looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Politics

let the screaming begin


Discriminating Taste

[Ferraro] ignited a flap by telling a California newspaper that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position."

"And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept," Ferraro said.

Source: Clinton supporter defends Obama race remarks

What a load of bollocks. I think there might be reasons other than being Black in Obama's case. However I think the only reason Clinton is still in the nomination race is because she's a woman.

Of course I want a woman in the White House

In the unlikely event that someone is reading this that can vote in the Democratic primary, and hasn't made their mind up yet, please watch this speech, and then decide:

Michelle Obama speaks in Delaware:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

"Watching her, I started to feel oddly sorry for her husband's opponent."
- Jean Marbella, Baltimore Sun

Disturbances

I found a couple of things on the 'web today that I found disturbing*.

The first is a short, amateur produced documentary on what really happened in Portland, OR, in 2002, when a supposedly peaceful demonstration was broken up by Police. At the time it was reported as "the demonstration turned violent" but somehow the producers of the film got their hands on the authorities' own videotapes of the incident. Narrated by someone who says they were there at the protest.

This is What A Police State Looks Like

The second is the results of the New Hampshire Democratic Primary election. Many people have commented on the variations between exit poll numbers and actual vote counts when comparing manual counting with the results reported from electronic voting machines. The fundimental points are:

  • Why should exit polls be reliable result indicators everywhere except where electronic voting machines are used?
  • Why should the EVM results be biased in favor of any particular candidate?

We ignore questions like this at our peril. It doesn't have to be conspiracy but we'd better know what is really happening. I have no opinion on whether there was any actual vote rigging taking place. I'm not qualified. However it is really encouraging to see people from around the country collaborate online on ad-hoc analysis projects such as this one:
http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/1/12/191247/981

So that was New Hampshire last week or so. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, they can't even get the machines to accept votes:
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5579

It is clear to me that electronic voting machines should not be used, ever, because while they are in use we will never be free of this crap.

* Only 2? Clearly I'm not looking hard enough.

Colin Powell finds a conscience

For goodness' sake. I put it to you, sir that you are coward. This does nothing to make up for the shame of your UN presentation. You should have resigned rather than go through with that. 

Parallels

This is worth a read: http://www.counterthink.org/017591.html

Happy New Year

It's a grey coldish day here in Vegas and I kinda stopped posting political items because it was all so darned depressing. But here's a great post by Digby summing up the character of the man who currently occupies the White House. This country is so screwed.

The Picture Says it All

I first saw this on DailyKos:

Yup, no more words needed.

Trying to look on the bright side

If there is anything - anything at all - that could be said to be positive about Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans, it is that it might drive home to people that actual terrorist attacks are really way down on the prioritized list of things that can impact the safety and security of American citizens.

Here's another thought: the fluctuations in supply and price of gas and diesel over the next month that will be a consequence of the disruption to the refineries in the gulf coastal regions will be a preview of what things will be like when the oil starts to run out. Maybe the right people will take notice and direct more funds towards preparing for this.

Juan Cole's Exit Strategy

I think "US out now" as a simple mantra neglects to consider the full range of possible disasters... there would be an Iraq civil war. [..]

People often allege that the US military isn't doing any good in Iraq and there is already a civil war. These people have never actually seen a civil war and do not appreciate the lid the US military is keeping on what could be a volcano. [..]

If there is a civil war now that kills a million people, with ethnic cleansing and millions of displaced persons, it will be our fault, or at least the fault of the 75% of Americans who supported the war. [..]

If a regional guerrilla war breaks out among Kurds, Turks, Shiites and Sunni Arabs, the guerrillas could well apply the technique of oil pipeline sabotage to Iran and Saudi Arabia, just as they do now to the Kirkuk pipeline in Iraq. If 20% of the world's petroleum production were taken off-line by such sabotage, the poor of the world would be badly hurt, and the whole world would risk another Great Depression. [..]

People on the left often don't like it when I bring this scenario up, because they dislike oil; they read it as a variant of the "war for oil" thesis and reject it. But working people [..] get to work on buses, and buses burn gasoline. If the bus ticket doubles or triples, people who make $10,000 a year feel it. Moreover, if there is a depression, the janitors and other workers will be the first to be fired.

