name the wizzard Idle voiced in not one but two animated adventure games) with a collection of skits he wrote in his Python years.
It gave me a nice warm type of thrill to watch these skits again in much of the same manner that I first discovered them. See, back when I was about 8 or so a neighbor of mine (the same one who turned me onto the works of Terry Pratchett and Robert Asprin) directed me toward a non stop marathon of the entire run of Monte Python on channel 13 (remember that’s PBS… philistines.)
Well, of course I missed the point of almost every joke, laughed mainly at their accents and watched most closely for the next flash of bare breasts. It stuck with me though, and as I matured, so did my appreciation of the Python troupe and their particular brand of humor.

This is the point where I must warn you, this could possibly get very lengthy….grab a cup of coffee and settle in wont you?

Anyhow, after all these years I once again found myself watching the same skits that I’ve nearly memorized and it hit me like a wave of depression: there has been nothing remotely this good in terms of humor for most of my lifetime.

Case in point: one nearly forgotten skit International Philosophy had a team of classic German and Greek philosophers milling about on a soccer field. Cut away to a shot of The marathon for people with incontinence only to return to a shot of Nietzsche getting a yellow card from the ref, who happens to be Confucius. Piss jokes and philosophical humor, those 2 minutes had everything. The troupe really shines, however, when the humor is understated, delivered in the dry tone of Cleese or the expressive face of Palin. These were people who knew their humor, from outlandish to mundane, and reveled in it.
Compare that to something a bit more recent, something that seems to have, despite the limits of good taste, endeared itself to the public: Seinfeld.
Seinfeld lasted a staggering nine years on air, ending in one of the biggest television moments of our time. This, folks, was a show which was the antithesis of imagination. A collection of half jokes and dreary stories passed off as an authentic slice of NY. There is no wit, no humor to be found in these shows. There is no heart in the comedy of Seinfeld and it’s ilk.

And therein lies the problem in most mass entertainment. This hit me earlier in the day when I found myself listening to a song by Audioslave (“I am the highway”) only to realize that the new episode of American Idol was on tonight. American idol is the worst sort of pre-packaged form of music. Not one of those ‘talents’ feels any connection with their music. To them it’s not about the heart or the soul of the song. It’s about the form, it’s about flashing the smile and perming your hair just right so that middle America will text you into the next round.

And why the fuck do I know when American Idol is on?

We’ve come to accept this type of cookie cutter drudgery in most of our art forms. Don’t even get me started on movies. Now, not everything is doom and gloom, for some quality entertainment I will gladly point you in the direction of the phenomenal western Deadwood and any movie done by Robert Rodriguez.
The problem is, the general public is not embracing this level of care and craftsmanship (for example Firefly) at the rate it’s flocking to The OC.
When Big Mommas House 2 spends 2 weeks as America’s #1 movie I can’t help but ask myself: When will we see another Python?

Also, Broadway is now mining Adam Sandler movies for material. This is surely the first sign.

So do I have a point? Not really. But you’re still reading this, so I’ll leave you with this:

I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

CHORUS: He's a lumberjack, and he's okay,
He sleeps all night and he works all day.

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch,
I go to the lava-try.
On Wednesdays I go shoppin'
And have buttered scones for tea.

Mounties: He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch,
He goes to the lava-try.
On Wednesdays 'e goes shoppin'
And has buttered scones for tea.


I cut down trees, I skip and jump,
I like to press wild flowers.
I put on women's clothing,
And hang around in bars.

Rest easy Grahm, rest easy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Night Headlines!!

Quote Of The Day

"If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?"
Joan Baez (1941)
Singer, Songwriter, Activist

And So It Goes.

At the time of this posting:
US Military Deaths in Iraq: 2286
Since "Mission Accomplished: 2149
Official US Military Wounded: 16742 (Est 15,000- 42,500)

Ways You Can Help The Survivors:
Share The Sacrifice (also helps Vietnam Vets- Thanks Samurai Sam)
Operation Truth
Fisher House (Vets of All Wars)
Wounded Warrior Project
Any Soldier
United Spinal Association (aka Eatern Paralyzed Veterans)

Bush Was Wrong! (Approx 1MB .wmv)
Visit Honor The Fallen
What Does 2000 Look Like? (Music Video)

Thursday Morning Headlines

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wednesday Evening Headlines

Quote Of The Day

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."
-The Red Queen-
Lewis Carroll aka Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
(1832-1898), Author, Poet, Inventor

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Dear Friends,

As you know, in about a week a company owned by the United Arab Emirates is poised to take control of six ports in the United States. These ports were previously held by a British Firm that the company in the UAE acquired, thereby also acquiring control of these ports. This situation is scary, mainly because in a Post- 9/11 Society where border security is at a premium foreign investors have been allowed to control these entry ways. Now, President Bush’s response to the Bi-Partisan outrage this move has sparked is to threaten to Veto any legislation passed designed to block this deal from going through. Furthermore, the White House has declined to reveal the details of this deal.
It is imperative that our Senators know to stay strong and that their constituents are behind them in not wanting our border security handed over to foreign interests. Please, contact your local Senators and let them know how you feel. Need their contact info? Follow this link: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Also, let the White House know how you feel. Maybe if Bush realizes that his constituents are against this move he will relent: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Please, we only have a week to make an impact. Let’s make our voices heard. To that effect, and I am not one to send out mass e-mails, E-MAIL this to everyone you know. Feel free to cut and paste this message if you like. Remember, strength in numbers folks!

