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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

They Hate Us for Our Freedom

My father was a veteran of World War II. He served on a Liberty Ship as part of the Navy Armed Guard. He risked his life to protect the American way of life. He fought for our freedom.

Our men and women in Iraq are no less patriotic. They are risking and losing lives.

George Allen’s comment about the abuse of a citizen journalist was, “These things happen.”

Not in my country, Mr. Allen.

The folks at Crooks and Liars have a video with good audio of the actual incident. The YouTube below has the incident being reported on TV.



Feuding

Germany and Poland have some stained relations at the moment. Various actions by both governments have fueled some bad feelings. A report in the Washington Post gives some insight into the current problems.

Money quote:

Germany and Poland are the two biggest countries in central Europe and share a long border, but polls show a widespread lack of familiarity between the two neighbors' people.

Two of every three Germans have never set foot in Poland, according to a survey commissioned last spring by the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw. Public views of Poles are also not favorable. When asked what they most associated with Poland, the top answer was "car theft and crime," followed closely by "illegal workers" and "poverty, backwardness."

Many Poles harbor skeptical views of Germany as well. In a similar poll conducted by the institute last March, 49 percent of Poles questioned said they feared Germany could pose "an economic threat" to Poland in the future, even though Germany is Poland's largest trading partner.

Also ruffling feathers in Poland are recent historical exhibits in Berlin that highlighted the hardships faced by millions of German refugees after World War II. Many Poles saw the exhibits, which closed just before Kaczynski's arrival, as an attempt to portray Germans as victims of a war that they started -- and that left 6 million people dead in Poland.

Sponsors of the exhibit, titled "Forced Paths," said they took pains to include the experiences of other political refugees in Europe throughout the 20th century and questioned whether Polish leaders were seeking to score political points at home.”

A Berlin article about the “Forced Paths” exhibit explains the:

"German expulsions "not unique"

However, Erika Steinbach, a deeply controversial German politician and director of the BdV insists that the exhibition is committed to cover the plight of all European refugees.

"If you think in terms of human rights, then the fate of each individual and the dignity of each person must be preserved," Steinbach told Deutsche Welle. "And in the end, it was collective punishment that drastically violated international law."

Klotz, one of the curators of the show, also stressed that the exhibition was meant in no way to disproportionately highlight German suffering.

"For us the most important thing is to contextualize the expulsion of Germans," Klotz told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. "We want to show that it is no way unique."

For more information about the exhibit, National Public Radio NPR has the story here and here.

…..

These articles and the exhibit have a particular interest to me since I only learned about the mass expulsion of Germans from Western Prussia a few short years ago. Prussia had been a part of modern day Germany. Its history is deeply entwined in the histories of both Poland and Germany. My research about Prussia came about as I researched the genealogy of my Fuhrwerk Family.

My research led me to discover some of my German cousins. They were the first to tell me about the family’s expulsion from what was Danzig. After WWII the Germans in Danzig and surrounding areas were expelled as a large piece of Germany was ceded back to Poland. Danzig, West Prussia, Germany became Gdansk, Poland.

My cousins briefly described the hardship of having to quickly pack their essential things, leave behind many family treasures, and being forced to move into what became East Germany. I make no judgment here about the actions of nations in the days following WWII. I am just relating the losses of one family, the disruption in communications between our families, and historical facts.

New DCCC Ad for Scott Kleeb

Scott Kleeb for Nebraska 3rd.


Monday, October 30, 2006

This Is What I Needed

This is LOL funny. Thank you, Kos!


Why Buy the Cow?


I think that homophobia and/or anti-gay feelings are a choice. I do not believe that anyone inherits it. Science has yet to find, even in penguin or seagull studies, any natural occurrence in the animal world with those lifestyles. Don’t bother looking to the bonobo, they’ll tap anything.

I believe that parents go a long way in fostering those beliefs. However, at some time in the life of an adolescent or an adult, a conscious choice is made to be homophobic or have feelings of disgust with and about homosexuals. Most liberals and true conservatives believe that the choice is and will always be none of anyone’s business.

There may be many exceptions to the view that we must tolerate homophobes or anti-gay persons. I believe that if the actions of a homophobe or anti-gay individual interfere with my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – they are simply wrong and should by law or even constitutional amendment be prohibited from bothering me. I believe that we must not condemn or judge what the homophobic or anti-gay folks do in the privacy of their own homes. A recent Supreme Court ruling struck down the law in Texas that allowed the authorities to bring criminal charges against homophobes and the anti-gay that chose to have sex in unconventional manners.

