Monday, November 27, 2006

Peace Be Upon You, Unless You're In A Subdivision

Christmas time is on us once again, and it's a time when people decorate their homes appropriately with lights, yard displays and wreaths. The wreath, originally gathered by the pre-Christian Germanic people, was used as a sign of hope in the coming spring and renewed light. Christians kept these traditions alive by using the wreath as a symbol of their Advent Hope, in Jesus as the Everlasting Light. You know, Jesus, the Prince of Peace?
Well, it seems a woman in Pagosa Springs CO has hit a snag with her homeowners association with her wreath. Apparently some of her neighbors are upset with hers because it is in the shape of a peace sign. The Peace Symbol actually was designed by Gerald Holtom as the logo for the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament. It incorporates the semaphore letters N and D, for nuclear disarmament.
But neighbors of Lisa Jensen, the women who hung the wreath on her home see it as the symbol for the Antichrist, having read too many Jack Chick comics, er, I mean tracts. The association says it does not allow signs, flags etc. that can be considered divisive. Because, I guess, some people are opposed to peace?
The President of the homowners association, Bob Kearns, ordered to archetictural design to committee to order her to take it down, when they refused, saying it was merely a seasonal symbol that didn't say anything, Mr. Kearns fired all five committee members. Ms. jensen faces fines of $25 a day for leaving it up, but says she doubts they'll be able to make her pay.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


“The American soldier is different from all other soldiers of all other countries since the world began. He is the advance guard of liberty and justice, of law and order, and of peace and happiness.”-Elihu Root, Secretary of War 1899
Such noble sentiments. And while it may apply to our troops serving in Iraq, it certainly doesn't apply to all of them. Haditha. Abu Ghraib. Only the tip of the iceberg of Iraqi people's suffering being caused by our troops. And now we have this video, showing occupation forces teasing and humiliating an Iraqi child with a bottle of clean water, something not readily available over there since the illegal US invasion.
Sure, I know what my anonymous troll is thinking, "Damn liberals and their pettyness" (sic), but these people overseas are representatives of the country as a whole, and when they behave in this fashion, it reflects poorly on the rest of us.
Bullying tactics against the populace, especially against children does not make our soldiers look like the advance guard of liberty and justice, law and order, or peace and happiness. It makes the US look like brutish thugs with no regard for the people we are consigned to protect. I'm sure a lot of troops don't like being there, I don't like them being there either, but they must remember while they are there they are representing our country, it's laws and it's ideals. And while I think the American character is slowly sliding under the weight of greed and acquisition of material posession, I don't think we've reached the point where this type of behavior is acceptable, except by apologists for the current administration, who probably find this as funny as a fart joke.
Update: An unnecessary bombing of a mosque video.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

War! Huh! What Is It Good For?

Well, it's not very good for the citizens of Iraq. It's not too good for our soldiers either. Or their families. It's not really good for the US, as it has destroyed our crdibility on the world stage.
But it is good for defense contratctors, obviously. Halliburton is benefitting handsomely from all the no-bid contracts they received. But, it turns out, the war in Iraq is good for someone else-Israel.
Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared the war in Iraq was a boon to Israel's security, just like Cindy Sheehan said! He also said he has few regrets about changfes wrought by the invasion of Iraq of 2003. How could he? His people, while gaining the most from it had sacrificed no one to achieve these goals. Perhaps that's why Israel keeps goading Bush to attack Iran. If he was stupid enough to break international law once, Olmert is fairly certain that Bush will fall for it again.
"I stand with the president because I know that Iraq without Saddam Hussein is so much better for the security and safety of Israel," Olmert said.

Of course, the Iraqis now only have two hours of electricity a day, water is hard to come by and their country is littered with depleted uranium, but hey, what's more important? Their country is been torn asunder by sectarian violence, it's shaping up to be a theocracy, and the US tax payer gets stuck with the bill. At least someone got something out of the war, right?
Yuval Diskin, chief of the Shin Bet intelligence service, said in a leaked briefing earlier this year that Israel could come to rue Saddam's ouster if it deepens regional instability.
"When you take apart a system in which a dictator has been controlling his people by force, you have chaos," Diskin said in a recording broadcast by Israeli television. "I'm not sure we won't end up missing Saddam."

