Thursday, June 14, 2007

Christian, Muslim or Jew - An Extremist Is An Extremist

Security think tank EastWest Institute has issued a report that according to the AP shows :

"Violent Muslim, Christian and Jewish extremists invoke the same rhetoric of "good" and "evil" and the best way to fight them is to tackle the problems that drive people to extremism,"


"extremists from each of the three faiths often have tangible grievances -- but they invoke religion to recruit followers and to justify breaking the law, including killing civilians and members of their own faith."

While this report shows many of us something we have already suspected for years - it helps shed light on the fact that Islam is not the only religion that can be radicalized, all religion can be radicalized in the wrong hands.

We should always be aware of extremism in our backyard, it doesn't matter if a person is willing to kill in the name of Jesus, Mohammad or Moses - if they are willing to kill and have their unruly conviction in God behind them, then they are in fact dangerous.

This post is not intended to be demeaning or condescending towards people of faith, it is intended to highlight the fact that all religion can be radicalized, Christianity and Judaism is not somehow immune and Islam is not the only religion that can be hijacked and used for violent and political purposes that are actually in contradiction with many of the core religious teachings.

We have to understand and identify extremist in our own mist to ensure our own people are not using faith and religion to guide our country into it's own form of extremism.

Side note : And yes, I know I am not telling many of you anything you don't already know... But now you have a think tank report to add to your evidence arsenal against the radical religious right.

FOX Dissed Again

FOX thinks it is being censored, but in reality it is being dissed.

Actress Angelina Jolie has joined the growing crowd of of free thinking individuals who had decided to ignore or boycott FOX snooze.

According to FOX snooze webslight before the premier of "A Mighty Heart":

"Her [Jolie's] lawyer required all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her, and Jolie instructed publicists at first to ban FOX News from the red carpet of her premiere."

FOX is screaming censorship, but the fact of the matter is access to these affairs is a privilege, not a right, not just anyone calling themselves a news organization can stroll in. Besides that Anjolina Jolie is not the government, so censorship is not quite what happened there.

FOX is being slighted and it doesn't like it.

First the Democrats decided they would not do a debate with FOX, which I believe is an appropriate solution to dealing with a source that absolutely refuses to present both sides of the debate in the first place.

After all, it is better to just ignore the pundits on FOX than to try to engage them. When you go on their shows and argue with their idiotic points of view all you do in essence is make their program ratings go up and help them sell their Culture Kampf recipe books.

Now it appears Hollywood's most pretty humanitarian face tried to reject them as well.

FOX is losing it's legitimacy because of flaming xenophobes like Bill O' Reilly and the obscure and hateful rants coming from Sean Hannity and guests like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter, "experts" like Bill Kristol - who were wrong about Iraq and everything from the beginning but are still treated like experts.

As a result of all this oddball programming the image of FOX has been radically tarnished and has made it an entity that more people are simply refusing to engage with, it has nothing to do with censorship, it has everything to do with credibility.

Why don't you get it FOX? No one wants you to come to their parties anymore, your the unpopular guy who everyone is sick of being polite to. You've become the butt of our joke and the source of our scorn.

And before you kid yourself into believing that people don't like you because your honest you should realize that people don't like you because you spread a lot of rumors and innuendo, gossip news.

Perhaps people are refusing to do business with you not because they are trying to censor you, but because of the simple fact that they don't like you. If you keep on the same path it is destined that soon you will be breaking bread with folks from the National Inquirer.

Lazy Links

- Abbas declares emergency
- Mosques, Green Zone attacked despite Iraq curfew
- Religious extremists in 3 faiths share views: report
- Hamas hails Gaza victory after seizing base
- MPs hide after Beirut killing
- Pentagon: Iraq Violence Increasing
- Several Sunni mosques in Iraq attacked
- Iraq mosques attacked, curfew enforced
- US goals elusive for Iraqis
- Big Boost In Iraqi Forces Is Urged
- IAEA head: Attacking Iran would be 'madness'
- 33 militants killed in Afghanistan
- Thousands Protest Pakistani President
- Death toll reaches 289 in sizzling Pakistan
- Blair weighs in on battle between Sony and the Church (Round up)
- Bush to name former Republican chief as top aide
- Abortion feud has Republicans on edge
- Lawmakers profit from gold mines, books
- Internal Audit Says FBI Violated Agency Rules Over 1,000 Times In Collecting Private Information
- FBI agent testifies against reputed Klansman
- Angelina Tries To Bar Fox News From "Mighty Heart" Premiere

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rudy's Twelve Commandments, er, Commitments

Rudy Giuliani has released a grocery list of things he claims he will be able to do if he were to become President. Giuliani's commandments, er, commitments are in bold text. They are as follows :

"I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists' War on Us."

Does that mean bombing the hell out of all Muslim nations? You know, fight them before they even get a chance to fight us?

"I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation."

How does Giuliani propose he carries this massive feat off? 200 foot high fences and laser precision missiles on the border? Does Giuliani have a task force mounted that is going to knock on every door in America and identify every non-citizen? Didn't think so.

"I will restore fiscal discipline and cut wasteful Washington spending."

I guess you better get rid of all the politicians and lobbyist then.

"I will cut taxes and reform the tax code."

Translation : I will give the rich more tax cuts, find ways to make the poor pay more. I will put less money into health care and welfare.

"I will impose accountability on Washington."

Ah, buddy, the minute you enter the White House the accountability of Washington will hit rock bottom.

"I will lead America towards energy independence."

Really? That sounds odd coming from the guy who's firm has a very oil rich client, Hugo Chavez.

"I will give Americans more control over, and access to, health care with affordable and portable free-market solutions."

"Portable free market solutions?" Hmm. Sounds like a capitalist solution. A solution that pumps money into the health care systems pockets without actually improving the quality of care patients.

"I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect the quality of life for our children."

How? How does Socrates here think he is going to "increase adoptions, decrease abortions"? Birthing bribes? Adoption bribes? Common... Giuliani is only talking about adoption because he is pro-abortion and trying to avoid that subject.

"I will reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges."

Whatever, stay away from my legal system, serpentine one. Just step back and put the judges down Giuliani. I don't think your friend Tony Soprano over there will do a very keen job of reforming the legal system.

"I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters."

Every community? Yeah right superman. Aren't you the guy who like put emergency response IN the world trade centers? Yeah... You can't even keep us safe from the thief's, rapist and murders in every community, let alone the terrorist. There is no such thing as 100% secure.

"I will provide access to a quality education to every child in America by giving real school choice to parents."

I don't have much to say about this one except that I know it's not the truth. Sounds good, and that is the point, Giuliani will never actually do any of these things, even if he is elected.

"I will expand America's involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation around the world."

Globalism baby! Say yes to American dominion! Never mind that is part of the reason other people hate us! Everyone in the world has to drink Coke and eat Hershey Bars and be wasteful otherwise they must not be happy, right? Seriously, how is Giuliani going to strengthen our reputation? Giuliani is pro Iraq War, pro stirring up tensions in the Middle East. How would another Bush strengthen our reputation?

"And I am Superman and I can make everything all better, including the weather."

Well, I just made that one up.

Back down to earth, Giuliani has composed this political poetry and some people will actually buy it. These people will think "boy, this Giuliani guy really has a plan for America" when in reality anyone can say these kinds of things to get elected.

Notice that the first three "commitments" are Conservative red meat, Giuliani is trying to position himself as strong on security, immigration and fiscal responsibility because Conservatives find everything else about the man utterly repulsive, and I can't say I blame them.

Furthermore, if I hear too many "commitments" from a single politician I grow suspicious. After all, there are only so many commitments a single politician can fulfill, the more they make the more they break, and that saying goes for Democrats and Republicans.

Rudy Giuliani can't possibly carry out all of these commitments, even if he wanted to, which I sincerely doubt.

But the Rudester realizes there is a whole constituency of voters who actual believe this kind of unrealistic dribble. Undecided voters are the easiest people in America to hoodwink and Giuliani is taking full advantage of this fact.

