Thursday, June 19, 2008

Allowing the Government to Spy on Us

King George and the Telecom Corporations want the right to spy on you, and the Democrats are so spineless they are about to roll over and give it to them:
The provision granting amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, Title VIII, has the exact Orwellian title it should have: "Protection of Persons Assisting the Government." Section 802(a) provides:
[A] civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be properly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that . . . (4) the assistance alleged to have been provided . . . was --
(A) in connection with intelligence activity involving communications that was (i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007 and (ii) designed to prevent or detect a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation of a terrorist attack, against the United States" and

(B) the subject of a written request or directive . . . indicating that the activity was (i) authorized by the President; and (ii) determined to be lawful.
So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.
Call Obama: tell him to speak out today, not wait until it passes and then complain about it. 866-675-2008

Call Hoyer: tell him to pull the bill. 202-225-3130

Call your Representative: tell him or her to remember their oath to defend the Constitution.

Hat tip to Garrett, who is as angry as I am that Congress is giving up our rights to King George.

More Drilling Doesn't Mean Cheaper Gasoline

Will More Drilling Mean Cheaper Gas?
But there's a flaw in that logic: even if tomorrow we opened up every square mile of the outer Continental Shelf to offshore rigs, even if we drilled the entire state of Alaska and pulled new refineries out of thin air, the impact on gas prices would be minimal and delayed at best. A 2004 study by the government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that drilling in ANWR would trim the price of gas by 3.5 cents a gallon by 2027.
Is 4 pennies a gallon worth the cost and environmental damage of off-shore drilling? Uh, NO. Duh.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Republican Values

Racist button for sale at Texas Republican Convention. I guess this election will bring out the worst of them. Curious George Obama t-shirts, Sock Monkey Obama, and now this. Do these people even realize how racist they are, or are they just stupid?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not Mine

He's NOT my Commander in Chief, and he never will be.

In college I had a friend who couldn't stand Bill Clinton, and complained bitterly about Clinton right up until the day he was sworn in as President. When we asked my friend why he stopped complaining, he said that because he belonged to the military, Clinton was his Commander now, and it was wrong to criticize his superior officers. As we didn't belong to the military, we were free to criticize and complain.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Voting Republican

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rants About People

Obama released his birth certificate to combat the Republican lies about him. So, when is McCain going to release HIS birth certificate (proving that he wasn't born in the US)? Did George W Bush ever have to release his? Reagan? Clinton? Nixon? JFK? Why must Obama prove he's American when no other candidate has been held to that standard? Could it be? Republicans are racist?

John McCain, Elistist Golfer. Oddly enough, the McCain site disabled commentary on their golfing items.

John McCain, Flip-Flopper. He's such a maverick, he's become a maverick from being a maverick.

John McCain, Family Man. He's so into family that he dumped his first wife, who patiently waited for him while he was a POW, because she'd been injured in a car crash. Of course, he cheated on her first with his current wife. Republican family values!

Ann Coulter, Vote Fraud Felon. This person should be behind bars.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Various Political Rants

This is almost enough to make me eat at McDonalds. Almost.

Fox "News" equals gullible. Seriously, if they can't even do basic fact-checking, they don't deserve to call themselves a news channel. Only an entertainment channel would run a story as poorly-sourced as that one.

McCain would continue Bush's illegal wiretapping of US citizens. He's also been caught lying about Katrina and New Orleans. But then, Republicans like liars, I guess, or we wouldn't have Bush and Cheney in the White House. The Ten Commandments don't apply to Republicans in Republican-world.

Soldiers turning to self-harm to stay out of Iraq. It's happened in every war, but it's happening more now.

How to Lobby.

"Papers, please!" 97-Year-Old woman unable to vote now thanks to voter ID laws in Arizona.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Little Brother

You can download it for free, or order it from Whatever you do, just READ IT. The ideas and problems in the book are not far off. The situation is possible in our lifetimes. Knowledge is power. Read it.
Then the world changed forever.

We felt it first, that sickening lurch of the cement under your feet that every Californian knows instinctively -- *earthquake*. My first inclination, as always, was to get away: "when in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout." But the fact was, we were already in the safest place we could be, not in a building that could fall in on us, not out toward the middle of the road where bits of falling cornice could brain us.

Earthquakes are eerily quiet -- at first, anyway -- but this wasn't quiet. This was loud, an incredible roaring sound that was louder than anything I'd ever heard before. The sound was so punishing it drove me to my knees, and I wasn't the only one. Darryl shook my arm and pointed over the buildings and we saw it then: a huge black cloud rising from the northeast, from the direction of the Bay.

There was another rumble, and the cloud of smoke spread out, that spreading black shape we'd all grown up seeing in movies. Someone had just blown up something, in a big way.

There were more rumbles and more tremors. Heads appeared at windows up and down the street. We all looked at the mushroom cloud in silence.

Then the sirens started.

I'd heard sirens like these before -- they test the civil defense sirens at noon on Tuesdays. But I'd only heard them go off unscheduled in old war movies and video games, the kind where someone is bombing someone else from above. Air raid sirens. The wooooooo sound made it all less real.