So in the immortal words of Edwin Starr, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Call Bullshit On That!

Soulless media chief Rupert Murdoch announced today his intention to cancel the OJ Simpson book and television interview that has so enraged this country.
``I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project,'' Murdoch said today in an e-mailed statement

Bullshit! All you thought about was how much money could possibly made from this project. You never considered anything else because you're a greedy bastard who would sell pictures of his grandma having mid-air sex with Osama Bin Laden over the troops in Iraq with a burning American flag as a fucking parachute if you thought it could bring in a couple more shekels for you already over-bloated bank account.
The outrage over this project was spreading like Paris Hilton's legs after a Saturday night club-hopping at all the right places. But somewhere in Rupert's gold-plated brain all he could think about the old maxim "There's no such thing as bad publicity".
"Cancellation shows that there is a level beneath which the public is not willing to sink, and it's good news,'' said Paul Levinson, chairman of the communications department at Fordham University in New York. ``Rupert Murdoch did the right thing and deserves credit on this.''

Bullshit! He wasn't pulling the book and interview because it was the right thing to do! Why would he back away from this? Could the cancellation come because of over a dozen Fox affiliates refusing to carry the show, coming as it did during sweeps, which determines television advertising rates? Or was it the fact the News Corp. stock price fell 17 cents? Or maybe a combination of the two? Rupert Murdoch doesn't think with his heart, his brain, or even his pecker, he thinks with his goddamn wallet and if it starts to lose even fifty two cents, he flip-flops more than Bill O'Reilly in the no-spin zone.
The only thing good about this is it beginning to renew my faith in the common decency of the American people following their rejection of the Republican party and their ill-gotten war in the election two weeks ago. Hurrah people! Now let's see what we can do about Dick Cheney.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sorry Anonymous

Strange days are upon us, my friends. With the Democrats win of control of Congress, one wouldn't think that they'd be passing a resolution to reinstate the draft now, would they? While there may be noble sentiments behind Rep. Rangel's resolution, reasoning is wrong.
"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," he said.
Hmmm. Seems like just the other day someone was suggesting to me that I turn my attention to something other than our intended attack on Iran, because now that the Democrats have control, that is sure to be off the table. I guess I'm just as pigheaded as Dick Cheney, who has dismissed a CIA analysis finding no Iranian nuclear weapons drive. Yes, when the CIA are the good guys, you know we are in strange days indeed. Actually, Cheney hasn't dismissed the report as much as he is hostile towards it. It's just a piece of paper, Dickhead, you can tear it up, just like you did with the Constitution! According to Seymour Hersh, (in an article to be published in the November 27 New Yorker) Cheney has stated that the November victory of the Democrats would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran, and that if they did, the White House would circumvent any legislation and thus stop Copngress from getting in it's way. (El-Turdo's writing the briefs right now)
And then there's the five hundred pound gorilla that has said that Bush doesn't fear an attack on Iran. Probably because it won't cause the slightest bump in his bubble.
Which brings us back to Charles Rangel's noble intentions. Would anyone in the Bush administration be so keen on sending troops into quagmires like Afghanistan and Iraq if their children were among them? Would Congress vote to support another war for Israel if their children were dying in it for them? Sorry, anonymous, but as long as there is a Bush/Cheney administration, the threat of an attack on Iran still exists, and I will still post on it. And as for gays in the military, I can think of no more honorable way for a person to avoid military service than to proclaim as loudly as possible that they are indeed a homosexual. That's how Bruce Springsteen avoided VietNam.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's All A Matter Of Perspective

President Bush, meeting last week called Iran "A threat to world peace". Even though Iran has not threatened any country at all, or attacked any country. It's civilian nuclear program has yet to provide any evidence of a major weapons program. Even with all this evidence, the US is planning a possible attack on Iran.
But once you leave the US and Israel, who does the rest of the world see as a threat to world peace? Half of Germans see Bush as a threat to world peace.Nearly three-quarters of Brits see Bush as a threat to world peace. The Swedes see it that way, too. Our neighbors to the north also see Bush as the greatest threat to world peace. In fact, the whole damned world ranks George Bush as a threat to world peace.
Why is this? Is it because other countries aren't dominated by a corporate media that runs pro-war propaganda non-stop? Or are we blinded by our own chauvinism? Or is it because The US rejects international law and breaks treaties? Or possibly is it becaue George Bush is the greatest threat to world peace?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Crazy High Schoolers!

