Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Out of Iraq, into New Orleans!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fundie chain mail

I normally cringe when I get those chain emails from the ex-wife being passed on about how they are having their rights stripped from them. A lot of them are the type that make the claim that some group or person is trying to make a law to take their rights away or push some evil agenda while never once saying who this supposed group or person is. Propaganda at best! But this time, I actually laughed when I opened this one. Someone forgot to either edit it, or just figured it was best to write what a Marine would actually say. Word to the wise, if you manage to piss off a Marine, you never really know what you might get! Just try to control your gag reflex with some of the fundie wording that ties atheist and ACLU together. Over all, it is a funny story.

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.

The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me."


What is even funnier than the fact that they passed it along with the cursing, is the amount of forwarded addresses on the mail! I guess as long as it is for GOD, then it's all good.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

ITMFA: The new banner

Some of the regular readers might have noticed the new banner I made for this blog. The pic is one I took after Hurricane Rita. I was headed down Bayou DuLarge were I grew up to check on the old friends and see how far I could make it. I stopped to snap some pics and I soon realized why I was the only idiot around with a regular sized car. There was no way I was getting through there with the Intrepid! After the pic I used for the banner was snapped, I took a couple more. It was then that I saw a truck come through that same point where the camera was pointed. That was the end of my drive down the bayou, the very beginning!

Anyway, I made this banner the night I found out Dad was in the hospital while at work. I never got the chance to explain it. I must give a big tip of the hat to Chuck at The Divided States Of bu$hmeriKa 2 for the idea. That is where I first heard of the term ITMFA. I was planning on making a banner for the blog already, and when I saw that, I just knew it would fit perfect on the banner. So thanks Chuck for the idea! I must admit, it does have a certain quality about it.

Besides, I know I am not the only one to keep asking this question:



Each time that question is pondered, the same root cause comes up:







Who says monsters only exist in movies?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Back home, he opened his eyes

I made it home Thursday afternoon after getting some good reports from one of the doctors that morning. He said he was off all three of the blood pressure elevators and the breathing treatments had been reduced and he was breathing more on his own. The report was upbeat and he is still slowly showing signs of improvement. He did however say the Dad is still very sick and it will take a while to recover and that it will not happen real quick. HA! You don't know my dad jack!

So yesterday after I got off work, I got a call from my brother to give me an update. On the day I left to come back home, they took him off the dialysis to see if his kidneys would jump start and start working. They were planning to put him back on yesterday for a while. But the good news is that he told me
Dad opened his eyes!!! He tried to at one point when the doctor tried to get him to. But he never could really open them before things got real bad. This time however, he opened them. That's what I'm talking about, they just don't know my Dad. He survived all three surgeries at the hands of an inept doctor, sepsis, blood pressure so low that the monitor did not register, heart stoppage, kidney failure, fluid retention from the kidneys not working and dialysis. And now he opens his eyes!

That's my Dad, that those doctors don't know jack about. He is as tough as he is kind. With his fighting spirit and all the prayers and energy coming his way, I dare to say that he will make that doctor eat his words.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lafayette update 2

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their support and kinds words. Your prayers and thoughts mean a lot! I have more info now to post and it is not all wine and roses. I found out that this started out as a 24 hour out-patient surgery for his gallbladder. My family is very thankful for all the support and wishes to extend a thank you to each and everyone of you. You people are the best! I stayed behind at the house today to take care of some things for mom. The work was starting to pile up and I scrubbed the kitchen floor for her. Right now, Roto Rooter is here to work on some drains. So much to do, and she can't be here and be with dad too. Lucky we have such a big family to help with everything. I want to explain what led up to this, but I must first tell you the latest news. One of the family members called around 1:30 and reported that Dad was attempting to open his eyes. We are still waiting on the report, but that news did make me smile. I know in my heart that it is a good sign. I am trying not to look at it like the other times that something good was said. It seemed like anytime we got something good, it got worse not long after.

So this is how it started:

Dad was in pain and went in for out-patient surgery for his gallbladder. This procedure was to only have him for 24 hours. The surgery was done via endoscope. Later, there was complications and they went in with the endoscope again. They figured there was a stone they missed and might be blocking a duct. To my understanding, they found another stone, but something went wrong during this second surgery which was an endoscope again. They took another stone out I think, but.....somehow they clipped a bile duct. That proceeded to take Dad down a road no one wanted to ever see. His blood pressure dropped and they ended up having to pump him with 3 blood pressure elevators as fast as they could get in in him. His pressure dropped so low that the monitor could not register it. Then he seemed to get his pressure back up, and BAM, total nightmare!

He had to go back for his third surgery, and this time it was exploratory. They found the cut and had to stitch it up. But the damage was done, he was poisoned with the bile that had been leaking the whole time. After that, his heart stopped and they had to revive him. Then after heart stopping, his kidneys stopped working. His blood pressure was not high enough to keep everything going I guess. So after going to a different anti-biotic, which was supposed to do some good, he was retaining the fluids without the kidneys working proper. They started dialysis yesterday to get the toxins out of his system. So things are still touch and go, but I felt good about the report from the family that he was trying to open his eyes.

Once again, My family thanks you for all your support and prayers. Your thoughts and care mean so much! This one goes out to my Dad and all my brothers and sisters in green. I love you and wish nothing but the best for you. Life is short, tell someone you love them today. It may be the last chance you get.

