Thursday, May 31

Can you believe this MF Shit?

This just up on my favorite site - Thinkprogress.

The Bush Administration is yet again attacking Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius, this time claiming that she was negligent and absent during the recent tornado disaster in Kansas because - oh, wait for it - irony like this only comes once a millenia - she was attending a jazz concert in New Orleans.

Ba-dum CHING!

Bush administration officials, stung by complaints from Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that National Guard heavy equipment needed by tornado-stricken Greensburg, Kan., is in Iraq, are putting out word that she was two days late at the disaster scene because she was attending a jazz festival in New Orleans.


Are you shitting me?

Just when you think you're completely plum run out of outrage. My god. The fucking B.A.L.L.S of these people.

Hey doesn't anyone one of you right-wing super-Geniuses remember this?



Or This?



Or how about this?



Which was happening about the same time as this...



And y'know what the real kicker is? The White House's claims about Governor Sebelius aren't even f-ing true!

Yes, Sebelius was in New Orleans with her family when the tornado hit that Friday evening. But she was notified that night about the tornado, and she and her staff in Kansas immediately began trying to assess the damage. When the scope of the disaster became clear, they began making arrangements for her return.

Sebelius didn’t attend any of the jazz festival and left her family in New Orleans, flying back Saturday afternoon using a plane arranged by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.


One day. It took ONE DAY for Sebelius to cancel her plans and head back home to address the situation.

Days before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast President Bush was specifically told that there was grave danger to the levees, yet days afterward he still had the temerity to claim "I don't think anyone anticipated the breech of the levees."

And now this?

I didn't think I could be shocked by this Administration after the torture and the warrantless wire taps, politicizing the Justice Dept, racial discrimination at the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, the bodies piling up in Baghdad and Walter Reed.

I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Vyan

Wednesday, May 30

Taliban and Al-Qeada announce Merger - Dow Skyrockets!

From Thinkprogress

On May 30, 2005, Vice President Cheney declared that the insurgency in Iraq was in its "last throes" and predicted "the level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline."

And three years later?

Since Cheney’s statement two years ago, 1,799 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, roughly half of all U.S. fatalities. At least 12,378 U.S. soldiers have been wounded.

Wrong again, shooter!

But y'know what's even worse? According to the Moonie-Times Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have just implement a nice neat new corporate merger.

"The Taliban has merged its propaganda and field operations with those of the global al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden," enabling the Taliban to "develop from a xenophobic, home-grown Islamist movement into a more outward looking force that is helping to advance al Qaeda’s global interests."

Oh, Isn't that just fine?

Whatever happened to...

The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.

Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.

Yet last September Pakistan signed a peace treaty with the Taliban which among other things... established a stay-out-of-jail zone for Osama bin Laden.

If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."

Is that what you call the - "Smoke 'em out!!" Strategy?

Instead of reading Pakistan the Riot Act after this announcement, President Bush invited Presidents Musharraf of Pakistan and Karzai of Afghanistan out for a quiet dinner. Are you fracking kidding me?

The three leaders had a constructive exchange on the common challenges facing our three nations. The leaders agreed on the need for common action to achieve common objectives. They committed to supporting moderation and defeating extremism through greater intelligence sharing, coordinated action against terrorists, and common efforts to enhance the prosperity of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And as result of that "stern jaw-boning" session over some fettucini and veal we have this .

"The Taliban have changed immensely in the last year due to the mentoring they are getting from leading Arab jihadists in Pakistan with al Qaeda, both in the realm of battlefield tactics and media operations," said Lutfullah Mashal, a senior official in Afghanistan's National Security Council.
"They are doing what works in Iraq and often succeeding," said Mr. Mashal, who as director of strategic communications designs media operations to oppose the Taliban.

Now look, I know that Pakistan has got The Bomb and all, but this is just plain ridiculous. America has got to get it's priorities straight.

We are getting Punk'd in Afghanistan.

