Royally Kranked

Friday, April 28, 2006

Snuff Film Or Social Activism?

Interesting article in the LA Times today, a filmmaker had cameras rolling on the Golden Gate Bridge for a year, in an attempt to undersatnd the mindset of those who commit suicide by leaping from the structure

Of course, this had riled up a great many people

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Uproar Over Film of Golden Gate Suicides

For an entire year the cameras rolled, capturing death amid the eerie fog and shifting tides.

One by one, filmmaker Eric Steel documented the final moments of nearly two dozen despondent men and women, and the agonizing, four-second fall after they leaped off the Golden Gate Bridge, drawn by the span's tragic beauty.

His intent, he says, was to illuminate "the darkest corner of the human mind." If he watched enough people take their own lives, he thought, he could "spot the outward manifestations of their interior demons."

Steel says he too once considered suicide. "It's that Humpty Dumpty moment when it's all going to fall apart," he said. "For me and many others, it didn't come. For the people in this film, it did."

Undoubtedly, one's mental anguish is greatest when attempting suicide, a pain that's so overwhelming there seems no surcease possible except a permanent one

For myself, suicide was never an option for any of the rough spots for two reasons

There's no way I'd EVER want to give those who dislike me any reason to enjoy any pain I was going through-Basically, there was no way in Hell I'd give these fuckers the satisfaction of exulting my bestment

More importantly, there's no way I'd EVER put my family & friends through that kind of unimaginable grief, a true form of abuse of those who I love most

The film, "The Bridge" will open Sunday in San Francisco after playing at a film festival earlier in New York city

"This is like a newspaper carrying a front-page photo of someone blowing his head off; it's irresponsible, exploitative, voyeuristic, ghastly and immoral," said Mark Chaffee, president of Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network-California, who has not seen the movie. His 16-year-old son took his life in 1998.

"The phenomena of copycat suicides come from people just reading about this. Now we're showing it in full color on the big screen? That's just beautiful."

Chaffee's anger & pain aren't the only indicators the film set off a major tempest, also raising ire is how the project was proposed

The project set off alarms soon after shooting wrapped in December 2004 after 365 consecutive days of filming.

Officials from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area said Steel misrepresented his project when applying for filming permits, telling them he wanted to capture the grandeur of the iconic orange suspension bridge.

Instead, they complain, he made what one San Francisco supervisor dismissed in media coverage as a "snuff film."

And if the film only showed all the suicides it captured, that criticism would be completely justified, but as always, when digging into the issue deeper, other factors come to the surface

Others say publicity over the movie prompted bridge officials to fund a $2-million study of building a pedestrian suicide barrier — a move they had long resisted.....Park officials also feel duped. "He was not up front with us," said Rudy Evenson of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Officials deny that Steel's project influenced the decision to study a suicide barrier. "Does anybody think this movie truly addresses mental health problems?" said Mike Martini, a member of the bridge board of directors who says he will not see the film. "It's like saying you understand the Civil War after watching 'Gone With the Wind.' "


If the decision to study putting up a suicide barrier wasn't enacted until after the movie, then it obviously had the effect that's being denied

The 93-minute documentary draws from 10,000 hours of footage, including interviews with relatives of jumpers, and with one man who survived the 25-story plunge into the frigid water.

The film shows vivid footage of suicides, including a body pulled from the bay, and interviews with families struggling with the wreckage the jumpers left behind. Interspersed are time-lapse views of the bridge — coursing with traffic — through gloomy, almost ever-present fog.

Steel tells the tragic stories of several victims — such as a 34-year-old Bay Area man depressed by his mother's death.

Wearing a black leather jacket and sunglasses — his long, black hair flying in the wind — he is seen casing the pedestrian walkway, which he did for 90 minutes. Then he jumps atop the 4-foot railing, slowly turns and almost casually falls backward — as though taking a summer day's plunge into a backyard pool.

Also interviewed is Kevin Hines, who, in 2000, survived his jump. Now 25, he speaks freely about his ordeal with manic-depression in the hope that a suicide barrier will be built.

"This film shows what a suicidal person feels like, what their family feels like," said Hines, who has seen the movie. "It shows this happens all the time."


In a phone interview this week from his Manhattan office, Steel, a film producer and book editor, said he became interested in the bridge in 2003 after he read a story about its fatal attraction for the depressed.

The 42-year-old New York native said he has experienced his own bouts of depression. He lost a brother and a sister — one to cancer, the other to an accident with a drunk driver.

Steel wanted to know what made people hurl themselves into the bay. "One thing that stuck with me is that someone had to walk from the parking lot to one spot on the bridge before taking that jump," he said. "That walk must involve the most unimaginable mental anguish."

And it's here that the issue of ethics is the hardest to grapple with-obviously, admitting to the true intentions of filming would have gotten the permits denied, but there's no way around it-there's a definite element of subterfuge here

He arrived in San Francisco in November 2003. But when he applied for permits, he wrote only that he sought to capture "the powerful, spectacular intersection of monument and nature that takes place every day at the Golden Gate Bridge."

Steel said he obscured the movie's purpose to avoid his greatest fear: "I worried word would get out, that someone would jump just to be immortalized on film. Despite criticism I did something unethical, I feel I did the right thing."

And there was the fact that Steel and his crew did take an active part in trying to prevent suicides they were on the verge of witnessing, they did NOT just let the cameras roll with no action taken

From half a mile away, Steel began filming the bridge on New Year's Day in 2004. A crew of 12 took shifts from dawn to dusk. With one camera, they recorded the span and water. With a second one, they used a telephoto lens to scan for pedestrians.

The crew quickly learned there was no common suicide profile. "We saw lots of people crying, walking alone with hoods over their heads, their shoulders hunched," Steel said. "But none of those people jumped."

Instead, it was the woman with the nervous twitch. And a man who laughed on his cellphone until he blessed himself and pushed off the railing.

Steel established guidelines on when to intervene, instructing the crew to call emergency officials if a pedestrian set down a bag or briefcase, removed shoes or wallet, or climbed onto the rail. They intervened five times to stop jumpers, he said.

"It's very hard to watch anyone die," he said. "No one on the crew went unscathed."

The hardest part of the effort was in talking to the families & loved ones of those who committed suicide from the bridge, truly a gut-churning aspect if one's really trying to get a better handle on the issue

In the film, Wally Manikow, a tax collector from Virginia, ruefully relates a conversation with his son, Philip. "He asked me, 'Is suicide a sin?' " Manikow says as he sits on his living room couch absent-mindedly petting his dog. "I told him, 'No, that's something man made up. God is not going to hold it against you.' "

With his wife, Mary, beside him, the father pauses, then continues: "He thanked me for telling him the truth."

Steel did not inform family members that he had filmed their loved one's suicides. Later, he acknowledged, "individual people called and were upset I didn't tell them."

Mary Manikow said Steel has not allowed her to see the movie. She saw footage of their interview Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America" where Steel promoted his movie.

"I felt very stripped and naked and exposed when I saw that," she said. "I'm disappointed that we couldn't see the portrayal of this personal moment in our lives before the rest of the nation. I guess I feel used."

While overall I'd agree with Steel's efforts & motivations, I completely see Chaffee's & Manikow's point-I'd feel used too in this case

Yet, if the film leads to a barrier that makes it harder to jump from the bridge, then perhaps the lives of those whose final moments were filled with an unimaginable mental anguish will have contributed to a better outcome, one in which life is harder to end in at least this small segment, those who jump from the bridge

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Where's The Decider On This One?

Everything that happens in this Administration occurs with Dear Leader's complete agreement

In the end, every decision his Administration makes is a reflection of him

And once again, we find there's no level of Hell hot, deep or miserable enough for this pathetic scumbag masquerading as President

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Katrina Evacuees Find FEMA Housing Grants Will End Soon

HOUSTON, April 21 — Thousands of hurricane evacuees who counted on a year of free housing and utilities are being told by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that they are no longer eligible for such help and must either pay the rent themselves or leave.

Of about 55,000 families who were given long-term housing vouchers, nearly a third are receiving notices that they no longer qualify, FEMA officials said. For the rest, benefits are also being cut: they will have to sign new leases, pay their own gas and electric bills and requalify for rental assistance every three months.

