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Saturday, April 02, 2005

So, do women get to shoot pharmacists who refuse them morning after pills? 

Let's find out!

Florida is gerrymandered so badly that the Republicans, with half the votes, have three quarters of the seats, so you expect all kinds of crazy shit.

But get a load of the latest:
It's illegal to shoot someone just because they threaten you in a supermarket checkout line, at a football game or on the street.

But under a proposed law swiftly moving through the Florida Legislature, people who think their lives are in danger outside their home will be immune from prosecution if they fight back.

The law would allow people who feel they are under attack to "meet force with force" under immunity from prosecution or civil lawsuits. Under the provision you could punch someone who punches you or even kill someone you think is about to kill you.
(via Orlando Sentinel)

Since some of the wingers are, um, the ones those "s-l-o-o-o-o-w children" signs are designed for, we'll take this slowly, step by step. Work with me here:

1. The new wingerly trend is loon pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control pills or morning after pills to women, even when the women have prescriptions.

2. A pregnancy—by definition, any pregnancy—puts a woman's life at risk (cf. Genesis 3:16).

3. So, does that mean that women get to shoot pharmacists who refuse to dispense them their prescribed birth control or morning after pills?

Just asking...

NOTE A tip of the Ol' Corrente Hat to alert reader chica toxica, who suggested "telling everyone with a womb to buy a gun." That got me thinking.

Say, remember the war? 

Gee, somebody seems to have decided Whack isn't newsworthy anymore. But here's a great blog that covers the story (via Kos). A quote:

Once upon a time you signed DA Form 71 and executed an oath as an officer of the US Army. I strongly suggest you review that oath:
"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."
I took that same oath. I didn’t swear allegiance to a political party, like Soviet officers, and I didn’t swear my loyalty to a Fuehrer, like Wehrmacht officers. I know few Russians, but after serving in Germany and speaking the language, I met many former Wehrmacht officers who rued the day they swore a personal oath to Hitler. Ask me to swear an oath to a political party or a partisan leader and I’ll tell you to pucker up and kiss my ass.

Seems like us edgy types at Corrente aren't the only ones asking ourselves what kind of country Bush and the Republicans are trying to turn us into... This kind of analysis (as that bungler E.J. Dionne did not notice, back) is seething below the surface everywhere in this country, wherever people care about the Constitution, study history, and keep aware. How long before it bursts into the mainstream?

Pope Heads For Home 

The New York Times says so.

UPDATE Balance in action at The World's Greatest Newspaper (Not!) (scroll down to the single line paragraph that begins "need some") (Croooked Timber via Atrios)

I can't think of a headline 

And I can't think of a lead.

From Bush's latest news conference:

"[BUSH:] The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak."
(via WaPo)

And... Wait. My mind just seized up or something. Readers?

UPDATE I've been meditating on Dear Leader's awesomely wise words, and I find one aspect very interesting: How very many forms of civilization they include! The strong "protect" the weak in:
  • Organized crime, where the mob "protects" you or your business
  • Feudalism, where the Lord "protects" the serf
  • Slavery, where the master "protects" the slave
Which form of civilization do you think Dear Leader has in mind? My money's on slavery, because you can read all about it in the Bible.

Pope Dead. No, Wait! 

Jesus Christ.
"Fox News Channel erroneously reported the death of Pope John Paul II on Friday afternoon, backpedaled several minutes later, then apologized to viewers for the mistake...
...at 1:23 p.m., Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith reported that the pope had died. At least initially, he did not cite sources."
So I would expect the blogosphere to fall all over itself demanding Smith resign amid all the shame and opprobrium, what with the famous Fox credibility and the future faith of the American viewer at stake. I will await the coming storm, fully satisfied that the usual journalistic ethics and demand for accountability will kick into gear. I will scratch out my signature on a contract for a bridge in Brooklyn while I wait.

Via CBS News. Meow.

Beloved: Come Walk With Me In The Vineyard 

Mr P-Niss gets mail just like anyone else out there and sometimes he even reads it. And sometimes he even responds. And sometimes he don't do either. And sometimes he is a sad blue p-niss who lays around all day trying to summon the strenght to arise, like a phoenix, from the ashes of despair and rejection and alcohol poisoning. And some days Mr. P-Niss gets a letter that just makes Mr. P-Niss remember that no matter how blue and screwy and downright forgotten Mr. P-Niss feels there are joyous souls out there who love and care and seek out Mr. P-Niss's guidance and blessings. Case in point.

From Racheal Jones (RACHEALJONES@terra.es), who writes:

Beloved,

calvery greetings to you in the precious name of our lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. We bless the name of the Lord for what he is using us to achieve all over the world in this end-times. Having watched global events for sometime now,it is obvious that more and more christians are assuming positions of authority in virtually every field of human endeavours;in
Economically,academically,politically etc. I would like to support your ministry activities for projects and its cost of execution, may God bless us all as we work in his vineyard.

racheal


Dearest beloved Racheal,

Thank you for the letter. It is pronounced "eel" isn't it? Anyway, "calvery" greetings to you too! Mr. P-Niss was delighted to read your email, especially the subject line, which stirred Mr P-Niss from his current funk and swelled him with hope and reinvigorated his faith in the precious possibilities of salvation through ministry. Praise

Obviously, Racheal, you are more than welcome to join Mr. P-Niss's ministry in the vineyard. As a matter of fact I can't think of a better place for you to join up. Especially since the anti-ministry pagan demon Ms V-Niss will be casting spells around the house of P-Niss all this week. The vineyard makes sense. Do you know how to get to the vineyard?

Just as an afterthought: 1- Do you have your own reliable transportation? 2- Have you told anyone else about the ministry in the vineyard? 3- Do you have any brothers who own firearms? Just wondering. It's really not important so don't let any of that discourage you if the answer to any of the above inquiry is NO. We will work something out. I can assure you that.

Also. Do you own a loose fitting blouse with a couple of buttons missing? How about a pair of red high heels and those little white ruffly ankle socks and a short sheer flouncy skirt that flutters about in the moist night air? Bring them along because working in the vineyard in confining conservative clothing can become very uncomfortable especially on warm spring evenings when the sap is running in the sugar maples and the coyotes are howling along the ridgeline. And nothing stirs the sweet Jesus and family values in Mr. P-Niss like a pair of those little white ruffly ankle socks enhancing the fetching fleshy backside calves of the leg between smooth tawny ankle and bowed knee. Where do you think high school football and Miss Texas Teenage Calvinist beauty pageants come from anyway? God Bless the calvery!

When it comes to "positions of authority in virtually every field of human endeavours" you can be sure that all your precious position needs are in good hands at the P-Nissification Vineyard Ministry.

Services begin at 11pm. Try to be prompt and please don't tell any anti-saviour unbelievers about this. Especially if they have reliable transportation and/or own firearms.

Yours in the end times,
Pastor P-Niss.
The P-Nissification Vineyard Ministry.

Mr P-Niss is a rogue element of the Corrente blog. No one actually knows who Mr. P-Niss is and for the most part have no control over what Mr. P-Niss does or says. Which is probably best for almost everyone concerned. Especially Mr. P-Niss's angry family (take my word for it). But, it is the belief that, since Ana Marie Cox at Wonkette can rope in a half a million hits (+ -) a day writing ass-fuck jokes it seems reasonable, if not good business, to allow Mr. P-Niss to continue dicking around - full zipper down - no matter how many miles and miles and miles of innocent blog space he defiles in the name of pointless self flagellating attention seeking bad taste. Or maybe not. Who really cares. Please feel free to stick your 665 (one short of the devil) comments on the matter into the blistering conversation thread below. Go ahead. Mr. P-Niss isn't going to take any of them even remotely seriously anyway. Unless you promise to meet Pastor P-Niss, along the low road, in a vineyard, at midnight. -- These, afterall, are the final days.


*

Hey, kids, what day is it? 

So where's Mr. P-Niss?

Goodnight, moon 

Where, I ask myself, is Whiney Joe these days? Google says: Shoring up support in the district here, and here, and here, by showing them he's bringing home the pork.

Maybe the Kossacks got his attention with that fundraising gambit. Could they really have raised $250,000 for a Lieberman challenger in 24 hours? Sure. In fact, Lieberman's current behavior proves it.

Yes, I know it's the recess, but still, Lieberman doing the rubber chicken circuit is far preferable to Lieberman on FUX, trashing fellow Democrats, let alone The Man Who Sold Out Gore on the Military Vote in Florida 2000 accepting and appearing to enjoy a big fat sloppy wet kiss from the AntiChrist in prime time.

Still, I'd like to think JoeMental isn't JoeMachiavelli—just a pol with a tin ear and bad judgment (like Gore, if it comes to that).

So, Joe, the best thing you can do, now, is keep your head down and stay out of trouble. Above all, don't try to broker bi-partisan "compromises" with players who are smarter, more ruthless, and more vicious than you are. Not even for the insurance companies in Hartford. Capice?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bubble boy: Even the pundits are starting to notice! 

E.J. Dionne is a fragile flower, gentle and shy, and you must never be forceful with him, and you must especially not wake him from slumber. E.J. might have been the beau ideal for whom T.S. Eliot wrote the words: "Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality."