Rudy Giuliani suddenly gets security expert status because his city was attacked on 9/11? The guy who couldn't keep New York safe from terrorist is supposed to keep the entire country safe from terrorist? Common, you have got to be kidding me.

To make a long post short(er) no one should believe in a grocery list of commitments coming from any politician, specifically if that politician has a history of flip flopping on social issues.

I can grab some index cards and scribble something meaningful on them that I think will entice most Americans to like and trust in me, but then I would be lowering myself to the level of lying, or at the very least exaggerating what my capabilities or intentions actually are, just like Rudiani did.

Hopefully Americans are not the brain-dead fear drones they were in 2004. Hopefully they realize that what Rudy Giuliani is proclaiming about his abilities to secure America is far fetched in the light of the fact that his city was attacked by Islamic extremist in 2001 after it should have had some foresight, after all it had already been attacked in 1993.

Rudy Giuliani's self proclaimed security and emergency expertise doesn't match up very well with his true record and earning the scorn of the largest and most trusted Firefighters Union in the US after 9/11 doesn't say so much about Giuliani's real credentials, if you know what I mean.

Tell Rudy Giuliani to quit capitalizing off from 9/11, it was the worst day in recent history, and to politicians who try to elevate themselves because of that day - shame on you.

New Subpoenas In The Eternal General Scandal

It's going to be interesting to watch the "Eternal General" Alberto " I-Don't-Recall " Gonzales scandal play out.

The AP is reporting that subpoenas have been issued "for testimony from former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor on their roles in the firings of eight federal prosecutors, according to two officials familiar with the investigation."

This is where this lethargic and cumbersome scandal can possibly get much more interesting.

The following is all theory, only conjecture at this point, the evidence has yet to be unveiled.

If Harriet Miers was involved with the politicization of the justice system this could have serious implications because at one point in time Bush nominated auntie Harriet to serve on the Supreme Court, of course that bid failed.

That could have been the final nail in the casket, the cork in the bottle, the ace in the hole, the bullet that stopped the heart of our ailing democracy.

In that situation not only would the Justice Department be politicized, the Supreme Court would be as well. That scenario calls into question the other nominations of Bush that did succeed, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Remember, Bush had the luxury of choosing 2 supreme court justices and if the goal was to politicize justice then the Supreme Court would have to be stacked.

Back to the here and now, the failure of the Alberto Gonzales "no confidence" vote has been nagging at me. But it was in the middle of all this fuming that I realized that Alberto Gonzales is doing himself and the plan he was involved in a great disservice by not resigning.

If the "no confidence" vote had passed and/or Alberto Gonzales had resigned it would be likely the problem would be declared as solved, life would go on and we would never be able to get to the root of and produce the evidence of what exactly happened at the Justice Department and what the ultimate goal was.

I also realized that the more Alberto Gonzales resisted resignation and the more the Bush Administration refused to cooperate the harder the Democrats would justifiably push back.

Now we have subpoenas for Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor, and we are going to eventually fully expose this fanatical plan to politicize the justice system and we are going to figure out the true and long term intentions of trying to hatch such a plan, and I am sure it isn't all daisies.

UPDATE: Why Sara Taylor is also important

Lazy Links

- Explosion kills four near Beirut seafront
- Officials: Subpeonas for Bush figures
- Iraqis Fail To Reach Nearly All US Benchmarks
- Human rights laws do apply to case of man who died in UK custody in Iraq
- Minarets blown up at Iraq Shi'ite shrine
- A new attack on Samarra’s Golden Mosque
- Hamas pressure on Fatah mounts in Gaza battles
- Palestinian security HQ blown up in Gaza UPDATE
- Abbas warns of collapse in Gaza
- Peres Elected President of Israel
- 8 Afghan police die in mix-up with US
- Press reaction: Blair on the media
- Iran brushes off new sanctions threat in atom row
- E-mails: TB patient's family little help
- Poll: Thompson Ties McCain for No. 2 Spot Among Republicans
- US military camp water pollution, cancer link investigated
- Gen. Wesley Clark: Joe Lieberman Is At It Again
- Bush pleads for GOP immigration support

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Republicans More Concerned About Partisanship Than Integrity Of The Justice Department

Related :
- GOP Blocks Senate Majority From Voting No Confidence On Gonzales
- Conservatives kill Gonzales no-confidence vote

Are Conservatives still so bitter over Bill Clinton they are still willing to hold the Bush Administrations head above water while the Administration is so clearly trying to drown itself?