"Report to shelters immediately." It was like the voice of God, coming from all places at once. There were speakers on some of the electric poles, something I'd never noticed before, and they'd all switched on at once.

"Report to shelters immediately." Shelters? We looked at each other in confusion. What shelters? The cloud was rising steadily, spreading out. Was it nuclear? Were we breathing in our last breaths?
This was a book that I could not stop reading until I finished it. You may find it the same way, or you might not like it at all. But whatever you do, go read it.


Pakistan's ambassador to Norway Rab Nawaz Khan claims, "Terrorism is carrying out an act that draws strong reactions. Muslims across the world are insulted by this cartoon, and therefore it is an act of terrorism."

I submit to you that Rab Nawaz Khan's statement drew a strong reaction from me, therefore by his own definition the man is a terrorist.

Though I'm more inclined to think of him as an idiot.

Terrorism is an act that creates terror. If Muslims across the world are seriously terrified by a cartoon, they really need to pull themselves together. I somehow doubt that Khan is speaking for the majority of the Muslim world, though. I suspect that most Muslims are made of sterner stuff.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Cousin Barack

My Cousin Barack 2008

His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is my eighth cousin in a direct line from my own ancestor Jonathan Singletary Dunham. My maiden name is Laura Dunham. We're both daughters of the Dunham Clan. Stanley Ann Dunham spent some time living in the Seattle area, only a few miles from where I grew up. So there's a second connection there. Neither connection is particularly strong, but ever since I first learned of those connections, I've had a soft spot for Obama.

I originally didn't expect him to win the nomination for president, and in fact would have encouraged him to NOT run, if I'd been in a position to discuss it with him. I wanted him to get more seasoning in the Senate. However, after watching him handle the primary campaign with incredible grace and poise, and watched as he picked strong people to advise him... then managed to gather both support and inspiration, my initial thoughts changed and I accepted his run as solid.

At the same time, Clinton ran a "business as usual" campaign, reaching into a Rovian bag of dirty tricks against Obama and refusing to admit that her vote for the war in Iraq was a mistake. She steadily lost my support while Obama never faltered. However, I would have still voted for Clinton in the general election and therefore didn't want to fully support either candidate until the whole thing was settled.

Today, Senator Clinton gave a graceful and powerful concession speech that almost made up for many of her earlier missteps. As she has now suspended her run and endorsed Obama, I think it's acceptable for me to finally say that the best birthday present anyone could give me on January 20th 2009 would be seeing my cousin Barack Obama sworn in as the President of the United States of America.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Price of War

The Backdoor Draft is taking a toll on our military. In short, people who enlisted for a time in the Army are being called back because no one in their right mind would sign up to go to Iraq right now. If the current administration were responsible adults, they would have already called a general draft to prevent overtaxing our military. But Bush is a war deserter and Cheney never served, so of course they'd rather just murder our troops with multiple deployments rather than do what needs to be done or stop their war profiteering adventure in Iraq.

And yet, people still are stupid enough to want to vote for McCain (who has voted with Bush 100% of the time) in the general election. Morons.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

On Clinton and McBush

I'm both relieved and saddened that Clinton is conceding the primary contest to Obama. I would have loved to see a female president, but Obama is someone I can actually feel good about voting for, for once. And Clinton was digging herself a mighty deep hole of mud that made me like her less and less as the primary dragged on.

I would have happily voted for Clinton, right up until she started badmouthing Obama. At which point I would've voted for her with disdain, right up until she declared that my state doesn't count because it's a caucus state. At which point I would've voted for her with disgust, right up until she started talking about assassination as a factor in the nominating process. At which point I would've had to battle my beliefs to cast a vote for her... though I would still vote for her just to try to make sure we don't get four more years of McBush.

What scares me, badly, is how many Clinton supporters claim they will vote for McBush if Clinton doesn't get the nomination. Those people apparently don't realize what party Clinton belongs to or something. Frankly, anyone who votes for McBush is either stupid or deluded. I suppose I could add "racist" to the mix, but I would include those people in "stupid" anyway.

Speaking of, Electoral Vote dot Com is back up again. It shows the most current polls on an electoral vote map so you get a nice visual representation of the stupid/deluded states (dark red).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rant Rant Rant

Washington State Republicans want to repeal the 14th amendment.

It's bad enough when the war on drugs causes police to act like Fascist Thugs, but when they intimidate witnesses outside of the chaos of the drug war raid, that's getting really scary.

Health insurance in Massachusetts is required, and only 5 percent of the taxpayers aren't covered now.

I wish Republicans would just get out of other people's bedrooms. Can't they allow other people to be happy? Must they control every bit of society?

Blah3 points out the moment I stopped supporting Hilary Clinton. And why a lot of people are completely disgusted with Clinton even now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Michigan Solution

Some in the media are declaring the series over because the Boston Celtics have won four of the six games played so far. But I don’t understand why, with a series this close and hotly contested, anyone would want to shut it down before we play a seventh game and have all the results in. As anybody who follows the NBA knows, a seven-game series would be good for the league, and the added competition would make the eventual victor, whomever it might be, a stronger opponent against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals.