Friday, March 30, 2007

TalkLeft Learns to Say "Yes, Mistress!!"

So today marks the day when moonbat addresses an unfortunate incident when she was addressed as "SIR." Given gender and a stunning photo of my lavish red hair, this was very wrong, wasn't it??

TalkLeft: Yes, Mistress.

Let's choose a "safe word" for today. I know, that self-described "service" for busy progressives who want their own voice heard inside the legislative and electoral progress in an age of big money... Move On.

So, why is the anti-war movement so sick at heart? Why do the turn outs to the marches and rallies still suck even after a few thousand pairs of feet are argued one way or another? 2% turnout of a city so liberal the Democratic winner of the primary for Mayor orders his stationary the next day with city funds is piss poor. Especially since the march got infusions from around the country. Where was this majority of the country that disapproves of the Iraq War and elected a Democratic Congress, and why does nobody talk about Iraq?

"Now that this atrocity has moved into its fifth year, I don't overhear any street-corner, café, or waiting-room debate about what is being done in my name and yours. Of course, the war and endless war are the main topics when I'm with my friends and fellow members of the different peace organizations....Perhaps, soon, more and more of our young will awaken, throw off that blanket of apathy, examine the crimes committed by this administration against the people of Iraq and the people of the United States, and emerge as defenders of justice who will not allow the peace baton to ever be dropped again."

But it's not the anti-war movement's fault!! Oh no. Never let that cross your mind. Despite the fact that at the Pentagon, the only way they came up with that crowd was to give microphone time to causes that had nothing to do with Iraq. Like immigrants. Save the cheap lettuce, and all, but you are standing outside the Pentagon. Despite the fact that they spent more time denouncing the crimes of the Democratic Party than they actually spent denouncing the Iraq War of the polices of Bush. Despite the fact that so many of the protesters showed up to put pressure on the elected members of their government while waving the face of Hugo Chavez. But don't say it's the anti-war movement's fault they couldn't come up with the numbers to actually surround the Pentagon.

The anti-war movement explains that the Iraq War is the liberal anti-Iraq War voting public's fault: they have an imperial mindset, the fact that a majority of Americans don't support a phased redeployment is kept from them, and they've been duped into believing that the only way they can fight injustice is to shop. You see:

Let's remember, by the way, that, unlike mainstream Democratic "withdrawal" plans, the American public is talking about actually leaving Iraq, as in that old, straightforward slogan of the Vietnam era: Out now! In other words, there is a hardly noted but growing gap -- call it, in Vietnam-era-speak, a "credibility gap" -- between the Washington consensus and what the American people believe should be done when it comes to Iraq.

What I love about the anti-war movement is the whole "planting the seeds of your own destruction part." Yes, after cutting your teeth on movements to tell a whole lot of people what they can and can't do (save the rain forest, save the whales, dolphin-free tuna, stop violence against women, yadda yadda), you are told that all your skills are imperialistic. Right. Yes, because if you follow the links the anti-war movement provides to prove that the American public no longer backs the Iraq War, you find out that the answer to the question "Which of the following comes closest to your view? The U.S. should immediately begin to withdraw all its troops from Iraq. The U.S. should withdraw all its troops from Iraq within a year. The U.S. should keep its troops in Iraq as long as is needed to turn control over to the Iraqi government." is not something the anti-war movement wants to have anyone talk about. The numbers? Oh yeah. Only 21% support an immediate withdrawal, 37% in one year, 39% to stay as long as necessary for peace, 4% unsure. RightAnd I sure have noticed all the "spend your money here" payment links at the bottom of the only anti-war emails moonbat is privileged to receive. Right.

Heh. Right. If ill people need it explained to them that it's stupid to quote sources that disprove your own agenda, then yeah, that makes you an "idiot." The cameras of FOX News and the blogs of the gung-ho are just waiting to use such idiocy to feed the process of internal sectarian strife in the land of liberal, so that all out civil war will justify their having to remain in occupation until the job is done and liberals have stopped shedding each other's blood and learned to live in peace and share their toys. And back to Iraq.

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War of the Worlds v. Global War on Terror

So Martians provide the best view as "completely neutral observer(s)" in deciding between Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Charles Krauthammer's blog on the question: "which is the real war?? Afghanistan remains a failed state ruled by heroin warlords riding ponies with black market weapons seven years after the U.S. dethroned the still-around-and-coming-back-in-style Taliban. Iraq remains a hotbed of Sunni insurgency and Shia paybacks, and is far and away more populated of the two. Charlie is right about one thing though... ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question. Iraq certain has more blood-bags per acre and it's a hell of a lot easier to bury your spaceships under the sand for a millennium of waiting to arise and chow down. Cheery.

So let's not ask then. That leaves us with the question as to why Afghanistan remains more important in the conflict of ending Al-Q style operations. Afghanistan... Al-Q training camps... Propaganda aside Charlie, Al-Q isn't in the business of running states and hasn't the infrastructure to take over Iraq. Al-Q lived in Sudan and Afghanistan because they were failed states, and so there was no dominant army to feel challenged by their armed operations. Or possess the ability to evict them. "Strategic realities" point to any failed state in which Al-Q should find sanctuary and a place to train. The only "centrality" Iraq possesses is that as an unresolved and non-uniformed conflict where eager recruits either prove their merit or get turned into dogchow. Al-Q isn't in Iraq for the view.

Fast comes the accusation that liberals point to Afghanistan because they don't have the spine needed for a real fight:
It is useful to the Democrats to claim that Afghanistan is important (to Al-Qaeda) to cover themselves when the claim is made their all a bunch of wimps when it comes to fighting a war to its conclusion.

Oh yes, because... the Republicans fought the War in Afghanistan to a conclusion? Oh wait... Bush and his cohorts proved too ditsy to fight that war to it's conclusion, and NATO had to step in and prop that war up. How are things going?
A UN Security Council report released mid-March said the number of insurgency related incidents in January 2007 was double that of the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the Taliban returns to some of it's favorite government functions by hanging men accused of being NATO spies.

What lies beyond refute is that the days of the 'war on terror' are numbered. The Republicans love the line that "we fight them over there so that we won't have to fight them here" and love to smirk in front of television cameras that since we went to Iraq, there hasn't been a terrorist attack here. Does that mean if there is one, Republicans will suddenly support withdrawal? What about the two years between 9-11 and the invasion of Iraq? And why are the Republicans suddenly abandoning the international community and it's own allies in the "coalition of the willing" who have suffered Al-Q attacks despite the occupation of Iraq? Now those are some questions that beg answers. As for calling this the "war on terror:"
Democrats allegedly saw anti-terrorism as police work. The Bush administration, by contrast, would unleash the military. Lurking behind this dichotomy was the assumption that jihadist terrorists were mainly creatures of their state sponsors. If the real threat was not terrorist networks but governments, then of course war, rather than crime, was the correct prism.

We invaded Afghanistan because they were the state sponsor of Al-Q and 9-11, or as close to that definition as anyone is going to get. Of course, that gets brushed aside as soon as conservatives seek to justify the Iraq War in terms of Al-Q. This definition is indeed doomed, since one can hardly place Iraq as the state sponsor, for all that Al-Q uses it's cities and roads as one big jungle gym. So many conservatives leap to label Iran or Syria as the new state sponsor of Al-Q, despite the sheer ridiculousness that either would share power or esteem with that dirty and homeless private army.

Ever yet ditsy, the focus of the Bush Administration has drifted away from viewing the defeat of Al-Q in Iraq as the primary focus of the occupation and to preventing the ascendancy of Iran. No longer do we remain in Iraq to contain the possibility of Al-Q taking over it's oil fields, which was laughable from the start. Now the focus of the "war on terror" is poised to become a war against a natural foe of Al-Q, despite the will and growing friendship between the Tehran and the supposedly-free one in Baghdad. Sometimes democracy gives you something you don't want: the will of the majority. Time to put this so-called "war on terror" out on the curb. And trade reactionary grandizements for progressive policy. Here comes 2008.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Case Against the Flying American Public

So today USAToday editorialized on the Case of the Flying Imams who were tossed from US Airways Flight 300 after a few passengers and flight attendants decided to play FBI Profilers. The paper takes the position that the lawsuit was expected though not a case of actual discrimination, but highlights that it lists as defendants the actual airline employees and passengers who reported them for "suspicious behavior." The imams in question cooperated fully and identified themselves to authorities, left the plane peacefully, submitted to being lined up on the runway and being sniffed by a police dog, being detained in cells and interrogated by the FBI. And then they were completely cleared by the actual airport security apparatus. The authorities determined there was no cause for alarm. They returned to the airline the next day so they could fly home and the airline refused to rebook them on another flight. Since screaming or calling the ticket agent out to the parking lot for a duel with rapiers is no longer acceptable in civilized society, they sued. An opportunity for the airline to gracefully and responsibly make amends came and went, and now redress will be pursued in the courts of law.

