Friday, December 29, 2006
The sight of a former president having his day in court would have sent the clear signal to the American people that our Constitutional system of justice works. Instead, by issuing a pardon before any indictments were ever handed down in any jurisdiction for Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal, Ford short-circuited our constitutional system, and effectively placed Nixon above the law.
Rather than binding wounds, the pardon sent the cynical message that there is, indeed, two systems of justice: One for the politically powerful and well connected and another for the rest of the American people.
This was a lesson not lost on Ronald Reagan, with his alleged non-involvement in the so-called Iran-Contra scandal. Moreover the opera buffa of Bill Clinton, presided over by the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the late William Rehnquist in a robe inspired by a character out of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta The Mikado, made the threat of presidential impeachment laughable.
Now we find ourselves with no powerful Constitutional remedy for a willful president who has led this nation into a ruinous and senseless occupation of a country that could really never do us any harm.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
From the way the media is carrying on, you'd get the idea he was our greatest president and not just a footnote of history.
For the next month or so we're going to be deluged with the weepy-weepies about what a great guy he was. And maybe that is so.
But, Jesus christ, I wish these fucking media people would take a clue from the Amish when it come to dead. It's just a part of life. We bury, or whatever we do to the corpse, say a few appropriate words, for the living the recently deceased is past caring, and life goes on.
The worst part of all this national moaning is that poor Gerry's body is put on ice while all this bullshit goes on before it's dropped into the grave. How fucking dignified!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Charles Moskos, a military sociologist and professor emeritus at Northwestern University, said that without a draft, the burden of the war falls disproportionately on the working class. He noted that of his 1956 Princeton University class of 750 men, 450 served. In the Princeton University class of 2006 there were 1,108 men and women, but only nine have joined the military.The answer is, Mr. and Mrs. Middle America, you will.
"They call this an all-volunteer military," Moskos said. "But in the United States we are paying people to die for us."
Moskos said the other advantage of a draft is that it is far cheaper than a volunteer military.
By the way, the above quoted paragraphs were buried in a story by reporters Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel. In fact the story ends on a curiously upbeat note:"The incentives* have borne fruit. The 2006 recruiting season, which ended in October, saw the Army pull in 80,635 recruits, just over its 80,000 goal. It has stayed above targets since then.
The big bug-a-boo is how to pay for it. Since raising taxes is anathema to Republicans and DLC Democrats alike, and don't expect the companies waxing fat profits off this Mess-O-Potamia to pay their fair share of protection money. Do expect further erosion of governmental services, except for
*By raising incentives and bonus money, adding recruiters and continuing to increase the military advertising budget, the Army should be able to sign up an extra 10,000 people a year within the current all-volunteer system, according to many military experts. But they add that an extra 10,000 soldiers would cost at least $1.2 billion extra annually.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Now even though I'm anti-military--I think soldiers, like preachers, are given way too much respect in this society-- I agree with Nicholson's opinion that a draft "...does bring people from all quarters of our society together in the common purpose of serving." Of course, as soon as he uttered these words Nicholson was forced to retract same. Undoubtedly Nicholson got some heat from the Republicans for even fantasizing about putting the butts of their lily white young'uns in BDUs.
But now there's a dilemma of the "surge."
Dubya, after hearing Commander Milquetoast, Harry Reid, say that a "suge" of 20,000 to 30,000 more American soldiers into Baghdad might be a good thing, has coyly been tossing around the idea of, somehow, increasing the size of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. But how to do that without either recourse to a draft or increasing pay and sign-up bonuses?
I have the solution: illegal immigrants.
Now look, according to the likes of Congressman Steve King, there is something like 11 to 12 million of these illegal critters running around the country. And even he acknowledges that our country is dependent on this hoard of undocumented, and unwashed, to kill our beeves, roof our houses and wipe our butts when we go to the nursing home. They, for the most part, would like to remain here as "legal" immigrants, but the system now in place for legal immigration is so labyrinthine and Byzantine as to make it all but impossible.
So here's what we do. Have the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, gang round up every illegal, undocumented immigrant, alien, work they possibly can; tell'em they can be "legal" if they serve a minimum of five years in the Army or Marines; and ship their asses to Iraq! Hell, they can take their families too!
This is so evil, I don't know why Ollie North never thought of it.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Meanwhile over at TomPaine.com Phillip Mattera and Charlie Cray have pinned A Contract With Corporate America that concludes:"For too long, the federal government has been acting as a virtual captive of big business interests. The change in control of Congress is the first opportunity in years to start shifting power back to the rest of us."
Do you think any Democratic leaders at the national level read either one of these pieces? Do you think Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi will call for investigations into how the president lies this country into Iraq? Do you think "Commander Milquetoast" Harry Reid, after blurting out this Sunday past he'd support a "surge" in troops in Iraq, will change his mind? Do you think the DLC plutocrats will lift their snouts out of the K Street trough to reform campaign fiancing, lobbying and electronic voting?
Saturday, December 16, 2006
In the wake of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) roundup of “illegal” immigrants Tuesday December 12, 2006, The Des Moines Register reported that the starting wage at the Swift & Co’s Marshalltown facility is $11.50 per hour.
An interesting follow-up story would be to see how many unemployed and under-employed white central Iowans will apply for positions at the meat packing plant. More than likely Maid Rite will have an easier time filling staff positions at $8 per hour than will Swift & Co.
Since the advent of industrial scale meat processing in the 1870s, the packinghouse was traditionally the employer of first choice for new immigrants, Mexicans and Central Americans are only the latest. Perhaps an influx of Sudanese Muslims from Darfur will be the next?
But are “illegal” immigrants to blame for falling wages in the American workplace?
At this time in American history the nation is in a decades long rollback of union influence and workers’ rights. We hear the likes of Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Steve King denounce the waves of “illegal” immigration. Yet they, and their supporters, never call for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 or a federal ban on replacement workers, scabs, taking the jobs of striking union workers. Nor do politicians of either party propose a Marshall Plan to strengthen the economies of southern Mexico and Central America so the citizens of those countries stay home.
Yet the question remains: will the American consumer, used to sixty years of the cheapest food in the world, really be willing to pay more at the grocery store?
If the actions of the so-called Minuteman of Arizona were any indication: The average anti-immigrant American would rather sit on a lawn chair at the border and complain about illegals than compete in the workplace head-to-head, organize or lobby for changes in current anti-worker labor laws.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Here's comes Rep Silvestre Reyes of Texas, handpicked by Nancy Pelosi to head the House Intelligence Committee and he's calling for 20,000 more U.S. troops to be sent to Iraq. Reyes says they're needed to crush the Shi'a and Sunni militias. Didn't I tell to you right here, after the Nov 7 "peace moment" the polls, that the Democrats would fall into line behind Senator John McCain? The minute Jack Murtha made his run for House Majority leader the liberal establishment began to take a stand against all seditious talk of "immediate redeployment". You can scarcely open up the New York Times without tripping over a piece by Michael Gordon reporting yet another thoughtful military man--he put up General Zinni in this capacity last week--saying that the prudent short-term course would be to send more troops to Iraq.Now how the fuck are 20,000 more American soldiers and Marines in Iraq gonna help anything?
Contrast this with the angry floor speech Republican Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon, the potato king of Pendleton, who said straighforwardly on Thursday night that he'd had it with the president that the US should "cut and run, cut and walk or whatever ... "
As it stands now, there is only one option for getting Uncle Suckers out of Iraq: Cut-and-run. It sounds bad but the only way out is to pull the rug out from under the Maliki puppet-regime, let the Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds fight it out; redraw boundaries if necessary (the Turks are no longer significant players in the region and they've got to learn to deal with it) and come back and deal with the winners. Otherwise the only way these dunderheads of both parties in Washington, D.C. will pull their heads out of their collective ass is if a signicant majority of the U.S. Army in Iraq mutinies, as Marines are thoroughly brainwashed, a mutiny in the Corps is out of the question; or a major U.S. combat unit defeated in detail in the field, Diem Bien Phu in the desert as it were, by a suppossedly inferior enemy.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
(Manassas, Virginia) The following is a statement by Richard A. Viguerie, author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause, regarding the resignation of John Bolton as Ambassador to the United Nations:So George W. Bush isn't "conservative" enough, is he? How much more "conservative" does the little asshole need to be, Mr. Viguerie? To the right of Attila the Hun?