Bush met yesterday with the Iraq Study Group, which sounds fairly innocuous, like a bunch of teenagers getting together to study about Iraq.

Muffy: What are Iraq's major exports?
Biff: Uhh, oil and ....terrorism?

Sorry Biff, but the terrorism is actually being imported into Iraq.
The high school mentality of the Bush administration shows through though when the ISG, as well as Tony Blair, recommend opening a dialogue with Syria and Iran. Bush's response? "I'm not talking to Iran until they give up ther nuclear ambitions". See? Just like a high schooler. But excuse me a minute, Mr. Bush, wasn't that your strategy for dealing with North Korea's nuclear ambitions? We all know how successful that worked out now don't we? Seems like the true mark of an insane person is when they keep repeating the same actions over and over and expect a different result.
Like Richard Perle. The man who was the chief neocon calling for the invasion of Iraq later said he wouldn't have supported the invasion if he knew it would have been handled so incompetently. Now Rummy's gone, and Richard Perle is back, calling for an attack of Iran. Some people may remember Mr. Perle as part of the Pentagon's civilian defense board who stepped down from his position because he was dealing arms (along with Henry Kissinger) to the US. Of course he wanted a war!
The ISG was set up by James Baker III, Bush family bag man, who once again is bailing out one of the Bush boys like they were in high school again. Nice work if you can get it!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

While America was dancing for joy for eradicating the Republicans and their death grip on the Constitution, half a world away, a tragic massacre was taking place. In Gaza, in a town called Beit Hanoun, IDF were conducting an offensive against the people of Palestine. That offensive led to these offensive pictures, victims of indiscriminate shelling by Israel.
The French Ambassador to the UN demanded an independent investigation into the incident, a move that was expected to be vetoed by Israel's bitch in the UN, John Bolton.(What? You don't really think he represents us, do you?)
Not satisfied with the genocide being committed within their own borders, Israel's deputy defense minister suggested Israel may launch a strike against Iran. A preemptive strike that George Bush said he would understand, in other words, turn a blind eye to, as well as get John Bolton to veto any reprimands in the UNSC against Israel.
So if you think that with the change of thge balance of power, things are going to really change in DC, think again. In fact , this past summer, while Israel was dropping cluster bombs all over Lebanon, Nancy Pelosi was attacking Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki for not supporting Israel. No criticisms of Israel for it's part in the complete destruction Of Lebanon's infrastructure.
The US needs a balanced hand in dealing with these MidEast crisis. While we certainly should demand that the Arab nations recognoze Israel's right to exist, we also must demand that Israel allow Palestinians their right to exist with self-determination as well. When we condemn Hamas for shelling Israel from Gaza with Qassam rockets, we must also be willing to condemn Israel for offensive measures that take the lives of civilians.If both sides are wrong, we should supprt neither.

The Democrats have already stated they won't push for impeachment, or an end to the war in Iraq. Have we really changed anything?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lessons to Be Learned

As this midterm election finally draws to a close, and all that mud is mopped up from the various candidates flinging it back and forth at each other while never stating what they were about, we can all take a breath and relax, but don't get too comfortable. Now is the time for the Democrats to prove they have the mettle to lead this country back to it's glory days, not positioning and posturing for potential presidential ambitions two years from now. There's a lot that needs to be done, a lot more that needs to be undone, and the time to start is now. So here are some important lessons the Democrats should learn from this last election.

