November 30, 2004

Fun With Movable Type

from - smijer

It should be readily apparent, if you're one of the three regulars visiting this site, that the format has been re-worked. All of the changes should be obvious. The only ones that require explanation are the oddly empty side-bars on the archive pages and the removal of the gravatars.

The empty sidebars on the archive pages are a little bit mysterious. When the full sidebar is included with each archive page, the server returns the ominous "500" error. I'm assuming that this is my hosting services way of telling me that there is only so much processor power available to Movable Type for constructing these pages from the templates, and that I was overloading it. So, for now there are going to be goofy empty sidebars. Or maybe permanently.

Back in August, I installed Gravatars. I am dissatisfied with them now, because I have tried changing my image (without changing the e-mail address that I use) and it doesn't seem to take. So I've decided to just put the table image in it's place and call it a "univar". Har har.

I hope you enjoy the new look and feel. I think I do, and Buck seems to agree. I'll be posting intermittently for the rest of the week, since I plan to be tres busy.

Oh yeah... if you get a chance, check out the other project I've been working on lately. Don't miss the gadgety event calendar or the news letter. Every bit of it powered by the inestimable Movable Type blog engine. Ain't that grand?

Posted by smijer at 09:46 AM | Comments (1)

Goin' for the record

from - Buck

As the media continues to track the dying soldiers in Iraq much the same way they track strike outs in a baseball game Neal Boortz reminds us that our “sacrifice” has been negligible. I am always amused at the cheers that come from our armchair warriors. There are many who will attempt to put a gun in “my” hand so they can boast about how brave “we” are.

Meanwhile, to little fanfare, the Pentagon released a report that dispels the myth that “they hate us because we are free” but I would be willing to bet that the next time Dick Cheney makes a public appearance he will continue to chant that mantra.

Some things never change.

Posted by Buck at 09:41 AM | Comments (7)

November 28, 2004

E Tu, William Kristol?

from - Buck

Well, the first article I read upon returning to the hills of North Georgia concerns an interesting development in regards to our current Secretary of Defense.

The arrogance of Donald Rumsfeld is all we have going for us. There is no way he would ever admit to a mistake and putting more "boots on the ground" in his opinion would be admitting to a mistake.

The architects of the war in Iraq have long been aggravated at Rumsfeld because of his unwillingness to use "overwhelming force". Because after all, "Iraq is the tactical pivot. Saudi Arabia is the strategic pivot. Egypt is the prize."

This gang has about two years to finish implementing their world vision. They are going to have to work quickly.

Posted by Buck at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004

Friday Dog

from - smijer

Mrs. Smijer got these:

doo4.JPG

Now into the Ark and Happy Friday!

Posted by smijer at 07:11 AM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2004

Something Else to Be Thankful For

from - smijer

It's Thanksgiving Day. Here's something I can be thankful for: that I have to work. That means I won't be at a dinner table somewhere and be informed that liberals are trying to ban the Declaration of Independece from school because of its reference to "the Creator".

I can sympathize with the fellow in the comments who said:

Passive-aggressive fascists. Now that I write it, it sounds weird but accurate - they always want to be the victims. Being a victim makes it easier to whip up more rage, more hate, more distortion of anything that might be good about Christianity.

I've always marveled at how deeply religions generally, and religious radicals especially, are able to embed themselves in a society's consciousness, and at how much control they are able to exert over people's thinking and their ways of life. I've always marveled at how this isn't enough for them, and that they will not be satisfied unless they are able to openly put the power of government under religious control. What's most amazing at all is that they, an overwhelmingly powerful super-majority, is expects to be (and usually are) taken seriously when they are playing "victim".

Posted by smijer at 01:51 PM | Comments (1)

Thanksgiving Wishes from a Liberal Democrat

from - smijer

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May we continue to find more to be thankful for: more equality, tolerance, and social justice, more economic opportunity, fewer children in poverty and without adequate health care, more seniors whose needs are met, more scientific curiosity and discovery, coupled with less abuse to the natural environment that we are blessed with, and a future with much less unnecessary war.

I'm grateful for the progress that has been made in all of these areas by liberal-minded people and their allies over the course of the twentieth century, and while there is little cause for optimism over the short run in the United States, I think we can all be hopeful that there will be further progress over the long run.

Happy Thanksgiving now and in future years.

Posted by smijer at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

from - Buck

Well guys the holidays are upon us and I am officially on my way to spend them with my in-laws. I’ll be in your great state of Tennessee for the next few days. I’ll be in Rhea County (the gays in Rhea stay mainly out of the way, remember?). Spring City to be exact. It is only 180 miles from my driveway to theirs but it is always a miserable trip. There is just no good way to get to East Tennessee from Northeast Georgia. I know because I have tried them all.

My wife has spent the entire day dressing the house up in its annual Christmas attire. Having spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together for the past 23 years we have managed to accumulate more holiday widgets and doo-dads than we have storage for. Once we get them all pulled out of storage and placed in all of the rooms in the house it is a site to see. Our kitchen, living room and bedrooms all look like the gift section in a Cracker Barrel restaurant. While I am thankful for all that I have I wonder sometimes if it is appropriate to revel in what clearly has been my own debauchery.

I’ll check back with you guys when I return. For the next few days I will not have any access whatsoever to the Internet and in a way I am glad. It will be fun to have a change in scenery and in situation.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you all have plenty to eat and many to love. I hope all of your football teams win (unless they are playing mine) and most of all I hope that we are one day closer to learning how to resolve disputes without having to kill each other.

We can and someday we will.

Posted by Buck at 10:13 PM | Comments (1)

The Joys of Democracy

from - Buck

It was been more than entertainment to follow the election results in the Ukraine. Obviously the elections did not go to suit us so it is impossible that the results were valid. Powell is wringing his hands about the injustice of it all and Justin Raimondo has a great column about it today over at his place.

It makes you wonder why we just don't appoint the leaders that we want in power and cut out the song and dance routine. All of this protest from, as Raimondo says

a country whose leader got into office on the strength of a hanging chad and a single vote on the Supreme Court.
does seem to get a bit disingenuous at times.

When election time in Iraq rolls around you can bet we won't have any of this kind of embarrassment. Our guy will win overwhelmingly. Just wait and see.

Posted by Buck at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2004

I'm Proud of District 3

from - smijer

Not much positive to say about the politics of my little Tennessee district, and I realize this is "old news", but I can at least say with pride that our Congressman was one of the Shay's Handful.

It was on an early morning drive, just after the rule change that I heard Zach Wamp say, "It sends all the wrong signals for us to change the current rules."

In other news, *chuckle*.

Posted by smijer at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2004

Two sides to every story

from - Buck

I’m having lots of fun listening to the right leaning talk shows paint Kevin Sites as an “anti-war” photographer. For all who get their news solely from Limbaugh, Hannity and Fox here is Kevin’s side of the story in his own words.

So the next time you hear someone on television or the radio smear Kevin Sites as being a coward with an agenda just remember what he has to say about things.


Posted by Buck at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

Palestine

from - smijer

During my morning news roundup, I clicked on this article from the invaluable Google News page. It was headlined: Palestinians gird for democracy - Vote for president could be first free ballot in Arab world. My initial (admittedly ironic) reaction was, "impossible! We don't have any marines there!" Continuing along these lines as I read the opening paragraphs. I was thinking to myself, "so what are the Republicans going to say if the Palestinians show themselves more able than Bush for bringing about Democracy in the Middle East?"

Then I saw the answer. Literally. I read it in the article. The answer is that Bush is going to try to take credit for the progress:

President Bush said that Arafat's departure created "a great chance to establish a Palestinian state, and I intend to use the next four years to spend the capital of the United States on such a state."

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Despite the fact that Bush has been all but completely absent from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for the last four years, he's going to try to wrangle credit for it should Palestine do the unthinkable, and settle down into a legitimate and democratic state (not that I'm all that optimistic on this point!). If there is one thing I know about the right-wing propaganda machine it is this: it will be effective enough that their followers will beleive it like it was gospel. I'm beginning to see Bush less as a leader who inspires religious people and more of a religious figure in his own right. And, in that light, I guess it makes sense why I find Jr.'s visage so much more frightening than Bush I, or Reagan's Ford's, or Nixon's...

So Bush is going to "spend" our "capital" for the purpose of bringing about a Palestinian democracy. Right? He must think that 51% of the rest of the world voted for him, too. Hint to the Bush adminitration: you might have enough capital here at home for a new boat and a glance at our IRS returns. You already spent the U.S. capital of internatinal support and friendship. You traded our birthright for a bowl of Iraq stew. The capital is gone. It isn't like the Federal budget - you cannot borrow capital indefinitely. When you are out, you have to start earning more. You've already spent our surplus of good-will around the world, and borrowed heavily against our military might. It's time to start earning back and paying back.

Maybe you can start by humbly offering American cooperation with others who are interested in seeing a peaceful outcome in Israel and Palestine.

Posted by smijer at 07:54 AM | Comments (2)

November 21, 2004

Not Without My Bodyguard! (or is Republicanism really a dead ideology powered by its sycophancy to itself?)

from - smijer

Pandagon Jesse has lumped all the Weekly World Star goodness from this weekend's Ruling Party's hijinks into a single post, closing with a snarky but accurate summary of practically the entire right-wing ideologuery.

It seems the usual suspects (the ones who gazed most fixedly and admiringly on the President during his codpiece moment) are getting equally sweaty over his sense of entitlement and macho-man diplomacy in Chile.

Bush is such a great president, he deserves to buy himself a yacht with my money.

Posted by smijer at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2004

Have a good weekend!

from - Buck

Now that Smijer has made ya'll mad here is a little something to make you sad (or maybe glad, whichever the case may be). These are some photo's from Falluja. Some are quite graphic but it truly is as Jefferson said

There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.

And finally here is some light reading you might enjoy (in case it rains this weekend and you have nothing else to do)

Ya'll have a good weekend. Not much is going to change in the world between now and Monday I'm sure!

Posted by Buck at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

Get Mad

from - smijer

Go, read this. Get mad. Every one of those snakes in the grass knows that DeLay's associates were caught laundering illegal contributions to finance the Texas redistricting effort. Every one of them knows that DeLay was the driving force behind the redistricting effort. There is absolutely no grounds for believing his impending indictment is "political". This one comes straight out of the playbook. Someone (from our side or theirs) calls out a Republican for misbehavior and the only response you will get from those snakes in the grass is an attempt to smear the accuser and label his whistle-blowing as a "partisan political attack".

My blood pressure is up now. I'm going to sign off for the weekend. I hope.

Posted by smijer at 08:07 AM | Comments (1)

Friday Dog

from - smijer

The outside dog complained:

talking.JPG

that smijer was consistently giving the inside dogs all the Friday glory. We immediately moved to rectify the situation.

bingo2.JPG

Happy Friday, and don't forget the the Ark.


Posted by smijer at 07:11 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2004

Moral Values!

from - smijer

Well, man on man sex isn't illegal yet, but bend over and grab your ankles anyway, because here comes a big ole serving of those moral values we voted for!

Posted by smijer at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

War for Oil or Rape Rooms?

from - smijer

In the comments of the last post, Buck made a couple of comments that really boiled down the essence of the "debate" over Iraq, but that bear some further discussion.

Part One: The Bush administration did make a lot of noise about "rape rooms" and "human shredders" in Saddam's Iraq. Buck asks, how can we be sure, reminding us of the existence of propaganda. Unfortunately, while this is a good point, the atrocities in question were documented fairly well by human rights groups before they became part of the Bush propaganda machine, and there is very likely some truth to them. More unfortunately still, the real question isn't whether these things happened in Saddam's Iraq. The real question is does anybody really care?

As I and others have pointed out many times before, the Bush administration has excellent relationships with dictators who have similar records of atrocities.

The U.S. has an unofficial policy of hiring out its own torture work to places like Syria.

Are these kinds of atrocities a legitimate cassus belli? If so, will we have civil war over Abu Ghraib, Camp X-Ray, or Passaic County Jail? No. We won't even vote out the ruling party under whose watch these things took place, much less take up arms against them. We will smile and nod while the person is promoted to Attorney General who helped create a legal framework where suspects (including American citizens) could be held indefinitely without charges, without contact with the outside world, and without the protections of the Geneva convention. We will celebrate that the people will remain in power who created an atmosphere where jailers of Prisoners of War were only accountable in one instance because of the courage of a low-ranking whistle-blower. (Four more years!)

So, no. Nobody really thinks that war is the first, best response to that kind of violation of human rights - even the people who so want to love and admire the president that they are willing to accept the rumored rape rooms and human shredders as justification for this war.

Part two: Is the Iraq war about blood for oil? To a lot of my friends in the center and on the right, the idea seems ridiculous. To me, it seems somewhat unlikely. But, I remember reading an extremely popular novel written in the Cold War. It was written by Tom Clancy, and called "Red Storm Rising". Maybe you've heard of it, or read it. In it, the author lays out a very plausible-seeming scenario where the Soviets start World War Three for one reason and one reason only: to secure middle eastern oil for their own economy. Now, the Soviets were very famous for their propaganda, but we aren't so bad at it ourselves, and to my friends in the center or on the right, I say this: how plausible war-for-oil will seem depends partly on how willing you are to believe bad things about the people who start the war.

To my friends on the left, and anti-war conservatives who share their view that this war was fought for oil: it's worth remembering that our inability to think of a plausible alternative is not, by itself, evidence that "war for oil" is true. And, in fact, stability of the Middle East for American oil companies was only one of the goals of the PNAC, the architects of the war. They really did believe that planting a western style government in the Middle East (at the point of a gun) would produce a "Domino Effect" on the rest of the region and help make the world more secure and improve the lives of people in that region. Yes, it was a stupid theory, and no - it wasn't worth the blood that has been spilt in order to test it. But there is reason to believe that might have been part of the motivation for this war as well.

To sum up, I think it damages our credibility, and isn't being as careful with the facts as we should be, to make the blanket assertion that the war is being fought for oil and only for oil.

Posted by smijer at 07:37 AM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2004

You mean somebody was killed?

from - Buck

I am bewildered by all of the hoopla that has been stirred up due to the killing of a wounded and supposedly unarmed Iraqi. (For those who have not seen it and would like to here is the video. It requires Window Media Player)
Conservative estimates put the number of unarmed, defenseless Iraqi citizens killed since the start of this invasion and occupation at or about 15,000. Of course I have seen figures of up to 100,000.

I guess it is as Stalin once said. The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is just a statistic.


Posted by Buck at 03:57 PM | Comments (6)

If you aren't too stupid

from - smijer

Go help Gunner & his wife register some outrage. (Wives, mothers... that means click the words that are underlined in blue.)

Posted by smijer at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)

Moral Values?

from - Buck

Frank Rich absolutely nailed it Sunday with his piece in The New York Times. This should be a must read for all of those red-state voters out there.

Posted by Buck at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)

Me, too

from - smijer

I'm a reform Democrat, too...

Matter of fact, my half of this blog is a reform blog.

Too bad we as a nation have endorsed the radical tack that Bush and friends have put the Republican party on. Between the two, it was them that needed reform the more badly. It's the propaganda war that the Democrats are losing, but the real loss is to American civilization, that it has come to this.

Posted by smijer at 09:57 AM | Comments (5)

November 15, 2004

The line it is drawn / the curse it is cast

from - Buck

Come gather 'round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin' Then you better start swimmin' Or you'll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin'.

The times they are a changin’ in the Bush administration. The shake up going on at the CIA is of monumental proportions.John McCain calls the CIA a “rogue agency” and one can only assume that a “rogue agency” is one that refuses to march in lock step with this administration.
The loss of Colin Powell is particularly disheartening even though it was completely expected. Up until his embarrassing appearance in front of the United Nations he had been one of the few voices of reason in an administration driven more by ideology than fact. It is unfortunate that he will be remembered as one who simply towed the party line rather than one who courageously stood up for what he knew was right.

Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin And there's no tellin' who That it's namin'. For the loser now Will be later to win For the times they are a-changin'.

The Bush administration now has no system of checks and balances. The administration is successfully surrounding itself with yes men who know exactly what to say and when to say it.

We can only hope………..

Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled There's a battle outside And it is ragin'. It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls For the times they are a-changin'
Posted by Buck at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2004

Say "no" to Guantanamo Gonzales

from - smijer

Of course Democrats need to be making noise about Gonzales and his thoughts about the "quaintness" of the Geneva conventions and Presidential authority to ignore them, and about his role in the Texas execution mill, and in defending Enron. But wouldn't it be awesome if they were also making noise about a positive alternative?

Let's remind people what they could have had. Let's get a vocal campaign going to vote "no" for Gonzales confirmation (don't filibuster - we want Republican Senators on record voting for him), and to vote "yes" for John F. Kerry. Instead of Abu Ghraib Alberto Gonzales for A.G., we could have:

  • An experienced prosecutor
  • A seasoned investigator who exposed government involvement in drug traffickin as part of Reagan's effort to finance the Nicarauguan Contra terrorists
  • Someone who recognized the threat of terrorism and moved to shut down a terrorist money laundering bank, while the rest of the government was still in the "arms for hostages" mode of thinking.

    Come 'on George, when were we gonna get some of that healin'?!

    Posted by smijer at 05:20 PM | Comments (2)
  • Friday Dogs

    from - smijer

    nap.JPG

    More in the Friday Ark...

    Posted by smijer at 07:42 AM | Comments (0)

    November 11, 2004

    Politics with Social Security

    from - smijer

    I don't have the links, but Atrios has done a number of good posts on the consequences of privatizing social security. The upshot of it is that privatizing social security a la' Bush's plan does nothing less than castrate the effectiveness of the program for its intended purpose: providing a small but guaranteed income to seniors who no longer work. The trade off is the same as any "increased risk investment" - it trades the "security" for the chance of increased return. And, as Atrios notes, the institution of private accounts will eventually give way to options for early withdrawal, making these accounts closer and closer to purely optional benefits. In other words, the final picture might look the same if we simply repealed social security (or decreased the benefit), and let people handle their own retirement savings.

    Now, there are a group of people who actually want that - they are the ones that dreamed up the current initiative. They are what I call the "tunnel vision capitalists" - those who think that most socialist programs are bad, and should be replaced with a capitalist alternative. Some think this should only apply to (individual) welfare, others social security, public education, and/or police and fire departments. The extreme view is that the military is the only valid socialist program. Without this group, no one would be making moves toward "privatizing" social security.

    I think, however, that even this group of "tunnel vision capitalists" feels we have to pay back the benefits that have already accrued to today's seniors and the rest of the working people who have payed into the system already. That means that whatever money is diverted from the payroll tax to private accounts now will have to be replaced to pay the remaining SS benefits already owed. So, $2 trillion dollars has to be found.

    I humbly suggest that there should be a huge political cost to be payed if Bush attempts to charge this $2 trillion to the national credit card. Sure, we may not have the clout to hold up the bill until it is payed for. But we can still shout it from the rooftops, that we are tired of saddling our children with the costs of our decisions. If Bush cannot identify $2 trillion dollars in the budget in programs he is willing to cut to pay for it, then he must give up some of his tax cuts. If he uses his muscle to pass it without paying for it, then we should get just as loud and hysterical as the wingnuts under Newt Gingrich's direction got back in 1994.

    And in that noise, there needs to be another clear message: that under the privatized social security plan, there will eventually come a time when the bottom drops out of the stock market and a generation of seniors are going to be left with no income (or income reduced by whatever amount was privatized out of the old system). We need to be sure that everybody understands that this is not just a possibility, but an inevitability. Just so they know what their representatives in congress are helping Bush accomplish.

    I'm just sayin'.

    Posted by smijer at 11:37 AM | Comments (4)

    November 09, 2004

    Where to Start?

    from - smijer

    The Morning Press doesn't have permalinks. To me, that's permission to quote whole posts. I'll try to discipline myself and just excerpt the most jaw-dropping portions:

    Don't tell me you "don't believe in evolution." Turn on the television on Sunday afternoon. Look at the football teams there. Do you remember when offensive lineman Bob Brown used to get sent home from training camp with the Los Angeles Rams in the late 1960's until he got his weight down under 300 pounds? They wanted him at 240, but accepted him at 273.

    If you're 240 pounds today, you'd be laughed off the offensive line. You can't even be an offensive lineman unless you're 300 pounds.

    My son is bigger, stronger and faster than I was at his age 30 years ago. I'm bigger, strong, faster and a whole lot smarter than my grandfather.

    We evolve. People evolve, ideas evolve -- everything evolves. You believe in evolution. You're a part of it everyday .

    Now the theory of evolution as the origin of species has massive, gaping holes in it. Anybody who argues defensively that it doesn't has no credibility. I get just as frustrated at the closed-minded, defensive, narrow-minded people on that side of the evolution-versus-creation argument as I do those with tunnel vision on the religious side.

    Wow. Now, I know that not too many radio stations require high marks in high school biology for consideration as a talk show host, but surely these people can be expected to acquaint themselves with the issues they want to talk about before they get on the air? I have a good mind to call the station and throw down the gauntlet.

    For anybody that might be reading this and thinking, "what's he so upset about?"... let me break it down, relying on the handy-dandy Talk Origins archive for help.

    The variation in physical strength between the Morning Show host (Jeff?) and his son is the sort of variation upon which natural selection can act at the population level. However, it represents "evolution" only in the most generic English-language sense of the word. Yes, we witness "evolution" in some sense in our daily lives. No, that isn't the kind of evidence that should convince us of the accuracy of the neo-darwinian synthesis (aka the standard model).