“There are only a mere handful of conservatives in significant policy-making positions in the Bush Administration. The withdrawal of Ambassador Bolton means there is one less. This is very discouraging to conservatives. Instead of fighting for Ambassador Bolton’s confirmation, the Bush Administration has once again thrown in the towel.
“Since the election, President Bush has sent strong signals that he will move left and seek accommodation with the Democrats who will be running the House and Senate. The President is following in the footsteps of his father, George H. W. Bush, who also abandoned the conservative base of the GOP.
“In addition to surrendering on the Bolton nomination, another danger signal for conservatives was the President’s comments at his November 8 news conference that he will work with the liberals to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Still another was Treasury Secretary Paulson’s statement that the Bush Administration had ‘no preconditions’ on Social Security reform, which is code for a willingness to accept higher payroll taxes and cuts in benefits.
“It looks like the next two years will be painful for conservatives and possibly fatal for the Republican Party. ”
This is the same tired, old litany of right wing, anti-govenment screeds this guy's been spewing out since the Sixties. He's not changed, despite what some in the liberal blogsphere think. He is still portraying the Republican Party as the party of the dispossessed white, middle class in a life and death struggle with the evil forces of Rooseveltian-New Deal Democrats. Such hogwash. He's the frontman for corporate feudalism and the dismantling of The Constitution.
Take, for example, the John W. Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006, named for the longtime Armed Services Committee chairman from Virginia.
Signed by President Bush on Oct. 17, the law (PL 109-364) has a provocative provision called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.”
Specifically, the new language adds “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident” to the list of conditions permitting the President to take over local authority — particularly “if domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.”
One of the few to complain, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., warned that the measure virtually invites the White House to declare federal martial law.
Read the entire story here:CQ.com
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I've often wonder what motivates folks such as the woman who penned this letter to the editor? Mostly I think it is guilt, why else would she be so incensed at "'anything goes'" laws unless she participated in all forms of the "immoral behavior" at one time in her past?
Thanks for nothing, Dems
November 14, 2006
Thanks to all of you who voted for the Democrats during the 2006 election, deciding to take our country "in a new direction."
Thanks to you, we are headed down a path that includes more government programs funded by higher taxes (in effect, income redistribution from those who earn more than $150,000 per year); laws that reflect the "anything goes" mentality of immoral behavior (abortion, same-sex marriage, anti-family legislation); more porous borders that leave us vulnerable to another Sept. 11-type attack with no military funding to protect us.
All of this while the liberal media applaud their successful effort in helping to elect the Democrats. Yes, I am really looking forward to traveling down the path promised by the Democrats as they take us "in a new direction."
- D___ M______,
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Top 10 Thank-You Notes for Nancy Pelosi to Send this ThanksgivingLet's look carefully at this pile of eleaphant doo-do. In an earlier e-mail Viguerie is quoted from a press conference at The National Press Club, saying:“One thing this election was NOT is a repudiation of conservatism. The twin pillars of conservatism – smaller government and traditional values – have the support of the same voters who threw out the Republican Congress.”
By Richard A. Viguerie
Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause (Bonus Books, 2006)
Nancy Pelosi, who stands to be Speaker of the House when the new Congress is sworn into office, is a smart politician, and one of the smartest things she and other Democratic leaders did this year was to step aside as much as possible and let the Bush Republicans and their backers self-destruct. She must be overflowing with gratitude to countless Bushies, so to make the transition a bit easier for her, I have come up with the Top 10 thank-you notes she should put in the mail this Thanksgiving…
Nancy Pelosi says
thank-you to …
10. To Vice President Cheney, Bill Kristol, and their cell of “neo-conservatives,” for turning the Republicans into a Trotskyite party—just what Americans have always wanted.
9. To Rush Limbaugh, for his display of “compassionate conservatism” toward Michael J. Fox a week before the election.
8. To outgoing House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois), for transforming a personal scandal involving Rep. Tom Foley into a GOP scandal.
7. To Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), for creating an engineering marvel worthy of the Roman Empire—their beloved Bridge to Nowhere.
6. To Ken Mehlman, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, for taking conservative issues off the agenda, except for his direct mail fundraising letters.
5. To former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), for paring every wasteful dollar out of the federal budget, thus creating a nasty image of the Republicans as the party of Uncle Scrooge.
4. To Karl Rove, for not reading Conservatives Betrayed, which would have awakened him to the dangers of making real conservatives unhappy.
3. To “Brownie” (former FEMA director Michael Brown), for doing such a heck of a job during Katrina, letting Americans see how prepared the Bush Administration was for a scheduled natural terrorist attack.
2. To Jack Abramoff, philanthropist, for his unlimited generosity toward his Republican friends.
1. To President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for keeping their divorce a secret until the election was over.
Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of both ConservativeHQ.com and American Target Advertising, Inc., pioneered ideological and political direct mail and has been called “the funding father of the conservative movement” for his role in helping build dozens of conservative organizations. He is the author of 5 books including the newly released Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause (Bonus Books, 2006).
Richard Viguerie’s Conservatives Betrayed
9625 Surveyor Court, Suite 400
Manassas, Virginia 20110
Oh? How's he know this. A CNN poll told him so. I mean, what the fuck are "traditional values?" A pair of clean bib overalls and a loaf of bread for a nickle? And government smaller that what? General Motors? No, my friend, it's the same old "pro-business/fundamentalist Christian" bullshit in a new suit. This has been Viguerie's stock in trade for forty years. The "corrupt," "out-of-touch" Republicans have been swept out of office, praise Jesus, so it's time for real Republicans, the outsiders, to fight the BIG-GOVERNMENT-Inside-the-Beltway-Democrats. Such bullshit.
Oh sure, the old bullshitter is right about the monumental fuck-ups of corrupt Congressional Republicans. He's right about the president. But so what? He's got his palm out for the suckers to pony up for the Republican push to take back the government in '08.
And remember the old bullshitter said that Repugs shouldn't use Nancy Pelosi-as-Speaker of the US House of Representatives as a scare tactic? Well, he just did.
Friday, November 10, 2006
With the general election finally over, I again would like to thank everyone who supported my campaign and the campaigns of other good candidates. This January, at both the state and national levels, Democrats will have a truly unique opportunity to lead Iowa and America forward, and that opportunity is in part due to our efforts.
However, while many key victories were won on election night, the most important battles are still to be fought. In both Washington, D.C. and Des Moines, this new generation of Democratic leadership must prove it is worthy of the voters’ confidence. It is time to enact progressive legislation that puts people before profit. In Iowa, this long list of priorities includes:
* Voter-owned clean elections;
* Controlling urban sprawl;
* Better levels of financial support for all aspects of our educational system;
* Improved health-care access for all Iowans;
* Addressing a wide range of long-neglected environmental concerns;
* Increasing the minimum wage to a livable wage; and
* Redirecting economic development monies from corporate giveaways to small business development.
Over the next two months, I’ll take some much-needed down time to rest and to reflect on my options. (This much is clear: my life is firmly committed to public service.) Most of my and my co-workers’ efforts through the end of the year will focus on restructuring our organization so it can continue to provide a strong, grassroots framework for justice and political work. During this time, we will stop sending out weekly updates, and the website will be down to give us a chance to rebuild it. A new website will be launched and e-mail updates resumed after the first of the year.