What disturbs me most today is the decision that was made in Minneapolis to accommodate the refusal of an anti-gay bus driver to drive a bus with so-called “objectionable” advertisements. The bus driver made a choice to object to an ad that the transit authorities chose to place on buses for economic support of the transit system. The bus driver is clearly interfering with the All-American, red-blooded, true-blue, democratic ideal of Capitalism. That must not stand.

What if someone chooses to believe that blood transfusions are wrong? Do we allow them to refuse to drive a bus with Red Cross Blood Drive ads? How about the non-drinkers refusing to drive buses with Johnny Walker ads? Do we allow women-haters to refuse to drive buses with feminine hygiene product ads? No!

Free-market capitalism is at risk if such anarchy is allowed. It is simply un-American.

Life is all about making choices. Even in the harshness of the Bush Economy, most folks have a good idea about what is expected when they take a job. Clerks clerk. Teachers teach. Farmers farm. A farmer has a choice of crops to plant and harvest (unless it is industrial hemp). And, every farmer knows that if you don’t want to manipulate large teats, why buy the cow?


See Dick. See Dick Lie. Lie Dick Lie.



H/T to Zack and Wizard Kitten.

The Jerk Part III


Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is holding up the Combating Autism Act in the Do-Nothing Congress. What a jerk.

Letterman and the ASS

From the Daily Dish


Andrew Sullivan’s “Quote of the Day”:

"Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle," - Mahatma Gandhi.

And, Andrew Sullivan on GWB:

“I believed George W. Bush. And I trusted him. And as the evidence has poured in that my faith and trust were betrayed, my surprise has turned to rage. I'm not a generally angry person. But if I have placed my trust in someone on a matter of this gravity and I find out they lied, bungled and betrayed me and others who trusted them, then all I can say is: they picked the wrong guy to bamboozle.

You don't send 19 year-old kids to risk their lives and die to protect your own political power or advance your own partisan purposes. You don't abandon thousands of innocent Iraqis who also trusted you to marauding gangs of terrorists and murderers, and stand by and tell critics to "back off". You don't ask people of good faith to support you in a critical war and then secretly breach the Geneva Conventions and torture people and blame only a few grunts on the ground for your war-crimes.

The anger of the left, I realize, was always there. But the anger of the betrayed and decent right and center is deeper. Some readers think my anger has gotten the best of me. Maybe on occasions it has. But I'd rather be too angry than too afraid to call these people what they are.”


Final Tammy Duckworth Advert

Got get'em Tammy.




Tammy Duckworth for Congress.

The Worst Congress Ever


Here is a must read.

The Rolling Stone has a very thoughtful and well researched indictment of our Do-Nothing Congress.

Money Quotes:

“It is no big scoop that the majority party in Congress has always found ways of giving the shaft to the minority. But there is a marked difference in the size and the length of the shaft the Republicans have given the Democrats in the past six years. There has been a systematic effort not only to deny the Democrats any kind of power-sharing role in creating or refining legislation but to humiliate them publicly, show them up, pee in their faces. Washington was once a chummy fraternity in which members of both parties golfed together, played in the same pickup basketball games, probably even shared the same mistresses. Now it is a one-party town -- and congressional business is conducted accordingly, as though the half of the country that the Democrats represent simply does not exist.

American government was not designed for one-party rule but for rule by consensus -- so this current batch of Republicans has found a way to work around that product design. They have scuttled both the spirit and the letter of congressional procedure, turning the lawmaking process into a backroom deal, with power concentrated in the hands of a few chiefs behind the scenes. This reduces the legislature to a Belarus-style rubber stamp, where the opposition is just there for show, human pieces of stagecraft -- a fact the Republicans don't even bother to conceal.”

And more:

“The greed and laziness of the 109th Congress has reached such epic proportions that it has finally started to piss off the public. In an April poll by CBS News, fully two-thirds of those surveyed said that Congress has achieved "less than it usually does during a typical two-year period." A recent Pew poll found that the chief concerns that occupy Congress -- gay marriage and the inheritance tax -- are near the bottom of the public's list of worries. Those at the top -- education, health care, Iraq and Social Security -- were mostly blown off by Congress. Even a Fox News poll found that fifty-three percent of voters say Congress isn't "working on issues important to most Americans."

One could go on and on about the scandals and failures of the past six years; to document them all would take . . . well, it would take more than ninety-three fucking days, that's for sure. But you can boil the whole sordid mess down to a few basic concepts. Sloth. Greed. Abuse of power. Hatred of democracy. Government as a cheap backroom deal, finished in time for thirty-six holes of the world's best golf. And brains too stupid to be ashamed of any of it. If we have learned nothing else in the Bush years, it's that this Congress cannot be reformed. The only way to change it is to get rid of it.”