The process has been marked by sharp disagreements between the agency and local officials, and conflicting information given to evacuees about their futures. Although agency officials say they never promised a full year of free housing, many local officials around the country say yearlong vouchers were exactly what FEMA agreed to provide.

President Jr knows no loyalty to anyone but himself, just check out the location the story was filed from

You Texas Dems want a free shot at Dreck & Dross Extraordinaire Bush Jr, just point out how FEMA-with W's complete, enthusiastic support-is leaving Texans on the hook financially for his complete disinterest in dealing with Katrina's aftermath, and it's only going to get worse if another hurricane strikes anywhere on the Gulf Coast, especially this year

Karl Rove's fear-based, gay-bashing electoral strategy-successful in clawing out just enough votes in 2004 to hold onto the White House-will likely have no effect on a real force of nature, and thus won't bail out the most wretched excrement ever to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when Hurricane Season rolls around

This President does not give a damn in the least about anyone his ignorance & apathy screw over through no fault of their own. If anything, it's becoming clear that he's NOT happy unless as many people as possible suffer during his abysmal reign

In the desperate weeks after Hurricane Katrina, the vouchers helped stabilize the lives of evacuees who had bounced from place to place while trying to find missing family members and deal with mysterious skin rashes, shellshocked children and reams of red tape. At least, the vouchers promised, they would not have to worry about shelter.

Now, eight months later, the notices have panicked evacuees and raised the ire of local officials and landlords, who say FEMA is reneging on a promise and dismantling a program that is helping more people and is far less expensive than other housing solutions like trailers.

The more I read of this story the stronger the urge to absolutely bitchslap this pampered scion who's never given a thought to the consequences his actions have on others who have done him no harm-A beatdown like Sonny Corleone administered to his brother in law in "The Godfather" would be a REAL good start to getting W's attention, and the more public the humiliation the better

To make matters worse, advocates and local officials say, many evacuees either do not know why they have been found ineligible or have been given spurious reasons. Many notices do not even give a deadline, saying only, "You will not be asked to leave before April 30."

Wow, a whole three more days without having to worry, how mighty white of the Administration

That W is doing his best Marcel Marceau muteness means he agrees with shafting those who are already hurting, a characteristic common to bullies & sociopaths everywhere. W thinks he earns respect with his exuberant desire to inflict pain on nondeserving others, he thinks it makes others fear him

He's wrong

It makes others hate him, a despising few other US leaders have gone out of their way to earn with such relish & delight

And as was pointed out at the start, in this case, it's fellow Texans who have to clean up after W's mess

"We believe that many of the people who received notice that they're ineligible are eligible," said Mayor Bill White of Houston, where more than 9,000 of the 35,000 families on vouchers have been determined to be unqualified, raising fears of mass homelessness.

In an effort to persuade FEMA to reconsider, Mr. White has gone so far as to send teams of building inspectors to New Orleans to photograph evacuees' destroyed homes.

If there's any way possible, the money spent on these building inspectors needs to come out of W's wallet, if not his worthless, smug hide

And here's W's true mindset, as mouthed by the latest FEMA lackey unlucky enough to be the public face for his boss's clear incompetence

David Garrett, FEMA's acting director of recovery, said the agency had promised only to reimburse for "up to" 12 months of housing. But the cities that actually issued the vouchers, including Houston, Memphis and Little Rock, Ark., said the agency had agreed in negotiations to pay for the full term.....Agency officials say fairness and the law prevent them from leaving the voucher system in place. The programs were hurriedly set up by state and local governments under FEMA guidelines for emergency housing, which is available to virtually anyone from a disaster-stricken area but is not intended to be used for extended periods.

So, in the interest of "FAIRNESS", people screwed by their Federal Govt are about to have their lives made even more desperate & miserable by their mentally lazy & shiftless President

Now, the agency is converting the families to its more traditional, and stricter, long-term housing program, the individual assistance program. Many people who qualified for emergency housing do not meet the requirements for long-term assistance, and the agency says it cannot ask taxpayers to continue to bankroll those families, although an agency spokesman, Aaron Walker, was unable to provide an estimate of how much money would be saved.

Mr. Garrett said the program was not fair to families who did not get vouchers, but instead went directly from shelters or hotels into the stricter program, under which they receive rent money every three months. The payments count against the total each family can legally receive from FEMA, $26,200, while rent and utilities under the voucher program do not. (FEMA trailers do not count either, agency officials said, because they are not as comfortable as apartments.)

Of course, it's okay to give Halliburton hundreds of millions of dollars for jobs they botched constantly in the Iraq occupation, but God forbid those who pay for Halliburton's thievery, the taxpayers, get anywhere near the same consideration

The movement away from long-term vouchers has created widespread confusion among evacuees. A disabled evacuee in Little Rock said that when she called FEMA to ask why her rent was no longer being paid she was informed, erroneously, that she had never had a voucher. In Memphis, where there are 1,500 families on vouchers, FEMA initially asked those running the program to reclaim the furniture and basic kitchen items issued to evacuees, backing down after strenuous objections, said Susan Adams, the executive director of the Memphis and Shelby County Community Services Agency.

"It feels like a total lack of compassion," Ms. Adams said. "A total lack of humanity."

FEMA has no record of the furniture request, a spokesman for the agency said.

That sentence completely sums up this President & His Lackeys completely, a total lack of compassion & humanity, a group of draft-dodging budget busters with delusions of grandeur who whimpered in fear when it was their ass on the line in terms of possibly serving in hostile combat

In interviews with more a dozen evacuees, some said they had been told they were ineligible because their home in New Orleans had not suffered enough damage, or they had insurance covering living expenses, or their paperwork lacked a signature, or they had not appeared in person for an inspection of their damaged home. FEMA recently agreed to review its findings for mistakes.

How many of the FEMA inspectors actually lived in the areas devastated by Katrina & W's desire to stay on vacation for three days after New Orleans & the Gulf coast were ravaged by the storm & levee failures?

Mr. Garrett emphasized that evacuees could appeal any decision. But according to written guidelines, the agency will not continue to pay rent while a case is on appeal.

FEMA itself has difficulty explaining the ineligibility findings. The agency told Houston officials that about 1,200 of 8,500 families had insufficient damage to their homes and that 1,600 were in a category called "ineligible — other." Some 1,050 were denied on appeal, but the original reason for the denial was not given. More than 2,300 were described as being eligible only for an initial $2,000, with no further explanation.

Where is the Administration's outrage on behalf of the public it's supposed to protect? Oh, that's right, since these who are suffering probably didn't give big campaign contributions to this louse of a Commander in Chief, there is no Administrative outrage, there is no attempt to correct an outrageous & grievous situation not of the victims' making

Some evacuees said they had planned their lives around the security of the 12-month voucher. Erica Stevens, 26, said the promise of housing had drawn her and her three children to Houston after Hurricane Rita destroyed her home in Beaumont, Tex. She did not receive much other assistance, she said, because her landlord filed a FEMA claim on the house before she did, making her ineligible.

Karen Douglas, an evacuee living with two sons in a pleasant house in a Houston suburb, said that amid enrolling the elder son in school, battling insurance adjusters and looking for a job, she had managed to put the insurance proceeds from her destroyed house into investments that would mature in November, when her voucher was to expire. "It's stressful, but I thought I had it together," she said.

Then, on April 15, Ms. Douglas too got a letter. She would like to appeal but does not know why she was found ineligible. The letter says only that she had been previously notified of the reason. "I was expecting FEMA to honor the agreement," she said. "I wasn't expecting them to go midstream and pull the rug out from underneath us."


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Iraq, Success Means Surviving The Death Squads

This whole damn Administration needs to be locked up for War Crimes, as the blood on their hands, especially those of Rumsfeld & Rice, grows redder by the day

Rice, Rumsfeld Tout New Iraq Government

``I came away most encouraged,'' Rumsfeld said after he and Rice spent a day meeting with Iraqi politicians and U.S. military and diplomatic advisers in the capital city.

