Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election 2006

It’s finally here!
We’re all probably sick of the mudslinging, the negativity, and the deceptions that have pervaded the airways for the last several weeks.
The nastiest governor’s race I’ve ever seen is drawing to a close.
In Wisconsin, an amendment to the state constitution is on the table which would institute discrimination into a document that is supposed to be about our freedom and our pursuit of happiness. An advisory referendum is on the table to bring back the death penalty after Wisconsin has successfully survived without one for 153 years (Wisconsin banned the death penalty in 1853, just 5 years after it joined the Union).
In many other states, people get to make their choices for governors, for research that could save untold numbers of lives, and every state has congressional candidates up for election.

The most fundamental freedom we have as Americans is the right to vote. The right to choose who will lead us for the next 2, 4, or 6 years. The chance to express our views on subjects that matter the most to us—not the things that people tell us we should be concerned about. Since 2003, in Iraq alone, 2,875+ Americans have given their lives in service to that freedom, that choice, that constitutional right. Some 15,000+ will never walk again, never understand things correctly again, or never be able to hold their children or grandchildren again. All in the name of our freedom.

Yes, I’ve got strong convictions. But today is not about what I think. Today is about what you think.
Please, vote.
Express your right as an American.
Whether you’re change the course, stay the course, or somewhere in between, vote.
See you at the polls,

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mark Foley on The Child Safety Act of 2005

Below is the text of what Mark Foley (R-FL, former) said during open debate on September 14th, 2005, during the introduction of H.R. 3132. Text from the Library of Congress. A shining example of hypocrisy.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Chairman, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Foley).

Mr. FOLEY. Mr. Chairman, as co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and an original author of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification measure included in this bill, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3132, the Children's Safety Act of 2005.

Mr. Speaker, we have all heard the names: Jessica Lunsford, Jetseta Gage, Sarah Lunde, Megan Kanka, Jacob Wetterling, just to name a few. All beautiful children carrying with them the hopes and dreams of every young child in this country. All taken away from their parents and their futures, killed by sex offenders.

This is an important piece of legislation we are faced with today. It is probably one of the most tragic things any family will ever deal with. While Katrina, the hurricane, and Judge Roberts are much in the headlines, below the fold seems to be daily an occurrence of a violent act against our children. It is time we get tough.

I have said repeatedly that in this country we track library books better than we do sex offenders. This bill, thanks to the good efforts of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and others, seeks to correct that.

This bill is not a knee-jerk reaction. We have worked over 1 year on this legislation with the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, the U.S. Department of Justice, and other Federal agencies.

It is horrific that in this country we are experiencing these untold tragedies throughout our Nation; but we can do better, and in this bill we will do better.

I would like to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner) and his staff, Mike Volkov, for working tirelessly to produce this comprehensive child protection legislation. This bill has indeed many fathers and mothers. It is for the children, though, that we work and we labor.

I have often said this bill is a labor of love. Yet it is a labor of shame that we have these kinds of incidents of violence and tragedies affecting our kids.

I would like to thank Bradley Schreiber, my legislative director, who has worked so many hours in trying to perfect and work alongside staff to make this legislation possible; Ernie Allen from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; John Walsh from America's Most Wanted, who has led a crusade for well over 20 years since the death of his beautiful son Adam in Florida. John Walsh has brought a scrutiny to child protection legislation unlike any other human being.

Finally, and most important, I want to recognize the victims' parents. It is their hard work and determination, their tears and their frustration, and their fears for their other children that has brought this bill to the floor so quickly. They took away from their own tragedies a chance to help fellow Americans protect other children; and for that we are entirely grateful.

Mr. Chairman, these are not petty criminals. These are sex offenders, and they must be dealt with accordingly.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Medicare Part D: Built to Fail?

An article in The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin suggests that the Medicare Part D Program was built to fail...to make the road to privatization easier to justify. And I agree. The great insight on this program is available here.

To me, it shows even more how the Republican majority (and even some Democrats) find a convenient use for senior citizens...knock them down to further their own goals and ambitions to live up to the campaign dollars contributed by major Pharmaceutical companies. Once again, another reason to change course on November 7th.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Talking to a Bush

Vote For Change This November 7th. American Freedom Is On The March...right here at home.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

And It All Came Tumbling Down

If the Democratic Party had its own “Project for the New American Century,” they would have just achieved receiving their “Pearl Harbor Event.” But unlike PNAC, who needed the deaths of thousands of Americans to rally the nation to its cause, the Democratic Party only needed one Republican pervert, the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

The GOP (Grand Old Perverts) are losing their death-grip on American power. Scandal upon scandal seemed to leave them unscathed. Until one man’s “love” for young Congressional Pages became headlines. The events of the past week have initiated the sea-change tidal wave that will most likely swamp the already leaking SS Republicana.

If nothing else, the Foley-gate scandal and its apparent cover-up by the Republican Congressional Leadership should serve as a clear warning to all who claim to have a moral fortitude greater than the majority of the citizens of a nation. Their lust for power, their lust for man-boy love, their lust for money and war and death and destruction and perpetual war has undone them. Now, a clear majority of Americans favor the Democrats over Republicans on every single major issue. Homeland Security. Economy. The war in Iraq. Even Moral leadership and values. The latest poll by NEWSWEEK deals the blows:
“While 52 percent of Americans believe Hastert was aware of Foley’s actions and tried to cover them up, it’s part of a larger loss of faith in Republican leadership, thanks mostly to the war in Iraq," Marcus Mabry writes. "For instance, for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, a majority of Americans now believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein: 58 percent vs. 36 percent who believe it didn’t."
I think we are witnessing the meltdown of a political party, and the erosion of faith in the political ideology of Conservatism. Will it soon go the way of Communism? I doubt it, but Conservatism, for all intensive purposes, is in Intensive Care, on life support… We can bring America back. Back from the brink. And it will all begin on November 7th, 2006, when we inform the nation that sometimes “staying the course” is just pure stupidity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Green is not for Wisconsin's best interests...

Mark Green (R-WI) is not right for the position of governor of our great progressive state. Green is a Bush lap-dog and nothing more. Mark Green, your application for governor is not accepted.

The State Elections Board ordered that Mark Green return $468,000.00 in donations from PACs that are not registered in the state of Wisconsin. Green refused. This week, a Dane County judge ordered that Green's campaign return the money. Green still refuses. Sounds like something a Bush Republican would do. Mark Green is way out of touch with Wisconsin's values. Wisconsin doesn't want a Busher running the state. We don't want your dirty PAC money, either. Green can't even get real citizens of this great state to be in his ads. Now that's pathetic.

Green has voted alongside Bush's wishes 92% of his time in Congress. Since only about 40% of Americans actually agree with George Bush, Green seems to be on the wrong side of nearly every issue that should be important to the Wisconsin voter. Wisconsin is the world leader in stem cell research, which Mark Green opposes at the wish of the Far Right Christian Conservatives who seem to be unable to vote for their own best interests. Wisconsin workers need a higher minimum wage, which Mark Green was against...7 times.

I, even as a liberal, may not be all that excited about Gov. Doyle's performance over the last 4 years, cannot even fathom that the Republicans would put up such a freak show candidate on their side. If they would've come up with a moderate...one who actually cares about what happens in the state of Wisconsin, one who stands up for the state's best interests and that of its citizens, the Republicans would've had a fighting chance here. Although it appears they're relatively close in the polls, unless there is far right interference in the actual election itself, I don't think Green has a chance in hell here. And that is music to my ears.

