December 2007 Archives

Hullabaloo

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I first came across this by way of memeorandum then I found it again at Hullabaloo. To be honest, it is quite the scathing op ed. I have to say, it is about time they finally came right out and said what they've been hinting at for several months, if not longer. They have written very scathing op eds about each of the individual issues mentioned in this article. But what they have failed to do, until today, is tie it all together and make a general indictment against BushCo™.

Perhaps they were trying to implicitly point their readers in the right direction, and finally realized that explicit direction was needed. Who knows? I also don't know why they took so long, nor do I care. That they are finally making this statement is still a substantiation to the general consensus of left Blogstonia.

Update On Father

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I visited with my father at the Hospital yesterday. Turns out it is an obstructed bowel, which then caused a mild heart attack. My father is resting, though not easily, since his back precludes his ability to lay still in one position for more than a few minutes. Of course, this than sets of the alarm that he has stopped breathing. He is still breathing, it is just that the sensors on his body are not all that good. Anyway, that brings in the nurse, who chastise him, and force him onto his back. Then, a few minutes later, he moves again, and the whole process starts again.

Yep, that's my parental unit dad. Got's to love him.

The doctor initially felt confident that surgery could be avoided, which would be good, because his heart is not up the stress and strain. I was going to visit again today, but I was not moving too fast. Mom sent an email out earlier tonight, and I learned that he has two obstructions. He is going to have surgery tomorrow.

My Father Is In The Hospital

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It is Friday, which is the start of my 3 day weekend, and so I tend to take it easy. I sleep in, lounge about when I do get up, enjoying a fire, reading a book, and posting some entries on the ol' blog. I also ignore my phone, which today was easy to do since I left it on vibrate mode from yesterday. I have to have the ringer turned off for groups. It wouldn't look good for the counselor's phone to be interrupting an emotionally sensitive disclosure by one of my clients.

Anyway, around 9:00 PM I hear my phone vibrating away in the pocket of my jacket. It's The GirlFriend™, just checking in from work. After hanging up, I notice I missed a call and a voice message. Thinking it is probably just a message from The GirlFriend™, I check my voice mail.

It wasn't from The GirlFriend™, it was from my mother. She states they are air lifting my father to North Memorial Hospital. He has gotten worse since yesterday.

Now, I did not know dad was sick. No one called to tell me he was having problems. So, imagine the shock of discovering my father is so sick they have to air lift him to a hospital in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Yes, at this point I am starting to freak, a combination of fearing the loss of my father, and the shame of having not heard mom's message until 8 hours after she called.

CNN

A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

"This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they're supposed to do," said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.

As president, Bush has visited every state except Vermont.

The town meeting, an annual exercise in which residents gather to vote on everything from fire department budgets to municipal policy, requires about 1,000 signatures to place a binding item on the agenda.

The measure asks: "Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?"

You know, some of the things we take for granted today were once thought to be ridiculous back in the day. So, watch out, because this could be the crack.

Or not. It really does not matter. What happens, happens.

Naming Names

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The New York Times has an excellent flash presentation showing the number of times the candidates mentioned another candidate by last name. Just move your cursor over each person's name to see how many times the other mentioned them. The graphic shows-IMHO-just how threatened all the male candidates are of Hillary.

Guardian Unlimited

One of the contingency plans would involve US special forces, working in conjunction with Pakistan's military and intelligence services, to spirit away any weapons at imminent risk.

But the US cannot be confident that the Pakistan military would co-operate at such a time.

In spite of US aid to help with security, the Pakistan government has remained suspicious of US intentions, fearing that it might plant devices capable of neutralising the weapons.

As a result, Pakistan has withheld information about the location of all its arsenal and other specifics. Pakistan's nuclear scientists and technicians go to the US for training.

Just great. A nuclear armed country is going to hell in a hand basket, is turning paranoid, and as a result, brings the world closer to nuclear war. The End Of The World nut cases must be orgasming all over each other.

Bush to Veto Pentagon Funds Over Iraq Provision

New York Times

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, said it was "unfortunate that the administration failed to identify the concerns upon which this veto is based until after the bill had passed both houses on Congress and was sent to the president for signature." The senator said he was "deeply disappointed" at Friday's developments.

The bill is important to members of the military and their families, since it provides for a 3.5 percent pay raise for the troops and contains measures intended to improve the much-criticized health-care system for veterans. (Money for the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is provided for in separate legislation.)

