Another one bites the dust

I wonder if this is not a spare parts supply problem

I've been seeing a lot of newsbits under the radar about this since last year.

Just as Bush/ Rumsfeld miscalculated on troop size, armored vehicles and everything else, they miscalculated the extent of the engagement and the difficulty to provide high tech repair and maintenace to our very fussy technology.

Just a matter of time till they all start to fall down when faced with a stiff breeze...

An Army helicopter crashed in southwest Baghdad on Friday night, and the fate of the crew was not immediately known, a U.S. military official said. U.S. military officials do not believe the helicopter was hit by hostile fire. The crash comes two days after a U.S. helicopter transporting troops went down in bad weather in the western desert, killing 30 Marines and one sailor — in the deadliest single incident for U.S. forces in Iraq

Yahoo! News - U.S. Army Helicopter Crashes in Baghdad

The Children of Iraq

Powerful photographic essay... Not one bloody kid or graphic image but still hard to view it w/o shedding a tear.

UPDATE: The owner took the blog down. What a pity!

I hope he doesn't mind that I kept this picture. I edited to give credit to him, but I don't know his name so I just put his old URL -- law

The Children of Iraq

Daily Kos :: Casual Auschwitz Thursdays

In attending the memorial for Auschwitz victims this thursday
the vice president.. was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

Why they invited a prison/torture camp advocate is beyond me..

Casual Auschwitz Thursdays
by kos
Fri Jan 28th, 2005 at 12:34:23 CDT

Dick dresses down.
At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower."

Daily Kos :: Casual Auschwitz Thursdays: "

Daily Kos :: Thank you so much

Thank you so much
by Barbara Boxer

Thu Jan 27th, 2005 at 17:11:07 CDT

(From the diaries -- kos)

I can't thank all of you enough -- the Daily Kos community, and the blogosphere as a whole -- for all of your effective work during the recent debate over Condoleezza Rice's nomination. Your support and participation in this critical debate meant so much to me.

More than 94,000 Americans from across the country signed my petition and stood together to demand the truth from Condoleezza Rice. It was truly an overwhelming response -- much more than I could have anticipated. You helped to get our message out to millions of Americans -- I couldn't have done it without you.

And you made a difference. You gave me the voice I needed to ask the tough questions during Dr. Rice's confirmation hearings. And you gave the entire United States Senate the voice it needed to take its "advice and consent" responsibility seriously. In fact, Condoleezza Rice received 13 votes against her confirmation -- the most votes against any Secretary of State's nomination since 1825.

Diaries :: Barbara Boxer's diary ::

Two weeks ago, who would have thought that Condoleezza Rice's nomination would allow us to have a full debate about our policy in Iraq? Who would have thought that we'd have the chance to truly expose all of the misstatements and misjudgments that led us into that conflict and continue to plague this Administration to this very day?

The Republican Senate leadership intended to easily approve Dr. Rice's nomination in a routine voice vote last Thursday afternoon, after President Bush's Inauguration and before the Inaugural balls got into full swing.

But you didn't let them ram this nomination through the Senate. You forced the Republican leadership to give us the debate we wanted on the floor of the United States Senate, and you gave us the opportunity we desperately needed to hold Dr. Rice and the Bush Administration accountable for their failures in Iraq and in the war on terrorism.

The American people deserved no less.

As you and I both know, this is just one more of the many battles we'll be having as we fight for our nation's future. It started with contesting the Ohio vote, it continued with the debate over Dr. Rice's confirmation, and it will certainly continue over the Gonzalez nomination and on many other looming issues. We're going to need to keep working together to make our voices heard and build a better America.

I enjoyed the dialogue we started over the past few weeks, including the chat I had with Armando and DavidNYC on the eve of the committee hearings, and I look forward to future interactions with the Daily Kos community. I hope to have the time to drop by here and participate in the discussion from time to time -- I value your input, and I thank you for caring so much about the future of our country.

Thanks again for all of your hard work. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your continued support. And I look forward to standing with you in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

In Friendship,

Barbara Boxer

Daily Kos :: Thank you so much


The Bush Cult

Now that Seymour Hersh has said it out loud: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"

We can see below that Bushianity meets 7 out of 8 criterias for a cult's mind control

Cult Formation (Lifton, Robert J. M.D)

The following list comes from the widely accepted criteria for evaluating a cult's potential for "mind control":

Lifton, Robert J. M.D.: " Lifton's Eight Criteria for Thought Reform" - study guide

Cult Formation (Lifton, Robert J. M.D)

   1. Milieu (Media) Control  This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.

(Mainstream Media)

   2. Mystical (News) Manipulation  There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.

(i.e. Fall of Saddam's statue)

   3. Demand for Purity  The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection.  The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.

(i.e. Gay marriage, puritanism)

   4. 4. Confession (mandatory  Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group.  There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.

N/A  (at least not yet...)

   5. Sacred Science (Above mistakes)  The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute.  Truth is not to be found outside the group.  The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.

(i.e. No mistakes admitted for Bush & Co)

   6. Loading the Language  The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand.  This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.

(i.e. George Lakoff's famous "frames")

   7. Doctrine over person (Don't believe your eyes)  Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.

(i.e soldier who asked Rumsfeld about armor still votes for Bush, rationalizing Rummie is the culprit..)

   8. Dispensing of existence (Demonizing Criticism)  The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not.  This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology.  If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the  members.  Thus, the outside world loses all credibility.  In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also.  (Lifton, 1989)

(i.e "Freedon fries")

Daily Kos :: The Bush Cult

The Rise of Pseudo Fascism - by Orcinus

The Rise of Pseudo Fascism

Daily Kos :: Seymour Hersh: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"

Daily Kos :: Seymour Hersh: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"


Draft Young Republicans

They say things are peachy in Iraq, don't they ? Tell them to put their blood where their mouth is...