Louis Armstrong.. What A Wonderful World

Monday, January 22, 2007

Update from Lafayette

I had to come to Lafayette because my dad is in ICU. Things are still touch and go for now. I will try to respond and drop a line in whenever I can. That is why you have not seen a post in the last couple of days. He went in for gallbladder surgery, and now he is fighting for his life. They have done three surgeries so far. They started him on a stronger antibiotic today, and it should show changes in 24 hours. A tear was left and it leaked bile into his system. Septis(sp?) set in and now they are trying to fight off the infection. His blood pressure is not back up to par. His kidneys have stopped working properly. A doctor said today that if they could get the blood pressure back up, it would make a big difference. The kidney problem started after his heart stopped. They got him revived again. It is touch and go here for now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gonzales denies existence of Express Grant of Habeas Corpus In The Constitution

Think Progress has the story on Alberto Gonzales and his denial of the "Express Grant of Habeas Corpus In The Constitution" which gave some insight into the thinking of a madman. While debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about the Supreme Court's decision on Guantanamo detainees during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Gonzales dropped the ultimate stupidity bomb! One would think even Gonzales would not be as stupid to claim that something does not exist when "the constitution says you can't take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion." Well that case of common sense does not seems to exist in Gonzales land.

Yesterday, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed there is no express right to habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution. Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court's ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Gonzales claimed the Court did not cite such a right, then added, "There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution."

Specter pushed back. "Wait a minute. The constitution says you can't take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?"” Specter told Gonzales, "You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General." Watch it:


The artical at Think Progress has the full transcript. Here is a taste of it:

SPECTER: Where you have the Constitution having an explicit provision that the writ of habeas corpus cannot be suspended except for rebellion or invasion, and you have the Supreme Court saying that habeas corpus rights apply to Guantanamo detainees — aliens in Guantanamo — after an elaborate discussion as to why, how can the statutory taking of habeas corpus — when there’s an express constitutional provision that it can’t be suspended, and an explicit Supreme Court holding that it applies to Guantanamo alien detainees.

GONZALES: A couple things, Senator. I believe that the Supreme Court case you’re referring to dealt only with the statutory right to habeas, not the constitutional right to habeas.

SPECTER: Well, you’re not right about that. It’s plain on its face they are talking about the constitutional right to habeas corpus. They talk about habeas corpus being guaranteed by the Constitution, except in cases of an invasion or rebellion. They talk about John Runningmeade and the Magna Carta and the doctrine being imbedded in the Constitution.

GONZALES: Well, sir, the fact that they may have talked about the constitutional right to habeas doesn’t mean that the decision dealt with that constitutional right to habeas.


Be sure to read the whole transcript. Gonzales is a card carrying member of Lunatics-R-Us.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Marine's response to a Dear John letter

Hat Tip to Neith. Thanks for the pics.

Now this one had me laughing! We could always count on our buddies to help in any situation.

I love the Marines!











AND THE WITTY

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Now those damn, um, troops don't support the troops

You know, I’ve had it just up to here with those tree hugging, terrorist supporting, lib’rul, hippie, blame America first, chickenhawk, er, troops?



Yup, brave republican (and CFL) “victory-supporters”, it is now our own troops (in addition to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the generals on the ground, the Iraqi Prime Minister and government, 70%+ of Americans and a great majority of Congress) who are questioning the direction and “winability” of the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam (yes, that applies to the escalation, but it certainly also applies to the current occupation).



Yes, our own troops. Calling for a withdrawal. Or questioning whether the US can “win this war” and what “winning” even means.


Of course, they shouldn’t ask new republican Senator Joe Lieberman (cause, let’s just call it like it is). But Lieberman can tell them that there is no timeframe for victory, so they shouldn’t worry.



Over the past couple of days, I have been relatively hopeful not only that this little failed experiment of world domination by neoconservatives and their cronies has officially jumped the shark but also that there is a glimmer of hope that the entire Middle East isn’t going to implode and that sanity will prevail. There is overwhelming protest, from every article to every news story, to every news web site, blog community and in discussions everywhere that this shit has to stop.



And this week, there has been a very high number of instances where the troops are actually speaking out against this occupation – and not only in terms of the future direction, but the entire underlying purpose and goal of the occupation. Needless to say, this is huge, regardless of whether it is a small, mid-level or large percentage of our troops. It is the fact that they are being vocal about this. As are their families, friends and communities.



A google search of “military”, “speak”, “against” and “Iraq” yielded nearly 4,000 news category hits with a good number dealing with troops not giving the Boy King the warm and fuzzies.



Just look at some of these quotes from the troops:

"It's hard to tell what's right here anymore," said Case Dewinkel, a 23-year-old Army specialist from Madison, Wis.



---snip---



"There are a lot of reasons why we're here, but they're complex. This isn't a war like they used to be, like in World War II when there was good and evil and the direction was clear," Dewinkel said, scuffling his feet on the muddy schoolhouse floor. Rain poured outside.



---snip---



"It's hard to tell who the good guys are," Dewinkel said.



”It’s hard to tell who the good guys are”. Nearly two months ago, I wrote a diary titled “We’re...being shot at by both sides” which portrays a similar line of thinking. That is because they are stuck in the middle of people that want to kill each other and there are no “good guys” or “bad guys”. Just “guys” that are really pissed at each other, at the troops who are there, at the prospect of no job and no future.



Or even those troops who still believe that a withdrawal isn’t a viable option?