I respect those who's views differ with my own, but when they border on insanity or dictatorship supportive views, then there's just no room in my heart for them. Nobody should "have to" sacrifice freedom for safety. No soldier should have to buy their own armor in Iraq. And no Wisconsin Guardsman should have to go back to Iraq more than one tour. That's what our regular military is for. And no Wisconsin veteran should have to stare down the cut in funding for the Veteran's Administration. Not one of them.

Mark Green, you're on the wrong side of the issues that are dear to Wisconsin's present and future. You are wrong for Wisconsin. You are wrong for keeping the $468,000. You are wrong, apparently 92% of the time.

Doyle will win, so this is just an exercise in expressing my views.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's De Ja Vu all over again

Here we are.
Bush is on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, TX.
Last year he was on vacation when Katrina struck.
2001, he was on vacation when he was warned about a serious threat from Al Qaida.
And now, in 2006, while vacationing...the United States raises the threat level to red for the very first time.

Bush Vacation=Something Bad Happens

Any Questions?

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Heat Wave

The United States has been broiling in a heat wave that began, according to meteorologists on July 5th, 2006. Over 80 record highs have been shattered, with many places in many states setting all-time record highs for the month of July. So, is the heat wave a symptom of global warming?

There’s no evidence that can be pointed to and give a definitive “yes,” however, given the duration, intensity, and scale of the heat wave of ’06, it could very well be a symptom, a result, of human’s pollution of the earth. And, if this is the case, then this type of weather could be “the norm” within the next 10 years. With an antiquated electrical grid, soaring energy prices, and global conflicts, the strain of continued heat of this rate could have disastrous implications for the U.S. economy. Combine the heat wave with war, tensions in the Middle East, the systematic elimination of the middle class by the current administration and Congress, and we have a recipe for disaster. A disaster that we may not see unfolding until it is far too late to do anything substantive enough to mitigate the effects.

Failed policy has led us to wear we are. It is truly that simple. The Bush Administration has rolled back, with frightening speed, many environmental controls designed to prevent this type of “symptom” from ever appearing. It is any coincidence that the growing evidence that Global Warming is linked to the intense wildfires, heat, and hurricanes during the Bush Error? If there ever was a sign from God…

It is “cool” here in Wisconsin today, compared to the heat of the last several weeks. It was “only” 88 (still well above normal) today, with low relative humidity. And this actually felt good to me, compared with the weather we’ve been having. Just like we’ve gotten thankful when gas is “only” $2.95 a gallon, we’re getting thankful when it is “only” 8 or 10 degrees above normal. Guess our desensitizing is going as planned…

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Wisconsin Blast Furnace


"Heat, ma'am!" I said; "it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."
-Lady Holland's Memoir by Sydney Smith (1771-1845)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Welcome Jesus!

Is it the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelation? Apparently, there's a lot of fundamentalists out there who believe the world is approaching that critical point. As a person who's views used to be on the side of the fundamentalist "End Times" group, I can say that there's some trepidation that comes with the current events, but at the same time, I look at these events in the Middle East and realize that this may be nothing more than a human invented course of events that may lead the world to the brink of the Third World War, possibly in the hopes of some involved to bring about Armageddon. And as a Christian, however, I have to say to these end time believers that man cannot bring about the return of Christ, and point out that the book of Revelation warns against the False Church and those that interpret the words of the Book incorrectly...
Here's a story from CNN on the apocalypse:

And here is Stephen Colbert, welcoming the Third World War:

Nothing wrong with a little bit of levity in light of World War III...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Waiting for the next Lusitania?

Does anyone else find it "odd" that the U.S. State Department is so very, very slow in getting Americans out of Lebanon than any other industrialized nation evacuating its citizens?

Granted, we couldn't get people out of New Orleans last year, so why would we expect that the most powerful nation on earth could actually evacuate its citizens from a rapidly deteriorating situation in Lebanon (it's so far away! It's "complicated" ). Or could there possibly be something more sinister at work?

The World War III chorus has begun with Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc. ad nauseum. Bush says Syria needs to get Hezbollah to "stop this shit." Now it is reported that Bush and Blair "explicitly approved" at least a week for Israel to inflict "maximum damage" before we join the world calls for a cease fire. So, what better way to get America involved in World War III (not that we didn't already "start it" with our misguided invasion of Iraq), then to have an event (read: September 11th) to rally support against an all-out invasion of Syria and Iran. The Lusitania was attacked in 1915 by a German U-Boat that fired a torpedo at the ship, bringing great anger and support for our participation in the first World War.

So, here we go with a conspiracy theory...are the neocons hell-bent on implying that the third world war has, in fact, begun, hoping (maybe quietly) that a slow evacuation of American citizens will increase the chance that Hezbollah will attack an evacuating cruise ship, causing massive American casualties? Especially now that Israel has begun a ground incursion into Lebanon and has engaged Hezbollah on the ground...common sense dictates that this will greatly increase the "threat" that Hezbollah will react with a violent lash out on any supporter of Israel.

I'm hoping, of course, the attack does not occur, but as with any actions by this Administration lately, I'm incredibly suspicious of their ultimate goals...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Let Freedom Ring Anew

A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.
- Thomas Jefferson

Isn't it time we review the Declaration of Independence? It is now my goal to read this at least once per year, on its anniversary 230 years ago today, to reaffirm my allegiance to what is good and right about these United States, and to what is the true good and right nature of the people of these United States and all those who wish to become a part of her citizenry in a legal and fair manner, and to the one true Leader that we must all some day answer to.

I implore you to read the entire document presented here today in its entirety. For a nice little twist, try replacing "King of Great Britain" with George W. Bush (Or "King George"). It is interesting how, 230 years on, the words of this document can (unfortunately) be applied to the leadership of this nature. Maybe it is time, once again, to declare our independence from tyranny and reaffirm the true nature of this Republic...One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Saturday, July 01, 2006

All Out War? Israel Raises the Stakes

After the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Corporal Gilad Shilit, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated that the Israeli government would "go to extremes" to safely bring back Cpl. Shilit to his family. It began with troops amassing along the Gaza Strip, firing rockets and tank shells into parts of the Gaza Strip from which it was believed militant rocket fire was coming from, and the arrest of nearly 1/3 of the Hamas led government of the Palestinian state. Israel reportedly "buzzed" the summer residence of Syrian president Assad in a clear warning regarding is supposed "implicit involvement" with terrorist organizations including Hamas. Now the stakes are going up.

An Australian paper has reported that the Israelis have threatened to assassinate the Palestinian Prime Minister (member of Hamas Ismael Haniyeh) if the soldier is not freed. MSNBC is reporting that Palestinian militants holding Cpl. Shilit have given new demands for the release of 1,000 prisoners and a halt to Israel's military operations in Gaza.

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation. Palestine asked the council to condemn Israel for the Gaza offensive, but no such resolution was circulated, most likely because of U.S. opposition. Once again, the U.S. is bowing to Israel's offensive strategy, and this time, the U.S. could go too far in its implicit support for Israel's actions. I agree that Israel should have recourse for the kidnapped soldier. However, even though they are terrorists, the Hamas leadership was democratically elected, whether we like it or not. We spout off about democracy and "freedom on the march" while at the same time, with our forked tongue, attempt to tell other nations who they can and cannot elect to their leadership.

I disagree wholeheartedly with the Palestinian choice for a government. But, I respect their decisions. Already, to a certain extent, the Hamas leadership in charge in Palestine has began to moderate its views. But with Israel's offensive, there appears to be a backslide towards the more hardline views of Hamas and their previously stated goal of the destruction of the state of Israel. This situation has all the markings of one that could descend Israel and the Palestinians into an all out conflict that could easily draw in Syrian involvement.