"Scores of civilian deaths over the past months from heavy American and allied reliance on airstrikes to battle Taliban insurgents are threatening popular support for the Afghan government and creating severe strains within the NATO alliance. ... What angers Afghans are not just the bombings, but also the raids of homes, the shootings of civilians in the streets and at checkpoints, and the failure to address those issues over the five years of war.

NATO, NATO is having it's ass handed to them.

NPR reports, "In Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgency is spreading, even reaching some provinces in the north that had never been its strongholds. Last week, Taliban fighters attacked a district only 45 miles from the capital, Kabul. Afghans increasingly fear that NATO and Afghan forces will lose the war."

Now Pakistan has become a Safe Haven for Terrorism yet were talking all this trash about Bombing Iran?

Why is that subject even on the table when we haven't stopped Bin Laden yet?

Before we invaded Iraq there was NO LINK between Saddam, Iraq and Al-Qeada.

Before we invaded Iraq, President Bush was specifically warned what it would turn into by the CIA and ignored it.

"A stable democratic government in postwar Iraq would be a long, difficult, and probably turbulent challenge."

"Al Qa’ida probably would see an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks during and after a U.S.-Iraq war."

"Rogue ex-regime elements could forge an alliance with existing terrorist organizations or act independently to wage guerilla warfare against the new government or Coalition forces."

"A US-led defeat and occupation of Arab Iraq would boost proponents of political Islam and would result in ‘calls for the people of the region to unite and build up defenses against the West.’"

"Funds for terrorist groups probably would increase as a result of Muslim outrage over US action."

That last prediction is the most telling because according to current reports the new number one fund-raising source for Al-Qaeda - is now Iraq!

U.S. officials say that "al-Qaida’s command base in Pakistan increasingly is being funded by cash from Iraq, where the terrorist network’s operatives are raising substantial sums from donations to the insurgency as well as kidnappings of wealthy Iraqis and other criminal activity."

I understand that the world is a complex place, and indeed sometimes you have to make the preverbial "deal with the devil" - but What-The-Fuck is going on here??!

When John the Boner shed his crocodile tears about "When are we gonna stand up and defeat 'em", I thought it was just PR. but now I gotta say - He has got a point, we're not fighting them over there so they don't come here - or even fighting them there so they can kill us there - we're not fighting them at all.

It's just pathetic, it really is.

Everything this President has done since before 9-11 has been completely bass-ackwards. I know I'm preaching to the choir, I know our conservatives fellow Americans aren't listening, they've got their fingers in their ears and are going "LaAa laa laa" whenever anyone has the gall and temerity to dare criticize Lord Bush the Second, because to them Bush is America and Bush IS The Troops ™ - and if we stop clapping for Bush we stop clapping for the troops which according to Bill Maher...

"Will make Tinkerbell's light will go out and she'll die...."

But God-Dammit I have to believe that their are some people besides us "crazy commie liberal democrat scum" who are actually paying attention here.

This has gotta stop. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or Republican - this has gotta stop.

/rant!

Vyan

Al Gore on Countdown

Al Gore on Countdown.

Tuesday, May 29

We eat our own, don't we?

We eat our own here don't we?

This is why the right-wing thinks were a joke. But at the same time, it just might be why we're a perfect antidote to their knee-jerk lock-step dance of doom.

If the wake of the "great cave-in" of 2006 by Congressional Democrats Cindy Sheehan has now officially resigned as the "Face of the Antiwar Movement". BBC reporter Greg Palast has seen fit to blast back as Dkos having learned that it's "Hard out here for an Internet Pimp"

No shit, dude.

Hannity's gonna have a field day with this one.

Pardon me while I ramble a bit, but I have a point to make in here somewhere.

The other day I wrote about the sociopathology of conservatism, but it's not like Liberals are free of their own self-destructive pathologies is it?

We have a tendencies to be our own worst enemy. Republicans accuse us of being "cut and runners" and what do we do... Cut and RUN out on our principles. Jimmy Carter stands up and tells the truth, then immediate backs down and scampers away like a beaten little mouse.