And the courts of public opinion of course. The Police Reports are available via Pajamas Media. Also relayed is a letter from "Pauline," a woman who claims to have been aboard the flight and witness some of the events, and a subsequent interview of her by Pajamas Media. Although repeated claims are voiced that either the imams intended to hijack the plane (using seat extenders of all things) or they were doing a publicity stunt in order to weaken airport security, a repeated lack of confidence in our homeland security apparatus is expressed. Even though the airline and the FBI are held up as under attack from the imams, "Pauline" sleeps elsewhere even though that same homeland security apparatus cleared the imams of being a real threat. Pajamas Media also reported aspects of the police reports different that as actually published, changing the opinions of some of the airline employees from describing the PAX Pauline claims to have seen ask for a seat extender to as "was heavier" than the PAX in first class who also requested one, to "too thin." Pauline's letter also contains claims which stand counter to the witness statements within the police reports presented by Pajamas Media.

Also highlighted are several claims of what should suffice for "suspicious behavior" under which the American flying public should scrutinize their fellow passengers: making a long phone call, asking for a seat extender, arriving as a group but sitting apart, arriving as a group but trying to sit together, speaking a foreign language, praying in another language, not having a pleasing gaze, being unfriendly and not talking to people, being friendly and talking to people, cooperating with the FBI, leaving your seat during a delay the pilot announced was due to incomplete paperwork. Who is not guilty of a single one of these offenses? Who could modify themselves to meet all of these requirements so they are as Pauline would insist we all be "sensitive" to the delicate nerves of their fellow passengers?

The interesting alterations and highlights present themselves as a horrible indictment of the general intelligence and susceptibility to hysteria of con-blogs, Americans, and the flying public. The alteration of the flight attendants words repeated themselves onwards, along with a curious use of the level of baggage carried or checked by the imams. Con-blogs repeat with zest that the police reports indicate that 5 of the imams carried their luggage aboard as a vast amount of people concerned that the airline will loose their luggage do, and that "only one" imam checked his bag. This is presented as something which qualifies as "suspicious behavior" when 4 of the 5 9-11 hijackers checked bags on American Airlines Flight 11 and all 5 9-11 hijackers had checked bags on American Airlines Flight 77. All of these bags were selected and screened under CAPPS 1.

Pajamas Media's report lists the author Richard Miniter as their Washington Editor, but fails to note that it was published 2 days previous as an op-ed in the NewYorkPost, which lists Miniter as a best-selling author and fellow at the Hudson Institute. Although the op-ed got polished in it's second "printing" there's no mistake it's an unaccredited reprint. Richard Miniter worked himself into a tiff that the MSM found nothing more titillating in the story, so he fished up a retired D.C. police detective to look over the police reports and comment. This "retired detective" notes that there are discrepancies between witness accounts and the actual accounts of the police officers that a trial attorney would "have a field day with." However, the retired detective was incorrect in stating that Officer Huddlemeyer was wrong that passengers were rebooked for later flights; CNN interviewed two passengers in the terminal who chose to do so. Officer Windgate was correct in his turn that the plane did take off for Pheonix after the bomb-sniffing dog checked the plane and the passengers were rescreened, as some but not all passengers chose that option. Both were correct. One issue raised was that the witness statements weren't typed and signed. I've been assaulted twice in that detective's city by strangers in public and the responding police has never typed my statement for me to sign. Please. Completely lost on the detective was that the police statements aren't highly detailed after taking the imams into custody because the interrogations were conducted by the FBI with the police only observing. The detective rattles off a laundry list of questions he (or Miniter) feels the cops should have asked about their supposed suspicious behavior, which sports teams and company teams going do presentations in other cities do every single day.

Of course, PJ stands as civilized misinformation when compared to the readers of Free Republic who openly advocate murder as the acceptable response to discovering their is a Muslim passenger on one's flight. They also denounce the imams as trying to destroy homeland security and in the next breath denounce the inconvenience of homeland security. No pleasing some people. Miniter's op-ed makes good fuel for other who advance the idea they might have been attempting a hijacking. However, the vast misinformation of some people remains the real concern; just a convergence of mistakes or deliberate? Misinformation: all six requested seat belt extensions. Only two requested them. Conservative fascination with what amounts to less of a threat that the average skull-and-crossbones style male belt begs to a motivation based on something other than a fear of the actual belts.

In a claim by US Airways spokeswoman Andrea Rader to the Associated Press that "police were called after the captain and airport security workers asked the men to leave the plane and the men refused," the Imam's lawsuit gains validity in it's claim to discriminatory treatment by the airline, as that event never occurred. The police state in their report that "all parties left the plane cooperatively." CNN provides a link to a video clip where a female passenger relates that she never heard or saw them refuse to leave the plane, and the only thing suspicious she saw was one of them wearing sunglasses the whole time- not realizing of course that he was blind. So all blind people are terrorists, eh? Or people who wear sunglasses inside? That would include a lot of young men attempting to be beach cool. Yeah. Onward. Imam Mohamed Ibrahim "questioned" by a witness who set out to prove that Imam was a terrorist because he had a Muslim name on his boarding pass made it a point to speak in public that he felt compassion for the man who had accused him, and that his attempt to explain he sought to live his religion as a whole life were misconstrued as advocating violence. None of that's making the rounds, of course.

In the above photo: blind Imam, 2nd from left. Scary looking??

Miniter's post gets echoed: incorrectly claiming that the imans boarded together, worried that two seat extenders meant they were going to hijack the plane, and a passenger who happened to know "Arabic" translated the words of the economy class passengers as mentioning "bin Laden" and condemning America for "killing Saddam." Those two phrases in Miniter's op-ed were incorrectly attributed to a passenger who whispered them to a flight attendant. But if you look at the police reports, the note writer MDM is the same witness who in the first statement in PJ's pdf file states that she overheard that being said by the imams in the boarding area, before they got on the flight. MDM does not whisper them to a flight attendant but tells them to the first police to respond to the scene, who state that they boarded the plane to speak to the note writer but not the imams. Miniter's misinformation (or perhaps he would like it to be called "disinformation?") is oft repeated. There's a concerted effort being made to insist that the imams weren't removed because of the note of just one passenger. However, the police report states just that. U.S. Airways Robby Taylor Davis told the responding officers that they were "going to deny flight service due to their suspicious activity that another passenger witnessed prior to boarding the flight...A note written by the reporting party was brought to the Captain of the aircraft." The largest part of misinformation being bandied about by the con-blogs: the existence of a passenger who spoke Arabic who translated things the passengers said on the plane for the flight attendants. No passenger who spoke Arabic was present, and the remarks relayed were done by MDM and were purportedly heard (only by her and not by the gate attendant or the deadheading flight attendant who also saw the imams in the boarding area). Another spin to that particular piece is that MDM engaged the imams in conversation previous to boarding, which appears to be mismatching MDM with another passenger, who identified employment as "self clergy" to whom Imam Mohamed Ibrahim spoke. "Self clergy" would be the passenger who decided to strike up a conversation with Ibrahim to entice out of the Imam verbal evidence the Muslim was a terrorist.

