Thursday, March 30, 2006
According to a study funded by the John Templeton Foundation,prayer had no effect in the recovery of patients. Patients actually did worse if they knew that people were praying for them. Of course, prayer advocates will tell you that prayers were answered, only in the negative, I say if God has already decided whether a person will live or die, the prayers of strangers won't change his mind.
So the next time someone says they're praying for you, what should you do? Thank them for their concern. because it's nice to know that in this selfish and self-sentered world, there are still those who are concerned with others.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
If the Congress passes a bill that Bush doesn't like, one of two things will happen, as Bush has done in the past. If they pass one similar to the one Bush would like to see passed, he'll just sign the bill he would like to see passed in place of that one. He has done that before, a few weeks ago, he signed an appropriations bill that was $2 billion different than the one passed by Congress. If the Congress passes one that goes against the wishes of the Bush administration, one that a majority of Americans would like to see passed, such as the McCain-Feingold bill on torture, he'll just issue a signing statement that says he doesn't have to enforce the law. Congress has become like the UN in the Bush's eyes, irrelevant unless it does exactly what Bush wants. The checks and balances envisioned by our founding fathers have given way to those who believe in a unitary executive (i.e., a dictator), as long as that unitarian executive is their guy.
So while the Republicans jockey for position in the Senate over where to take this legislation, the battle lines drawn have already shown who will win. Bill Frist, looking at a 2008 Presidential run, has appealed to the racist anti-immigration majority in the Republican party. Sam Brownback, while in favor of strengthening our borders, would like to grant amnesty to illegals already here, in a move to appeal to the business end of the Republican party who would like to increase profits by flooding the labor pool with low wage employees rather than take a pay cut themselves. Who will win? It doesn't really matter who wins, because no matter which bill passes, America will lose because of the actions of the Bush administration, who, like every other member of Congress, is in the pockets of big business and will do what's best for them to the detriment of the rest of the country. Remember NAFTA? Remember CAFTA? These bills were passed against the objections of a majority of Americans so big business could send jobs across our borders. We were supposed to see the price of things go down, but unfortunately, because of the high price of fuel to move products, as well the increased trade deficit created by this move, the prices of most things haven't gone down, the only increase has been in the salaries of CEOs across the country.
So why debate this? Why not just roll over and expose your soft white underbelly? It doesn't matter what Congress does, so why in the Hell do we pay the bastards? As Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said a few weeks ago, America has begun a slide into a dictatorship (thanks in part to you, you bitch), and since nobody in Congress appears willing to stop it (okay, Russ Feingold, but who else?) why don't you just vote to dissolve yourself and take a job on the board of directors of some corporation, because you're obviously not working for the people anymore.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
The show as hosted by two talented country music artists, Roy Clark, one of the best stringed musicians America has ever produced, and Buck Owens. Both had been successful in their own right, but television brought them into America's living rooms. And it will be unfortunate that these two will be remembered for the cornpone country show, as opposed to their successes as recording artists and musicians. For Buck Owens, country music legend, passed away today at the age of 76.
Buck had a string of 20 number one hits, is perhaps best known (aside from the tv show), for his hit, "Act Naturally", which was later covered by the Beatles. He was also immortalized in John Fogerty's "Lookin' Out My Back Door", recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. He also recorded a song with Dwight Yoakam in 1988, "The Streets Of bakersfield"
Growing up, I had no use for country music. My music was rock and roll, so I overlooked a lot of artists from many different genres. It wasn't until I had kids of my own that I began to explore different genres, including country music, discovering a Buck Owens Greatest hits set at a flea market in 1998. It was the setting aside of my preconceived notions of what "good" music was that forced me to set aside any preconceived notions I may have held elsewhere.
And so, it is today that I give a great big unbrainwashed salute to a true American hero.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
"Show us this incredible maneuvering, just show it to us. Just show us how this
particular plane pulled off these maneuvers. 270 degree turn at 500 miles and
hour descending 7,000 feet in two and a half minutes, skimming across treetops
the last 500 meters."