Again, thank you for your help and support. I look forward to being back in touch with you after the holidays. May this season of political and seasonal transition be one of peace, comfort and reflection for us all.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The Secretary of Agriculture race proves once again that negative campign advertising works. O'Brien, an organic farmer, was quietly ahead in opinion polls for most of the campaign until it really bagan to look like she'd win. Then the Republicans cranked up the slime machine, and the Des Moines Register, jumping on the corn-based ethonol bandwagon, endorsed the Spirit Lake Republican MBA. Oh, well.
But the election isn't the real reason I'm posting today. Life goes on and, to resurrect a Seventies turn of phrase, up-tight assholes are still with us. To wit:
The owner of a Johnston-based hotel chain, Stoney Creek Inns, has pulled the CNN news channel from the cable lineup in his 10 hotels because he believes the cable network supports terrorists.Please. CNN supports terrorists. That's the weakest horseshit excuse for dropping a television network I've ever heard. But that's a Republican baaaadass for you. The owner of a small chain of phony mountain lodges seeing phony terrorist under the beds in his cheesey hotels.
"Regardless of your views on the war, a recent CNN broadcast of sniper assassinations of American soldiers in Iraq is offensive," James Thompson said in a prepared statement. "We will not be a party to propaganda for terrorists."
Thompson founded Stoney Creek Inns 10 years ago. The company has locations in Johnston and Waukon in Iowa; East Peoria, Galena, Moline and Quincy in Illinois; Columbia and St. Joseph in Missouri, and La Crosse and Wausau in Wisconsin.
Tony Magro of Barrington, Ill., told the Wausau Daily Herald he was staying at the Stoney Creek Inn near Wausau when he noticed he could not find CNN on the television in his room. The hotel staff told him Thompson had instructed his employees to remove the channels because he thought CNN aids terrorists.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Dobson to aid in counseling HaggardHere's how it works:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Focus on the Family founder James Dobson will be one of the people overseeing counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who was fired amid allegations of gay sex and drug use, a senior official of Dobson's organization said Monday.
The counseling process, called restoration, could take years, said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs-based ministry.
Dobson places Haggard in a room, the walls and ceiling of which is covered in pictures of young, muscular men. Dobson, a psychologist as well as minister, will instruct Haggard to look intensely at all the picutres and repeat: "I will not eat meat. I will not eat meat."
After repeating the formula over and over, in this case for months, Haggard is released a cured and changed man.
We jump to the near future about six months after the Rev. James Dobson pronouces his most famous patient "cured" of homosexuality.
Of course the good Rev. Dobson will of necessity need to cruise Colorado Spring's most notorious gay night clubs to make sure his star pupil doesn't backslide.
And it happened in the course of his rounds one night, Dobson walks into Club Q, 3430 North Academy Blvd and who should he see with his arms wrapped around two Navel Academy Midshipmen, in town for the Air Force Academy/Navy football game, but Ted Haggard.
"God damn you, you faggot sonuvabitch! You lied to me! You said you would not eat meat and here I find you in the arms of a couple of sailors!" thundered Dobson.
Haggard looks up at Dobson and smiles, "This ain't meat, Jim. This is seafood!"
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Now the first I read about Kerry's so-called gaff was yesterday on a Taylor Marsh's HuffPo blog. I scanned the blog but it didn't register. Not a story, I concluded.
But every slip of the lip is a story to our "liberal" media. Yes, the "liberal" media is tripping all over its collective dick saying that Kerry said only stupid and uneducated kids enlist in the military.
Well, you know what, if they say that's what he said then he's right.
If, after... what three and a half, four years, in Iraq?... and you're a kid who enlists in the military and volunteers to go to Iraq, you are frigging stupid. If you're a high school kid who willingly feeds the killing machine, you are frigging stupid. If you're a high school kid who believes Bush's war on terror has to be fought over there so we don't have to fight'em over here, you are frigging stupid.
But if you're a high school or college kid who believes all of the above, doesn't enlist for the military--Because you know that some other poor slob will to it and your precious time and life chasing an MBA is too valuable-- you are frigging scum.
Monday, October 30, 2006
The endorsement alleges the race between the Democratic candidate, an Atlantic area organic-farmer, and the Spirit Lake agri-businessman, holder of a Masters of Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota University in Marshall,MN, is not about big agri-business versus small family farm. The editorial board must have been swayed by Northey’s campaign’s slick television commercials and well-designed Web site, largely self-funded with generous contributions from some of the Iowa Republican Party’s heavy hitters.
Denise O’Brien, on the other hand, is truly an old-fashioned Iowa grassroots, meet-the-people type of candidate, which the Register editorial staff waxes poetic about but rarely endorses. No slick television spots and only a free Blogger.com, http://deniseobrien.blogspot.com/ , Web site. Nor is O’Brien’s name listed on The Institute of Money in State Politics’ Web site, FollowtheMoney.org, http://www.followthemoney.org/index.phtml.
This contest presents the voters with a choice between expanding big agri-business or promoting family farming. It is a choice between expanding hog factories, greater reliance on monoculture row crops and further environmental degradation or traditional Iowa values and clean land, water and skies.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Richard Viguerie: Halloween Scare Tactics Won’t Work for GOP;This phoney bastard. He's been making the rounds saying that Bush and company have "betrayed" the conservative agenda. Utter bullshit.
Republicans Must Propose a New Contract With the Voters and Promise to Govern Differently
(Manassas, Virginia) Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, warned Republicans that scare tactics against Democrats will not succeed in increasing social or economic conservative voters on Election Day.
“The big-spending, high-deficit, morally-deficient Republican Party hasn’t anything to offer conservatives except Halloween scare tactics about the Democrats. But since the GOP majority in Congress has engaged in an unprecedented spending spree, conservatives know that Democrats cannot be any worse and that divided government may lead to less spending,” Viguerie said.
“And conservatives have learned that, while Republicans sometimes provide significant symbolism on social issues, in truth, many of them have a disdain for values voters,” he added.
“Trying to frighten conservatives by yelling ‘Nancy Pelosi’ and ‘Harry Reid’ won’t work this time. As I mention in the Introduction to Conservatives Betrayed, similar tactics didn’t work in 1948, 1960, 1976, and 1992 either,” he said.
Viguerie said that, for the Republican Party to retain its majorities in the House and Senate, President Bush and Congressional leaders should convene a summit to spell out specifically what they would actually do if they were left in power. He said Republicans should enter into a new contract with the voters to include such items as:
A complete termination of “earmarks” and pork barrel spending in appropriations bills. Opposition to all increases in non-defense spending. A constitutional amendment to balance the budget and limit taxes. Making permanent all of the temporary tax cuts and pushing for significant additional tax relief. Recommit to securing the border with Mexico to stop the invasion of illegal aliens. Fighting hard for the confirmation of strict constructionists to the federal judiciary. Energy independence through increased exploration for oil, development of coal resources, and expansion of nuclear energy. Appointment of many more Reagan-type conservatives, rather than big-business establishment Republicans. Senate confirmation of John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador.
“Many conservatives and moderates have tuned out the Republican Congressional leaders. But President Bush owns the world’s largest microphone. If he will use it to make serious promises on issues that grassroots conservatives can relate to, voters might give Republicans one more chance,” Viguerie said.
Richard Viguerie’s Conservatives Betrayed
9625 Surveyor Court, Suite 400
Manassas, Virginia 20110
Take note of what the Betrayer-in-Cheif said at a campaign stop for Third US Congressional District candidate Jeff Lamberti at the Iowa State Fair Grounds yesterday:"One big reason we're going to win is because the truth is the Democrats will raise your taxes[.]" Where did this come from?! Gee, this wasn't even an "issue" up to this point in the election but all of a sudden, from right field as it were, Bush just blurts out, "...the Democrats will raise your taxes[!]"
Mere hours before flying to Iowa the president put his "X" on a piece of paper authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. This is a boondoggle in the making, a Potemkin village of a project with all the stopping power of tissue paper. But it does meet the purpose of keeping poor, white, closet racists voting Republican.