Investor's Business Daily demonstrates why the Imams in fact do have a case, taking disinformation for their editorial on the incident from the statements of US Airways Spokeswoman Andrea Rader. They also repeat the (mistaken) claim that the men were forcibly removed from the flight, and pay undue attention to the request for seat belt extensions. The editorial gives the implication that to speak any Arabic language on an airplane stands as sufficient for the charge of "suspicious behavior" and then goes on to imply that all Imams are by virtue of their place in Islamic society, prone to repeat the crimes of a few the editorial lists. (As if all Catholic priests are prone to molesting young boys because a few have been convicted for doing so.) The airport itself ensnares itself through the words of Patrick Hogan, who chooses to accuse the Imams of disruptive and antagonistic behavior based on the witness statement of the boarding area agent, even though it stands countered by the witness statement of the deadheading flight attendant who did not find their behavior "unusual" and does not remark that they were ever shouting or loud. Blatant discrimination isn't usually hard to identify when you hear or see it.

These accusations and further misinformation were then repeated in further coverage by con-blogs. As further evidence, although the same con-blogger insists that at the same time it didn't matter how they ended up sitting where they were, they were guilty of causing alarm by where they sat. However, one passenger was bumped to first class because he was in a preferred passenger program with US Airways. They requested to the boarding agent if they could sit together, but the flight was too crowded to honor their request. The seats are assigned at the time the tickets are purchased, and the only Imam who changed seats politely asked a passenger between him and the blind Imam if they could trade so he could assist his friend. Hardly sinister when the truth is out there, so that's likely why it's squashed in the "reporting" around the web. Only one Imam left his seat during the delay, to look in on the blind Imam and the other Imams in the rear of the aircraft. Only two Imams asked for seat extensions, one of which was secured by the flight attendant who brought it to him. The seat extensions were not as claimed "placed on the floor for all to see, brandished as potential weapons or restraints." The only seat extension found on the floor was that of one of the first class passengers (290 lbs) and it was found after the individual had unbuckled and left the airplane at the request of the police. Well of course, you would have to unbuckle yourself to get out of the airplane... but realizing that takes brains. The accusation that they refused to depart the plane- also repeated again, despite the fact that the police refute that in their own reports.

US Airways admits denying tickets to the Imams the following day was a mistake. The Imams' case against them remains fairly solid based on what the airline chose to do following the actual removal of the Imams from the aircraft. US Airways will be hard pressed to justify a defense that explains they developed the behaviors that lead them to defame the Imams in the national press with inaccurate statements of the event. The authorities were summoned to remove the Imams based on the single note of MDM. Neither the boarding agent or the deadheading flight attendant thought they beheld suspicious activity warranting that they should notify the authorities until after the police had arrived, thus excluding them from contributing to the cause of the authorities being summoned. The witness statement of the other passenger was not brought to the authorities until after the Imams had been removed. In this case, the uninformed paranoia of one passenger did result in this unfortunate and costly incident, and that the airline needs to conduct internal reviews. US Airways faces defending it's precedent in denying tickets to passengers falsely identified as passengers and then cleared by the FBI. No hope for the airline.

After all of this, moonbat will finally get to the point. If you make an accusation, it's the American thing to stand by your words. I don't mean anyone who looked at the Imams funny. I mean those two passengers who chose to give witness statements. Either you have given your honest word and have nothing to fear, or you broke one of the Ten Commandments, the one where you don't give false testimony against thy neighbor. I'm curious at all the hoopla that if those who give witness statements and are honest, won't give them if they have to be named in public and could be called to account if they have defamed someone. Slander and libel are crimes in this country, and nothing should be a shield for illegality. Something in shielding witnesses from accountability breeds cowardice, encourages stabs in the back and whispers in the darkness, when justice should be about the searing light of day. After much consideration, yes, the judge should allow the Imams to name in their suit all those who choose to issue witness statements to answer for the charge of defamation. Here's why.

Moonbat is fed up with the flying American public. The ones who think they can spot terrorists and also think their cell phones aren't metal once they turn them off. And she doesn't mean the laughable, she means the petty and ignorant like... so a flustered male passenger pipes up about a crazy looking Muslim woman, speaking Arabic, darting between the lines, who needed to be "taken care of" as she was likely a terrorist. Someone had to do something. He was in front of me, she behind a few people, so I pulled out to the side to "find" my missing pass and get to take a look at her. Yes, a woman in a headscarf, with elegant and expensive jewelry, chasing three very wired children while trying to get her bags and stroller up into the machine, while a sea of men pretended they could not see her. Not Arabic, but black. And she was speaking.... french. Gracious and sweet, she took my hands and babbled something that sounded just lovely after I lifted her things up for her. I have no idea what she said, but her gratitude was clear enough. As for the idiot male: seek and ye shall find. Yeah mister, you can shut the frak up.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Has Al-Qaeda Jumped the Shark?

So WaPost threw out an interesting expose on the war on terror: do we all buy the mantra of the Bush Administration that all aspects of every citizen's life should be filtered through the question of "does this encourage the bad guys?" We now know that OBL's father traveled to America and returned home with a deep disgust over our immorality... because of suburban lawns. Does this excuse me from all counterinsurgency tactics against dandelions? Are lawns now to be considered anti-American? Or a patriotic duty not well understood by urban liberal Democrats? Seriously. Aptly noted is that FDR, on entering America into WWII, extolled to the public that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." And the summers of the odd numbered year.

Even my conservative coworkers blinked at me today when I broached the issue at lunch. What's with odd years? 2001. 2003. 2005. Now it's 2007. 2001. What happened those other years? You're kidding. We haven't experienced a terrorist attack since.... Madrid. London. Those Al-Qaeda bombings. Oh. Not here. Our allies, yeah. Them. Europe has too many Muslims now, so they can't be our allies. Interesting. I'm just saying. So... you think there is some kind of a pattern? Three odd years in a row. Major attack on a Western City. So.. if 2007 passes by and there isn't one... has Al-Qaeda jumped the shark?

I'll give them credit; no one asked me what "jumped the shark" meant. What will it mean if there is no major attack on a Western City this summer? British investigations prove that terrorist cells develop inside their target drawn from individuals recruited at training camps held away from major combat. "Operation Crevice" drew itself from terrorist camps in Pakistan, a country Bush has yet failed to invade, and which appears a bit lower on that lucky list than Iran. British evidence given at trial links the "Crevice" bombers with conventional ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and not a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Crevice bombers also met several times with bomber of the successful 7/7 plot, whose connections were not investigated due to a lack of funding and manpower. Of course, if one has to choose between soldiers in Iraq and police hunting actual terrorist cells in a Western City... well, Al-Qaeda must be defeated in Iraq or they will follow us home! No of course, to any expensive Republican ski-lodges in the Rocky Mountains, just the cities of liberals.

Dick Cheney lectured in Florida (smell 2008 campaign work?) 3/24/07:

"The most common myth is that Iraq has nothing to do with the global war on terror. Opponents of our military action there have called Iraq a diversion from the real conflict, a distraction from the business of fighting and defeating bin Laden and al Qaeda."

Cheney goes on at length to quote OBL propaganda. Truth is, few and far between are the Americans (outside of the anti-all-war protesters) who treat bombings in Baghdad that kill hundreds the way we would treat a similar bombing in a Western City, where we would plaster the site with flowers and candles and teddy bears. How many teddy bears end up outside of the Iraqi Embassy following a suicide bombing in some random dusty town on the Eurphrates? When we are honest, we admit this. When Al-Aaeda plots to incinerate Britons with plant food, they understand this. The global war on terror exists because the global jihad exists, whose sole pursuit is to strike at Western targets. And nothing is more West than the West. Despite the Taliban being routed, and the invasion of Iraq, the formation and execution of the terrorist cell proved enduring, and exportable to the Muslim fighters at war with Mother Russia. Iraq remains one square on the giant checkerboard, and not the only one that makes kings.

"The second myth is the most transparent -- and that is the notion that one can support the troops without giving them the tools and reinforcements they need to carry out their mission."

I like Petraeus. Truth. I supported a vote of no confidence in Bush's troop surge plan. That plan was not Petraeus' as Bush began it before Petraeus was confirmed, something that Cheney selectively avoids. Liberals of course were right, the plan was faulty which Bush proved when he had to send reinforcements for his reinforcements just this month. Petraeus' real COIN operation would have required more soldiers. Enough more to make Bush's surge look like a couple of cops in a squad car. What does happen when a bad war happens to a good general?

Congress does, of course, play a critical role in the defense of the nation and the conduct of this war. That role is defined and limited by the Constitution -- after all, the military answers to one commander-in-chief in the White House, not to 535 commanders-in-chief on Capitol Hill. (Applause.) If they really support the troops, then we should take them at their word and expect them to meet the needs of our military on time, in full, and with no strings attached. (Applause.)

