Friday, May 11, 2007

A Victory For The Reich, Silencing A Voice Of Dissent

CBS has fired Iraq War veteran General John Batiste from his position as a consultant over a VoteVets ad which targeted and criticized President Bush and handling of the Iraq War. The ad can be watched at YouTube or at the VoteVets website.

So what do the right wingers who lashed out about "free speech" when CBS canceled Don Imanass feel about that?

Do the Imanass supporters believe Don has the "right" to call African American females "nappy headed ho's" on the air but a retired General does not have the right to give a candid opinion about a war?

The ideology behind the concept of free speech was in part to protect political speech that dissented from the "norm" or the established power structure, to allow Americans to assert their political opinions without being silenced, not to allow silly old white cowboys to use racial and sexual slurs.

The ousting of Batiste from CBS is a reminder to watch Bill Moyers "Buying the War". The Bush Administration and apparently some members of the media are still trying to salvage this war and public opinion on it and are willing to try silence voices of dissent that hinder their efforts.

Will the Reich champion the ousting of Batiste from CBS? One can almost be certain.

Does the Right enjoy "censorship" now? I don't know yet for sure because I try to avoid the right wing blogs and opinions because the kool aid they have over there induces involuntary vomiting and often results in seizures and I don't have my Dilantin so I'm not willing to find out.

But on a more serious note I do find the firing of Batiste to be somewhat disturbing. So now the mainstream media will only allow us to see or hear are people who are willing to sell the official Administration Party line, even if they do it somewhat begrudgingly?

I trust the MSM less with each passing day and I am so thankful that we have the Internet and access to newspapers, blogs and Op-Eds from all around the world and political spectrum, hopefully they don't find a way to bring that down as well.

UPDATE : Think Progress is following the story :

- CBS VP On Batiste: ‘The Viewer Might Have The Feeling Everything He Says Is Anti-Bush’
- CBS Fires Batiste For Anti-Bush Advocacy, Hires Bush Aide To Engage In Pro-Bush Advocacy
- CBS has a consultant who advocates in favor of President Bush’s war policies and against Congressional action
- CBS Has Allowed McCain Campaign Aide To Advocate For McCain On Air

Lazy Links

- U.S. commander in Iraq wants more troops
- Iraq may demand timetable for U.S. to get out
- House passes Iraq funds bill Bush would veto
- Another Hearing [For Gonzalas], Another Chance to Say Nothing
- White House sought investigations of voter fraud allegations before elections
- U.S. commander in Iraq urges troops to fight fair
- EU to highlight support for Arab Peace initiative
- No Charges For Officers Who Murdered Unarmed Man
- India Marks 150th Anniversary of Revolt Against British Rule
- Rival groups clash in Gaza
- Something Something Darkness, Something Something Cheney, Something Something Iran
- 12 dead in bombings at Baghdad bridges
- Putting American Jouranlist Out Of Work
- Romney: Polygamy "Awful" Even Though My Great-Grandfather Practiced It
- Last Time I Checked, Rape Jokes Still Not Funny

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Palestine Is Not Hamas

There is nothing that I am more sick of than hearing people equate all Palestinians to militants like Hamas. This weakens the moderates and empowers the extremist.

Hamas has suspended a TV show that has a character named Farfour, who looked and sounded suspiciously like Mickey Mouse.

Farfour told impressionable young Palestinian children :

"You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists,"

"We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers."

The brain pollution was yanked off the air and the AP reports that :

"Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said the character — a giant black-and-white rodent with a high-pitched voice — represented a "mistaken approach" to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation."

While the AP reported the story as it was : Hamas aired the offensive material, Hamas pulled the show off the air - many sources have decided to pounce on it as follows "Palestinians shelve 'martyr mouse' kids show".

Yes, the "martyr mouse" part is funny. But it masks the misleading first word "Palestinians", it should read "Hamas shelves 'martyr mouse' kids show"

Not every Palestinian is Hamas, just like every American is not Republican.

Hamas steps out of line, the Palestinian people as a whole are blamed.

Why bother to even pay attention to the fact that politically the Fatah/Hamas split is about as evenly split as between any Liberals and Conservatives in any country in the world?

Fatah is more Liberal, more open to dealing with Israel where Hamas in Conservative, old school and not willing to deal with Israel or anyone else for that matter, so it seems.

Let's get this strait, when Hamas or even Fatah does something drastic, stupid, anarchic it does not mean it has the seal of approval from the majority of the Palestinian people who actually want to live in peace.

So it is unfair to write "Palestinians shelve martyr mouse". Writing "Hamas shelves martyr mouse is just as effective and certainly much more accurate.

UPDATE: Mickey Mouse lookalike back on Hamas TV

On Discovering The "Title" Line

Today I discovered the "title field" for blog posts.