Draft Young Republicans > America's Best Political Shirts & Buttons | CafePress


Is Kerry thinking of running in 2008 ?

If he is, it's the stupidest idea he's ever listened to.

I don't BLAME Kerry for the fraud and the loss. I am also giving him the benefit of the doubt on his lightning speed concession (would it kill him to wait 24 hours ?).

What I am saying is that IF I find out that he conceded so quickly in the hopes of preserving some 'political capital' for a 2008 run, I will feel betrayed. And a lot of his voters will too.

Part of Kerry's 'job' as a candidate was to make sure the votes for him were counted and in that area he failed miserably:

- In preventing fraud: Kerry didn't notice Diebold, Rebecca Mercury, Bev Harris, the felony lists, the Blackwells and the countless fixes that were in. And this after we all have witnessed the 2000 shennannigans w/ Katherine Harris and felony lists!

- In countering fraud: Althought he did back up the Cobb/ Badnarik and Nader actions, he did so from behind the curtains, and so subtly that it was both invisible and innefective

Kerry better not run for President in 2008. It will be a waste of his money and will evaporate the good will a lot of us voters still have for him."

Common Ground Common Sense

Daily Kos :: Tenet Scapegoat Memo Leaked

Tenet Scapegoat Memo Leaked
by lapin

Sat Jan 8th, 2005 at 02:45:37 CDT

First, George Tenet resigns in disgrace from the CIA. Then he is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Now, George Bush's new and improved leakproof CIA weeps this:
An internal CIA investigation concluded former CIA Director George Tenet and other top officials failed to allocate adequate resources to combat terrorism before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and should be held accountable, intelligence officials told The New York Times.

Yah know, George Tenet definitely deserves some of the blame for where we are now. Slam dunk. But as far as the 9/11 attack, there are really only two people responsible for the intelligence failure surrounding that event.

Diaries :: lapin's diary ::


BEN-VENISTE: Did you tell the president, at any time prior to August 6, of the existence of al Qaeda cells in the United States?
RICE: First, let me just make certain...

BEN-VENISTE: If you could just answer that question, because I only have a very limited...

RICE: I understand, Commissioner, but it's important...

BEN-VENISTE: Did you tell the president...

RICE: ... that I also address...

It's also important that, Commissioner, that I address the other issues that you have raised. So I will do it quickly, but if you'll just give me a moment.

BEN-VENISTE: Well, my only question to you is whether you...

RICE: I understand, Commissioner, but I will...

BEN-VENISTE: ... told the president.

RICE: If you'll just give me a moment, I will address fully the questions that you've asked.

First of all, yes, the August 6 PDB was in response to questions of the president -- and that since he asked that this be done. It was not a particular threat report. And there was historical information in there about various aspects of al Qaeda's operations.

Dick Clarke had told me, I think in a memorandum -- I remember it as being only a line or two -- that there were al Qaeda cells in the United States.

Now, the question is, what did we need to do about that?

And I also understood that that was what the FBI was doing, that the FBI was pursuing these al Qaeda cells. I believe in the August 6 memorandum it says that there were 70 full field investigations under way of these cells. And so there was no recommendation that we do something about this; the FBI was pursuing it. I really don't remember, Commissioner, whether I discussed this with the president.

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.

RICE: I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don't remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Now, the...

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.

RICE: No, Mr. Ben-Veniste...

BEN-VENISTE: I will get into the...

RICE: I would like to finish my point here.

BEN-VENISTE: I didn't know there was a point.

RICE: Given that -- you asked me whether or not it warned of attacks.

BEN-VENISTE: I asked you what the title was.

RICE: You said, did it not warn of attacks. It did not warn of attacks inside the United States. It was historical information based on old reporting. There was no new threat information. And it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States.


This internal CIA report (its contents provided on background I'm sure) is nothing but a transparent attempt to continue shifting blame for 9/11 away from where it really belongs:

Condoleeza Rice and George Bush

Both either so intellectually lazy or morally corrupt as to be a threat to national security. Condi's confirmation hearings will begin soon. Democrats and others will rightfully criticize Condi's mistakes and shortcomings. Rush and the pond scum that calls itself the Republican party will scream racism. But in the end, Condi, like torture boy, will be confirmed. These are dark hours for our country

Daily Kos :: Tenet Scapegoat Memo Leaked


Thank You Barbara

Thank You Barbara

The Boxer Rebellion : SF Bay Area Indymedia

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

"Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., wipes away a tear as she announces with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), D-Ohio, that they will object to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes during a joint session of Congress today Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005. It would be only the second time since 1877 that the House and Senate were forced into separate meetings to consider electoral votes.

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

Yahoo! News - Illusions in Iraq

Illusions in Iraq

by Ari Berman

Since President Bush (news - web sites)'s now infamous proclamation aboard the USS Lincoln on May 1, 2003, 1,242 US troops have died. Since then, a pattern has emerged. With each new major development--hailed by the President as a decisive step toward freedom--conditions deteriorate further.

"The administration has suggested that Iraq (news - web sites) would move closer to stability as it reached one milestone after another," wrote Richard Stevenson in The New York Times. "The capture of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites); the handover of sovereignty and the appointment of an interim government; the deployment of Iraqi security forces; the military campaign to expel the insurgents from strongholds like Falluja; and the first round of elections. Yet most of those milestones have passed with little discernible improvement in the security situation."

"Little discernible improvement" is polite Times-speak for can't-get-any-worse. Take a look at the actual record of Bush's faith-based war.