Rice called the priorities and commitment of Iraq's newly selected prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, ``refreshing and really heartening.''

The double-barreled show of support for Iraq's first permanent democratic government was meant to resonate in Iraq and among Americans, whose frustration with the war effort has helped drive President Bush's poll numbers to new lows.

A four-month political stalemate had sapped support for U.S. involvement in Iraq. The administration remains under election-year pressure from the public and many in Congress to draw down its forces there.

``There is no question but that as the new government is formed and the ministers are in place, that it's appropriate for us to begin discussions with the new government about the conditions on the ground and the pace at which we'll be able to turn over responsibility in the provinces,'' Rumsfeld said.


Rice said the United States has an obligation to be ready to do what will best help the emerging Iraqi leadership tackle persistent violence and such grinding problems as petty corruption and poor electricity.

The secrecy surrounding the two leaders' visit and the omnipresent security precautions inside the fortified U.S. government complex underscored the dangers and difficulties the Iraqi leaders inherit.

And here's the wonderful "Freedom" our "War President" has brought the Iraqis, the need to hide from the now widespread Death Squads

Iraqis faking their IDs to hide religious affiliations

In a country defined by religious and ethnic tensions, especially after the Feb. 22 bombing of the revered Shiite Askariya mosque in the mostly Sunni city of Samarra, al-Dulaimi has joined a growing number of Iraqis who think that changing their names is about survival.

For many, it's a big step. In Iraq, people define themselves by their tribes and their families, and one's name often includes reference to them all: a first name, followed by one's father's name, followed by one's grandfather's name, followed by a tribal name. Some who've taken the step describe a sense of shame at shunning their names or tribes, even on fraudulent papers.

But with stacks of bodies turning up daily in what U.S. and Iraqi officials agree are religious and ethnic killings, many think they have little choice except to disguise their religious roots, especially when those roots are hinted at through a name on a citizenship card, the main form of ID that Iraqis carry.

Dear God, there's not a level of Hell deep, hot or miserable enough for Our President & his lackeys to roast in permanently, an appalling group of bloodthirsty cowards each and every one

Class Warfare Of The Elite Kind

Without putting too fine a point to it, there are those superrich families that are the last ones who deserve the wealth they were born into

18 rich families pay for campaign to kill estate taxes

Eighteen of America's wealthiest families, including the Timkens of Canton, are bankrolling efforts to permanently repeal estate taxes that would save their families a total of $71.6 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by public interest groups.

Groups funded by the super-rich have engaged in a deceptive campaign to convince the public that estate taxes cause widespread problems for small businesses and family farms when they actually affect about one in 370 estates, said the report released by Public Citizen and Boston-based United for a Fair Economy.

This year, all assets under $2 million for individuals and under $4 million for couples are exempt from estate taxes. Current tax law will boost those exemptions to $3.5 million and $7 million in 2009, eliminate the estate tax in 2010, and reimpose it in 2011 with a $1 million exemption.

Oh my God, how do those 18 families survive?

And of course, if there's an evil family involved with massive amounts of money, only one family name springs to mind

They said families including those that founded Wal-Mart, Gallo wineries, Nordstrom's department stores, Wegman's grocery stores, the Mars candy company, Cox media chain and Campbell Soup Co. joined the Timkens in bankrolling an effort the groups' report called "one of the biggest con jobs in recent history."

Yes, the Waltons, a family that's never met employees they felt should be paid a decent wage for all the money they fill the Walton's coffers with, and a family that insists on corporate welfare in the form of public assistance for their underpaid employees health care costs

And since Bill Frist is under investigation for insider trading concerning his family's health-care colossus HCA, perhaps his sympathy for the almighty dollar isn't surprising in the least

The House voted to permanently repeal the estate tax last year, but the measure stalled in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to override filibusters. Majority Leader Bill Frist says he will bring the bill up in May.

Wow, between that, a intellectually & ethically lazy gay-bashing constitutional amendment and trying to keep his rapidly sinking presidential ambitions alive, how does Frist plan on defending himself from that insider trading investigation, especially since he's out to make the lives of families-well, those families mentioned earlier-better than ever

Warrantless Wiretapping Gets Smacked Down-HARD

Even more amazing, this is the most conservative court in the country, the 4th Circuit, one which usually goes along with almost any Administration pleading

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Cleric Wins Appeal Ruling Over Wiretaps

An appellate court on Tuesday directed a lower court to consider statements by a Muslim cleric in northern Virginia that he had been illegally wiretapped under the warrantless eavesdropping program that President Bush authorized.

The ruling opened the door to what could be the first ruling by a federal court on whether information obtained under the program, operated by the National Security Agency, had been improperly used in a criminal prosecution.

Not a good sign for Dear Leader's claim that he needs NO approval or warrants to wiretap on US Citizens, an even odder claim to pursue when alleging that we're fighting terrorists who "hate freedom"

How this Administration claims they don't "hate freedom" by ignoring constitutional protections is a logic that quite frankly makes no sense except to the most blithering of idiots-which would be our President

The cleric, Ali al-Timimi, who was sentenced to life in prison last year for inciting his Muslim followers to violence, is challenging his conviction because he says he suspects that the government failed to disclosed illegal wiretaps of his e-mail messages and telephone conversations.

Probably a pretty strongly-founded suspicion, especially after Dear Leader W & his loyal retinue couldn't stop blabbing about how disclosing warrantless wiretapping somehow put this country at risk from another terrorist attack

As if al-Qaeda was completely unaware that the US would be monitoring their communications wherever possible

In an order released on Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit did not rule on the merits of Mr. Timimi's assertions about the N.S.A. program, but sent the case back to the federal trial court in Alexandria, Va., for a rehearing.

Ah, and here's the REAL kicker, the punchline to a joke the Administration no doubt finds anything but humorous

The appellate court gave the trial judge in the case, Leonie M. Brinkema, broad latitude, saying the trial court could "order whatever relief or changes in the case, if any, that it considers appropriate."


For an imperial Presidency, such a direct slap to the face must not only sting, but be an unbearable public humiliation to deal with, being told by the most conservaitve Court in the land that there are rules even the Regal President must play by is nothing short of a stunning affront that it never saw coming

Mr. Timimi's case is the first to result in a rehearing on the challenges. The Justice Department did not oppose his motion to vacate his appeal and have the trial court consider the eavesdropping question. Department officials said they saw the appellate decision as largely procedural, but declined to discuss how the case might play out when the trial court rehears it.

The Justice Dept didn't oppose Timimi's decision to cut short his appeal because it figured one less procedural hurdle to navigate was all good, and that exuberation was only heightened for the DoJ when Timimi decided to pursuse the claim of illegal eavesdropping

The DoJ thought the cleric's claim made his conviction a slamdunk

They never saw the possibility that not all others in the US Legal System were as enamored of Dear Leader's power grab, and it resulted in a public repudiation of the highest caliber

"We'll brief the court at the right time and advise the court appropriately," a spokesman for the department, Bryan Sierra, said. "Whenever we have the opportunity to set the record straight, we'll do so."

Seems like NOW is the perfect opportunity for the DoJ to set the record straight and advise the court appropriately-of course, it seems the court decided the DoJ's advice was less than stellar or noteworthy

And the worst part for Dear Leader to deal with-the Defense Team's joy over the ruling at the President's expense

But a lawyer for Mr. Timimi, Jonathan Turley, said the appellate order was a significant and "extraordinary step" because appellate courts did not generally order a rehearing in a criminal case while an appeal was pending.

"This is very good news for us, and we're eager to go back to Judge Brinkema to explore these troubling issues," Mr. Turley said in an interview.

The first appeal of the President's warraantless wiretapping, and it got smacked hard-How's that bitchslapping taste Mr President?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I Want What Steve's Getting

Dear GOP

Please send me one of the same e-mail surveys I read about earlier today



Condi Rice Hates Children-The Deader The Better

Perhaps Rice isn't aware of the policies her Dept is pushing, in which case, she's clearly the wrong person to hold ANY type of authority or power

Her hypocrisy can't be any more clear

Rice pledges US help to Turkey against Kurd rebels

The United States tried on Tuesday to ease Turkey's concerns instability in Iraq was threatening its security, pledging continued support for Ankara's fight against the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

NATO member Turkey has voiced concern the conflict in Iraq is allowing the PKK to launch more attacks against its forces in the country's southeast, and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Tuesday repeated his call for Washington to help more.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the formation of a new Iraqi government would help boost coordination between the three countries and prevent border incursions by the PKK, seen by both Ankara and Washington as a terrorist group.