The Staff of Left Handed Compliment

Tuesday Evening Headlines

The 2005 Koufax Awards: Best Group Blog

Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster!
I checked my Technorati links and we lo and behold we here at LHC have been nominated for a BEST GROUP BLOG 2005 Koufax!

Looking over the list it is an honor to be placed amongst these names.

Check out the list here at WAMPUM!

When Tigers Eat Their Young.

1) Frobes.com: Update 2: Frist Calls for Halt to U.S. Ports Deal
2) CNN.com: Suit Seeks To Block Arab firm's takeover of U.S. port operations
3) CNN.com: President Bush is facing political pressure to block a deal that would give a United Arab Emirates-based company management of six major U.S. seaports.

The issue is not that a Muslim/Arab company would be in charge of our port security the issue IS that ANY private company would be in charge of out port security. This is the perfect case to reinforce the principle that some enterprises belong either under a government agency and/or an authority.
The libertarian, and apparently the neo-con, viewpoint that free enterprise must be 100% falls flat on its face when confronted with matters such as this. Domestic security must not now and not ever be the provenece of a private company. The stakes are too large to allow, even in theory, that profit may fall second to security.

For some reason Secretary Michael Chertoff's reassurances on this issue are not that reassuring.
"We look at what the issue of the threat is," Chertoff said. "If necessary, we build in conditions or requirements that, for extra security, would have to be met in order to make sure that there isn't a compromise to national security."
It would be nice to believe that more traditional conservatives/Republicans have chosen to join us in the reality based community, at least on this issue. Questioning Shrub's ill-conceived plan to sell off our security to the highest bidder is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It cannot be defined or discussed as a Progressive vs Conservative issue. This is an issue that extends and expounds on the failures of this administration to do what they purport to be so strong on, national security. Newly minted New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez
"You can't just simply tell us, 'Trust us,' " Menendez said. "We trusted the government response to Hurricane Katrina -- and the people of the Gulf were largely left on their own."
One could argue that presidential hopefuls, like Pataki and Frist, are distancing themselves politically from the Shrub implosion, but that might be too cynical of me. I could also suggest that Congressional Republicans like Lindsay Graham, usually Shrub's Gunga Din in the Senate, are scared spit-less of the November mid-terms.... oh you get the picture. Senator Graham (SC-R) and Rep. Davis (VA-R) did offer up these tid-bits though:
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said on Fox News Sunday that the administration approval was "unbelievably tone deaf politically." GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia said on ABC's "This Week," "It's a tough one to explain, but we're in a global economy. ... I think we need to take a very close look at it."
1) YA think Lindsey? We on the other side have been saying that for almost 6 freaking years!
2) Yeah Tom that would be nice from your side.... FOR ONCE!

Quote Of The Day

Life must be understood backwards; but... it must be lived forward.

Tuesday Morning Headlines

A Murder Is Only A Extroverted Suicide.

In January's Scientific American Michael Shermer of Skeptic, wrote an excellent article on the ongoing investigation into the psychology of the suicide bomber. It brought to the fore several issues that I have debated with my friends, first and foremost these people are not insane, at least not in the clinical sense. Here's a clinical definition of a suicidal personality:
"People desire death when two fundamental needs are frustrated to the point of extinction; namely, the need to belong with or connect to others, and the need to feel effective with or to influence others."

By this theory, the people who chose to jump from the World Trade Center rather than burning to death were not suicidal; neither were the passengers on Flight 93 who courageously fought the hijackers for control of the plane that ultimately crashed into a Pennsylvania field; and neither were the hijackers who flew the planes into the buildings"
The backgrounds of the majority of Al Qaeda recruits may surprise many:
"the vast majority--90 percent--came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that's usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways."....

"Far from having no family or job responsibilities, 73 percent were married and the vast majority had children.... Three quarters were professionals or semiprofessionals. They are engineers, architects and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented,
and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion."
It may not surprise you that most Al Qaeda recruits came from countries ruled by repressive regimes, Saudi Arabia & Bahrain supply the most per capita, while few came form poor countries which allowed civil rights.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Should it Be Legal To Jail Stupid People - Ask Vienna

Should it be legal to jail stupid people? It seems that question was answered when British Historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in jail in Vienna for denying the “Holocaust of European Jewry”. Irving not only espoused that belief, but also attempted to spread it through seminars, talk-show appearances, and writings. I remember clearly writing in to ABC when Irving appeared on one of the talk shows that airs on the network spreading his views, slamming them for letting him use their network to spread his poison. I thought he was dangerous, and his message was clearly an attempt to preach anti-Semitism hidden as intellectualism. Now, I am beginning to wonder if the attempts to silence his message could prove even more dangerous than Irving ever could.

I don’t agree with David Irving, but I also do not agree with jailing the man because I do not agree with him. As far as spreading bigotry – should the producers of television shows be put in jail for using a stereotype? Worse yet, will this sentence be the beginning of the end of critically rethinking what we have been taught especially if the outcome may offend a certain grouping. While denying the Holocaust is clearly akin to saying the sky is yellow as far as intelligent thought, history and historical fact always kept Irving and his group marginalized from true historical discourse. The only people who would have taken him seriously, let’s face it, didn’t like Jews in the first place. They were Anti-Semitic already, and right now they are looking at this verdict as a confirmation of their views (“You see how powerful they are – they can even silence someone’s first amendment rights”)

Personally, I have no desire to defend David Irving’s views and that is not the point of this article. My point is simply this – once we start saying certain topics are taboo, we have set a dangerous precedent that will kill any kind of re-examination of history at any point. What is also sad is that in their attempts to silence Irving the government of Vienna is acting like Nazis.

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