Mission Accomplished, May 1, 2003:

"My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

New Iraqi Army, October 4, 2003:

"Today a new army is serving the Iraqi people. And less than a year from now, Iraq will have a 40,000-member military force, trained and dedicated to protecting their fellow citizens...More than half of the Iraqis under arms are police officers, instructed by professionals like New York City's outstanding former police chief, Bernard Kerik."

Saddam Hussein's Capture, December 14, 2003:

"In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq."

Interim Iraqi Government, June 1, 2004:

"The naming of the new interim government brings us one step closer to realizing the dream of millions of Iraqis--a fully sovereign nation with a representative government that protects their rights and serves their needs."

Transfer of Sovereignty, June 28, 2004:

"This day also marks a proud moral achievement for members of our coalition. We pledged to end a dangerous regime, to free the oppressed, and to restore sovereignty. We have kept our word."

Battle for Falluja, April 28, 2004:

"I have laid out a broad strategy that says that Iraq will be as secure as possible--that we will deal with those who want to stop the march to freedom. That's exactly what's happening in Falluja."

Battle for Falluja, November 9, 2004:

"Success in Falluja will deal a blow to the terrorists in the country and should move Iraq further away from a future of violence to one of freedom and opportunity for the Iraqi people. It's a tough business, and it's going to take time." - Donald Rumsfeld

Iraqi Elections, September 23, 2004:

"[The] most important step in our plan is to help Iraq conduct free national elections no later than next January."

Iraqi Elections, December 2, 2004:

"It's one of those moments in history where a lot of people will be amazed that a society has been transformed so quickly from one of tyranny and torture and mass graves, to one in which people are actually allowed to express themselves at the ballot."

Iraqi Elections, December 20, 2004:

"The elections in January are just the beginning of a process, and it's important for the American people to understand that."

Here's the reality check: As Bush spins delusions, the chaos on the ground has never been dicier. Iraq's Shiite defense minister, Hazem Shaalam, and Iraq's leading Sunni politician, Adnan Pachachi, this week called for a delay in Iraqi elections. Seventy Iraqi security officers--including the Governor of Baghdad Province--and five American soldiers were killed this week in thirteen different attacks. Iraq's national intelligence director, General Mohamed Abdullah Shahwani, says the Iraqi insurgency comprises 200,000 people, overwhelming the US military presence. When asked if the insurgents are winning, Shahwani replied, "I would say they aren't losing."

After lying his way into the war, Bush is now trying to lie his way out of the quagmire. Yet his baselessly optimistic pronouncements have only dug the troops deeper into harm's way.

Yahoo! News - Illusions in Iraq


LOS ANGELES -- Seems like a nice guy, does Alberto Gonzales. Great personal story, too. But he has done enormous damage to this country as counsel to the president these last four years.

Richard Reeves

The most pointed questioning and commentary about his record in the first day of his confirmation hearings as attorney general did not come from Democratic liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee (news - web sites). Senators Edward Kennedy and Charles Schumer were respectful and restrained. The harshest words and judgments came from Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), a South Carolina Republican.

Speaking of Gonzales' role in the formulation of new and deeply disturbing U.S. policy on torture in war, on the defining and treatment of prisoners taken or seized in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Iraq (news - web sites), and on our holding pens at Guantanamo, Graham was direct and focused. He was the one who said, without fancy words or legalisms, that Gonzales had played a crucial role in "creating legal chaos," in "putting our troops in jeopardy" and in "losing the moral high ground."

"I do believe we have lost our way," said Graham.

"I think you're a good lawyer and I will vote for your nomination," Graham continued. The reason he then gave was that, after all, the White House decisions on torture and detention -- and ignoring the law -- were ultimately made not by the counsel but by the commander in chief. Gonzales, no matter how ignorant and amoral his counsel, was just another staffer. After all, the president could have fired him -- and should have.

In his opening statement, Gonzales said most of the right things, emphasizing that he believes the United States must be a land of laws and not men. "We all love our country," he said, a refreshing note from this gang, "and want to protect it while remaining true to our nation's highest ideals."

"We must be committed to preserving civil rights and civil liberties," he added later.

But by then he had lost me. In fact, Gonzales lost me in the third paragraph of his opening statement: "The Department of Justice (news - web sites)'s top priority is to prevent terror attacks against our nation."

I don't agree with that -- and neither does history. The office of attorney general, created by the Judiciary Act of 1789, was a one-man operation to prosecute lawsuits before the Supreme Court, which was created by the same act. Times change. The Justice Department (news - web sites) now has 112,000 employees and multiple tasks. Obviously fighting terrorism is one of them, a priority of all the government. It is the top priority of the new Department of Homeland Security, which absorbed many duties (particularly immigration control) that were once delegated to Justice. Perhaps fighting terrorism could be considered the top priority of the Department of Defense (news - web sites) these days, or even of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a small part of the Justice Department.

But the Justice Department's priority should be "justice," or as it officially defines its own role: "to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."

We have, as Sen. Graham said, lost our way. We are headed back to some of the worst excesses in our history -- the incarceration, without charge, of Japanese-Americans during World War II being one of them. The best analogy to these times in our history might be the excesses of World War I and its aftermath, which climaxed with the Palmer Raids from 1919 to 1921.

Alexander Mitchell Palmer, a former congressman who was President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general, arrested and detained without charge more than 15,000 people on suspicion of being communists or anarchists or whatever. Socialist elected public officials were arbitrarily removed from office. A clothing salesman in Connecticut was thrown in jail for six months because someone overheard him saying he thought Lenin was very smart. And things got worse after an anarchist blew himself up in front of Palmer's house.

