Thursday, March 06, 2008 Launch: New Web Site Puts Democracy Into Americans' Hands

Now here's a new wrinkle. Wonder if only dyed in the wool political junkies will get involved or if it can become a groundswell.
New web site 'creates' democracy by allowing citizens to literally 'vote' on any piece of legislation being considered by Congress.'s database then submits 'election results' to Congress and the President.

A new website has just launched that truly puts Democracy in Your Hands! The site 'creates' democracy by allowing citizens to literally 'vote' on any piece of legislation being considered by Congress.'s database then submits 'election results' to Congress and the President.

e-VotingBooth drastically changes the dynamics of Congressmen and the President of how to vote for a congressional bill by adding the collective citizens' voice to their voting consideration.

"Congress' original job, as defined and envisioned by our Founding Fathers, was to learn what citizens wanted legally and convert their desires into legislation," said Steve Thompson, founder and CEO of "The built-in checks and balances of our political system have been changed over time. The situation is significant in that most major bills passed by Congress drastically shortcut the process as originally defined by our Founding Fathers.

"Unfortunately, this unorthodox lawmaking is now the standard in our system," Thompson said. "Congress was originally designed to be a deliberative, not decisive, process. Human nature has changed the process so badly the only way to get legislation passed is to severely shortcut the original process. The result is a terrible loss of deliberation, transparency to citizens and accountability.

"This is on top of a special interest-driven environment of big business and lobbies that encourages Congressmen and the President to all but ignore what most Americans feel or say about legislation," said Thompson.

" provides the ability for Americans to participate in the legislative process of America daily, if desired, instead of once every 2, 4 and 6 years at elections," said Thompson. "But I believe the icing on the cake will be the ability of every voting American to compare their elected officials' votes right alongside their own. This information will be invaluable before each election to hold politicians accountable for their votes. This capability is now being added to the website and will be available before the 2008 election.

"For example," continued Thompson, "if you find a Representative, Senator or President voted against your votes 90% of the time you are far more likely to vote against him or her for re-election than if they had voted 90% with you."

e-VotingBooth isn't a government agency: Congress can't block the site, can't take away its funding, can't interfere with the voting, and best of all, can't ignore the voice of Americans any more.

Via prnewsire.


McCain wins Bush endorsement for presidency

I wasn't gonna post about this but... This is the fucking idiot you have in charge.

He couldn't decide who to endorse until it came down to one candidate? Just asking.
President George W. Bush formally endorsed Republican John McCain for president on Wednesday, calling him a man of character who is "not going to change" when it comes to taking on Islamic extremists.

Via Reuters.


International experts foresee collapse of U.S. economy

Warren Buffet - American investor,
businessman and philanthropist

Perhaps Warren Buffett who just took over as the world's richest man won't stay there long. Or maybe he will.

This from the Daily Scare.
And you thought that I had a gloomy outlook on the economy. Now the bad news pops up everywhere.

Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail quotes Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London, who claims that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day.

Martin Wolf, celebrated columnist of the U.K.-based Financial Times, cites Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who, in 12 steps, outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion - that's one million times $1 million. That amount is equal to all the assets of all American banks.

Every day now, thousands of people all over the U.S. and Great Britain are walking away from their homes - simply mailing their house keys to the banks - as housing bailout plans fail.

With unemployment growing, the next phase will hit commercial real estate making the financial institutions the unwilling owners not only of quickly depreciating houses, but also of empty strip malls and even larger shopping centres.

The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and after that... who knows? There are so many exotic funds out there, with trillions of dollars in paper - or rather computer-screen money - all carrying assorted acronyms, and all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.

The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), available for 200 euros - about $300 - for 16 issues annually. Its prediction is quite specific.

Where my warnings never spelled out an exact date, this think tank has it pegged precisely. Here are its very words:

"The end of the third quarter of 2008 (thus late September, a mere seven months from now) will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis.

"At that time indeed, the cumulated impact of the various sequences of the crisis will reach its maximum strength and affect decisively the very heart of the systems concerned, on the front line of which (is) the United States, epicentre of the current crisis.

"In the United States, this new tipping point will translate into - get this - a collapse of the real economy, (the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down."

The report goes on to say that we are entering a period for which there is no historic precedent. Any comparisons with previous situations in our modern economy are invalid.