"We obviously also are sharing information. The U.S. was active in helping in the past with the PKK and we will be active in the future," she said during a visit to Turkey.

How very very & to to, and are these the results of sharing information about the PKK with Turkey that Rice is talking about?

Eighty children face jail after Turkish riots

Eighty children who took part in riots in Turkey's troubled, mainly Kurdish southeast face up to 15 years in prison, according to an indictment seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

The riots, which began late last month, pitting pro-Kurdish protesters against the security forces, were the worst civil unrest in Turkey for more than a decade and left 16 people -- including at least three children, one aged 3, -- dead and hundreds injured.

The indictment, prepared by prosecutors in Diyarbakir, the city worst affected by the violence, includes charges of belonging to a criminal organization, damaging state buildings and attacking police vehicles with Molotov cocktails.

If convicted, the children, aged between 12 and 18, face between 10 and 15 years in jail. They are expected to go before a judge in the coming days.

It's obvious

In Condi Rice's view, the ONLY dead children that should count for anything are those killed by the Saddam Hussein regime

All others are clearly inconsequential and bother Rice not one damn bit-She sure as hell had nothing to say about them today during her meetings in Turkey

Rice has as much innocent blood on her hands as anyone of the other ChickeHawks in the Administration, and her off-key caterwauling about the threat Iran poses should be judged according to how much more innocent blood she's willing to stain her fetid & corrupt soul with

Administrative Self-Haters Deserve Nothing But Beatdowns

And with scumbags like the Housing Secretary trying to make life even more difficult for Katrina victims, Dear Leader W better hope New Orleans doesn't get hit again this Hurricane Season

Only 'best residents' to be allowed back in St. Thomas complex

Secretary Jackson, maybe if you hate your own race even more, those nice Klan boys will have a shiny, white hood for your efforts regarding Katrina reconstruction, so keep reaching for the all-white stars there lil' trooper

The irony here is that under Jackson's own criteria, he'd be the first barred from returning to live in New Orleans, as anyone hanging out with the thugs & Constitutional -rapists in Dear Leader W's Administration is just who SHOULDN'T be getting paid with, or benefits from, the public dole

Maybe Rove's Gay-Bashing Strategy Would Work Better If We All Rode Bikes

Poor Karl Rove

He rearranges his job to focus strictly on trying to lessen the coming GOP train wreck at the polls in November, and right off the bat, the Golden Boy gets an earful from the voters concerning Dear Leader & Cheneyburton's favorite industry of price gougers & consumer rapers, the Oil Industry

My schadenfreude at the GOP's woes is going into overdrive, and it doesn't cost a single cent either

Oh where to begin in cataloging the latest double-barreled blast of bad news aimed squarely at the GOP?

GOP Worries Gas Prices Could Add to Woes

The high cost of filling up has become a political issue, and Democratic and GOP lawmakers were blaming each other Monday for a problem that is largely out of Congress' control.

Republicans said they were worried that voters paying more than $3 per gallon would punish the party in power. Democrats hatched plans to make that happen.


High gas prices seem to be a rite of spring and summer, when demand is the highest, but fuel costs are rarely a defining issue on Election Day.

Republicans worry that this year may be different. Some said high gas prices could feed the public's sour mood about the direction of the country, underscore perceptions that the GOP is too cozy with big business and reflect voters' belief that nothing gets fixed in Washington all grim signs for the party controlling both the White House and Congress.

Geez, suddenly having control of the House, the Senate, and the White House doesn't seem to be so conducive to harmonious rule, especially when the party in power-and it's slavish devotion to pushing an agenda favored by the Oil Industry at the clear expense of the consumers-is correctly seen as the problem.

How sad for Rove & the GOP at the national level, they're getting the public hit instead of the usually spineless-Dems over the high prices at the gas pumps

Hey Karl, how's that "Permanent GOP Rule" working out for the party & yourself right about now?

Looks like locking the Dems out of power is backfiring on your arrogant ass right about now, so enjoy the taste Rovebitch, you've truly earned it

Even funnier, at least one GOP strategist is insisting that the Dems need to compromise-hysterical seeing as how they don't call the shots in DC, and not a GOP wish likely to be fulfilled by the Dems

Kevin Spillane, a GOP strategist in Sacramento, Calif., said he suspects that voters understand that the oil market is too complicated to blame on a single party.

But he said both sides need to compromise Democrats on their objections to new drilling sites and Republicans on their opposition to high fuel standards.

So this assclown Spillane is getting paid big bucks to caterwaul that the party out of power-the dems-needs to compromise about anything, making their victimizers look good in the process?

Good Christ, no wonder the GOP is hurting everywhere right about now, with arrogant mewling about how the out of power party needs to give in to save the GOP on yet another occasion.

This is clearly desperate, pollyannaish, out-of-touch-with-political-reality thinking, and no doubt an indicator of just how far the GOP has fallen out of favor with the vast majority of voters

And just what iron-spine strategies are various GOPbots pushing for to show their staunch opposition to price gouging and consumer-rape at the gas pump by the Oil Industry?

Simple, they're "urging" instead of "insisting", a clear difference of tactics for the party that calls the political shots in DC

President Bush, trying to calm Americans' outrage over the sky-high prices, has asked the Energy and Justice departments to investigate whether the price has been illegally manipulated, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday. Bush plans to announce the action Tuesday during a speech in Washington.


Feeling the political pinch, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., urged Bush in a letter to order a probe into any gas price gouging or market speculation.

"Anyone who is trying to take advantage of this situation while American families are forced into making tough choices over whether to fill up their cars or severely cut back their budgets should be investigated and prosecuted," read the letter.

Well, with qualifiers like "urged" and "should", can anyone doubt the Oil industry is quaking in it's boots over being held to account by it's political beneficiaries, the GOP?

Oh, and speaking of off-key GOP caterwauling, here's some great examples of the bullies insisting that the Milquetoasts are being just too darn mean to said bullies yet again

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, chairwoman of the Republican Senate campaign committee, issued a statement that said, "Democrats have decided to play partisan politics with gas prices in a flailing attempt to distract from the growing economy."

Of course, the GOP would NEVER play politics with anything, like flaming fears of further terrorist attacks to outright lie the US into a completely unnecessary war with a country that was NEVER a threat to us in the least, Iraq, would it now, DumbBitchDole?

Several Republicans suggested that oil prices would be lower had Democrats not blocked plans to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Just one problem here for the GOPtards-Getting ANY usable gasoline from ANWR would take YEARS of drilling, and with a 2 1/2 year supply of oil-at best-to feed our 20 Million barrel a day oil habit, would be nothing more than a blip on the oil radar screen

Bullies are always the most spineless of cowards, but this GOP tendency to blame all their problems on the out-of-power, usually acquiescing Dems is past pathetic, even for the GOP

Oh, and just one more goody from the article

The Republican National Committee accused Reid of "killing (energy) reform for years."

Guys, blaming the out of power party leader doesn't portend well for your electoral chances come November, as it shows your party-in spite of running the House, the Senate & the White House-is made up of mainly wet-pasta strength spines reduced to begging their usual victims to make things better for the GOP

And while it's true that the price spikes always occur around the start of the summer traveling season, and usually ease up by the late fall, let's remember one other little factor the GOP has to take into account, a factor that may slam them this year just as hard as it did last year

Hurricane Season starts on June 1

And since Katrina not only destroyed New Orleans-a problem still unfixed seven months later, indicative of W's complete disinterest in the repair work aspect of being President-but also shut down Gulf refineries until just recently, Rove has to be hoping that nature will cut the GOP a BIG break and not hit the same areas again with the same devastation as Katrina & Rita did last year

Only problem with nature-it doesn't give a flying fuck WHAT labels Rove throws at it

Enjoy Rove, and your GOPbot operatives/lackeys, all the hard times you jerkoffs are going through you've brought COMPLETELY on yourselves

Deal with it like adults for a change, instead of the whining ninnyhammers you've so clearly become

Thursday, April 20, 2006

T-Shirts Beat Paychecks Any Day

No doubt this idea will sweep the corporate world within the next 30 seconds

Honestly, you just can't make this stuff up

Clean for pride, not pay, Delta asks staff

Bankrupt Delta Air Lines has cut thousands of jobs, slashed salaries and considered abandoning its pilots' pension plan to stay in business.