Palmer made terrorism his top priority and ended up disgracing the Justice Department. I find it hard to believe Gonzales is as foolish and dangerous as Palmer was. But he has lost his way. Our new nominee was fool enough, or blindly loyal enough to his president, to clumsily argue that torture and secret detention were necessary now to keep America free -- all in the name of justice.


Yahoo! News - Congress Certifies Bush's Win After Protest

Yahoo! News - Congress Certifies Bush's Win After Protest: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday formally certified President Bush (news - web sites) as the victor of the November elections after two Democrats symbolically stalled the event in protest at alleged voting irregularities in Ohio.

California Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record) and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), formally lodged objections because of Ohio, although they said they recognized Bush had won and were not trying to overturn the results.

They said their goal was to force lawmakers to heed problems that had been particularly evident in Democratic-leaning minority and urban neighborhoods and to consider the need for more voting reforms including standard election rules in all states.

'This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president,' Tubbs Jones said. Boxer called it a matter of 'electoral justice.'

The rare objection to vote certification, the first filed in decades, forced the House and Senate to halt their joint session, usually a routine and ceremonial affair. Each chamber then debated the objection, and rejected it, the Senate by a 74-1 vote, the House 267-31. The state-by-state certification was completed a few hours later.

Bush got 286 electoral votes, Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) 251 and North Carolina Democrat John Edwards (news - web sites), Kerry's running mate, got one electoral vote for president.

Kerry did not endorse Boxer's bid to challenge the Ohio vote. Traveling overseas this week, Kerry released a statement on Wednesday noting that he had conceded to Bush but would continue to support 'a close examination of voting irregularities in Ohio and elsewhere because it's critical to our democracy.'

About 200 protesters near the White House, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson (news - web sites), beat drums and urged Congress not to certify the results because they said unreliable voting machines and partisan election officials had tilted the closely fought swing state of Ohio to Bush."

Yahoo! News - Annan Wonders Where Are the People?

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) toured Indonesia's tsunami-ravaged Aceh province on Friday, flying by helicopter to the razed town of Meulaboh, beyond which is a black hole of devastation.

'I must admit I have never seen such utter destruction, mile after mile. You wonder, where are the people?,' said Annan on his return to the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.

Yahoo! News - Annan Wonders Where Are the People?

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Forensics Team Evokes Bible Images

THAI MUANG, Thailand - They're known as "the team that sleeps with the dead" — a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish forensic workers who have matched body parts to identities after countless scenes of carnage in Israel. Now in Thailand, they have only one way to describe the aftermath of the tsunami: a disaster, literally, of biblical proportions.

"Only during the great flood in Genesis have there been sights like this, so many corpses, so many," said Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, a team leader. "We are experiencing ... something from the days of Genesis."

Members of Meshi-Zahav's ultra-Orthodox Jewish rescue services group Zaka came with Israeli dental, fingerprint and DNA experts to resort areas in southern Thailand to help find and identify missing Israelis. But they have ended up working on as many victims as they can, of all nationalities.

"Everything we know in Israel, all the terrorist bombings don't begin to compare to what is happening here," Meshi-Zahav said.

Here, the Zaka men have exchanged the black suits and hats they customarily wear for white coveralls and face masks, their ultra-Orthodox religious faith apparent only by their long side curls. Some of the Israeli forensic experts accompanying Zaka are secular Jews.

Other forensic teams have dubbed the group "the team that sleeps with the dead" because they toil nearly 24 hours a day at Buddhist pagodas transformed into morgues to identify those who died in last week's tsunami, which ravaged swaths of Thailand's resort coast.

"When we are getting ready to leave at 3 a.m., we're the only ones that are still with the dead," Meshi-Zahav said.

In Israel, Zaka collects body parts at bombing scenes to ensure complete burial, in accordance with Jewish law.

That experience — they see on average 38 bodies a week at home — has helped them identify corpses faster than many of the other 20 or so forensic teams that have come to Thailand, making them much in demand by grieving families.

By Thursday, the team had identified 21 people — four Israelis and 17 foreigners and Thais. Three other Israelis are missing; Thailand has about 5,300 confirmed dead, with 3,700 others listed as missing.

Yahoo! News - Tsunami Forensics Team Evokes Bible Images

Latest Headlines:
· UN chief stunned at 'utter destruction' as tsunami toll rises
AFP - 5 minutes ago
· Powell, Annan visits shift tsunami focus to Sri Lanka
AFP - 6 minutes ago
· Kofi Annan arrives in Sri Lanka, Powell tours devastated areas
AFP - 25 minutes ago
Special Coverage RSS:

Yahoo! News - White House paid commentator to promote law

Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required commentator Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.

Williams said Thursday he understands that critics could find the arrangement unethical, but "I wanted to do it because it's something I believe in."


Yahoo! News - White House paid commentator to promote law

Daily Kos :: Could they be.....SATAN?

Red voters are ...a crime against humanity, having failed in the basic responsibility to develop critical thinking, a conscience, perception, qualities vitally necessary for one to be fully human, a species higher than the aforementioned dog.

Brilliant insight!

Just as enlightened Athens, land of Socrates, fell due to their blind dependency on slaves, our "enlightened" blue intelectuals will fall due to our inability to see and correct our fundamentally unjust society.

The great old Stanley Kramer movie, "Judgment at Nuremberg" is about the trial of four nazi war criminals, each of which presents a question of ethics in sentencing. There's an unrepentant monster (played by Col. Klink, really), who continues to preach viciousness from the defendants' box; a colorless little nobody who says he was just following orders; an old man in advanced stages of Reagan's Disease, who neither remembers his crimes nor comprehends the proceedings against him; and a complex antihero played by Burt Lancaster, who ends up about as close to being a "good guy" as you can get after, um, willingly participating in one of the worst crimes of modern history.

