Sep 29, 2006

Lock Up Your Sons From The Party Of Family Values

Oh the irony. GOP Congressman Mark Foley resigned his House seat today after emails and text messages he sent to minor male staffers started surfacing amongst media outlets today.

While co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children, Foley was busy drafting an overhaul of the Federal sex offender law. And when he wasn't making haughty speeches about making the minor children of America safe from sexual predators, he was trying to pick up underage staffers.

Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.

Another message:

Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you.

And this one:

Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.

If I had to guess, I'd say that at one of the kids came forward as a victim because he wanted to stay in the closet. ABC didn't show the rest of these conversations but it doesn't sound like the kid minds that much. Where's the objection? It's not hard to offer a "Hey, that's pretty creepy" if you are truly offended as the boy is alleging. It would be interesting to know whether or not the kid is really under 18. Foley didn't wait around to defend himself. His first tack was to claim that the messages were taken out of context. When ABC asked him about the above messages, he promptly resigned.

I think that says allot about the authenticity of the messages ABC obtained. It's a shame that Foley is being hounded about sex. He had so many laws ready in the wings to make America safer from sexual predators. Now he won't get to bring them to the House floor. His colleagues will now regale us with the standard falderol about pressing needs and their desire to save America's children. Then they will promptly pass more laws to protect us from lawmakers? That would be a better idea.

I think Foley got confused when the education bill was passed during Bush's first term.."I thought you said, 'No Child's Behind Left Untouched." Maybe Foley has taken too many government programs to heart. "Don't Ask, Don't Text Message" comes to mind.

On a conspiratorial note, the FBI couldn't have been very happy with the shellacking it was taking from Foley.

"Obviously, this is something the Department of Justice needs to work on. Congress wanted the information in order to assemble a comprehensive database of missing children," Foley said.
A little payback? It does make me wonder why the FBI won't produce the information. Perhaps they're saving those runaway kids for themselves? We can't let Congress have all the fun after all. Or maybe, the "epidemic" described by any number of handwringers, is vastly overstated? That is the government's specialty after all, solving non-existent problems or creating problems that they can later not solve so as to whine they are underfunded.

But seriously folks, if somebody offers your teenagers an exciting job as a Congressional staffer, maybe Camp Manitoba would be a better choice.

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Sep 20, 2006

Malkin's intentional deceit exposed

This article in the village voice does much to show how the dumbest member of the Witches of War Ick supports institutionalized racism. And she misleads in order to make her point.

The signal-to-noise ratio here is so slender that one is tempted to just accept Malkin's coy interpretation of them at face value. But in actually reading the evidence, Malkin's shell game becomes apparent. The appendix "Richard Kotoshirodo" excerpts the interrogation of a clerk at the Japanese consulate in Honolulu, who admits to assisting his employers by observing U.S. warships in the months prior to Pearl Harbor. Kotoshirodo was a kibei, born in the U.S. but sent back to Japan for schooling. This is an important distinction, as the Japanese-indoctrinated kibei were seen as more likely to have suspect loyalty. Yet in the caption to the blurry transcript, Malkin refers to "spy ring aide" Kotoshirodo as a "Nisei . . . [testifying] about his loyalty to Japan before an Internee Hearing Board." Casually eliding his kibei status lends weight to her assertions about nefarious native-born Japanese Americans. This is no accident; in the caption to the Kotoshirodo mug shot, she again IDs him as a nisei.

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Sep 18, 2006

America's "Finest" threaten to kill 7 year-old girl during traffic stop

In the interest of homeland security I presume, Officer Eric Tatusko of the Pittsburgh police department drew his sidearm and threatened a seven year old girl.
“I said, ‘What’s the problem, officer?’ and he said ‘Get your hands up,’” wrote Lawton in a prepared statement. “He repeated, pulled out his gun and pointed into the passenger side of the window where my youngest daughter was trying to get her seatbelt off. So, I put my hands up.” According to Lawton, she and her children spent the next 20 to 30 minutes trying to convince Officer Eric Tatusko to put his weapon down or to at least go to the driver’s side to address the problem with the only adult in the car. “The children were in the car screaming and crying,” she wrote. “My hands were still in the air and I was screaming ‘Help, someone help!’ over and over again.”

Sep 17, 2006

The Witches of War Ick

One day, I think it would be fun to actually get paid for depositing my opinion on the door steps or browsers of America. The first thing that might come to the minds of my fair readers is the pidgeon but this is allegedly the land of opportunity and I am entitled to a dream or two now and then. I only mention this in the interest of disclosure since I am not degreed, and the closest I've ever been to college was either marching at halftime Fiesta Bowl activities in 1980, an electronics class in 1986, and a couple of band appearances.

In short, I have absolutely no "credentials."

During my twenty-year career in the high-tech industry, I have worked with many degreed professionals, a good portion of which did not appear to have learned much about their trades in college. Having learned my profession from those who *did* learn something in college, I feel qualified to know the difference between somebody who is good at what he does, and one more suited to flipping burgers than writing software.

Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin fall into the second category if one is judging journalists. As a journalist, I probably fall into the latter category. However, I do not pretend to actually be a journalist.

Ann Coulter and Malkin both seem to be in a competition to see who can write most offensive and badly researched works of punditry. Malkin's work defending racial profiling "In Defense of Internment" has been well-received by Limbauts but is a grossly inaccurate reporting of events that occurred during WWII when thousands of Japanese Americans were stripped of their freedoms. The object apparently is to justify today's "internments" and renditions of those the Bush administration considers enemy combatants. I sure hope, for Malkin's sake, we do not feel the need to crack down on terrorists originating from the Philippine Archipelago.

When Malkin isn't shilling for the federal government's racist programs of the "good old days" she's defending Guantanamo, something even George Bush wants to end (or did a few months ago), if you are one of the few who believes he actually tells the truth.

Coulter is well known for her statements denigrating Muslims, claiming that any and all who disagree with the war are nothing short of treasonists, and that the Abu Ghraib scandal was something that liberals would actually enjoy were they to be able to visit the place.

The Latter statement may have been tongue-in-cheek. On the other hand, this is the same woman who, when interviewed by O'Reilly in 2004, claimed that Iraq was just as safe if not more safe than Washingon D.C. - hmmm - maybe she's right - both are targets of strict gun-control by the U.S. Federal government - but I digress.

I was happy to see Anne get bitch-slapped by the brave widows of 9/11 victims after her slanderous accusations of them.

I have never in my life encountered women who have ever been this rude or crammed so much violence and false bravado in their "work". Therefore, I dub these two the Witches of War Ick. I know that there were three in John Updike's masterpiece, but I can't find a third who can live up to the same level of vapidity.

Dick Cheney might just fit the part of Daryl Van Horne.

Sep 15, 2006

Compare and Contrast

George Bush, September 18, 2003:
We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th

George Bush, September 6, 2006:

One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror..."

Any questions?

Sep 14, 2006

Doctor Albrecht, I Presume - Name Dropping Alert.

I haven't congratulated my friend, Katherine Albrecht for completing her Harvard doctorate program. Yes, she graduated in June, but better late than never. If you haven't checked out or the book Spy Chips, which she co-authored with Liz McIntyre, get thee to Amazon or your favorite book store and buy it.

Congratulations Dr. Albrecht.

Sep 12, 2006

I can't imagine...

"a guy like bin Laden understanding the joys of Hanukkah.."
George Bush

A Cast of Thousands?

William L. Anderson writes:
The conspiracy theorists, I suppose, believe that the super-smart federal agents they see on Fox and other network shows, not to mention the movies and Chuck Norris movies are the norm, as opposed to being fictitious characters.

The kind of conspiracy that people are trying to convince me would have been needed for the government to pull off this attack would have required thousands of people to act with near-perfect timing, and that no one would talk. Another problem comes when people declare that since the Bush Administration benefitted initially from the attacks, it must have planned them.

Sorry, but this is a very tired cliche, and it happens to also be a tautology.

9.11 was the result of a conspiracy. Duh. But who conspired? 12 "hijackers?"

The best way to carry off an attack and avoid the government's agents, is to run it from the inside. This is so obvious as to require no further evidentiary support. Time and time again, the "inside job" has netted favorable results for criminals.

The Mafia has long been known to corrupt government officials in order to avoid guilty verdicts or even prosectution without detection. We know they've done this because occassionally, they get caught. But more often they do not.

William here totally poo-poo's the possiblity of an inside job, erects another strawman argument, and totally ignores history to boot.

When PNAC indicates their designs would take much longer unless America experienced another "Pearl Harbor", more scrutiny than just a hand-wave should be directed at their choice of example. Pearl Harbor has chilling similarities to 9.11. About 9 Pentagon officials are said to have known of Roosevelt's plan to provoke Japan. Nine. Those nine, having full control over the US Military, are all that were needed.

One Admiral ordered the bulk of the fleet to leave Pearl Harbor before it was attacked, allowing the losses to be great enough to insure war, but not so great that war couldn't be waged. William may assert that those Captains and naval enlistees who followed orders were involved in the conspiracy to bring the US into WWII, but I find that laughable.

Just prior to 9.11, one man, recently given the power to do so, Dick Cheney, ordered the bulk what might have been early intercepts for the hijacked airplanes to locations far away from the East Coast for training excercises. Was NORAD then part of the conspiracy? Or were they merely following orders and confused due to drills in progress?

Were the thousands of FEMA personnel sent to New York on September 10th aware of anything? Would they have to be aware? Is it merely a coincidence that they were to conduct training excercises on the 12th?

This strawman argument that "thousands upon thousands" had to have intimate knowledge of the conspiracy is absurd and should be abandoned as it makes those who repeat it look foolish. Pearl Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin...these are to be ignored because apparently it is more fun to deride people who consider possibilities other than the official story, then actually examine the current available evidence.

I don't have any idea who was specifically responsible for 9.11. I do know that the government's actions in the aftermath are very damning and many of the official explanations of what happened are downright lies.

By the way, William, I haven't had a television in my home for over 11 years.

The Grave Dangers of Self-Defense

A really fun piece from Stefan Molyneux at Lew Rockwell.
The logical – and moral – problem with this is, of course, that if people exist who cannot defend themselves from mere individual criminals, how on earth can they possibly defend themselves against the state? In other words, if you’re afraid of being exploited by violent people, is armed might of the modern state somehow less dangerous than an individual mugger?

Sep 11, 2006

Norm, Charles, Give me a break.

Norman Singleton and Charles Featherstone are congratulating each other over at Lew's Blog for their "reasonable" conclusions about the whacko conspiracy theorists out there.

Those of us who think that the government is capable and willing to carry off something like 9.11 are just not that bright. Norman writes:

These people were likely taught at a very young age that the government had the power to make all things right and protect them from all evil. Thus, they cannot accept that the government could be so incompetent as to fail to stop something like the 9-11 attacks.

Earth to Norm, all of us, unless homeschooled were taught this. Some grew up and abused ourselves of our ignorance.

Charles has a similar view:

Those peddling the view that the attacks of September 11 were an "inside job" are selling the idea of an omniscient government, one that controls all and is capable of everything. They also have a strange faith in technology -- that it simply cannot fail in strange and unpredictable ways. Not to mention the belief that nothing happens by accident, and that everything is somehow planned in advance

Listen guys, I'm not stupid, and neither are many of those who follow the research. Contary to the strawman arguments you've both raised, there are other possibilities.

WT7 wasn't hit by an airplane. That was a demolition. There is no controversy there as it is the only valid explanation for the way it collapsed.

Controlled Demolition, the same company that was responsible for carting away the evidence from the OKC bombing, received the contract for carting away 9.11 evidence a mere 11 days after the event. That is a fact. Government *never* operates that fast.

The same sort of thing occurred at Waco. All of the evidence that might have given credence to surviving Branch Davidian's claims that the BATF fired first, was destroyed before investigators could look at it. The steel front doors were important. Gone forever. What did the government have to hide?

Why not stage the main core columns somewhere local instead of shipping them to China and India? That would have allowed investigators to completely debunk the "conspiracy theorists."

But in point of fact, those who believe that 19 (oops 12) terrorists from the Middle East were able to execute this action are also conspiracy theorists. So it is all a matter of perspective, which is the acceptable theory? The one put out by researchers with nothing in particular to gain, or the government which has been so honest to us? Who benefitted from 9/11? The terrorists? Or the government and in particular PNAC the agenda of which government is now enacting verbatim?

You can claim the government is evil and incompetent when it comes to the wars it is fighting or the lies it is telling to justify those wars, but it's just too "out there" to consider that they would go so far as to kill their own citizens in order to advance an agenda. Perish the thought. Where did that perspective come from guys? Private school?

Libertarians: Hold Fast

As the campaigns for power heat up this fall, a variety of populist pundits and candidates will continue to beat the drums of fear and war. As "Internet 2.0" is to the various hype-masters of Internet enthusiasts, so is immigration for the Republicans. On the "left" a plethora of democratic politicians who voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will either tout their anti-war "credentials", claim that they were duped by the administration, or let us know their favorite "exit-strategy."

As libertarians, we get to vote for our favorite libertarian candidates knowing that they probably will not win. However, in doing so, we'll gain satisfaction knowing we didn't give approval to anyone representing the largest freedom-hating organizations in America, Congress and the Executive branches of Federal and State governments.