What's Wrong With New Jersey? Nothing.

Bush the Liar-in-Chief is running about the country blasting the Judicial Branch of the State of New Jersey for doing something that he claimed was okay.

What is wrong with this picture?

H/T to Daily Dish.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

For the Fun of It


(H/T to Ezra Klein) --------- Dilbert

Scott Kleeb


At the Daily Kos mcjoan has a report on the Nebraska 3rd Congressional District were Democratic Candidate Scott Kleeb is doing well at the moment.


She says:

“But you don't get the good without getting the bad, too. The campaign got word this afternoon that the Club for Growth was getting ready to drop another $100,000 into Smith's campaign against him. That lead in the polls is likely to evaporate over the next 10 days as the television onslaught of negative campaigns begins. What he's got going for him is a great ground game. In addition to the state Party organization Markos blogged about earlier today, the DSCC and DNC are spending several million on the GOTV effort here. So while the race hasn't received any DCCC help, except being listed as an emerging race, Kleeb at least is the beneficiary of DNC and DSCC upticket largess.

He's also the beneficiary of strong supporters, some of whom are Republicans who have also just had too much of this administration and this Congress. I talked to a few of them today, at the Holdrege Chamber of Commerce coffee this morning, and at a health care providers fund-raiser tonight. While Adrian Smith isn't quite as detested and as crazy as Idaho's Bill Sali, he fits right into the mold of the radical Club for Growth candidate, to the point of advocating for the gutting of the 14th Amendment to restrict immigration. The Republicans I talked to today want no part of what Smith represents. But they're not just voting for Kleeb in protest, they're actively supporting the candidate they feel makes the best sense for Nebraska.”


Let’s wish Scott Kleeb great success on November 7th.

Scott Kleeb for Congress.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sleep Deprived


I didn’t sleep last night. I tried. As usual my mind wouldn’t shut off and when my body began to twitch with muscle spasms I got up.

Imus in the Morning was fun. He said that somebody ought to kick Rush Limbaugh’s ass. [H/T to Zack at Pohlitics for the cartoon.] Imus had quite a barrage of insults for the guy. Later in the show, Imus and his wife had a few comments about the Texas congressman that is sitting on the Combating Autism Act and not allowing the House of Representatives to vote on the measure. I have already written about Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) being a jerk.

When regular MSNBC programming began at 9:00 AM, I laid down for five hours. Only 5 restless hours – and, I can’t begin to count the number of times I woke up. With several calls of nature, a cat walking on my head, and waking up to find that “night sweats” had occurred at least three times I had very little sleep.

When I got up in the afternoon, I retrieved the mail. My absentee ballot for the November 7th Election arrived, so I voted. It was easy. Straight ticket, pick two judges, ignore the races with only one candidate, pick the next judge, ignore the next one candidate race, then Yes, No, Yes, Yes, and Yes. I’ll mail it out tomorrow.

I eventually got around to reading my Michigan blogs and the online edition of the local paper. I started an article about the idiotic answers that the local Republicans gave a reporter when asked about border security. Yes, it is an issue here in Michigan. And, correct that – answer – in the singular. All 4 state legislature candidates gave the same lame ass answer. It was like the reporter had asked them what they wanted for dessert and they all answered, “Blue”.

They had the same taking point and what they said was so alien and so very dumb. I began to write about it. I took a break for two TV shows and dinner and now as I come back to the article – I’m stuck. I know what I want to say but, I just don’t give a shit. I can’t find the motivation to blast these wankers.

I’m typing this, wanting to sleep, waiting for the midnight re-run of Olbermann, and just realized I forgot breakfast and lunch. My pulse is quickening and I fear another episode of arrhythmia.

Did I mention that I am bipolar? Yeah, that’s right….. I have figured out that I must have the 2.0 version of the dis-ease and will confirm it when I see the doctor next week. I guess that since I have never had a radical manic episode resulting in delusions or psychosis – I seem to fit the bipolar II stuff I have read.

Never mind all that – I’m just aggravated, agitated, and …….

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgghhh. Stupid bipolar coaster ride.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Vote Vet Ad

I will never understand how any Republican can tell anyone of us how cutting taxes, then cutting veteran benefits shows that they support the troops.

(H/T to Daily Kos)

Please watch this.....


NSA Cartoon


H/T to Crooks and Liars for this one.

Please watch.

New MDP Advert: Health Care

In my household -- one pensioner with health care benefits -- one substitute teacher without health care benefits ...

Dick "Get-A-Job" Devos -- GET REAL!

H/T to Wizard Kitten.


Amos Williams for AG

H/T to Laura P. from Stabenow for U.S. Senate.