When I signed up for blogger it seems the default settings had the "title field" turned off.

For those who have the same problem go to the "dashboard" click on "Settings" then click on "Formatting" scroll down and turn on the "Title Field".

Lazy Links

- G.O.P. "Moderates" Warn Bush Iraq Must Show Gains
- Britain's Blair bows out after 10 years
- Gates sees a fall scenario for fewer troops
- Marine Testifies to Urinating on Body
- Marine says found live children among Haditha dead
- Militant 'Mickey Mouse' pulled off Hamas TV
- Police teams walk tough beat for peace
- Somali forces ban women's veils
- Number of Fired Prosecutors Grows
- Romney: Sharpton remark on faith was bigoted
- Romney's wife made contribution to Planned Parenthood
- Friend: Terror suspect had bomb recipes
- Michael Moore faces U.S. Treasury probe

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wash. Post, NY Times, AP reported Boehner's new timeline for Iraq progress without noting his previous one
Lazy Links

- 60 Percent Of Americans Want Timetable To Get Troops Out
- Contractor Surge
- In Iraq, Cheney Sticks to the Script
- Gates Contradicts Bush, Says ‘I Don’t Know’ If 2002 War Authorization Is Still Valid
- Higher chance of Gulf Coast hurricane in '07
- U.S. greenhouse gas emissions up
- Cheney's Middle East Trip and the Iraq Oil Law
- Democrats plan 'short leash' for war funds
- Churches to provide immigrants sanctuary
- Academic from U.S. center arrested in Iran
- 21 Civilians Dead in Afghan Airstrikes
- Hamas 'Mickey Mouse' Wants Islam Takeover
- Taliban Cannot Be Defeated by Force Alone, NATO Says
Coulter Claims Obama Lead In Polls Helps Terrorist

Of course Ann Coulter, the self described polemicist never mentions any facts to support her conspiracy theory.

Because facts are a pesky nuisance, developed by Liberals to make Conservatives look bad. That is, when Conservatives aren't busy making themselves look bad.

Coulter claimed that Newsweek was "doing more push polling for al-Qaida," during an interview with Geraldo Rivera on "At Large" because a recent Newsweek poll showed Democrat Barack Obama leading top Republican presidential hopefuls.

Coulter also indicated that she thought Newsweek would make up the poll with about as much earnest as a four year old insists there is a Santa Clause.

The hidden meaning behind Coulters statement is painfully transparent :

Conservatives fear Barack Obama, perhaps sensing he will be more difficult to defeat than Hillary Clinton. Obama's got the kind of appeal that could bring the young voters out in record masses and he offers the kind of hope many other adults are seeking after several years of Bush disparity.

It's not easy to come up with real dirt on Barack Obama, so smearing him and associating his name with terrorism (Obama-Osama) will have to do if your a Conservative. Playing up the fear of terrorism "the folks at home" feel is now a time honored technique among Conservatives.

For instance, when Keith Ellison - a Democrat who is Muslim - was elected to the House of Representatives a number of Conservatives attacked his nomination calling it a victory for the Jihadist.

Where in reality Ellison's election went unnoticed and uncelebrated by extremist. Islamic extremist are anti-Democracy and attack any other extremist groups who seem even slightly inclined to participate in a Democracy.

The attacks against Ellison that are now being leveled against Obama are just another tactic of the right wing to intimidate and mislead the Americans and make them fear their Democratic choice.

I used to be offended by Ann Coulter and all these other loose cannon Conservatives before I realized how deprived their minds were of any logical thinking and I thought what a sad place that must be. So then I began to feel sorry for them, but then I just realized how dangerous they were and stopped feeling sorry for them.

Ann Coulter in particular has the money to prove she can plagiarize a paragraph and distort the facts to sell a book that will appeal to a very strange demographic that has to be composed of white supremacist and perhaps even a few Uncle Ruckus characters.

By now it's obvious, Ann Coulter will say anything to get on TV and is working extra hard to stretch her fifteen minutes of fame into twenty. So the only real question would be : Is Ann virile enough to pull it off?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lazy Links

- Pentagon tells 35,000: Prepare to deploy
- Six jailed in plot to attack NJ army base
- Congress probes allegations of politicized hiring
- Second night of rioting in France
- Rep. Poe Quotes Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard On House Floor
- Once again, L.A. pledges to end police brutality
- Car bomb kills 16 in Iraq city
- Herod's tomb reportedly found inside his desert palace
- Running for president of the GOP country club
- NASA's Chandra Sees Brightest Supernova Ever - Coming Soon To A Universe Near You?
- Iran accepts agenda deal
- China to Send Military Unit to Darfur
- Iraq Is Last in Child Survival Rankings
- OR-Sen: The Conservative Case Against Gordon Smith
- Weak Labor Laws In US Perpetuate Wal-Mart Abuses
Don't Stop To Help The Guy Splattered On The Pavement Or Anything

The AP Reports :

"More than two dozen Israeli motorists manoeuvred around the dead body of a road accident victim lying in the middle of a busy intersection, failing to stop to help in an incident captured by a traffic camera." Full Story


In America I believe that's a crime and it's called leaving the scene of an accident. Besides the legal factor, where is the humanity of people - to leave a dead man in the street?

I guess living in a "Democracy" is not a call to decency and compassion for your fellow man.

Have Israeli's become so numbed and indifferent to suffering and death that they can allow themselves to ignore a dead body in the middle of the road?

Well, someone ought to call and ambulance or clean that up - but we're too busy. It's not like it's the holocaust or something. Swerve around it, and try not to get the blood on the tires dear...

I am truly disgusted by this. It touches off that rare and deep disgust I feel when I see hospital workers in Los Angeles kick the sick homeless hospital patients out on the streets, in some cases drugged with medical equipment still haphazardly attached to them.

Travel tip to self :

When in Israel, make sure you don't get hurt, people will leave your injured body in the streets until it turns into a corpse.


Note : Maybe I am more personally offended by this than some people would be. When I was young my cousin was hit by a car and the man who hit him did not stop or call an ambulance immediately, costing my cousin precious minutes that may have saved his life.
Video Vets Chooses John Bruhns Video For Commercial

His name is John Bruhns he is a former sergeant in the Army who served in Iraq.

He said the following of the Administration and the Iraq War:

" I feel used and misled by the administration."

"I feel as if my patriotism has been used and exploited, my willingness to fight for this country has been used and exploited.

I'm very proud of my military service and I'm very disappointed in the civilian leadership and the administration for sending us needlessly into combat."

VideoVets reports that John said in an interview on CNN that he hopes Americans will see his ad and realize that "there are veterans that are coming home from this war that are very patriotic, that love America, but just are not going to blindly follow this president and this failed policy continually."

Director Oliver Stone (Born On The Fourth Of July, World Trade Center) made the TV ad which features voice over by Ron Kovic, Vietnam Vet and author of Born On The Fourth Of July.

Now VideoVets is working on raising the money to get the commercial put on the air to spread the message to a larger audience. If you would like to help you can contribute visit the VoteVets website or post the John Bruhms video on your own blog.

Monday, May 07, 2007

All Dressed Up With Nowhere To Go

Few things in American history will be remembered with as much contempt and embarrassment as Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post reported over a week ago that 82 inmates at Guantanamo Bay have been cleared of charges but are still being held in prison.

The problem is multifaceted. Even though the men have been cleared of charges, in many cases their own countries do not want them back.

Another problem stems from the fact that the United States cannot legally send detainees to countries where they may be tortured, which is about every country in the middle east when you think about it.

Add in the fact that the US and Europe will not allow the men to roam their countries and now you have nation-less men, forced to be imprisoned because no one will allow them on their soil.

I can certainly see why countries would be hesitant to take these men back. Just because they were cleared doesn't necessarily mean they are innocent, BUT just because they were detained does not necessarily make them guilty either.

But we certainly cannot just leave these people behind bars to rot, there has to be a solution to this problem that is both humane and logical.

82 guys doesn't seem like an awful lot of people to keep tabs on, especially when they are already employing vast dragnets on tens of millions of innocent Americans.

So if there is some kind of concern that these men were cleared but may still pose a threat what is preventing the law from releasing them and then obtaining a warrant (which would be simple considering these men were just leaving Guantanamo) and monitoring their movement?

I'd say let's put them all on an island somewhere, but that doesn't seem like a very logical or humane solution. Something has to be done with them and leaving them in prison is not the solution.

These are people, not animals. They can't be held in cages or euthanized just because you can't find a home for them, your going to have to find a home for them somehow- these are just some of the ramifications that should have been considered before the prison of torture was even dreamed of to begin with.
Lazy Links

- Humvee doors can trap troops
- Backpack blast near Vegas casino kills 1
- Injured soldier still denied benefits
- Tornado Cleanup Equipment In Iraq
- Suicide car bombs kill 25 near Iraq's Ramadi
- Iraqi blocs opposed to draft oil bill
- Congress considers broadening Justice Department inquiry
- 8 U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq Bomb Attacks
- Cars burnt, police hurt in French election violence
- States compete for deadly disease lab
- Boehner: GOP Support on Iraq Could Waver
- Chief takes May Day officers off street
- In Gaza, attack at UN-run school adds to growing chaos
- A decade of race-blind admissions at Cal
- Talking (or Not) to the Iranians
The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood?

To the US the Muslim Brotherhood is an Islamic Extremist group, but to terrorist like Al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri the Muslim brotherhood is "lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim men into lines for elections ... instead of into the lines of jihad."

Full Story