It's Still The Economy, Stupid
Foreclosures are up, while the housing bubble is deflating, leaving a lot of Americans with debts that can't be paid off because the outsourcing of jobs, while producing lots of cheap consumer goods, doesn't make for a strong economy. Sales are flat lining, and curiously enough, gas prices are starting to creep back up again. The Democrats need to close the trade deficits that leave countries like China with a lot of dollars in reserve and nothing to back them up in this country.
I find it interesting that in the final days of this campaign the republicans switched tacks, going from the Democrats winning will help the terrorists, back to their other standby, Democrats will raise taxes. But somehow someone needs to deal with the largest budget deficit ever created, as the dollars pumped into circulation to cover these debts will only increase inflation.

Lobbyists Only Have One Vote
In the previous, Republican controlled Congress, the lobbyists ran the show, hell, the congress only met ninety days last session, Their $165,000 a year salaries equaling out to $18,000 a day. the rest of the time they were playing golf, going on golfing trips financed by lobbyists, and lining their campaign war chests with contribution from lobbyists. Most of these lobbyists were looking for legislation contrary to what the majority of Americans wanted theuir government to do. And the Republicans forgot, not only what they opposed when they took congress in 1994, but how many people out there pay their salaries and demand something in return for it. A lobbyist only has one vote, but an enraged voting bloc can send you apcking back home.
Pay Attention To The Polls
I realize most polls are there to create opinion, not reflect it, but when the polls say most Americans are opposed to the situation in Iraq, strongly disapprove of how the war is being handled, you better fucking listen! Bush found out too late and had to scapegoat Rumsfeld (damn! won't have him to kick around anymore)in order to save face with his party.

Beware Of The Blogosphere
That's right, you, me, mikevotes, all have contibuted in some small way, whether it's disseminating information, or possibly convincing a non-committed voter to voting democrat (I know I have one avid reader who voted all Democrat this year because of what she read here. Or so her kids told me.)So whether it was Daily Kos, WRH or justKvatch kvetching, or sumo and her cartoon collection, we all contributed something positive to this election. We need to be as vigilant with the Democrats as we were with the Republicans.
As an aside, is it me, or did all the trolls suddenly disappear about three months ago? What ever happened to the one who was going to make all hippies retreat?
and finally, The Truth Is More Important Than The Party
Every major scandal, from Abramoff, To Foleygate, to Plamegate came about because the Republicans seemed more concerned with protecting the party than protecting the people. This led to all the Republicans being painted with the same brush. Covering up crimes is akin to condoning them. Don't give the right cannon fodder for their fight against us, distance yourselves immediately from those within your party who would bring disgrace to it.
While I am satified somewhat with the outcome of yesterday's election (sure, there are some I would have liked to seen get trounced)I realize the Democrats have along road ahead of them to prove themselves to me. Because if enough people get disgusted with both parties, we can always find another one.

Monday, November 06, 2006

License To Bitch

Thank whoever that tomorrow this election will be over with, and if the polls are correct, I won't have to look at Dick DeVos' shifty eyed weasel face for a long time. Right now, Granholm is leading DeVos in the latest poll by seven points. A comfortable margin, sure, but only if people get out and vote. I'm certainly not going to take Granholm's lead for granted, and besides, if I don't vote, I have no one to blame but myself.
I know of people who don't vote merely because they don't like who either major party is offering up as a candidate. Hey, guess what? This country has a lot of other parties that, if they captured the votes of all those people who didn't exercise their rights and duties as citizens, they might be able to break the two party lock on the legislative process. And if, as one non-voter rold me, they become as corrupt as the major parties, you can vote for someone else next time around. Keep voting against corruption and eventually, they'd get the message.
Personally, I'd like to see the Greens and the Libertarians make some inroads, I'd take either one over the Republicans. Right now, the Republican dirty trick squad is hard at work, trying their damnedest to misinform voters. So much for the Republican Christian base and not bearing false witness. Another dirty trick is call Democrats posing as Democratic candidates, then piss them off so they don't vote for the Democratic candidate. They must have a clue Americans have no interest in what the Republicans are offering, or what they have given us in the last twelve years of Republican dominance in Congress. In New Mexico a judge has ordered the Republican party from calling voters with hispanic surnames to tell them the polling place has been moved. Desparate people are reduced to desparate measures, I guess. I'd be ashamed to call myself a Republican if I were them, but apparently, they have no shame. Or ethics or morals either.
*UPDATE*Here is a list of Democratic candidates being harassed by Republican ROBO calls.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Voting Challenge of 2006

