Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Deadliest Quarter in Iraqnam

A huge bomb explosion followed by a hail of gunfire and grenades killed five U.S. soldiers, the military said Friday. The attack came as the Pentagon tallied up the deadliest three-month period for Americans since the war began.

Seven soldiers were wounded in the attack Thursday in the Rasheed district, a mixed Sunni-Shiite area of southern Baghdad where U.S.-led forces recently stepped up pressure on extremists. The commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad suggested the ambush could be part of an escalating backlash by Sunni insurgents.

Those deaths brought to 99 the number of U.S. troops killed this month, according to an Associated Press count. The toll for the past three months — 329 — made it the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. That surpasses the 316 soldiers killed during November 2004 to January 2005.
Read more

Wow, 329 American kids killed here, 329 killed there, first thing you know we’ll be engaged in a real war, instead of a ’slam dunk’ demonstration of ’shock and awe’, a ‘piece of cake’ walk to accept ‘flowers in our gun barrels’, while graciously accepting the ‘thanks of the Iraqis’ for ‘putting them on the path to a free and peaceful democracy that will be the envy of the middle east’.

What the United States really needs is a liberator who will invade Washington DC and put the country on the path to a free and peaceful democracy, following the rule of law and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That person's name is Al Gore.

For a party that’s for ‘The Right of Life’, and against ‘Abortion’, these fucking Repugnican bastards have murdered a lot of folks and created an abortion of an administration.

Proof Why Barack Obama Should NOT be President

If you had any inklings toward supporting Barack Obama in the run to the 2008 Presidential election these comments by him should stop you in your tracks.

"I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority," he said.

Jesus H. Christ!!!

What can be a more grave breech than suspending habeas corpus (its guaranteed by the Constitution)? What is more grave than lying to the country and the world in order to start an illegal war? What is more grave than supporting the illegal wiretapping of law abiding citizens?

What fucking planet are you on Obama?? May I suggest you crawl back to Capitol Hill, open up the New York Times and read what the hell is going on. By your comments are you suggesting that lying about a sloppy blowjob from an intern IS a grave breech while lying to the world and causing a war is NOT?

Give me a break you loser.

Public Expresses Solid Opposition To Bush On Iraqnam Debacle

This week, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and George Voinovich (R-OH) joined a growing chorus of conservative voices dissenting from the administration on the war in Iraq. Lugar said that victory in Iraq is “almost impossible.” Voinovich predicted that “many of us are going to look at legislation that will limit the number of troops.”

Although conservative lawmakers are dissenting in greater numbers, the White House is still insisting that we are making progress in Iraq. As recently as June 18, Tony Snow maintained that President Bush is “impressed and reassured by the progress [Iraq is] making on political, security and economic reforms.” Despite these rosy assessments however, recent public opinion polls suggest that most Americans aren’t buying what the President is selling.

According to an analysis of public opinion polls by American Progress fellow Ruy Teixeira, 54 percent of Americans believe that the situation in Iraq has gotten worse and only 29 percent believe that the United States is winning the war on terrorism:

Despite Lugar’s criticisms of the Bush administration, he has no intention of acting on his rhetoric. Earlier this week he said that congressional measures aimed at curtailing U.S. military involvement in Iraq, including “so-called timetables, benchmarks,” are “very partisan” and “will not work.” But the American public broadly supports pulling out troops:

As Teixeira notes, the “public’s verdict on the surge is clear. We can only hope that this overwhelming opinion will embolden more and more members of Congress to call for (as Sen. Voinovich put it) ‘a comprehensive plan for our country’s gradual military disengagement’ from Iraq.”

Calls to Get Out of Iraqnam Escalate

77% In CBS News Poll Say War's Going Badly, 40% Urge Withdrawal Of All U.S. Troops

The handwriting is on the wall in this new CBS News poll.

A CBS News poll shows Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war, President Bush and the Congress, as well as the overall direction of the country.

More Americans than ever before, 77 percent, say the war is going badly, up from 66 percent just two months ago. Nearly half, 47 percent, say it's going very badly.

Although the springtime "surge" in U.S. troops to Iraq is now complete, more Americans than ever are calling for U.S. forces to withdraw. Sixty-six percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased, including 40 percent who want all U.S. troops removed. That's a 7-point increase since April.



Fewer than one in five thinks that the troop increase is helping to improve the situation in Iraq, while about half think the war is actually creating more terrorists.

The poll has bad news for President Bush, too. His job approval rating slipped to 27 percent, his lowest number ever in a CBS News poll — 3 points less than last month and 1 point below his previous low of 28 percent in January. His disapproval rating is also at an all-time high of 65 percent.

And despite Bush being supported by only 27 percent of the population (each, I'm guessing, with an IQ matching the poll percentage), and despite his disapproval rating at an all time high of 65 percent, the Congress of the United States and most disappointingly the Democratic members of the House and the Senate still steadfastly refuse to confront Bush and tell him no more money. Instead, they overwhelmingly (that would be a majority) voted to give Bush $120 Billion MORE to piss away until September so we can ensure that the American death toll in Iraqnam approaches or exceeds 4,000 dead by then.

We elected these lily livered fucking cowards in November 2006 to STOP THIS MADNESS and to emasculate Bush. What did we get for that hard work campaigning for the likes of Jim Moran, Jim Webb, Jon Tester and others of their ilk? We got screwed. They promised us a rose garden and we bought it hook line and sinker.

The true test will be in September 2007 when the latest $120 Billion to kill American kids runs out and Bush comes begging for more money to kill more American kids for no reason. We will hear stories about how the Democrats want the "enemy" to win and how the Democrats aren't patriotic and the chickenshit bastards will roll over, play Beta wolf, expose their throats and testicles to Bush, and give him more money to ensure that more American kids die for no earthly reason.

Each and every member of Congress who remains supportive of Bush and his failed policies even with Bush having a 27 percent approval rating who is up for election in 2008 needs to be unelected. Each and every damned one of them. We need a strong cadre of candidates who will not succumb to the Reichwing media calling them traitors who will create a coalition of the willing in the Congress to defund the war and remove our kids as soon as possible.

Its quite evident at this point that We the People were fucked once again by our alleged representatives in 2006. I am now personally ashamed of having contributed to the campaigns of Jim Webb and Jim Moran. I am ashamed of having campaigned for them. I'm ashamed of having gone door to door and arguing their alleged anti-war stance for them.

I'm just plain sick and tired of both of those turn coat bastards. And John Warner who will be up for re-election in the Senate in 2008 is another enabler. He talks like one of them but when it comes time to vote he votes like a loyal Bushie.