Which is not saying that the Pentagon wasn't hit, but maybe was wondering how inexperienced pilots who had never flown a plane that size could have pulled off a manuever that an experienced pilot would have trouble doing. And that was what the morning radio shows focused on, rather than any of the other questions Mr. Sheen (and a lot of other people) would like answered. Such as:
Eyewitness accounts of explosives in the Towers. Supposedly, a fireball went 1100 feet down aa elevator shaft (doesn't heat rise?) to cause the damage that led to the damage that caused the buildings to collapse in to their footprint like a controlled demolition. But there are scores of eyewitness accounts of explosions before the towers fell.
Why did WTC 7 collapse, having sustained fire damage on two floors. Why did owner Larry Silverstein say he decided to "pull" the building ( a demoliton term for pulling the outer walls towards the center of the building) with only two floors damaged? Wiring a building for such an event takes weeks of careful planning, yet it would appear that everything was set to go ahead of time.
There are more troubling question raised by Charlie Sheen concerning 9/11, but to me, the biggest tip-off is the fact the both george Bush and Dick Cheney did all they could to stop any investigation into what happened on that day. When they did finally decide to set up a comission, first they tried to place henry Kissinge in charge, and limited the scope, range, time, and funding for the commission. It's like Janeane Garofolo said on Air America a couple of weeks ago, 9/11 was an inside job. Perhaps if she was a bigger name, she might have generated as much controversy.
Monday, March 20, 2006
And what are you for? Beyond the civil war? Beyond the establishment of a Islamic state in the place of a secular one? Beyond the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians? Beyond the lies of a corrupt and devious administration? Let me tell you what you're for.
OPEC. That's right, supporting this war means you're siding with OPEC, the bastards who are screwing us at the gas pump RIGHT NOW!!! So if you support the war, that means you're perfectly happy with the continuation of rising gas prices, because when it comes down to it, this war has always ben and will always be about the oil. Not some self-deluded notion of "keeping America free", because the war will ensure that we will always be paying high prices for our oil.
Greg Palast has uncovered a 323 page plan for Iraq's oil secretly (does the Bush team do any thing in the open? Of course not, then we'd know what they were up to)drawn up by the State Department directing Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will"enhance it's relationship with OPEC." What this means is that oil in Iraq will not be pumped freely from the ground and shipped to refineries then on to the American people at rate and quantities enough to allieve our current gas pains. What it means is that the oil will be pumped at OPEC rates, which are designed to keep oil prices high.
So where's the freedom maintenance? How does the American taxpayer benefit from all this? They don't! You idiot, if you think Bush is about keeping Americans secure then perhaps you never saw the video of Bush receiving a warning of catstrophe in New Orleans, pre-Katrina.
Bush and the Rethuglicans just handed out a permanent tax cut that affects the top end of the pay scale more than it does the rest of us. Like the guys (and gals) at Halliburton and Big Oil. You don't think their children are over in Iraq fighting, do you? So what has he given the families whose members are over there sacrificing life and limb? A big fat gas hose up the ol' cornhole, that's what.
Oil company profits were at $34 billion in 2002. Last year, they posted a whopping $113 billion dollar profit. Which is good news if you own oil stock, bad news if you have to drive anywhere. And who can we thank for it? You, you fucking idiot. You delusional dorks who think the war in Iraq is a good idea. You imbecilic idiots who think we're there to bring democracy to a bunch of people who seem hell bent on rejecting it in favor of a theocracy. And just think, if that's at all possible for you, how much more they will profit when the oil supplies are interupted after Operation Iranian Liberation.
Some of you will just shrug your shoulders and say"Well, that's capitalism," and I say capitalism is nothing more than a euphemism for criminal activity. Just don't bitch to me about how high gas prices are, I never supported the war and I never voted for Bush. So thank you, you Bush lovin' bastards.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
However, in more recent years, some of it's citizens, blindfolded by a piece of cloth adorned with stars and stripes, have chosen to follow a leader who, while taking the same oath as his many predecessors, has chosen to instead to ignore that document, and everything it stands for, in a misguided belief that we can transplant democracy around the world while abandoning it here at home. Once we have abandoned these principles, we have ceased to be the beacon of light for the rest of the world.
The Constitution has been the model for other documents around the world, treaties that guarantee rights to all the world's citizens who strive to acheive and attain the same rights that we struggle to maintain here at home. The right of due process, once merely a right guaranteed here in the US, created by our Founding fathers to prevent the abuses of the monarchies from which they came, that would detain enemies for an indefinite period of time, with out allowing them the right to stand trial for the charges for which they are being held, and defend themselves against those charges. This right has now been removed from the Constitution by the very man who took an oath on the Holy Bible to defend that right.