Viguerie's agenda is the same old Republican bullshit he has pooped out for forty years. The same stupidity and ignorance of reality which so many middle class Americans mistake for common sense even though it makes their lives just that much more miserable.
Ever since Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential election defeat, Viguerie and the Republican Party gained ground on new Deal Democrats by playing the outsider card. With the aid of Vigueries's blueprint the Republican Party framed itself as the perennial watchdog for the little guy against the villianous "big government" Democrats. For forty years the Republicans have run against the Washington establishment. But now they are the establishment, very deeply so.
So the problem for the old bullshiter, now, is how to make it seem as if Republicans are running against an entrenched Washington elitist establishment when, in fact, that is precisely what they are.
Viguerie's solution is elegant as it is simple. Declare Bush a traitor to the memory of the "sainted" Ronald Reagan. Tell anyone who cares to listen that Bush and the NeoCons are off the GOP reservation. And end by saying that maybe it serves the Republican Party its just desserts to lose the November election and have the vile Democrats, who might just impeach a "war" president, take over Congress.
Of course Viguerie doesn't believe a word he says. Why should he. He's in a win-win situation. Should the Democrats win, he just cranks up the old direct-mail, now e-mail, machine and the donations from Reagan cultists pours in. If Republicans hold on to Congress Viguerie will continue with his current theme that Bush and company aren't extreme enough and the donations from Reagan cultists will still roll in.
Richard Viguerie and all those like him are a cancer on the body politic. There is legitimate political speech and there is bullshit. Viguerie has developed bullshit into a high art.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Ford will buy between $2.5 billion and $3 billion in auto parts in China, said Bill Ford, chairman of the Dearborn-based carmaker. That compares with $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion last year. The parts will be exported to assembly plants in other Asian countries, the United States and Europe.This means that tranmissions, engine blocks, running gear of all sorts and even interior assemblies will be manufactured under slave-wage conditions in China. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that prices of Ford products to the customer will decline. Oh, no. It means that Ford's executives and major shareholders will get a bigger slice of the profit pie while American workers are frozen out.
Ford needs cheaper parts from China, where an average manufacturing job pays about 10% of an equivalent union job in the United States, to meet its goal of cutting $6 billion in annual costs by 2010. The carmaker reported a $5.8-billion third-quarter loss as sales slumped in the United States.I'd really like to know who is going to buy these cheaper-to-produce Ford cars and trucks when middle American is finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, despite everything Dim-Son and the Dow Jones average says.
Eventually the Chinese government, yes it's still technically Communist, will pull the plug. Why settle for profits based on purchases from one so-called industrial customer for parts when you can realize greater profits from eliminating the middle-man. The Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo figured this fact out when it purchased IBM's PC divsion lock, stock and barrel in 2004. Pretty soon the Chinese auto parts industry will realize it doesn't need Ford, or the Ford family and major shareholders will think it wiser to sell the company to a wholly-owned Chinese venture and watch the dividends roll in. Either way it Joe Sixpack won't get anything for his money or the sweat of his brow.
The future for the United States of America looks pretty bleak from where I sit. Within ten years time, if the nation stays the course in all areas of human endeavor from its misguided foreign policy to the pro-population growth zeitgeist, America will be a Third-World hellhole.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
What if the Republicans retain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress?
What if the Democratic Party once again pulls defeat from the jaws of victory?
Will the American people, in a spontaneous uprising of disgust and outrage, march on Washington, D.C.?
Will the indignation of an election stolen, of a birthright trampled in the name of security, send the citizens of the country to the barricades?
We are a people ignorant of our own institutions.
We are a people asleep to history.
We are a people doomed.
Monday, October 23, 2006
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush gently admonished his father(George H.W. Bush) for saying he hates to think what life would be like for his son if the Democrats win control of Congress in the November 7 election.Perhaps our Fearless Leader is so confident for one reason:Diebold.
He shouldn't be speculating like this, because -- he should have called me ahead of time and I'd tell him they're not going to (win)," a smiling Bush told ABC "This Week" in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
Though the elder Bush has said his job is to stay on the sidelines, that did not stop him from raising a warning about the prospects for a Democratic takeover of Congress.
Asked whether he had thought about the possibility, the president told ABC: "Not really ... I'm a person that believes we'll continue to control the House and the Senate."
But perhaps if Democratic turn out is greater than expected, and evangelicals stay away from the polls, and simply overwhelm a rigged vote count system, what then for Bush and company?
When I asked Gore Vidal at dinner why the White House seemed so serene and at ease about the vote, he replied that, this time around, the Bush-Cheney henchmen could simply call on martial law. He glumly noted that we are so far down the road toward totalitarianism that, even if Democrats do win back the Congress, it would take at least two generations before the last six years of damage to the nation could be reversed.Lyn Davis Lear, HuffPo.comVidal may be on to something. The month of October is nearly at an end and as yet no "October surprise." I have never doubted for a minute that the Bush-Cheney cabal would resort to martial law. They are, after all, creatures of the business-investing class and have utter contempt for the rest of us mere comsumers.
I feared the imposition of martial law on the heels of September 11, 2001. I remember, perhaps my memory is faulty but I don't think it is, the commandant of the Marine Corps declaring that the USMC was ready to begin "homeland security" patrols throughout the nation. That was my worst nightmare, hummvs, freshly painted white, full of trigger-happy Marines cruising quite residential neighborhoods. Any way, I've been Googling for something, anything, to back up my memory. I know I did not make this up as I spent a sleepless night because of that pronouncement.
That Bush and Cheney, with the connivance of Karl Rove, would engineer an event that would waste the lives of thousands of Americans simply to gain complete dictatorial control is not out of the realms of possibility. It's merely the price of doing business.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The petroleum industry is quite profitable as it under the present system, so it really has no incentive to change the status quo. The best method of maintaining the current profitable regime for OPEC and the so-called Five Sisters of the oil industry is to strangle the infant upstart in his cradle.
Why else are industry giants, such as Shell Oil, asking that federal and state taxpayers pay the risk of developing new biofuel sources? Should the proposed biofuel ventures fail the major oil companies simply walk away leaving Uncle Sam holding the fiscal bag.
If the all the taxpayers of the nation or of a state must bear the risk of developing new technologies and biofuels for private industry, the traditional role of shareholders, should we not also be entitled to direct dividends much like Alaska’s citizens, who receive a yearly stipend for oil pumped from the North Slope?
The reality is that major energy companies do not wish the United States to wean itself off its dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
I have agreed to raise money for the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers and the Des Moines Area Religious Council by sleeping out on Nov. 10 at the Drake Stadium. You can make a contribution of any amount directly to the Iowa Homeless Youth Center, a community-based program of Youth and Shelter Services, Inc., by going to their Web site at reggiessleepout.org and clicking on “Sponsor Participant” on the menu on the left side of the page and type in my name.Note that Smilin' Jack says that the late Mr. Kelsey was a constituent of his. The kid was eighteen when he met his tragic demise and so I doubt if he ever had to chance to vote for Smilin' Jack. In fact Reggie probably didn't even know who Smilin' Jack was. The poor young man was barely competent to live on his own. But no one, least of all Smilin' Jack, gave a shit about the kid until after he died. Reggie was too retarded to enlist in the military, I'm sure that is an option presented to all kids like him when they "age out" of the state's foster care system, or even hold down a job flipping burgers.
This sleep out is named for a homeless man, Reggie Kelsey, a constituent of mine, who was forced to leave the state sponsored foster care program at age 18. Reggie Kelsey was a young man who “aged out” of the foster care system in 2001, and within three and a half months died in the Des Moines River.
Reggie had an endearing personality but functioned at a third-grade level and suffered from hallucinations and depression. He worried about how he would survive on his own. After being kicked out of his foster care placement, Reggie bounced from one shelter to another and occasionally camped outside while working with Iowa Homeless Youth Centers’ street outreach staff and others to try to qualify for federal disability payments.