Source: Juan Cole in Informed Comment

Must... control... fist-of-death

Another must-read post from Riverbend. It really is unbelievable. I hope I never meet Mr Bush face-to-face because the urge to punch him in the face would be too strong.

Karl Rove is a piece of ****

 Read it and weep

Ideas for Republicans

The Republicans want Ideas? I'll give them some:
Social Security - the current system works. Stop trying to bilk it for your rich buddies. Keep your hands off of my parents' and my money you money grubbin' greedy bastards.

Iraq - The war is a failure. Our national security problems are worse. We are now a power in decline. The way to strengthen America is to develop and execute an exit strategy for Iraq; refocus the war on terror on Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and homeland security; and re-engage the world as a more humble and civilized member of the family of nations.

Accountability - George W. Bush is an illegitimate President whose actions as President have violated the US constititution and Federal criminal statutes. We call for the following:
* An impeachment inquiry based on the Downing Street Memos and other publicly available information which establishes that Bush may have knowingly lied to the country and deceived the Congress to obtain an authorization to go to war in Iraq. We believe his actions constitute high crimes and misdemeanors and that he should be removed from office and prosecuted thereafter.
* An open ended inquiry into the abuses at GITMO, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and the policy of outsourcing torture to third countries. Those responsible for approving this policy will be prosecuted for violating US law and international law (the Geneva Conventions are part of US law). We suspect that the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and the current Secretary of State as well as a host of underlings have been complicit in these crimes. All acts of soldiers which constitute crimes under US law will be imputed to their superior officers and civilian leaders. Any soldier who committed such an act and desires to confess will be granted immunity from prosecution.
* An open ended inquiry into the actions of the Bush-Cheney campaigns, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush and others who perpetrated a massive fraud which affected the actual vote tally and overall outcome of the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential elections. A fraud committed on the electoral process is a fraud committed against the Constitution. This group activity will also be prosecuted as a conspiracy under the RICO statutes.

Source: khyber900 on Daily Kos

Doublethink

 Here's a pretty good example of this concept:

http://www.slate.com/id/2119512/

Riverbend: The Maelstrom

Detainees coming back after weeks or months in prison talk of being forced to eat pork, not being allowed to pray, being exposed to dogs, having Islam insulted and generally being treated like animals trapped in a small cage. At the end of the day, it's not about words or holy books or pork or dogs or any of that. It's about what these things symbolize on a personal level. It is infuriating to see objects that we hold sacred degraded and debased by foreigners who felt the need to travel thousands of kilometers to do this. That's not to say that all troops disrespect Islam- some of them seem to genuinely want to understand our beliefs. It does seem like the people in charge have decided to make degradation and humiliation a policy.

By doing such things, this war is taken to another level- it is no longer a war against terror or terrorists- it is, quite simply, a war against Islam and even secular Muslims are being forced to take sides.

Source: Riverbend's latest post

The Iraq situation is different how?

****king hypocrits:

"The people of Uzbekistan want to see a more representative and democratic government, but that should come through peaceful means, not through violence. And that's what our message is."

Scott McClellan, White House Press Briefing, May 13 2005

All entries in Politics:

Discriminating Taste
Of course I want a woman in the White House
Disturbances
Colin Powell finds a conscience
Parallels
Happy New Year
The Picture Says it All
Trying to look on the bright side
Juan Cole's Exit Strategy
Must... control... fist-of-death
Karl Rove is a piece of ****
Ideas for Republicans
Doublethink
Riverbend: The Maelstrom
The Iraq situation is different how?
It's not partisan to call Bush a moron
Looking for balls in the media
Bush = Lackey to big business
Symbols of freedom
A Tragic Death and other Tragic Deaths
View from the West: Dear Condi
Go Harry!
Riverbend gets a dress code
A world of hurt
The Second New Reality
Horror! She's gay
Bush I  - he had some sense
Civil War in 2008
Bush's War still ongoing
What we learned from the Dean campaign
Preaching to the converted