Another right guaranteed by that document is the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. That protection, too, has been torn assunder by the very same man who pledged, not once, but twice, to uphold that very protection. The protection from unreasonable search and seizures, also rendered away from the Constitution, once again, by the very same man.
The Constitution also holds that no person is above the law. This was proved when a previous executive, testifying under oath in a court proceeding, committed the act of perjury. Said executive was then impeached for this crime, which he willfully committed. However, our current executive has willfully placed himself above the very Constitution he has worn to defend and uphold,allowing him to violate treaties passed by the Legislature in accordance with the rules set forth by the Constitution.
The Presentation clause of the Constitution states that before a law can be signed by the Chief Executive, it must be passed by both chambers of the Legislature. However, our most recent executive signed The Budget Reconcillatory Act which was markedly different than the one passed by Congress. This is another willfull violation of the Constitution by the man who placed his hand on the Holy Bible and swore to defend the Constitution.
To pledge on a sacred text, is to show reverence for said text. To then follow that up with what could be construed as willfull contempt for the reverence of the Holy Bible, is the definition of blasphemy. And so I present to you, our Blasphemer-in-Chief, George W. Bush.
Friday, March 17, 2006
President Bush today accused Belarus president Lukashenko of being among " the most corrupt leaders in the world", in a vain attempt to paint himself in a more flattering light. he has also threatened sanctions if tomorrow's elections are manipulated "as expected." Appearantly Mr. Bush has forgotten Florida 2000, or Ohio 2004.
Mr. Bush also alleges that Alexander Lukashenko has "enriched himself at the expense of his people." That sounds familiar George. Ever hear of Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld?
Lubachenko has also...cracked down on dissent. Geez, this all sounds so very familiar. Let's see, he has also, well, raided civil society organizations, and, uh, stifled anti-government rallies.
A report drafted in response to the Belarus Democracy Act passed by Congress in 2004 says,"the precise extent of the corruption is difficult to determine due to the regime's lack of transparency."
Christopher Smith(R-NJ) who sponsored the Belarus Democracy Act says "There's a long list of people...who torture and abuse..people." Appearantly Bush feels Lukashenko is cutting in to his action. There's a way to prop up your approval ratings. Show the people what a hypocrite you really are.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Eleven people, most of them women and children were killed during a US bombing raid north of Baghdad. The raid also netted one insurgent, thereby justifying the carnage in the eyes of the military. We are certainly winning their hearts and minds, yessirreebob!
(thanks to mikevotes for the heads up on these pictures
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Iran is having Russia build them a nuclear power plant at Bushehr. They have begun enrichment of uranium. So far, no problem. Now, some people are questioning why an oil rich country would need nuclear power when they have all that oil at their disposal. While it's true that Iran has oil it can use, it lacks refineries to turn the oil into a usable fuel. Another reason why they might choose nuclear power is the fact that along with oil, Iran has deposits of uranium as well. So how can we know that Iran is enriching it's uranium for peaceful purposes and not for defensive purposes? So far, it has 3000 centrifuges to enrich it's uranium, it takes 60,000 to enrich enough uranium for nuclear weapons, a difference of 57,000 (for those of you who can't do the math). How long does it take to build 57,000 centrifuges? (Hint: US intelligence sources say Iran is at least ten years away from the bomb)
The strategy worked in 2002 with Iraq. Democrats were forced to vote for the war or look soft on the war on terrorism, like the war on drugs, an unwinnable war designed to take away our rights and line the pockets of defnse contractors. Since July of last year, Dick Cheney has had a hard-on for Iran, asking STRATCOM to draw up plans for bombing the country in the case of a terrorist attack, whther or not Iran is linked to said attack. Which has some people thinking that we'll have another staged terror event like 9/11, to bolster Bush's approval ratings and give him a blank check to invade Iran.(Personally, I don't see it for two reasons: Bush still gets a lot of mileage by chanting 9/11 at every opportunity, and another "terrorist" attack would not only make Bush look even more incompetent, but also show how ineffective the new Patriot Act is at fighting domestic terrorism)
Anonymous sources here at unbrainwashed have placed the invasion set for January or February of next year. That gives the president and the Republicans a lot of time to swagger about and talk tough about terrorism while getting voters to forget about the rampant corruption with in the Republican controlled Congress(and the Republican's unwillingness to do anything about it). In the meantime, we have this war's "Niger" documents (fixed intelligence), a laptop computer that happened to fall in our laps, which we claim has the plans for a nuclear bomb on it, however the expert are still out on whether this is true.
