••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

so AG gonzo threatens to resign. [my reaction: is that a threat or a promise?]

now rep darrell issa (r-ca) retaliates with a threat to impeach gonzo.

fun, huh?
I dread our own power and our own ambition: I dread our being too much dreaded. … We may say that we shall not abuse this astonishing and hitherto unheard of power. But every other nation will think we shall abuse it. It is impossible but that, sooner or later, this state of things must produce a combination against us which may end in our ruin.
—edmund burke (1729-97)
ted rall: yes, that's why you don't go to war unless you have to!

tom toles: epimetheus

...& i thought it was just MY backyard

yessir, folks, global warming itches.

Friday, May 26, 2006

anchors aweigh moment

back in november i mentioned the pirates off the coast of somalia and kenya.

now i hear those nice guys have been intercepting (and holding for ransom) UN food shipments to starving folk in those two countries.

the US 5th fleet caught a few of them. if our sainted prez wants to make friends, improve our image, and grow what's left of his political capital, he should announce that the navy will go after them all as part of the war on terror.

comity of errors

senators of both parties showed cloying courtesy to their opposite numbers during the immigration debate. most gops still voted against the bill, but it passed easily.

even if it miraculously gets merged with the house bill (which makes illegal immigration a felony), i don't know why anybody thinks it'll work.

why would folk turn themselves in if they have to pay thousands? do we seriously believe they want citizenship so much they could scrape the money together? who would come here without following official procedures if they cared about naturalization? i'm sure many changed their minds over time, but does that justify showing arbitrary preference to those who've been here longer?

if we really want folk to come forward and get documents, we need a practical solution:

• all they should have to do is report to the nearest port of entry, fill out forms, and pay a reasonable processing fee;

• make no distinctions other than weeding out criminals via background checks;

• no one should get credit toward citizenship—official residence starts when they sign in [that's penalty enough for those that want to be citizens];

• find out where they work and follow up to make sure employers withhold payroll taxes and pay minimum wage;

• raise the minimum wage!

there's little need for punitive measures. if we motivate folk to behave properly, we'll get far more effective results than threats of fines or deportation could possibly produce.

the trouble is, much of the electorate suffers from a phobia of immigrants. we keep hearing radio and tv callers say we're getting "invaded" or they're "criminals" and demand draconian solutions.

i don't have much hope politicians have the moral strength to follow common sense rather than pander to our worst fears.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

tom toles right on target

do i hear a bouzouki or just a bozo?

thanx, sirreene.

polluted intelligence

in another bipartisan national security discussion on c-span, a panelist said revealing our intel methods helps terrorists. similar thinking lies behind AG gonzo's call to prosecute journalists who make classified info public. (novak's nightmare?)

never mind that media merely report what whistleblowers give them, and nobody would blow the whistle if govt agencies just OBEY THE LAW.

next they'll say we can end pollution by jailing folk who eat mercury-laden tuna.

ciudad juárez renamed gaza city

tijuana residents ask "what are we, chopped liver?"

more suicide bombings in afghanistan so far this year than in all of 2005

opium high, too

mental quagmire

i don't know about you, but in 2008 i'm going to have a hard time pulling the lever for anyone who voted in 2002 to authorize force against iraq.

we need a prez that thinks outside the box, and if you couldn't see thru the bushrice mushroom smoke, your head was deep in the cheneyrove.

all is not lost, however. there were 156 nays: 126-d, 6-r, 1-i in the house; 21-d, 1-r, 1-i in the senate.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

something is happening here but...*

i don't know what it is that makes americans think it's up to us to solve the world's troubles.

even when we cause a problem—as in iraq—we don't necessarily know how to fix it.

i'm thinking "you break it, you own it," of course. it's not true. not literally. what it really means is you break it, you pay for it, dig?

i think we're stuck in this stalemate partly because we've been so effectively programmed with so many great soundbites. like, every time anybody suggests pulling out of iraq, somebody yells "cut and run!" know what i mean?

let's try looking around. we're not here all alone, mr jones. the whole world is watching, the whole world has a stake in the outcome, and the whole world needs to take part in the discussion.

let's ask the UN to handle it. that's what we—or our "greatest generation," actually—created it for.

*see ballad of a thin man by bob dylan

Sunday, May 14, 2006

what must america do to repair its image?

simple: end hypocrisy. we claim to have a government of laws. let's start acting like it.

• first, we must indict our leaders for the war crime of aggression, prosecute them, convict them, sentence them, and carry out the sentence. if we don't trust our legal system to act forthrightly and impartially, we should turn them over to the international criminal court.

• second, we must end the charade of saddam hussein's trial and turn him over to the ICC.

• third, we must admit our invasion of iraq was illegal, submit to the authority of the UN security council, tell them we are ready to withdraw our troops, and comply with their recommendations.
that's all. nothing to it.

prescription addiction "benefit"

here we are, the richest country on earth, with a "free" market that has to pressure seniors to enroll in a prescription drug plan by threatening to penalize them EVERY MONTH FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES if they miss the sign-up deadline, while cuba—CUBA!—with 8%—one twelfth!—of our per capita GDP, gives free health care to everybody. not only that, but cubans get free education all the way thru grad school or med school, if they can get in.*

how embarrassing!