We are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis.

What we will have, instead, is truly a global momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organized in the last decades.

The report emphasizes that it is, first and foremost, in the United States where this historic happening is taking an unprecedented shape (the authors call it "Very Great U.S. Depression").

It continues to predict that, although this crucial event is global, it will be the beginning of an economic 'decoupling' between the U.S. and the rest of the world. However, non 'decoupled' economies will be dragged down the U.S. negative spiral.

Warren Buffett's home

BTW, if you don't know much about Warren just click on his name. He's amazing. He continues to live in the same house in Omaha he bought in 1958 for $31,500 which was no small price at the time and today is valued at around $700,000.

Bill Gate's home

Still nothing compared the the estimated cost of $97 million for Bill Gates house.

Via Daily Scare.



Rep Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Looks like we'll just have to sit back and wait to see who is lying right.
Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Sen. Barack Obama’s Missouri co-chairman and pledged Obama superdelegate, said Obama will gain the support of 50 undecided Democratic superdelegates later this week, according to the Columbia Missourian.

Said Clay: “She (Sen. Clinton) will not make up those numbers. This race is over.”

Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw first reported yesterday that Obama had about 50 secretly committed superdelegates.

Unidentified source

However, The Hotline quotes an unnamed Obama campaign aide who says the report is "wrong." [links in original].

Courtesy link Taegan Goddard.


Quote of the day

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."

-- Ernest Benn
British publisher
(1875 - 1954)

Does this remind you of anyone?

Come on, folks. Perhaps someone who lives in a house coated with white paint?

Via Neatorama.


Must read IMHO

About that FARC laptop which contained plans to build a dirty bomb with 50kg of uranium...

A dirty bomb using uranium? Ya gotta be shitting me.

Who is more stupid, the planner or the media? Doesn't the media have people to check such facts?
"I used a 20-pound brick of uranium as a doorstop in my office," American nuclear physicist Peter D. Zimmerman, of King's College in London, said to illustrate the point [uranium's extremely low radioactivity is harmless compared with high-radiation materials].

Via Left I on the News.


Yellowstone area land owners: Leave the buffalo alone

This is your misguided government at work.
A coalition of bison advocates and local landowners today called on federal and state officials to stop capturing and slaughtering Yellowstone bison in a cattle-free zone outside the western park boundary pending a review of options to give bison more room to roam in the Horse Butte area.

"The government has been killing our nation's last remaining wild bison, claiming it is necessary to prevent the spread of brucellosis to cattle on the Horse Butte peninsula," said Michael Mease, campaign coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign. "There are no more cattle on Horse Butte, so that excuse rings hollow. It's about time the people in charge get behind the locals who support wild bison being on Horse Butte without harassment by the government."


Recent land management changes have entirely eliminated cattle grazing from the Horse Butte peninsula. A court order stopped cattle grazing on a national forest grazing allotment on Horse Butte in 2002. Last year, new owners purchased the sole remaining cattle grazing operation on the peninsula, removed the cattle and declared their property open to Yellowstone bison.

Those purchasers, Rob and Janae Galanis, are among 39 Horse Butte landowners who joined the Buffalo Field Campaign in calling for a halt to the capture and slaughter of bison on Horse Butte given the complete absence of cattle from the area year-round.

In a related story, it seems the Department of the Interior will begin capturing and processing American bald eagles which is great news for those of us who like the taste of chicken tacos*.

* I used to live on chicken soft tacos. Unfortunately, where I am now there is no Taco Bell®. Sigh!

Via source.


Questions requiring answers

Just where is McCain going with that left hand? Is that how he got ahead? And why didn't they get a room first? Just asking.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Rice ends latest Mideast peace bid amid new violence (AFP)

Click for larger image

Well, that didn't seem to go as planned.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wraps her latest Middle East peace bid on Wednesday, urging Israelis and Palestinians to resume talks despite new deadly raids in the Gaza Strip.

Please notice the scale on the map. Did you know most of Gaza is less than 6 miles (9.6 km) wide?

Via Yahoo! News.