The aftermath of 9.11 has seen libertarians divided to some degree. I witnessed some online friends whom I thought were libertarians favor the wars in Afghanistan and and Iraq. I have also seen libertarians such as Ron Paul come out against "illegal" immigration.

Personally, I have little respect for any so-called libertarian who supports giving the government more power no matter how good the reasons may sound. I don't think I'm alone. But being on the other side of both of these debates hasn't been easy either.

Libertarians have had a number of detractors on the matter of immigration. The Libertarian Party's platform used to advocate "open borders." Sadly, those who recently hijacked the party have changed the immigration plank in complete disregard for libertarian ideals. All we need now is for Pat Buchanan to announce his intent to run as a libertarian and the destruction of the Party will be assured as it was when he ruined the Reform Party.

To those who continuously bash "illegals", their reasoning demands that a person coming into the United States show the pre-requisite "reasonable" legal documents and subject themselves to searches, giving up their rights to privacy and to travel freely. If they refuse to do this, then they are "illegal".

Because they are not citizens, we are supposed to stand for this.

What of our rights? What just law can demand an obligation to hire only naturalized citizens in our businesses or private homes? Recently, the city of council Hazelton, PA, passed ordinances which fine landlords one thousand dollars per day anyone who rents to an "illegal" alien and make English their "official" language.

"What I'm doing here is protecting the legal taxpayer of any race," said the dapper 50-year-old mayor, sweeping his hands toward the working-class city outside. "And I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: They must leave ."
The Mayor's efforts are already "paying off" - proving that as usual, government is the problem rather than the solution.
The law doesn't take effect for another month. But the Republican mayor already sees progress. "I see illegal immigrants picking up and leaving -- some Mexican restaurants say business is off 75 percent," Barletta says. "The message is out there."
There is no reason for any libertarian to avoid, or apologize for, opposition to solution(s) in current fashion. All of the proposed solutions punish both citizens and immigrants alike.

The war on illegal immigration is as full of hyperbolic vapidity as is the war on terrorism. We will hear any number of arguments for protecting our borders. "We need a Fence" is among the scariest to anyone old enough to remember the Berlin Wall. Those who support this are apparently able only to see one side of the issue and, coincidentally, one side of a wall. If you have come into casual contact with walls and have even the slightest cognizant ability, you recognize that a wall has two sides. A wall keeps people in at the same time it keeps people out. The number of folks who have jumped on the bandwagon is frightening.

Far from being a slippery slope, the problems inherent in branding anyone without a proper set of documents on their person, illegal, are already upon us. The powers that be are already punishing "legal" persons in the name of safety.

It would be a pity if those libertarians of influence whom are left, play the populists in order to seek expansion of their own influence. It was the dogged devotion to the ideals of liberty which swayed me to become a libertarian and it is that same devotion which will win over those inclined to reason. Those who have jumped on bandwagons have discredited themselves. Think about it. All arguments against the libertarian philosophy are rooted in a fear of liberty itself!

"Why, think of how many terrorists could enter the country with 'open borders'!" "What would happen if everyone owned guns?!!" "What would happen if just anyone had children." "If we didn't outlaw plastic forks on airplanes, there'd be so many more terrorist attacks!" If you're talking about the issue with others, try these counter arguments on for size.
  • A border is not a property boundary except by coincidence. It is a demarcation of legal jurisdiction.
  • The constitution does not state that liberties are reserved to citizens. Quite the contrary, the first, fourth and fifth amendments use the words "people" and "persons."
  • Walls have two sides and prohibit crossing from either side equally well.
  • The right to travel freely, without molestation or perturbance is well established common law.
  • Rights are not established by geography but by birth. A Mexican is presumably born with the same rights as any other American.
  • No passage in the constitution gives Congress any legal jurisdiction over foreign travel. The only passage that relates is Congress' power to write the statutes determining citizenship.
The LP has completely gone mad, but I do hope that the real libertarians will hold fast. In the long run, it will be our saving grace. There may be no more "Party of Principle" but the individuals who count themselves as libertarians can keep to theirs.

Sep 9, 2006

No ID? No Problem.

Over on Looking Glass News is this gem describing how to fly without an ID. What you say? It's the law! You have to have a government ID to fly! Nope.
told the agents that I could not find any federal regulation mandating that type of identification, and then asked them to cure my ignorance and please cite the regulation. Now, at this point, individual airline agents have reacted differently. Some called in their supervisor. Alaska Air employees were the most gracious; Northwest agents were the worst -- they were rude, belligerent and hostile brats. But they all folded, every time. A particularly nasty Northwest employee marched me all the way back to the electronic detection equipment, made me pass through it a second time, and had the guard thoroughly search my carry-on bag. The same airline agent-from-hell actually made rude and demeaning remarks to me as we trudged back to the counter -- and then she let me on the plane.
I am definitely going to try this next time I have to fly.