Maj. Web Wright, 39, an Annapolis, Md., native also assigned to the 2nd Brigade.



---snip---



"I don't want to see what we've done go to waste," he said. "What's the solution then? If we pull the troops out, who fills that void?"



Wright said he worries that it is difficult to define what victory would mean in Iraq.



"I've spent two years here, and I want to see us win," he said. "I don't want to rush to get it over with. The problem is, what's a win here, in this a counterinsurgency fight?"



I guess when you never lay out any goals other than “delivering freedom” and “promoting democracy”, it’s tough for the ones who you send off to kill and die for your greed, lies and monumental lack of planning.



And what about those troops who feel so strongly that they signed and delivered a petition to a sitting Congressman?:

Sgt. Jabbar Magruder of Los Angeles, a member of the Army National Guard who served about a year in Iraq beginning in late 2004, was recently promoted and respects the military but does not believe in the war because he believes the United States presence in Iraq is only making things worse.



"I cannot allow my fellow serviceman to continue to have to fight in Iraq when it's in no way winnable," Magruder said. "This might come at a great moral cost to me, but I'm willing to do that so they may be able to come home."



Or this active duty Sgt.:
Sgt. Liam Madden, 22, an active-duty Marine and Iraq war veteran, said the petition had about 1,000 signatures, about 70 percent of which are active-duty military, while the rest are reservists or members of the National Guard.



"We will not be silent while thousands die," Madden told reporters. "If the war is to end, there needs to be a movement from within the military that is heard from."



Now, pardon me for thinking this is a wee bit, shall we say out of the ordinary? Active military members presenting petitions to “end this war”.



And just what does this petition say?:

"As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of American military forces and bases from Iraq.



"Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for U.S. troops to come home."



Why, oh why do our troops hate America?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

8/29 Investigation: A call to action

Cross posted from a guest post at The Democratic Daily

Todays guest post comes from one of the NOLA bloggers. Adrastos is one of the NOLA bloggers that I met at the New Orleans crime rally. You just have to love the city of New Orleans and their very own citizen media. A couple of the bloggers were speakers at the rally, and gave Nagin a verbal lashing. I have to tell you, the rally was something to behold, but the bloggers are the best. Those people rock! On with the post from Adrastos:

We all know that Holy Joe Lieberman has decided NOT to launch a Senate investigation into the Bush administration's criminally incompetent response to Katrina and the federal flood. As much fun as it is to bash that pompous prat, I seem to still have my activist hat on today, so I'm issuing a call for action on the House side. The good news is the one of Congress' ace investigators is now the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA.) Chairman Waxman is seriously considering an investigation. Mr. Waxman is one of the good guys: I vividly recall how he made the Tobacco company Presidents do the perp walk in the Nineties. And Sheriff Waxman is back on the job, y'all.

I'm urging my readers to email Chairman Waxman to urge the House to thoroughly investigate this matter so that the feds will NOT compound another disaster by repeating the same mistakes. (It's what they do best: look at the "new plan" for Iraq.) The committee has an email page set up at its web site: LINK. I really think that all Mr. Waxman needs is some encouragement: his heart is in the right place.

Rhetorical question time: Is what I'm suggesting the same thing as what Levees.Org is suggesting in its petition drive? No. While I think that my readers *should* sign their petition on general principles, they're agitating for an "independent nonpartisan commission." I think that a Congressional investigation with majority and minority reports would have more teeth: Washington ain't a nonpartisan town, y'all. And both the 9/11 Commission and the Iraq Study Group reports suffered from the need to satisfy all the commissioners. Me, I want Henry Waxman and House Democrats to fry Bush and Chertoff's asses: an independent commission could be useful but its report is likely to be (pun intended) watered down. You can't take the politics out of politics and a bipartisan commission is an attempt to do just that.

So, email Chairman Waxman's committee. Then, sign the Levees.org petition. It's called covering all your bases; sort of like a cautious man who wears both a belt and suspenders. As Mick Jagger says at one point on the live album, Get Yer Ya-Yas Out: "You wouldn't want me trousers to fall down now, would ya?"

Related: Maitri also has something on this.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Surge, Lynch and Behead

Somehow, I don't think this is a way to ensure that a surge will turn into anything else other than a bigger nightmare than Bush's little private war already is. A surge that very few seem to support at that. Add to the mix, the hanging of Saddam and the fiasco that it was.

Now Bush is determined to do the surge at all cost. A plan that is fueling Iraq insurgency. With all that going on, "Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former chief of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were both hanged before dawn Monday." But this was not just a hanging, it was a Lynch and behead moment.

Saddam aides hanged, but not as planned
Half-brother's head is severed; Sunnis claim he was 'mutilated'


Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former chief of Iraq'’s Revolutionary Court were both hanged before dawn Monday, but the half-brother's head was severed by the noosenoose — leading to outrage from Sunnis who claim the body was mutilated.

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, once head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.

---snip---

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the executions, saying those attending the hangings included a prosecutor, a judge and a physician.

He also said Ibrahim's head was severed from his body during his hanging.

"In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution," al-Dabbagh told reporters.

---snip---

Iraqi government officials later showed journalists film of the executions. The two men trembled with fear and stood side-by-side on what appears to be the same gallows where Saddam was hanged two weeks earlier.

Ibrahim's beheading is also visible, followed by his body lying headless below the gallows and his severed head several yards away.

There was no repeat of the sectarian taunting that marred Saddam's execution when it was revealed by illicit mobile phone video footage.