* their infant mortality rate is lower than ours, their life expectancy and literacy almost the same as ours.

Friday, May 12, 2006

NSA finds apocalyptic messages in call patterns

bible code fanatics, sit down!

computer analysis of domestic cell phone calling patterns has revealed that both bush victories, 9/11, and the iraq war could have been predicted by essentially the same method that uses the letters of the 5 books of moses to obtain the names of jesus' apostles.

it's actually more sophisticated, in fact, because numbers must first be converted to letters, and sometimes 2 calls made at the same time have to be interchanged.

analysts say the newly-named "bell code" agrees with the "bible code" in predicting some sort of nuclear disaster this year ["dcider will nickname self then b4 newly conceived embryo becomes child we will sock u we will rock u we will nuke u 2"] and that al gore will be the next president.

one difference is that nearly all the bell code "messages" appear as first person sentences instead of disjointed words and phrases, leading to speculation that they are the actual voice of the almighty, bbhn*.

for example, one "message" says "of course we wanted gwb 2 win 2 teach u lesson."

one cryptic message that still remains partly untranslated is "in ur heart u know 369 equals 666."

* blessed be his/her name

Thursday, May 11, 2006

C-SPAN Statement Regarding Colbert Video

see no evil?

what bugs me about all the retired generals finally coming out against rumsfeld is that their objection is only to the inept running of the iraq war, not to going to war in the first place.

60 years ago at nuremberg our finest legal minds decided warriors have a duty to disobey illegal orders. in 2003 virtually all our armed forces ignored that precedent.

it's been pretty obvious all along that invading iraq was illegal, but it's an ancient principle—going back at least to confucius—to punish leaders and pardon low-level followers.

when will we hold our criminal leaders accountable?

not penis envy, just plain ol' envy

the other night i tried to stay up to watch lewis black on hbo, but i fell asleep with the tv on. i blame the chair. it's too damn comfortable.

when i woke i learned more about jenna jameson than i ever wanted to know: she's the highest-paid porn star (¿in history?), she's in a monogamous relationship, so now she only has onscreen sex with women, she likes it, and she thinks she's a lesbian.

really? then why does she live with a man?

i think i see another paradox here. she's almost certainly so popular and high-paid for porn not because of her body, but her face. she looks like nicole kidman and katie holmes put together.

eat your hearts out, guys.

come to think of it, no wonder tom cruise is so hated. he really rubbed our noses in it, didn't he?

the count bites again

renewing my car registration requires squeezing in my insurance policy number: 2 digits, 3 letters, 6 digits, a hyphen, and 6 more digits.

those last 12 digits are enough for nearly a trillion policy numbers, which means my insurer could write over 100 policies apiece for everybody on the planet, including newborn infants, without running out of numbers for several centuries.

credit cards have even longer numbers.

why do they need so many digits?

today's eml from the dems

Dear d,

Alphonso Jackson, the Republican Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, told a story recently during a talk he gave in Dallas. Here's what he said, according to the Dallas Business Journal:

Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something...he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.'
I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect--the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract,"
Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."
You're probably not too surprised to hear that. Frankly, neither am I. And that's the problem.

The Republican culture of corruption has so infected our government that we aren't even surprised to hear a cabinet secretary talk about the "logic" of potentially illegally awarding federal contracts based on political affiliation. That's right--if this story is true, it is probably illegal. Our taxpayer dollars are required by law to be spent based on merit.

Public pressure for Jackson to resign is already building, and Democrats in Congress are calling for an investigation. You can be a part of the groundswell of support for clean government by demanding Jackson's resignation.

We're shooting for 100,000 Americans sending a clear message to Secretary Jackson that he is not fit to serve. We will deliver your message to him when you sign this petition demanding his resignation:


Jackson summed up what's left of the Republican philosophy of government when he said, "That's the way I believe." The journalist Josh Marshall put it well when he wrote yesterday:

"Just as interesting was Jackson's follow-on statement in which shows his understanding of how government contracting works: political supporters get contracts so they can pump a percentage of the profits back into the political party. Standard machine politics, at best. Organized bribery, at worst. And whatever you want to call it, the guiding principle of all contracting and government spending in the second Bush administration."
That's exactly right. And Jackson isn't the only example of this entrenched Republican corruption. Bush's Republican procurement chief--the man in charge of spending huge sums of taxpayer dollars--was arrested and charged with conspiracy in the evolving scandals associated with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

This kind of mentality must be rooted out. But you don't have to wait until November to send your message that you want change. Sign this petition now and demand the resignation of Secretary Jackson:


Just like many Americans, the media has come to expect this kind of corruption from the Republicans. But it's up to those of us who want change to build public pressure and ensure that our friends and neighbors know that corruption is a day-to-day reality in Republican Washington.

Sign this petition and send your message to Secretary Jackson--and then pass this message along to your friends:


Enough is enough--and we're not going to stop until we achieve real change.