    There is plenty of evidence for the standard model. Here are 29+ classes of evidence that should convince a modern skeptic that the "holes" in evolution as an explanation for "the origin of species" are actually quite small - that is, there is virtually no room for doubt - at least as far as the "big picture" is concerned. Scientists themselves were swayed long ago, based on their own studies of an overwhelming array of evidence, far too massive to be boiled down to a simple internet web-page.

    Yes, there are unanswered questions. No, an unanswered question does not, by itself, produce a "hole". The real credibility gap is lop-sided. This isn't an issue for artificial "balance". There is a scientifically correct side, and a scientifically incorrect side. The lack of credibility lies with those who pontificate without understanding the issue they are discussing.

    Posted by smijer at 09:25 PM | Comments (13)

    So Much for Our Comic Relief

    from - smijer

    The Crisco Kid is quittin'. I guess no more "Poetic Justice" department.

    Posted by smijer at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

    Amen Brother

    from - smijer

    Commentary from Paul Myers about the odd conservative habit of being eager to dish it out, but unwilling to take it.

    Where I live, I hear about how awful liberals are for "wanting bigger government", raising taxes on people, and in general just being too darned liberal. A lot of people around here actually expect me ashamed to be liberal. They use the word pejoratively. But they very seldom have a substantial criticism.

    Sure, liberals tend also to be Democrats - meaning that they use the machinery of democracy to create a system of social justice and responsibility. That's "big government". Republicans want "small government" - in other words, they want to limit the amount of social responsibility that the people (who the government is, at least in theory, accountable to) can impose on themselves. So, in that sense, they want less social responsibility and less social justice. But, why is that a criticism of liberals?

    More to the point, what good ideas have the neo- (or even paleo-) conservatives brought to the table? What have they accomplished in their last four years, in which they have controlled at least one of the legislative chambers and the White House? What good are they doing? Why, exactly, should we be glad about four more years of their rule? I'm serious. Post your answers in the comments, if you have some specifically Republican specific accomplishment in mind that justifies the enthusiasm that I see from some of their supporters.

    Posted by smijer at 06:03 PM | Comments (2)

    Bush and Rumsfeld

    from - Buck

    After George Bush told Pat Robertston that there would be no casualties during the invasion and occupation of Iraq I worried about his sanity.

    Now we have Donald Rumsfeld stating that there will be few civilian casualties in Falluja.

    I guess that all depends on how many you consider to be "a few"

    And since we don't do body counts we will never know with any degree of certainty how many are dying daily.

    Wouldn't it be great if Cheney and Rumsfeld and Zell Miller were all committed to a nursing home together where they could play Stratego 24 hours a day, 7 days per week?

    That way they could feed their insatiable appetite for global domination without getting other people killed.

    Posted by Buck at 10:18 AM | Comments (1)

    New to the BlogRoll

    from - smijer

    Alternative Energy ~ Renewable Energy is a great energy blog. Folks, oil prices are on a rocket-ship to low earth orbit. They are not coming back down. Economically speaking, alternative energy is an idea whose time has come (whereas environmentally speaking, the issue is so ripe it now hosts a variety of maggoty life forms inside it's dripping skin). The silver lining of our now-permanent fuel crisis is that it we may have reached that critical point where the economic burden will deliver that crucial kick to American consciousness and get some R & D dollars flowing.

    (edited for grammar and clarity)

    Posted by smijer at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

    November 08, 2004

    Goodnight

    from - smijer

    My final thought for the day. I've been reading some of the wisdom of Mark Twain over the last hour, and I've come firmly to this conclusion. If he had lived today, he might not have been a Democrat, but he by all means would have voted with them in this election.

    Posted by smijer at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)

    The one fingered victory salute

    from - Buck

    For roughly half of the country

    Posted by Buck at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

    In Anticipation of the "Will of the People" and the Whine that Democrats are Blocking It with Their Filibusters

    from - smijer

    Attention Republicans that happen across this blog:

    A 3% majority is not a unanimous vote. A slim majority of the people elected a Republican president and a slim majority of states sent republican Senators and Congressmen to Washington. There were 56 million of us who voted against that Republican president. There are still quite a few Democratic Senators and Congressmen, sent by people who support the Democratic agenda, and a lot of the Republicans got there without carrying their state or district unanimously. That means that Democrats and people who support the Democratic agenda or oppose the more radical elements of the Republican agenda are part of "the people", and our will is a large element of the "will of the people".

    Without cloture rules that allow filibuster and other procedural checks on majority power, a single party rule government such as we have now would completely silence the will of nearly half of "the people". So, when the minority steps up to the plate and represents this nearly half of "the people" who are not currently represented by a majority in government, please, for Pete's sake, shut up with your whines about "blocking the will of the people." We are going to rally behind every Democratic fillibuster, every alliance with Republican moderates to support our agenda or oppose theirs, and every moderate Republican that switches parties to help strengthen the minority opposition. And if you whine about stopping the will of the people, we are going to get very vocal with our 56 million voices and remind you that we are people, too.

    Thank you, and good day.

    Posted by smijer at 07:43 AM | Comments (1)

    November 05, 2004

    A Brief Word about John Kerry

    from - smijer

    Ok, I was never the most ardent supporter of John Kerry. I was even downright hostile to him when he was waging a primary fight against my candidate. But watching him in the campaign, the debates, his testimony before the senate in the '70's, his debate on the Dick Cavett show, his senate career (including his navigation of the Iraq resolution), and his unfortunate concession speech, I am sold. Not only by comparison to junior, he had the makings of a great leader. His backbone wasn't an invention for the media spin cycle: it was real. He relieved me of the unfortunate misconception that a political sense was incompatible with the courage of one's convictions by showing that a person of his stature could maintain his principles while avoiding the pitfalls of fighting the wrong political battles at the wrong time.

    Furthermore, Kerry is the second ranking presidential candidates in the number of votes cast for him in American history, and that's nothing to sneeze at. I guess my ironic prediction ("John Kerry, if still in the race, still doesn't get it") of nearly a year ago, was wrong. He did get it. And, barring the ascent of an even more qualified candidate, he has my support in the 2008 primary should he choose to run.

    Posted by smijer at 10:49 PM | Comments (3)

    Troglodytes!

    from - smijer

    Four more years of hate as the number one family value!

    Hate Is a Family Value

    Celebrate four more years! Hate can be an electoral winner, too!

    celebrate hate!

    Posted by smijer at 01:27 PM | Comments (13)

    Friday Dog Blogging

    from - smijer

    peepee.JPG

    And the Modulator, as usual has the Ark... well they was green alligators and long-necked geese, some humpty back camels and chimpanzees...

    Posted by smijer at 07:23 AM | Comments (1)

    November 04, 2004

    Morality or Hypocrisy?

    from - Buck

    The Boston Globe takes issue with Southern claims of hyper-morality.

    And Jeffrey Tucker over at Lew's Blog has this amusing definition......

    MORAL VALUES: what voters tell pollsters they care about when unemployment is at 5.4%, the stock market is rising, the Fed is holding interest rates at 1%, and no one has the stomach to look at the massacre being carried out in a foreign land by their own government.

    Posted by Buck at 03:09 PM | Comments (5)

    For those interested...

    from - Buck

    Here is a site that shows the county by county results from the last election (the infamous red and blue map)

    Posted by Buck at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)

    Orange Jumpsuits with Nothing Inside

    from - smijer

    Four more years of detention without charge, trial, or contact with a lawyer or family!
    fmyguan.jpg

    fmyguan2.jpg

    Celebrate four more years of American justice. Guilty until proven innocent, I say!

    celeb1.jpg

    Posted by smijer at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

    November 03, 2004

    Oh the gloating!

    from - Buck

    I hope Sean Hannity brought a damp cloth to the radio station with him today because he has had multiple orgasms during today’s program. The guy is absolutely beside himself. I have stopped counting how many times he has made the statement “Bush received more votes for him than any other President in history!”
    He has not yet mentioned the fact that more people voted against Bush yesterday than ever before in the history of Presidential elections.

    But the 56 million that voted against Bush are all just an aside for the Party of God. These guys have completely forgotten that pride cometh before a fall.

    The rough part of it is that when they fall they will fall on us.

    Posted by Buck at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

    His finest hour

    from - Buck

    I was so proud that Kerry conceded the election without all of the hullabaloo that would have surrounded "making sure that every vote was counted". Even though it is quite sickening to see and hear Bush the son revel in his victory the American people have spoken. To quote Mencken once again.......Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

    Posted by Buck at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

    Four More Years!

    from - smijer

    I'm going to do a series of posts celebrating four more years. I'll stop when I run out of things to celebrate, or the four years are up. Either way.

    Four More Years of War as a first resort
    dead.jpg

    Celebrate four more years of using warfare and the lives of others to test our neocon theories of creating democracy at gunpoint.

    fmy1.bmp

    Four more years!
    ... More to come.

    Posted by smijer at 01:24 PM | Comments (9)

    Who Are We?

    from - smijer

    I started off to write this post full of optimism and nationalistic platitudes. I had most of it written in my head, already. A sample: "even when we vote our fears, we are still a courageous people..." 11/2/04
    But, I stopped and asked myself: "is any of that true?" The realistic answer was not the optimistic answer. I think I began to admit that to myself when I started trying to find a way to tie "we are still a peaceloving people" to "even when we endorse unprovoked agression". It just doesn't work. We cannot sit back and say we are a lovely and innocent people while we still have fresh blood on our hands from the polling booth.

    I believe that we are losing our sense of our place in the world. Perhaps the arrogance of superpower has started to "trickle down" from the powerful elite to the nation at large, indolent in our wealth and privilege.

    I don't expect the historians to single out the 2004 election as a major milestone marking the beginning of the decline of the American way. I expect they will identify a plethora of small circumstances: the unprecedented wealth of the average citizen, or maybe the flight from reality that we take when we turn on "Fear Factor", and turn off the UNICEF commercials. Whatever the cause, I hope that it isn't too late for us to stop this mad descent and find the backbone we once had. And to the fifty five million people who came out to vote for that new backbone, I say thank you. We will keep trying to bring our countrymen around to see a realistic vision of a better America: one that is characterized by greater mutual care, a greater sense of responsibility, and a better sense of what role we must play in the world. We've lost another battle, but the war for the hearts and minds of Americans is still going on.

    Posted by smijer at 06:26 AM | Comments (31)

    November 02, 2004

    At Long Last, a Uniter

    from - smijer

    I believe that John Kerry will win this election, and I believe that he is a good choice - not just the lesser of two evils as I have thought and stated before. Though I still hang on to some of my treasured pseudo-sophisticated ironic detachment from Kerry, I do have to recognize the political skill and deep understanding of the process that allowed him to navigate Dear Leader's war without committing the sin of completely capitulating to the neo-con agenda and still keeping credibility as a future leader in his own right. I have to recognize and admire the courage and determination with which he faced down the Nixon White House, the popular Reagan, and the elder Bush (see the Rude Pundit's R-rated endorsement for details). I have to admire his ability to reach across the aisle and join forces with McCain to clear up the mystery surrounding American POWs in Vietnam and help so many Americans find closure. I support so many of the progressive policies he includes in his agenda, for health, for energy and conservation, for the environment, and labor. I support his view of America as leader of the world instead of enemy of the world.

    But I also have another secret hope. I remember when George Bush ran for president in 2000 thinking that one reason he was doing well in the polls was that he promised to be a uniter instead of a divider. We know now that this was a lie. We know he took a threadbare mandate and governed as though he had won every state. He pushed through his agenda of tax-cuts, then pushed more, deeper, and more radical tax-cuts. And more. He saw a brief moment after 9/11 when Americans were ready more than ever to unite, and when the world was ready to unite behind us. Finding this situation unsatisfactory, he moved as quickly as possible toward a divisive, contentious and controversial war.

    Can John Kerry unite the country? Can he reach out to Republicans and, while fulfilling the promises he has made to America and his constituency about his agenda, leave a little bit of room to compromise on the most contentious issues? I don't know that he can. I know that he will have an uphill battle to face, taking over a government that is in ruinous debt and a military embroiled in a near-unwinnable war. I know his name will be dragged through the mud by the Atwater/Gingrich/Rove tradition of the Republican smear machine. But might he surprise us all? Lord, I hope so.

    Posted by smijer at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

    Know your "enemy"

    from - Buck

    The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.

    I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.

    The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.

    The entire transcript of the most recent Bin Laden diatribe should be required reading for those who really want to know what is going on in the world and why.

    Is it illegal to be fascinated by this man?

    Posted by Buck at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

    D-day Hello

    from - smijer

    I go early to vote, and go to work to refresh the dkos front page every fifteen seconds in hopes of knowing the election result before CNN announces it next Thursday.

    Peace.

    Posted by smijer at 07:04 AM | Comments (0)

    November 01, 2004

    Is it too late?

    from - Buck

    To vote for Hillary?

    Posted by Buck at 08:19 AM | Comments (1)