Cheney avoids scolding the dethroned Republican Congress of 2006 for failing to provide adequate funding last year for the troops, making this supplemental necessary in the first place. The vast majority of these funds aren't for the troops being surged, but for more normal combat or military operations which should have been already provided for in full. Cheney also seems not to be a big fan of the Constitution, if he thinks that Congress is limited as he implies above, to merely writing blank checks. How can the audience trust Cheney and Bush to spread democracy abroad when they prefer a lack of democracy at home?

There is a third myth about the war on terror, and this is one that is perhaps the most dangerous. Some apparently believe that getting out of Iraq before the job is done will strengthen America's hand in the fight against the terrorists. This myth is dangerous because it represents a complete validation of the al Qaeda strategy. The terrorists do not expect to be able to beat us in a stand-up fight. They never have, and they're not likely to try. The only way they can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon the mission -- and the terrorists do believe that they can force that outcome. Time after time, they have predicted that the American people do not have the stomach for a long-term fight. They've cited the cases of Beirut in the '80s and Somalia in the '90s. These examples, they believe, show that we are weak and decadent, and that if we're hit hard enough, we'll pack it in and retreat. The result would be even greater danger for the United States, because if the terrorists conclude that attacks will change the behavior of a nation, they will attack that nation again and again. And believing they can break our will, they'll become more audacious in their tactics, ever more determined to strike and kill our citizens, and ever more bold in their ambitions of conquest and empire.

Cheney and his fanclub have amnesia. We won the Cold War, the last long great struggle against an intractable foe, the only adequate comparison. Cheney also fails to mention the other side of the Beruit story.. which would be the French. The French also suffered a bombing a few days after the U.S. and they retaliated... against Iran, with an airstrike. But the French are still wussies. That's public opinion for ya. Depresses me that not only does Cheney expect people to be impressed by this argument, so many people have such undeveloped brains that they are unable to appreciate the effect of spin. Some people will say anything, and that includes Islamofacists. And some people will believe anything. Just look what the National Inquirer can publish. Iraq is not all that important to Al-Qaeda. There will always be another Iraq for them, another Afghanistan, another Sudan. They're global. Like cockroaches.

That leads me to the fourth, and the cruelest, myth -- and that is the false hope that we can abandon the effort in Iraq without serious consequences to our interests in the broader Middle East. The reality is that, if our coalition withdrew before Iraqis could defend themselves, radical factions would battle for dominance in that country. The violence would spread throughout the country, and be very difficult to contain. Having tasted victory in Iraq, jihadists would look for new missions. Many would head for Afghanistan and fight alongside the Taliban. Others would set out for capitals across the Middle East, spreading more sorrow and discord as they eliminate dissenters and work to undermine moderate governments. Still others would find their targets and victims in other countries on other continents.

Cheney forgets how wrong his administration proved going into Iraq. What's given him some new brilliance over the past few years... ah... nothing? Another scenario finds that with reduced American presence, Sunni tribes become less welcoming of foreign fighters. Shite leaders become more confident in their majoritarian governance and form better alliances with the Kurdish population to develop oil production. Iran gets smoozy, sure, and the rising economic fortunes of both countries' urban populations leads to stronger democratic parties and a weaker Islamic fundamental showing in following elections. Saudi Arabia's (mildly fundamental) dominance begins to wain, as Iraq's oil production increases. Jordan's economic fortunes rise with their old friend Iraq, which enables them to better manage their Palestinian refugee population. Increases in regional stability spread to Lebanon and into the West Bank. All equally possible. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to provide air and naval defense to Iraq, combined with training to it's military and police, while maintaining it's boarders against those foreign fighters. Also a possible scenario, but equally not guaranteed. Life gives no such promises.

We can be confident in the outcome of this struggle. America is a good and an honorable country. We serve a cause that is right, and a cause that gives hope to the oppressed in every corner of the Earth. We're the kind of country that fights for freedom, and the men and women in the fight are some of the bravest citizens this nation has ever produced. (Applause.)

Cheney said this holding up a tiny asterisk to indicate all the various places in the world where the U.S. pursues no policy to give hope to the oppressed. In Tibet.

Or in airports. Which leads me to the subject that con-bloggers who don't do my job should shut the frak up:

"If this legislation passes (civil service protections given to every other federal worker extended to federal airport security), the Democrats will be making the TSA’s job more difficult. Passengers will assume a greater risk when flying commercial airplanes as a result of this legislation."

TSA pursues the purposes of it's political appointees who spend lavishly on limos and passing on contracts to their personal friends. None of which has to do with airport security. Or preventing future terrorist attacks. Reducing overtime and reducing customer complaints are the primary concern of the management level. When I have a union to protect me for telling the truth, I'll get back to you on this subject.

I need a picture here to educate this bloody moron:

Don't blame the crew in the boiler room for TSA's design flaws.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Amateur Liberals Shocked; Move on Moves On

So since the passing of supplemental spending on Iraq the response of the outlying fringes of the Democratic Party seem all the rage to dish. Bush tried his best to best what he called "an act of political theater" by denouncing it as "an act of political theater" while standing with a vet behind him to the left and a pretty blond soldier with wispy blue eyes at his right hand. No one noticed, amidst the spasms of outrage over Move On's move to support Pelosi. Move On took no official position without doing something horribly democratic: it twice emailed it's members to vote. 126, 000 Move On members participated in the (first) vote. 84.6% supported the bill. 9.2% said they weren't sure and 6.2% opposed it. Both votes garnered an equal response to Move On's email vote over supporting (or not) Ned Lamont last fall. Anti-(all) war bloggers began to mobile quickly to denounce and campaign against Move On, infected with amnesia over the founding of the online grassroots organization. Which was to ah... promote legislative action that provides results over ideological purity.

Let's get out the discection kit: little scapal, tweezers, eye dropper, ruler and latex gloves. Got your gloves on? So here's this anti-war movement on the cold and hard steel table of reality before you, and it wants to know why it's not getting what it wants from the Democratic Party. Three words: Veto Proof Majority. And ah... not everyone has to think the same thing, like we were brainwashed or something. Move On might be the most accessible target and competitor for media love but the anti-war movement has so starved itself in an effort to avoid the anti-IRAQ war crowd that it bites anything that moves. One despairs over political activists who can't fathom the difference between having your bill defeated by a session of Congress supposedly elected with a mandate to alter the course in Iraq, and a presidential veto. To put a measure on the floor of Congress that will only go down in flames, is to avoid a showdown with Bush. To insist that an ideologically pure bill supported by a segment of the American population that couldn't elect a majority of candidates to Congress should trump over the combined opinions of those members actually elected by majority vote is anti-American. See there? Very little matter in the brain cavity.

Let's move on. With a deep blade into the heart. Here we find a feeling of sickness because Move On dares to stick to it's founding principles (if you don't win, you aren't noble, you just loose) and applauding members of Congress who chose to vote the Dem line. Of course, this heart may judge that another member of Congress who voted to get nothing as being a representative in whom a voter could feel pride. Others may judge, but not Move On? Others may speak, but pragmatism must be silent? This heart quivers from an urgency because tens of thousands of people will die in Iraq if Bush blinks and signs Pelosi' budget? Of course, hundreds of thousands of people will die from other preventable reasons in that same ammount of time, and frankly if the anti-war movement spent all of it's time and money in other directions, more lives would be saved. So it is a fair question for Move On to ask: are you in this to bring the Iraq War to resolution or to see your mug shot on FOX?

Moving down to the shriveled stomach, we find barely the strenght to mention that both Move On and the Congressional Black Caucus announced support for Pelosi. There's an old saying that laws and like sausage, and one should not watch how they are made, which should really apply to the anti-all-war movement, who seem to be largely vegan. Also to be avoided: chess, the Olympics.

"The legislative charade mounted by the Democratic Party has nothing to do with ending the war in Iraq. There are, in fact, no principled differences between the Democrats and Bush when it comes to the imperialist aims of the war. Both parties, the Democrats no less than the Republicans, serve the corporate interests—the oil conglomerates, the Wall Street banks, and the American financial oligarchy as a whole—that seek through military violence to establish US control of the resources and markets of the world."