Oh - "I didn't mean it". "I was mis-interpreted" "Taken out of context"

Oh, Bullshit.

I know it can be enough to make you pull your hair out even if don't have any hair.

Cindy Sheehan bitches out Congress for backing down against the President, then she backs down.

Oi vey.

Look, I don't blame Cindy for making this decision - she has to live her own life and frankly she's given far more of herself to help to protect the lives of so many other people's children than anyone should ever ask or expect. She deserves a chance to rotate back from the front lines of the War against the War.

It just looks so bad...

Hey guys, remember that We Won the Congress just few months ago? There's still hope that we can end this war, there still hope that we can undo at least some of the damage that George Bush has inflicted on this nation and the world.

Everything we hear about Gonzo-Gate just looks worse and worse. Trying to punk Attorney General Ashcroft into allowing an illegal wiretap program while he's hopped-up on meds in the hospital? Caging African-American Voters? Setting up ideological litmus tests for the DOJ?

There isn't one part of this that doesn't stink like a shit-bomb.

We have a LOT. of. WORK. to. DO.

Now really isn't the time to fold and leave all our chips on the table.

Henry Waxman is going after Lorita Doan with a torch and a pitchfork.

Wolfowitz is out on his ass, and making excuses.

The right-wing is having conniptions fits over whether September will or won't be the next turning point in the Iraq war.

Yet another Rove Lackey has bit the dust.

Olbermann is driving Drudge bat-shit crazy.

We should be doing the high-five time 1000, yet we have all this pissing and moaning from the guys on our team!.

But...

But, this just might be the greatest thing about our side of the fence. We keep each other honest. We don't do the crony shuffle. We don't do the lock-step. It can be tough to be in our camp, it can be brutal. We've long ago run off Bev Harris. Barack says that places like Dkos are "pretty much what he'd expect."

Sure, whatever dude.

This is what seperates us from the other side; they get their talking points from punditocracy and regurgitate them without ever digesting them - but we really are having a duel of ideas and ideals on sites such as this. We don't accept orders from on high. Kos and Skinner are not my Kommandants.

They aren't the boss of me.

We're all just trying to figure this ongoing American experiment out, one person at a time, one argument at a time. It's a knife fight, not a mud-wrestling match. It can be painful. It can hurt. We can shed blood. We can leave a scar - but that's the way it has to be.

Just as the founding fathers used the printing press and publications such as "Common Sense" to spread their ideas of democracy, to further the enlightenment of the new world as they crafted the struts and applied the mortar to our democracy, so must we - the citizen media - use the new publishing technologies of the Netroots to continue to carve and shape that democracy into a more perfect union.

Democracy is real hard work, but worth it.

So I salute, yet mourn our fallen soldier Cindy. Hopefully as we pick up the flag and carry it forward we'll try not to let some of the various slings and arrows of criticism and ridicule coming our way at light-speed - even from our allys - sting too deeply, or dim the fire that drives us forward to save this nation from itself.

God, Jehova, Muhammad, Shiva, Chrishna and Buddha bless America.

Vyan

Sunday, May 27

The Sociopathic Disease of Conservatism

I've made this argument - that Conservatism is a Disease - for quite sometime, but this will be one of the first times I really get down to the nitty gritty of it. It's been my feeling that the modern day conservative cult that thrives in America is fueled by a low-grade form of anti-social pathology and compulsive-addictive disorder. They're like Hate-Junkies. And the number one thing they hate are Liberals.
Recently the following screed was posted as a comment on my lonely little blog.

Anonymously - of course.

Liberalism is a mental disorder,
This is the agenda of the Left. And they don't even try to hide it:

1. Re-establish the "Fairness Doctrine" to silence Conservative Talk Radio
2. Insure the success of the Mexican (and other Third World) invasion and conquest of White America.
3. Disarm all law-abiding citizens
4. Silence all speech of which they disaprove by expanding the definition of "Hate Speech", and pass laws to make such speech punishable by imprisonment.
5. Immediately surrender to the enemy in the Islamic War.
6. Establish Islam as a State-Protected Religion with assistance by CAIR and government schools.