If the reported threat from the Australian paper is true, and Israel carries the threat out, the assassination of a democratically elected head of a government (whether or not the U.S. has decided to recognize the government) would be a very serious raise in the stakes of International tensions, and would open a window for other nations to declare opposing country's leaders as "terrorists" and then strike and attempt assassinations. And, in my opinion, the U.S.' bullish attitude towards the United Nations is about to render the U.N. useless. The Right will cheer the downfall, but we'll all pay the price. After all, since its creation, we have not had a global conflict on the scale of the first two World Wars. Without the U.N., the chances of a global conflict, begun in the Middle East (by the U.S.) will greatly increase.

The stakes have been raised. The last card has been drawn. Who will fold first?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

American Life

Update 06-24-06--The video is no longer available. It was the Director's Cut version of Madonna's "American Life". If you get a chance to see it, I recommend it...
It Speaks For Itself...

FRONTLINE: The Dark Side

Last night, PBS' FRONTLINE episode was titled "The Dark Side", a look at the struggle for power between the CIA and Vice President over intelligence issues post-9/11. This program was very detailed and rich with insights into the way this power-grabbing Vice President works. It showed how George Tenet, former CIA director, lost his battle when he traded power for access. Subtly, the White House fired shots across the bow at the CIA, from the outing of Valerie Plame to the famous "16 words" in the State of the Union. Tenet ended up resigning, and recieved a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service...the payoff.

I hope to write more about this episode later. If you saw it, give a shout-out on your thoughts. If you didn't, you can head over to PBS.org and view the program.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

US Soldier's Bodies Found (Breaking News)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006: 5:41 AM CST
Breaking... (LINK UPDATED 5:51 AM)

Breaking News out of Iraq this morning:
An Iraqi official (not yet named in news sources) has confirmed that the two kidnapped U.S. Soldiers in Iraq have been found, bodies recovered, apparently killed by their captors. UPDATED: The group was vowing revenge for the June 7 killing of Abu Masab al-Zarqawi. Apparently, they have followed through on their threat. The search had involved 8,000 U.S. and Iraqi security forces. May they now rest with God.

Visit the "Breaking..." link above (MSNBC) for more details.

All this as Cheney says again that the "insurgency is in its last throes."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs

Yesterday I received a letter from the the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, R. James Nicholson. It seems that my personal data (name, date of birth, and SSN) were on that employee's laptop. Of course, I'm just one of "up to 26.5 million" who had their data stolen. I've been watching the data theft story, however, it never crossed my mind that my personal information would've been on that laptop. And it raises the question: Why so many? Why so much data on a single stand alone laptop?

As an individual who has gone through the Department of Defense security clearance procedure, who works with personal data of thousands of our longest-serving veterans, and someone who is keenly interested and studied on Privacy Act and HIPPA laws, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why so much personal data would be on a single piece of equipment, and not stored on a secured network which can only be accessed by means of VPN when someone is away from the office. Defense Department security guidelines, which have been adopted by many companies and especially government agencies are extraordinarily strict, well thought out (for the most part), and extremely secure.

I sincerely hope that the Department of Veterans Affairs undergoes a comprehensive security review, fully adopts ALL Department of Defense electronic security guidelines, and continues to have a policy of full and immediate disclosure to individuals affected by this massive breach of security. Having the data available for millions of veterans and active duty service members is an incredible hole in "homeland security" that must be immediately plugged. It is bad enough that the Republican led House, Senate, and Executive sho little respect for those that have served this nation, including in it's current conflicts, but then to barely react to this security breach is further evidence of their utter disregard for this nation's most important and dedicated individuals...those of us who have served and protected the Constitution and the people.

The one "positive" thing that has come about because of this is that I have personally evaluated my own practices in my current position, ensuring that I am strictly adhering (much to the dismay of some of the people contacting me for assistance) to the Privacy Act of 1974, HIPPA laws, and Department of Defense Information Security guidelines. It has also caused me to consider a more proactive role in ensuring privacy across the board where I am currently employed, and hopefully the company will be open to having individuals solely focused on privacy and reviewing all employee's actions.

Note: I do not work for the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense. I am with a company that has a contract with the TRICARE Management Activity, and have undergone and received a favorable review by the investigative branch of the Department of Defense (DITSCO/DITSCAP).

Support our troops. Bush is on his own.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

WWJD? Christian puts price on head of author...

A fantastic example of Christianity:

Indian Christian offers 25K bounty for the head of DaVinci Code author Dan Brown.

WWJD?? I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have put out a bounty on someone's head. Wow, some of you have your priorities really screwed up.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Wiretapping Story Thickens...

The Wall Street Journal (subscription restricted) is reporting that BellSouth is "demanding a retraction" of the story by USA Today that characterized the relationship between the NSA and BellSouth Corp.

Companies like BellSouth, Verizon, and AT&T may be allowed to lie about their relationship and transactions with the NSA; because of a presidential memorandum that George Bush signed on May 5th that allows the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, to authorize a company to "conceal activities related to national security."

The Congressional Research Service has released a report questioning the legality of the monitoring and turning over to the NSA of call records by telecommunications companies. According to the report, existing laws may "expose the telephone companies to some civil remedies or criminal sanctions." "In addition, a request not founded upon a statutory scheme would appear to lack a means of compelling production of the information requested."

Representative John Conyers
had this to say:
"Report suggests that in providing the NSA with millions of phone records of innocent Americans, the telephone service providers violated a number of Federal statutes including the Communications Act of 1934 and 18 U.S.C. § 2701 governing access to stored electronic communications and transactional records. In addition, the NSA may well be in violation of both FISA and related federal laws governing trap and trace devices. Given this analysis, it is clear that we as a congress need to step up and investigate these very serious charges."
Where's the oversight? At least 29% of Americans believe they have already been wiretapped. I believe that some of my calls may have been tracked, whether or not, however, it may have pertained to my receiving a security clearance with the Department of Defense, I do not know. I simply am unaware of just how far the FBI went in investigating my trustworthiness before the DoD decided to authorize my clearance. Continued wiretapping or monitoring of my electronic communications, however, would be unrelated to my clearance and would simply be a part of the theft from Americans of their 4th amendment rights...

I think we all have a lot to think about. Glossing it over as a "terrorist surveillance program" is a load of crap. That would be like saying invading Iraq was all about freedom. If we don't know better than that, we deserve to have our phones tapped.

Tags: Negroponte NSA Wiretaps Bellsouth AT&T Verizon Conyers Bush Politics Lies FBI D0D Defense CRS Terrorism Intelligence

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The World Hates Us

According to new polling released by Newshouse News Service shows that the world is turning against Americans, and not just specific policies or leaders. A growing number of Europeans, Asians, and Muslims believe that Americans are "rude and violent." This is an ominous turn of the view of Americans, and is directly linked to our policies and what President Bush's "agenda" has done to the view of the U.S. around the world.

We are rapidly losing our credibility throughout the world, and as this continues to manifest itself, the United States will begin and continue its decline. While we still arguably have the most powerful military in the world, our powerful military will not be enough to protect us from growing animosity. You can read more about the survey here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

200,000 AK-47s "Missing" in Iraq

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, hosted by RAW STORY, a shipment of 200,000 AK-47s from Bosnia (leftovers from the war there) to Iraq by the U.S. to be given to Iraqi security forces has "gone missing". This occurred in 2004 and 2005, and the company responsible for carrying out the shipments has already been blasted by the UN for smuggling weapons into Liberia. So, are the weapons now in the hands of terrorists? Or insurgents?

Talk about mismanagement!