I can't wait for the 2008 election. I hope we can get 435 clones of Ned Lamont to run for the House and 32 clones of Ned to run for the Senate. All of these lying bastards in the Congress now deserve nothing but our disdain and our disgust. Its time to take it to the streets. There haven't been huge street fires in Berkeley, Detroit, Kent, Ohio, and elsewhere since the Vietnam war. Its time to bring them back.

Michael Moore in his new movie "SiCKO" shows how in France the government is afraid of the people while in the United States the people are afraid of the government. Its time to change that. We need every member of Congress shitting in their collective pants out of concern for what We the People are about to do if they don't respond to the will of the people and stop this madness in Iraq.

Fuck you, Congressman Jim Moran. Fuck you Senator Jim Webb. Fuck you Senator John Warner. Fuck you House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Fuck you Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Fuck each and every one of you very much.

Write Letters

I just sent this email (modified for position) to the three bastards who represent me. Do the same with the cowards who represent you, especially if they are alleged anti-war Democrats. I'll send this to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid also.

Dear Senator/Congressman

Please have one of your aides read this post that I just put on my blog

I am disappointed in you and your continued support for Bush and his failed policy in Iraqnam. You talk tough to the media but when it comes time to vote you follow the Bush line. You should be ashamed of yourself. Each time another plane load of dead American kids arrives under cover of darkness at Dover AFB, Delaware, you need to feel personally responsible for each kid's death because your vote faciliated it.

Rush Limbaugh's Pomposity Explained

(And Bill O'Lielly's also)

Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.

Meanwhile,people with true knowledge tended to underestimate their competence. Psychologists call it the Dunning-Kruger effect, and it explains Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other lower life forms.

SiCKO - Pay It Forward Redux

My good friend JD at left a comment on my earlier post regarding Paying Forward on the movie Sicko. I'm moving her comment up here where more people can be sure to see it.

To counter the right's all out assault on SICKO, the staff at are each setting out to buy not one ticket -but 2. The second ticket goes to anyone who hasn't seen SICKO, but wishes to. The catch is, after watching SICKO and if they liked the movie, or if Mike's message in SICKO, moved them in some way, the recipiant of my free ticket must buy 1 ticket and give that one away ... and so on.

Just another way to let big insurance know we're out to educate the least intelligent among us.


I'm going this afternoon to Regal Cinema 12 in the Ballston mall to purchase a ticket for the one person in my office who is a flaming Repugnican and who will not watch SiCKO because "that person Michael Moore is in it." I'll give the ticket to her with the same provisions that JD outlines above.

Sounds like a damned good thing to do in your area also.

Just after Fahrenheit 911 came out that sorry excuse for a human, Laura Bush, said "of course I've not seen it" when asked if she and Dubya had watched Fahrenheit 911. Hearing this I ordered a copy of the F911 CD and had it delivered to George and Laura at the White House. Then when Neil Young's CD Living With War came out, I anticipated correctly that Bush wouldn't buy it so I bought a second copy and mailed it personally to Bush.

Last year the Dixie Chicks incomprable CD "Takin the Long Way" containing the wonderful protest song (and up your ass, Bush, song) I'm Not Ready to Make Nice and I dutifully purchased a second copy and mailed it to Bush.

With SiCKO, however, sending a ticket to Bush or a copy of the CD to Bush will make no difference. He has received more than $1 MILLION in contributions from Health Insurance and Big Pharma so he's not going to be swayed. But your Congressman might have a scintilla of intelligence and could possibly get the message.

So after Paying Forward for tickets to SiCKO I think we should all wait for the CD to the movie to come out. Then purchase an extra copy for your member of Congress and if you have real Neanderthal Senators (I'm talking Norm Coleman, John Kyl, James Inhofe and other lower life forms) send them a copy of the CD and ask some pointed questions of them.

Invasion of the Party Snatchers

Last night Bill Moyers did an interview with Victor Gold, the deputy press secretary in Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign for the Presidency. An avowed and admitted "conservative Republican," Gold has written a new book titled Invasion of the Party Snatchers - How the Holy Rollers and Neocons Destroyed the GOP You can order the book here
Moyers conducted his usual impeccable interview of Gold during which I found myself thinking "this guy sounds like my friend Mike and me talking - and we're both progressives." How could it have come to be that a staunch conservative could utter phrases that I thought only a flaming progressive like myself could utter? Victor Gold has become so disillusioned with the Republican Party that in 2006 he was praying for a Democratic victory in the Congress because he knew, among other things, that Democrats would revert to the basic principles of the Constitution that Republicans had long ago thrown away.

Its worth the time to watch the interview and learn how even Goldwater Republicans are fed up with the Party of George Bush and the neocon whack jobs.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sicko - The Best $10 You'll Spend This Year

Lionsgate Films
Directed by Michael Moore
With Michael Moore and a lot of industry talking heads
Rated PG-13

I can't imagine a more important movie being released this year. I can't imagine another movie making me feel so ashamed for America, or doing so with more justification. Once again Michael Moore had the guts and the balls to do what hardly anyone else is doing these days: yelling from the rafters that we are supremely fucked up as a nation, hollering about the very viable options we have to fix the mess if only we grew some backbone, and screaming with sincere conviction that it's long past time to revolt.

Make no mistake, Sicko is an explicit call for revolution, and it is a profound and horrifying one. I'm ready to take up arms — I'm just not sure what that means at this particular crisis point. Among the many, many shocking and disheartening hard truths laid bare here, the most difficult one to parse is the one that wonders where and how to fire an effective first shot. But Sicko is deeply satisfying in its own way, as if someone finally pointed out the elephant in the room, dared to laugh at the emperor's nakedness, at long last said, "Fuck this shit." Not that lots of folks haven't been saying and doing these things for a long time, but here it is in one wonderfully brazen, wonderfully eloquent package.

The point is this. Our health-care system in America is sick. Truly, maddenly, deeply sick, because it is geared toward ensuring obscene profits for the corporations in the health insurance racket and not toward ensuring that people are healthy. Its all about making money. Moore starts off by demonstrating that it is indeed a racket, with horrific tales of the crimes of HMOs, of all sorts of people being told they are "not eligible for insurance" because — get this — they're sick. How evil is that? That insurance companies can deny coverage to people merely because those people would cut into the corporations' profits?

The testimony from former HMO employees, who quit their jobs because they were so disgusted by what they had to do to keep people from getting the care they needed, is absolutely ruinous to all the filthy CEOs who have allowed their fellow Americans — their fellow human beings — to wallow in unwell misery and to die miserably over mere dollars. Is there anyone more despicable? Yes, there is - the politicians who enable this demented system. Some of those obscene profits, Moore shows us, go directly into the pockets of members of our Congress and Senate; it's all a matter of public record, but Moore plays it up with his usual satirical flair ... and he goes hard on both sides of the political aisle, lashing out particularly at Hillary Clinton, that one-time champion of universal, government-run, noncorporate health care; apparently even she can be bought. Moore isn't afraid to call it what it is - corruption at the most powerful inner sanctums of our national leadership. These people do not serve us, they serve their corporate overlords. Enough of this shit is enough.