So expect a lot of anti-Iran propaganda in the corporate media over the next nine months. It's president has committed the ultimate in thought crimes, he has dared to question the Holocaust. That alone is enough for Israel to call for military action against Iran. He also had said that Israel should be wiped off the map.(after Israel, first suggested that if Washington did not stop Iran's nuclear program "we will take action ourselves") This will be followed by stories about those persecuted under the theocracy in Iran, designed to enrage those who wish to institute a theocracy in the US.
So there is the strategy. Keep the masses good and frightened (last weekend they brought back the terror alerts that worked so well last time) so they can't think straight and will run to good old daddy Republican to protect them from evil terrorists. It never fails. What's that they say in Texas?
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Lately, Bill O'Reilly has been getting phone calls to is daily radio show who disagree with him. It is not against the law to disagree with O'Reilly, and given that his show claims to be "fair and balanced, one would think that he would welcome opinions from both sides an issue. But lately, O'Reilly has threatened to turn those who disagree with him over to Fox security. And at least two callers have received threatening phone calls from Fox security.
One caller made the mistake of mentioning Keith Olberman's name. Olberman and O'Reilly are in a pissing match with each other, watching neither, I'm not sure what the gripes are, and as far as I know, Olberman is using people's dislike for O'Reilly to build ratings for his own show.
Meanwhile O'Reilly's ratings have slipped 21%, although it would be unfair to give credit to Olberman for the ratings slip. O'Reilly has a daily radio show for two hours, plus the O'Reilly Factor nightly on Fox as well as a newspaper column . Overexposure will hurt any celebrity's career, and there's only so much Bill O'Reilly that even his biggest fans can take in a day.
This blog, like any other is just a matter of opinion. You can take it or leave it. And there's an option for you to dissent, and perhaps, through reason, you can get me to see things in a different light.
In the meantime, you could send O'reilly some falafel. Or a loofa on a pita.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
At the First of the year, food banks reported over 25 million people customers. Now I doubt that these are just people being thrifty as some might think, but points to a real problem in this country-people can't afford food. Why can't they afford food in this robust economy? Because there is no robust economy, just some more of the type of accounting Enron used to raise stock prices used to mask reality.
Right now, the government is a on a spending spree. It just can't stop spending money it doesn't have. They're are just about to bump their heads on the $8.2 trillion debt limit and are tapping civil service pensions to cover the gap. Of course, the rubber stamp Congress will raise the ceiling more, leaving one wondering how they can call this fiscal responsibility.
Another problem the government has turned a blind eye to is employment. Or rather, unemployment. The current rose colored rate is at 8%, which is based on numbers derived from people drawing unemployment. What it completely ignores is the 5 million people who are chronically unemployed, that is, those who have been unable to find gainful employment beyond their benefit period. Not to mention the under employed, who subside on part time positions or wages that don't meet inflation. With rising gas prices the cost of everything has risen as well while Congress still refuses to raise the minimum wage above $5.25 an hour.
Now we're supposed to believe that the government is creating new jobs. That is what was supposed to happen with the passage of NAFTA and CAFTA. The reality is, they just haven't happened. Recently when WalMart opened a store in Illinois, 25,000 people stood in line for 300 available jobs. WalMart would like to think because it's such a great place to work, but a job that offers no benefits is not a great job. 25, 000 people stood in lines for hours because they want to work!
There's a house I pass everyday on my way to work, beautiful house, brick ranch with an attached garage, right next to a church, yet the house has been on the market for over two years. It hasn't sold, not because mortgage rates aren't low enough, mortgage companies advertise all over about how low rates are, but because rates are so low, for ten grand or so more, you can buy a new house. But now, even new houses aren't selling, as the Commerce Department said there's a glut of unsold new houses on the market, with sales sliding steadily as much as 5%. Now if you live in an area where there's a lot of available jobs, selling your house wouldn't be a problem, but if you don't, housing values are expected to fall as much as ten percent in a dozen major markets. So those people who refinanced their house at the old boom price, could end up losing money when it comes time to sell their house. And new housing starts have been the main barometer of the manufacturing economy.