As a result of Reggie’s death, Youth & Shelter Services, Inc., led the effort to develop the Iowa Aftercare Services Network to provide services to those aging out of foster care. The Legislature embraced this program by appropriating new dollars to cover a monthly stipend and additional services for these kids. It is now referred to as the PAL (Preparation for Adult Living) program.
Reggie’s Place Coffee Shop-- and now Reggie’s Sleep Out-- were named in honor of Reggie and Youth and Shelter’s Services’ commitment to prevent another tragedy. This is a worthwhile program and if you are able, contribute or spread the word, but mostly, understand that this is the reason government exists: to help our citizens, neighbors and friends when everything else has failed.
So now, on Reggie's corpse, Des Moines' weepy liberal community will:Sleep in a box, puptent (no stakes) or sleeping bag(undoubtedly the finest, most expensive subzero-temperature-rated sleeping bags) at the new Drake University Stadium. There will be food available(better that what's for dinner down at the shelter, I'll bet), entertainment(will it be the same rousing songs that the homeless sing to one another in one of Des Moines' many hobo jungles?) and even a box decorating contest!(I wonder how Reggie would have decorated his "box"? Perhaps with pictures of Smilin' Jack. ) All in all it looks to be an evening of bourgeois sentimentality at its worst.
You can sure tell it's an election year. Despite the fact that over 2770 US soldiers and 600,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in Iraq, the mainstream antiwar movement, or what's left of it, has failed to hold the two war parties accountable for the destruction and death they've initiated. And perhaps most disappointing of all, Cindy Sheehan, the brave soul who almost single handily resurrected the antiwar movement from the dark vestiges of the 2004 elections, has now surrendered to the politics of lesser-evilism.Frank ends his little diatribe by saying Sheehan doesn't get it.
Cindy Sheehan has joined forces with Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK as well as the Progressive Democrats of America, where Sheehan serves on the organization's Board of Directors. Benjamin too is on the PDA's Board and has aligned her antiwar activism with the group's charge to reshape the Democratic Party from within.
Perhaps Cindy Sheehan has fallen into the vicious trap of non-profit activism, where she cannot truly speak her mind without being fearful that her liberal supporters will pull their funding from the groups she aligns with. Or maybe Sheehan just doesn't get it. Maybe she doesn't understand that elections are a great place to go after the war enablers for all of their awful habits and evil deeds.
Cindy Sheehan isn't accustomed to backing down from a fight, and we owe her tremendously for her efforts to rekindle the antiwar movement when she staked out Bush in Crawford. But her decision to not take on the Democrats with vigor this election deserves criticism. We need Sheehan supporting antiwar candidates, not rebuilding the Democratic Party.
Obviously young mister Frank is not a student of American history. Nor does he seem to understand that the Republican Party conducts politial campaigns like military campaigns, so dividing one's own forces in the face of a stronger opponent is tantamount to committing suicide. I have said for years, to Greens and similar illogically thinking leftists, that first the Republican Party as we know it must be destroyed and then, and only then, can you take on the Democrats.
I'm not happy with the political party of my grandparents and parents. The Democratic Party, especially with the ascendency of the Democratic Leadership Council, is the distorted "free market" mirror-image of the old Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party. In fact, I'll even say that DLC Democrats are Rockefeller Republicans.
But with the Republican Party seemingly coming apart at the seams right now, it is very, very foolhardy to begin a three-way fight.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The other day, I needed to go to the emergency room.
Not wanting to sit there for 4 hours, I put on my old Army fatigues and stuck a patch that I
had downloaded off the internet onto the front of my shirt.
When I went into the E.R., I noticed that 3/4 of the people got up and left. I guess they
decided that they weren't that sick after all.
The patch is attached. Feel free to use it the next time you're in need of quicker Emergency
Maybe I'm intellectualizing this "joke" too much. Because last time I checked the Border Patrol wore traditional green uniform. So unless the narrator of the joke is wearing "fatigues" from the Vietnam era, Army BDUs are camo these days. And even then Vietnam era fatigues would be the wrong shade of green. I don't get it.
Monday, October 16, 2006
A decade after competition was introduced in their industries, long-distance phone rates had fallen by half, air fares by more than a fourth and trucking rates by a fourth. But a decade after the federal government opened the business of generating electricity to competition, the market has produced no such decline.I don't know where Johnson is getting his figures on de-reg leading to such great savings for the consumer--those mindless, faceless people out there somewhere who gobble up everything Mr. Moneybags glops on their economic plates--but it must be in 1980's dollars, when the de-reg mania began, because my long-distance bill seems no cheaper to me now that it did twenty years ago. So what's up with electricy deregulation? It has failed to deliver on the promise of lower utility bills. But why?
The disappointing results stem in good part from the fact that a genuinely competitive market for electricity production has not developed.
So how does government and industry make selling wholesale electricity to retailers competative? By its very nature the generation of electric power is a centralized activity. And nobody, but nobody wants an electricity generator plant built in their back yard. Johnson obliquely hints that deregulating electricity generation may have been a bad idea from the beginning. But there have been big winners in the electricity game, namely the big brokerage house of Goldman Sachs and defense/security leverage-buyout specialists The Carlyle Group.
Such investors have in some cases resold power plants they just bought, making a large profit. In other cases, investors have bought power plants from the utilities at what proved to be bargain prices, then sold the electricity back at much higher prices than it would have cost the utility to generate the electricity.Yet after all the chicanery and all of the skullduggery and screwing of the general public in states where electrical utility re-reg took place in the last ten years, Johnson can still find plenty of defenders of what should be indefensible. What is left out of the discussion is the simple fact that electricity, like a clean potable water delivery system, is necessary for the functioning of twentith century society. It is not something many people would choose to live without. In our "post-industrial," "post-modern" society one can survive adequately without recourse to an automobile. But without electrcity, to put it in the crudest vernacular, you are fucked.
Of course there is a silver-lining for the investor class. Concludes Johnson:
A study issued in June by the Edison Foundation, which represents investor-owned utilities* concluded that utilities would have to raise rates to upgrade local distribution systems and to finance long-distance transmission lines, as well as for new power plants. The study found that utility profit margins had thinned and financial strength had weakened. It called for relief in the form of higher rates.You see the "*investor-owned" electrical utlilties will still show a profit in the form of higher rates. Alls well with the world, save for welfare mothers and pensioners about to be forced out in the cold.
The appellation "*investor-owned," which I've asterisked in the above quotation, is the utility industry's cagey, dodge of making ownership appear as if it is spread out to a great number of small, mom-and-pop investors saving up for retirement. The reality is that while there are legions of small investors their holdings do not in any way shape or form match up to the shares of stock held by major investors. For example self-made billionaire, Warren Buffett, holds the lion's share of the electric utility sucking the marrow from my bones, MidAmerican Energy. However on the company's Web site, on a webpage coyly titled "About Us," there is nary a mention, even in passing,of Buffett's overlordship.
Capitalism does somethings very well. However generating and distribution electrical energy is not one of them.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Already the principals, especially Kuo's immediate ex-boss Jim Towey, are spinning, spinning, spinning, denying, denying, denying and slandering, slandering, slandering. Kuo is disgruntled former employee, deputy director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives no less, out to settle scores. Some disgruntled ex-employee.
That's not it at all. Kuo is a true believer. He is a true beliver to the extent of a professional wrestling fan who believe all the violence taking place within the squared-circle is real. In an article outlining his growing disgust in how the administration and the Republican Congress unfunded and manipulated the OFBCI for short-term political gain, posted at BeliefNet.com in 2005, Kuo wrote of our duplicitous president:
I have deep respect, appreciation, and affection for the president. No one who knows him even a tiny bit doubts the sincerity and compassion of his heart(emphasis added). Likewise, the people around the president are good and caring people. I know this firsthand because I experienced it during a health crisis in my own life when their kindness was evident.President Bush sincere and compassionate? The people around his "good and caring..."? This was two years after Kuo left the agency. In fact he is yet on record as feeling that the president is a sincere, compassionate man surrounded by villainous, incompetent advisors. Like a latter-day Wat Tyler Kuo wants to set this good man president free to pursue the goal of "Christianizing" the nation. History, though, tells us that the teenaged King Richard II, after meeting with Tyler, had him treacherously murdered, then repudiated every promise he made to his hapless would-be savior.