We have all dealt with the horror that is our health-care system, and Michael doesn't need to waste a lot of time telling us what we already know. So he heads to Canada, to Britain, and to beautiful wonderful France to show us the alternative - systems where wellness is a priority, everyone is looked after as needed, and doctors are free to actually care for their patients instead of wondering what services they are limited in providing because some blood-on-his-hands CEO wants a new yacht. With wit that is as devastating a takedown as any angry rant could be, Moore makes fun of the image of "socialized" medicine that has been sold to us by, yup, those corporations with their obscene profits. And in the far larger context, he shows us how the American character has faltered under our system of "health care." The inevitable next question he leaves us to ask is - "How do we find the energy for a revolution when we've come to such a frail and feeble state in both body and soul?" That's the depressing crux of Sicko.

I laughed till I cried, sitting through Sicko, and I don't mean that as a metaphor — I was taken down by wracking sobs of shame and pity for Americans by the end of the film, when Moore takes a handful of 9/11 emergency responders who cannot get the medical help they need after their selfless work in lower Manhattan to Cuba, where they are treated with such kindness by Cuban doctors in the free hospital that it is heartbreaking, and mortifying. How have we Americans let such things come to pass, that the best and bravest and most altruistic among us are treated as disposable garbage? (And how we treat our weakest and most vulnerable is even worse, Moore has no hesitation in showing us, too.) How can we live with ourselves?

The scenes from Cuba were heart-wrenching. Near the end of the film, Michael points out that the person with the most vitriolic anti-Michael Moore website on the Internet finds himself having to shut down his site because his wife is sick and he cannot afford to continue operating the site. All of his money has to go to take care of his wife.

At this point Ann Coulter would have said the website owner should accept his wife's sickness and get over it. But Michael doesn't operate that way. Michael sat down with a checkbook and wrote a check for $12,000 to cover the wife's medical expenses. Michael sent the check anonymously - and after the person's wife was better, Michael noted how he went right back to bashing Michael, accusing him of being "heartless" among other things. What a fucking jerk.

Get off your butt this weekend and head to the nearest theater showing Sicko. When the movie is over ask yourself and your neighbors a simple question: How can we live with ourselves?

Libby - Inmate No. 28301 - 016

This is GREAT news for America. Let's hope this low life is just the beginning of a long, almost endless, list of Repugnican scum that winds up behind bars. I have to laugh at all of the Repugnican blogs that scream that there was "no underlying crime" for which Scooter was convicted.

Ah, excuse me, isn't LYING UNDER OATH an underlying crime? Jerk off's

Once Scooty is in the slammer I want DeLay to follow him, then Douglas Feith, Donny Rumsfeld (I would love to see pics of Rumsfeld trying to re-position his glasses as his 6'9" body-building cell mate lover welcomes Donny back from the lunch room one afternoon), Paul Wolfowitz, Condi (Fang) Rice, Dick Cheney and the Chimp all wind up behind bars for their crimes.

At one point I thought I would send Scooty some KY jelly to ease the transition to jail life (as I had sent to Tom DeLay). Now, however, I'm sending him sand paper. His cell mate will know what to do with it.

Welcome to prison, Scooty

Whats More Democrat-Like Than Helping Others?

When she was 11 years old, my now-almost-30 year old daughter Jennifer asked me over breakfast one morning,"Dad, what's the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?"

Without blinking I told her that "Republicans care about money; Democrats care about people." Jennifer replied "That's what I thought, Dad," and we went on to discussing something else.

That 19 year old conversation with my oldest flaming progressive daughter (the youngest daughter is a flaming progressive also - good genetics at work) came to my mind on a recent afternoon when my friend Suzy Smythe in New England sent me this link for NEADS - Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. (My guess is they would get a dog for a Canadian who needed one also).

NEADS of Princeton, MA, is a non-profit organization established in 1976 to train and provide rescued dogs and donated puppies to assist people who are deaf or physically disabled in leading more independent lives at work, at home and at school. These assistance dogs become an extension of their owners and bring security, freedom, independence and relief from social isolation to their human partners.

Each morning when I get off the subway at the Ballston Metro stop in suburban Virginia I see a young woman who is confined to a wheel chair. She is waiting at the top of the elevator with her Service dog, a Golden Retriever. At first I thought hers was a seeing eye dog but through her I learned about Service dogs.

Service Dogs are trained to assist people who are physically disabled. Service Dog teams have public access rights under the ADA. They are trained to retrieve things that drop, portable telephones, or items from shelves and other hard-to-reach places; open refrigerator and other doors; push elevator buttons; turn light switches on and off; carry items in their mouths or backpacks; pull wheelchairs up ramps or short distances; go get help should their partner need human assistance. Most of the Service Dogs that NEADS trains are donated as puppies by breeders throughout the country and raised by volunteer foster families before returning to NEADS for 6-months of skill training. Trainers then match them with qualified applicants. Those who are eligible to receive a Service Dog must spend two weeks at the NEADS campus in Princeton, MA, and learn how to work as a team with their new dog.

Two of my colleagues (both progressives - do you see a pattern here?) are active in training Service dogs to help others and have done so for many years. At first I thought it was rather strange seeing dogs roaming around in a Federal office building, but then when I learned their purpose it seemed like a logical thing to do.

Luckily there are many Service dog organizations in the country, however, this one near Worcester, Massachusetts, really caught my attention after Suzy sent me information about it and I wanted to pass on that information to readers of this blog. There are several ways you can volunteer your time to help advance the objectives of NEADS. If you are out of the area you can also donate funds to keep NEADS involved in helping others. I just donated $25.00 and it was totally painless.

So, this weekend, after you have returned from watching the first showings of Michael Moore's fantabulous movie "Sicko" go to NEADS website, scope it out, and offer them some help. Its the progressive thing to do.

Sending A Subtle Message to Your Neighbors

One Positive Benefit of Global Warming

A Street Department with a Sense of Humor

Remarkable Discovery of a Dodo Skeleton on Mauritus

I will be the first to admit that when I did a search in images for a "dodo" I half expected that the image that would be returned was one of George Bush - but no such luck.

This story from news is pretty spectacular if you have an interest in ornithology which, coincidently, I do.