Sound like any voters you know?...

Diaries :: AdmiralNaismith's diary ::

This was a seminal movie that influenced my thinking. Of the four defendants, by far the creepiest to me is the colorless little nobody. He sits there all misty eyed, like Ollie North without the counterattack, the picture of wounded innocence, wondering why such a fuss is being made about him. Nothing is his fault. He was a good German. He was a patriot. He obeyed his government. That's what people are supposed to do. Surely, these silly people will soon realize their mistake, apologize, give him his severance pay, and send him back to suburban Munich to eat Jeufwurst and read the sports pages. His inability to think for himself is so profound that actually punishing him for war crimes becomes a moral conundrum, like punishing a dog that doesn't understand what it has done.

At some point it occurred to me that this man might be himself a crime against humanity, having failed in the basic responsibility to develop critical thinking, a conscience, perception, qualities vitally necessary for one to be fully human, a species higher than the aforementioned dog. The Col. Klink guy is easy; he's basic evil. He chose darkness over light, and stuck to it, knowing exactly what he was doing all the while. Defeat and clobber him and be done with it. This other guy's evil is much more haunting. He doesn't embrace darkness so much as allow it to take him out of a warped sense of duty. People should recognize evil, but he doesn't. People should know that they make choices and decisions every moment, but he thinks he has no choice. He fails to meet a basic standard of humanity--and, considering that the Third Reich was all about declaring certain persons to be less than human, there's only so far you want to go with this judgment before you want to scrub yourself.

Which brings me to a group of women I met in 2003 on Crimescene.com. The site itself is harmless fun. It's run by a guy at the U of Mississippi (that's Faulkner territory) who is himself smart, liberal, and fun. He creates interactive CSI-like mysteries in which clues are posted gradually over several weeks, and you can win mugs and T-shirts and stuff by submitting creative solutions.

The church ladies have nothing to do with creating or maintaining the site or the mystery games. They are some of the other solvers. And they interact on the site's message boards, sometimes sharing clues and theories about the mysteries, and sometimes talking about, oh, anything. They are mostly middle-aged ladies from midwestern states beginning with vowels. They go to church. They eat casseroles and Jell-o. They are warm, clean and polite on a surface level. They live wholesome, Norman Rockwell existences. And they personify the obedient, patriotic, defendant from "Judgment at Nuremberg."

Well, not quite. FOX News, which they accept as a valid source of news and information, has made them a bit more aggressive in their opinions than he.

They want to ban Harry Potter books, although they have not read them. They criticize the New York Times for being too liberally biased, although they have not read it. They do not think businesses should be regulated by government, ever, although they think something must be done about Hollywood, which they despise for its trashy product, which they have watched, often.They want to prevent same sex couples from marrying, because it would cheapen the institute of marriage, although most of them have themselves been divorced. They rail against profanity, although they post off-color jokes on the site. They sniff about declining chastity in women, although they have dressed their prepubescent daughters in provocative outfits and bade them bump and grind to Brittney Spears in school talent shows and JonBenet beauty contests. They are furious that Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument was removed from the courthouse, because those who objected to the monument must not love Jesus (the Commandments were strongly influenced by the book of Luke, you know), although they don't believe it says anything about their church's patriotism that they would not welcome the American flag displayed in the sanctuary at all times. And don't even get them started on marijuana decriminalization, or they will become so upset that they'll need a few drinks and a tranquilizer to get over it.

They support George the Turd because he will keep America safe, although they do not feel safer than they did four years ago; and because his free market policies will improve the economy, although they are uniformly worse off than they were four years ago. They condemn John Kerry because they accept the denunciations by Sean Hannity, the Swift Boat Veterans, etc., at face value, while any contradictory presentation is dismissed as just the "liberal media". Like clockwork, they all accepted the imminent danger posed by WMDs in Iraq, and then when there turned out not to be any, like clockwork, they forgot that that was ever a factor in the invasion, or that we had ever not been at war with Eastasia. And as a last resort, if all else was proved wrong, they would never, ever, bring themselves to vote for a Democrat, because of the party's support for late term abortions, which they always, always called "partial birth". They know everything there is to know about abortion law and the reasons people get late term abortions, although they have neither read Roe v. Wade (which specifically allows the regulation of third trimester abortions) nor ever met someone who had a late-term abortion.

In fact, not once in a year and a half did I see an original thought from any of them, or a sign that the Republican talking points they parrotted had been through any kind of filter between their ears and their tongues. It wasn't just politics. Every so often, one of them would post in great alarm about cockroach eggs in postage stamp glue, or some other urban legend, and someone would reply with a link to snopes.com, and oh how their faces would be red with embarrassment. Urban legends, after all, are small. FOX hasn't gotten around yet to denouncing Urban Legend debunking as a tool of the liberal media.

And I spent a good half of the year trying to convince them otherwise.

How accepting, how downright gullible the church ladies are concerning any neoconservative propaganda, and how skeptical they are of anything contradicting it. How foolish they thought I was to pay attention to the nobel scientists and economists who opposed Bush. After all, those were just a bunch of ivory tower intellectual elitists, out of touch with the real world, who didn't work as much in their whole lives as the typical farmer does in a day. How anti-American I was to listen to be swayed by the opinions of people from other nations about what was right for the world.

Daily Kos :: Could they be.....SATAN?

Daily Kos :: American Engineers - a dying breed.