Now explain once again to me how this is making the world a better place. Explain to me how sending more of our youths to die for a botched war based on lies is making us safer. I have somehow missed that one. I just don't see how this is for the best.

Out of Iraq into New Orleans.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Still chasing that elusive victory

Surge, Surge, Surge!!!!!!



Bush: If you don't like my Iraq plan, tell me yours

President Bush on Saturday challenged lawmakers skeptical of his new Iraq plan to propose their own strategy for stopping the violence in Baghdad.

"To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible," Bush said.

In a pitch to lawmakers and the American people, Bush said the United States will keep the onus on the Iraqi government to take charge of security and reach a political reconciliation. Democrats and many Republicans oppose the Bush plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops into Iraq.

"We have a new strategy with a new mission: Helping secure the population, especially in Baghdad," Bush said in his weekly radio address. "Our plan puts Iraqis in the lead."

The president asked for patience from lawmakers who grilled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when they testified before Congress in defense of the president's new plan.

---snip---

In his radio broadcast, Bush replayed the highlights of his Wednesday night address to the nation.

He said the 21,500 troops being sent to Baghdad and Anbar province, a base for al Qaeda, have a changed mission.

"This time there will be adequate Iraqi and U.S. forces to hold the areas that have been cleared," Bush said.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pictures from the NOLA Rally

This is what I saw when I first arrived and was crossing the street to get to City Hall







Then I started to get into the crowd.



Hey Adrastos and Dangerblond, does that SOS flag in the background look familiar? I'll have a close up further down right before it almost took you out.



CNN was there to cover the rally.

















The march back to the riverfront began.



There's that flag again. Duck bloggers, DUCK!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

NOLA rally

I made it to New Orleans for the rally today, but it seemed as though there was problems with getting there from the get go. On the way, I got into stand still traffic at a so-called construction sight. The thing is only one person was actually doing anything. He was holding the "slow" sign while there was about ten idiots just sitting on a guard rail doing nothing. So I got into New Orleans a little too late for the march to city hall. I called Adrastos, and he recommended going right to city hall. After the rally, I bumped into Adrastos and shortly after, Dangerblond came along. I got to talk with them on the way back to the starting point, and then they dropped me off to pick up my car.

I have more pics, but I will get the rest up later. Blogger is being a bitch right now with the picture upload. I managed to get one done, but damn that took a long time! I will wait till blogger acts a little more user friendly to get some more up. Don't know why blogger is always losing connection.

The subject of some of the windows in city hall being opened and people watching from up there came up. I noticed it and snapped a couple of shots of it. Now that I have them on the computer, I could swear that one has Mayor Potato Head in it. If enlarged, it sure looks like him. I will put the rest up later.

The Mother Of All Punts

Cross posted from Article of Faith:

So it's 4th and long and Iraq, and what does Junior decide to do? Throw a Hail Mary and go long? "Double down" as Tim Russert kept saying last night?

Uh, no. He's punting, folks...a long, bloody, two-year kick in the groin of the American public.

Here's John Kerry's take on Bush's surge and purge plan (emphasis mine):

"This plan is neither new nor forward looking. This is more of what's taken us backwards. There's no military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution, and the President has no plan to achieve it. We're caught in a civil war in Iraq. Escalation is not the answer. The best answer is to set a deadline to bring our heroes home, force Iraqis to stand up for Iraq, and get Iraq'’s neighbors to start taking more responsibility for Iraq's security."

You know who also made the most sense last night, other than Dick Durbin's "The United States can't be the world's 911"? Lawrence O'Donnell on Scarborough Country who made the following observation (and I'm paraphrasing):

"It's not 21,500 additional troops being deployed, it's 5,000. You have to divide the total number by four because troops sleep once a day."

I'd never thought of it that way, but he's right. At the most, there would only be an additional 5,000 troops on the streets at any given time, clearing these neighborhoods, fighting insurgents, etc. WTF good is that going to do?

And all this claptrap saber rattling this morning by the Bushies about threatening Iran and Syria is just moving the goalposts, trying to create yet another imaginary reason and enemy to somehow justify this ongoing catastrophe, just long enough to pass it off to the next guy.

I think perhaps Joe Biden was right the other day when he argued that Bush's whole "surge" plan is merely designed to postpone the loss in Iraq and punt the mess to his successor in '08.

Said Biden, "I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration believes Iraq is lost. They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. The best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively. The next [president] will be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.

That's all this is about. It's about preserving George Bush's legacy and keeping this mess going until he can leave office, say he did everything he could, and leave it to the next president (ala Gerald Ford) to deal with and end it.

And the Dems shouldn't let him. As I wrote yesterday, it's time to pull the plug on this calamity and to hold the president accountable for his war before he leaves office.

His "legacy" isn't worth another 3,000 dead Americans. It isn't worth one.

Cross posted to The Dem Daily

Just why the [poopy]* should we trust you THIS time?

* Hat tip to the folks at Redstate for the generic, um, “euphemism"



I have long thought of this administration as the “Max Power” administration, for the following Simpsons’ reference:

Homer: Kids, there's three ways to do things. The right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power way!
Bart: Isn't that the wrong way?
Homer: Yeah, but faster!


That about sums it up – not just fucking things up in a grandiose fashion, but doing so faster than even imagined. Katrina. No Child Left Behind. Clear Skies Initiative. Cutting and running from Afghanistan. Dropping the ball on and before 9/11. The economy. Healthcare. Social Security. And every single step on Iraq.


