Thursday, June 29, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Skywatchers with good telescopes and some experience just might be able to get a glimpse of this cosmic rock as it streaks rapidly past our planet in the wee hours of the morning.
Clem Snopes, NASA public affairs spokesman and a part-time student at Pat Robertson's
However, Snopes also urged asteroid spectators not to stray too close to the horizon in their quest for a sighting, as Republican Party science advisors have determined there is a significant risk they will stumble off the edge of the world and fall straight into the fiery pits of hell.
To help prevent such a disaster, President Bush has mobilized National Guard units from all 50 states to string plush velvet theater ropes around the entire surface of the planet, Snopes added.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
"Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
Read this newsletter online http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/
How could anything be added?
Then that little man in black there [a clergyman], he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Excerpt from FDL
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
"A ban on speech and a shroud of secrecy in perpetuity are antithetical to democratic concepts and do not fit comfortably with the fundamental rights guaranteed American citizens ... Unending secrecy of actions taken by government officials may also serve as a cover for possible official misconduct and/or incompetence." - Judge Richard Cardamone, explaining his decision to uphold the unconstitutionality of the Patriot Act's National Security letters provision.
Describing James Madison's belief that an absolutely essential condition for the American republic be that "no man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause," Gary Wills writes, in Explaining America,
No king, no legislature, no body at all should be put in a situation where interest has no overseer. The virtuous man will not want to be put in that situation. He welcomes the scrutiny of fair men. His virtue is not private, but public; on display, and asking to be tested.
Could the presidency of the Bush administration possibly be further removed from that ideal of “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"? Having its "virtue" displayed in public, to be judged by "the scrutiny of fair men" is the last thing that the administration wants. Indeed, since the President took office, it has been a matter of policy that this administration ask to be put in a situation where it would be a judge in its own cause, while also asking us to trust that it is privately virtuous.
The administration has claimed that neither Congress nor the Courts can review its actions. Congress doesn't seem to mind very much, and the administration avoids the courts whenever it appears that it might be challenged. It claims "state secrets" would prevent a court from judging its actions. But this administration has lost the right to the benefit of the doubt. The right to keep secret the President deciding that laws no longer apply to him, that he can be a judge in his own cause, can not be a matter of national security.
As Thomas Paine put it:
It has become apparent that "national security" is used by the administration as a synonym for its own private political interests, private political interests that would make George W. Bush king ...
It is not transparency and openness that threatens our security, but obsessive and excessive secrecy. Removal of oversight of the government is a threat to our security. When our government operates in the shadows we have no idea whether or not what they are doing is in our interest. The sad, likely truth is that the events of September eleventh, 2001 could have been prevented if better analysis of the existing intelligence had taken place - intelligence that was gathered without the Patriot Act, without the NSA being authorized to spy on Americans without a warrant, without secret CIA prisons, without "enhanced interrogation tactics", without President Bush asserting the right to unilaterally decide when the Constitution is applicable.
This administration, full of ideologues, immune from consideration of reality, deliberating in secret, hiding their motives from us, is what threatens us. Look at their track record. They were warned that their abandonment of the Geneva Conventions would invite abuse, they did it anyway. They were warned invading
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to prohibit flag burning. So maybe it's fitting that, if we're going to be a police state, we may as well start acting like it. After all, as Ed Brayton notes:
One of the very first things that Hitler did upon seizing power in
I — like many others — will always remember DeLay best for his reaction to the Columbine shootings in 1999:
“Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills.”
The man who said this has been one of the most powerful leaders of the Republican Party for over a decade and was treated seriously by the DC press corps the entire time. Never forget that — about either the Republican Party or the press. All the rest is trivia.
(Note: If you want to see Tommy in action, check out The Big Buy. Great film of the wingnut's hero.)
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Thursday, June 15, 2006
The death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the big news of the week. While I hold no brief for this apparently loony extremist and callous murderer of innocents, I've been sickened by the whole deal and the reactions of some politicians.
According to ABC Radio National, some witnesses have claimed that there were women and children killed in the raid that killed al-Zarqawi. If this is so, how can anybody be "delighted", to quote from Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer?