I am working as a consulting software designer for a Silicon Valley Company. These folks used to be one of the world's premiere engineering companies with annual profits of more than a billion $$, major accounts around the world, monopolies on key technologies, etc. It used to be that the software division took up a whole floor at the company's offices. Today the same division is a ghostyard with over 80% of the cubicles empty. The reason is simple: software engineers in Shanghai cost $80 per month and software engineers in the US cost $8,000 a month (although contractors without health benefits cost maybe 1/2 that much). Obviously it makes sense to outsource the software development when it can be done 100 times cheaper.

Diaries :: pwax's diary ::

However the low cost engineers in China and India (Shanghai and Dubai) cannot be expected to understand the industry or the market requirements for the products they are building so they cannot be expected to design the products themselves. This leaves a slender opportunity for Americans (like me) to remain empoyed if they are lucky enough to be designers. But my employer has committed themselves to a rather peculiar path for an engineering organization: first they outsourced the "grunt" engineering work and now (to my benefit) they have outsourced the intellectual property development. The only employees left are marketers, project managers, and salesmen. That is 5 people where there used to be 100s. It is very strange that an engineering organization does not employ engineers.

Looking a little more at the consequences of this is frightening. First of all, there is little to stop an Indian or Chinese technical person from becoming a designer like me. As soon as they are able, my employer should transfer my work to someone who costs less. By the time that is possible you could also get project management outsourced. Following the natural progression, my employer will soon be down to 1 salesman and 2 marketing experts. OK, so the good salesman's job is protected, but nobody else's. The problem is that after this draining of talent away from the company, there is nothing left to make the place competitive. In fact what was a complete monopoly 15 years ago has now been eroded by at least two significant competitors. How much longer does my employer expect to survive as an organization?

How does this work out for the company's shareholders, the so-called "owners" in this "ownership society". My projection is that the shares will be worth less and less as the company becomes less and less competitive. Why? I cannot see us sitting here as "owners" continuing to profit while everyone else does the work.

My industry, and software engineering in general, is one which is hugely vulnerable to outsourcing. Some industries are safer: Medical care and Farming are things which cannot really be outsourced. But we know that as long as goods and services can flow across the oceans, the flow will continue until there is equilibrium. This means the quality of life if going to keep flowing away from America and towards places like Shanghai and Dubai until we have equal quality of life.

Daily Kos :: American Engineers - a dying breed.

Animals can sense disaster

US falls off top free economies' list

The US is in a tie for the index's 12th position with Switzerland

Aljazeera.Net - US falls off top free economies' list


Electoral Vote contested for the second time in History

04:05 PM — Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California join the list of great heroes of American democracy for their courageous decision to stand up for the disenfranchised voters in Ohio.

By objecting to the Ohio Electoral College votes, they, Rep. Conyers, the Congressional Black Caucus, and many others started a debate that highlighted the glaring problems facing voters in Ohio and elsewhere. While Republican legislators said that the debates were frivolous and unnecessary, the fact remains that widespread problems cited in 2000 were not fixed in time for the 2004 election. More work remains, and these hearings have set the stage for the next phase of our work.

Thanks to David Cobb and the Green Party, who were proud and privileged to stand up for the voters of Ohio along with the Libertarian Party, the National Voting Rights Institute, and many others, electoral reform is now front and center on the national stage."

Home » Cobb-LaMarche 2004 - Ballot Recount


20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA

20 Amazing Facts About
Voting in the USA

by Angry Girl


Did you know....
1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.



2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.



20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USA

Daily Kos :: MSNBC Comes Thru on Voting Story--for once

The Title: Voters Stand Firm on Ohio Election Challenge.

I love that. VOTERS stand firm on Election Challenge--makes them look like they are fighting for their rights in the face of an anti-democratic leader, which they are.

A brief blurb:

One voter didn't see any signs of fraud on Election Day but was suspicious of the results. Another was surprised by long lines in her suburban city, where voting was always quick in the past.

Others were angered by having to wait hours to vote in black neighborhoods. Some left in frustration without casting their ballots.

In all, 37 voters in this swing state are challenging President Bush's Nov. 2 victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry. They want Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer to set aside the election results.

Daily Kos :: MSNBC Comes Thru on Voting Story--for once

Daily Kos :: This is why us Fraudsters are annoyed.

Tue Jan 4th, 2005 at 13:37:47 CDT

Here is Mickey Kaus in Slate criticizing Mitofsky for being wrong on Election night.

Mitofsky/Lenzi full of it

What's missing in Kaus's analysis is that the day-after weighted exit polls were jimmied to match the results of the election. Everyone should understand that.

Here's one instance where I come to Mitofsky's defense. If any of the exit polls were wrong, it was the 7:33 ones (or, if you are a fraudster, perhaps the 1 AMs). Those are the ones that have been misunderstood and misinterpreted (for some as of yet unexplained reason). Misunderstood not only by us amateurs who don't have the data, but by Mitofsky himself, since he's still trying to figure them out. The mainstream media is looking at the exit polls as though the early numbers were goofy and that the final exit polls were on target.

No, the final exit polls were weighted to match the actual results. They only give us demographic information.

Daily Kos :: This is why us Fraudsters are annoyed.

Daily Kos :: Another Missile Defense Failure. Santa Escapes.

Another Missile Defense Failure. Santa Escapes.
by msaroff

Damn...Another failure:

Unclassified tracking data is at http://www.noradsanta.org/

WASHINGTON - An experimental interceptor missile failed to get off the ground in a test of the U.S. national missile defense system early Wednesday, raising new doubts about prospects for the imminent activation of the system.

Santa was successfully tracked by the radar array installed around the national missile defense installation in Greeley, Alaska.

According to sources, "Complete targeting data" was collected on Jolly Old St. Nick, so the intercept is to be considered a success.