Reality Check: Month II


It is time to ask myself if I have been faithful to my “With Malice Toward None” claim. It may seem trite, but from time to time a bit of self-examination may be a good thing. Lord knows, too many politicians are clearly living in some kind of bubble and have lost track of the plight of the poor and middle class. Some think that because the stock market is booming that the economy is cruising along benefiting everyone. Knock, Knock, Hellllloooooooo? Where are the real jobs? Why all the cuts to veteran benefits, student loans, and social programs?

Anyway, I believe that I do not have any malice toward the unenlightened, uncaring, unapproachable, and unbelievable politicians. I don’t want any of those intellectually dishonest, K Street prostitutes to come to harm – I want them out of the state legislatures, governorships, and Congress. Go home. Just leave.

And, take your wedge issues, paltry promises, and dank dirty tricks with you. There are plenty of honest men and women waiting to SERVE the people. We’ll be sure to kick any of them out should they be seduced my money and power.

Yes, it is time for a reality check and I am feeling rather good. Guardedly – my mood may cycle … fear may set in (are we really going to win?)… and, I may even feel some buyers’ remorse when some of our folks get re-elected and elected. But, right now all is good with my world – I get to vote by absentee ballot – because I’m going to Mexico to visit by brother on the day before the Great Election…… Lucky me!!!

And Don't Even Get Me Started On Rumsfeld

H/T to Daily Kos.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who Supports the Troops?


Democrats! (Well, most of them in Michigan.)

At the website of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) there are “Congressional Ratings” of our Senators and Representatives. They are rated on the “real issues, like body armor, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment, and veterans’ benefits. According to their ratings flier:

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Action Fund is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to holding politicians accountable for their actions regarding the troops and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. IAVA Action Fund is the sister organization of IAVA, the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the current wars.”

A big thank you to Bob Geiger via our friends at Daily Kos –Daily Kos has the complete breakdown of our Senators’ ratings listed by grades. Please check out how well the Democrats have done in contrast to the Republican Senators. You may check out the full ratings here.

Here are the results for Michigan Senators and Representatives.


Rep. Dale E. Kildee (D-MI-5) A-

Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-MI-12) A-

Senator Debbie A. Stabenow (D) A-

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI-1) A-


Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI-15) B+

Senator Carl Levin (D) B+


Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI-13) B


Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11) C+

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6) C+


Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI-4) C

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI-3) C

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI-2) C

Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI-9) C

Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI-10) C

Rep. Michael J. Rogers (R-MI-8) C


Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI-14) C-


Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-MI-7) D


I Was Almost Amway'd

Sometime after the beginning of my second year of teaching I received an invitation to join a fellow teacher and a few other “friends” for a light dinner and a presentation about how I could make some extra money in my spare time. “Spare” time was something of a joke for a new teacher because, regardless of what you hear or think you know, many of my off-duty hours were spent preparing materials for school, lesson planning, grading papers, and taking the post-graduate courses required to maintain a teaching license. Nevertheless, I was curious about the invitation and called the host to inquire about the presentation that was planned.

The conversation went nowhere. My prospective host declined to tell me exactly what is was that they were going to sell to me and an intimate group of friends. That level of cagey refusal to level with me sent off very loud alarm bells in my head. My suspicions were later confirmed, they were out to “Amway” me.

I declined the invitation. My mother warned me about people like these. The Amway pyramid scheme was already known and I didn’t allow myself to get sucked in by some get rich scheme – even though I was struggling to live independently and pay-off my Michigan Guaranteed Student Loans and the other federally backed loans.

Unfortunately, too many people have been Amway’d. Presently, Amway is running self-promotional adverts on television to help dumb Dick DeVos run from Amway’s negative reputation. Even as Amway is being investigated for its continued use of the pyramid scheme by authorities in India – the company keeps expanding overseas and the jobs lost in Michigan will never return.

Have a chuckle (H/T to The Disembodied Head of Dick DeVos).

Crooks and Liars


Thanks to John Amato and his friends, the blog “Crooks and Liars” is one of the blogosphere’s must reads. It is the first blog I read each day. I find myself going back to it two and three times a day to keep up on developing news; the latest political gaffs; recommendations to read other blogs’ stories; recommended books on politics, pundits, and politicians; candidate and party political adverts; and some pretty funny-ass screeds, scoundrels, and streaming videos.

If Crooks and Liars isn’t already bookmarked in your Mozilla Firefox browser – it time to get around to it. And, if you are still using Microsoft’s tired old Internet Explorer, take a step toward better blog reading, downloads, and a load of “extensions” that will make your web surfing more fun.