BOIS CHERI, Mauritius (Reuters) - The remains of a dodo found in a cave beneath bamboo and tea plantations in Mauritius offer the best chance yet to learn about the extinct flightless bird, a scientist said on Friday.

The following information about the extinct flightless bird comes from Wikipedia

The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird that lived on the islands of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall (three feet), lived on fruit and nested on the ground.

The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history, and was directly attributable to human activity. The phrase as dead as a dodo means undoubtedly and unquestionably dead.

As with many animals evolving in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness, made it easy prey. But journals are full of reports regarding the bad taste and tough meat of the dodo, while other local species such as the Red Rail were praised for their taste. It is commonly believed that the Malay sailors held the bird in high regard and killed them only to make head dressings used in religious ceremonies. However, when humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before, including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques, which plundered the dodo nests, while humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes; currently, the impact these animals — especially the pigs and macaques — had on the dodo population is considered to have been more severe than that of hunting. The 2005 expedition's finds are apparently of animals killed by a flash flood; such mass mortalities would have further jeopardized an already extinction-prone species.

Although there are scattered reports of mass killings of dodos for provisioning of ships, archaeological investigations have hitherto found scant evidence of human predation on these birds. Some bones of at least two dodos were found in caves at Baie du Cap which were used as shelters by fugitive slaves and convicts in the 17th century, but due to their isolation in high, broken terrain were not easily accessible to dodos naturally. By 1755, Cossigny reports that the number of refugees and settlers which cut down the inland forest was so high that the well-flighted Mauritius Blue Pigeon was rapidly declining all over the island.[citation needed]

There is some controversy surrounding the extinction date of the dodo. Roberts & Solow state that "the extinction of the Dodo is commonly dated to the last confirmed sighting in 1662, reported by shipwrecked mariner Volkert Evertsz" (Evertszoon), but many other sources suggest the more conjectural date 1681. Roberts & Solow point out that because the sighting prior to 1662 was in 1638, the dodo was likely already very rare by the 1660s, and that thus a disputed report from 1674 cannot be dismissed off-hand. Statistical analysis of the hunting records of Issac Johannes Lamotius, carried out by Julian Hume and coworkers,give a new estimated extinction date of 1693, with a 95% confidence interval of 1688 to 1715. Considering more circumstantial evidence such as travelers' reports and the lack of good reports after 1689, it is likely that the dodo became extinct before 1700; thus, the last Dodo died barely more than a century after the species' discovery in 1581.

Hopefully there wont be more dodo's in the list of extinct birds of the world, but with a burgeoning human population and the lack of any form of a land ethic in most of the people of the world, the dodo will likely be the first of many more extinctions, not just one of a few extinctions.

Search for Non-Existent Weapons of Mass Deception in Iraqnam Finally Over

Today the United Nations told the world what every intelligent person on the planet has known since before Bush began his illegal invasion of Iraq:
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The Security Council voted Friday to immediately close down the U.N. inspection bodies that played a pivotal role in monitoring Iraq's unconventional weapons programs under Saddam Hussein.

In actuality, the search for weapons of mass deception was over in the mid-1990s. We just needed a coked up cowboy masquerading as a president to get the search going again. My guess is that each night before he says his prayers, little Georgie thanks “god” for making his dad sell the WMDs to Saddam in the first place so little Georgie had something to act like he was a tough guy. Isn’t the American body count up to 3,560 or so kids who have died in Iraqnam for this lie?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Met George McGovern Today!

Sitting in the Northwest Airlines World Club on Concourse C of the Minneapolis St Paul International Airport this afternoon, I saw an elderly man sitting near me (12 feet by later measurement) who looked really famiilar but I couldn't place him. That was until he picked up his cell phone, dialed a number, and then said "hello Roger, this is George McGovern"

I listened to him talk to a private pilot in Mitchell South Dakota about the logistics of flying him and his 90 pound Newfoundland dog to Lincoln, Nebraska in coming days. Completing his call I knew that I had to introduce myself to him.

When the 1972 election rolled around I had just weaned myself from a growing up time of having believed that if it was Repugnican it was right. That mentality came from my mother who, at one point, was the President of the 3rd Congressional District Repugnican Party in Wisconsin. She believed all of the mantra the Repugnicans spewed out. When the time came she even believed that the June 22 Nixon tapes were "a communist plot" to discredit Tricky Dick. I believed all of her stuff until May 4, 1970, at 11:27 a.m., Central Time when the Ohio National Guard committed murder at Kent State. Never ever again would I believe a Repugnican about anything.

In the fall of 1972 I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. George McGovern came to our campus twice that fall to talk about his platform. The gynmasium was always full and very supportive. I was safe from having to go to Vietnam because my number in the lottery/sweepstakes was 311. A good friend from high school, Lee Anderson, wasn't so lucky. His number was 2. He did his time in Nam, came home with a hole in his ankle, and two months later was killed on a motorcycle.

But in the fall of 1972 I was transfixed by politics. Richard Nixon deserved to be in jail but wasn't headed there. The quagmire in Viet Nam wasn't getting any where near conclusion and something had to be done. A Senator from South Dakota named McGovern ran that year and his platform was primarily about ending the carnage in Vietnam. Everyone I knew except the idiots in the campus Repugnican party was supporting McGovern in his bid for the White House. History of course shows the stupidity of the American public who overwhelmingly sent Nixon back for what turned out to be only 2 more excruciating years before he resigned before being tossed out.

I cast my first vote in the town hall of Rice Lake township Barron County Wisconsin. My first vote ever was for George McGovern. In fact I voted for every Democrat on the ticket. That was a trend I started in 1972 and I've never missed a vote since 1972. I've also never once voted outside of the Democrat column either.

Which brings us to Minneapolis today.

After he hung up from talking to the pilot I stood up and walked over to him. He was writing some notes in a day timer when I said "Senator McGovern". He looked up and said "yes" and I identified myself.

I then told him, "I have been a fan of yours since I cast my first vote in 1972. It was a straight Democrat ticket and I have never voted out of our column since then."

He smiled and said "we need more of you."

I then asked "Do you think we can get Al Gore to run next year? We need someone with some integrity to fix the mess that idiot now in the White House has created."

McGovern smiled and said, "First of all, I think time will show that George Bush is the worst President in our history, and the biggest disgrace this country has ever known." He then added, "As far as Gore is concerned, I think he's going to run. He has not said he's going to run, but if you listen to what he says, he never says that he isn't either."

I then added my hopeful scenario when I said "Senator, I think what's going to happen is that in October in Oslo when he accepts the Nobel Peace Prize he pulls a sheet of paper out of his pocket and adds 'and by the way, today I'm announcing my candidacy for the President of the United States'".