Thank you,

Tom McMahon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee

P.S.--For a helpful guide to the Republican culture of corruption in all its forms, check out our special presentation:



Nobody likes a guy who says "I told you so." And inside the Bush administration it's also a truism that nobody likes Colin Powell.

So the former Secretary of State won no new friends in the White House when he revealed that he had counseled President Bush to raise troop levels prior to the 2003 invasion, saying, "I made the case to General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld before the president that I was not sure we had enough troops. And so the case was made, it was listened to, it was considered..." Then Powell sighed and added, "It was laughed at, it was called retarded, it was scrawled in feces on my office door."

Want MORE Daily Show?

Monday, May 08, 2006

shifting sands

a zogby poll of 944 american military personnel in iraq in january and february—but which i missed till mclaughlin group showed it this weekend—reveals that 72% favor pulling out within the next year, and more than 1 out of 4 say we should leave immediately!

now who's supporting the troops?

condi's curse

what's with all the smiles lately? the chuckles? the attempts at lightness and humor?

why, she even tried to laugh off the spanish star-spangled banner.

you know her new hairdo has something to do with it. covering up the ever-present reminder of her enormous frontal lobe must've opened a window to the ultimate irony of her life, giving her a droll perspective: she could've been a respected matron and beloved grandmother now instead of the most feared and hated woman since jiang qing...imelda marcos...leona helmsley.

if only she hadn't been so brilliant!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

what the electorate needs bad


i've heard several politicians and pundits say
the best way to prevent war is to be prepared for war,
but today i saw a bumper sticker that said
you can't simultaneously prevent war and prepare for it.
so which is it?

well, it occurs to me that we are the best-prepared-for-war nation in history, and we've fought a bunch of them. since ww2 we've had at least 4 major wars and several smaller ones in about a half century.

can anybody name another country with as many?

is that prevention?

motivation for those who need it (u know who u r)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

bbl, bbl, oil & rubble

senate glamor girl lisa murkowski (r-ak) seems to think we can get a million barrels of oil a day and control our domestic energy supply by drilling in the arctic.

there are only a few problems with her logic.

suppose we do pump an extra 1M bbl a day. ok. so we import that much less, right? ok.

but the price stays high.

see, the oil nations produce as much as they can sell. if—ha!—demand drops they cut production. so venezuela—or whomever we buy less from—pumps less.

[i know, i know: we should live so long. but hypothetically, ya know?]

if you exclude strategic reserves, oil inventories don't gather a lot of dust. oil gets bought and sold. when sales drop, pumpers can put it in storage for a while, but if sales don't pick up soon, they won't pump as much.

that shores up the world market price, and alaskan oil sells at the world market price.

so why does a senator from alaska want to drill in the arctic? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

new know-nothings

anti-immigrant fervor has roots at least as far back as 1856, when ex-president millard fillmore ran and lost on the ticket of the american ("know-nothing") party, which promoted phobia of foreigners to divert the country from the growing slavery crisis.

fillmore had been one of the 4 whigs who served only 8 years in the white house between them, since the elected war heroes harrison and taylor died in office, and their successors—tyler and fillmore—didn't get reelected. tyler, a southerner, later supported the confederacy, while fillmore, a northerner, opposed lincoln during the war.

similar short sight shows in today's draconian effort to criminalize immigration infractions. it would likely force local government to arrest folk with expired visas, take up police officers' valuable time, fill already crowded jails to overflowing, and make states pay to enforce federal law.

it's really a question of motivation: folk enter illegally because it's so hard to get in legally; those who come here lawfully but overstay their visas do so because it's too hard to renew visas or to come back once they go home. we've been motivating them to break our immigration laws.

in the not too distant future we'll need more immigrants: as boomers retire at a rising pace, they won't stop consuming, and productivity won't grow fast enough to replace them. who's going to do the work they've been doing? who's going to care for them when they get old and sick? immigrants on payrolls will also pay into the social security and medicare trust funds.

what we need to do is find a nonpunitive, nonthreatening way to discourage folk from crossing borders illegally or letting visas expire. if we turn them into criminals, where will they be when we need them? but if healthy, honest working people could come here lawfully and without unreasonable delays, why would they circumvent the law?

that leaves the problem of aliens taking jobs from citizens: sweat shops and other off-the-books jobs have to be stamped out; minimum wage must be raised and enforced. that should help americans compete and stop thinking of immigrants as foreign invaders.

then we've got to organize, because union members—whether citizens or not—are the only workers who can defend themselves against abusive employers to get good pay and working conditions.

o, say

if you can't sing the star-spangled banner in other languages, how do folk who don't know english find out what the words mean?

and if some folk do sing it in another language, how many years will they get in the slammer?

"global warming deniers borrowed their tactics, and even their scientists, from the tobacco industry"

Iraq Veteran Writes About 'A Soldier's Fight'

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

moussaoui: why a trial?

they had a guilty plea. why not just sentence him?

what a waste of taxpayers' money!

mission accomplished link