In an unrelated issue:
Is The Hanso Foundation the AR equivalent to Halliburton (only worse)?
I find it disturbing that the Hanso Foundation is so complicit, it seems, in subverting the law. And now they're filling the airwaves with their "feel good" commercials, and even advertising in papers in larger cities, attacking a book called "Bad Twin" for mentioning THF in not so good terms.

...now back to your regularly scheduled reality...

[PC] Daniel

Sunday, May 07, 2006

9/11 Loose Change

I finally watched the "documentary" 911 Loose Change on Google Video. I was putting it off for a long time (partly because I couldn't remember the damned title, and was having trouble finding it), and also putting it off because (although some of you people think I am) I am not one of those tin-foil hat types. I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but I'm not easily swayed to believe that a conspiracy theory is possible. Someone always talks.

Loose Change is a well done video. They address most questions that come up during the viewing, and definitely have made me do some research of my own. The two things that are "bugging" me the most right now are the collapse of the towers and the "disappearing" planes that hit the Pentagon and crashed in Shanksville (Flight 93).

If you've watched Loose Change, let me know your opinion, and, in general, does anyone out there really think/believe that a conspiracy/cover-up of this scale could actually be perpetrated against the people of the United States of America?

Also, I'm rebuilding my links for a cleaned up template. Look here for more details.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Iran, Nuclear War, and the UN

It is becoming evident that Russia and China are unwilling to allow economic sanctions or military action against Iran to make it through the UN Security Council via resolution. Both wield veto power in the UN Security Council, so if this is true and not grandstanding, there will be no sanctions against Iran. This would mean that the United States would have to unilaterally impose sanctions, and act unilaterally once again if the administration chooses a military strike against Iran. I think that the efforts to do so would be the wrong move for the government of the US. And, I think it is time for the UN to no longer be impotent in these matters.

The United States supported the formation of the League of Nations and the United Nations, believing it was paramount to the security of the United States and the world to have this body govern things such as sanctions and military action. While I agree that the United States (and any nation, including Iran) should be allowed to have sovereignty and act in the best interest of their people, this move (attacking Iran) would not be in the best interest of the people of the United States.

I absolutely agree with most that Iran should not have nuclear weapons. However, this does not include their right to have nuclear power, which I believe is something that not only should be allowed, but encouraged along with the assistance of other nations and the oversight of the IAEA. The United States, through the actions of the Bush Administration, has essentially lost its right to tell other countries what they may or may not do. And that is a truly sad development in our country’s history. Iran is not to blame, terrorists are not to blame, and liberals are not to blame for this development. One needs to look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the Republican controlled Congress.

Maybe someday soon Americans will end the practice of voting against their own best interests, and stop voting solely based on emotion over an issue that they feel is “dear to them”. Abortion or Nuclear War? Gay marriage or $8.00 a gallon gas? Responsible government or continued unparalleled corruption in government? Time to wake up and smell the coffee, before we have to wake up and see that we’ve invaded yet another country, killing innocents, killing our children that fight for this country, and possibly using nuclear weapons (again) in an age when we know, without a doubt, how devastating radioactive fallout can be…and have the technology to deal with threats and bunkers without the use of nuclear weapons.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Iran IAEA Nuke Report Today

U.N. nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei is set to issue his report to the U.N. Security Council today, and is fully expected to find that "Iran has failed" to meet today's deadline to comply with requests to suspend its uranium enrichment program, setting the stage for a battle in the U.N. Security Council over how to respond to Tehran's failure to comply.

The Security Council will need to consider punitive measures against Iran, with Russia and China so far being "reluctant" to begin sanctions against the Islamic Republic, while other council members such as the U.S. are urging a "strong response" to the expected results of the report.

The diversion that the Bush Administration has been looking for seems to be arriving. Will the U.S. actually allow the U.N. Security Council showdown to go forward, arguing its case for sanctions, or will Bolton and co. "bolt" and let the White House take us down the road of unilateral military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities? Bush has stated he wants all diplomatic options to be exhausted first, but we all know with what truth is being revealed around the invasion of Iraq, that we really cannot take him at his word.

Are we "days away" from bombing as some claim? I don't think so. I think we're weeks away, but probably not much more than a month or two from now. Of course, it may all hinge on "justification", such as Iran's response to the report being released today. Their threats of 'reataliation' if sanctions are imposed are probably not to be taken lightly, but all the saber rattling on both sides is quickly poising the world on the bring of a full conflict, potentially including the use of nuclear weapons by the United States, according to the Bush administrations own admissions that "all options are on the table".

Dangerous times are heading our way.

Also, it could be Fitzmas '06. 6 months after Scooter Libby was indicted, the Grand Jury is set to meet today, after Rove's 3+ hours of testimony on Wednesday. Could an indictment be impending? Or, is Rove actually coopearting as some have suggested? Only time will tell. Personally I do not think we'll hear of Rove indictments today. If we do, I'll be surprised (pleasantly).

Iran Nuclear Fitzgerald Sanctions UN Security_Council IAEA Tehran China Russia Scooter Plame Politics

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Calling ALL Blogs That I Link To!!!


I am currently rebuilding the template. In order for me to "clean up" my link index, I need to know if you still want a link from me to you. Requirements: Unless through special arrangement, there MUST be a reciprocal link on your blog! (Some "special arrangements" are just me choosing to link to someone).

The Categories are:

Blog$hares Blogs (reserved for Missions and Corporation Members of Progressive Holdings, Inc.)

Political Blogs (I'm sure you can figure that one out)

"Other" Blogs (you'll be listed under a "worthy blogs" section or a "blogs that link here" or a "Blogs that I Like" category.

This is very important! so I am keeping it at the top for now. If you want a part of the new and improved Truth, the comment.

Also--if you're site is non-blog and you believe it deserves inclusion under my "Links" section (which will be the first link section anyone sees on the newly rebuilt TRUTH), then "plead your case". ;-)

Look forward to hearing from you all... (PS: Political is NOT mutually exlusive to Liberal or Progressive, I plan on including links to conservative blogs as well--which might get there own special category, however the same linking rules will definitely apply!!)

Report says Rove has received Target Letter in Plame Leak Case

It appears that Karl Rove's appearance before the Plame leak investigation grand jury today wasn't "just because". According to a Truthout article, Rove's attorney recently was a recipient of a "target letter" from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, which means that Rove "may face imminent indictment" by the Grand Jury. From the article:
Should Wednesday's court appearance by Rove provide the grand jury with answers to lingering questions, Rove may not be charged with obstruction of justice, but will likely be indicted for perjury and lying to investigators, sources close to the case said.

For one, according to the sources close to the investigation, the likelihood that Rove will be charged with perjury centers on the fact that Rove has testified at least three times that he first discovered that Plame worked for the CIA after her name was printed in a July 2003 newspaper report by conservative columnist Robert Novak. Evidence has since surfaced that shows Rove spoke to Novak about Plame prior to Novak's published report in which Novak outed the undercover CIA officer.
Looks to me like things may be unraveling a bit more for Rove. The biggest question I have is simple...how does this all relate to Bush and Cheney's actions surrounding this case? Will Rove now be fired if indicted? I'm sure it would be a "resignation," but I believe we'll see what kind of fortitude, or lack thereof, this administration posesses.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

US Already Operating in Iran?

The story first appeared on Raw Story, a (very) liberal blog/news outlet. Now it appears that The Asian Times has been able to "confirm" that US Combat troops are already operating inside of Iran, and the US has "outsourced" certain aspects of its overall operation to terrorist groups to incite tensions among ethnic minorities against the mullahs of Iran. You can read the whole story here.

Now Newsweek has a short article posted regarding what the neocons want vs. the actual intelligence reports on attempting to create an overthrow of the mullahs in Iran and the current hard-liners in control of the country. I would have to agree with the sentiment that an overthrow of the government simply would not work. Iranians, overall somewhat "sympathetic" to the West, have become far less so with the saber-rattling of the Bush administration, and it truly appears that the US actions are increasing the likelihood of Iran weaponizing its nuclear program instead of simply using it for peaceful purposes. Many in Iran now feel that having nukes would be a sense of "national pride," although I'm betting that many would also feel that the current leaders of their nation should not be the ones with the nukes.

If Bush truly wants a diplomatic solution as he states, why would every action that they've been engaging in tend to bring the Iranians towards confrontation with the West through provocation rather than dropping the threat of a nuclear attack on Iran and ratcheting down the rhetoric to foment peace rather than war? I have to believe that the administration is either unbelievably stupid and thinks the American people are, too, or they have a better idea: they want the war.

I do not believe that the military option should not be dropped from the table, however, under no circumstances should the United States or any other nuclear nation for that matter, should be wielding the actual use of nuclear weapons as an option to end a nuclear program in another nation. And anyone who supports the use should actually do a little background check of what a nuclear attack on Iran would entail, what the "fallout" (literally and figuratively) would be of such an attack, and the response of the world community to our unilateral use (again) of a nuclear weapon (or in this case many weapons).

One point: Fallout from a nuclear strike would effect the following nations (at minimum): Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and possibly parts of China. Now, if we nuke Iran and cause fallout over our troops in Afghanistan and 2 nuclear nations (Pakistan and India), does anyone really think that there would be no retaliation? Afghanistan would turn into Iraq part II, Pakistan's support for the war on terror would disintegrate, and the political reaction in Pakistan would invariably increase tensions with India, which could lead the two nations on a collision course, notwithstanding the potential of Pakistan turning completely against the west and deciding to use its own nuclear weapons. Literally, the strike could trigger the Third World War. It isn't that far of a stretch. And one huge "what if": Since we've not really ever tested modern nuclear weapons in a battle field, and we'd be talking about the use of several nuclear weapons in a strike against Iran, "what if" one of them did not detonate? We will have handed Iran exactly what they would need for a "massive" retaliation against the West. Now, I admit the latter is a bit of a stretch, even for me, but all results should be calculated when talking about the use of force in Iran.

I think the Bush administration is completely nuts for leaving the "nucular" option on the table. It is a dangerous precedent, and Bush should realize that it will NOT increase his approval rating, it would probably sink it to the teens. Just resign now and let us recover. Please...

Nuclear nukes Iran Iraq MiddleEast War Politics Pakistan India Afghanistan blackops Newsweek

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Time To Torture

The Culture of Torture seems to be continuing in Iraq, according to a new article by the Washington Post online.

The issue goes to the heart of U.S. relations with the Iraqi government, which is led by Shiite religious parties. The Interior Ministry, whose forces are overwhelmingly Shiite, has been accused by Sunni Arabs and U.S. officials of operating death squads that target Sunni men. Increasingly, Interior Ministry forces are being accused of other crimes as well, including kidnapping for ransom. The Interior Ministry forces have also been accused of deferring to militias belonging to the Shiite religious parties, from whose ranks many of Iraq's police commandos and other ministry forces are drawn.
Curry added in a statement, "At one of the sites, thirteen detainees showed signs of abuse that required immediate medical care. The signs of abuse included broken bones, indications that they had been beaten with hoses and wires, signs that they had been hung from the ceiling, and cigarette burns. These individuals were transferred to a nearby Iraqi detention facility and provided medical care. Most of the abuse appeared to have occurred prior to arriving at that site.
The article also mentions how at many facilities, the U.S. has only removed detainees that required immediate medical attention, while the rest were left in the facility. Some were moved at another facility were removed to "alleviate overcrowding", not torture. This seems to be going against the instructions of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Pace's instructions during a press conference in which he said "If a soldier sees signs of abuse...take actions to stop it..."

My question is this: After we did what we did in Abu Graib and other sites, how can we "expect" to hold the Iraqi security forces to a higher standard then we held ourselves? The "do as we say, not as we do" mentality of Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and others in this administration simply is not going to work in today's world. It's sort of like saying to Iran: "You can't build nukes, and to make sure of it, we're willing to nuke you." Oh yeah, we have said that to Iran.

You can read the whole article online here.

Iraq Torture Iran Rumsfeld Pace JointCheifs War Nuke WashingtonPost

A Time To Torture

The Culture of Torture seems to be continuing in Iraq, according to a new article by the Washington Post online.

The issue goes to the heart of U.S. relations with the Iraqi government, which is led by Shiite religious parties. The Interior Ministry, whose forces are overwhelmingly Shiite, has been accused by Sunni Arabs and U.S. officials of operating death squads that target Sunni men. Increasingly, Interior Ministry forces are being accused of other crimes as well, including kidnapping for ransom. The Interior Ministry forces have also been accused of deferring to militias belonging to the Shiite religious parties, from whose ranks many of Iraq's police commandos and other ministry forces are drawn.
Curry added in a statement, "At one of the sites, thirteen detainees showed signs of abuse that required immediate medical care. The signs of abuse included broken bones, indications that they had been beaten with hoses and wires, signs that they had been hung from the ceiling, and cigarette burns. These individuals were transferred to a nearby Iraqi detention facility and provided medical care. Most of the abuse appeared to have occurred prior to arriving at that site.
The article also mentions how at many facilities, the U.S. has only removed detainees that required immediate medical attention, while the rest were left in the facility. Some were moved at another facility were removed to "alleviate overcrowding", not torture. This seems to be going against the instructions of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Pace's instructions during a press conference in which he said "If a soldier sees signs of abuse...take actions to stop it..."

My question is this: After we did what we did in Abu Graib and other sites, how can we "expect" to hold the Iraqi security forces to a higher standard then we held ourselves? The "do as we say, not as we do" mentality of Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld and others in this administration simply is not going to work in today's world. It's sort of like saying to Iran: "You can't build nukes, and to make sure of it, we're willing to nuke you." Oh yeah, we have said that to Iran.

You can read the whole article online here.

Iraq Torture Iran Rumsfeld Pace JointCheifs War Nuke WashingtonPost

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dear Mr. President

Pink sings the song, "Madanna" does this video. I think the Bush/Hitler comparison may be a little harsh (poor Hitler isn't around to defend himself), but hey, his grandfather was a huge funder of Hitler's rise to power...
This is a fantastic song, and a pretty good video.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Omaha Schools Set Back 40 Years, The Return of Segregation

In a move that many see as not only segregation, but downright unconstitutional, Omaha, NE has divided up its school districts along "racial lines" of white, black, and Hispanic. The breakup would apparently not occur until July of 2008, nearly 40 years since state-sponsored segregation was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Nebraska's state legislature approved the measure on Thursday. You can read more here.

I must strongly oppose such a move anywhere in the nation. I simply do not understand what is wrong with the people of the United States. First blindsided, then fooled repeatedly into believing that those setting policy have the best interests of all people in mind, and clearly voting consistently against what is in their own best interests. With the rising chance of the melting pot boiling over on the immigration debate, here we have a state (Nebraska) setting race relations backwards 20+ years with a resounding "Yea" vote.

People need to put down the crack pipes of apathy and stand up, say "enough is enough" and vote the racist bastards out of office, or force them out by recall. People--stop voting against your best interests! Stop voting for $3.00+ gallons of gas, stop voting for hate under the guise of "family values," and stop voting for corruption and ignorance under the guise of religious principles.