McGovern smiled and said, "you know I think he might do that."

I didn't want to bother him much longer so I again told him it was an honor to meet him and wished him well. Before I left I said "don't ever stop kicking the ass of any Republican you meet."

The man who should have been the President in 1972 smiled and said "I'll do that until the day I die."

I hope McGovern is right about Gore and right about kicking the ass of Repugnicans.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Repugnican Congressman's Solution to Immigration - More Condoms for Mexico

This is absolutely hilarous!! The stupid son of a bitch wants to have more condoms as a way to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the United States.

What's hiilarious about it is the very real fact that the Bush Administration is opposed to any form of family planning and has been reducing or eliminating funds to countries that support family planning. And even more hilarious is the assinine Congressman promoting this idiocy is a Repugnican (as if someone is surprised by that?)

I really hope one of the First Twins gets pregnant soon.

Iraqis to Bush -- You Have Left Us With Nothing

Mission Accomplished!

This is from Information Clearing House :

Iraqis to Bush: “You have left us with nothing”
By Mike Whitney

06/22/07 "ICH" -- -- “Never had I fathomed, not even in my remotest imagination, that a day will come when God's houses will be attacked and destroyed. The way they are today, in Iraq...Never.

This Red Line is now crossed...Crossed, transgressed, trespassed into blasphemy.” Layla Anwar “A Red Line” from An Arab Woman’s Blues

According to a recent UN report, the Green Zone is now coming under heavy fire on a daily basis. The report said that the so-called “International Zone”--which houses the U.S. embassy and Iraqi government office—is being pelted regularly with a “barrage of mortar bombs and missiles…The attacks have become more frequent and more accurate.” (Reuters)

The news of the mortar and missile attacks has been largely concealed from the American people. The public already believes the war was a “mistake” and the persistent bombing of America’s “last sanctuary” in Baghdad just adds to the nation’s sinking morale. The US is progressively losing its grip in Iraq and the fighting is degenerating into a vicious free-for-all. The “surge” has failed to achieve its political objectives, and this is forcing the occupation to rely more and more on aerial bombardment and counterinsurgency operations.

The war is in its fifth year, and still, Bush has not produced anything even vaguely resembling a political solution. He is utterly clueless.

The world’s oldest civilization is being destroyed before our eyes---its cities laid to waste, its people slaughtered by the tens of thousands. Saddam never could have dreamed of devastation on this scale. We’ve ruined everything. Truckloads of dead men are delivered to the Baghdad morgue every morning where they are processed and then dumped in mass graves in abandoned soccer fields or schoolyards. 20% of the population has either been internally displaced or forced to flee into Jordan and Syria. In Falluja alone, 65% of the buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of its citizens are left living in tent cities scattered across the desert--exposed to the elements, living on crusts of bread and foul water. The number of refugees has risen rapidly; 2 million in Amman, Damascus and Cairo. They go wherever they can to avoid the bombing and find safety or shelter.

“I will write for the refugees...
(with) no homeland except
the wind of illusion
and no shelter except
the humiliation of tents”

“For Whom do I write” by Musa Shu`ayb

The Iraqi people are now facing what Juan Cole calls an “everyday apocalypse”---a complete security meltdown in which crime and terror flourish in the seedbed of foreign occupation. Bush’s war has created the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our time---700,000 dead, millions more maimed or traumatized for life, and an entire country reduced to rubble.

“The dustbins overflow
with corpses
and human decay.
Where to now my enemy?
Where to now my oppressor?” Layla Anwar "Poem about America"

Among those who follow the daily accounts of the war, the mood has grown increasingly dark and pessimistic. It’s clear that the Democrats are now as committed to the goals of the war as Bush. They are both equally guilty.

The Iraq war is no accident. It is the logical consequence of a corrupted system where all the protections for human rights and civil liberties have been abandoned. All that’s left is the voracity and bloodlust of an unelected oligarchy who dispense death and destruction with complete indifference. Democracy has been subverted in America---every part of the body-politic is diseased. The war is just a reflection of America’s moral degeneracy.

Am I being too harsh?

Consider this article which appeared on this week. ( It provides photos of 24 “special needs” children who were found naked, starving and lying on concrete floors, in their own excrement---their bodies covered with sores. All of them were chained to their cribs. Some of them were near death. This is the Nazi-like terror we have unleashed on Iraq under the rubric of “democracy”. This is what “neoconservatism” looks like when it is stripped of its ideological pretense and we can see its true face---pure, unalloyed evil. It is no different than Hitler’s fascism.

We are starving and brutalizing children while we extol the “America’s fallen” as if one life is more valuable than another. What sort of sick joke is this? This is nothing more than cultural narcissism served up by pseudo-patriots in the political establishment who are drunk on death and power. They worship violence like a god and they are pushing us all towards Armageddon.

“I will not pray to a god who
made the usurpers victorious…
My God has been lost
among the conquerors
I will not pray to a God
who is lost among the conquerors.”

“The Missing God” by Musa Shu`ayb

True---God has been lost among the conquerors, the occupiers and the foreign armies.

Why don’t we hear the voices of the war’s victims? Why do we never hear the stories of the people who are forced to live beneath America’s bombs?

For 5 years, the western media has covered the war from the perspective of the struggling American GI and the hardships he faces in a foreign land. That may be true, but what about the Iraqis who must endure the “everyday apocalypse”; don’t they count?

The US invasion has turned Iraq into a testing-ground for new theories on counterinsurgency. One by one the cities in the Sunni region have been surrounded with razor-wire; vital supplies have been cut off, check-points set up, snipers placed on rooftops, and the siege begins. Civilian neighborhoods are branded as “terrorist strongholds” and pounded with heavy artillery and aerial bombardment. We have declared war on some of the poorest people on earth—ghetto warfare with the most sophisticated high-tech weaponry ever invented.

Who will tell these peoples’ story? The New York Times? FOX News?

Here’s something you won’t read in the mainstream news: The real disposition of the war changed more than two years ago when it became apparent that the Iraqi resistance would not simply throw down their weapons and give up. That’s when the assassination of teachers and intellectuals went into high-gear. That’s when archeological sites, museums, and anything else connected to Iraqi cultural and historical identity—began to come under relentless and withering attack. The attacks on holy sites and mosques have persisted to this day. There is a conscious effort to destroy all the religious symbols and monuments which bind the people together in the shared experience of a common faith.

The same sinister forces which are inciting the sectarian violence are trying to remove all sense of kinship, brotherhood, nationalism and spirituality. Their objective is to “wipe the slate clean” and rebuild the entire society according to their neoliberal model.

If that is not genocide; then what is?