In the USA, Rumsfeld said that al-Zarqawi was probably the one person with the most blood on his hands in the whole world. Now there is a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black. Dastardly al-Zarqawi was not responsible for the deaths of scores of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq. Rumsfeld and Bush are.
They killed al-Zarqawi with a 500-pound bomb. They didn't drop a 500-pound can of sleeping gas or MACE, which would have done the trick. No, in true Bush-macho horror style, they used a massive explosive weapon, no doubt obviating the possibility of the world hearing al-Zarqawi in court condemning America's cruel State-sponsored terrorism perpetrated on the people of Iraq.
It seems to me that Jesus Christ (aka Prince of Peace), who is apparently a member of the current USA administration, used to have quite a different take on what to do with one's enemies.
Monday, June 12, 2006
It's as simple as this. Most members of Congress, myself included, share some responsibility for getting us into Iraq. We've got to take responsibility for getting us out.
Since April, hundreds of thousands of you have joined me in calling for a change in policy, a change in course -- for Iraq, and for Americans here at home. Now let's turn the volume up higher. Washington needs to hear your voice.
The violence continues to spiral in Iraq. But, instead of a deadline to bring our troops home and put the future of Iraq in the hands of Iraqi leaders, we get half-hearted comments about past mistakes, and cynical political calculation.
Last month, I introduced Senate Joint Resolution 36 which calls for the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq by the end of this year. In the next few weeks, I am urging the Senate to take a strong stand on Iraq and pass this Resolution. It's time to put the future of Iraq where it belongs - in the hands of the Iraqi people and their leaders. Our valiant soldiers have done their job.
President Bush wants to stumble along, perpetuating his mistakes for the remainder of his time in office. He's even suggested that decisions about withdrawing all of our troops from Iraq will be for the next president to make.
And, instead of statesmanship, the president's top advisor, Karl Rove, is worrying that the war has put voters in a "sour mood" for the 2006 elections. He should be worried about the safety of our troops, not the job security of Republican congressmen.
It took President Bush three years to admit he was wrong to say 'bring it on.' We can't afford years to go by until he admits the standstill in Iraq today is wrong.
Tell your Senators: support Senate Joint Resolution 36 to bring our combat troops home in 2006
After months of squabbling and delay, we now hear that the new Iraqi government will complete its cabinet in a matter of days. So, it's time to act -- time to keep the pressure on.
Iraqi leaders have only responded to deadlines -- a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, a deadline to hold three elections, and their own constitutional deadline to establish a unity government.
Now we must set another deadline to get our combat troops out and get Iraq up on its own two feet. We must agree with the new Iraqi government on a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by the end of this year.
Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country, and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country.
Tell your Senators: support Senate Joint Resolution 36 to bring our combat troops home in 2006.
Our soldiers have done their job, and America is grateful to them for their honor and sacrifice. Now it's time for the Iraqis to do their job of securing and governing their country and it is time to get our combat troops home in 2006. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain.
We need blunt talk and clear plans -- and only pressure from you can force Washington to change course.
I am committed to forcing Congress to speak out on Iraq. Yesterday in Los Angeles I made it clear that I'm not going to stop fighting until we have a change in policy. I urge you to keep supporting our efforts to force action when lives are on the line and leadership is desperately needed.
To email your senators, go here.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Anita (featured left), Miles and Queenie are currently enjoying the run of a run behind Debby Widolf's home here in Kanab, Utah. And Debby's enjoying watching the three hop around in drunken stupors.
Well, they're not really drunk, but because of a permanent head tilt to one side, they look like they regularly imbibe in three-carrot martini lunches.
Debby, who is the manager of the Bunny House here at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, said their condition is due to a parasite, but that it isn't really serious and even makes them look "kinda cute."
She took them home with her because they need continuing medical care. Debby feeds them liquid medicine (yuk!) mixed in with fruity baby food (yum!) twice a day. After two months, they'll be done with the medicine and can then look forward to being spayed and neutered. And from there, hopefully, the three lopsided bunnies will find loving homes.
According to Debby, their favorite treats are cilantro and cheerios.
Petting is good for them, too.
"Miles is a little shy, but I think once he gets a chance to be around other bunnies, he'll come out of his shell," said Debby. "Otherwise, they're really fun, funny, loving rabbits."
Article by Amy Abern. Photos by Molly Wald.