Friday, January 28, 2005

No On Gonzales Redux

More on No to Gonzales.

Kos says, "There is no excuse for any Democrats to vote for Gonzales. None." I disagree slightly with his scope. There is no excuse for any human being to vote for Gonzales. The man supports torture, and thinks the Geneva Conventions are worthless. He'd open up our troops to even more abuse than they currently are getting. Anyone who votes for Gonzales as Attorney General is sending a clear message that they hate our troops.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Mothers Sharing Grief

A Family in Baghdad is posting letters from American mothers who have lost their sons in Iraq.

The Last Word

So I found myself reading this NY Times article... and the last paragraph really hit me hard.

"People would just come up to me and say, 'How'd you lose your arm?' " Mr. Acosta said. "And I'd say, 'In the war.' And they would be like, 'What war?' "

How, exactly, can anyone not know we're at war? In fact, we're in the middle of TWO wars. How can you be that ignorant?

Anyway, check out Operation Truth. These are veterans from the Iraq war that are attempting to get help for the soldiers still in Iraq.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm With Kos on This One

No on Gonzales. A vote for Gonzales is a vote for torture. Are we human or are we animals?
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. In this case, we, the undersigned bloggers, have decided to speak as one and collectively author a document of opposition. We oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General of the United States, and we urge every United States Senator to vote against him.

As the prime legal architect for the policy of torture adopted by the Bush Administration, Gonzales's advice led directly to the abandonment of longstanding federal laws, the Geneva Convention, and the United States Constitution itself. Our country, in following Gonzales's legal opinions, has forsaken its commitment to human rights and the rule of law and shamed itself before the world with our conduct at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. The United States, a nation founded on respect for law and human rights, should not have as its Attorney General the architect of the law's undoing.

In January 2002, Gonzales advised the President that the United States Constitution does not apply to his actions as Commander in Chief, and thus the President could declare the Geneva Conventions inoperative. Gonzales's endorsement of the August 2002 Bybee/Yoo Memorandum approved a definition of torture so vague and evasive as to declare it nonexistent. Most shockingly, he has embraced the unacceptable view that the President has the power to ignore the Constitution, laws duly enacted by Congress and International treaties duly ratified by the United States. He has called the Geneva Conventions "quaint."

Legal opinions at the highest level have grave consequences. What were the consequences of Gonzales's actions? The policies for which Gonzales provided a cover of legality - views which he expressly reasserted in his Senate confirmation hearings - inexorably led to abuses that have undermined military discipline and the moral authority our nation once carried. His actions led directly to documented violations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and widespread abusive conduct in locales around the world.

Michael Posner of Human Rights First observed: "After the horrific images from Abu Ghraib became public last year, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted that the world should 'judge us by our actions [and] watch how a democracy deals with the wrongdoing and with scandal and the pain of acknowledging and correcting our own mistakes.'" We agree. It is because of this that we believe the only proper course of action is for the Senate to reject Alberto Gonzales's nomination for Attorney General. As Posner notes, "[t]he world is indeed watching." Will the Senate condone torture? Will the Senate condone the rejection of the rule of law?

With this nomination, we have arrived at a crossroads as a nation. Now is the time for all citizens of conscience to stand up and take responsibility for what the world saw, and, truly, much that we have not seen, at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. We oppose the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, and we urge the Senate to reject him.

Signed, Daily Kos Management (past and present)

You can add me, Laura Gjovaag, to the list. I'm apalled that our country is even thinking of nominating someone who calls the Geneva Conventions "quaint" to Attorney General.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Crappy Birthday

IF JANUARY 20 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: Aquarians have a lot to be grateful for in 2005 as there will be plenty of opportunities to reach for dreams and make them come true. However, with Saturn entering your opposite sign in July, you must learn to honor agreements and avoid criticism. You will be riding high on a wave of popularity in February and March when others will look at you through rose-colored glasses -- but don't let your good fortune go to your head next November. Be on the lookout for important new relationships all year long.