Today, boys and girls, I want to draw your attention to two of the many blog entries from Crooks and Liars that you should read. The first is a video from Bill Maher’s HBO Show, Real Time. Here is Barney Frank making important points for all of us to consider. (Watch him slap down some Republican idiot!)

The second video clip is from Countdown with Keith Olbermann. It is another one of Keith’s Special Commentaries. Please watch it.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Liar-In-Chief

This is another -- "you-can't-make-this-shit-up".

Read the LIE Bush told today.

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggggggghh!!!!

YouTube Fun

These are parodies of the familiar PC & Apple Computer commercials. “I’m a Democrat” and “I’m a Republican” are not real political adverts – just some YouTube humor. (H/T to Daily Kos)

It's Time to Take a Stand

A new Granholm advert (H/T to WizardKitten).


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fire on the Water

The New York Times has an editorial about the Coast Guard's live fire exercises.

Money quote:

"Few are disputing that the United States needs to do more to protect its borders against terrorists. But we face far more plausible threats than terrorists cutting across Lake Michigan in small boats.

As a defense against terrorism, militarizing the Great Lakes is a symbolic defeat. And it is another in a series of incremental changes that threaten to change everything that we take for granted about our country.

The question is how far we choose to militarize ourselves at home in response to terrorism. Turning the Great Lakes — even on occasion — into a live-fire zone is the kind of decision that says little to terrorists but speaks volumes to the rest of us."

Science and the Certainty of Bush

It’s hard to explain this one. You may recognize the dangers of one-party rule and the absolute certainty of King George. He has failed us and taken us down the road to hell.

(H/T to Andrew Sullivan)


A Reason for All of Us to Fight

Actor Michael J. Fox

(H/T to Daily Kos)



Friday, October 20, 2006

Funny and Revealing

I Need to Laugh Today

Is Bush drinking again? (H/T Crooks and Liars)

Local Reaction to Live Fire Practice


As I suspected, the chief concerns about the proposed live fire exercise on the Great Lakes were boater safety, environmental safety, and the locations. The Coast Guard’s plan for 34 live fire sites has caused concerns throughout Michigan and Ontario. The Coast Guard will continue to accept public opinion until November 13. Decisions regarding the live fire plans will be made after that.

The Times Herald reports today that:

“Several in the audience of between 75 and 100 people took issue with the Coast Guard's study showing no long-term effects from lead, zinc and other materials in the bullets or casings during a five-year period.

Five years isn't enough to predict long-term effects, said Judy Ogden of Burtchville Township. The recreational boater and angler said she fears toxic materials could build up in the long term.

"There's the possibility that the lead would accumulate into worms and whatever's in the bottom of the lake," she said.

Ogden and several other people at the meeting also were worried about boater notification.

The Coast Guard plan includes six zones on Lake Huron, one of which will stretch from Port Sanilac about 18 miles north to White Rock. The zones will be used several times a year for target practice.

The Coast Guard plans to announce firing exercises on maritime radio two hours prior to their start. Bulletins will be issued every 15 minutes during the exercise, and a boat will monitor the perimeter of zones.

Not everyone listens to maritime radio, Ogden said.”

The complete article may be found here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

More Scott Kleeb


The Associated Press has discovered Scott Kleeb. [Hat tip to Daily Kos] This October 19, 2006 article in the Washington Post follows two postings on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish (here and here). I also had a posting on this site after discovering information about Mr. Kleeb on one of my Required Reading blogs.

It seems that this Democratic congressional candidate may just have a chance to win in a predominately Republican state. The A.P. article states:

“In another year, the open seat would be a gimme for the Republicans, but Kleeb has turned heads _ even conservative ones. The great-great-grandson of an 1870s homesteader near Broken Bow, Neb., Kleeb is appealing to the district's rural voters, many of whom are part of Nebraska's $6 billion beef industry.

One television ad shows Kleeb at work on the McGinn Ranch in Nebraska's storied Sandhills region: "This is pioneer country. You don't punch cows and not put in a full day's work," the narrator says. "And that's what he does. His word is his bond. That's cattle talk, but that's the way it is. His word is his bond."

Kleeb says his years as a rancher counts with voters.”

As far as financing Scott Kleebs campaign – every little bit helps.

“Neither candidate has received much financial help from their respective parties. The Nebraska Democratic Party has given Kleeb $10,000 plus paid for $28,000 in ads. Smith has received just $5,000 each from the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Heading into the last month of the campaign, Smith had $319,000 on hand and Kleeb had $255,000.

If the Democrat wins, it would be one for the history books. The last time a Democrat held the House seat was 1961.”

Wouldn’t it be great to see another real down-to-earth Democratic voice in Congress?

Please consider donating to Scott’s campaign at his website.