Here is the story of one victim of the US occupation. It is a story of great personal loss and suffering. It’s really the tale about all of Iraq; a nation that never threatened the United States, but which has been crushed by evil, ambitious men who care nothing about the death and suffering they have produced.

The story is called “My Shrine” and it is by poet and author Layla Anwar:

As I was staring out of the window, I noticed the full moon.
I remember when I was a child; I associated the full moon with my love for my grandmother.
I used to tell her: "Bibi, every time I see the full moon, I see you. You are my moon."

I absolutely adored my grandmother. She loved me kindly, warmly, with no strings attached...
As benevolently and as gently as the moonlight.

So naturally on a full moon, I remember her.
As a matter of fact, I remember all my departed ones, members of my family, my great grand parents, my ancestors...Everyone I have ever heard of, even those remotely related to me.

Remembering them gives me a sense of continuity...A sense of belonging.
And now that Iraq is in pieces, their remembrance is even more of a priority for me.

As a matter of fact, I dream of them often, or more like they visit me in my dreams ... rather too often, these days.
And true to our traditions, every time they visit me in my dreams, I make it a point to offer food or alms to any worship place (be it mosque or church) in their souls name.

Another thing that reminds me a lot of my departed ones is Sheikh al Gaylani (Gilani) mosque and shrine in downtown Baghdad.

Sheikh AbdelKader Al Gilani was a Sufi and a good number of my family followed his teachings.
Some even say that we are related to him and can trace our roots right back to 13th century Baghdad through the Gaylani school.

So when I heard that Al Gaylani mosque and shrine was bombed, something in me snapped.
I felt it physically, something around my heart...

I have often visited this mosque, with members of my family, one of which was my grandmother.

We would sometimes go in the morning and sometimes in the early evenings.
In the mornings, women (Sunnis and Shias - we never thought of these terms before the occupation) would congregate, pray and pay their tributes.
Some would distribute candies because a secret vow or wish had come true.
So whilst praying, sweets would fall around me and it was always a good omen.

In the evenings, you could hear after the muezzin's call to prayer, the chanting -Dhikr - of the sacred Divine names, repeated over and over until they mingled with the sunset and became One.

This shrine is more than just a place of worship for me.
Every time I walked in there, I would draw strength, feeling it infusing my roots with a new breath...
Everytime I sat there, I connected with all those who sat there before me, all the way back to the 13th century...
This place symbolized for me, my sense of belonging, my sense of being.

In my mind, this place was my point of reference, like some lieu that my inner compass recognized, gravitated towards, affiliated and identified with...
An attachment beyond time, space and geography. An attachment like some invisible rope handed down through generations of worshippers and contemplators. All the way back...

When it got bombed, I asked Aziz who knows this mosque better than anyone else, who was behind it. He replied matter of factly as if he knew it all along :" Mahdi of Iran, Mossad and the Americans."... And I believe Aziz for he knows.

And instead of sweets falling as a good omen, falling debris buried the wounded...And instead of sacred chants uniting with the sunset, the cries of mourning...

What have you done?
Not only have you smashed my country into tiny pieces.
Not only have you slaughtered my people.
Not only have you snatched my loved ones, my family, my friends, away from me.
Not only have you destroyed our homes.
Not only have you exiled thousands of us.
But you have also managed to shatter my memories, pull them out from their roots, like some unwanted weed.
You have managed to reach the only sacred place I had left.
The only place I had jealously safeguarded, secretly held in silence, lest you should find out about it.
But you even managed to penetrate that too.
Leaving me with nothing...
Leaving me with absolutely nothing but this pen and paper and a full moon staring coldly back at me.

We have destroyed Iraq and left the people with nothing. The American people need to know this.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Is Anybody Going to Stop Dick Cheney?

When it comes to the multitude of crimes committed by Dick Cheney do we really need the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud before we decide to haul him off in shackles? This is getting stupid, from the events of 9/11 to the blatant in your face self assertion that American laws don’t apply to him, can anyone seriously say that Dick Cheney is not a criminal?

Virtually every crime committed by the Bush administration from starting a war based on lies to outing a covert intelligence official, to the destruction of official records, has Dick Cheney’s finger prints all over it! The outrageous behavior of Cheney has become a global joke, only there is nothing funny about it! Cheney is perhaps the biggest criminal in the history of the American political system and the most this nation is willing to do about it is tell jokes about him!

Is anyone living in the real world? Is there a human being left in our political system or judicial system that is willing to open his or her eyes and stop this mad man? Holy cow…it’s one thing to be willing to look at the overwhelming evidence of his complicity in the events of 9/11/2001, but hell, this guys is simply looking us all in the face and telling us that laws don’t apply to him! He is telling this to us with his own mouth! This is not conspiracy theory, this is confession! How much evidence does the American public need before they do something about the biggest criminal in American governmental history?

I must be dreaming. The people of the world can not be as crazy as they are acting. I’ll go back to sleep now. Maybe I’ll wake up to reality. I’ll know that I am in a real world when I turn on my TV and see news reports about Cheney getting sentenced to hang in the gallows for high crimes and crimes against humanity! Until that happens I will have a hard time believing that my fellow Americans are part of any real world because they could not possibly allow this guy to continue his crime spree unopposed! Think about it.

When it comes to the multitude of crimes committed by Dick Cheney do we really need the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud before we decide to haul him off in shackles? This is getting stupid, from the events of 9/11 to the blatant in your face self assertion that American laws don’t apply to him, can anyone seriously say that Dick Cheney is not a criminal?

Virtually every crime committed by the Bush administration from starting a war based on lies to outing a covert intelligence official, to the destruction of official records, has Dick Cheney’s finger prints all over it! The outrageous behavior of Cheney has become a global joke, only there is nothing funny about it! Cheney is perhaps the biggest criminal in the history of the American political system and the most this nation is willing to do about it is tell jokes about him!

Is anyone living in the real world? Is there a human being left in our political system or judicial system that is willing to open his or her eyes and stop this mad man? Holy cow…it’s one thing to be willing to look at the overwhelming evidence of his complicity in the events of 9/11/2001, but hell, this guys is simply looking us all in the face and telling us that laws don’t apply to him! He is telling this to us with his own mouth! This is not conspiracy theory, this is confession! How much evidence does the American public need before they do something about the biggest criminal in American governmental history?

I must be dreaming. The people of the world can not be as crazy as they are acting. I’ll go back to sleep now. Maybe I’ll wake up to reality. I’ll know that I am in a real world when I turn on my TV and see news reports about Cheney getting sentenced to hang in the gallows for high crimes and crimes against humanity! Until that happens I will have a hard time believing that my fellow Americans are part of any real world because they could not possibly allow this guy to continue his crime spree unopposed! Think about it.