Honestly, it is not about the possibility of lawsuits. It is about BushCo™ using it as an excuse instead of vetoing it over the 3.5% pay raise for the troops. These bastards are nothing, if not craven, in their efforts to undermine our troops. And since there is no simple fix to be had here-it will all have to go through the legislation process again, more pork barrel sections will be added, and the pay raise will be battled against. And if it is not successfully combated and makes it into the bill again, than another section will be used as an excuse to veto that version of the bill.


Now, if you will all excuse me, I have to put my conspiracy theorist back in his underground bunker complex.

The Eyes Have It!

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New York Times

With fury against the Musharraf government rising and many Bhutto supporters openly suggesting the government was behind the assassination, the Interior Ministry announced that it had intercepted a call that showed that Al Qaeda was responsible.
How convenient. Musharraf's government just happens to intercept a call after the assassination. What, they suddenly realized everything changed and are now working on giving protection to the political opposition? And this capacity at intercepting phone calls didn't exist before the assassination? I am suppose to buy all this bullshit?

Well, yes, if I was a farmer. Free fertilizer is always appreciated. But, I ain't no farmer, and they ain't to fertilizer company. Although, they sure are working hard for the job:

A spokesman for the ministry, Brigadier Javed Cheema, also made the surprising assertion that Ms. Bhutto died from striking her head on her car’s sunroof as she ducked after hearing gunfire, not from the shots themselves or shrapnel wounds from a suicide bomber’s explosion.
So, now the fatal gun shots she received are no longer fatal? Does anyone else besides me get the feeling she was executed after the fact? She was photographed entering her vehicle, after she had supposedly been shot, yet there is not any sign of blood, or indication of pain on her face. And she was seen afterwards waving to the crowd from the sunroof.

There are no clear, concise explanations. There are too many inconsistencies. This was not the work of Al Qaeda. This was the work of a clearly incompetent government which does not even know how to properly spread manure.
Yes, I have been remiss these last several weeks of stealing the code for Friday's Liberal Coalition Blog-a-round. Since I have internet access by way of a neighbor, I am taking the advantage and stealing it today:

Friday Blogaround
The last Liberal Coalition blogaround of the year.

- A Blog Around The Clock: victory for open access!
- archy defends his post on science and conservatism.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof on Mitt Romney and tyranny.
- Bloggg mourns Oscar Peterson.
- Collective Sigh on some true giving.
- Dohiyi Mir: the Pack expands.
- Echidne Of The Snakes on Benazir Bhutto.
- Iddybud Journal: It's still the Christmas season.
- Left Is Right: among other things, some interesting stuff buried in computer code.
- Lefty Side of the Dial: the countdown continues.
- Liberty Street: getting screwed on health care.
- Musing's musings recounts the holiday with a friend and a spectre of the past.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: find out what a matroyshka is.
- Rook's Rant borrows from a friend.
- rubber hose: got a map of Egypt?
- Scrutiny Hooligans has boots on the ground in New Hampshire for John Edwards
- SoonerThought on fair taxation.
- Speedkill with parting thoughts before vacation.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat with pictures.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation on who started the war on Christmas.
- T. Rex's Guide to Life continues the series on the nutsery of Ron Paul.
- The Invisible Library follows T. Rex with the blimp.
- WTF Is It Now?? on the Bush legacy.
- ...You Are A Tree: seasoned greetings.
Fear not: the blogaround will be back next year.

Labels:

Never fear, for my larcenist behavior shall return with next year's blog-a-round.

New York Times

RAWALPINDI, Islamabad — An attack on a political rally killed the Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto near the capital, Islamabad, Thursday. Witnesses said Ms. Bhutto was fired upon before the blast, and an official from her party said Ms. Bhutto was further injured by the explosion, which was apparently caused by a suicide attacker.
This will have long lasting implications for stability in the region, and the world. The GWOT just entered a new and darker phase.

Wow, Internet Connection At Home

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I guess I should point out that the last post and this one are from my dining room. It appears that a neighbor has an unsecured wireless network within range of my laptop. The GirlFriend™'s computer does not pick up the signal, probably because of it's age; it is four years old.