My immediate response was the following.
If they "don't try to hide it" could you find any single respected "Liberal" who openly, or even on the sly - endorses any of that crap?

My own view is...

1. Re-establish the "Fairness Doctrine" to silence Conservative Talk Radio.

The Fairness Doctrine would do no such thing. It would actually require that the News, be the News - while Equal Time for Commentary and Editorialism would be enforced.

2. Insure the success of the Mexican (and other Third World) invasion and conquest of White America.

By what - making them American too? I'd say that's America conquering them.

3. Disarm all law-abiding citizens

Short 2nd Amendment Lesson, there's nothing in there about law abiding citizen, law enforcement or hunting. The 2nd Amendment is directed specifically at "a well regulated militia" being neccesarily for the maintainance of freedom from tyranny. You in a Militia? No? Then it doesn't apply to you.

4. Silence all speech of which they disaprove by expanding the definition of "Hate Speech", and pass laws to make such speech punishable by imprisonment.

I do support enforcement and some moderate expansion of Hate Speech and FCC regulation of same. But not to stop such speech, simply to make it painful to be an asshole in public. If we can fine ABC for Janet Jackson's titty we could fine Imus or Limbuagh, but they'd both still be on the air.

5. Immediately surrender to the enemy in the Islamic War.

Which Islamic War? - the one between the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq or the one in Afghanistan and Pakistan aginst Al Qaeda? In the former case, we've got no hunt in that fight. Do we side with the Sunni or the Shia? In the later case I've heard NO ONE suggest we should surrender to Al-Qeada or Hezbollah for that matter, in fact Democrats have been struggling to get Bush to send more troops to Afghanistan by taking them out of Iraq..

6. Establish Islam as a State-Protected Religion with assistance by CAIR and government schools.

Ok, that's just ridiculous. Liberals and Progresses want protection from a state sponsored religion, y'know like the Pilgrims and the Quakers who were trying to escape the persecution of Henry VIII's Anglican Church. Or for that matter - the Taliban.
Now I'd like to take my response a bit further, and rather than address the tit-for-tat points of Mr. Anonymous, consider exactly how anyone could come to believe such drivel. I understand of course, that these were merely boiler-plate cut-and-paste straw-man B.S. right-wing talking points. In understand that this person clearly hasn't been reading my blog, or it's crossposts on Dkos, Democratic Underground or OpedNews and hasn't seen what I've already discussed concerning The I-Mess or Immigration or Hate Crimes Legislation. (Cuz y'know... Facts are for Pussies!) It's clear that this just typical right-wing radio blather. I know that this is a form of Projection, making accusations of others that are simply fun-house mirror reflections of their own actual positions. (Liberlism is accused of being a "mental disorder", when in all likelyhood it is Rabid Neo-Conservatism that is based on abnormal pathology),

I know he's just a troll!.

I understand all this, but what I've always felt disturbing is how many people are more than willing to eat this stuff up and spew it right back out. Normally I wouldn't care, except for one thing - I'm pretty sure all these deeply deluded people vote!

As I've written before on Hating the Enemy, (namely Liberals) the leaders of the right-wing movement are not at all shy about telling us how they feel and who we should be hating.
Let's do a quick review (thanks to Media Matters) of some of the things that Republicans, including Hannity, regularly say about Democrats and Liberals.
  • Sean Hannity suggested that the DNC may have been behind the Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos, asking: "Was that a DNC plot too?" (The Sean Hannity Show, 9/10/04)

  • Laura Ingraham stated that Democratic Sens. John Kerry (MA), Joseph R. Biden Jr. (DE), and Barbara Boxer (CA) are "on the side of" North Korea leader Kim Jong Il because they were opposed to John R. Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (Hannity & Colmes, 4/11/05).