Now, the nation's No. 3 airline is asking some 50,000 employees to volunteer to clean aircraft at night on their own time. Their reward: a free T-shirt, reward points good for merchandise and a chance to show their pride in the airline.

Wow, all that just for working without expecting a paycheck, no doubt Delta will have to beat the enthusiastic employees back with a stick to keep them from overwhelming the cleaning supplies closet

And it gets even BETTER for the paycheck-less workers as well

Employees will pull four- and eight-hour shifts to clean interior windows and walls, "scrape stuff from tray tables and floors . . . if there's gum on the floor," said spokesman Anthony Black. Cleaning lavatories is part of the drill, too.

With such generous benefits, no doubt the employees are thanking their lucky stars every day on their choice of enlightened employers

But wouldn't you know it, such a deal was far too good to be true, leaving the workers hanging their heads in glum defeat even more sorrowful than Delta declaring bankruptcy

More than 300 workers volunteered for the first "Clean Day" scheduled for Delta's Atlanta hub Wednesday evening, said Black. The event was canceled after a security alert snarled traffic at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for much of the afternoon.

No doubt a security alert due to not enough janitor clearance passes for all the Delta workers wandering through the airport, eagerly awaiting their unpaid cleaning assignments

Another Clean Day event was set for Wednesday night at the airline's hub in Salt Lake City. Black didn't know how many employees throughout the airline have volunteered.

With such a great business plan, it would be shocking if Delta employees from across the country weren't streaming into Salt Lake City for volunteer duty

"The effort allows us to focus on a key element of customers' expectations when traveling: aircraft cleanliness," said a recorded message on Delta's employee news line. "Clean Days allow employees to work together to demonstrate pride in Delta and its operation."

Of course travelers expectations of airline cleanliness is more important than silly "company pride" indicators such as properly working equipment or structural fatigue

After pay cuts and a bitter struggle with pilots that resulted in a tentative contract agreement last week, the idea will likely rub employees the wrong way, said Daniel Petree, dean of the college of business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.

"It could be seen as adding insult to injury, asking for free labor," Petree said. "It may not tactically be a smart thing."

Employees at Tampa International Airport rolled their eyes when a supervisor told them about the program Monday.

Offer the employees free gruel and that should get them happily on the unpaid bandwagon

But Delta pilot Keith Rosenkranz hoped loyal customers would appreciate the extra efforts by employees and keep doing business with the airline.

"Spirits may be down, but people should applaud any employee willing to volunteer their free time to make the product their company offers better," wrote Rosenkranz of Grapevine, Texas, in an e-mail. But he doesn't plan to fly to a hub like Atlanta to participate.

So sad, willing spirit, weak flesh, etc, etc, etc.

I think I see a slight problem with Black's refusal to elaborate on his next comment

Meanwhile, Delta is working to win back customers, and part of that includes improving the appearance of its fleet. Employees are being urged to report unclean aircraft and other problems they see while traveling.

"We're committed to cleaning the aircraft more often and more thoroughly," said Black, who declined to characterize the condition of Delta's planes.

On second thought, why would anyone look askance at the condition of Delta's jets after Black pulls the Marcel Marceau silence bit?

And what do you know, the BRILLIANT Corporate overlords at Delta have even more bonus work for its employees besides the volunteer clean-up crew jobs

This isn't the first time Delta has requested employees to pitch in on their own time. The airline asks them to work as "Peach Corps" volunteers, assisting passengers at airports during holidays and other busy times, said Black.

Why, with such lofty working conditions, no doubt Delta's CEO & Board of Directors will be sharing with the mop & bucket brigade

Yes, nothing says happy, content employees more than unpaid time on the clock

Truly, our economy is firing on all cylinders as shown by the current Delta business plan

Technology Has It's Downside

We love technology that makes our lives easier, our video & audio baubles are the toys we play with as adults, and I know I love my vcr and dvd players like children

But now comes a technological breakthrough that doesn't promise a good time for anyone but advertisers, an advancement that, when it comes to tv, gives new meaning to "Captive Audience", and I can't see how any consumers and couch potatos are going to stand for this

So, in the best movie villain tradition, lets get this out of the way first


New Technology May Force TV Ad Viewing

In this era of easy ad skipping with TiVo-like video recorders, could television viewers one day be forced to watch commercials with a system that prevents channel switching?

Yes, according to Royal Philips Electronics. A patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says researchers of the Netherland-based consumer electronics company have created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze a channel during a commercial, so viewers wouldn't be able to avoid it.

The pending patent, published on March 30, says the feature would be implemented on a program-by-program basis. Devices that could carry the technology would be a television or a set-top-box.

To repeat


Okay, maybe I'm overreacting here, as it appears there would be at least one option for viewers to get past this unwanted perfidy

Consider it the electronic equivalent of toll roads-You pay to avoid all the regular traffic & gridlock

Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee.

Now why would Philips think viewers wouldn't be thrilled beyond belief that they'd have to watch the commercials, and why do I just know that it's only commercials I detest-ANY Wal-Mart "Good Works" ads immediately spring to mind-that would be locked on the picture tube?

Well, to be fair, Philips did give a bit of a backhand to advertisers dreaming of that captive viewing audience, no doubt at the behest of the Philips CEO & Board of Directors undoubtedly envisioning hordes of angry tv viewers angrily marching on Corporate Headquarters with pitchforks & torches in hand

On Wednesday, company officials issued a statement that noted the technology also enables the opposite: allowing viewers to watch television without advertising. The intention was never to force viewers to watch ads against their will, the company said of the technology.

"We developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads," the company stated. "It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services."

The company also said it had no plans to use the technology in any of its products.

Philips wanted to provide the technology and seek the patent only as part of the broader developments within the industry, Philips spokesman Andre Manning said.

Well, isn't that peachy keen, that viewers can choose to watch the movie with NO commercials breaking it up in the least

As long as the viewers are willing to pay for the lovely privilege of NOT being forced to sit through commercials

And really, why would anyone doubt that Philips developed the "locked-in commercials" technology NOT to use it at the first possible opportunity?

I mean, tech companies are ALWAYS spending vaultfuls of cash on technology they'll never use, right?

Friday, April 14, 2006

From this Liberal's perspective, genuine Good News is a nice concept, and one we see far too little of these days, especially when considering how our Federal Government rewards corporate thieves, overstretches the US Military past the breaking point, makes the US more liable to a terrorist attack by the hour and rapes the US Constitution on an active basis in the name of protecting our freedoms

What's noteworthy about the following is that there is an inherent dignity in even the least amongst us, with rights that cannot be derisively waved away by legislative fiat

And that even applies to the Homeless

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Appeals Court Slaps L.A. Over Arrests of Homeless

Los Angeles' policy of arresting homeless people for sitting, lying or sleeping on public sidewalks as "an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter" violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and punishment, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, decided in favor of six homeless persons, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The suit challenged the city's practice of arresting persons for violating a municipal ordinance, which states that "no person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or public way."

The appeals court ruled that the manner in which the city has enforced the ordinance has criminalized "the status of homelessness by making it a crime to be homeless," and thereby violated the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Since being poor is not a crime, it follows logically that being so poor as to be homeless is also not a crime, nor should it be

In her ruling, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw said that Los Angeles' Skid Row has the highest concentration of homeless individuals in the United States. She said that about 11,000 to 12,000 homeless people live in Skid Row, a 50-block area, bounded by Third, Seventh, Main and Alameda Streets.