The credibility was gone long long ago. And on Iraq, it wasn’t even there from the start. Lies about yellowcake. Lies about aluminum tubes. Lies about the “stockpiles of WMDs”. Lies about ties to 9/11. Not listening to our generals about how many troops to send initially. Not listening to the Joint Chiefs of Staff about not disbanding the Iraqi Army. Not heeding the warnings about the consequences of not having any post-invasion plan. Not heeding the warnings about the potential for a civil war. Denying all responsibility for everything that was happening, all while pretending that everything was just peachy. And so on, and so on and so on.



Frankly, I didn’t even watch the speech last night – no need to. And I’m not going to dissect it here either, as that was and will be done by many others. No, what I want to do is ask one simple question – to Bush, to the war cheerleaders, to the wingnuts, to Holy Joe, to the talking meatsticks and those who have been proven to be 100% wrong on each and every thing that they have said or done – all while mocking those of us who were right and calling us traitors or terrorist sympathizers or “haters of America”: Why the fuck should we trust you once again when you couldn’t have been more wrong on everything, and are only proposing more of the same approach that failed countless times already?



The Wall Street Journal has a pretty decent article called ”Bush’s Iraq Plan Faces Obstacles on Two Fronts”. And while it may be behind a subscriber wall, I’ll reproduce a couple of points here that prove how much of a disaster this is – before the first troops even touch ground in Baghdad:

Still, the administration's ability to control events on the ground in Iraq is rapidly diminishing, and it's far from clear that the strategy will find enough support in either Baghdad or Washington to have much chance of success.



Mr. Maliki has long opposed the deployment of additional U.S. forces to Iraq, and his government crippled earlier U.S. efforts to stabilize Baghdad by failing to deliver the Iraqi security forces it had promised and by refusing to allow a crackdown on the Shiite militias responsible for much of Iraq's current violence.



Now, maybe it’s just me here, but if the plan is to “secure Baghdad” from the violence and crimes that are rampant, isn’t that a job for the police, not the Army? When there are riots, do we call in the military, or do we have the police come in? And wasn’t the stabilization of Baghdad supposed to have been taken care of the last time that we were promised that the 75,000 troops in Baghdad would stop the violence. And that was nearly 8 months and thousands of bombings ago.



I forget where I saw it (but would give props to whoever pointed it out) but there are around 37,000 police in the NYPD, which is the largest police force in the US. This is for a city that is a fraction of the size of Baghdad and even in its worst years can’t even be compared to any one day in Baghdad. So even if we had all 150,000 of our troops in Baghdad as well as all of the Iraqi “troops”, and it was their job to actually act as police – isn’t there still the small matter of Iraqis wanting us out of Iraq, Maliki not wanting a troop escalation and Iraqis (both Sunni and Shiite) thinking it is just fine and dandy to attack US troops.



I guess the approval of attacks on US troops is one thing that Bush can say that the Sunnis and the Shiites agree on.



Two other points that come in the WSJ article which show just how little thought has gone into this “plan”:

A senior Bush administration official described the new push to bring order to Baghdad as Iraqi-planned and Iraqi-led, with American troops in support roles. To assist the Iraqis, the U.S. will increase the number of embedded U.S. advisors that live and fight with Iraqi soldiers.



---snip---



Senior U.S. military officials, who remain skeptical about the Iraqi Army's abilities and Mr. Maliki's will to take tough stands, downplayed the Bush administration's suggestions that Iraqi forces would be in the lead initially. Instead, they suggested U.S. troops would take the more prominent role until the situation was stable enough for Iraqi troops to move to the front. "We first have to set the conditions for an Iraqi-led defense of Baghdad to work," said one senior military official involved in planning the operation.



---snip---



But the surge of about 20,000 more soldiers -- all the overstretched U.S. military can provide – is far less than what most proponents of a "surge" have called for. Hawks like Sen. John McCain and Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, have called for a minimum of 30,000-35,000 soldiers to stabilize Baghdad.



So the military isn’t even agreement with the administration on who is to take the lead. The thoroughly unqualified “architechts” such as Kagan don’t agree with the level of troops in this escalation. Maliki has more loyalty to al-Sadr (unless Makili is truly hating his job so much that he would buck al-Sadr and risk losing his life), since al-Sadr is a big political backer of Maliki.



There is also, with this complete lack of credibility here – the question of “what is your plan B for if this doesn’t work?” While we are still subject to “Democrats have no alternative” whines like this:

Most reckless is the contention, also by Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi, that "it is time to bring the war to a close." No one serious -- not even the Iraq Study Group -- believes that the war will end if we leave.



---snip---



If Congressional Democrats want to be constructive, they can insist that Mr. Bush and his generals truly implement the strategy he is now endorsing.



Oh, I see – so Democrats should go along with a “repackaged” failure of a plan to be “constructive”. And that if “we leave then the war won’t end”. Well, guess what, brainiac – if we stay, the war won’t end either. In fact, under the same tired plan – it will get worse than if we leave and leave smartly.



Or this lovely “trust us” outlook:

President Bush's challenge last night was to convince Americans that his new plan to secure Iraq won't mean risking more lives on a conflict that critics say has become "unwinnable." We think he offered compelling reasons for skeptical Americans of good faith to back him, but the key will be deploying enough forces to accomplish the task.



