Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Expect "Harry and Louise" to rise from the grave

Oh, Jesus Christ, here we go again!
WASHINGTON - President Bush ratcheted up his confrontation with Democratic leaders Wednesday, laying out what he said is a stark ideological divide between a fiscally prudent, free market-loving GOP president and a Congress that aims to raise taxes and nationalize health care.

In seeking to prove that Democrats really are working toward federalized care as a replacement for the current private medical system, he criticized the comprehensive and famously unsuccessful effort led by then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the early 1990s to reshape U.S. health care and dramatically expand access.

According to Bush, Democratic baby steps toward nationalized health care include allowing younger people into programs designed for senior citizens, allowing adults into programs aimed at children and allowing the middle class into programs for the poor.
JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer
If the American electorate falls for this bullshit again we deserve to die in the gutter when we can't pay for catastrophic illnesses! Isn't that how the "free market" works? If you can afford it you live, if not you die. Anyway, Hillary's bullshit "universal" healthcare is mandatory insurance, not a Canadian-style, single-payer branch of the federal government.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do we need a coup d'etat to right the Ship of State?

We have truly entered the era of dangerous stupidity. To wit, this essay posted at the progressive/left Web site Online, by contributor John Stanton, titled Uniformed, active US military: Last hope for the US Constitution and the Republic. Writes Mr. Stanton:

"The uniformed, active duty members of the United States military are now the only force potent enough to stop the corporatization of America's public goods: its land, its air, its water, its people, its institutions, its infrastructure, and its rapidly deteriorating social compact.

...The uniformed US military is allowing itself to be transformed into a corporate monster. Even now, some military leaders act just like the callous CEOs in private industry. They throw away lives like a CEO blithely chops away 1,000 livelihoods. As it stands, within a decade the uniformed services will be totally polluted with over-the-horizon leaders who see their service to the country as little more than a CEO training exercise. At that point, the uniformed services will become little more than corporate muscle that is used to eliminate local or regional resistance to the corporate takeovers."
Here I pause and exclaim:"Allowing?!" The uniformed military already is a "corporate monster." It was transformed into a corporate monster on on July 1, 1973 when the law, signed by Richard Nixon in 1971, ending the draft and putting the Selective Service on standby, went into effect.

And I think Mr. Stanton is behind the time in his assessment it will be within a decade when military officer training is little more than training exercises for future CEOs and smooching up to the corporatist world. Take for example this March 16, 2006 posting from
Less than 6 months ago Gen. Richard B. Myers retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking military officer in the country. He’s quickly found alternative employment. From the Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp:

Northrop Grumman, one of the nation’s largest and best-known defense firms, announced Wednesday that Myers, an Air Force veteran and former fighter pilot, has joined its board of directors.

As one of 11 “non-employee” directors, Myers will earn $200,000 a year, according to a company spokesman. Half of that sum is paid to the company’s 12 directors in stock.
In exchange for his 200K, Myers will have to attend “eight scheduled board meetings this year, two of which are conducted by phone.
This is only one example. Generals and Navy admirals sliding into cushy corporate positions is the norm, not the exception. Yet this doesn't seem to deter Stanton in his call for a military takeover of the government.
How long until the uniformed military carries out its core duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States? The uniformed military is the only US government institution that has the tenuous trust and respect of the American people. The US Senate, House, presidency and judicial branches -- advised by their corporate handlers -- have used the uniformed US military to serve their own individual interests, not those embodied in the Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence. The premeditated policies of the current US government are literally killing the American people and creating foreign enemies that future American youngsters will be asked to kill. America can't even run a legitimate presidential election.

Two decades of this madness is enough. The uniformed military needs to be true to its oath of office. It's the domestic enemies that are destroying the country. The US Army oath for officers states, " . . . I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter . . ."
What a sad commentary on the state of current affairs when a progressive Web site posts an essay calling for a military putsch against the federal government. I understand Stanton's anguish and frustration with the corporatist reality of our political system but to call for a military dictatorship borders on insanity. Take for example the murder acquittal of Army sniper Jorge G. Sandoval Jr. or the clearing of murder charges for two soldiers at Fort Bragg, as reported by Robert Perry in this morning's edition of, against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan respectively. What lesson does this convey to our troopers of the All Volunteer Force? That if you're in uniform you can get away with murder? If that is the case why uphold the Constitution?

A 1999 study by Duke University professors Paul Gronke and Peter D. Feaver found: "Military elite officers, far more than elite civilians, are prone to view civilian society as troubled and in need of reform. Elite military officers, far more than elite civilians, are prone to think that civilian society can be repaired if only military values were more widely accepted."

Wishing for a military overthrow of the federal government is neither wise nor desirable, especially considering the widening philosophical gap between the all volunteer professional military and the rest of the population. That this country will fall under a military dictorship within the next ten years I have no doubt. And that the antiwar left will rue the day it ever supported the Milton J. Friedmen inspired All Volunteer Force, of this I also have no doubt.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

LTE: October 21, 2007

I find John Carlson the least professional, least reliable, not to mention least readable, of all the Des Moines Register's in-house columnists. However in a column in The Sunday Des Moines Register, "Biden takes a hit by funding vehicle that saved Iowans," October 21, 2007, Carlson hits a new low in journalistic sloppiness.