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Fascist Morning Joe: Tase, Take 9/11 Truthers to Concentration Camps

Chile's former dictator Pinochet

The author of the story wonders if the US is heading toward becoming a 1973 Chile style police state. He could very well be right when the media starts calling for the heads of people who question the government.
In response to the arrest of a 9/11 demonstrator during a Bill Clinton appearance in Corpus Christi, corporate media shill and former Republican Congress critter Joe Scarborough and his co-hosts demanded 9/11 truthers be tasered and taken to detention camps. “Where’s the taser?” Joe wants to know as MSNBC runs footage of the man’s arrest. “Tase him!” His co-host adds: “Led away in handcuffs and hopefully taken to one of those secret prisons in eastern Europe and never to be heard from again… I hope we have a special prison for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.”

In other words, the corporate behemoth MSNBC believes people who disagree with the government not only do not deserve First Amendment rights and protection, but also believe demonstrators should be kidnapped by the CIA and taken to a “special prison” to be tortured and ultimately killed, as this is the fate many who disappear suffer. In response to the arrest of a 9/11 demonstrator during a Bill Clinton appearance in Corpus Christi, corporate media shill and former Republican Congress critter Joe Scarborough and his co-hosts demanded 9/11 truthers be tasered and taken to detention camps. “Where’s the taser?” Joe wants to know as MSNBC runs footage of the man’s arrest. “Tase him!” His co-host adds: “Led away in handcuffs and hopefully taken to one of those secret prisons in eastern Europe and never to be heard from again… I hope we have a special prison for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.”

In other words, the corporate behemoth MSNBC believes people who disagree with the government not only do not deserve First Amendment rights and protection, but also believe demonstrators should be kidnapped by the CIA and taken to a “special prison” to be tortured and ultimately killed, as this is the fate many who disappear suffer.

Via BlackListedNews


Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are ….

watching everything you do on the internet.

Via Jonco.


Conscript the Children of Politicians into the Military

Prince Harry

This is such a simple solution, suggested by Ralph Nader, to a huge problem.
Ask your member of Congress to introduce a one page bill that says the following: Whenever Congress and the White House take our country to war, all able-bodied military-age children of every member of Congress, the President and the Vice-President will be conscripted automatically into the armed forces.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid the first test in court would rule it discriminatory.

Via counterpunch.


The Gaza Bombshell

There really seems to be no end to the idiot in chief's ineptitude.
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.

Via Vanity Fair.


Quote of the day

"The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves."

-- Matan Vilnai
Israel's deputy defense minister

Via The Daily Scare.

Does it bother you a Jew would use the word "holocaust" this way? It bothers the hell out of me.



You can always try this if totally undecided.

Via Jonco.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All Jonco

He said… I don’t know why you wear a bra; you’ve got nothing to put in it.

She said…You wear briefs, don’t you?

He said… Do you love me just because my father left me a fortune?

She said…Not at all honey, I would love you no matter who left you the money.

He said… Since I first laid eyes on you, I’ve wanted to make love to you in the worst way.

She said…Well, you have succeeded.

He said… You have a flat chest and need to shave your legs, have you ever been mistaken for a man?

She said…No, have you?

He said… Why do you women always try to impress us with your looks, not with your brains?

She said…Because there is a bigger chance that a man is a moron than he is blind.

He said… Let’s go out and have some fun tonight.

She said…Okay, but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway light on.


Dear Abby, A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I’ve never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby, What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby, I have a man I can’t trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his.

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It’s getting expensive and I think my boy friend should share half the cost but I don’t know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby, I’ve suspected that my husband has been fooling around and, when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I’ve seen it. Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby, My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn’t know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered. I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

Jonco rocks!

Via Jonco.


Road Blocks

As if things weren't bad enough in Baghdad...
I've written a lot about the President of Iran, Mahmoud Admadinejad's visit. He told the media Iraqis don't like Americans and Americans should leave. It was expected and he's right, many Iraqis don't like Americans.

Of course he didn't mention that Iraqis have very similar feelings towards Iran. Both nations are generally seen as imperialists here. Many Iraqis fear the rise of Persian rule and many feel that most Shiite and Kurdish officials are more loyal to Iran than Iraq.

But this is not what I want to write about. What I want to explain to you is the inconvenience of his trip.

To have Ahmadinejad safely cruise around Baghdad, the capital shut down.

This is shit you take for granted. You head for work at the same time each day and arrive at the same time each time.

You don't know how lucky you are.

Via Baghdad.


Our WikiLeaky Health Care System

This is a must read IMHO on healthcare.

Remember I only steal from the best.
What I know of history seems to fit the proposition that power hierarchies thrive on secrecy and information management, while populist reforms tend to wither and petrify without the sunshine of open exchange.

Via Bad Attitudes.


Bush aide Goeglein plagiarizes

I'm so fucking shocked. Shocked I say.
Since 2001, Harding High School graduate Timothy S. Goeglein has been a White House aide, a liaison to conservatives and Christian groups. Since 1985, he has written guest columns for The News-Sentinel, his hometown paper.

Both stints came to an end Friday, after Nancy Nall, a blogger and former News-Sentinel columnist, found Goeglein had plagiarized a column on education published on Thursday's editorial page.


“If you can't trust the faith-based assistant to the president, who can you trust?”

To the editor: The fact he was an assistant to the idiot should have been a clue not to trust him.

Via news-sentinel.


Tooth fairy

I just lost a tooth. Yeah, I'm just a baby. Hahaha.

Truth is it was a temporary cap installed six or seven years ago in Malaysia. I was amazed it lasted so long because the broken tooth it was placed on was nearly not there.

Burying the lede, what concerns me is if the tooth fairy* pays for artificial teeth. I'll let ya know.

* Perhaps an American thing. If a child loses a tooth they can put it under their pillow at night and the tooth fairy will take it and leave a coin in payment.


Strange brew

This post might go anywhere, but I think it will be focused. But then, I think I can win the LOTTO. Which isn't a stretch because I've won more than I've invested.

I mentioned I've been invited to participate in an audio interview at Snapvine. My guess is they randomly choose sites from Technorati, but what the hell. Still not sure I'll do it, but I decided to put together some notes in case I choose to try it. They're below. If you read SPIIDERWEB™ regularly you can skip those notes because the only thing new I will get to shortly.

It was an interesting exercise in that two things came to mind. Always a maximum of two because my pea brain can't handle more.

First off is I endorse Clinton. I'm sure this will immediately elicit emails or phone calls (AT&T can give out my number) from her camp praising me for my superior judgment and thanking me profusely but I can handle that shit.

The second is why. Its the network stupid.

Clinton has been to many countries and talked with heads of state. She knows them and they know her. Obama is isolated. He's visited few foreign countries and knows no one. That's a huge gap in qualifications.

Imagine you have to give a sales pitch to a group of people. Who do you prefer, a bunch of strangers or people who consider you a friend and are inclined to trust you? Just asking.

And if Hillary doesn't know someone she has Bill who is one fucking charismatic guy and almost universally admired world-wide.

Does that mean I see Hillary as the second coming of Bill. Hahaha. You're joking, right?

HRC is a very intelligent woman who will administer her office her own way, but she, being intelligent, knows exactly what cards she holds and will play them as needed.

Actually, for me, this post is pretty fucking focused.

Notes for podcast


John McCain I can’t support in any way. He’s one step shy of a neocon if not actually one. He also envisions a 100 year presence in Iraq which is ludicrous. That’s US imperialism.

Clinton and Obama agree on many things. Bringing the troops home or redeploying them to Afghanistan, my preference, doesn’t seem high on their priority lists, but I believe more likely than with McCain.

I’m inclined to support Obama on healthcare issues. However neither candidate seems to support the universal healthcare I would like to see.

It’s a tossup between Clinton and Obama, but I’d have to say I believe Clinton has the experience required to run this country and, though part of the DNC machine, is more likely to make Americans proud again of being American.

A huge plus for Clinton is the network. She has talked with heads of state throughout the world. She knows them and they know her whereas Obama is isolated.


In no particular order in that all are important.

Universal healthcare, not universal health coverage: Get the insurance companies out of it. A modified and improved version of the Canadian model would be a good start.
Economic reform: Leaving Iraq would do much to improve the US economy in that it’s a money pit. Budget cuts are imperative. No more handouts to the wealthy in the form of “tax breaks”.

US occupation of other countries and preemptive attacks: Preemptive attacks should be eliminated from foreign policy. Occupation should never be used.

Net neutrality: To my mind, the beauty of the internet is its unlimited availability and usage. Absolutely no limits should be set on it.

Security: I have no doubts everything needed to protect US citizens is provided by FISA. Internal spying on citizens is repugnant.

Rule of law: The Constitution and Bill of Rights must be re-constituted ASAP. We also need to set limits on what signing statements can do. If they appear to negate laws, Congress must have the authority to kill them.

War crimes: Both Bush and Cheney should be tried for war crimes, preferably at the Hague.

Spending: Absolutely everything the government buys or pays for must be by competitive bid. No more bid-less contracts with businesses.

Climate change and protecting the environment: Both are immensely important and must be addressed ASAP.

Katrina: Its disgusting how the southern states have been ignored when it comes to rebuilding after Katrina and other devastating storms.

Political finance reform: I believe transparent governmental financing of elections is paramount. Who can pull in the largest sums of money from businesses and lobbyists should not determine competitiveness. And the amount of money spent on campaigns is ridiculous.



We just had an earthquake here. Everyone in the house was very frightened. Such fucking wimps. It was at most 2.9.

This is what I know.


Light posting

I'll be lightly blogging for a few/many hours.

I'm preparing for a voice blog on Snapvine. I'm guessing its a phone interview or just my pontificating over the phone about the upcoming political races. Don't know which at this point.

I may or may not actually participate but want to be prepared should I decide to do it.

Its an honor to be invited. And they have over six million members. Its pretty difficult to resist a water cooler of six million.

So I'm doing a little lazy ass research to ascertain if I know what I really think.

If I do the voice blog and it gets posted (unlikely) I'll let you know its out there.


Chelsea’s date

Sorry, couldn't pass this one up.
After Chelsea retuned from a date, Hillary asked her if she had a good time.

Chelsea said she had a wonderful time and thinks she’s in love.

Hillary asked, “You didn’t have sex with him, did you?”

Chelsea responded, “Not according to Dad.”

Yes we can laugh at our own.

Via Jonco.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Too kewl

Content Warning

Some readers may find the content of this blog objectionable. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog. For more information about our content policies, please visit the Blogger Terms of Service

This is too kewl. I'm fucking offending people I don't even know. What's with that garbage. Yeah!

Come on. What the fuck? I have the profanity warning!!!1!! If some can't handle this goddamn shit I say, "Fuck 'em and I'd prefer they not read SPIIDERWEB™."

Jesus H Christ on PROZAC®. I hate it when the meds wear off. Now where did I put those fucking razor blades?


Chavez warns of war with Colombia

Some variation of this story's been around a couple days now so I'm sure you've seen it.

That isn't the point of this post. Nope. The point is I wish heads of state would stop with the fucking use of the word "war" and labeling another country a "terrorist state".
Venezuela and Ecuador have ordered troops to their borders with Colombia, raising concerns of a broader conflict after Colombia killed a top rebel leader on
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday promised Venezuela would respond militarily if Colombia violates its border, where he ordered tanks as well as thousands of troops. He also ordered closed Venezuela's embassy in Bogota.

Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, called for the troop deployment while also withdrawing his government's ambassador from Bogota and expelling Colombia's top diplomat.

"There is no justification," Correa said Sunday night, snubbing an earlier announcement from Colombia that it would apologize for the incursion by its military.

Chavez called the killing of rebel leader and spokesman Raul Reyes and 16 other rebels on Saturday an attack by a "terrorist state."

Columbia has already said it would apologize. That should be sufficient to my mind. But I guess that isn't enough for Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa.

ZOMG!!!1!! There are so many stupid people running countries right now.

Via Yahoo News.

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We get news Israel has pulled troops out of Gaza.
Via News Tin: Israeli ground troops pulled out of northern Gaza before daybreak Monday, following the first extended sweep in an offensive against Palestinian rocket squads that has left more than 100 dead and led the Palestinian president to call off peace talks.

Now doesn't this seem a fucking bit queer only hours after this?
Via The Statesman: Israel today carried out a missile attack on Hamas' eposed Premier's office with Israeli Prime Minister Mr Ehud Olmert vowing not to stop offensive “even for a second”, rebuffing international condemnation for killing over 60 Palestinians in two days of intense fighting. [emphasis mine]

Perhaps its some sort of political positioning as Austan Goolsbee said about Obama's NAFTA remarks that upset Canada.

Ya know, we really do have to take out those goddamn Canadians. Every few months they become a fucking thorn. Just a thought.

Ya know the difference between SPIIDERWEB™ and a winger? I was joking!

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Winter Soldiers to Testify Against War

"Guernica" - Picasso's anti-war abstract (1937)

I can sit here all day and sometimes do pontificating about the evils of war. After all, I have opinions, a certain amount of historical knowledge (from reading and experience) and its my fucking blog.

But I've never been in combat. I readily admit that even though I could lie about it.

These people have. And Raw Story gives you a pretty good idea of what's to come out of this Winter Soldier conference which is BTW a fantastic name for it.
Thirty-seven years ago, in the midst of a bitter-cold Michigan winter, 109 Vietnam veterans gathered at a Howard Johnson Motel auditorium in Detroit to tell their stories. For three days, they told of ransacking undefended villages, attacking civilians, mutilating bodies, torturing Viet Cong suspects, burning houses, destroying Vietnamese property and livestock and killing innocent children. At the conference, entitled Winter Soldier, the veterans accepted responsibility and mourned for their actions. But, taken collectively, their words incriminated a much larger culprit: the war itself.

This year, from March 13 to 16, about 300 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, gathering for a second Winter Soldier conference, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) it will make up the largest gathering ever of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Their mission? To tell the story of the war in the terms of those who have actually lived it.

"This is a moment when veterans won't let anyone else speak for us," said Aaron Hughes, an Iraq veteran who initiated the new Winter Soldier effort. "We hear from the pundits, we hear from the politicians, we hear from the generals, but we don't hear from the soldiers who've walked the streets, who've been there and know what it's about. We're the ones who can bring out the cruelties and dehumanization in US foreign policy."

The event, which will accommodate about 700 veteran advocates, social workers, support staff and members of the media in addition to veterans, will combine soldier testimonies and expert panels. The panels are intended to provide a factual context for the personal stories, according to Perry O'Brien, one of Winter Soldier's organizers. Panels and testimony will be grouped into 12 categories, including killing and wounding noncombatants, mishandling of dead, torture and abuse, sexual assault, discrimination in the military, destruction of civilian property, veterans' benefits issues and GI resistance.

Some testimonies will address acts of large-scale violence and human rights violations, while others will zero in on incidents that are often overlooked, such as racism toward Iraqis, sexual harassment of civilians and the military's waste and destruction of environmental resources.

O'Brien hopes that, through the medium of veterans' firsthand accounts, the public will gain new insight into the concrete abuses perpetuated by what may seem to be abstract foreign policy decisions.

"More than just telling stories, our goal is to show what's going on in both countries that is a result of US military policies," O'Brien said. "When we say, 'this is what we saw, this is what we were ordered to do,' patterns emerge. The patterns show that what the US is doing in Iraq is immoral and in many cases illegal." [emphasis mine]

What stood out among many things in the article were the emphasized words. That's exactly what all this is about. Millions of Americans and billions around the world will never be in the Mid-East. What is happening there is abstract.

But this abstract is producing real casualties that aren't abstract at all.

Via Raw Story.

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The internets tubes

Which, of course, are not tubes at all.

Wanna "see" them?

Just follow the Wired link.

Via Wired.


What you do

Shiekha Hessa Khalifa A. Al-Thani
UN Special Rapporteur on Disability

As I often say around here: I learn something new every fucking day. Today its very likely you will too.

Did you realize if you work in an office you might well be a rapporteur? Could be. Not a UN Special Rapporteur but a rapporteur none the less.



Latest Google™ logo

Not really sure what the hell it is, but this is it.

Via Google™.


Must read IMHO

This is a no punches pulled comparison of US and Canadian healthcare. And I use US and healthcare in the same fucking sentence advisedly. All emphasis mine.
I am near the end of another busy shift in a major Canadian emergency department. The nurse in charge asks me to see two women in the minor care area - a daughter and her elderly mother. Both of them are in tears and pale with fear. I go into the room that they are in and immediately observe the elderly mother is holding her acutely swollen wrist. I am not surprised that she is crying; however, her daughter’s tears take me aback. The first words out of her daughter’s mouth are that they are American and do not have insurance. They were visiting our city and her mother slipped on the water front pier, badly injuring her wrist.

In Canada, we have the “Canada Health Act” which requires that all residents of a province or territory [Canada] be accepted for health coverage. This means that every Canadian, regardless of the amount of money they have, receives quality healthcare that is within their financial means. Everyone is covered. If someone genuinely cannot afford healthcare, they are covered by the province’s social assistance program.

The letter will disturb you, but its something you need to read.

BTW, while searching for a picture
I actually found this fucking sign.

Be sure to tell your children as young as possible to forget having an accident or coming down with a high fever after 8.30P. Because its their ass.

Get injured working during the night or have an automobile accident? Tough shit!

Hope the ambulance drivers know where a 24 hour emergency room is. I'm also curious how much further away it is.

This is so fucking ridicules I should file it under humor.

Via No Quarter.

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Horrifying and Unnecessary

Jesus H Christ on the rack, but I wish that idiot would get captured and have these interrogation techniques used on him.
In the next few days President Bush is expected to again claim the right to order mistreatment of prisoners that any civilized person would regard as torture.

Mr. Bush is planning to veto a law that would require the C.I.A. and all the intelligence services to abide by the restrictions on holding and interrogating prisoners contained in the United States Army Field Manual. Mr. Bush says the Army rules are too restrictive.

The obvious question is why the US Army hates the US so much it would mollycoddle the fucking enemy.

Captain Chip Rankin, science teacher
and American warrior with Minnesota
National Guard, interrogating an
Iraqi prisoner.

And who are they trying to fool with that goddamn picture? Where the hell's the waterboard?

Via NYT.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spider-Man Shootin Web

Bet you'd never have guessed I have muscles like that. Well, I do.


Via tiki god.


White House blocks inquiry into construction of $736m embassy in Iraq

US Embassy Under Construction - Baghdad

Since virtually everything is a secret in the current White House, this should come as no fucking surprise to anyone.
The Bush administration is blocking an inquiry into the delay-plagued construction of the $736m US embassy in Baghdad, a senior Democrat in Congress said today.

I've been to several US Embassies around the world. Many were in countries far larger than Iraq. Now there are three main reasons I see for such embassies.

1. Functionality or to do necessary embassy work. This makes perfect sense.

In the case of Iraq, perhaps two of these structures would be required to effect functionality which takes surprisingly little square footage from my experience.

2. Impress the locals. All embassies are slightly larger than requisite just to establish respect. This doesn't pertain to the US only.

Often such buildings are long, thin and face a thoroughfare to instill awe. This also makes sense. From a political point of view its good to present a stately face.

3. To establish dominance. To say, in no uncertain terms, we are in control here. You may think you are, but you aren't. That's the purpose of this embassy.

I don't consider this a sensible reason for such construction at all.

BTW: There are more buildings than appear in the picture.

One last note: If the US owns or has stolen the land around the embassy, its not obligatory to build for future space requirements. The embassy can be expanded as the need arises.

If you think about it, Washington DC has functioned for over 230 years without initially building mega-structures.

Via The Signs.


Nicholson films make case for Clinton

Jack Nicholson By Ronnie Wood

I'll be very surprised if this doesn't bite Jack Nicholson in the ass.

In an att to come off as gracious, supporting, my assumption, in endorsing HRC he actually came off as sexist and patriarchal.
He was The Joker in Batman, but Jack Nicholson says he wasn't fooling around when he said in "A Few Good Men" that there was nothing sexier than saluting a woman.

Will "his heart was in the right place" suffice?

Via Boston Globe.


British island 'used by US for rendition'

Aren't the lies ever gonna end?
Britain's denials that its territories have been used for 'extraordinary rendition' were dramatically undermined last night after the United Nations claimed that Diego Garcia has been used as a detention centre to hold US suspects.

Manfred Novak, the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture, who is charged with investigating human rights abuses, said he had received credible evidence from well-placed sources familiar with the situation on the island that detainees were held on Diego Garcia between 2002 and 2003.

Yep, sure looks like torture to me.

That's a joke, folks.

Via Guardian.


WITNESS: In Pyongyang, a tale of two concerts

Me! Me! Me! That's
what's important here.

This from the Boston Globe. Very interesting stuff.