---snip---



With the new strategy, new forces and new generals President Bush is putting in place, we have a fighting chance to create a virtuous circle whereby better security leads to more anti-insurgent cooperation from the public -- which in turn leads to still better security. If Congressional Democrats have better suggestions, we'd love to hear them. But the one "strategy" that simply isn't credible is the idea that anybody's interests would be served by a hasty U.S. exit from Iraq.



Well, I’m glad that someone at the WSJ editorial board – always a place to look for exactly what is the WORST thing to do – is ready to trust Bush yet again – and tell us that we should too. All with no concrete reason to believe that an escalation of not enough troops to do something that is more the work of a police force in a country where the only thing that the “warring factions” in a bloody civil war agree on is that it is ok to attack our troops.



And frankly, this “Democrats have no plan” is even more of a farce, considering the fact that there has NEVER been another plan offered by the republicans (Iraq Study Group report notwithstanding). But, isn’t a phased withdrawal (supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans) or Biden’s plan for somewhat of a partitioning of the country or, hell, the Iraq Study Group all alternative plans?



Friggin jackasses. They should be scorned and mocked. Their simplistic, unrealistic out-of-the-mainstream view of the world is only exceeded by their smug condescending arrogance that is oozing from their “you should trust us” words.



And you know what? Too fucking bad. We didn’t trust you then, and we were right. You offer up nothing new and we are to trust you still? All while being sneered at? Sorry. That ain’t gonna work.



Repackeged bullshit is still bullshit, even with a bright shiny ribbon on it.

Going to Da March

I'll be there!! Haven't been feeling well, but I plan on being there for this.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Roh No! Iwao Takamoto dies at 81.

Iwao Takamoto, the creator of Scooby-Doo and several other cartoon classics has departed for that great sketchpad in the sky. Mr.Takamoto died Monday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,according to Warner Brothers spokesman Gary Miereanu.

In his lengthy six-decade career, Takamoto helped design some of Disney and Hanna-Barbera'so biggest animated features and television shows, including "Cinderella," "Peter Pan," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," "The Jetsons" and "The Flintstones."

But it was his creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with an adventurous heart, that captivated audiences and has endured for generations. Indeed, Scooby was my favorite cartoon when I was a child, and is my daughter's favorite today.


Takamoto said he created Scooby-Doo after talking with a Great Dane breeder and named him after Frank Sinatra 's final phrase in "Strangers in the Night."

The breeder "showed me some pictures and talked about the important points of a Great Dane, like a straight back, straight legs, small chin and such," Takamoto said in a recent talk at Cartoon Network Studios. So, of course, "I decided to go the opposite and gave him a hump back, bowed legs, big chin and such. Even his color is wrong."

Takamoto was also the talent behind famous cartoon dogs such as Astro from "The Jetsons" and Muttley, the mixed-breed that appeared in several Hanna-Barbera animations. He directed the 1973 feature "Charlotte's Web",as well.

The animator was born in Los Angeles to Japanese immigrants, and had just graduated high school when World War II began. He and his family were sent to the Manzanar internment camp in the California desert, where he learned the art of illustration from fellow internees. This instruction served him well. Upon his return to LA, he landed an interview with Walt Disney Studios and was hired as an apprentice. Takamoto worked with Disney's famous "nine old men" team of animators before moving to Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1961. There he worked on cartoons for television, including "Josie and the Pussy Cats," "The Great Grape Ape Show," "Harlem Globe Trotters" and "The Secret Squirrel Show."


The Scooby-Doo theme song from 1969:


And the updated 1970 version:

Monday, January 08, 2007

Vulcan versus Mouse

While perusing one of my favorite blogs this evening, Blognonymous, I read a post by Kvatch regarding Spocko's Brain. I've seen the editor of this weblog, Spocko, in the comments sections of many blogs but hadn't gotten around to visiting his site. Perhaps now I never will. . .



Spocko's blog is (was?) one of several fine San Francisco Bay Area blogs, a few of which can be found in my blogroll. It seems that Mr.Spock was offended by the angry rhetoric of several right-wing radio personalities on the local ABC-affiliated talk-radio station, KSFO 560 AM. I assume it is comparable to our own local pukefunnel here in Fort Wayne, although from what I've read this evening, it sounds far worse. . .To quote Kvatch, KSFO "has some of the most offensive on-air personalities in the Bay Area--a little like Limbaugh only half as articulate and twice as offensive".



Rather than call in and complain to the station (pointless), Spocko decided to hit 'em where it would hurt them the most. He made mp3 recordings of the vulgarities spewed by these personalities on air, as well as audio of these same personalities doing commercials for sponsors, often right after they'd finished saying the aforementioned vulgarities! He then not only blogged about this, including the audio he had snagged, but contacted major sponsors of the shows on which the attrocities had aired, including Netflix, Mastercard, and Bank of America, to alert them to how their brands were being presented.



Many of these sponsors pulled their advertising from KSFO. . .little guy makes a difference! Hoorah! But, sadly, the story does not end on that happy note. . .KSFO's parent company Disney/ABC, after losing these sponsors, demanded that Spocko pull the audio clips he had posted on his blog, even though they were posted under the guidelines of "fair use". When Spocko refused, they complained to his his ISP, 1&1, who caved in to them and cancelled his service.