A Hiatus

I'm going to be offline for a couple days; this is something I usually put in an email to the Secret Service agents who read all of my emails to the Chimp. Don't want them thinking I snapped when I'm actually looking at birds somewhere.

I'm leaving this evening via Minneapolis to Milwaukee in the great incomparable Cheesehead state of my birth, Wisconsin. Tomorrow I'll be a couple hours north of Milwaukee (pronounced "mah-WAU-KEY" in native Cheesehead), to try to find one of the several Kirtland's Warblers that have been found nesting for the first time ever in Wisconsin. This endangered species normailly nests only in six counties in northern lower Michigan, so having them nest in Wisconsin is a major happening.

From Wisconsin I'm headed to the Florida Keys to interview for a job to keep me gainfully employed after I retire on or about August 20 this year from the spineless Federal agency that currently employs me.

I wont be back until late on Wednesday night so when you aren't seeing any rantings from me it's not that my heart has given out and my ashes are being spread over the Amazon. I'm just taking a break from the insanity of the Bush Cabal and enjoying greener pastures for a few days.

A Festival I'm Certain to Avoid

Mount Sterling Illinois Enjoys its Annual "Testicle Festival!"

June 21, 2007 02:31 PM EDT

(NBC) - For the fourth year in a row, the month of June has taken on a new meaning in the small town of Mount Sterling, Illinois.

That's right, it's testicle time.

Proceeds from this year's Testicle Festival were donated to the town's new community emergency building, for volunteer firefighters and rescue workers.

ENJOYS??? This story said the entire town ENJOYS a testicle festival? What is this? Mount Sterling is populated now with a horde of no-longer-aggressive eunuchs?

You don't need to remind me to avoid this place. Jesus.

(Special thanks to Suzy Smythe up in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts for sending this less than cheerful news story! Remind me to wear a baseball catcher's cup whenever I go to Illinois)

Congressman Wants to Wean Farmers from Federal Trough

Ron Kind, Congressman from the western tier of the great state of Wisconsin wants to do what needed to be done a long time ago but for which most farmers swimming in the Federal trough were once massively opposed. Ron Kind wants to drastically cut back the Federal Farm Subsidy Program. Read about it here in this article from the New York Times.

For all the screaming that Repugnicans do about "welfare" they always conveniently forget that the US Department of Agriculture oversees one of the largest and most lucrative welfare programs in the nation - the Federal Farm Subsidy Program. Its a welfare program that has lasted since the Dust Bowl Days and it remains in place today solely as a way to buy votes from the 2 million or so farmers in the country. These are regularly referred to as "poor farmers" and are the subject of "Farm Aid" and other hilarious publicity stunts.

When I lived in North Dakota my office partner, Hal Kantrud, told me not long after moving to that state about the "four seasonal bitches" of North Dakota farmers. Hal said "In the spring they bitch because its too wet and they can't plow their fields. In the summer they bitch because its too dry and the wheat won't grow. In the fall they bitch because the ducks are eating all their wheat, and in the winter they bitch because there aren't enough grain cars available to haul away that year's record crop."

Lets look at some of those programs:

1) In the mid-1980s native prairie in the Sandhills of Nebraska was selling for $40 an acre if you bought the land by the section (a square mile or 640 acres). However the Department of Agriculture had a program where farmers were paid $60 an acre to take corn ground out of production. So, what did the farmers do (these are the same people who had bumper stickers reading - Farmers: The Original Conservationists). These "original conservationists" plowed up 10s of thousands of acres of virgin prairie, then ran to the nearest Agriculture office to sign up to be paid $60 an acre to not grow corn on land that was worth $40 an acre.

2) Nebraska promotes itself as having a $1 Billion dollar corn industry. Nebraska fails to tell you that $600 million of that billion comes from Federal subsidies that you and I pay for.

3). The Red River Valley of North Dakota is a major producer of sugar beets. Several years ago during a period of outrageous sugar beet production the price that farmers received for their beets plummeted. What did Agriculture do in response? There were 19 different programs available to deal with the over production. One of those programs would pay farmers to truck their beets to nearby cattle feed lots where they could sell the beets as animal food. But that wasn't good enough. The "poor farmers" couldn't get enough money so eventually the most commonly used program was to pay farmers to simply plow their sugar beets back into the ground. Yup, original conservationists.

4). Milk is sold in increments of 100 pounds or "hundred weight." The Department of Agriculture, to bolster the price that "poor farmers" make sets a target price for milk. Lets say the target price is $10.00 a hundredweight. However lets say the market for milk is $7.70 a hundredweight. Guess what happens? You, me and everyone else who pays taxes pays the difference (in this case $2.30 per hundred pounds) to the farmer so they have an assured $10 per hundred pounds.

5) Corn is sold in increments of bushels (one bushel of corn is 56 lbs). Corn, just like milk, has target prices set for it by the Department of Agriculture. If the target price isn't met, you me and everyone else who pays taxes pays the difference. I'll bet there are a lot of electricians and plumbers out there who wish that an agency of the Federal government would have a sure-thing price set up for their businesses.

6) Each fall, despite all of the dire predictions of "crop failure" from drought or whatever, we have a bumper crop produced in the country. Record or "bumper" crops cause prices to fall. Farmers don't have to worry because of the corn price support. However what to do about storing all of that corn until it can be sold and they receive their check from the government? Well the government has a plan for that also - its called subsidized storage. Drive around in Iowa or Illinois for a few days and you'll see all sorts of grain storage facilities. Many of them are used as part of the government program to store surplus grains (at taxpayer expense) until the grain can be sold and the other subsidy kicks in.

7) I raised sheep in high school. Each spring I would shear my sheep and sell the wool at a local agricultural cooperative. The wool would be sent where ever it is that wool goes and I would be paid a certain amount of money for each pound of wool my sheep produced. The checks should have stopped coming the moment I turned in the wool. But they didn't. The agriculture department had a program that ensured that every year for FIVE YEARS after I sold the wool I received a check as a percentage of the total amount of wool I sold. So, in 1969 I received X dollars for my wool. In 1970 I received 80 percent of what I was paid in 1969 for the wool. In 1971 I was paid 60 percent of what I was paid in 1969 ad infinitum. What a racket!