Diaries :: msaroff's diary ::

However, 16 minutes later, an "unknown anomaly" led to an automatic shutdown of the interceptor missile shortly before it was to launch.

The agency gave no other details and said program officials will review pre-launch data to determine the cause for the shutdown. Most missile launching systems are designed to shut down automatically as a safety feature, but it was unclear what tripped the system, officials said.

Philip Coyle, the Pentagon's former chief of testing who has become a critic of the Bush administration's missile defense plans, said the cause of the failure could have been anything from a software glitch to a major hardware malfunction.

He called the failure a "serious setback."

It was unclear how the failure would affect plans to put the missile defense system on alert sometime in the next two weeks. The Bush administration had made it a goal to activate the system by the end of 2004.

"Since we don't know the cause of the anomaly, we won't speculate on potential impacts to either beginning initial operations or conducting future tests," said Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency.

The operational system will initially rely on interceptors based at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., as well as radars in Alaska, California, at sea and in orbit.

Coyle said, "This latest failure to intercept a target shows again that the system being deployed in Alaska has no demonstrated capability to work" against a real attack.

If the failure is linked to the new booster, it is likely that the military will have to fix the boosters on the missiles already already in the silos, delaying activation of the system, he said.

Officials have said the system is technically able to track targets, but that the interceptors have mechanical blocks that prevent them from firing. These will be removed once senior military officials have worked out chain-of-command authorities governing who could order the launch during a crisis.

The operational system - which will also be used for continued experimentation - is built around the perceived intercontinental ballistic missile threat from North Korea, although it could be used against missiles launch from elsewhere in eastern Asia.

Daily Kos :: Another Missile Defense Failure. Santa Escapes.



A tsunami of conservatism has moved through American institutions over the last 30 years. First the small magazines (National Review, Reason, The Public Interest), followed by the think tanks (The Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, to name just a few


Daily Kos :: I Never Thought I Did, But I Guess I Hate America

"Well, I never thought I did, but according to some articles I've read lately, it seems that I'm as unpatriotic as Benedict Arnold, as anti-American as Hanoi Jane, and as insidious in my thinking as Stalin and Castro's love child. I've been wondering for a few minutes about how I could have been so blind to think that I loved my country and her constitution. I've been thinking over and over, 'how could I have been so wrong? How could I ever have thought that pointing out problems with our system could have been showing love?' The best I can tell, true love for America means never questioning authority, and never speaking against anything the government does abroad. And of course, making American CEOs rich, richer, richest.

What follows are the details of my realization.

Diaries :: Myrrander's diary ::

I admit, I've been a fool. I really did think that I loved being American. I really did think that our constitutional rights were the greatest gift any country has ever given its citizens. I've been voting and faithfully paying my taxes all these years, but I was mistaken in thinking I wanted to vote for the best people to run this country so that my tax money might go for making a 'more perfect union.' Instead, I have obviously, in my subconscious, been hoping for the destruction of this country - exemplified by the fact that I disagree with her preventively attacking other countries with small armies and few weapons. I realize now that anyone my country says is evil must die, and that only their blood can fertilize the roots of this great country.

Daily Kos :: I Never Thought I Did, But I Guess I Hate America

Daily Kos :: The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election

A patient walks into his doctor's office.

'Doc, I'm really sick. I have a tumor the size of an orange growing here, I'm constantly nauseated, tired, throwing up all the time, unexplained weight loss...My dad died of cancer...and I think I might have it too.'

'How do you know you have cancer?'

'Well, I have all the symptoms...Something is seriously wrong with me, Doc. Can you run a test or something?'

'Look, I'm not going to investigate your illness unless you prove to me you have cancer.'

'But...that's what the test is for...'

'Do you think you have cancer?'

'Maybe. Yeah.'

'Can you prove it to me?'

'Well, no...but...that's why I came here, so you can test me...'

'Then you're out of luck. Come back to me when you can prove to me you're dying.'

Diaries :: georgia10's diary ::

Two months after the Presidential election, there has yet to be a smoking gun that Bush was not the legitimate winner. No 'clear and convincing evidence' has been made public, no whistleblower has emerged to attest to some vast right-wing conspiracy to steal the election.

Yet November 2 left many plagued by a sense that something went terribly wrong on Election Day. After two months' worth of anecdotes, affidavits, hearings, and number-crunching, the word 'fraud' has begun to escape from the lips of many concerned citizens.

At this point, the only people investigating the disturbing events that transpired in Ohio are the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, along with various activists and concerned citizens.

In a few days, Congress will likely approve the slate of Electors from Ohio. For those of us who have been investigating the election in Ohio, that day will be a sad and tragic day for America.

For in approving those Electors without due consideration of all the 'statistical oddities', coordinated voter suppression, abuse of power, and fraudulent activity, is to essentially proclaim 'We, as Americans, are comfortable with a diseased democracy.'

Daily Kos :: Armando's Challenge, Or The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election

Daily Kos :: Democracy is Dead - A Response to georgia10

Daily Kos :: Democracy is Dead - A Response to georgia10: "Republicans no longer believe in democracy, except as a word that can be used to justify their oppressive actions overseas. From the White House to the house next door, Republicans, whether they are the president or your neighbor, are more concerned with power than fairness. They don't care about a well-run system, or that the true will of the people is expressed electorally, or that ballots are counted fairly and honestly. All they care about is winning.

We saw this in 2000, in 2002, and in 2004. We're still seeing it in Washington State. The difference here is that more people still believe in democracy than in a place like Florida - although that is not going to last long, I fear.