  • Ann Coulter on Bill Clinton, "he was a very good rapist" and "molested the help" and on Al Gore, "Before we knew he was clinically insane" - "He seemed kinda gay"

  • Bill O'Reilly says he doesn't do "personal attacks", except of course for when he does.

  • On The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly has referred to media writer and Fox News Watch panelist Neal Gabler as a "rabid dog" and said of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, "How nuts is this guy?" O'Reilly also said guest Christopher Murray "sounds like a fascist" for saying that that public institutions should not display religious symbols and called former Public Broadcasting System host Bill Moyers a "totalitarian." Students at the University of Connecticut who heckled right-wing pundit Ann Coulter during her campus appearance there earned the title of "far-left Nazis" from O'Reilly. He's also called John Kerry a "sissy", and claimed that Bill Clinton would be welcomed as president by Osama bin Laden.

  • Jonah Goldberg has distorted comments by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), called syndicated columnist Helen Thomas a "thespian carbuncle of bile," and accused former President Jimmy Carter of engaging in a "mildly ghoulish exploitation of Coretta Scott King's funeral."

  • Then of course there's Michelle Malkin whose has claimed that "the vast majority of Hispanic politicians" believe that "the American Southwest belongs to Mexico;" has referred to certain Californian politicians as "Latino supremacists;" and characterized recent immigration protests as "militant racism" marked by "virulent anti-American hatred."
All of these people, are playing the Fear Card. Fear the brown-skins and the darkies. Fear the muslims. Fear the fags. Fear the ACLU. And Fear the Liberals who somehow have this crazy idea that America is supposed to be somekind of "Land of the Free" where all kinds of weird and different and disgusting people are supposed to be able to "Seek the American Dream" or some such nonesense. John Dean has written about this strategic re-writing of Americas History in his book "Consevatives without Conscience"

In their efforts to present conservatism as an Ameican tradition, conservatives have also reinterpreted the U.S. Constitution. One of the key elements of the Constitution is the establishment of a unique republic, in that a federal system would coexist with state and local governments. Before it was ratified many opponents attacked its progressive and innovative nature, for far from representing teh status quo, the Constitution was dramatically liberal.

James Madison defended it in The Federalist Papers by explaining that the founders "have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom" but rather employed "numerous innovations... in favor of private rights and public happiness." Madison sid that "precedent could no be discovered," for there was no other government" on the face of the globe" that provided a model. Madison, the father of the Constitution, clearly saw his work as the opposite of conseratism.

Yet conservatives today continue to exploit xenophobia and paranoia of all things "progressive" all tucked up in nice neat American Flag wrapper of gingoism.. Dean also argued that what currently drives the conservative movement is nothing less than Totalitarian Authoritarism. From his appearance on the Daily Show with John Stewart.
Dean: In dealing with that, in the Milgram experiments, where he brought people in off the street, and indeed found that he could get them to administer high voltage -- what they thought was high voltage, and it wasn't. I deal with that to show how people can set their conscience aside. In other words, how do people go into the CIA every day and carry out some of the orders for torture? How do people go into NSA and turn that incredible apparatus against Americans? This is a typical Milgram situation. I actually go beyond that to find the nature of the authoritarian personality that will follow a leader who is an authoritarian.
In Milgram it was shown that otherwise normal people would submit their own conscience to the will of an authority figure and would, if continually pushed to do so, administer a lethal level electric shocks despite the screams and protests of the intended victim. Compare this with the definition of a Sociapath.
Sociopaths are very egocentric individuals that lack a sense of personal responsibility and morality. They may be impulsive, manipulative, reckless, quarrelsome, and consistent liars. Sociopaths are usually unable to sustain relationships and have a total lack of remorse for their actions. The sociopath may also be very prone to aggressive, hostile, and sometimes violent behavior. This aggression may or may not lead to criminal behavior and often takes the form of domestic violence. Along with these other actions, sociopaths often engage in self-destructive behavior such as alcoholism or addiction to drugs. This, of course, usually worsens many aspects of the sociopathic behavior. Despite these previous symptoms, the sociopath may be an excellent actor, always appearing charming, calm, and collected. They usually have a normal or above normal intelligence level and good verbal fluency. It is these qualities that sometimes place the sociopath in leadership positions within their social groups and often make it hard to spot their "black side".
Essentially Sociopaths have no conscience, no morality as we would describe it. Whereas Dean discusses the ability for ones conscience to be selectively suppressed under specific situations and in regards to specifics types or groups of individuals when directed by a "trusted authority". Clearly, a true sociopath doesn't need to be directed by others - and frankly wouldn't allow it - yet their behaviors remain markedly similar.