The presidental assassins are out after Kuo. But the history of OFBCI is in the books. It has done little or next to nothing to alleviate poverty. Kuo, in the article above, lays much of the blame on Democratic intransigence and the failure of liberal charititable organizations to hold a Republican dominated government accountable and the White House's lack of a minimal commitment to the OFBCI.
Kuo's revelations, from my cursoy reading of his writing and hence his beliefs, are seemingly founded on a New Testament interpetation of the Judeo-Christian Bible; helping the poor and oppressed is the short road to Heaven reading, as opposed to the God-wants-you-to-be-rich vision of the nation's Falwells, Robertsons and Van Impes. Kuo's reading of the New Testament is the one I was taught as a child. But Kuo's indictment of the administration's use of religion to further its political agenda, namely to line the pockets of the the already wealthy, would be stronger if he put away childish things and stopped counting on an invisible friend to bail out the world when it gets in trouble.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Andrew Sullivan, conservative homosexual (or homosexual conservative, take your pick), weighed in last night on the "Colbert Report;" opining that the Republican Party, following the revelations in the Mark Foley "Pagegate" scandal, now either have to act like adults and acknowledge homosexuals within the party and move on, or purge gay Republicans and suffer the consequences.
Blumenthal is betting on a purge. Of course, this will drive purged gay Republicans into the Democratic tent. In turn, this will serve as an excuse for the DLC to drive the Democratic Party further to the right.
I've long had a dream of seeing the destruction of the modern Republican Party, and that may be unfolding before my very eyes. But should the GOP collapse under its ideological weight, leaving the field open for conservative Democrats, a new, and powerfully effect, opposition party must be ready to take the stage. As you know, I oppose the velveteen-fascist economic and foreign policies of so-called "centerist" Democrats as much or more so than of the open and brutal fascism of the Republicans.
As much as I'd like to see Green Party take stage-left of American politics, I think they screwed the pooch by straying off the course, the 2000 Nader fiasco, that proved successful for European Greens; contesting small local elections for years before entering the national political arena.
My gut feeling, something I have in common with Fearless Leader, is that the United States is in for a long, slow, painful decline into capitalistic feudalism, ending in Third World nation status.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
By BOB LEWIS
Associated Press Writer
October 12, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. -- Democrat Mark R. Warner, the former governor of Virginia, has decided not to run for president in 2008, Democratic officials said Thursday.
Warner scheduled a late morning news conference in Richmond to make the announcement, according to two Democratic officials who refused to be identified because they did not want to upstage Warner's announcement.
The reason for Warner's announcement was not immediately known.
Hampton Roads, VA Daily Press.com
People who know Warner say his wife and daughters have never been eager to see him run for the presidency. His wife, Lisa Collis, was not a prominent Virginia First Lady and often remarked to people close to her that she did not like the political limelight.Crap. I deleted emails from the Iowa Democratic Party and Polk County Democrats trumpeting that the above named DINO would be in town today in at a pre-debate warm-up for Chester. Too bad. Of course, I wouldn't walk across the street to shake hands with him, so I didn't care in the first place.
Warner went to Italy for a family vacation this summer, reportedly to have the final decision-making conversation with them. Several people close to him have said that conversation did not take place.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
For the past twenty years or so, almost all the legislation that's come down from Capitol Hill has been shadow boxes, except those that strip our Consititonal liberties. The Democratic Party could regain a majority position if it would just point out all the Republican posturing for what it is: A three card monty game on a national scale.
But they can't because most establishment Democrats are in on the con-game.
NEW YORK A new study contends nearly 655,000 Iraqis have died because of the war, suggesting a far higher death toll than other estimates. This far exceeds normal media counts and is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December.
The study by [Dr. Gilbert] Burnham, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and others is to be published Thursday on the Web site of The Lancet, a medical journal.
The timing of the survey's release, just a few weeks before the U.S. congressional elections, led one expert to says it is "way too high," said Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. He criticized the way the estimate was derived and noted that the results were released shortly before the Nov. 7 election. "This is not analysis, this is politics," Cordesman said.
Ronald Waldman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for many years, called the survey method "tried and true," and added, speaking to The Washington Post, that "this is the best estimate of mortality we have."
I've answered my own question, haven't I. Anthony Cordesman, a John McCain functionary and DoD waterboy,is always an objective observer. We can rest assured that we, the American sheeple, can ignore a scientific study by one of the nation's top research universities.
Monday, October 09, 2006
The Kiron, IA Republican, fashioning himself the “blue-eyed Tom Tancredo” after the xenophobic Colorado congressman and front man of the Bay Buchanan chaired Team America PAC, spent the last year bashing illegal immigrants
Yet according to campaign finance watchdog Web site Open Secrets.org, big agribusiness, long the primary employer of illegal immigrants, is King’s biggest overall contributor.
Congressman King is on record supporting the construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, which, to much fanfare, President Bush recently signed legislation into law making this possible. But shortly thereafter, on October 6, the Republican dominated U.S. House and Senate passed appropriation bills so full of loopholes and exceptions as to render the border fence porous as Swiss cheese.
Representative King is not ignorant of this vote, yet that will not stop him from making outrageous race-baiting statements. It’s his stock in trade and what keeps him in the cushiest job he has ever had in his life.
Friday, October 06, 2006
To much fanfair pResident Bush play-acted that he was signing a bill into law authorizing a 700-mile, $1.2 billion fence along the Mexico-United States border Wednesday. But wait! What does that law really do? And what will GOP lawmakers do to ensure the continued flow of illegals to meat packing plants, vegetable farms and hotel and fast food restaurants?
GOP leaders have singled out the fence as one of the primary accomplishments of the recently completed session. Many lawmakers plan to highlight their $1.2 billion down payment on its construction as they campaign in the weeks before the midterm elections.You can bet that our diligent fourth-estate will widely report this follow-up story. If the Democrats win back the majority in both house of the federal Congress, you can also bet that, because of this deliberately flawed law, illegal immigration will come back to haunt them. The only way out of this dilemma is for this nation is for Congress and the president to authorize a Marshall-like plan to reinvigorate the economies of Mexico and Central America. Fences and prisons will never work.
But shortly before recessing late Friday, the House and Senate gave the Bush administration leeway to distribute the money to a combination of projects -- not just the physical barrier along the southern border. The funds may also be spent on roads, technology and "tactical infrastructure" to support the Department of Homeland Security's preferred option of a "virtual fence."
The loopholes leave the Bush administration with authority to decide where, when and how long a fence will be built, except for small stretches east of San Diego and in western Arizona. Homeland Security officials have proposed a fence half as long, lawmakers said.
The split between GOP leaders hungry for a sound-bite-friendly accomplishment targeting immigration and others who support a more comprehensive approach also means that the fence bill will be watered down when lawmakers return for a lame-duck session in November, according to congressional aides and lobbyists.
Spencer Hsu, Washington Post
Thursday, October 05, 2006
A new poll released Wednesday shows Mike Whalen leading congressional election rival Bruce Braley by 13 percentage points.An "outsider" who will "upset the apple cart..."?! Pull-eeze. A Republican businessman, Whalen owns the over-rated, over-priced, choke and puke Machine Shed Restaurant chain. Whalen's business both caters to and is a front for big agribusiness lobbys: Our home style, made-from-scratch cookin' continues to win numerous awards from farm groups like the Pork Producers and the Beef Industry Council.
The new Reuters/Zogby poll, conducted Sept. 25 to Oct. 2, says Whalen leads Braley 47 percent to 34 percent.