This vote infuriates me...and it should infuriate the voters of Nebraska. I hope Nebraskans will realize the stupidity of their leadership and take the appropriate democracy-based actions to take back their rights. Because this will just be the beginning of the return of segregation in the United States.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by Thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake
-Rabindranath Tagore

That is my Easter and Passover prayer...for the Highest Good of myself and all those involved... let Freedom reign.

Tag: segregation Racism Nebraska Freedom Omaha School Racist Hispanic White Black

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Weekly Round Up

What Bill of Rights? Iran, and my weekly rant...

This has been a week of several "events" that are shaping the way Americans view their new place in the world, especially right here at home. I have a feeling there may be a growing number of people who are beginning to regret that fateful vote they cast in November of 2004 that re-elected George W. Bush...

On Thursday, new AP-Ipsos polls came out that caused one Republican strategist to say "These numbers are scary." Also on Thursday, Attorney General (Torturer in Chief) Alberto Gonzales let us know that Bush has the right to wiretap phone calls that take place exclusively in the United States, putting the preverbial "last nail in the coffin" for the Bill of Rights. Friday, WIRED News posted this story about a whistleblower who has outed a NSA secret wiretapping room at AT&T. Internet communications are apparently involved, and by tapping into AT&T's broadband networks, they are picking up communications taking place on other major carrier's lines. Fantastic! We are officially in Orwell's 1984.

"Plamegate" is starting to get interesting once again...
I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, implicated none other than George Bush himself in authorizing the leaking "favorable" portions of the highly sensitive National Intelligence Estimate to beat back critics of the Iraq war. While this in itself does not truly indicate a crime, it does show that the show to discredit critics was run by Bush himself, and not some petty game being played by White House staffers. Declassifying material for the sole purpose of politics seems to me to erode the trustworthiness and honesty of the office of the president. It calls into question a lot of things...did he clear brush on queue and decide not to read his Presidential Daily Briefing back in August of '01 for political reasons?

Of course we have the fact that the president effectively lied to the American people about the leak issue on no less than 8 occassions. He had to have thought that he could get away with this one, that the investigation would never get that far. Either that, or he really is just that drunk with his own power. I'm going to guess the latter.


And now to the subject of military planning against Iran's nuclear sites...

Seymour Hersch wrote an article for the New Yorker stating that the military and Bush Administration has plans designed for an attack including the use of bunker busting nuclear weapons in a strike against "hundreds, maybe thousands" of targets in Iran. In fairness, the New York Times reports that four unnamed officials deny that the U. S. considered nukes. Of course, this sort of takes us in a flashback...Valerie Plame was reportedly working on Iran for the CIA when she was outed by the Bush Administration. Funny how this president seems to have nothing but complete didain for the agency his father once ran...

My Weekly Opinionated Rant

This week just continued to prove to me that the Bush Administration is drunk with their own power, and needs to have the oversight of our "worse than 'do nothing'" congress. Congress has now met less than the "do nothing" congress of 1947. This week they couldn't do anything about the immigration issue, and are now on their 2 week spring recess. They've shown no willingness to perform their oversight duties on the Executive, as usual. This congress has ignored their constitutional duties, and the public is starting to move towards that "throw them all out" mood. Republican control of congress is dangerous at this point in our history. This has allowed the administration to gain more power than any other administration that I can even begin to think of, power that they should not have, power that places each and every one of us in jeapordy. They have shown nothing but disdain for the Legislative and Judiciary. Left unchecked, America could fall into a "quasi-dictatorship" or a monarchy.

Gas prices continue to soar, and so do the profits of the oil industry. The price of oil and gas will only continue to soar, and the Amercian public's apathy seems to remain in place. When (no longer a matter of "if" apparently) the U.S. decides to invade or attack Iran's nuclear facilities, I predict that gas prices will nearly double over their current rate. If the Bush Administration decides to go ahead with their plans to use nuclear "bunker buster" weapons in an assault on Iran, I truly believe (no doubt in my mind) that the U.S. will trigger a much broader conflict in the region, and will render the United Nations impotent...something I actually believe this administration wants. Hezbollah will retaliate with the blessing of Iran, allowing this administration to instill more fear into the hearts of citizens, and gain more power with Patriot Act III.

When will Americans wake up? When will the cries for resignation be heard in the street as loudly as the immigration protest of the last few weeks? Have Americans awoken already from apathetic sleep? Time will tell. I'm awake. And I'm ready for a change. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is not just for Oil Executives anymore.

Tags: Politics Plamegate Iran War Iraq Gas Prices Nuclear

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wisconsin War Referenda Results

32 Wisconsin communities had referenda on the ballots Tuesday asking if the troops in Iraq should be brought home. The questions varied from "...immediately" to "...slow and planned draw-down", with one community, Evansville, asking two questions: Bring them home now? and "We support the president of the United States...troops should stay as long as necessary...". 24 of the 32 communities voted "Yes" to bringing the troops in Iraq home. 8 voted "No" with Watertown delivering the largest no vote percentage: 74%. Madison had the highest "Yes" percentage with 68% supporting bringing them home "immediately." Madison was also the largest community with a referenda on the war.

Although, obviously, none of the referenda affect policy, it is sending a message to our elected leaders. A majority of people are clearly opposed to continuing the war in Iraq. In the interest of "fair disclosure", the referenda represented about 325,000 Wisconsin residents, which is only about 6% of the state's entire population. Similar referenda will be on November ballots in Milwaukee (Wisconsin's largest city) and other communities, with anti-war groups promising more referenda on ballots in November.

Opponents are spinning that "turnout was low" because Spring elections have a historically low voter turnout. However, it appears that at least in Madison, there were more people who took the time out to exercise their constitutional right to vote then in previous years. Evansville, which had the most interesting set of questions (support Bush and war; or Withdraw), voted by narrow margins to say "No" to supporting Bush and war and "Yes" to bringing troops home now. Given the relatively right leaning opinions in Evansville, this is a resounding victory for the peace movement. It is truly showing and representative that a majority of americans grow weary of Bush's lack of planning and execution, and these feelings will only continue to multiply over the next several months.

I was pleased to be able to make my voice heard in Madison's referenda. And I remind everyone: VOTE. It is your right, and your constitutional duty. I usually skipped the spring elections, but this issue got me to research all the choices on yesterday's ballot and take the time to decide and go cast my vote. And I feel great about it, and great about seeing friends and neighbors do the same. This just might be the beginning of the citizens taking back their nation from apathy. For it is obvious that apathy has not served this nation well.

tag: War Iraq Troops Peace Politics Wisconsin Madison Referenda Referendum

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sarcasm Saturday

Needed: 1 Good Intern for the White House. No experience in government required, but must have a "good friend" who tapes phone calls, a slutty dark colored dress, and likes to "perform oral skills". Female requested, but not entirely needed.

Have a great April 1st! It is George Bush day!

"There's an old saying...fool me once...uh...shame on you. Fool me twice...uh...uhmmm...can't get fooled again!" -President George W. Bush

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Afghan Christian Miscalculation

The Bush Administration “came out swinging” with angst over the trial of an Afghan who converted from Islam to Christianity, and the conversion was the crime. Now the Afghan court that was to try this man has decided to release the “prisoner” stating he was “unfit to stand trial.” I must admit, of course, I am pleased the man was released. Trying a man for changing faiths is just silly in my opinion, but at the same time is a reminder of the dangerous game we are playing in the Middle East and Islamic faith based countries.