One cannot forgive the self-imposed confusion of anger at Bush with immediate withdrawal, or the idea that the Democratic Party would best serve America by pissing into the wind. One simply misses the slimy contents of the stomach in the light of the glaring ulcer which ills the anti-all-war segement of liberal America: who the frak do they think they are to accuse the Democratic Party of secretly being just like Bush? How far do they think they will get stabbing other liberals in the back? What, do they live alone on a barren Moon that their desires are alike the decrees of a jealous God?

Good enough reason for this moonbat to join up with Move On. Hah!!

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Bush Buys Voodoo Dolls of House and Senate

So today I'm here to complain about these strange pricking feelings being reported covertly by Democratic members of Congress through their staff. White House Press Secretary Yellow Snow insists that it has nothing to do with what presidential aides bought their boss this morning in a Washington (Still Citizen-Free Capital of the Free World thanks to the Republican Party) D.C. voodoo shop or that Pelosi rocked out that House Appropriations Bill. After releasing an exclusive report yesterday showing video footage of the voodoo shop that purported to demonstrate it was a "massage parlor" for discriminating clientel, Politico now entertains us all with a story about how the prick reported- sorry, was reported all wrong.

Ouch. What the... OUCH!!

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moonbat is in Love with the President

So today moonbat is deeply in love with the President. No, not Shrub!! America's Next Top President!! John Edwards. How many other credentials does a guy need? Right calls him a hater? Check. Right claims he's exploiting his own family? Check. Second check because same source prematurely counts him out of the race. Given that he is married to his high school sweetheart with three lovely children, Ann Coulter smears him as a "faggot?" Check. Right after Coulter declares her support for Romney? Special glittery check. FOX spread a lie about him? Check.

Spasms of joy after a tense 24 hours in which it was fairly obvious that his wife's breast cancer had returned. Since they were giving a news conference from their hometown, your moonbat figured the worst... that Edwards would withdraw, the only candidate on either side of the aisle she's heard a clear vision come out of the mouth of. Yet, miracle or miracles, Edwards remains in the race for President. Much will be made of the fact that his wife's cancer is out of remission and she will be receiving treatment, but let's assume the worst.

You have a malignant form of breast cancer, and one of these near years you are going to die as it turns your body into a twisted pile of goo. Do you want to sit around your house waiting for it to happen, or have the time of your life? Do you want to leave your young husband with no employment, to gamble his fortune away in Vegas, or do you want to see him win the highest post of civil service in the country? Come on, moonbat would have the time of her life.

Campaigning for America's Next Top President!! Clear, moral, unafraid: America should be the moral leader of the world; all Americans should have health care; eliminate poverty; strengthen the middle class; lead the fight against global warming and achieve energy independence. If only we could turn Edwards into a President like you turn a frog into a prince. Moonbat's all ready to pucker up!!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Most Dangerous Game Over Iraq

So today I will first thank my mother who introduced me to CSPAN RADIO which for the Maryland D.C. area is 90.1 on the dial. Via this sudden bright spot on my daily commute to actually defend our country from terrorists, I got to listen to a news conference given by MoveAmericaForward. Besides copycatting MoveOn and incorrectly identifying Cindy Sheehan as a foreigner, they announced the debut of an ad campaign "Choice is Clear" which promises the American people that if we "win" in Iraq, America will never suffer a nuclear attack. By implication, if we fail to win in Iraq, whatever that means on any given day, the very next day some Iraqi terrorists will get a nuke through customs and level some never before heard of town in Alabama. Even more, the ad promises that the mere unquestioning support somehow generates magical energies called "patriotism" that form a complete barrier around our country so that terrorists outside of Iraq are unable to even think about further attacks on America. Like say, al-Qaeda hanging out in northern Pakistan. If you put a flag sticker on your car, you freeze the brain of a terrorist!!

We are of course waiting for the same jokers to insist Congress fund this magical shield around America by making all those Made-in-China flag stickers free. While we wait, let us delve a little into this secret circle of magicians. What are the underlying implications of this campaign, whose commercial shows outdated photos of anti-war protesters and ends in a nuclear mushroom cloud? These jokers promise that all of al-Qaeda will be defeated and America will be safe if we "win" in Iraq, which in the news conference they equated with believing in and doing everything the "commander-in-chief" says. Without question. These jokers also have no confidence in the abilities of General Petraeus or Bush's recently enacted surge plan in Iraq. A strange paradox indeed. How many of us really believe that the "war on terror" hinges on Iraq, in a once and for all scenario? How many of us believe that our presence in Iraq prevents terrorist plots, despite the continued evidence that other active cells exist around the world? Evidence like Madrid and London?

More importantly, why do those who believe in Bush's strategies for Iraq have no faith in either the surge or in Petraeus? To say that we cannot set a date for withdrawal now for we will embolden the terrorists is to say that Petraeus will fail and the surge is yet another one of Bush's mistakes. To say that we can set a date for withdrawal is to say that we believe Petraeus will succeed and the insurgency will fail. To not support a defined conclusion at this time itself emboldens the terrorists because it shows a complete lack of faith in the ability of the U.S. military to bring a conclusion to their presence in Iraq sometime in this decade. To call Pelosi "Madame Terrorist" as they are want to do because she and the Democratic leadership in Congress are taking Bush at his word that Patraeus and this surge will finally bring success in Iraq, merely masks an underlying fear that America will never find a way to exit Iraq with some shred of honor.

Who are these jokers who profess blind faith in America's military strength, and whose main page campaigns to send our troops the much needed .... cookies they need to defend themselves from insurgents? Who are these people whose primary and sole complaint about the provisioning of our soldiers in their press conference is that we don't hand every individual solider unaccountable cash to bribe the locals to support the presence of the American military? Again and again, they don't ask for better intelligence, better satellite support, better body armor, better humvees, more translators. Just cash they never have to tell anyone how they spent. Uh huh. So why doesn't anyone give me ready cash to support my daily mission in defending America from terrorist attacks right here at home?

Yes, who are these jokers? Big surprise: they are not a grassroots organization but a Republican election tool built by the public relations firm Russo Marsh & Rogers. Moola cash cow. (5 Republicans paid RM&R $2,475,223 for the 2001/2002 election cycle, during which time no Democrat likewise purchased services.) For a chairman: Melaine Morgan, a conservative talk-show host who gained notoriety in 2006 for advocating the gas-chamber death of a New York Times editor who approved a story detailing domestic spying on Americans by the Bush administration. Even while Bush has admitted publicly that the intelligence supporting the idea that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and ties between Saddam and 9-11 have gone up in smoke, Move America Forward began an extensive and local commercial campaign to insist that Bush was right about what he said he was wrong about. Interesting tactical choice, to call your commander-in-chief a liar, but never let logic or patriotism get in the way of a good sound-bite. These jokers got their start in the Republican led effort in 2003 to recall California Governor Gray Davis, officially formed in 2004, spent two years raising about $1 million, and ran a campaign supporting Bolton as the U.N. Ambassador. They also sponsor conservative radio hosts in trips to U.S. military bases in Iraq to do live broadcasts, trying to make the case that WMD exist still inside that country and that it's not as violent as all the bombings might make you think. MoveAmericaForward also maintains the CensureCarter website, denouncing the former President for his Middle East peace activism. Understand them clearly, for the political hacks they are, and make no mistake.

Hip on current events, MoveAmericaForward works it's appeal on two fronts, working to gain a monopoly on the claim to support the troops, and portraying the anti-war movement as exactly the same group of people who marched on the Pentagon in 1967. The first conceals the fact that they openly attack and insult veterans who speak out against the Iraq War. By that means they seek to publicly strip veterans who do speak against Bush of their military service in public opinion and label them traitors. By portraying the current anti-war movement as hippies, they heap upon the current generation any sins of the anti-war past, all the violence and the disrespect. Of course, Americans convinced first that we are all hippies, are hard to enlighten as to the large advancements of civility reached between police and protestors following the long series of World Trade Organization protests, and the organizational push to control litter and acts of vandalism. The idea that any organization can control (what, through mind-control or turning people into zombies?) all of its members is juvenile and the demand of a pure simpleton. Yes, no one should have spray painted the steps of the capital, since it's the tax money of a Democratic city that has to pay for the chemicals to remove it. Hardly accounts for the hysteria that the Vietnam Memorial would be desecrated, and needed to be protected by a contingent of Vietnam vets who for the most part used to despise the Wall designed by a gook.