Speaking of the manufacturing economy, the current administration likes to boast about how it created new manufacturing jobs. When they say this you must remember that these are the same group of people in the Eighties who tried to get ketchup classified as a vegetable in school lunch programs. How did they "create" these new manufacturing jobs? They merely reclassified a job making burgers at McDonald's as a manufacturing job.
Unfortunately, a job "manufacturing" burgers at McDonald's doesn't pay you enough to buy a new house.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Not only does WalMart use the blogs to rshape it's image, it also uses them to smear the competition. One story passed along was about how WalMart stores raised more money for the Salvation Army than Target, which banned red kettle collectors from the front of their stores. Anothe rstory dealt with 25,000 people turning up to apply for jobs at a new Wal-Mart in Illinois, which is more a statement about the lack of good jobs in this country than it it about people willing to work at WalMart.WalMart does not compensate the bloggers, however, they have invited the bloggers, at their own expense, to a media conference at corporate headquarters in Bentonville AK. Yeah, like a bunch of right wingers are going to want to go to the land of Bill Clinton.
So rather than improve conditions and benefits for it's workers, which is the main goal of WalMart Watch, they'd rather spend the money to hire a consultant to spread propaganda about how wonderful a place WalMart is, something that would be obvious if it really were.
No,Rex Kramer was not named as one of the bloggers receiving emails from WalMart.
Monday, March 06, 2006
While the State Department and the CIA are skeptical about a military action, the White House, big surprise, has already made plans. Even the UK has ruled out a military option, but our retard in chief is a war retard, every thing he does, he does with war in his retarded little brain. Perhaps Bush is angry because, unlike his deal with India which benefits US Corporations seeking to reap billions in profits from selling India nuclear technology, the Iranians deal is with Russia, to the benefit of no US Corporation. Or maybe Bush is trying to stop Iran from opening it's oil bourse, trading in petroeuros instead of petrodollars.
Meanwhile IAEA chief Mohammed el-Baradei said a deal with Iran is still feasible, one that would allow them small scale enrichment. Germany, which could live with the pilot program being suggested, has made it clear that it will stand with it's partners in the EU on the issue.
Bush, however needs to keep the brain damaged beer swilling chemically imbalanced flag wavers paranoid. And so we see the process that led up to his illegal invasion of Iraq being played out again, note for note. Intelligence sources said in November of 2005 that Iran is at least ten years away from a nuclear weapon. So why the big scare? Oh yeah, this is an election year, and if, perchance, the people vote out Republicans in large numbers, Bush's rubberstamp Congress will be gone. War works real good for Bush, he gets plenty of photo ops holding up plastic turkeys and landing on aircraft carriers, and generally giving the people the impression he actually is concerned with their safety. Which he needs after the video showing him being warned beforehand about the potential devastation in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina proved otherwise.
And like Iraq, Bush has no plans beyond striking key Iranian positions, dragging the US into another long and drawn out quagmire to the benefit of no one except Halliburton stockholders.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
One of the first ones off the boat was neocon architect Francis Fukuyama. Then Bill O' Reilly suggested we get out of Iraq following the bombing at the Golden Dome mosque. In the past couple days have seen the defection of George Will and Grandpappy of the conservatives William F. Buckley.But today comes word of the biggest defection of all, as far as most Americans are concerned.
"I'm not a Republican," actor Bruce Willis intoned during a press junket for his new movie, 16 Blocks. "I want a smaller government. I want less government intrusion." Is this perhaps in response to the wiretapping scandal that has the government intruding and spying on people?"I hate the goverment. I'm a-political, okay?" Hates the goverment?Two years ago, that meant hating America.
One wonders if all this apolitical posturing is because he has a new movie coming out this weekend and he doesn't want people who don't agree with his views avoiding the movie. While I personally didn't care for his pro-Republican views, it didn't stop me from seeing him in a good movie. Or The Sixth Sense. I find that Willis, as an actor, may not be great, he's certainly not as awful as other Republican actors.
"I want them to be fiscally responsible, " said the man who offered a million dollars for the head of Osama Bin Laden ( hey Bruce, he's here can I get my million dollars?),"and I want these [expletive] lobbyists out of Washington." So do we, Bruce, so do we.