Now, here comes the "wha'th'fuck!?" statement by a Whalen functionary.In a prepared statement, Russ Perisho, Whalen’s campaign manager, said the poll shows voters are responding to the Bettendorf businessman as an outsider who would “upset the apple cart in Washington"(emphasis added).
And, of course, Whalen's Machine Shed is "family" oriented so everything's always on the up and up in a "Christian" sort of way. Take this little incident from three years ago, of instance:
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court here against Heart of America Management Co., which does business locally as the Machine Shed Restaurant. The federal agency's suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 charges that the Machine Shed permitted the sexual harassment of Joetta Haas, a server at its restaurant located at 7475 East State Street (Route 20) on the commercial strip west of Interstate 90. EEOC said Haas worked at the restaurant for 15 months until she resigned in September 2001 because of the continuing sexual harassment.We can be sure one of the "apple carts" Whalen wants to upset is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
EEOC said that its administrative investigation which preceded the lawsuit revealed that the harassment, which was carried out by a male server and observed by other employees, involved almost daily propositions and explicit sexual remarks which were graphic and offensive in the extreme, as well as the man physically grabbing the woman. At one point, while at work at the Machine Shed and in front of other servers, the man recounted a dream he claimed to have had in which he and the server were having sex. After the server married, the man escalated his harassment, told her "I can do a better job . . . than your husband," and graphically described his sexual desires.
When Joetta Haas complained about the constant harassment, according to the EEOC investigation, management told her that she "shouldn't get worked up about it," that there was "nothing [they] could do," that she should avoid the harasser, and that the harasser claimed that she had been making sexual remarks to him. The investigation also indicated that, after Haas was forced out of her job by the harassment, the harasser was eventually discharged because her complaints were corroborated by other employees.(emphasis added)
Ms. Haas said, "When I went to work at the Machine Shed, I didn't count on constant sexual harassment being part of the job. When it went on and on, and I complained, I really believed that management would do something about it. But nothing was done, and I was forced out of my job. I'm glad the EEOC is getting involved, and I hope there will be some real change at the restaurant and at Heart of America."
To be fair, I've eaten at the Urbandale, IA Machine Shed restaurant on several occasions and I found both the food quality and service to be spotty, ranging from good to, well, downright surly. Why? According to a Quad Cities Times report on Septermber 22, 2006,"...servers in his restaurant make $3.09 per hour base pay plus tips. He said the hourly wage, including tips, is $10 to $15 per hour for most servers." Ain't he a generous sonuvabitch?
A Denver-area man filed a lawsuit today against a member of the Secret Service for causing him to be arrested after he approached Vice President Dick Cheney in Beaver Creek this summer and criticized him for his policies concerning Iraq.Needless to say the bogus charges brought by agent Reichle Jr. were dropped. But the real lesson of this story, if there is one, is that Vice President Cheney's shell-pink ears are so sensitive, to even mild criticism, that upon hearing any disparaging remarks he begins bleeding from the eardrums.
Attorney David Lane said that on June 16, Steve Howards was walking his 7-year-old son to a piano practice, when he saw Cheney surrounded by a group of people in an outdoor mall area, shaking hands and posing for pictures with several people.
According to the lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in Denver, Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on.
Ten minutes later, according to Howards' lawsuit, he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president. Howards denied doing so, but was nonetheless placed in handcuffs and taken to the Eagle County Jail.
Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Hang down your head and cry,
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Your boyfriend’s still in junior high.
You saw him in the hallway,
And flashed him a big smile,
You got his name and address,
And e-mailed him through the night.
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Hang down your head and cry,
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Your boyfriend’s still in junior high.
This time tomorrow,
Reckon where you’ll be,
If it hadn’t been for bloggers,
You’d have gotten off scot-free.
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Hang down your head and cry,
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Your boyfriend’s still in junior high.
This time tomorrow,
Reckon where you’ll be,
Hiding out in some clinic,
Getting treatment you don’t need.
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Hang down your head and cry,
Hang down your head Mark Foley,
Your boyfriend’s still in junior high.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Pro-Homosexual Political Correctness Sowed Seeds for Foley Scandal
Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.
Foley, an unmarried 52-year-old representative, had always refused to answer questions about his sexual orientation. Now that his emails and messages to teenage male pages have been revealed, it appears clear that Foley is a homosexual with a particular attraction to underage boys.
While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. Although almost all child molesters are male and less than 3% of men are homosexual, about a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys--and in one study, 86% of such men identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual*.
Ignoring this reality got the Catholic Church into trouble over abusive priests, and now it is doing the same to the House GOP leadership. They discounted or downplayed earlier reports concerning Foley's behavior--probably because they did not want to appear "homophobic." The Foley scandal shows what happens when political correctness is put ahead of protecting children.
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
I broke Perkin's blog into paragraphs for clarity. Obviously this pious knucklehead skipped English class in pursuit of other pleasures. And it makes me wonder what his spelling might be like without the aid of "SpellCheck" freatures on this computer? Hey, don't get me wrong I'm not the greatest speller in the world, or typist for that matter.
As Foly represented a typically gerrymandered Florida federal district, he ran against only token opposition, but, in the parlance of today's politics, he was a "good fundraiser." And raise funds he did.
Foley's resignation from Congress does not affect his $3 million war chest.That's why GOP House leaders looked the other way while Foley diddled teenaged men. Political correctness had nothing to do with anything.
Federal campaign finance laws allow former lawmakers to use surplus campaign funds to pay certain legal expenses and other continuing costs, such as campaign-related record-keeping. They also are allowed to donate the money to other candidates or political parties, within contribution limits, or to make contributions to charity.
In the past, many former lawmakers have kept their campaign funds alive for many years, long after their political careers have come to an end.
*Using Perkin's math, and I'm bad at math, this means that two-thirds of all children molested are girls! Therefore, the vast majority of child abuse is meted out by heterosexuals. Lord, save us from heterosexuals!
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court sided Monday with Detroit newspaper unions and employees who were fired for their actions during an 18-month strike in the mid-1990s.It will cost those smart bean-counters in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press more to reinstate the fired workers than it would have cost to settle the strike.
Justices declined to hear the newspapers' appeal of a National Labor Relations Board ruling ordering the partnership that prints, distributes and sells advertising for the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press to reinstate fired employees.
The workers lost their job after the newspapers said they blocked entrances at a distribution facility and the Detroit News Building in violation of court orders during the strike that ran from July 1995 to February 1997.
The labor relations board determined that the employees had not engaged in misconduct, but were instead exercising their right to strike. It ordered the employees reinstated with backpay.
See Spoon Letter Anthology, July 23, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
The congressman’s proposals on education and health care are little more than sparkling generalities. Nussle falls back on the bromide that more of the right kind of education leads to higher wages and prosperity. The fact is that between 1979 and 2003 hourly wages for workers without college degrees fell while four-year degree holders’ compensation rose by less than a percent over that same period. His health care proposals are merely a sop to the insurance lobby.
And why does Nussle think creating a new bureaucracy will restore the public’s trust in state government? Can we trust an “inspector general” appointed by a Republican governor to investigate not only Democratic high jinx but GOP wrongdoing?
Democrat Chet Culver is only marginally better, but the voters of Iowa can do Congressman Nussle a favor and sent him back to Washington, D.C. so he can pursue a lucrative career as a K-Street lobbyist.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Beginning with his 1993 sponsorship of a measure in the Florida state legislature to seize the cars of men who solicited prostitutes, former restaurant owner and real estate agent Mark Foley repeatedly attracted a flattering political spotlight by inveighing against those involved in sexual crimes and presenting himself as a protector of exploited children.This pathetic puke covered his predilection for little boy butt by being the noisiest monkey in the anti-pedophile tree.
Foley was until two days ago a deputy whip for the House Republicans and a co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. A Web site for the bipartisan group states that it was formed to "create a voice within Congress" on that issue and to operate a hotline for tips about "online child sexual exploitation" that could be passed to law enforcement agencies.