The Conservatives are apparently willing to do this at their own expense. Because everyone knows a drowning person is likely to pull their rescuer under if the rescuer is not a strong swimmer, and it looks like the Conservatives can barely manage to doggie paddle for themselves right now. So trying to save the Bush Administration is probably not the wisest idea.

If there is one person in Washington D.C. who deserves a "no confidence" vote it is "Eternal General" Alberto " I-Don't-Recall " Gonzales who participated in what is one of the most damaging things one can do to a democracy - politicize the justice system.

Some fury towards the mainstream media, as per usual members of the MSM were quick to repeat Conservative talking points as to why the Republicans were refusing to hold Gonzales accountable, for at the very least his stupidity and at the very worse his blatant politicization of the justice system.

One's impression from the MSM is that the Democrats are just being a pain in the Presidents behind FOR NO GOOD REASON EXCEPT PARTISANSHIP.

Well, let me tell you - after the Clinton years and Republican impeachment attempts over Clinton lying about getting a BJ, after six years of impotence in Congress when everything that was slightly Liberal was constantly berated and slandered, you know it wouldn't be such a stretch of imagination to believe that Democrats were "just being partisan" and trying to "get back" at Republicans for all of the misery including the Iraq War BUT

The truth should be told, by any intelligent standard Alberto Gonzales is either

A : a meandering fool who's memory has apparently been erased who never fully understood his role at the Justice Department
B : he is a very deceptive and clever man who is wearing sheep's clothing to avoid punishment.

Well, since Gonzales is a lawyer I really have to go with "B".

By this point in time it doesn't matter whether Gonzales is "A" or "B" because being either incompetent or crooked should immediately render any person unfit for the job of the top law enforcement official in this country, dammit.

I don't care if a person is a Democrat or Republican, if they are doing the wrong thing get them out. It's that simple.

Which brings me to this point : What is WRONG with this country? How come politicians are THE WORST EMPLOYEES IN THE WORLD?? If anyone else did as terrible of a job as politicians do at their jobs - they would be fired or seriously demoted. Seriously.

In the real world this "I don't recall" and "I don't remember" excuse doesn't fly very far. Usually if your memory is that sketchy then so were your activities. In the real world people are distrusted for such excuses.

Having a "no confidence" vote was perfectly legitimate and it's unfortunate the Republicans did not use this as an opportunity to try to restore trust with the American people, and frankly I don't understand why they didn't use it.

Conservatives have lost a great deal of credibility in this country and I am starting to believe they are the only ones who do not realize it yet.

Is it because Republicans are in denial? Is it because they do not care if the American people no longer trust them? Do Republicans even care, if that is the case? I don't think so.

Conservatives have yet to realize the tables have turned.

Where in the 1990's the American people felt they were being lied to by Democrats about Bill Clinton and that the Conservatives were telling the truth, today it is the EXACT opposite and the issues are much more serious and complex than sexual liaisons between two consenting adults.

Today we know we are being lied to by the Republicans about George W. Bush, the Iraq War, torture, spying, oh, and politicizing the Justice Department.

The Republicans are threatening their own very existence with shenanigans like this and they should give the American people a little more credit than trying to convince us this guy who can't recall politicizing our justice system should remain in power.

Conservatives are refusing to be objective and refusing to see how seriously they would take the same situation if any political party other than the Republicans were politicizing the justice system.

Both parties need to understand that this is a country that is built on a system of checks and balances and both parties and our nations survival is dependent on this balance. As we hold others accountable and suspect for their actions, so should we ourselves to preserve the heritage of what is right about this country.