Spocko is staying in communication with everyone via this site. You can read the full details of his story there, and I encourage you to do so. In addition, a support blog has been set up on his behalf: Kiss Off KSFO. Here is a sample of one of the letters that Spocko sent out to advertisers:



Wendy Clark,VP-advertising, AT&T

Dear Ms. Clark:

Thanks to radio hosts from KSFO your brand is being associated with torturing and killing people. Would your marketing people be happy to hear your commercial ran after Lee Rogers said this about a black man in Lincoln , Nebraska ?

"Now you start with the Sear's Diehard the battery cables connected to his testi*les and you entertain him with that for awhile and then you blow his bleeping head off."

(Audio link 2:30 total for context. Comment at 2:03 )


You should know the person calling for the execution and torture of the black man in that clip READS THE AT&T commercials on the air. Right now on KSFO Lee Rogers is THE VOICE of AT&T to the SF Bay area. (Audio Link from 11/16/2006 )

Sadly, calling for the death and torture of individuals and groups of people is a regular occurrence on KSFO 560 AM, owned by ABC Radio Disney.

Another example: immediately after the 6 am ABC Radio news on October 27th:

Lee Rogers: I say they catch the person, tie 'em to a post and burn 'em. Set 'em on fire.

"Officer Vic": Yeah.

Lee Rogers: Let 'em know what it feels like.

Melanie Morgan: Hog tie 'em first. That would be good.

Next, Lee Rogers talks about a protester at a Cindy Sheehan event:

"Whoever did that should have been stomped to death right there. Just stomp their bleeping guts out."
(Audio link 4 minutes total).

Within three minutes they called for someone to be burned alive and a protester to be stomped to death. If you dismissed the first clip as a "joke", note that in this clip they were clearly not joking

Melanie Morgan famously called for Bill Keller of the New York Times (and nine editors from other papers) to be hanged. (Audio link)

On Nov. 14th Melanie Morgan said this about Nancy Pelosi:

"We've got a bulls-eye painted on her big laughing eyes." (Audio)
Also note that Morgan reads the Cingular Wireless commercials on KSFO.

Of course political speech is protected, but I believe the FBI and the FCC frown on targeting elected officials for death or inciting violence toward leaders of any political party.

Because of how ads are purchased, your ad placement agency probably didn't know that Tom Brenner (the "comic relief" called Officer Vic) regularly mocks advertiser's products. Listen as he:

* calls Chevrolet's product "shi**y" (link)
* suggests an anti-virus product is part of a protection racket (link)
* pretends a cold pill is really a suppository (link)

The odds are your product will be mocked. If they don't respect a big client like Chevrolet, will they respect your brand?

And it's not simply calls for killing specific people or mocking products, the radio hosts at KSFO proudly talk about their anti-Muslim views. Based on my research, your business has rules about discrimination against people of other religions, so what message are you sending when your employees or customers hear your advertisements right after Brian Sussman demands of a caller:

"Say Allah is a Wh*re!" (audio)

Or when Lee Rogers says,

"Indonesia is really just another enemy Muslim nation. ... You keep screwing around with stuff like this we are going to kill a bunch of you. Millions of you." (audio)

Maybe you haven't heard any complaints. Would KSFO management let you know about complaints? Doubtful. Morgan's husband, Jack Swanson, is KSFO's operations manager. The president of KSFO, Mickey Luckoff, started the station format and has a history of defending hosts like Michael Savage until he was forced to fire him.

I understand you can't listen to all the shows you advertise on, no one can. You rely on the accurate representation of the sales reps and the show description. But you don’t need to take my word, listen to the programs. You probably won't have to listen long to hear something that offends or disgusts you. If you wish to hear the complete context on any clip or the audio during a date your ad ran contact me I have an educational archive of audio clips, I've listed a few below.

I want to emphasize that if you withdrawal your ads you aren't limiting their free speech, just removing your paid support of it. Some other company without the values you describe on the AT&T website can support them. You can choose to advertise elsewhere. This is really about YOU. Do YOU want to be associated with these comments? Do you want your company and brand to be associated with these comments?

I urge you to discontinue advertising on KSFO during the shows hosted by Melanie Morgan, Lee Rogers, Tom Brenner and Brian Sussman.

If you want to contact KSFO here is a link to their website. If you wish to express your displeasure to their parent company contact Zenia Mucha, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company PHONE: (818) 560-5300 CA, (212) 456-7255 NY or email Heather Rim, Vice President, Communications, ABC, Inc. heather.rim@abc.com.

Sincerely,


P.S. I would appreciate hearing your final determination in this matter.

Corporate Issues
Michael Coe,

Corporate Citizenship
Eric Hausken

Human Resources

Karen Jennings, senior executive vice president of human resources

**Editor's note: Spocko has found a new home! I have him linked over at Left in Aboite where you will find this article cross-posted as well.

Blogger Highlight: Rants From The Rookery

Cross Posted to The Democratic Daily

LOL!!! Ellroon used one of my sayings in a post. This is just too funny! I just found out about Ellroon while doing some moderating at The Democratic Daily the other day. Spam was massive that day. I saw an incoming link and checked it out. I liked what I saw at Rants From The Rookery and put a link up at The Katrinacrat Blog to go check it out. Ellroon puts out some pretty good posts, and I recommend that you go check her out.

If only we could buy Bush for what he's worth




and resell him for what he thinks he is worth!




Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Ellroon! Take a bow Ellroon!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Send Bush Your Mail

Cross posted from Article of Faith:

By now everyone has heard that Bush issued a signing statement last month that could lead the government open your mail without a warrant. Pamela at Dem Daily weighed in on this earlier.