BIRTHDAY GUY: Up and coming actor Skeet Ulrich was born on today's date in 1970 in Lynchburg, Va., according to one source. A major part in 1996's hack-and-whack horror flick "Scream" sent his career rolling uphill and he had a solid supporting role in "As Good As It Gets," the Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt surprise hit of 1997. Since then, he starred in the thriller "Soul Assassin," co-starred with alternative singing star Jewel in "Ride With the Devil," and had a shot at TV in the short-lived 2003 TV series "Miracles."

Via Excite:
  • Sunrise 7:48 AM (PST)
  • Sunset 4:52 PM (PST)
  • Hrs. of Daylight - 9 Hrs., 4 Mins.
  • Rises: 12:36 PM (PST)
  • Sets: 4:29 AM (PST)

Forecast - Rain throughout the day with sunbreaks.
Flood Update - Flood Statement Bulletin #38 has been issued for King County valid from Thu Jan 20 2005 09:08 AM PST until Thu Jan 20 2005 03:00 PM PST.
900 AM PST Thu Jan 20 2005
Snohomish River Basin... Snoqualmie R NR Carnation Flood Stage: 54.0 FT. Latest Reading: 52.4 FT at 08:30 AM Thu forecast: continue to fall today.
Snohomish R NR Monroe Flood Stage: 15.0 FT. Latest Reading: 14.2 FT at 07:30 AM Thu forecast: fell below flood stage 1 AM Thursday and will continue to fall.
Snohomish R at Snohomish Flood Stage: 25.0 FT. Latest Reading: 26.1 FT AT 08:30 AM Thu forecast: fall below flood stage late this afternoon.
At 27.0 feet...The Snohomish River will flood several roads... Including the Snohomish-Monroe Highway... And low areas of the Lower Snohomish Valley that are not protected by levees. A stage of 27 feet on the Snohomish River corresponds roughly to a Phase 3 in the Snohomish County Flood Program.

Other Birthdays:
  • Harold Gray, creator of the comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," is born, 1894.
  • Comedian George Burns is born, 1896.
  • Italian film director Federico Fellini is born, 1920.
  • Actor DeForest Kelley is born, 1920.
  • Bandleader Ray Anthony is born, 1922.
  • Country singer Otis "Slim" Whitman is born, 1924.
  • Actress Patricia Neal is born, 1926.
  • Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, is born, 1930.
  • Actor Tom Baker, who played Doctor Who in the 1970s, is born, 1934.
  • Comic Artie Johnson is born, 1934.
  • Actress Dorothy Provine is born, 1937.
  • Movie director David Lynch is born, 1946.
  • Actor Daniel Benzali is born, 1950.
  • Actor Lorenzo Lamas is born, 1958.
  • Stefan Edberg's birthday, 1966.

Other Events:

  • 1885 - The roller coaster was patented by La Marcus Thompson of, where else, Coney Island, NY. His coaster was 450 feet long with the highest drop being 30 feet.
  • 1892 - The first organized basketball game was played by students at the Springfield, MA YMCA Training School.
  • 1929 - In Old Arizona was released. The movie was the first full-length talkie to be filmed outdoors. Mainly, the great outdoors of the states of Utah and California.
  • 1937 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution set the date, officially, for the swearing in of the President and Vice President. The amendment was ratified by Congress in 1933.
  • 1942 - Harry Babbitt sang as Kay Kyser and his orchestra recorded, Who Wouldn’t Love You, on Columbia Records. The record went on to be a big hit for Kyser.
  • 1952 - Patricia McCormick debuted as the first professional woman bullfighter! She got herself two bulls in the contest held in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
  • 1953 - A television show was transmitted from the United States to Canada for the first time. The CBS Television production of Studio One was transmitted to CBLT-TV in Canada.
  • 1954 - The National Negro Network was formed on this date. Some 40 radio stations were charter members of the network.
  • 1958 - The rock ’n’ roll classic, Get a Job, by The Silhouettes, was released.
  • 1958 - Elvis Presley got a little U.S. mail this day with greetings from Uncle Sam. The draft board in Memphis, TN ordered the King to report for duty; but allowed a 60-day deferment for him to finish the film, King Creole.
  • 1964 - This was a big day in U.S. record stores as the first album by The Beatles was released. The LP, Meet the Beatles, became a huge success and was #1 on the charts by February 15, 1964. The British Invasion had begun. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
  • 1965 - Alan Freed, the ‘Father of Rock ’n’ Roll’, died in Palm Springs, CA. Freed was one of the first radio disc jockeys to program black music, or race music, as it was termed, for white audiences. In the 1950s, Freed, called ‘Moon Doggy’ at WJW Radio in Cleveland, coined the phrase, “rock ’n’ roll,” before moving to WABC in New York. He was fired by WABC for allegedly accepting payola (being paid to play records by certain artists and record companies). The 1959-1960 congressional investigation into payola made Freed the scapegoat for what was a wide spread practice. Freed, not so incidentally, died nearly penniless after the scandal was exposed.
  • 1974 - After an auto accident that had almost taken his life five months earlier, Stevie Wonder was back at work, playing a gig at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
  • 1974 - Golfing great Johnny Miller won the Tucson Open Golf Tournament and became the first pro golfer to win four consecutive major tournaments.
  • 1978 - Fred Silverman quit as head honcho of programming for ABC-TV. He accepted an offer to be president of NBC. Silverman had developed shows like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Charlie’s Angels and Three’s Company to earn ABC its highest ratings ever. His magic, however, didn’t work as well at NBC. Silverman’s Waterloo, so to speak, was a most expensive TV bomb: Super Train, starring Steve Lawrence. Grant Tinker replaced Silverman and took the Peacock Network to number one in a few years. Silverman went on to become one of Hollywood’s top, independent producers.
  • 1980 - Super Bowl XIV (at Pasadena): Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19. The Rams led 13-10 at the half and 19-17 at the end of the third quarter. A 73-yard pass completion to John Stallworth and a Franco Harris 1-yard run changed that in the fourth quarter. MVP: Steelers’ QB Terry Bradshaw. Tickets: $30.00.
  • 1985 - Super Bowl XIX (at Palo Alto): San Francisco 49ers 38, Miami Dolphins 16. The only Super Bowl played at Stanford University Stadium saw Bill Walsh’s 49ers overwhelm Don Shula’s Dolphins. The 1984 49ers, the first team to win 15 games in a regular season (15-1), outscored opponents by 2 to 1 and had ten players voted to the Pro Bowl. MVP: 49ers QB Joe Montana. Tickets: $60.00. It was the most-watched Super Bowl game in history, seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The program with the largest audience ever (aside from man landing on the moon) was the final episode of "M*A*S*H" in 1983. Super Bowl XIX also marked the first time that TV commericals sold for a million dollars a minute! That breaks down to less than a penny a person or a CPM (cost per thousand) under $9 or, in other words... not such a bad advertising deal... if you could remember the sponsors.
  • 1986 - New footage of the 1931 horror classic, Frankenstein, was found. It depicted the monster, played by Boris Karloff, throwing a girl into a lake and showed a hypodermic needle in the monster’s arm! Yeeeeeow! The scenes had been cut because they were considered too shocking for the 1930’s theatre crowd. They have since been put back in and the film has been rereleased.
  • 1998 - The headline read, “Cloned Calves Offer Promise of Medicines.” The calves were cloned from the cells of cow fetuses by University of Massachusetts scientists, James Robl and Steven Stice, who also worked for Advanced Cell Technology Inc., a biotech start-up in Worcester, MA. The hope is for genetically customized calves that will be able to safely, easily and cheaply produce medicines for humans in their milk.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

5,500 Desert From US Military

Apparently, well over 5000 soldiers have deserted from the US military since the invasion of Iraq began.

At first I was appalled. We have an all volunteer military (for the moment) and the idea of people running away is just offensive.

But then I remembered that our Commander in Chief, dubya, is also a wartime deserter and decided that I cannot blame any member of the military who chooses to run away as long as that coward is the CiC. After all, what's good for the commander is good for the troops. Since dubya never fulfilled his military duty, then I see no reason to hold any of our military to higher standards than him.

As soon as we get a person who either never served or served honorably back into the White House, then I'll find desertion offensive again.

You'd Have To Be A Moron To Think...

...that dubya is a "Uniter". Apparently, half the nation is composed of morons. But then, we already knew that.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

NFL Predictions - Playoff Edition

Johnny's sticking with it, despite going 1-3 last week. Here's this week's predictions.

Riverbend on WMD

From Riverbend's Blog.

Terror isn't just worrying about a plane hitting a skyscraper... terrorism is being caught in traffic and hearing the crack of an AK-47 a few meters away because the National Guard want to let an American humvee or Iraqi official through. Terror is watching your house being raided and knowing that the silliest thing might get you dragged away to Abu Ghraib where soldiers can torture, beat and kill. Terror is that first moment after a series of machine-gun shots, when you lift your head frantically to make sure your loved ones are still in one piece. Terror is trying to pick the shards of glass resulting from a nearby explosion out of the living-room couch and trying not to imagine what would have happened if a person had been sitting there.

The weapons never existed. It's like having a loved one sentenced to death for a crime they didn't commit- having your country burned and bombed beyond recognition, almost. Then, after two years of grieving for the lost people, and mourning the lost sovereignty, we're told we were innocent of harboring those weapons. We were never a threat to America...

Congratulations Bush- we are a threat now.

Social Security - Not In Crisis

Finally, a journalist covers the real story.

By exaggerating the severity of Social Security's problems, Bush risks alienating even many of those who might be inclined to support some version of the voluntary personal accounts he is so determined to push through as a central plank in his new "ownership society."

He might do well to heed the advice of President Reagan, who chose to leave the future of Social Security largely in the hands of a commission that included representatives of both parties and appointees from both houses of Congress.

"For too long, too many people dependent on Social Security have been cruelly frightened by individuals seeking political gain through demagoguery and outright falsehood, and this must stop," Reagan said. "The future of Social Security is much too important to be used as a political football."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Comparing My Last Two Posts

The Poor Man compares and contrasts the results from "Rathergate" and the search for non-existent WMD. Via News From ME.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

There were never any WMD

US gives up the search for WMD. That's because there were never any WMD. That was a lie that Bush used to justify his unjustifiable invasion of Iraq.

If Bush were an honest man, he would resign immediately and take full responsibility. Every member of his administration that was involved in fabricating the lies would be fired, and most of them indicted for war crimes. Bush himself should spend a few years in prison, at the minimum, for sentencing thousands of people to death. In my opinion, he and Cheney are traitors and should pay the price for treason. Lying to start a war, especially when your country is already at war is definitely treason.

Let's make this absolutely clear. This was not a mistake. This was an intentional lie in order to cause a war. Bush lied to kill our troops. NEVER forget that.

And if you voted for him, NEVER forget that you voted to kill our troops. NEVER forget that you voted for a liar who took us into two wars at the same time without any preparation. NEVER forget that YOU supported this traitor. If you voted for Bush, the blood of our soldiers and thousands of innocent Iraqis is on YOUR hands. I hope you can live with that.

Bush was AWOL, despite what the Wingnuts say

Daily Kos has rounded up the sequence of events as listed in Salon. The only thing CBS did wrong in their AWOL story was using memos that weren't from the same time period to "prove" their case. The main point of the story, that Bush was and is a wartime deserter, is still true.

And we've allowed a deserter to send our troops to die.

Good job, Republicans. I hope you've all signed up to join the military. After all, Mr George W "do what I say, not what I do" Bush wants YOU to die for his lies. And he's running out of American troops to send into harms way, so if you voted for him, you'd better sign up to support him. Join the military, or be a hypocrite. Unless you are really rich, like Bush's family. Then it's ok if you only pretend to go to war, then go AWOL like your idol.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Johnny B. was wrong...

I'm really starting to hate the Rams...

Friday, January 07, 2005

NFL Predictions - Playoff Edition

Johnny B Predicts, and he thinks the Seahawks can pull it off.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Why The Ohio Elections Should Be Challenged

Daily Kos provides some good reasons to challenge the results in Ohio. Not because the election is likely to be overturned, it's not, but because election reform has to start somewhere. And the problems in Ohio are extremely serious, and need to be addressed.

In the same vein, Washington State Republicans claim to have proof of voter fraud in King County. Good. If there was fraud, I hope they are able to prove it. Then we can have a new election and this ridiculous process can go to the point where everyone is so tired of it we'll be forced to reform. By the same token, if there was no fraud, I hope the Republicans get ripped to shreds by the public for trying to force a revote just because they don't like the outcome.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Wonkette on Government Spending

Ok, so Wonkette puts it a bit more cheekily, but the interview is extremely telling, as the NYT Magazine interviews Jeanne L. Phillips, chairwoman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee:
I hear one of the balls will be reserved for troops who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Yes, the Commander-in-Chief Ball. That is new. It will be about 2,000 servicemen and their guests. And that should be a really fun event for them.

As an alternative way of honoring them, did you or the president ever discuss canceling the nine balls and using the $40 million inaugural budget to purchase better equipment for the troops?

I think we felt like we would have a traditional set of events and we would focus on honoring the people who are serving our country right now -- not just the people in the armed forces, but also the community volunteers, the firemen, the policemen, the teachers, the people who serve at, you know, the -- well, it's called the StewPot in Dallas, people who work with the homeless.

How do any of them benefit from the inaugural balls?

I'm not sure that they do benefit from them.

Then how, exactly, are you honoring them?

Honoring service is what our theme is about.

"I'm not sure that they do benefit from them." A rare moment of honesty from an incredibly dishonest administration. Honoring our troops by actually providing them with armor would be too noble an effort. So of course Bush can't possibly do it.

As an aside: It's amazing that people are actually still blaming Clinton for our troops lack of equipment when Bush has had FOUR YEARS to equip them. Which he didn't bother to do. At all. In fact, instead of making sure they were ready, he threw them into TWO WARS without bothering to plan ahead for either of them. TWO WARS, people. No other US President has ever done that without a pressing need and a major mobilization of forces, and Bush LIED to make it happen while still cutting taxes for his rich friends on the side. Anyone still blaming Clinton has their head up their rearend.

Monday, January 03, 2005

5000 Americans Still Missing

Why haven't we heard about this on the local news?

GOP Morals and the Lack Thereof

On Tuesday (the DeLay amendment), the Republican party is going to legalize bribery.

On Thursday (Gonzales hearing), the Republican party is going to legalize torture.

What will next week hold?

The Red Staters "Compassion"

Go read Hullabaloo.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


The Seahawks won today, and are the 2005 NFC West Division champions. This means that they will host a game next weekend against the St. Louis Rams, who defeated the 'Hawks twice already this year. Darn, maybe the 'Hawks should have lost and gone into the playoffs as a wild card, when they'd play...oh, in St. Louis, agains the Rams. Well, at least they may have a better shot, then, playing them at home.

Almost as Screwy as Our Elections

Go check out RiverBend's Report on voting in Iraq. Basically, there is no possibility of a fair election,a nd lots of opportunities for all kinds of fraud. The election is going to be as fake as the reasons the United States went into Iraq in the first place.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

NFL Predictions

So Johnny predicts the Seahawks will win over Atlanta. I expect the Seahawks to lose, but that's just me.