I’m not quite sure I understand why this upset and surprised the Bush Administration. What did they expect? We “freed” Afghanistan, and Afghanistan, in the spirit of “freedom is on the march” has created and ratified a constitutional democracy. However, at the heart of their constitution, the Afghans chose to include Islamic Law as the basis for their democratic constitution…which really makes the country more of a religious democracy than a “true democracy.” So, the United States allowed this to happen, it was our choice to allow them the freedom through liberation, and now the United States must live with its creation. That means that an Afghan can be tried for converting to Christianity (or any other non-Islamic religion), and can be sentenced to death for doing so, based on Islamic Law, which is the basis of their constitution, and was ratified by a majority democratic vote.

“Freedom on the march” doesn’t mean American “values.” The Bush Administration seems to think so, however, while allowing Islamic states to rise in the aftermath of our country’s interference in those nations. Don’t get me wrong, the Taliban did need to go, and Afghanistan was one of the “real” threats regarding the harboring and support of terrorism (just like the United Arab Emirites and Saudi Arabia with whom we’ve chosen to get into bed with instead of confront). However, by ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban and allowing the democratic vote, Afghanistan installed essentially what Osama bin Laden desired all along: an Islamic state. The same is happening in Iraq now, where we’ve furthered the goals of bin Laden and his supporters more than we did in Afghanistan, and once again, we’ll have to live with the consequences. The consequences will be far more severe in Iraq, because they were a secular nation before the U.S. and Britain invaded and toppled the regime. No, it was not the prettiest dictatorship in the world, but it also was not a clear and present danger to the U.S., or anyone else for that matter (with the exception of their own people). But now…now we have given bin Laden what he wanted…an Islamic state that will descend into Civil War and spread the conflict throughout the region.

And with this all happening…the miscalculations of the Bush Administration will shine brighter than the lamp of liberty they believe they’re “installing” around the world (probably with a no-bid contract). Now America is awakening to the disaster that is our foreign policy. No level-headed person can actually believe that what we are doing is right and good for the Middle East, not if they’ve been given the tools of truth. The tools of truth exist, just turn off Fox News, use BBC news, Media Matters, FactCheck.org, and other outlets that aren’t so corporately slaved. And eventually, you’ll find the truth as well. And yes, it may hurt, but only for a little while, because it will foment into pure anger, then action, to gain our nation back through the tools of democracy. Vote for your best interests, not against them, or someday you too might be tried for something that sounds utterly silly and tin-foil-hat-nut-job-ish now.

Tag: Afghanistan War Islam Politics Bush Administration Law Constitution Freedom Democracy

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Don't Let Censure Die

Current Sponsors and Co-Sponsors of the Censure Bush Resolution:
Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) 202-224-5323
Tom Harkin (D-IA) 202-224-3254
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 202-224-3553

The following Democrats are still "cowering" regarding the Censure. An "*" next to their names indicates that they were supportive of the Censure of President Bill Clinton. Among them is one of my Senators, Mr. Kohl (D-WI), who is attempting to get re-elected this November to the Senate. I currently support Sen. Kohl, however, it is very important to me that he "gets on board" with the Censure Resolution. His issues are important ones (Medicare Rx Benefits for one), but without supporting Censure, he may face a backlash amongst Democrats and Independents in the Madison and Milwaukee areas, and he must carry both areas if he expects to win re-election.

Mark Pryor (D-AR) 202-224-2353
*Blanche Lambert Lincoln (D-AR) 202-224-4843
*Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841
Ken Salazar (D-CO) 202-224-5852
Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT) 202-224-2823
Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) 202-224-2441
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) 202-224-5042
Bill Nelson (D-FL) 202-224-5274
*Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) 202-224-6361
*Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) 202-224-3934
Barack Obama (D-IL) 202-224-2854
*Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152
*Mary Landrieu (D-LA) 202-224-5824
*John F. Kerry (D-MA) 202-224-2742
*Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) 202-224-4543
*Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) 202-224-4654
Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD) 202-224-4524
Debbie A. Stabenow (D-MI) 202-224-4822
*Carl Levin (D-MI) 202-224-6221
Mark Dayton (D-MN) 202-224-3244
*Max Baucus (D-MT) 202-224-2651
*Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) 202-224-2551
Kent Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043
Ben Nelson (D-NE) 202-224-6551
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) 202-224-4744
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) 202-224-3224
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) 202-224-5521
*Harry Reid (D-NV) 202-224-3542
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) 202-224-4451
*Charles Schumer (D-NY) 202-224-6542
*Ron Wyden (D-OR) 202-224-5244
*Jack Reed (D-RI) 202-224-4642
Tim Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842
*James M. Jeffords (I-VT) 202-224-5141
Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-4242
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) 202-224-3441
*Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621
*Herb Kohl (D-WI) 202-224-5653
*John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-WV) 202-224-6472
Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) 202-224-3954

And now for the "Bush-Rear Kisser" Democrats. The "D" behind their name is just a fallacy, they really should consider running as Republicants.

*Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT) 202-224-4041
Evan Bayh (D-IN) 202-224-5623

Censure is the first step in forcing this administration to deal with its continual denial of reality. I really honestly think that the Bush Administration is blind to what is really happening in the world, in a dangerous state of denial and their lack of understanding. They are incompetent. For the "Post 9/11 World" as described by Bush and Cheney almost daily now, what I really can't understand: Bush has borrowed more $ from foreign governments (including the UAE which has harbored terrorists and Saudi Arabia from which nearly all of the 9/11 hijackers originated) then the last 42 presidents combined.

This is unacceptable. Our nation and freedom is being sold from right under our noses. Please call your Senator today and demand action. Hey, they've only had to work 97 days in a year, so they've got some explaining to do.

List of supporters courtesy of Democrats.com.

Tagging: Censure Bush Feingold Senate Democrats Politics War Iraq Wiretapping

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Problems With the Home Health Care Industry In Wisconsin

Problems With the Home Health Care Industry In Wisconsin:

Breaking Story:

I have recently learned through a confidential source that a particular company that operates in the State of Wisconsin with headquarters in Monona, WI (just a couple of miles from where I live) may be breaking the law (state licensing agreements) and is putting developmentally disabled clients and their caregivers at risk for injuries and even death by not properly staffing a now “over filled” (because of the lack of staffing) state of Wisconsin licensed home located in Wood County, Wisconsin.

Most information I am withholding at this time…to ensure that I do not violate any confidentiality agreements or put anyone at risk of losing their employment with this company. This company has opened itself wide for a class-action lawsuit to be filed by employees, and The Truth is Out There is going to spend a little bit of time focusing on this local issue with national implications (because this doesn’t just happen here in Wisconsin).

The mentality of most people is “out of sight, out of mind”, but the developmentally disabled are never out of site, and should never be out of mind. They may be washing the dishes or helping prep food at your favorite restaurant. They may have made the pair of scissors you have on your desk or in your utility drawer. They help sort papers at your insurance company, helping you have an easier relationship with the services that you need and desire as a citizen of this country. Our treatment of the developmentally disabled has become reprehensible, and this is an issue close to my heart. I have family members working in this industry, and I myself spent just over 5 years working as a live-in for the developmentally disabled in various homes in the Madison area from 1995-2000.

They are some of the same issues that affect our elderly neighbors in nursing home facilities which have received so much attention in the past in the media. However, these issues are now virtually ignored…but I will say this…I am not going to ignore these issues, and I am going to expose these people who profiteer on the backs of the weakest, but some of the greatest, citizens of our country. This is not Nazi Germany. This is America, where freedom is supposed to be for everyone. And it is time for America to wake up to this issue, to learn about it, and to tell your representatives (local, state, and federal) that “enough is enough”. Because someday, one of your family members may be an employee or a resident in such a facility, and I’m sure you would want the highest level of care for them. So why wait until it affects you personally? By then, it just may be too late.

I welcome comments and stories about these types of facilities. Your views are important to the development of this campaign to shed the Light of Truth on these forgotten neighbors.