Gathering of Eagles presents itself as the "Silent Guard of America's Memorials" and claims that it does not support violence or verbal assaults on veterans, though it sorta forgot to tell the people who signed up to counter-protest last Saturday. Oops. The Eagles did a lot of verbal assaulting of veterans that cold afternoon. Anyways, one should take a close look at the verbal garbage being spouted there, because it's a problem that liberals need to be educated about. One member claims, "we are closer to civil war here than they are in Iraq." Another, "To most of the students up here, the US government is an evil thing that knocked the twin towers down for an excuse to steal Iraqi oil." Here, "we will take no prisoners when it comes to stopping our Vet’s from being hurt or our monuments from being splattered with paint or whatever…??? How are we going to do that without a little blood being spilled now and then?" And here, "I don’t know if I could restrain myself from KILLING any of the vermin attempting to further their anti American Anti God agendas by damaging ANY memorial in that area." Another, "Great mission statement and great work with one exception, the first sentence. “Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan.”. I believe being non partisan in today's political situation is not caring about our future and that is not in line with the rest of the mission statement." Others generally equate a concrete step with a "monument" to work up the hysteria that the Wall will be "attacked." Another, "I hope one of theose Muslim commies cross the line so we can teach them a valuable lesson. I will be there with my brothers and will be victorius over these Dimicrat scum. This will teach them not to look at us with seditious eyes." But of course, they are against violence. Sure.

Oh, and there's also this snippet of an opinion, "Oh, and I’ll add that we are in no one’s pocket - much less the Republicans. The Gathering of Eagles is a PURE grassroots effort - driven entirely by veterans. There has been NOT ONE politician involved to tarnish the purity of this movement. No one has their hands on this - not the media, not big money, not anyone in politics. It is JUST US." Grassroots? Let's google around and see how truthful this veteran is being, eh? Gathering of Eagles donations are handled by Vets for the Truth, which organized campaigns against Kerry in '04 and Murtha in '06. That is in it's turn a minion of Iowa Presidential Watch, a political action committee. The face behind the mask behind the mask is a PAC. Oops. That PAC bears responsibility for a horrendous fraud political poster depicting an American solider holding an adoring Iraqi child. The photo was an AP one but altered. The real child's face had been scrubbed off because she was riddled with American bullets received in a firefight in which her mother was killed. The Navy Corpman treating her wounds told the AP: "If anything good comes from this nonsense, I haven't seen it yet."

Searching back to the root of things untangles motives and brings clarity, so we should follow MoveAmericaForward and the Gathering of Eagles back from when I met them last Saturday to the beginning of their journey. Their first stop was not to the grave of a fallen soldier, to the family of such a soldier, to a military base, to anything one might first guess. So what's your guess? Sorry, time's up. Their first stop was to invade The Crosses of Lafayette. The Crosses are a hillside memorial, on private property belonging to a WWII vet, and set up in remembrance of those American soldiers who have died in Iraq. A sign at the memorial is updated every week with the current fatality count. The Crosses, which when first placed were destroyed by pro-war vandals, "signify a memorial to those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country." The organizers also ask that people who see them slow to the speed limit in salute of the fallen soldiers. But MoveAmericaForward and the Gathering of Eagles broke with their stated intentions and invaded the memorial, demonstrating a deep disrespect for areas of sacred ground set aside for fallen soldiers. Pro-war activists demonstrated their respect for a memorial for fallen soldiers with vandalism and verbal assaults. Would they support the right of anyone to scratch a name of the "The Wall?" Police were needed to keep the peace until the pro-war caravan moved on.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not in My Name Either

So today we are going to discuss yesterday and what it takes to get a moonbat to walk away from an anti-Iraq war rally, the very March on the Pentagon. Loved the March. Being confronted by screaming hordes of mostly men swathed in black leather biker jackets and calling for us to be hanged, sorta lights a fire under you. So does the hilariousness of the counter-demonstrators trying to claim more of them came than those protesting the war. Enough is enough. How is it scandalous to hint at holding critical thoughts of those serving in the armed forces, and anyone who has served becomes a protected elite and free to conduct themselves in any manner in public? One key lesson that should come of this is that American should be made to face the unforgivable tactics of those who call for the mass slaughter of their fellow Americans. To call someone a traitor is to advocate for their death, and this thirst for bloodshed is the growing battle cry of those who advocate unending military involvement in Iraq. America needs to take a hard look, and the left should be ready at the next rally to provide unflinching documentation of this poison.

Let me take a little moment to give a shout out to the D.C. police, who handled themselves with remarkable decorum and efficiency, and whose mounted presence was crucial to the lack of violence at both the march and the rally. Thanks to the men and women in blue. And the horses. Love the horses.

But the rally broke my bleeding heart, which of course is hard to do as it is wet and soggy with the tears I cry over the state of the world. But the rally broke my heart indeed, and Cynthia McKinney torched the ruins. Standing there in my khaki slacks and a Mossimo jacket, I looked nothing like my fellow demonstrators (which did mean I wasn't harassed walking to the gathering point for the march). And the numbers for the march were again, as they were a year ago, not high enough. The devote anti-war contingent of the Left needs to take a hard look at the result of calling Democrats collaborators in torture and war crimes, especially since the movement has its hand out so often. Iraq is not the only goal, and whatever aid the anti-war movement gave towards the recovery of House and Senate last fall for the Democratic Party, we do not have a veto proof majority. Congress literally has not the ability to force complete withdrawal (which I don't advocate anyway), so denouncing the Democratic majority for not providing it only shows an extreme level of policial immaturity. Not a very pretty sight. Ire raised, I left and headed off to a family birthday party. And I love the cold. Et tu, Brute?

I will confess that the anti-war movement has made visible progress since last year's rally, which some of you might remember from the scant coverage that it received. I shall hear admit that I ran into the group World Can't Wait when they showed up at a pro-Wall of TexoChina rally. I rambled into the frakking thing, going from one Smithsonian Museum to another. Started chanting "Save the Cheap Lettuce." Got a shout out from the organizer for being disrespectful. Got joined in booing the rally by... a group of parents on a school field trip... from Texas. Texans ... booing the Wall. Go figure. Anyways, a passing officer worker text messaged a member of World Can't Wait, and they showed up with a few signs and [i]they[/i] made the photo for the Washington Post. Instead of me, the instigator of the whole counter-protest. As a random aside note, Nazis showed up to support the Wall of TexoChina, in full regalia. Oops.

So I got curious and showed up at two World Can't Wait meetings, which were Wednesday night in a basement of a row house near Union Station. I'm still on their email list. World Can't Wait leaned more towards "Bush Step Down" in those days over impeachment, which they saw as impossible and a validation of a system of corruption in Congress. Or something. I chastised them for that. And also their terrible fliers, full of quotes from Hollywood celebs and not facts and statistics. And for the silly bandannas over the faces bit. And for allowing the other side to frame themselves as the only ones holding the Stars and Stripes. And for not being able to explain their organization goals. The floor went on to another woman, who remarked at length about how all our lives were in danger because the CIA might "get us." Sigh. By the second meeting they were trying to arrange movie nights and facing up to the problem of their rent being $1100 a month for a basement. So I bailed and went back to Drinking Liberally.

The March reflected honest growth, some reclaiming of the right to call oneself a patriot and fly the colors, although bandannas still cropped up here and there. Really, it wasn't that cold. The signs were better, clearer, but the message coming from the speakers was not. Several were off topic, several attacked allies more than they criticized either the Bush administration of the conduct of Pentagon officials. Organizers recruited veterans and soldiers who had served in Iraq to speak, and that deserves especial kudos. But at some point, the anti-war left has to embrace the idea that speeches are a kind of art, and need polish and cohesion. And although I admire the dedication of Mama Moonbat Cindy Sheehan, no one should stand up in front of the crowd and call for people to not pay their taxes. When there's a shortfall, it won't be military funding that suffers, but domestic programs and the salaries of government employees, like myself. Although it commendable, the lenght that speakers went to in order to be respectful of all soldiers and veterans on both sides of the line, since the march was on the Pentagon, the speakers missed the mark time and again. Pentagon officials bear some responsibility for the fiasco in Iraq, yet their guilt was avoided by and large. More marches there should be, but the anti-war left will have to choose the goal of sanity in America's policy towards Iraq, and form coalitions with the liberal majority that is not inherently anti-all-war.