None of that shit belongs at the top of the story IMHO. That's no decent lede. Since when is the person doing the reporting the story?

Well in this case, it might be because its Jon Herskovitz who is doing the reporting and is writing in the third person.
Jon Herskovitz has been chief correspondent for Reuters in South Korea for three years. He has served as an Asian affairs correspondent for Reuters based in New York and as a reporter in Tokyo, and ran the Dallas bureau before heading to Korea. He has travelled to parts of the North three times but made his first trip to Pyongyang when he joined media covering the New York Philharmonic orchestra's unprecedented concert in the North Korean capital last week.

I've always been under the impression the story is the story and not the news source, but what the fuck do I know? I'm just an amateur blogger.


US to cut food aid due to soaring costs

Now isn't this just fucking great. The administration will spend billions to kill people and not spend billions and kill people more slowly.
The United States will drastically reduce emergency food aid to some of the poorest countries this year because of soaring food prices, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

I came up with some better (worse) images but try very hard not to turn people's stomachs.

I'd almost forgotten the term "compassionate conservative."

Via Channel News Asia.

While I'm at it, why this image? There's supposed to be method behind choosing an image and its to make your goddamn point.

That image, of a boy who appears fairly well nourished with a damn nice plate of food in front of him hardly makes the case for hunger.


Washington deploys warships off the coast of Lebanon

USS Cole

The Bush administration has ordered the deployment of US Navy warships, including the guided missile destroyer USS Cole, off the coast of Lebanon and Israel, escalating the threat of a wider war in the Middle East. The Cole, capable of striking targets throughout the region with cruise missiles, is expected to be joined soon by the US Navy's Nassau battle group, which includes six vessels, including amphibious landing craft, as well as a contingent of over 2,000 Marines. The deployment constitutes a "show of support for regional stability" because of "concern about the situation in Lebanon," a Pentagon official told Agence France-Press. In reality this naked exercise in gunboat diplomacy can only serve to increase tensions and make a regional war all the more likely.

Also referred to as fucking for virginity.

Come on now. The idiot and his administration have chosen sides and it ain't Lebanon's.

From last post, who do you think built and sold the aircraft used by Israel to pound the shit out of Gaza? It sure as hell wasn't Liechtenstein.

Via The Signs.


Israelis attack to counter rockets and kill 50 in Gaza

Here we go again. All emphasis mine.
Update below.
Palestinian negotiators threatened Saturday to suspend already-sluggish peace talks with Israel after more than 50 Gaza Strip residents, including at least six children, were killed in Israeli attacks.

It was the deadliest day in years as the Israeli military launched a campaign of air strikes, artillery fire and ground attacks aimed at Palestinian militants who launch rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. By nightfall, more than 50 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers had been killed.


Israel launched the weekend operation after a crude Palestinian rocket killed an Israeli college student on Wednesday and more advanced rockets hit Askhelon, the largest city close to the Gaza border.

Palestinian militants struck Ashkelon again on Saturday with at least seven rockets that injured six Israelis. Another 30 rockets were fired at smaller communities near the Gaza borders that caused no serious injuries.

One dead Israeli, six injured and no serious injuries in a later attack by the Palestinians, but 50 killed in Gaza by massive air, artillery and ground attacks.

Yeah, that seems like a fucking tit for tat.

No I don't condone rockets' being fired into Israel. Just to set that record straight.

Update: The death tole is now 61. And it appears the peace process is dead as well.

Via McClatchy.

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UK withdraws Prince Harry from Afghanistan

Prince Harry sits in his position on a Spartan armoured vehicle in the Helmand province, southern Afghanistan on Monday, Feb. 18, 2008. (John Stillwell/PA [AP?] Wire)

I have mixed feelings about this.
Britain's ministry of defence announced that the prince, who is third in line to the throne, would be withdrawn from Afghanistan 'immediately' amid fears for his safety and that of his comrades after a US website breached a deal with media outlets to keep his activities secret.

I agree its important for websites to put out the information they have which might be unavailable elsewhere.

However, it borders on the unethical to leak information others have agreed not to release and thus put Prince Harry and those around him in a very precarious position.

Sometimes its best to say nothing if that will do no harm, but speaking out can do great damage.

Via Financial Times.