Update 1: Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 (The Ides of March!): I spoke with "my source" last evening, and it appears that the client that was at risk of losing his life or sustaining more serious injury is going to be placed in a nursing home "temporarily". The guardian of this individual apparently lied to the company about the individual's health conditions. However, this is a cop-out by the company. I know from my experience that you never rely solely on what the guardian says, you investigate medical records, documentation that should have been on-going from wherever the individual is coming from (facility, group home, etc.). The company simply did not do its job in respect to properly matching up this potential client with a home. They only were concerned with the amount of money Wood County and the State of Wisconsin was going to pour in each month to the company for that individual.

I truly hope that the best interests of this client and the people he is (was) living with are kept in mine. And just to be clear, it is my understanding that concerns regarding this individual have been properly reported by employees (since all employees are considered "mandatory reporters" under State Statutes). So I am not working on this story without ensuring that the proper steps to protect life and property have been taken. There's no "real" steps I can take except to shine the light of truth on this and other situations like it, and grab the attention of our lawmakers, currently so busy with the Caucus/Campaign Scandal in the Wisconsin Legislature and their own re-elections to the House of Representatives this fall. These are the types of issues that could destroy a campaign. Not a threat, a promise. Who will step up to the plate?

-->End of Update 1. Drop on by for further updates. This is not just a Wisconsin issue.

Tag: Wisconsin Healthcare Health Disabilities Disabled Truth

Monday, March 13, 2006

Censure Bush and What We Want

Bush is starting a “PR Offensive” on Iraq, urging ‘patience’ to complete the mission. Does anyone else find it odd that the president of the United States of America actually needs to go on a Public Relations tour to raise support for a war we’re currently engaged in? The last president to try to do that, Richard M. Nixon, eventually realized (after he reportedly snuck out of the White House to watch and speak with demonstrators protesting the war in Vietnam) that the support in America was gone for what we were doing in Vietnam was virtually non-existent. At least Nixon realized that it was time to go, and followed through and completed what he promised. This was a president that had to resign from office, facing certain impeachment and removal from office. Bush, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to get it, figures he is “right” and that “God” is on his side, and therefore, as Commander In Chief, we as Americans must all be “patient” and support his war.

I believe that those who still support the actions in Iraq are misinformed and simply ignorant. Today I learned that only 11% of Americans actually read a newspaper. Well, I’ll be honest, I am one of the 89% of Americans who do not read a newspaper, but I spend time reading news on the Internet every single day, virtually ignoring the “mainstream media” because of their apparent inability to take the president to task on anything he does.

Today, (who happens to be my Senator) D-WI, introduced a motion to Censure the President for the illegal wiretapping of American citizens. This goes virtually unmentioned on the websites of the Mainstream Media, with MSNBC having it as a bottom tag on their front page (I did just notice, however, that it seems to be “moving up” on their list of “In The News”. I support the resolution to Censure Bush. It is an important first step, and every single Democrat should be on board for this. There are even several Republicans in the Senate that I believe should support a move to censure the President. Of course, (D-CT) might as well start putting a “R” behind his name, because he’s more conservative than some Republican senators currently in office.

Now, as I mentioned in a previous post, I believe it is very important to focus on what we do want…focusing on the don’t wants, and all that is wrong, is what brings us more than the same. I believe that the move to censure Bush, and the steadily growing support to at least begin an investigation into possible Impeachment in the House of Representatives, is all a result of more people beginning to focus on what they want: Freedom. Soldiers coming home alive and unharmed. An economy that is truly growing and creating jobs here instead of India or China. A tax cut that would benefit all Americans, and a tax cut that most of us can get through our brains that is not possible during a time of war. Tax cuts should NOT be made permanent in a time of war, but that is a whole other entry.

Since I’ve begun focusing on what it I want and how I feel, it seems that circumstances have begun to shift. Within hours of making that decision, new poll numbers came out showing President Bush at an all-time low approval rating, lower than that of any other president at this point during their second term with the exception of Richard Nixon. Even with Clinton facing impeachment, he had a higher job approval rating than Bush. Then I learn of resolution to start a select committee on determining whether or not impeachment is the course of action the nation should take. Then Sen. Feingold introduces his motion to censure. Frist continues to show himself as the pat boy for the Bush administration that he really is (because he knows only they can protect him from the ongoing SEC investigation). It is all becoming so obvious that I now find it amusing (although somewhat disappointed in the intelligence of our citizenry) that people still support this president and all that he stands for. Let them believe what they believe…

I’m jumping all over on this entry, but it is meant to trigger a conversation. It is meant to serve as a reminder to me as to what it is I desire to focus on, and what I will be looking at for future posts. There’s so many things I could make entries on, I could skip a few days of work and still not post everything I want to.

Oh—and one more thing before I sign off for the day—coming soon: the redesign of The Truth Is Out There. A complete revamping, including a “Sponsors” section featured at the top of the page that will give some of you a great opportunity to get your blog, product, or project out in front of the masses. I’m also open to comments on how to improve the structure and layout of this blog. The future is bright, and the darkness of the last 2 years of Bush’s “reign” is about to lift. Somehow I get the feeling we’re not going to have to wait until 2009 to have a new president…

Bush Lies Truth Impeach Cehsure Congress Senate Feingold Frist Lieberman Politics Democracy Polls

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Impeachment of George W. Bush

According to a Zogby poll conducted during the week of January 9-12, 2006, 52% of Americans currently support the impeachment of the president of the United States. 43% oppose the impeachment, with an impeachment margin of +9%. The original poll taken in June of 2005 showed 42% supported impeachment, so the “in favor” margin has grown by 10% while the “not in favor” margin has dropped by 7% and the net change for impeachment margin is +17%. The wording on the poll is as follows:
If it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war in Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment.
We know that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was not a Clear And Present Danger to the United States of America or any of its allies (Israel could easily defend itself against any acts of possible aggression by the Hussein regime, as they proved with their daring strike on his nuclear facility on June 7th, 1981). Which, by the way, Iraq never, in the 22 years between the strike and the U.S. led invasion, was able to reconstitute.

Then we move to the point that Saddam had nothing (remember, absolutely nothing) to do with the 9/11 attack on the United States. Saddam and Osama bin Laden would be considered “enemies” by most, and logically so. Hussein was a secular leader in a Muslim nation, and bin Laden wanted nothing less than sectarian Muslim regimes in all Middle Eastern nations. Cheney was a near expert at insinuating that Saddam had something to do with the attacks, and the administration has done so well with the lie, that nearly 50% of our troops fighting in Iraq today believe that to be the truth. Wouldn’t you think that part of “supporting our troops” would be not to lie to them about their mission and the reasons for it?

Weapons of Mass Destruction!! “We don’t want the ‘smoking gun’ to be a mushroom cloud…” –Condoleezza Rice. Instead of questioning Dr. Rice on her misleading statements leading up to the invasion of Iraq, CNN instead does a three-part story on her fitness regimen. Now that’s hard hitting news.

It is way past time to take this administration to task for its behavior by introducing Articles of Impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. John Conyers has taken up the task in preparing H. Res. 635 (Select Committee on Impeachment). There are currently 29 co-sponsors of the Resolution. (You can see the current list here)

If your Representative is not on this list, contact them to urge them to co-sponsor this item. All 202 Democrats should be on board. Any that are not, should receive their walking papers in November of this year. Time to step up to the plate, or sit with the collective thumb up the ass while this administrations continues to go against what is in the best interest of the American people. America is waking up. We know what we want, and Bush is not it.

Impeach Impeachment Bush Cheney Rice Politics Polls Polling Censure Conyers Baldwin Law Iraq War Lies Truth