More flags. Clear documentation of what those who support unending war in Iraq are advocating be done with those Americans who disagree. More outreach towards the populations of the states surrounding the march site, so that the general liberal public doesn't find out about the march a week before hand from a tiny poster on a random city street light. Coordinated blogger coverage, utilization of YouTube, and more training of groups and organization members in dealing with resistance met along the march route. There are needed reforms to the anti-war movement, and until the lead dogs like answer find a way to address them, they will not come up with the numbers of marchers needed to really surround the Pentagon again.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

How a Catholic Priest Taught me to Hate Swiss Cheese

So today we will take a little walk down memory lane with Robert Novak and discover why your favorite moonbat hates swiss cheese. You see, in pursuit of a "better" education than public school, which I did not get, my mother send me for three years to a little parochial Catholic school. The first thing you should understand is that she raised me as a protestant. The second is that I used to sneak the Bible into elementary school to read the Song of Songs to the other kids. Causing the teachers to worry that I was proselytizing. Well I was, but not about religion. Background covered, we will zip ahead a few of those early weeks to one memorable religion class where the nice young Father Ron was attempting to explain "original sin" to a bunch of sixth graders who did not care.

Pondering our drowsy faces for a minute, Father Ron drew a slice of cheese on the black board. Adding many holes, he said "this is the unbaptised baby's soul, full of sin." He erased most of the wholes. "Here is all of your souls after your parents had you baptised." He added half the erased holes back in. "And here is moonbat's soul, whose baptism wasn't perfect, so she's full of a lot more sin and evil than any of you." Heads turned to look at me in a whole new light.

Father Ron got a phone call from my mother than night, and he apologized the next day. I still had a giant burning "P" on my forehead as far as the other Catholic kids were concerned. Unacceptable as a dance partner. Unacceptable to invite to birthday parties or to spend the night. Unacceptable.. sometimes for any reason. One wonderful afternoon several months later, they pinned me in a corner of the bus on the way home, dumped several sodas over me and then spent almost an hour stoning me with crushed soda cans, while the Catholic mother driving the bus ignored my screams. To this day, I still look for them whenever I get on a bus. In a city. Very far away.

One morning, a girl tied her jump rope to the back of my book bag, and then yanked me flat on my back. Younger children were egged on to stone me. I ate lunch alone. I won a speech contest, and the Catholic sponsors refused me the award. I won a social studies project on the Civil War (on the massacre at Shiloh) and the Catholic teachers lost the project before it could be entered in the higher level of the competition, which I had spent 3 weeks constructing. I went with a field trip to the National Cathedral (which is protestant), and was threatened when I complained that the Catholic students were sitting on the altars. I refused to go to the Catholic convent and was threatened with expulsion. I participated in Secret Santa and never got a gift. I was forced to sit through Catholic confirmation class, got the highest grade, despite the fact that the instructional material contained open slander against any non-Catholic faith.

During a special Christmas lesson, I correctly recited the three gifts of the Magi: to which Father Ron immediately berated the whole Catholic student body for allowing a protestant student to make them look stupid. You can imagine what happened at recess that lovely day. When the other students went to confession, I had to sit with my head down and could do nothing other than pray (for my protestant soul). I represented the school at the local Science and Engineering Fair for three years, won the Division Award and advanced to regionals as an eight grader, and received no recognition. My father was deployed to the Gulf War, and my class sent cards to some else's distant Catholic cousin. When a teacher called me forward to ceremoniously cut down the school's yellow ribbon because the military had come home, Father Ron insisted I could not represent the school because I was not Catholic.

You would think I hate Catholics. I was in fact asked why I did hate them once, 20 seconds after remarking in a public high school AP Chemistry class that I agreed with the theory of evolution, and was mocked by several Catholic students in the halls as "the monkey girl" for months after. I hate swiss cheese. You can blame a Catholic Priest, but I can barely tolerate the stuff, and only serve it when it has been purchased by someone else. That may not be the fault of the cheese, but that's the way it is. Every time I look at swiss cheese, I feel dirty.

Novak seems to have no grasp of what it really is like to be singled out because of your faith, and tellingly provides no examples of discrimination against Catholics in the US, beyond insisting it happens as it used to happen to Jews: no country clubs, no jobs, that sort of thing. You see very little of the realities of Catholicism and democratic politics, where one swears on six days to uphold a certain law as determined by ones peers, and on the seventh swears to obey the commands of one man not of one's own country or elected government. The Catholic Church expects to have the power to compel obedience from Catholics, despite that a Catholic may swear an oath to obey other laws, and such a thing wears at the fabric of governance. Although it does not make a Catholic less of a citizen, a politician is elected to uphold the will of the people and the laws of the democracy, and not the edicts of a man 8 hours away by airplane. No politician elected can be a true Catholic to disobey the Pope, and yet betrays the oath of office if that politician obeys the Pope above those who voted. So one has a tension that offers no remedy, yet can't be wished away with demands that no one exhibit a bias against the advancement of Catholic policy or officials in the U.S. One only look at what the Catholic Church has to say on the matter:

"On March 25, 1995 the pope issued an encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, which is an explicit instruction to obedient Catholics in Congress, state legislators, and even to Supreme Court justices in their official capacity, to oppose any laws or proposed laws which would permit abortion. Specifically, the pope said, “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is never licit to obey it, or take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it."

The issue of "Catholic bias" is the concern that those Catholics elected to office will advance the cause of papal infallibility rather than the public good, even though the majority of the learned opinion of the church did not come to rest against liberal values of family planning and the avoidance of extreme poverty through population control:

In 1963, Pope John XXIII convened a Papal Commission on Population and Birth Control. After Pope John’s death, Pope Paul VI continued and expanded the Commission. The two-tiered commission consisted of a group of 15 cardinals and bishops and a group of 64 lay experts representing a variety of disciplines. The Commission met from 1964 until 1966. According to Commission member Thomas Burch, a professor at Georgetown University in the 1960s, Pope Paul VI himself assigned them the task of finding a way to change the Church's position on birth control without undermining papal authority.

They were asked by Pope Paul VI two questions: (1) Suppose the Vatican changed its mind on contraception. What can we do to present this in such a way that the Church will not lose its moral influence over people? And (2) Suppose the Vatican changed its mind on these issues [population and birth control]. How can we preserve our influence over the marital behaviour of individuals?"

After two years of intense study, the laymen voted 60 to 4, and the clergy voted 9 to 6, to change the Church's teaching on birth control. However, they failed to find an acceptable way to accomplish this without undermining papal authority. Because of conflict with the recently adopted Doctrine of Infallibility (created in 1870), the publication in 1968 of the encyclical Humanae Vitae permanently ruled out a change on the birth control issue."

Real effects of the Church's desire to maintain it's unquestioned authority can be seen all over the international stage and inside America. In 1998, the Holy See strove during debate over the International Criminal Court to exclude "forced pregnancy" from the list of war crimes. In 2001, the Church used it's position at the United Nations to condemn the prevention of AIDS through the use of condoms. Catholic politicians in the United States who do deviate from the church's position are regularly threatened with excommunication. Can we expect as the American public for a politician to condemn his or her soul to perdition as explained by the Catholic faith and not change mortal law at the command of a foreigner? Are such thoughts true discrimination when these are the rules Catholics choose to live by, that they choose a religion antithetical to democracy? When has such questioning become equal to rocks and bottles and soda cans?

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bush Hides from Pelosi far away in Brazil

So there's a certain amount of cheek in a guy who swears off an addiction and then sends you a $3.2 billion bill with an order for more of the same. Bush fled the whole country so that he could sign a letter to Pelosi and the Congress flying between South American countries, literally in the middle of the night. Man can't even own up to it over the phone. Lie? Six years into his presidency and he still can't count? Still making the same mistake of underestimation that made a ruin of Iraq from the start? Just about anyone could be pleased by this event, except that we are talking about real money and real soldiers. Myself, I'll latch on to this little snip:

"This revised request would better align resources based on the assessment of military commanders to achieve the goal of establishing Iraq and Afghanistan as democratic and secure nations that are free of terrorism," Bush said in the letter.