"Because there is substantial and undisputed evidence that the number of homeless persons in Los Angeles far exceeds the number of available shelter beds at all times, including on the night" the plaintiffs were arrested or cited, "Los Angeles has encroached upon" the plaintiffs' 8th Amendment protections "by criminalizing the unavoidable act of sitting, lying or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless," Wardlaw wrote.


Wardlaw cited numerous reports on the homeless situation in Los Angeles, including one written by city officials, which said "the gap between the homeless population needing a shelter bed and the inventory of shelter beds is severely large."

Consequently, the judge noted, "for many in Skid Row without the resources or luck to obtain shelter, sidewalks are the only place to be….The evidence supports the reasonable inference that shelter is unavailable for thousands of homeless individuals in Los Angeles on any given night."

The judge said that evidence introduced in the case, entitled Edward Jones v. City of Los Angeles, showed the plaintiffs "are not on the streets of Skid Row by informed choice."

Wardlaw said that "as a result of the expansive reach of the [Los Angeles ordinance], the extreme lack of available shelter in Los Angeles, and the large homeless population, thousands of people violate the Los Angeles ordinance every day and night, and many are arrested, losing what few possessions they may have."

To punish the most powerless in this society with jail terms & fines for not staying in homeless shelters, to further disrupt their lives and confiscate their few meager possessions when the city itself admitted there were nowhere near enough spots available to take everybody was not only heartless, but also a policy which, over the long term builds up hatred on the part of those penalized legally

And when the poor, the powerless & the economic underclasses lose enough hope, so that raw anger erupts upon yet another example of just how truly powerless are those at the bottom of the economic ladder, then you get urban riots along the lines of those which racked LA for 3 days in 1992, after the Not Guilty verdicts regarding the cops who beat Rodney King

It's an obvious self-interest for society to have as many strong safety nets to care for those at the bottom of the economic ladder. self-interest of the smartest kind

And the Judge lacerated the city's law, hacking it to pieces for being illogical and about as blind to reality as possible

Wardlaw scoffed at the position Los Angeles officials took in the case.

"The City…apparently believes that [the plaintiffs] can avoid sitting, lying and sleeping for days, weeks, or months at a time to comply with the City's ordinance, as if human beings could remain in perpetual motion. That being an impossibility, by criminalizing, sitting lying, and sleeping, the City is in fact criminalizing [the plaintiffs] status as homeless individuals," Wardlaw wrote.

With the clearly incompetent hack currently masquerading as President claiming inherent Constitutional authority to violate that same Constitution he's sworn to uphold whenever he feels like, it's good to see that with hope on the part of those at the very bottom of our society and economy, it's worth fighting to ensure the inherent dignity in every person, a dignity far too often stripped from the least politically powerful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm not into rap too much, but a few songs hit my buttons in the right way

Such as this one by Eminem, one of the best smacks ever on this clod masquerading as the Commander in Chief


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation under God
It feels so good to be back..

I scrutinize every word, memorize every line
I spit it once, refuel and re-energize and rewind
I give sight to the blind, my insight through the mind
I exercise my right to express when I feel it's time
It's just all in your mind, what you interpret it as
I say to fight, you take it as I'mma whip someone's ass
If you don't understand, don't even bother to ask
A father who has grown up with a fatherless past
Who has blown up now to rap phenomenon that has
Or at least shows no difficulty multi-task
And in juggling both perhaps mastered his craft
Slash entrepreneur who has held onto few more rap acts
Who's had a few obstacles thrown his way through the last half
Of his career typical manure moving past that
Mr. kisses ass crack, he's a class act
Rubber band man, yea he just snaps back

Come along follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength
Come with me and I won't steer you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
To the light at the end of the tunnel
We gonna fight, we gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march
Through the swamp, we gonna mosh through the marsh
Take us right through the doors (c'mon)

All the people up top on the side and the middle
Come together lets all bomb and swamp just a little
Just let it gradually build from the front to the back
All you can see is a sea of people some white and some black
Don't matter what color, all that matters we gathered together
To celebrate for the same cause don't matter the weather
If it rains let it rain, yea the wetter the better
They ain't gonna stop us they can't, we stronger now more than ever
They tell us no we say yea, they tell us stop we say go
Rebel with a rebel yell, raise hell we gonna let em know
Stomp, push, shove, mush, Fuck Bush, until they bring our troops home (c'mon)


Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's tryina tell us something,
Maybe this is god just sayin' we're responsible
For this monster, this coward,
That we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head noddin'
How could we allow something like this without pumping our fists
Now this is our final hour
Let me be the voice in your strength and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply by six...
Teen million people, Are equal at this high pitch
Maybe we can reach alqueda through my speech
Let the president answer a higher anarchy
Strap him with an Ak-47, let him go, fight his own war
Let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our own soil
No more psychological warfare, to trick us to thinking that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country, we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes its all lies
The stars and stripes, they've been swiped, washed out and wiped
And replaced with his own face, Mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you know why,
Cause I told you to fight.


And as we proceed,
To Mosh through this desert storm,
In these closing statements, if they should argue
Let us beg to differ
As we set aside our differences
And assemble our own army
To disarm this Weapon of Mass Destruction
That we call our President, for the present
And Mosh for the future of our next generation
To speak and be heard
Mr. President, Mr. Senator
Do you guy's hear us...hear us...[laughing] (Hailie)

And for the video, go HERE and hit the "Watch Video" button-if it doesn't come up the first time, try hitting "play" again, as that's how it worked for me

Monday, April 10, 2006

God, with idiots like this, it's embarrassing to be Texan at times, best shown with two particular reality-deniers, GOP of course

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On Iraq war, a House divided

The war in Iraq has polarized Congress, a divide that's kept Texas' 32-member House delegation from finding much common ground. The state has some of the most liberal and conservative lawmakers in Washington, as ranked by the nonpartisan National Journal magazine. Interviews with Texans on each end of the political spectrum reveal entrenched positions on the war.


Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican elected in 1996, said Iraq is "evolving" and a "moving target."

"We are slowly but surely defeating the enemy."

Of course we are, I'm sure the enemy is getting tired of lugging around all that unbombed ordnance just laying around, and undoubtedly are getting worn down by the daily grind of frustrating the military geniuses in Dear Leader's retinue at every turn

It must be exhausting work being an al-Qaeda bureaucrat, what with all the new recruits eager to join the suicide mission brigade, and filled with the spirit of freedom granted by President Jr, who generously liberated ALL the suicide bombers so long & brutally suppressed by Saddam Hussein

Oh yes, Sessions gets even more interesting, rhetoric wise

In the last six to 10 months, he said, the U.S. military has been able to focus on tracking insurgents and stopping them.

"We've gone from training a police force to training a military. And the need for them is very apparent. We're finally seeing what I consider to be progress, but it's still a very dangerous place."

Is success judged by the 50 bodies turning up daily scattered across Baghdad, interspersed with the almost-constant suicide bombings?

Are the Iraqi troops ready & able to successfully defeat the widespread militias & death squads now operating freely in Iraq?

Perhaps success is Halliburton brutally gouging US Taxpayers for the privelege of no-bid contracts, leaving the Iraqis even worse off now-in terms of power, sanitation, water, medical supplies, fuel & security-than experienced during Saddam Hussein's reign

How long should the U.S. stay?

"Till the job is done. The bottom line is, now you're going to a question of Americans' prestige in the world," he said. "We need an overwhelming force there to finish the job."

So, does the US currently have enough troops in Iraq or not?

Simple question to answer, Sessions really ought to try it sometime

And here comes the usual justifications for cutting back on our freedoms while blathering about "Bringing Democracy" to another country & society entirely, how this BS doesn't show a "hatred of US Freedoms", an agenda that Dear Leader W claims is being pursued by both Usama bin Laden & al-Qaeda, I can't even begin to answer

But he's concerned about public dissent, saying: "Being anti-war doesn't protect this country and also does not respect and honor the men and women who are engaged in this effort."