Live Fire Exercises III

One of the public hearing concerning the Coast Guard’s live fire exercises at 34 sites throughout the Great Lakes is today in a city just south of Port Huron. The actual hearing begins at 5:30 PM and finishes at 8 PM. They will have some sort of reception/open house at 4:30 PM.

Location: The Crystal Gardens, 1200 Gratiot Blvd., Marysville, Michigan

Obviously, I won’t be able attend to voice my concerns about the use of our lakes for target practice. I suspect that everyone’s protests and expressions of concern are useless. In our Terror-Driven age our government justifies every act, every step, as necessary because of 9/11.

A report in the Grand Rapids Press via Mlive.com says of the Coast Guard presentation and public reaction:

“Coast Guard officials claim a terrorist attack in the Great Lakes basin is a distinct possibility. That is how the agency has justified conducting 24 live fire weapons training exercises on the lakes this year and a plan to create 34 permanent firing ranges on the lakes.

Critics argued at a meeting Wednesday in Spring Lake that the Great Lakes firing range plan is the latest example of terrorism fears run amok.

"There is no threat of terrorism on Lake Michigan. We don't even have bootleggers," said Arnie Kelm, of Norton Shores. "This a is a despicable use (of the lakes) by an arrogant military agency."

Kelm was among about 100 people who attended Wednesday's meeting on the proposed firing ranges, 14 of which would be on Lake Michigan. About 35 people spoke, most opposing weapons training on the lakes.

A few residents said they supported the plan.

"Get with it, people, we're at war and we need to be prepared," Grand Haven resident Jim Searer said.”

As I have said before – the terrorists have won. Our government has beaten the drum of war and fear so much so that the American way of life, the American compass, the American character has changed.

What sad and shameful times….

"But when a Man’s Fancy gets astride on his Reason, when Imagination is at Cuffs with the Senses, and common Understanding, as well as common Sense, is Kickt out of Doors; the first Proselyte he makes, is Himself, and when that is once compass’d, the Difficulty is not so great in bringing over others; a strong Delusion always operating from without, as vigorously as from within." --- Jonathan Swift

"Your words are lies, Sir."


I’ve been rather slow to publish another post on torture and the loss of habeas corpus. I have numerous posts on the subject and I did commemorate the loss of the American Character. Nevertheless, my heart, my mind, my very soul screams out to protest the actions of King George and the immoral spineless Congress. Our lives – our freedom is in peril.

Last night Keith Olbermann delivered his latest Special Commentary. This time his critical words were about the Military Commissions Act. Bush has lied to us again and again. Please head over to Crooks and Liars and watch this very important analysis of what WE have lost.

Watch the video here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What a Difference a Day Makes


Last night I fell asleep before the end of the Colbert Report and completely missed Countdown with Keith Olbermann. In fact, I slept for 11 ½ hours before dragging myself out of bed to eat so I could take my morning doses of pain, thyroid, blood pressure, and psychiatric medicines. Afterwards, I called my dentist to once again delay my appointment for another 4 weeks (getting the crown on my tooth is not an immediate need – I just don’t think I should have my neck torqued by the dental chair’s headrest until I have recovered more from my spinal surgery).

I went from hours of sleep to now over 3 hours of reading blogs and posting to my blog. I may be rapidly cycling from hypomania to depression. I feel like crap right now, but I am also compelled to complete my self-assigned reading.

I just started to read personal blogs and those from my friends in the Bipolar Planet webring.

I will take a nap when I am done.

History of Rock 'n Roll -- Adults Only

Andrew Sullivan’s “YouTube of the Day”

Obama and Tammy Duckworth

British Politics

Hat tip to Wonkette.


Adults Only

Sorry – I sometimes have a twisted sense of humor.

I found this YouTube at Wonkette, Politics for People with Dirty Minds.


"Pink" Purge

I’ve never understood Log Cabin Republicans. I am beginning to appreciate one of the few “South Park” Republicans as I continue to read his blog and soon hope to buy his latest book. The Log Cabin Republicans remain somewhat of an enigma.

Until now, I speculated that they were repressed gays that yearned for money and power. They seemed to be willing to give up the realization of true dignity and full freedom for some hybrid of being gay and self-professed members of the former “Big-Tent” GOP. I realized that I could not remain in the Republican Party years ago because of my views on social justice and my own Christianity. I could not be in a party that rejected Goldwater Conservatism and anyone that did not agree with their sharp turn toward the Religious Right.