It's a typical move for Bush in what the Times this morning calls his Imperial Presidency 2.0.

Most people shrug and wonder what they can do, but Bill at Post Coital might be on to something with this idea:

"My suggestion is this, forward your UNOPENED junk mail to the president, hell forward your junk email too. Just draw a line through your address, and write:

FWD:1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500

"Best email address I can find is comments@whitehouse.gov"

LOL..."wanna read my mail? Here you go!"

Spreadin' the word with cross posts to The Dem Daily

Saturday, January 06, 2007

So this is their surge plans, bring back the dead and wounded

I have made comments on several blogs about what I saw as a possible plan for the troops that would be needed for a "surge" when Da King finally got his deciding done. I mentioned the Inactive Reserve as a means for them to do it without having to use a draft. At least for a while, considering that this could only last for a short period of time. These are people that have been in and are now out. They have served, and can be called back because of time that is agreed upon when you sign on the line. For enlisted, you have a 8 year obligation. If you enlist for 4 years, you still have 4 years of inactive reserve, in which you can be called back. Now I come across this artical that just glares out at me. This really tells a story of how inept this war is being waged, and the inept leadership of this country. You not only need to apologize to those Vets, but to this nation that you have tried to destroy! You speak of sacrifice? How about letting the dead and wounded that know of sacrifice, and their families, have a little respect!!!!! Goerge W. Bush, you sir are a monster! Likewise, each of your enablers are with the same blood on their hands. May GOD have mercy on your souls!!!!!

Army asks dead to sign up for another hitch

The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed in action and about 200 wounded in action.

--snip--

The Army did not say how or when the mistake was discovered. It said the database normally used for such correspondence with former officers had been "thoroughly reviewed" to remove the names of wounded or dead soldiers.


This insanity has to stop! Bring them home now!

Related: Pamela writes about that surge.

Friday, January 05, 2007

A life at sea

I look back at my ancestors and how they made a living off the land and the sea, and it is no wonder that I took to the seas after I got back from the Marines. I adapted so quick, one would think that I was born on a boat. It was like being free while we were on a run out there. I would often stand outside the bridge and breath in the air that at the time, seemed to take me back to a time before I lived. Many nights, I had time to just take in the beauty of the skies while I was on watch. Looking into the heavens and seeing things you could not see back home. The moon often gave light to your voyage, and some nights it did not. Each trip was not like the one before. Watching the dolphins swim before the bow of the boat was just like a fresh cup of coffee. The rush and excitement when seeing nature at its best. It was beatutiful! It was the life of a sailor. Freedom! Not being held hostage by society and what they try to tell you is freedom. You lived the life of the free as you coasted across the waters of this earth.

Our people today, use the waters as a way of life:



On the evening of my last voyage before I gave up my Coast Guard license for good and came to work on land, nature gave me this as a send off:



This is not just my history, but the history of many down here. This is our life! This is our heritage! This is our HOME!!! Why do we dare to care, rebuild, exist, and believe in this place? Because that is who the hell we are!!!!!

That is why NOLA is important to us, and for the country too. Not just for the goods that pass through, but for the people. AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!!

In case you have not noticed, we are still standing. Holla if ya hear me!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Harriet Miers Resigns

Add another one to the HAHAHA pile!!

Harriet Miers, President Bush's failed Supreme Court nominee, has submitted her resignation as White House counsel, the White House announced Thursday.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the president reluctantly accepted her resignation, which takes effect Jan. 31. He said a search for a successor is under way.


More from CNN:

As White House counsel, Miers works behind-the-scenes overseeing a team of attorneys who provide legal advice to Bush on matters large and small. But when Bush picked her to fill an opening at the Supreme Court, she became a household name, albeit briefly. Her background and every word were scrutinized. Television cameras rolled as she walked up Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers charged with confirming her as a justice.

She dropped out under fire from conservatives who criticized her for having thin credentials on constitutional law and no proven record as a judicial conservative. That forced Bush to scramble for a new Supreme Court nominee who could calm a conservative rebellion and walk sure-footedly through a Senate confirmation hearing. He turned to Samuel Alito, a federal appeals court judge from New Jersey, who was ultimately confirmed.

Ironically, one of Miers' tasks as counsel was to vet potential nominees for openings on the federal bench -- and the Supreme Court.

---snip---

She was Bush's personal lawyer in Texas, took on the thankless job of cleaning up the Texas Lottery when he was governor, and followed him to Washington to serve as staff secretary until Bush appointed her White House counsel, succeeding Alberto Gonzales when he was named attorney general."Harriet is one of the most beloved people here at the White House," Snow said, adding that she was a scrupulous lawyer who aggressively defended the Constitution.


Defended the Constitution? WTF?

Lieberman Party Highjacked

All I have to say about this is HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Connecticut for Lieberman Party, the minor political party created by Sen. Joe Lieberman for his successful independent bid for re-election, has been taken over by a longtime critic of the senator.

Fairfield University political science professor John Orman's takeover has been recognized by Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

Orman is the sole member of the party and filed paperwork with Bysiewicz's office naming himself chairman. The state officials accepted Orman's takeover and his bylaws which limit membership to critics of the senator and anyone named Lieberman.


You just have to read the rest!

Cross Posted to The Democratic Daily

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bush's New Climate Advisor

Yep, he would fit right in with this mis-Administration.



Hat Tip to BUSHFLASH.com for the pic.