As to my connection, it's the first time ever that I have picked up on it. I suspect I am getting a momentary bit of luck, which will last only until the end of this evening, or sometime tomorrow. Either way, I am going to take advantage of the connection while it lasts. So, my posts my actually increase for the time being.

Woo Hoo!

Merry Belated Christmas

Yes, I am very aware that it has been 9 days since last I posted. I have been very busy with the holiday season. Not that it matters. At this point in time, blogging is not a high priority. Soon, though, I hope to be back to home based internet connection. So, until then, just remember to stick it to The Man.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Merry Christmas!

Turkish Planes Bomb Northern Iraq

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BBC News
Turkish warplanes have bombed suspected Kurdish rebel bases deep inside northern Iraq - in what appears the first time fighter jets have been used.

They targeted the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in areas near the border, officials said. The Turkish media said up to 50 planes were used.

And so it just keeps getting out of hand just a little bit at a time. Incremental mission creep until the world is engulfed in chaos beyond the norm.

The Arrogance Of Multi-nationals

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First of all, I am a Windows man. No question about it. Yet, the truth be told, I am only a Windows man because I can not afford the Macs. To get the same computing strength that I am use to with Windows machines, I would have to spend almost double. And the few half dozen readers of mine are more than aware of my financial condition.

Anyway, the truth be told, I am secretly envious of those whom own a Mac. I'd expound more about that envy, but it is for another day.

I am, however, going to step up and proclaim my deep, abiding disgust with the Microsoft Corporation. But, instead of making my case, let me highlight a portion of an email I got Friday from Completely Free Software.

The article also went over how Microsoft feels about the initial release of Vista, which occurred almost one year ago. According to Microsoft's corporate vice president Mike Sievert, the launch of Vista did not go as well as they thought it would. "Frankly, the world wasn't 100 percent ready for Windows Vista." [highlighting mine]
The world wasn't 100 percent ready for Windows Vista? What the hell happened to giving the customer what they wanted?  Faced with the failure of Vista to sell, instead of doing some soul searching, to see where they made mistakes, they blame the world. Now, that is arrogance in its most base form. And this is what disgusts be about Microsoft, and all Multi-national companies. Service has replaced greed. They honestly lost sight of supplying service to people, and simply look to pump out product for profit and greed.

Now, that all being said, I am not upset with Window's Vista. It works fine for me. But then, that's because I am use to Windows being buggy, and having quirks that are different from computer to computer. Anyway, for your pleasure, I've supplied the entire article that came with the email, under the fold.

Friday's Post

Well, I had an interesting couple of days. I attended a retreat hosted by my new employers. It was illuminating, and enjoyable. I look forward to the next retreat they throw. Currently, I am at the Hastings Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop. It's becoming a second home. I would steal some code from Mustang Bobby, but it's already Noon, and I've got little interest in doing so at this late of time. In fact, this post is more about just letting you know I am alive and well, having established a modest stance of being in the moment.

Of course, and as always, the moment's past, and I am looking to see what the next moment offers. Until then, I bid you all a fond farewell.

One For The Day

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Once again I am sitting in the Dunn Bros. Coffee shop, enjoying their exquisite wifi connection. I have to admit, I really hate not having internet access at home. It really does cut into my blogging time. I could do at least two, or three posts a day. But having to fit running to the coffee shop into my morning routine is a pain. So, I get here once ever three of four days, which is just not cool.

\Yeah, I know, where's the cheese and crackers. What can I say? Besides, haven't you heard? 1961 is supposedly a vintage year for whine...., err, wine, that is.\

Anyway, I've gotten most of my internet business done, except for two bills I am about to pay online, so I thought I'd type out a quick post.

I can tell I've not been working with my laptop much, because I am hitting the wrong keys all the time, having grown accustom to the keyboard at my new job.

Oh, and yeah, the new job is going great. I am liking the atmosphere quite nicely. And I am oh so ever grateful to be able to go home to my family after the work day is complete.

So, you all have a great end of the weekend day, and I'll try to post again during the week.

Oh, also, thanks Mustang, it was most definitely appreciated! And a nod towards Norwegianity for the link.

Lack Of Connection

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Well, I have managed to save my home from foreclosure, for the moment. What I have not been able to do is get enough money to get caught up on the cable bill. As such, I do not see any internet connection for my house into the foreseeable future. Therefore, I will continue to struggle with any consistent posting. I am on a quick break between paperwork, and am not going to make a habit of posting while on the job. It just ain't right. So, until a rich benefactor deposits loads of money into the PayPal account (Donate button on the right--it's gold so it's easy to see) or I can finally manipulate my budget enough to pay of the $500.00 owed on the cable bill, please be patient with my level of posting.