Now, the Party of Lincoln may be on the verge of a Stalin-like purge of the many open and closeted GAY “behind-the-scenes” political operatives. In a post on the TMP Muckraker, Jeff Hughes writes:

"Some Christians, who are pivotal to the GOP's get-out-the-vote effort, are charging that gay Republican staffers in Congress may have thwarted their legislative agenda. There even are calls for what some have dubbed a "pink purge" of high-ranking gay Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the administration....”

I believe one of the operative words above is “some”. Yes, “some” Christians have been lured away from following Jesus Christ and now follow the shrill few that spout hatred of homosexuals, the ACLU, flag burners, Pro-Choice supporters, and anyone else on their list of heathens and reprobates.

I was taught that we are to INVITE others to follow Jesus. I was taught that anything that did not call the world to Christ was not of God. The Republican Religious Right has forgotten their calls to minister to “the least of these” and prefer to condemn and punish anyone that doesn’t believe in and follow their twisted un-Godly religious practices.

The Republican Party needs to repent and purge themselves of those hypocrites that reject the call of God to love and serve our brothers and sisters. The big-tent needs to be re-opened and the GOP needs to remember that it is their duty to preserve, protect, and defend our nation. The Religious Rights’ actions continue to divide and destroy this nation from within.


That is simply unacceptable.


Let's Give Career Politicians the Boot

I can't help but think of Representative Candice Miller (R-10) when I see this advert. We need to fire career politicians that walk lock-step with the Bush Administration and do not truly represent the people that live in their districts or states. Candy is a career politician whose campaigns have been financed by special interests, other Republicans (What happened to your Tom DeLay money, Candy?), and so-called ordinary folks that don't even live in her congressional district. She seems more beholding to all of them than to the good folks in Sanilac County, St. Clair County, and the townships in Macomb county that were jerry-mandered into the 10th District to give Miller this seat.

Anyway, watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You Can Become An EX-Republican

I truly believe that with clear thinking and honest evaluation of the GOP's failures to serve the people of Michigan and the rest of the United States -- a Republican may change his or her votes this November and elect Democratic leaders that will serve the people. Isn't it time for a change?

Hat tip to Pohlitics and Wizard Kitten for this advert:






Hat tip to Voice of Mordor for this advert:


Have You Had Enough?

My thanks to The Stakeholder for the link to this one.


You Can't Make This Stuff Up


I appreciate Bob Geiger’s contribution to today’s Democratic Underground blogsite. He has an entry entitled “It’s True: Bush Declares ‘National Character Counts Week’”. This special week runs October 15 through October 21. The Presidential Proclamation may be found on the White House website (HERE).

Part of the proclamation states:

America's strength is found in the spirit and character of our people. During National Character Counts Week, we renew our commitment to instilling values in our young people and to encouraging all Americans to remember the importance of good character.

As the primary teachers and examples of character, parents help create a more compassionate and decent society. And as individuals, we all have an obligation to help our children become responsible citizens and realize their full potential. By demonstrating values such as integrity, courage, honesty, and patriotism, all Americans can help our children develop strength and character.”

Bob Geiger’s reactions are pretty much the same as those of us who are intellectually honest about the failed Imperial Presidency of GWB. He states:

“Of every president in United States history, how hypocritical is it for George W. Bush to talk about integrity and honesty? This is a guy who ran for president saying that "it’s time to restore honor and dignity to the White House" and then proceeded to set new records for lying to the American people, while making the United States the most despised, disrespected country in the world.

The president who speaks so stridently about honesty is the same guy who got people to vote for him by claiming over and over that he was a "uniter not a divider" and then went on to bitterly divide this country more than it has been since our own Civil War.”

And,

“I also don’t recall in grades K-12, my time in the military or my subsequent four years of college leaning that it was part of our national "character" to unilaterally invade a sovereign country with no justification and with no direct threat to us but, hey, maybe I missed that day of class. I'm also pretty damn sure that our national character isn't embodied in the number of Republicans who have been nailed for everything from accepting bribes to money laundering in the last few years and I think the court of public opinion has already weighed in on how much character it takes for the GOP to launch a major cover-up to protect one of their pedophiles in Congress.

I don’t have the space required to outline every bit of dishonesty and lack of character shown by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their whole cabal of miscreants, but it also includes Bush lying about his party's wedge issue of the new decade -- gay marriage.”

[In the interest of full disclosure – I stole the button graphic from the DU site.]

We live in interesting times.

George Bush celebrated this National Character Counts Week by signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006. And, the Republican vision of our national character is codified. We imprison suspected terrorist indefinitely, torture, through aside habeas corpus, and hold court proceedings that would embarrass our Founding Fathers.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director:

"With his signature, President Bush enacts a law that is both unconstitutional and un-American. This president will be remembered as the one who undercut the hallmark of habeas in the name of the war on terror. Nothing separates America more from our enemies than our commitment to fairness and the rule of law, but the bill signed today is an historic break because it turns Guantánamo Bay and other U.S. facilities into legal no-man's-lands.