How Much Do We Really Owe?

Interesting article at buzzflash regarding the actual U.S. Federal debt and deficit.
But wait, there's more! The U.S. Financial Report does not mention that if Medicare and Social Security are factored into the equation (which the Treasury Department did not), the true deficit was actually a whopping $3.3 trillion last year, over ten times more than Bush claims. And when Social Security projections are adjusted to reflect current life expectancies instead of the old 75-year mark, Cooper said the true national debt is "probably closer to $65 trillion."
The Bush administration isn't truthful? Come on. Buncha partisans....

Sep 8, 2006

Medved: Genocide Is OK If Your Motives Are Pure

"The way to judge the morality of a military effort isn’t to consider the level of enemy death and suffering but to examine the purpose for which that destruction has been inflicted."
Michael Medved

Sep 4, 2006

Don't Believe Everything you Read

Wired News has had to pull at least three stories by writer Philip Chien due to faked sources. It doesn't just happen to the New York Times apparently....

Sep 2, 2006

Why We Fight

We have become the United States of Amnesia
Gore Vidal
Why We fight, Eugene Jarecki's 2005 documentary, dryly examines the transformation of America after WWII to a well-oiled war machine. It's name coincidentally (or not) is shared by WWII propaganda produced by the legendary Frank Capra.

The film gives us a look at Eisenhower we may not have gleaned from our text books in public schools or from our first look at John Birch Society hysterics on various internet sites.

We are given a view of our current foreign policy as a progression beginning from the vast buildup of the "military-industrial complex" - a term coined by Eisenhower - during and afer WWII. There may be a colorable argument to suggest that this corporate love fest between Congress, the Pentagon and private interests, began long before WWII, according to Smedley Butler. However, since this film was produced by the Eisenhower Project, we can't necessarily fault them for failing to find somebody who warned us about the usurpation of foreign policy by politicians and private interests long before Eisenhower.

This film deftly weaves pictures which reveal the incestuous nature of foreign policy think tanks, politicians and giant defense contractors (corporations) with personal stories from those involved in designing bombs, delivering those bombs and even dedicating those bombs to victims of the attacks on 9/11/2001.

One of the more more effective personal stories is that of William Sekzer, retired New York Police officer and former Viet Nam Veteran who lost his son, Jason M. Sekzer, when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

Sekzer was motivated by a need for revenge. In spite of his skepticism over the lies told by LBJ about the Gulf of Tonkin "attack", which marked the largest escalation in US involvement in Viet Nam, Sekzer was supportive of any move by the government to avenge his son. If the government said Iraq was a target, his support was unshakable. It is hard to blame the man. His epiphany arrives the day President Bush announces in response to a reporter that the US never had any evidence linking Saddam with 9/11.

Ahn Duong, a refugee from Saigon, now works at Indianhead Naval Center designing bombs, specifically the "bunker busters" used in the opening salvos of "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

And it is in this arena where the film truly shines. Those who support the war in various ways, are made human to us. For those of us who oppose US hegemony, our first instinct is to brand those who don't see how they are being manipulated as morons. But those who support the war are not just Bush sychophants. Every individual who supports the war, has his own reasons. Some of which can be understood by any of us. The US government's control of the press is as stunning and shrewd as any totalitarian regime preceding it.

But there are also interviews with members of the true "axis of evil", namely, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Bill Kristol. All contributers to PNAC and the so-called "Bush Doctrine."

Interviews with these particular players are perfect. There is no attempt to challenge their statements or their rationalizations. Some might object to this but given the overall premise, their own words and attitudes stand alone as evidence of their ill-will toward anyone objecting to blatant Imperialism.

My only nit with the film is its blithe acceptence of the "terrorists were responsible for the 9/11 attacks" theory. It doesn't necessarily detract from the film, but it would have been even more powerful to mention that PNAC's paper Rebuilding America's Defenses stated:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor. -pp 51

In spite of this, I found this film to have done a superb job of exposing Fascism's latest incarnation, even if it wasn't called such. It is entertaining and frightening, but does offer us a means to stop the madness. I'll let you watch the film to find out how.

Sep 1, 2006

A Must See

This is some of the most amazing art I've ever seen. It's on a sidewalk no less.....

Thanks to the folks at Lew Rockwell's blog for introducing me to Julian Beever.