They Just Don't Stop

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So, the NIE of last January actually states Iran stopped their Nuclear Weapons program as far back as 2003. Interesting. Yet, for the last 11 months we have heard non-stop from the White House about Iran's threat to our security. Well, you have to give the White House some credit. At least they are rattling their sabers at a country that stopped their weapons program within the last half decade. The first time, the country they claimed was developing nuclear weapons, stopped their program over 10 years earlier.

Banks may freeze subprime

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McClatchy

WASHINGTON — A coalition of major banks with exposure to problem subprime mortgages is finalizing a plan to freeze hundreds of thousands of adjustable-rate home loans at low introductory rates. That would prevent the loans from adjusting to much higher rates, which could trigger mass defaults and foreclosures. Should subprime ARMs reset, many homeowners could be forced into costly foreclosure proceedings that could prevent a rebound of slumping local housing markets and spread to other industries, potentially even tipping the economy into recession.
I've got my fingers crossed. I wouldn't mind if my loan's rate wouldn't increase. However, I am not sure if my mortgage is even subprime. I think it is, because it was insured through some government program. But I am not sure about that.
Alternet

The gutting of public mental health services began with Reagan, first in California where he closed state-funded mental health facilities. As president he cut aid for federally-funded community-run mental health programs. The result: thousands of more homeless people in California and nationwide and a spike in the prison population. The New York Times recently reported that despite a rapid rise in the suicide rate in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city has half of its psychiatrists, social workers and mental health care workers.
I remember when the policies of Ronald Reagan began impacting Minnesota. I had just sobered up during the final stages of shuttering the Minnesota State Hospital system. The people I knew who worked in government jobs, mainly social workers, and the counselors in the addiction field, complained loudly that the services for the people they helped were suddenly, and unceremoniously, cut.

Throughout my career as a chemical dependency counselor I have watched helplessly as people were thrown in jail and prison for behaviors associated with their mental illness and addiction. These people were not criminals. If they were treated for their mental illness, or their addictions, they would not commit the crimes that put them in jail. And usually, the amount of services, and time spent in the facilities now closed down, were shorter, and of less cost then the time, and costs, of jail.

Today, instead of the reduced costs of treatment and housing in the State Hospital systems, they are housed, and not treated, in a far more expensive prison system. So, after being "rehabilitated" in prison, they are released into a society they are not capable of navigating, resort to their old behaviors, and are returned to jail or prison. As a result, they are a more costly economic strain on society.

The Morning in America, described as bright and prosperous by Reagan in 1984 has become a dismal afternoon for the poor and powerless.
New York Times

Some legal experts and defense lawyers said the judge’s order, issued on Oct. 15 without public disclosure, underscored the gap between military commission procedures and traditional American rules that the accused has a right to a public trial and to confront the witnesses against him.

Defense lawyers say the order would hamper their ability to build an adequate defense because they cannot ask their client or anyone else about prosecution witnesses, making it difficult to test the veracity of testimony.

The order, the documents show, followed a request by military prosecutors who said they feared terrorist retaliation against witnesses who appeared at Guantánamo proceedings.

“It is conceivable, if not likely, that Al Qaeda members or sympathizers could attempt to target witnesses,” a prosecutor, Maj. Jeffrey D. Groharing of the Marines, wrote to the judge, Col. Peter E. Brownback III of the Army.

The Armed Services are charged with the responsibility of defending the Constitution of the United States. I know this because I remember raising my right hand and swearing to defend the Constitution when I entered the Navy. It makes no sense that the pending commissions are not going to follow the rules of justice derived from the very constitution the military is charged with defending. It makes a mockery of all the values for which our country stands.

Not that I am surprised by this development. The fascist administration currently ensconced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have made no effort to hide their disdain for even the most basic of human rights, the very spirit of the Bill of Rights in our constitution. So, when foreign nationals are being held for trail, it goes without saying they are given even less consideration for their legal rights, let alone their human rights. But then, what do you expect from a cabal of arrogant neo-aristocrats whose legacy stretches as far back as the 1930's and the funding of the Nazi Party.

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