At one point in his column, an homage to Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) military vehicles and Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Carlson states as fact, Iowa City antiwar activists confronted the Democratic presidential candidate with placards reading "Impeach Joe Biden." Yet in doing a cursory Google search to prove, or not, Carlson's allegation, the only Web page with the requisite criteria was Carlson's own column!

Carlson implies that only Biden, out of the Senatorial Democrats running for the White House, supports the troops in Iraq. Had Carlson merely cross-checked to Register blogger David Goodner's October 10 entry he would learn that Biden, like the other Democratic presidential candidates, did not vote on the full National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 to which the Biden MRAP amendment is attached. A further check is found at the Web site which shows that not only did Biden skip the defense funding vote but so did Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Christopher Dodds and Iraq war supporter John McCain.

In this age of Internet connectivity and Google searches Carlson has no excuse for playing fast and loose with facts.

Carlson, like all Americans, is guaranteed the right to address his opinions. However, the use of half-truths, implications and innuendoes in the guise of fact, placing editorial opinion on the border of propaganda, has no place in the arsenal of the responsible journalist.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh, Christ, Ann Coulter, again

Oh, jeeze, the dumb bitch has gone off and offended America's Jews this time.

Will somebody knock this dumbass up and padlock her to a stove? I mean, isn't that what right wing reactionary women are for, breeding more little right wing bastards and keeping their big mouths shut?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

LTE: October 6, 2007

The tone of Dr. Charles F. Hesse's October 6, 2007 letter to the editor, "Medicare-type insurance penalizes providers," makes the good doctor appear as if he is more concerned about his bottom-line than the health and well-being of his patients.

Yet Dr. Hesse's letter would not seem so whiny and self-serving had he mentioned the reason for his ire, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) that, then, had the support of the American Medical Association.

Medicare payments to physicians for traditional Medicare Parts A and B have remained stagnant since 2001. This in itself is bad enough. But according to the AMA itself it is Medicare Advantage plans in which benefits and payments are administered by private healthcare insurance companies that are short changing both patients and physicians.

In May of this year the AMA reported that a survey of its members found than half that the patients with Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs were denied services typically covered by traditional Medicare. The same survey also reported that 51 percent of its doctors received lower payments from Medicare Advantage plans than from traditional Medicare.

But for the healthcare insurance companies which handle Medicare Advantage plans the federal government picks up the enrollee's monthly premium to the tune of $800 to $2,000 a month.

Dr. Hesse concludes by advising Des Moines Registers readers to visit the American Medical Association's Web site for "an intelligent solution to the health-care dilemma." Among the AMA's proposals are a national cap on medical malpractice law suit awards and shifting the burden of health insurance ownership from employers to individuals. It is little different than the so-called "universal" healthcare plan forwarded by Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton and keeps the private sector in the mix.

Perhaps Dr. Hesse should be asking why a private healthcare insurance company, answerable only to its major shareholders, is better than a single-payer healthcare system which, if the government is properly functioning, is accountable to the voting public?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Internet fun: Celebrity Look-alikes

Check this out! From My

Wow!! Kim Jong-Il looks only 72% like Kim Jong-Il!!
It must be the hair.

Ann Coulter's breeding always comes through.

Mitt Romney and Drew Barrymore? must be the lip gloss.

A tip o' the spoon to Older Music Greek's Stupid Stuff

Monday, October 01, 2007

O' No She Di'ent

The scary-looking tranny in the photo is the now infamous Debra Cagan, a U.S.
Defense Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Secretary Robert Gates, who said on September 11 of this year, no less, to a group of visiting United Kingdom Members of Parliament, "I hate all Iranians." I will let the newspaper that broke the story, The Mail On fill in the details:
And she also accused Britain of "dismantling" the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon.

"She seemed more keen on saying she didn't like Iranians than that the US had no plans to attack Iran," said one MP. "She did say there were no plans for an attack but the tone did not fit the words."

Another MP said: "I formed the impression that some in America are looking for an excuse to attack Iran. It was very alarming."
Of course The Pentagon had an elaborate excuse for Ms. Cagan's behavior, "She doesn't speak that way," said an official.

Now to be "fair" the above photo was not taken at the time of the MPs' visit last month but in October of 2005 on the occasion of Ms. Cagan receiving Hungary's Commander's Cross Order of Merit. At the reception at the Hungarian embassy in Washington, D.C. marking "National Day" Ms. Cagan's remarks are unrecorded. But from the wistful expression on her face she must be recalling better days when a mighty contingent of 300 doughty Magyars fought with the Coalition of the Willing in Iraq before turning tail and running in March of that same year.

Ah, well, here's to you Debra Cagan! Coalition builder, Iranian hater, and promoter of Sepoy armies. Iron Crosses become you.