"The president can now - with the approval of Congress - indefinitely hold people without charge, take away protections against horrific abuse, put people on trial based on hearsay evidence, authorize trials that can sentence people to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and slam shut the courthouse door for habeas petitions. Nothing could be further from the American values we all hold in our hearts than the Military Commissions Act." [Full text HERE]

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRHHGG!

Ignorance and Failure

Finally, a reporter that is asking the right questions of the Bush Administration officials and the politicians that serve us. Jeff Stein’s editorial in today’s New York Times is a revealing glimpse at the ignorance that has contributed to King George’s failure in Iraq. The lack of knowledge about Iraq’s tribalism and religious sectarianism astounds me. Couldn’t anyone read a book or consult the historians and sociologists?

Good Grief!

Did anyone bother to learn about the mainstream Sunni, and the two sectarian groups, Shi’ism and Sufism?

Did anyone bother to try to understand Iraqi tribes?

Jeff Stein’s “Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?” money quotes:

"the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiite rivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of a breakup of Iraq into antagonistic states, one backed by Shiite Iran and the other by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.

A complete collapse in Iraq could provide a haven for Al Qaeda operatives within striking distance of Israel, even Europe. And the nature of the threat from Iran, a potential nuclear power with protégés in the Gulf states, northern Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, is entirely different from that of Al Qaeda. It seems silly to have to argue that officials responsible for counterterrorism should be able to recognize opportunities for pitting these rivals against each other.

But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?"

And,

"It’s not all so grimly humorous. Some agency officials and members of Congress have easily handled my “gotcha” question. But as I keep asking it around Capitol Hill and the agencies, I get more and more blank stares. Too many officials in charge of the war on terrorism just don’t care to learn much, if anything, about the enemy we’re fighting. And that’s enough to keep anybody up at night."

"Stay the course"? Man, it would have been nice if they had bothered to find a chart of the waters we steamed in to............

The Journey



“On the path of life, it is all about the journey and not the final destination…”

Having just referred to this pearl of wisdom in the comment section of one of the Bipolar Planet blogs that I read, I needed to use it here. I probably don’t have the quote just right and, there are probably numerous variations of its theme. The gist is essential correct about our experiences, discoveries, and lessons learned being more important than arriving at the destination we are moving towards. Stop and smell the roses.

Fortunately, I have survived traveling through the dark places and deep drops on my bipolar coaster ride. Being able to look back and appreciate all of the great thrills and humor on the “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”, “The Pirates of the Caribbean”, and other such routes is in itself a good part of my ride. At times, I feared my car would jump off the tracks or break apart. I’ve watched in horror as bolts fell off and other parts vibrated and threatened to fail.

But – Not today.

Yes, I will complain about the insomnia and the times I just don’t want to get out of bed. Most folks will never understand how the ups and downs can be, well, exasperating. Nor, will they know the enjoyment that we bipolar coaster riders may encounter.

I have often thought that my travels and ventures have been akin to being a pioneer. I have at times been at the forefront of enterprises that truly mattered.

Yes – What a ride!

“No one who has not pioneered can understand the fascination and the terror of it.” --- Laura Ingles Wilder

Great Adverts cont.

I found this great advert on Atrios.


And, this advert on David Sirota’s SirotaBLOG.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Stephen Colbert and Andrew Sullivan

Michigan News Stories -- Coast Guard Live Firing Practice

“Will lead bullets hurt lakes? Debate begins”The Grand Rapids Press


“Live fire training notice to public to be ‘enhanced’”The Mining Journal (Marquette)

“More notification of Coast Guard firing exercises now required” The Bay City Times


“Live machine-gun exercises on Great Lakes fire up complaints”Detroit Free Press

“Coast Guard lets public review training areas”The Detroit News

More Keith Olbermann

How Would Jesus Vote?

This from Democratic Underground:

The disconnect between what is morally just and the actions of the elected Republicans in control of our government for the past few years should be glaringly obvious. Where is the morality in a war that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis? Where is the adherence to Christian teaching in abandoning social programs that assist the hungry, the sick and the homeless? How does one equate moral rectitude with policies that have enriched and empowered the wealthy, while plunging the hard-working middle class into debt? Who can honestly condone the use of torture and consider it to be in keeping with anything remotely resembling Christian values?

“As you do to the least among you, so you do unto me.” And what has been done to the least among us by the Republicans currently in office is not, I would humbly suggest, what Jesus would consider to be a monumental display of moral values – not by a long shot.

The full article is here.