With the news of a guilty verdict in the Saddam trial being reached today (well, actually, not today, but two weeks ago), one of the 27 reasons given by the Bush ADDministration as to why we needed to fight this war, and more importantly to them, why we need to stay the course, or full speed ahead, or whatever cliche they are using this week to describe why we need to be mired in that unwinnable situation, the next reason given is because we need to build a democracy in that region to stand as a shining beacon for the rest of the Arab world.
The irony of this situation is that while we are fighting for democracy there, the very same people are doing their damnedest to eradicate democracy here at home.
In Maryland, for instance,security concerns on Diebold election machines were withheld from the election board and the governor. Meanwhile, in that same state, the Republican party has passed out handbooks to aggressively challenge the credentials of potential voters. The idea is to challenge most black voters to discourage them from voting and create long lines, because a mere six percent difference in black voter turnout will effect the results of the election.
In every state, the requirements for eligible voters differs. And in some states, these requirements have been changed to make it more difficult for people to register. For instance, in Ohio, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican, isued new restrictions for registration in an efort to discourage people from registering, as most new registrants are young people and naturalized immigrants, both who have a tendency to vote, Democratic. Also Blackwell requires you carry a picture ID with you to the polls, a new law he has not informed the voters of, insuring lots of potential voters being turned away this Tuesday.
While not all attempts to squelch the opposition voters are carried out by Republicans, this List of The Worst Places To Cast A Ballot (or Try) shows for the most part these are being carried out by the Republicans. The most devious was the fliers sent out by someone in Franklin Co. OH, telling voters that because of high registration, Republicans would be voting on Tuesday, and Democrats would be voting the following day. Back when we had a Republican governor in Michigan, he refused to implement the motor/voter law, which allowed for people to register to vote when they got a driver's license, saying there was no mandate for it.
Diebold, who is the major manufacturer of electronic voting machines, has tried to block HBO from running the documentary Hacking Democracy, which shows just how easily these new voting machines can be rigged to change the outcome of the elections. What is even more interesting is are the major investors in companies that manufacture these machines. Northrup-Grunman, Lockheed-Martin, and Accenture, defense contractors, and you can bet they have a lot at stake in these elections, especially this one, which is being framed as a debate on the Iraq war.
This country does not have a uniform voting law, leaving it up to individual states to decide who can and cannot vote. Unfortunately, this led to a slew of problems and forced Congress to pass The Voting Rights Act, which prevented black voters from being disenfranchised. And until we can pass uniform voting laws nationwide, the voting rights will always be subject to the whims of partisan politics.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Forecast Calls For Massive Vote Fraud

Remember in 2004, when the exit polling didn't match up with the voter tallies in states like Ohio? And then, as it turns out, the exit polls were correct and the "official" tallies were wrong? So rather than ditch the electronic voting machines, which still are rigged to register votes for Democrats as votes for their Republican challengers, AP/Ipsos decided it will do away with exit polling instead.
What is being written off as technical glitches, are in fact early evidence that, once again, the GOP is going to steal another election. Who needs an October surprise when you've got Walden O'Dell and Diebold pledging to deliver their votes to you? So it's no wonder that AP/Ipsos has stopped exit polling for this important midterm election, corporate America has decided the best way to commit a crime is to make sure that this time, there aren't any witnesses. And if anybody asks too many questions, the whole thing can be blamed on Hugo Chavez, because everybody knows how much Chavez hates Bush and wants him to keep his power, right?
Luckily for them, November kicks off a sweeps month, which means most television-watchers will be too busy catching the newest episodes of their favorite show before they are released on DVD to take to the streets like they did in Mexico when the results in that election were suspect.
So when some self-proclaimed efender of American liberty freedom and democracy takes to the streets to tell people not to vote Democrat because your vote doesn't count, what he really ,means is your vote doesn't count for the Democrats.