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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Winning Hearts and Minds the Rumsfeld Way

See how it works? We're the good guys, and therefore anything we do is always justified, even if it's exactly what the terrorists do.

U.S. forces in Iraq, in two instances described in military documents, took custody of the wives of men believed to be insurgents in an apparent attempt to pressure the suspects into giving themselves up.

Both incidents occurred in 2004. In one, members of a shadowy military task force seized a mother who had three young children, still nursing the youngest, "in order to leverage" her husband's surrender, according to an account by a civilian Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence officer.

Read It:

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Democracy is on the March in the Middle East

The Iranians chose to elect an insane anti-semite president who hates the United States, The Shiite fundamentalists of the United Iraqi Alliance won the most seats in the Iraqi election, and now the terrorist group Hamas is the democratically elected leadership of Palestine. Democracy is on the march.

Why on earth would people elect governments with policies hostile to the United States?

Any guesses, people?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Support The Troops, But I Hate Babies: The Shameless Antagonist's Guide To Deconstructing Meaningless Propaganda

L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein is taking heat from the right wingers for writing a column in which he says he doesn't support the troops. In his concluding paragraph, he writes:

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades.

Read It:

He argues that it's a contradiction to claim you're against the war and supportive of the troops, echoing the refrain of his conservative detractors.

Rather than concede semantic ground, I choose to reframe the context of the meaningless slogan "I support the troops".

Fine. Then let's set up a few parallel assertions: I support the teachers. I support the doctors. I support the priests. I support the children...Can you say these slogans with equal conviction and/or fervor?

What is support, anyway? Does the word "support" mean blindly condoning any action on the part of the subject of your support?

If you can say "I support the priests" with equal fervor, are you shouting "hallelujah" with each new molestation of an altarboy?

If you say "I support the children" with equal zeal, do you hold nerds for the neighborhood bully to punch?

Thoughtful people aren't hoodwinked by kneejerk appeals to patriotism.

I support the troops, particularly the conscientious objectors who refuse to particate in a counterproductive, ill-conceived neocolonial resource grab.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"We still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know compels the conclusion that the President has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently. If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration,
kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?"

-Al Gore

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Alternative: Sara Dady

I'd love to think that our country's political situation will change change dramatically if we vote the republicans out of office in November's elections.

Unfortunately, as corrupt and venal the republican leadership is, the democrats in congress are hardly on the side of the common people. Instead, the national leadershp of the democratic party has positioned itself as "republican lite"; a less corrupt, less hawkish party catering to a slighty less affluent sector of the corporate world.

What's a progressive to do when the national democratic party fails to represent the values of the people it claims to represent?

Aside from resurrecting Paul Wellstone, our best option is to get involved; to take power back at the state and local levels.

My good friend Sara McMurry Dady is doing just that.

She's running a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 64A.

You can access Sara's website Here:

Even if you're not in Sara's district, Sara's reasoned, articulate approach to the concerns facing her district are worth a look.

She's a candidate worth supporting, and if you can, please do so.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My Exit Strategy

From today's Star-Tribune, which, unlike CNN--a.k.a. the Sago Mine Channel--still reports about the war:

Five U.S. Marines were killed by small arms fire and roadside bombs this weekend, the military said today. And today a Black Hawk helicopter crashed, killing all 12 believed to be aboard

Read It:

Of course, I shouldn't worry. The president says we're not going to "cut and run", and that we're going to "finish the job" i.e., creating a free and democratic Iraq.

There's a lofty goal. Perhaps it could be accomplished by someone, say, a supernatural being with the power to time-travel, but not by you and your incompetent cronies.

What decisions have you made that would instill even an iota of confidence in your procecution of this war?

Here's my exit strategy. You exit the White House.

As soon as there is a Democratic majority in congress, we'll demand investigation after investigation culminating in a Pinochet treatment.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Give 'Em Enough Rope

As Abraham Lincoln said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

It's good to see the wheels of justice finally turning.

According to Kos, as many as 60 congressmen could be involved in the Abramoff scandal.

Here's a list of those we know for sure have ties:

1. George W. Bush

2. Karl Rove (under investigation)

3. Tom DeLay (indicted)

4. Bob Ney

5. David Safavian (indicted)

6. Dana Rohrabacher

7. Denny Hastert

8. Jim DeMint

9. Chris Cannon

10. Grover Norquist

11. Ralph Reed

12. Tony Rudy

So much for restoring honor and integrity to government.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Could It Happen Here?

Dear God, I hope so...

Chilean police took fingerprints and mugs shots of Gen.Augusto Pinochet on Wednesday following his indictment for the killing and disappearance of nine dissidents during his dictatorship — the first time he has had to submit to a police booking.

Pablo Rodriguez, a lawyer for the 90-year-old ex-dictator who ruled Chile from 1973-90, called the procedure "an affront to a former President of the Republic."

But government spokesman Osvaldo Puccio said the booking of Pinochet "shows that in Chile all citizens are equal before the law."

Pinochet had been indicted and held under house arrest in other human rights in other legal cases against him, but had never been submitted to a police booking.

Read It:

After Senator Al Franken leads a "quickie impeachment" of Bush in 2007, what crimes will Augusto Bush stand trial for?
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