We can see it in the way the Bill O'Reilly can be so charming at one moment and then a raging lunatic the next. We can see it in Douglas Feith as smilingly twists reality and facts regarding Saddam and Al-Qaeda into linguini. We can see it with Bill Kriston, Michelle Malkin, Katie O'Beirn and Ann Coulter. These people are the standard bearers of the right-wing. The "Authorities" to which many for which many of our fellow citizens are willfully neutered their own conscience in aquiesence to. Here's an example from Dr. Bob Altemeyer, one of Dean's primary sources, intoducing his new book - The Authoritarians.
For example, take the following statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within.” Sounds like something Hitler would say, right? Want to guess how many politicians, how many lawmakers in the United States agreed with it? Want to guess what they had in common?

Or how about a government program that persecutes political parties, or minorities, or journalists the authorities do not like, by putting them in jail, even torturing and killing them. Nobody would approve of that, right? Guess again.
The idea that "All Men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights" is lost on these people. All rights become optional, based on whether that person passes the proper litmus test. Maintaining Habaes Corpus is "giving terrorists special rights." Monica Goodling did "nothing wrong" when she attempted to achieve ideological purity within the Justice Dept, that's the way it should be. Tim Griffin did nothing wrong by systematically caging the votes of African-American Troops while their were serving in Iraq. Who said their opinion and vote should matter? War Crimes and Torture are good for our intelligence, that is if we did do the torture. Karl Rove is just so misunderstood. I need my tax money for the down payment on my second condo. The poor are just lazy and deserve what they get. Iraq had it coming. The President has the "inherent power" to do any damn thing he feels like. Valerie Plame-Wilson had it coming. Good healthcare is for those who can afford it. Whose Bin Laden, that Obama guy running for President? Free Libby! Climate Change is just a hoax and even if it's not we didn't do it - it was sunspots, or volcanos, or maybe all the animals in the rain-forest farted - so there's nothing we can do to stop it. Stop bugging me, I need to refill the tank on my new Cadillac Escrapade, anyone got change for $1000?

See, I can do The Running-Man the "Straw-man" too.

All of these arguements are about shifting blame and responsibility for all the ills of the world - to someone else. Anyone but us.

The real truth about being liberal is simply that you realize that we are all connected. Economically. Bio-chemically. Thermo-dynamically. What happens at the bottom of the ocean can change weather patterns across half the globe. What happens in a cave in Afghanistan can change an entire National pathology on the other side of the world. The truth about Liberals isn't that we "Hate America First", we love America's promise and potential and are angered and disgusted when we see her fail to live up to that promise - that All Men Are Created Equal.

With that view in mind we don't or even really hate conservatives, we only hate what they've done to regress this nation back toward the type of totalitarian and repressives states that predated the Great Elightenment and the truly progressive vision that birthed this nation. Those regressive forces will always be there, but the tide of history is not on their side - it's on ours.

I don't hate conservatives. I for one, pity them. They need help. (Treatment, Rehab, a Colonic - anything!) Even if they don't deserve it, certainly won't seek it and won't return it. If they honestly and openly ask for it, Liberals will provide it.

Does anyone believe conservatives would do the same?

Vyan