8) Grain farmers and dairy farmers aren't the only ones getting a free ride. We all own the national grasslands of the United States. They are managed by the US Forest Service which is an arm of the Agriculture Department. Grasslands on Forest Service land, on Bureau of Land Management lands and on lands managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service are all subject to grazing allotments where local neighbors (who are regularly called "partners") are able to graze their cattle on the Federal grasslands. The rate a rancher pays to graze his cattle on Federal lands is called an AUM or Animal Unit Per Month. An animal unit in this case is a cow and her calf. They equal one AUM. Thanks to Congressionally mandated legislation, the rancher pays $1.47 an AUM to graze his cattle on our national grasslands. In many cases neighboring private lands are grazed at $20 to $25 an AUM. And what a difference ownership makes. Look at most National Grasslands or other Federal lands - they are many times grazed down to where they look like a golf course. Look at the adjacent private lands and they are grazed responsibly and there is usually an abundance of native grassland. Why are the Federal lands grazed irresponsibly?

Each spring, range conservationists calculate how many AUM's they think a certain grazing allotment can handle. Lets say that the range conservationst determines that pasture A can handle 100 AUM. The rancher is told that he can graze 100 AUM at $1.47. However the rancher owns 150 cows with their calf. He has 50 percent more cattle than the land can handle. He's not happy so he goes home and calls his Congressman or Senator and whines that the mean Federal government wont allow him to abuse public lands. The Senator or Congressman, always willing to buy a vote, calls the Director of the agency whose range conservationist has just upset his constituent. After a cordial conversation, the Director, who has likely never seen the Refuge or BLM land or National Grassland, determines that in fact the pasture in question can handle 150 AUM just like the Congressman or Senator asked, and voila! Suddenly 150 AUM are grazing land that can only handle 100 AUM. When I learned this in 1988 I stopped eating beef as a protest of grazing practices on your land and mine. The only exception I make is eating a cheeseburger on the day of a Jimmy Buffett concert I'm attending.

Its agricultural welfare at the grandest scale and it’s done to mollify voters with no regard for the long term consequences to the earth. Each year, singer Willie Nelson pulls at the public heart string with his bogus “Farm Aid” concerts designed to help the “poor” farmers. While Willie is crooning away, he forgets to tell his audience that the taxpayer is contributing $40 billion annually to farmers and ranchers through subsidy checks and set-aside programs, and grazing programs, and other forms of welfare for farmers. And this gargantuan give away is for less than two percent of the American public. To me, the only “poor” farmer is one who can’t figure out how to sign up for the taxpayer subsidized freebies, or one whose mailbox has blown down and the mailman can’t deliver his checks.

I was once seated on a flight from Washington, D.C. to Great Falls, Montana, with a particularly repulsive now–former Senator from Montana named Conrad Burns. After several drinks to fortify me, I asked him when Congress was going to start welfare programs for carpenters and electricians like they have for farmers. The Senator said he didn’t know what I meant, so I reminded him of the $1.47 per AUM policy that western Congressmen had established for grazing public grasslands down to golf course height, and the $40 billion for subsidy checks.

I then said, “Senator, it doesn’t matter if it’s too wet or too dry, over production or under production, the Congress has a welfare program to bail out farmers. When are you going to do the same thing for carpenters and electricians now that there is a slump in home building?”

The Senator said, “You just don’t understand farm policy, do you.” I said, “I understand farm policy too well,” and went back to my drink. I still refuse to eat American beef.

For the sake of some fiscal sanity in the country I hope Congressman Kind is successful in severing the Federal umbilical cord that farmers continue to feed from (some "poor farmers" receive up to $2 million a year in subsidy checks). The sooner the better. Its bad enough this horrific waste of money has had to go on as long as it has. The dire days of the Dust Bowl are long gone yet this artifact of welfare remains. I look forward to the day when farmers are no longer paid to feed at the Federal trough.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day Of Action to Restore Law and Justice

About the Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice
Its beginning to look a lot like the 60s!

On June 26, 2007, join us in Washington, D.C. as we call on Congress to restore habeas corpus, fix the Military Commissions Act, and restore our constitutional rights. Rally with us outside the Capitol, then help deliver our urgent message in person to your Members of Congress. This is your chance to make your voice heard!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - Day of Action Activities
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Executive Branch Demonstration for those already in DC (exact location tbd)
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Lobby Training (close to Upper Senate Park) NOTE: Lobbying will be done in groups. All attendees are encouraged to participate!
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. RALLY at Upper Senate Park (Constitution Avenue NE between New Jersey and Delaware Avenues, NE)
For a Mapqest map of Upper Senate Park, click here

For Mapquest driving directions to Upper Senate Park, click here.

NOTE: Paid parking in the area is limited. While we don't endorse any specific garages and recommend public transportation, you may find the Union Station garage to be convenient if you're driving in to D.C. We will have volunteers and greeters outside to help direct you to the rally site.

For walking directions from Union Station to the rally, go here.
1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Storm the Hill: Lobby Meetings with Senators and Representatives

6:00 p.m.
Buses depart Union station for cities around the nation.

Note: This event is free and open to the public. However, it is important that you bold;">RSVP so we can keep you updated on the event. Even if you’re not yet completely certain you can attend, it can’t hurt to sign up.

Speaker List

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Representative John Conyers (D-MI)
Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

Greg Proops of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
Larry Cox, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Wade Henderson, Executive Director, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Reverend Rich Killmer, Executive Director, National Religious
Campaign Against Torture
Sister Diana Ortiz, Executive Director, Torture Abolition and Survivors
Support Coalition International and torture survivor

Reverend Dr. Charles E. Gutenson, Associate Professor of
Philosophical Theology, Asbury Theological Seminary
Dr. Ingrid Matson, Islamic Society of North America
Rabbi Gerrald Serotta, Temple Shalom
Bishop Walter Sullivan, Catholic Diocese of Richmond (Ret.)

About the Military Commissions Act (MCA) and Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus is not a fancy legal term. It's the freedom from being thrown in prison illegally, with no help and no end in sight.

From England's Magna Carta through recent Supreme Court decisions protecting Guantánamo detainees, the prohibition against unlawful imprisonment has remained fundamental to our system of laws and our basic values. No government should ever be given the power to call someone an enemy and lock them away indefinitely.

Today we face a new and unprecedented assault on habeas corpus, due process and our most basic American values: The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which eliminates habeas rights for some people gives the president absolute power to designate enemy combatants, and weakens the rules preventing evidence gained through torture.

We all know the difference between fairness and persecution, and it is up to each of us to tell Congress to correct its mistake and restore habeas, and all of our Constitutional rights.

If we don’t act immediately to fix the Military Commissions Act, basic protections like habeas corpus could be lost forever, and our country will become unrecognizable.

We can restore habeas and get our rights back - if we act together, our voices will reach Congress and they will stand up for the values we elected them to defend.

Join us on June 26, in Washington, D.C., as we gather together at the Capitol and across the nation, meet with lawmakers, and rally to demand the restoration of our constiutional rights!

Learn more about the Military Commissions Act (MCA)here.