Revised request?! My figuring abilities are good enough to peg this increase at more than a third of what Bush requested on national television in January. And the Department of Defense is making noise to Congress that 7,000 more troops might also be needed, to extend this surge out beyond the end of the summer. Lovely. See, now you'd be up to more than 2/3, which is blatant false advertising being slapped on Bush's really-gonna-work-this-time plan for Iraq. Just to rub salt in the wound, the U.S. and Iran met face-to-face over Iraq just yesterday, as Democrats have advocated following the Iraq Study Group's report last fall. Rice plans to meet with both Iran and North Korea next month, so it looks like dialogue is in fashion.

"What has changed?" asked one former high-level Bush administration official. "That we finally like these people? That we finally have them where we want them? Or gee, we're at 30 percent [public approval] and we've only got 20 months to go?"

And what of this troop surge in Iraq that is supposed to ensure Republican dominance in American politics? The way it stands, win or loose, if American troops are still in Iraq by the Presidential elections of 2008, that's bad for Republicans. And if American troops are out, win or loose, that's good for Democrats. So Democrats can take or leave a "victory in Iraq," which is the real reason why we don't debate in terms of one. Because seriously, how many years has there been a complete lack of terrorism in Israel, but Bush is going to deliver that in Baghdad? Nice that he's backed himself into a political corner so neatly, since every bomb and every sectarian killing is now Bush's failure written in blood. Rice won't be able to deliver progress on peace with the Palestinians as Israel continues it's settlement of Arab lands, and Bush only made rock stars of Hezbollah after funding Israel's war with (a liberal democratic Muslim) Lebanon last summer. One has to wonder if there's even a strategy Bush hasn't failed at yet.

Hold the press- there is! Bush can veto a military spending bill, now that Bush is against benchmarks for Iraq after he was for them. What is Bush playing at if he thinks this surge strategy will work? Unless Bush would rather be known to history for being bullied by the Democrats than ending his term without being able to make a victory sign on the back of a pickup truck in Sadr City. Since, if he wants to insist that he has cleared all the Islamofacists out of Iraq, I want proof. A litmus test. Bush pulls that off and I'll vote for the Republican in 2008.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Moonbat Does Not Get Tsa Union On Her Birthday

So this morning my boss above my boss had a nice birthday present for me, which was also a consolation prize. First the prize: dried-out day old muffins in a variety of flavors, that crumbled like sawdust when you tried to split them. No butter, no margarine, no "i-can't-believe-it's-not." And what for? Bush has assured the country that he will defend it from the threat of terrorism by making sure we federal airport screeners can't dream of fair pay. Which would be specifically the right to collectively bargain at all, at which Republicans are acting like he just announced the troop surge in Iraq met with success. Democrats in the Senate have only half-chickened out, and stripped the collective bargaining for pay out of the Homeland Security Bill, while leaving in nonpay union activity and whistle-blower protections. I took a great delight in the mere symbolic act of tossing that muffin for a three-point throw.

No one seems to think that federal screeners want collective bargaining, which we do, or that for some reason we interviewed for these jobs for the sheer reason of wanting another 9-11. We are not cashiers denying free water bottles to rescue workers that fateful day. We are the ones who have to stare down that spitting and raving passenger in front of you who thinks his bowie knife should fly. Regardless of our thankless task, Republican lawmakers are sounding the drumbeat, that for some reason, the idea that we shouldn't be worrying about getting evicted will makes us ineffective or fall asleep on the job will encourage Osama bin Laden. They use meaningless propaganda about "9-11" and who remembers it most to imply that there is no possibility that TSA could be so immoral as to mistreat it's workers, because of course, 9-11 matters more than labor costs. Yet in the next breath, we can't have union rights because TSA might end up having to hire more federal screeners and labor costs might go up?

Right now, teachers are trusted more with educating children than federal screeners are trusted with protecting the public. In one breath, TSA is useless. In the next breath, TSA must be unfettered in it's eternal vigilance against the greatest threat of our time. ?? The racket being raised over merely compromising on giving us whistle-blower protection and collective bargaining but not for pay is so equal, that one begins to understand this is about worker's rights period. And why are people such cowards as to be unable to stand before Congress and raise the question... what is so unpatriotic about paying the rent?

Other cons rally around the idea thathappier screeners will want longer relationships with passengers:
And according to TSA, a collective bargaining infrastructure would lead to the closing of an estimated 250 screening lanes at airports (longer lines), poor staffing (even longer lines) and late flight departures (so you’ll be waiting when you’re done with the longer TSA line, too).

Or they are more honest and just say that unionization creates inept, incompetent fools. These con-blogs don't quote actual screeners and give no indication that they know any personally, or have even done anything more than snarl at having to "voluntarily surrender" another cigarette lighter. Let me explain this to them now: TSA managers constantly seeks ways to reduce the cost of labor even if that means reducing the efficiency and amount of screening at airports, and without a union, we screeners seem powerless to halt the slow-bleed. Perhaps moderates have just reason to despair that the American political system is fundamentally impaired, when those who could seek knowledge would prefer to cling to false soundbites instead of really wanting their country defended against terrorism.

So.. are long lines of more concern to you or the fact that you can try to board an airplane with a gun and not get arrested? Heck, you meant well, you can still even fly!

Curious language from the right: TSA managers will be "made passive" by whistle-blower protections, according to Rep. Dent (R.-PA). What does this mean: "made passive." Sounds ominous, but what does this mean? Whistle-blower protection is extended only if a criminal case is pursued against a superior, and the whole point is that a superior should [i]be made passive[/i] to punish those who testify to criminal behavior. So it's a Republican version of victory against the terrorists to protect criminals in federal employment, those easiest to target for corruption and collaboration? An intelligent question of course that doesn't have the [i]scary[/i] sounding appeal as managers "made passive" by the red-shirted workers.

Another tidbit the cons are drooling over, is a release by TSA listing Myths and Facts about what it's like to work as a federal screener. I'd never seen it before a con-blog alerted me to it's existence. I found the first one highly amusing and very personal:

MYTH: TSA does nothing to reduce injuries to screeners or unsafe work conditions. FACT: TSA cares about its workforce and has implemented a robust safety program.

I can attest to the 20.5 days of worker's compensation given for an injury. I have been injured twice on this job requiring medical attention, for the first time in my life, and the first time I missed 104 days of work. Yet my worker's comp pay cut off mysteriously at exactly 20 days. I was referred from work to a local injury medical care center, and the first thing they told me was that they were under contract not to excuse me from work as medically incapacitated under worker's compensation, that such a determination would be made by my employer. (Yeah, because I'm that stupid.) In two days, it will have been a year and my injury has still not healed. I have been waiting three weeks for approval from a private contractor hired to do my injury paperwork "automated" for a cortisone shot that the doctor was able to administer the first day he wrote the prescription. Three weeks. And as for the lifting... there has been no reduction in what is required of TSA screeners since I started in August of 2005, and TSA still may not enforce the airline's set baggage weight limit. But safety first! And I'm the Queen of England.

By the way, how many of you dear readers think a nice dose of Flexeril improves mental alertness?

Speaking of which, an iron fist in a velvet glove has been moving to coordinate all the little con-blogs on this issue: the Wall Street Journal. In a lovely "OpinionJournal" (which my dear readers should remember) article, the WSJ takes the position that TSA checkpoint screeners are trained to do federal paperwork interchangeably with real HR specialists (we are not), which means that whatever employee rights are gained will cause checkpoints to become fewer (they will not). The WSJ also advances the idea that terrorism is a constant "emergency" and is so horribly ignorant as to not even know that, yes, federal screeners are redeployed to cover evacuations through major airports during hurricanes. Screeners at my airport volunteered (and did not have to be ordered) to help in the evacuations before and after Katrina, even though that mean sleeping on Red Cross cots and not showering for weeks. Yet serve they did, no matter how much such service is dishonored by conservatives who now question their patriotism.

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