Hey DumbFuck

These troops AREN'T being honored by cutting back our Constitutional Freedoms here in the US, they're NOT honred when sent into battle deliberately underequipped with enough effective body & vehicle armor, they're NOT honored by cutting back on Veterans Benefits to implement permanently foolish tax cuts to those least in need of them, and those US Troops are DEFINITELY not honored when forced to fight a war that our cowardly leaders lied us into.

The death of US military personnel is not justified or honored by warrantless spying on purely domestic communications, torture as a matter of official policy at home & abroad or killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis

So, when the W Administration apologizes for deliberately outing a CIA Agents-who's job consisted of tracking & disrupting the transfer of WsMD to rogue regimes, groups & individuals-for nothing more than a political hissy fit, THEN I'll worry about undermining troop morale by criticizing the draft-dodging moron who sent those same troops to die for whatever reason the Administration blathers about

And what do you know, it's the other half of the Tweedledum & Tweedledummer

Freshman GOP Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock counsels patience and defends the administration.

"From the very beginning, our goal was not to occupy Iraq but to liberate it," he said.


I thought from the very beginning that the goal was to deprive Iraq from it's impossible to conceal WsMD & WsMD related programs

No wait, wasn't it to strike a blow against those responsible for the 9-11 attacks?

"The way to do that was as the president laid out his strategy," he said – by helping Iraqis provide for their own security, organize a democratic government and rebuild their economy.

And none of those steps is anywhere close to being accomplished, as everything the US has promised to reestablish has been shown to be rhetoric of the most empty, worthless hollow kind

I have yet to see even ONE US financed Iraq project that's come in both on time & under budget, must be the fault of the cupposed "Liberal" media

"We've made a lot of progress," he said. "Is it always pretty over there? Absolutely not. ... But it's important for us to finish this job. ... It would send a bad message to terrorists around the world if we back down."

So, it sends a bad message to the terrorists if we don't keep honoring the sacrifice of the dead, maimed & traumatized US troops by getting more US troops killed, maimed & traumatized?

And how does deliberately overstretching the US military far too thin overseas make this country and our shores safer from another massive terroist attack?

Guys, wake up, pull your heads out, and start representing the Constitution instead of a political party, that is if you really care about "freedom" in our country and keeping the citizens safe from enemies both foreign and domestic

Before looking at more hypocrites from the Vision America conference, the following article fits into this topic so perfectly that it needs to be examined

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Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

I have no problem with Malhotra spewing her idiocy, as long as she has no problem with others spewing right back at her & her beliefs

In fact, I'm guessing that Malhotra would be the first to use the Institute's speech codes if harsh rhetoric was blathered about her solely because of her religious lifestyle choice

And whatever else that choice may be, it's certainly NOT "Christian" in the least

The Rev. Rick Scarborough, a leading evangelical, frames the movement as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. "Christians," he said, "are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian."

In that spirit, the Christian Legal Society, an association of judges and lawyers, has formed a national group to challenge tolerance policies in federal court. Several nonprofit law firms — backed by major ministries such as Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ — already take on such cases for free.

Civil Rights?!

I must have missed how Scarborugh's absurd claim is borne out by all the Christians lynched here in the US, how all the Christian property in the US are destroyed or stolen for the larger society, as occured with the properties owned by Japanese-Americans during WWII

These are the very same group of Christ-deficient Old Testamentalists that whine & moan about how even though they're overrepresented in our Government, and even though us libs are-according to them-socially marginalized, they're somehow being persecuted by us marginalized liberals and the Bush Jr Administration working in tandem

The legal argument is straightforward: Policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay T-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they're labeled intolerant....."The message is, you're free to worship as you like, but don't you dare talk about it outside the four walls of your church," said Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Assn. Center for Law and Policy, which represents Christians who feel harassed."

Oh, Boo-Fuckin'-Hoo, cry me a fucking river

And why do I just know that similar slurs against these Old Testamentalists would be punished with the very same methods they decry when aimed at themselves?

The hypocrisy is truly overwhelming, these Old Testamentalists want everyone else-believer & nonbeliever alike-to acknowledge THEIR religious lifestyle choice as the only with any validity/truth behind it, and superior to all others

Oh yeah, they're also not happy unless their tax-exempt organized religious lifestyle choice is funded with the taxes of the same people they bash on a regular basis, gays, minorities, feminists, single mothers, etc

Hey, here's an idea for these whiney hypocrites of the US Taliban

Kill off the tax exemptions for your religious lifestyle choices, and trust in God to provide

And boy, just like the Pharisees objected to Christ's targeting of their social, moral & ethical hypocrisy, the Old Testamentalists have a problem being called out on their arrogance

"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?" asked Jon Davidson, legal director of the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.

By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. He predicts the government will one day revoke the tax-exempt status of churches that preach homosexuality is sinful or that refuse to hire gays and lesbians.

"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse."

Yeah, how horrible that racists are marginalized, seeing as how slavery was condoned in the Old Testament

And if Baylor isn't willing to subsidize the free speech or religious lifestyle choices of those he condemns, then he has no legitimacy regarding his off-key caterwauling about how his religious lifestyle is under assault

And just to clear something up, this is the argument that ALWAYS trips up these "Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice" BS artists

It's the simple trap those who argue against homosexuality being determined by geneticsalways walk/slither into, and a trap those of us who claim homosexuality is genetic in nature avoid

If homosexuality is a choice, then so is heterosexuality, which means the only way anyone could truly know they're straight is to have at least one homosexual experience to measure it against

Christians are fighting back in a case involving Every Nation Campus Ministries at California State University. Student members of the ministry on the Long Beach and San Diego campuses say their mission is to model a virtuous lifestyle for their peers. They will not accept as members gays, lesbians or anyone who considers homosexuality "a natural part of God's created order."

Legal analysts agree that the ministry, as a private organization, has every right to exclude gays; the Supreme Court affirmed that principle in a case involving the Boy Scouts in 2000. At issue is whether the university must grant official recognition to a student group that discriminates.

The students say denying them recognition — and its attendant benefits, such as funding — violates their free-speech rights and discriminates against their conservative theology. Christian groups at public colleges in other states have sued using similar arguments. Several of those lawsuits were settled out of court, with the groups prevailing.

And as long as these same groups argue just as vociferously about groups with opposing agendas getting the same treatment the Old Testmentalists insist on, then there's no problems in the least

But as the OT's show time and again, they DON'T believe in equal treatment for those they disagree with and condemn at every opportunity, as being the least bit consistent in these cases is sneered at as the "tolerance" the Old Testamentalists mock for others, but insist on for themselves at every opportunity

And lets not even go into how the Old Testamentalists rip into Atheists while gleefully using atheists' tax dollars to subsidize the OT's tax-exempt organized religious lifestyle choices at the same time

And more "witnessing" from Malhotra sure to win over more converts for her theology

She caused another stir with a letter to the gay activists who organized an event known as Coming Out Week in the fall of 2004. Malhotra sent the letter on behalf of the Georgia Tech College Republicans, which she chairs; she said several members of the executive board helped write it.

The letter referred to the campus gay rights group Pride Alliance as a "sex club … that can't even manage to be tasteful." It went on to say that it was "ludicrous" for Georgia Tech to help fund the Pride Alliance.

The letter berated students who come out publicly as gay, saying they subject others on campus to "a constant barrage of homosexuality."

"If gays want to be tolerated, they should knock off the political propaganda," the letter said.

Such willful ignorance, such spiteful joy from one so young as Malhotra is truly a sad & pathetic spectacle to witness indeed

So, Gays are somehow leveling Malhotra with a constant barrage of homosexuality, even though they make up just a fraction of the Institute's students?

The image of Malhotra with this whiny petulance is that of one of those easily shocked, fuddy-duddy bluebloods, the kind who always swoon in movies and on TV at the least little bit of reality they find impossible to acknowledge or positively deal with

But once again, we see another mewling hypocrite, Malhotra, who wants everyone to kiss her ass & joyfully fund her group, while insisting on no funding for the people she so obviously despises

Perhaps if Malhotra doesn't want her views attacked, SHE should knock off the "O, Woe Is Me" propaganda

Still, she said, the incident has left her afraid to speak freely. She's even reluctant to aggressively advertise the campus lectures she arranges on living by the Bible.