In 1998, he sponsored legislation allowing the Boy Scouts and other volunteer groups to get access to an FBI criminal database so they could weed out child predators. In 2003, he pressed Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) to investigate a nudist camp for teenagers, noting that "I have been fighting for years to eliminate both child pornography and so-called exploitive child modeling Web sites."
During the congressional debate in 1998 over President Bill Clinton's affair with a White House intern, Foley called Clinton's actions vile and told the St. Petersburg Times that "it's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."
Now, one must ask himself, why do so many Republican oppose same-sex marriage?
The attacks on middle-class jobs are lending new meaning to the phrase "class war". The ladders of upward mobility are being dismantled. America, the land of opportunity, is giving way to ever deepening polarization between rich and poor.This, the economy, stupid, is what should be the main focus of the current political debate. But, instead, we are distracted by a "war on
The offshore outsourcing of American jobs has nothing to do with free trade based on comparative advantage. Offshoring is labor arbitrage. First world capital and technology are not seeking comparative advantage at home in order to compete abroad. They are seeking absolute advantage abroad in cheap labor.
At a Brookings Institution conference in Washington, D.C., in January 2004, I predicted that if the pace of jobs outsourcing and occupational destruction continued, the U.S. would be a third world country in 20 years(emphasis mine). Despite my regular updates on the poor performance of U.S. job growth in the 21st century, economists have insisted that offshoring is a manifestation of free trade and can only have positive benefits overall for Americans.
The United States is the first country in history to destroy the prospects and living standards of its labor force. It is amazing to watch freedom-loving libertarians and free-market economists serve as apologists for the dismantling of the ladders of upward mobility that made the America of old an opportunity society.
I just want the collapse, when it comes, to be short and final.
Friday, September 29, 2006
The Reuters/Zogby survey shows that members of the President’s political base are giving him better marks than they did a few months ago, as 44% of men, 44% of Catholics, 46% of married respondents, and 52% of regular WalMart shoppers(my emphasis) rated his work well.A sorry commentary on the state of education and collective intelligence in the United States.
Now, I have to go and puke.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Students pursuing a master's degree in business administration cheat more than other U.S. graduate students, according to a study for the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University.Coincidence, we now have the first president who holds a Master's of Business Administration from the Harvard School of Business. We have a president who has never really had to think his way out of any situation. And we have a president form whom a democratically structured system is anathema, corporate management structures are hierarchical, everything flows from the top down. I've heard many people over the years ask "why can't the government be run like a business?" Well those idiots got their wish. This government is being run like a business, a badly managed business. And for all their talk about "thinking outside the box" once these business school morons get an idea fixed in their tiny minds, they'll run with it, and the company, or in this case the government, right into the ditch.
The study found 56 percent of MBA students acknowledged cheating, compared with 54 percent in engineering, 48 percent in education and 45 percent in law school.
Earlier studies have found a high incidence of cheating among undergraduate business students. In 1997, McCabe, a professor of management and global business who is regarded by ethics professors as a leading researcher on cheating and plagiarism, found 84 percent of undergraduate business students said they cheated at least once, compared with 72 percent of engineering students and 66 percent of all students.
Here's the real laugherOfficials at top business schools said they didn't see much cheating. Honor codes that require students to sign a statement on each test saying they had not cheated -- and some requiring students to report cheating by others -- are a powerful deterrent, as are frequent classroom discussions about ethical behavior, they said.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
by Mark Bruggom, KICD, SpencerO', my fuckin' gawd, the parents were smoking pot in front of the kid. The fuckin' kid's going to get hooked on marijuana if some one don't intervene. Take the little bastard out of the house and throw the parents in jail and throw away the key!!
Someone who knew or cared for a northwest Iowa child has turned the child's parents in for smoking pot.
Spencer couple's been arrested on drug charges after they consented to a search of their home. Jerry and Samatha Wise are both 35 years old and both face charges of posession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Iowa Department of Human Services had received a tip drugs were being used in the Wise home, in front of a child. Both were booked at the Clay County Jail and then released.
Y'know, what kind of sick society do we live in where a child can be taken out of her home, because the parents partake of a recrational drug that does no one any harm, soothes, relaxes and only documented side-effect is weight gain, on hearsay. The poor kid's probably more traumatized by seeing mommy and daddy in handcuffs than from knowing they smoke pot.
Outrage burns in many an American breast, but there's scant outlet for it in the political arena. A friend of mine took his family to the annual Puyallup Fair near Tacoma, Washington. There was a CNN booth, in which a mini "Democracy Wall", an 8-by-4-foot sheet of butcher paper, was available for people to scrawl their sentiments in felt-tip. Fast as the CNN staffers changed the paper, scores more hastened forward to scribble their views, almost all of them harsh in language toward both CNN and the President. Families photographed each other in postures vulgarly disrespectful to the life-size cutout of Wolf Blitzer. When an older man -- he turned out to be the retired commander of a nuclear submarine -- rebuked the crowd and called for loyalty to Bush, the mood turned ugly, and for reasons of his personal safety he was advised to leave. "And yet," said my friend, the anthropologist David Price, "try getting these people to an antiwar rally."This is the jumping off point for a Cockburnian diatribe on the looniness of the 9/11 conspiracy aficionados. He simply dismisses them all as nuts, there is no bin Laden-Bush 9/11 conspiracy, end of discussion.
All this nuttiness, continues Cockburn, is merely a distraction:
I'm sure that the Bush gang, and all the conspirators of capital, are delighted at the obsessions of the 9/11 cultists. It's a distraction from the 1,001 real plots of capitalism that demand exposure and political challenge.This is easy for him to say. Cockburn, after all, whether he likes or even wants to admit, is the product of privilege though his official biographies are very coy about his family and education, it's as if he burst forth on the journalistic stage fully-grown, as Athene from Zeus' head.
Yet for all of Cockburn's outrage and all his sarcasm and condescension he never once, at least from the little I've read of his works over the years, offers up any perscription for what ails us. And this is precisely why I have a love/hate relationship with Cockburn's writing: While many of his columns are spot on and I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusions, when it comes to shaking the grimy hands of the working class, Cockburn instinctively recoils. Socialist son of a Communist he maybe, but please don't mistake Mr. Cockburn for an eight-hour-a-day man.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Anyway, this morning we have another instance of endless Muslim outrage.
CINCINNATI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - A car commercial proclaiming a jihad on the U.S. auto market and offering "Fatwa Fridays" with free swords for the kids is offensive and should not be aired, Muslim leaders said on Sunday.Actually, it sounds kind of funny, like something out of the old movie Used Cars. But, nooooo. Like the current uproar by the world's Catholics over Madonna's mock crucifixion during her stage show, Ohio's Muslim community is offended, offended they tell you! by radio commercials which haven't even been aired as of this time. I know, I'm sounding like your average white American reactionary, you know the kind of idiot who says something like, "We called the one black kid on our high school football team "N_____" all the time and he didn't seem to care."
"They are planning on launching a jihad on the automotive market and their representatives would be wearing burqas ... ," Mirza said. "They mentioned the pope in there and also about giving rubber swords out to the kiddies -- really just reprehensible-type comments."
Details of the radio ad, which has not yet been broadcast, have been reported in the local media, but officials at the dealership declined to comment about the content of the radio spot.
He also said the Council on American-Islamic Relations would likely contact the dealer to "offer some kind of cultural or sensitivity awareness training."
But that's not it at all. I am just fed up with religion in general and monotheism in particular. And I have a simple solution for bringing about harmony among all the adherents of the world's three great monotheistic traditions, three nuclear bombs: one for Jerusalem, one for Mecca and one for Vatican City. We could also do with smaller conventional bombs on the Thomas Road Baptist Chruch in Lynchburg, VA and Pat Robertson's home in Virginia Beach, VA for starters. Maybe a nuke on Salt Lake City for good measure.
My message to all the world's religious leaders: Grow the fuck up.