Republicans have repeatedly been willing to game the system, using means fair or foul but that are just enough to escape either prosecution or pre-election detection to make them successful. georgia10 speaks of an Ohio court decision on absentee ballots that was handed down at 2PM on November 2 - a decision that went against Kenneth Blackwell. The problem was, the decision did not get effectively communicated to poll workers. Republicans essentially ran out the clock on the election.

Republicans have been the driving force against paper trails and for the recall. They are happy to use the courts when it suits them, and denounce Democrats' use of same when it suits the GOP. Their individual actions seem inconsistent, but together, they speak of a contempt for the average American, for democracy, for the rule of law, and a desire for power, no matter what the costs.

I also think it seems clear that these efforts were organized and perhaps coordinated. The use of secretaries of state as BC04 campaign chairs in a number of states should seem unusual, and telling. It suggests a clear GOP effort to ensure that election rules and practices favored their side where it counted. Closed door meetings between Secs of State and the BC04 campaign - but not with the Kerry campaign (as noted in Colorado) were indicative of collusion.

Where do we go now?

So, what to do now? My feeling is that georgia10 has succeeded in compiling enough evidence of Republican contempt for democracy for major investigations to be opened.


Dec 26 2004 - A lesson in humility

I find it incredibly ironic how nature / destiny / God can outperform Bush's year long mainhem in Iraq, in just a couple of hours...

Dust in Wind Lyrics from Kansas

 I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

[Now] Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy.

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.

Magic 8-ball: My sources say no

this afternoon I decided to start by scheduling an interview with someone who usually at least considers tough questions without walking out or clamming up. I was pretty confident I'd at least get an overview of the key issues and dilemmas facing Iraq in the coming months.

Since I don't think this is going to get published in the tradtional media I decided I'd post the transcript here. It has all the hallmarks of an interview with an Iraqi official (or an American military source, for that matter): evasive and sometimes cryptic answers, references to unnamed 'individuals' or 'sources' and the subject's unwillingness to betray too much of his own thinking while answering questions. Without further ado, here's my interview with the online Magic 8-ball:

Crain: With many Sunni areas overwhelmed by violence or still under de-facto insurgent control, is there a risk that the coming vote will under-represent Sunnis and make the insurgency worse?

Magic 8-ball: Outlook hazy, try again.

Crain: With many Sunni areas overwhelmed by violence or still under de-facto insurgent control, is there a risk that the coming vote will under-represent Sunnis and make the insurgency worse, Magic 8-ball?

Magic 8-ball: It is certain.

Crain: American officials have emphasized the role Iraqi security forces will play in protecting polling places and ballots from terrorist attacks, but many Iraqi units are still undertrained, ill-equipped and intimidated by insurgents. Can a safe vote be conducted with Iraqi government forces taking the security lead?

Magic 8-ball: Ask again later.

Crain: Okay, we'll come back to that. Should Iraqis worry about how much influence Iran will have in a government that will probably be dominated by Shi’ites, many of whom have contacts with Tehran?

Magic 8-ball: Reply hazy, try again.

Crain: Magic 8-ball, should Iraqis worry about how much influence Iran will have in a government that will probably be dominated by Shi'ites, many of whom have contacts with Tehran?

Magic 8-ball: Ask again later.

Crain: No problem, we'll leave that one for the end. Magic 8-ball, can elections confer legitimacy on an Iraqi government while 150,000 American troops are still present in the country?

Magic 8-ball: My sources say no

Bagh Blog: "

Back to Iraq 3.0: Tsunami donation

Just to let you all know… I’ve sent in $885.40 to Doctors Without Borders and marked it for special distribution to the tsunami victims. I hope it can do some good.

Please, if you feel the need to donate, do it to someone who can help those folks and not me. I don’t need the cash, but thousands and thousands of people do. Try the following aid agencies:

* American Red Cross
* Médecins Sans Frontières International
* Oxfam
* Direct Relief International

I hope that people will help through these agencies.

Back to Iraq 3.0: Tsunami donation

Daily Kos :: The GOP Bloodbath: Even the army is debating the war.

Too little, too late....

The war in Iraq is so bad that even the Army is allowing debate on whether the war was justified or not. Franklin Eric Wester, an Army colonel and chaplin, has written an article for the Army War College's journal examining the war from the basis of the Christian Just War Theory and concluding that it doesn't meet the test.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes Wester as saying that his fellow officers have not changed the way they've treated him since the article was published. This is anecdotal, but this suggests that Wester's article may reflect a lot of people's private doubts about the justification of the war.

While I cannot agree with everything in the article, I feel it is significant that even the Army brass is starting to question the war's justification. The Army is all about moving in lockstep with the President and the Armed Forces are normally among Bush's biggest supporters.

Diaries :: Eternal Hope's diary ::

Here is how Wester evaluates the war in the light of the Just War Theory:

Legitimate Authority: Wester says this criteria is not justified because the US barely had an ad hoc "coalition of the willing." He writes that Bush's use of the phrase is vague. The fact is, every country except for Britian contributed only a tolken force. And even Britian has withdrawn most of their troops from Iraq.

Public Declaration: Wester says this criteria was met by the President's ultimatum right before the war started. However, I disagree with this. The Constitution only gives Congress the right to declare war against another country. The Iraq War Resolution did not a declaration of war; it only authorized the President to use force as a last resort. Bush broke that part of the deal and therefore, he has become widely mistrusted both here and around the world.

Just Intent: Wester makes one of his best points when he quotes a Catholic theologian. He writes:

To Paul J. Griffiths, Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Illinois, the definition of imminent has not changed: "It means the gun is at your head." And in the case of Iraq, "We just don't have that." He states that redefining imminent offers "well-intentioned support for US foreign policy, but it's not defensible in terms of traditional Just War theory."

Daily Kos :: The GOP Bloodbath: Even the army is debating the war.