"Whenever I've spoken out against a certain lifestyle, the first thing I'm told is 'You're being intolerant, you're being negative, you're creating a hostile campus environment,' " Malhotra said.

Again, Malhotra hasn't put her faith into action, as she obviously doesn't think God will provide a way for her to expound her message even if she gets suspended and/or expelled

Why should everyone else be forced to acknowledge a faith as weak as Malhotra's?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sorry for the delay in posting this, but there's just so much interesting stuff about the following UnChristian Fucktards that it's easy to get swamped in determining just which of the hatreds spewed by these willfully ignorant jerkoffs should be highlighted

For Part I of this post, look at the post below

NOTE: While I would have loved to include actual quotes from this conference, there were NO transcripts made available anywhere, most notably on the Vision America site itself-which is odd, considering that the organizers proclaimed it a smashing success, but apparently not enough of a success to share the speakers stirring oratories with the faithful unable to attend this theological pep rally

Ironically, the closest thing to a transcript for this event was found at the liberal "People For The American Way" site

Now, let's deal with just a few of the various nutzoids who took part in the Vision America mutual masturbation conference last week

The assclown who organized Vision America is Rick Scarborough, and Melissa destroys this weak-faithed ninnyhammer HERE and HERE

And since she included lots of links in her Scarborough Scourging, I can't flame the bastard any better than SS did

One other thing, the featured lackbrains and malaperts were only a few of the attendees for the first two panel discussions at the Vision America conference

First up at the "War On Christianity" BSFest, Lt Gordon Klingenschmitt, but first, the backstory

Last year numerous allegations surfaced at the Air Force Academy in Colorado that some of the Chaplains and Air Force Officers were proselytizing to those not of their religious persuasion

It was the opening ceremony of a four-day Spiritual Fitness Conference at a Hilton hotel here last month organized and paid for by the Air Force for many of its United States-based chaplains and their families, at a cost of $300,000. The chaplains, who pledge when they enter the military to minister to everyone, Methodist, Mormon or Muslim, attended workshops on "The Purpose Driven Life," the best seller by the megachurch pastor Rick Warren, and on how to improve their worship services. In the hotel hallways, vendors from Focus on the Family and other evangelical organizations promoted materials for the chaplains to use in their work.

The event was just one indication of the extent to which evangelical Christians have become a growing force in the Air Force chaplain corps, a trend documented by military records and interviews with more than two dozen chaplains and other military officials.


The change mirrors the Air Force as a whole, where representation is rising from evangelical churches. But there are also increasing numbers of enlistees from minority religions as well as atheists. It has all created a complicated environment and caused tensions over tolerance and the role of the military chaplain.

Some conflicts have already become public. A Pentagon investigation into the religious climate at the Air Force Academy here found no overt discrimination, but it did find that officers and faculty members periodically used their positions to promote their Christian beliefs and failed to accommodate non-Christian cadets, for example refusing them time off for religious holidays.


In the Navy some evangelical chaplains say they are the ones discriminated against. Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, of the Evangelical Episcopal Church, says he was warned by commanders that his approach to the ministry was not inclusive enough. When a Catholic sailor on his ship died, Lieutenant Klingenschmitt said he preached at a memorial service and emphasized that for those who did not accept Jesus, "God's wrath remains upon him."

After that and several other incidents, Lieutenant Klingenschmitt's commanding officer recommended that the Navy not renew his chaplain contract.

The lieutenant is fighting to remain in the military. "The Navy wants to impose its religion on me," he said. "Religious pluralism is a religion. It's a theology all by itself."

Perhaps Klingie should learn grammar, as how can a plural "Religious Pluralism" be a singular "all by itself" at the same time?

PBS also focused on this issue

The issue came to a head last year at the Air Force Academy, where complaints by Jewish cadets and others of proselytizing by evangelical officers and cadets led to a Pentagon investigation.

In response, the air force issued new interim guidelines telling chaplains to be "sensitive to those who do not welcome offerings of faith," and in public settings or where attendance is mandatory, to offer only brief "nonsectarian" prayers. That didn't sit well with some on Capitol Hill."

POTTER: Republican Walter Jones and more than 70 other members of Congress want President Bush to intervene, and more than 200,000 supporters have signed a petition seeking an executive order to protect the right of chaplains to pray according to their faith. Their cause célèbre is navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt.

And Klingenschmitt has quite the dramatic touch common to attention whores everywhere, as he started staging a hunger strike in front of the White House, one that ended after 18 days with a declaration of Victory by Klingenschmitt

A Navy chaplain ended an 18-day fast outside the White House yesterday, proclaiming victory in his bid to use Jesus' name when praying in public.

"The Navy has finally given me back my uniform and let me pray publicly in Jesus' name," said Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt. He said his supervisor, Capt. Lloyd Pyle, told him Friday that he can now give Christian prayers while uniformed.


"Today is the first step, and we have a long way to go before we have religious liberty in the Navy," Lt. Klingenschmitt said.

He also said the issue has become widespread among Navy chaplains since the late 1990s. Two lawsuits were filed in 1999 and 2000 against the Navy by 50 Christian chaplains, stating the Navy discriminates against evangelical and Pentecostal clerics.

"Most of those chaplains are no longer in the Navy, saying they could not get promoted and they're out on the street now without jobs, because they prayed and preached the wrong way when the government was trying to censor their prayers and sermons," Lt. Klingenschmitt said.

Seeing as how you're a good "Christian" Lt Klingenschmitt, which means you wouldn't EVER lie about anything, why not tell the whole world about these now homeless & penniless former naval clerics, like real names that can be verified by more than your say-so alone

And what's this, an allegation that Klingenschmitt may have declared a less than well-fought victory, oh no, say it ain't so

The Navy maintains that chaplains are allowed to pray in the name of all deities -- including Jesus Christ -- during chapel services. However, at other public events, sensitivity to the needs of all those present is encouraged and chaplains may decline an invitation to pray if not able to do so for conscience reasons.

Lt. William Marks, a Navy spokesman, said yesterday there never were restrictions against Lt. Klingenschmitt and he is not sure why the chaplain considered himself victorious.

"The policy hasn't changed," he said. "That's the way it's always been."

And apparently, other clerics in the military also take some exception to the efforts of Klingenschmitt's backers as well

An association that represents more than 70 percent of the chaplains in the U.S. military, including many evangelical Christians, is opposing a demand by conservatives in Congress for a presidential order guaranteeing the right of chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus.

The rising calls for an executive order are based on "confusion and misinformation," because Christian chaplains routinely pray in the name of Jesus, in public, thousands of times a week in military chapels around the world, said the Rev. Herman Keizer Jr., chairman of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces.

"This has been portrayed as though chaplains are not allowed to pray in Jesus's name, without any distinction between what they do all the time in worship services and what they do occasionally, in ceremonial settings where attendance is mandatory," Keizer said.

Yessirree, nothing says "Christian" like the false claims of a cleric/blowhard in professing "victory" for those who wish to pray "In Jesus' Name", even though that's NEVER been banned

And for a perfect response to Klingenschmitt's "Woe Is Me" false accusations, go here to read Klingenschmitt's well-earned beatdown, written during Klingenschmitt's public hunger strike

Lt. Klingenschmitt is in clear violation of the Covenant and The Code of Ethics for Chaplains of the Armed Forces and more importantly has disobeyed direct orders. As a commissioned officer this is unacceptable. All chaplains know going in that they will have to work in a multi-faith environment and minister to the needs of all servicemen regardless of their faith. If he can’t do this in good conscience he should resign his commission.....In addition to being stripped of his uniform, Lt. Klingenschmitt should be stripped of his commission and discharged from the Navy. Any officer who disobeys direct orders should expect to have that coming. Going on a hunger strike is more akin to a child pitching a fit and holding his breath than to what a commissioned officer is supposed to provide; leadership

To that, I can only add a VERY hearty "AMEN"

We've got two more real lively specimens to study under the microscope here, but that will have to be in the next post, as encyclopedia treatises aren't always my favorite way to go