Clear Channel Sucks

They won't play ads that are political unless they support dubya. A guy tried to get a series of radio ads on Clear Channel that basically say, "we're all Americans, even if we disagree" and CC refuses to air them:

This is a paid radio moment–
Some of us disagree with the President.
We think the Iraq war is a mess.
We think vote suppression is a crime.
We think tax cuts for the rich are a bad idea.
We think business doesn’t know best. (pause)
And we think dissent is an American value. (pause)
This country was born because people questioned authority.
It’s as American as apple pie.

Apparently it's offensive to be American anymore. You need to be reTHUGlican to be listened to. I wonder how soon before the ThoughtCrime police are going to be formed?

Backing Up A Bit

And getting out of politics... here's Johnny B's last couple of predictions: two weeks ago and last week. I forgot to post them, but they've been sitting in my Bloglines, waiting to have attention paid to them.

The Governor of Washington

Funny thing, elections. Democrats want to count every vote and make sure nobody is disenfranchised. Republicans want to stop counting as soon as they are ahead.

Gregoire appears to be our next governor. I'm not fond of her, but she's better than Rossi. I wasn't exactly enamored of Rossi to begin with, but when he made the utterly insane statement that if he were behind by only 42 votes in the automatic recount that he wouldn't demand a hand recount, I knew him for a lying hypocrite and didn't want him as governor. Only a complete moron would concede if they were behind by only 42 counts after the automatic recount, especially when state law allows for one more recount.

As for the possibility of the election being stolen... I don't think so. King County has an annoying history of being really screwed up in the elections division, and the votes that were brought in and counted, the ones that didn't even make a difference because Gregoire had already won by 10 votes, were all valid ballots that were only disqualified because of mistakes by the elections officials. The same thing happened in several other counties, and THOSE VOTES WERE COUNTED TOO!

As one observer said, if Rossi had concentrated his efforts on other counties, making sure that every ballot was counted elsewhere, instead of trying to keep King County from counting every valid ballot, perhaps it would have made a difference. I doubt it, but perhaps.

Funny thing, elections. It's nice to see the Republican strategy finally bite them on the butt. Hopefully we'll see more of that, as more angry voters refuse to be disenfranchised by thugs.

I Can't Wish You A Happy New Year...

...because there is no possibility of a happy year with the current leadership of this country: people who lie to start illegal and unjust wars then approve of torturing innocents.

I can't wish a happy New Year when I know that nothing we do will stop the erosion of our freedom under people who believe that dictatorship is a great idea as long as they are in charge ("If this was a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - George W Bush, December 18, 2002).

With such people in charge, how can anyone hope that 2005 will be anything but utter crap? Even if you are one of the idiots who support the murdering scumsucking liars, eventually they will turn on you -- something you like or do will be declared "evil" by the ruling party... then you will earn a trip to Gitmo for your efforts.

So "happy"? Only in the dreams of people who send our troops to die for their lies. There is nothing but more rain and sadness on the horizon. 2005 looks to be even worse than 2004 and 2003, which I didn't think was possible until November 2nd. Now I know that a slight majority of voting Americans are complete fools who believe that war and torture are good things, which means that we won't have "happy" years until, and unless, some of those fools somehow grow brains. I don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

And remember, if you voted for Dubya, you'd better sign up for the military RIGHT NOW, because you support his war, and he needs troops. Doesn't matter what your age is, he's forcing 70-year-olds back into the military using the back-door draft. So if you voted for him, you are absolutely morally obligated to sign up. If you don't, then you are a hypocrite, and you don't deserve to live in a free country. So I expect to hear that Red Staters are signing up for the military in droves. If not, then I know that the Blue Staters were right, and Red Staters are moral cowards. They can talk the talk, but they refuse to walk the walk.