And even E.J. has become dimly aware that Bush only allows supporters into his, sorry, His Partei rallies (now taxpayer funded!) for the Republican Social Security phase out. (We've been yelling about this for over a year. God, this is hard work.) Let's quote some excerpts from E.J.'s latest piece of work:

If President Bush is so insistent on the need for his political adversaries to talk to him about fixing Social Security, then why does he keep throwing them out of his campaign rallies -- excuse me, "town meetings" -- on the subject?
(via WaPo)

Silly! Because to talk with Him is to agree with Him! Since Bush, being a Godly man, is Inerrant, those who do not agree with Him disagree with God; in fact, they're hardly human, let alone citizens! Get a grip, E.J.! Try to focus. I mean, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Look what happened when three Democrats liberals traitors subhumans untermenschen tried to enter a Partei rally:

Before the three could enter, they were stopped and directed toward "a man wearing a smiley-face tie," ... The man in the tie told them that the Secret Service was coming to see them. Someone "in a suit wearing an earpiece and a lapel pin" came along to say that "we had been ID'd" and "that if we had any ill intentions, we would be arrested and jailed." They were initially seated, she said, but the organizers had second thoughts and escorted them out.

Interestingly:

According to the Secret Service, the man they spoke with was not a government agent but a local Republican volunteer.

Ah, those "over-zealous volunteers"... Creating blacklists, throwing traitors out of meetings with Him... Yet who can blame them, since He is Godly? But how very, very odd that E.J. doesn't identify these "volunteers" with the alternate civic authorities put into place by the KKK in the 1860s and by, well, who in the 20th Century... I know it will come to me... But let's continue with E.J.:

The Bush Social Security tour consists of strictly controlled political meetings similar in spirit to the authoritarian style....

"Authoritarian," forsooth?

E.J.

Why oh why are you such a pussy?

Oh. I'm sorry. I meant to say such a fucking pussy. Why not just use the F word? Do you think the Partei will respect you in the morning because you don't?

... of Bush rallies during the 2004 campaign. ...

And if the president is serious about transcending partisanship, why does he taunt his adversaries at partisan rallies where the opposition is told to get lost by guys in smiley-face ties?

Oh, E.J., I'm so sorry. You've exceeded your daily quota of rhetorical questions!

Could it be... That Bush is not serious about transcending partisanship? Because The Partei is The Way, The Truth, and The Life?

But never mind about the rallies. The torchlight parade after is fabulous!

NOTE Notice, as the overly fastidious E.J. did not, the statement of the MBF who cleansed the Partei rally of untermenschen: "[T]hat if we had any ill intentions, we would be arrested and jailed."

So. Remind you of anything?

To the zealous volunteers, i.e. to the MBFs, i.e. to the base, i.e. to the Republican poll watchers and organizers and operatives and media whores in 2006 and 2008, thought crime isn't a fictional construct. It's a real crime that people commit, and should be arrested and jailed for. How very American! How respectful of the Constitution!

Oh, E.J. E.J. E.J. That quote is the real story, and you even had the quote. It's right in front of you and you can't or won't see it. Why oh why are you such a fucking pussy?

Alpo Accounts: Bipartisanship is a synonym for date rape 

2005: Bush must think the Dems have awfully short memories. One of his flacks emits the Partei line:

Bush aides continued to emphasize urgency. Rob Nichols, the chief Treasury Departmentspokesman, said: "We are committed to working with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that strengthens and secures Social Security for future generations this year."
(via WaPo)

2001: Dear Leader at his Uriah Heep-like, über-folksy best:

[BUSH] I've learned that the people can make a big difference in a lot of debates, particularly the tax relief debate. We're making some pretty good progress. I saw a good Democrat Senator out of Georgia, the other day. Max Cleland said that he is interested in -- when he comes back, interested in supporting the $1.6 trillion plan. I think that's what he said. It certainly sounded like it to me. (Laughter.) And that's a good sign. I appreciate the Senator going home and listening to the people.
(via White House transcript)

And we all remember what happened to Max Cleland... What does "good Democrat" mean to Bush? A Democrat whose back is positioned just right for the knife.

One big happy family 

Makes you think they're all in it together, or something.

President Bush has nominated [Philip J. Perry] Vice President Cheney's son-in-law, a prominent Washington lawyer who represents companies in the homeland security field, to be the general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.
(via WaPo)

Whaddaya think? Attorney General under Jenna? Or Chief Justice?

Lettuce Prey 

Some days the material just writes itself.

(via Atlanta GA Journal-Constitution)
Commentator and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan cut short an appearance after an opponent of his conservative views doused him with salad dressing.

After he was hit, Buchanan cut short his question-and-answer session with the audience, saying, "Thank you all for coming, but I'm going to have to get my hair washed."
So we started with the dessert course with Kristol the other day, and have now progressed from there to the salad. I forget if the next course is fish or cheese, so arm yourselves with some nice Danish bleu and a herring so as to be covered either way.

Terrri quits Heaven, returns to Earth! 

Why, you ask?

"[TERRI] I want to spend more time with my family!"

[Rim shot. Applause. "April Fool! Thanks, you've been a great audience. I'll be at The Mighty Corrente Building all week..."]

Jeebus Gets His Betsy Ross 

I almost hesitate to post this today, but if it's an April Fools item then one of the biggest papers in the southeast is in on the gag. Via the Columbia SC State
Christians can show their faith to the rest of the world in many ways — bumper stickers and fish symbol magnets on cars, crosses worn on necklaces or lapel pins.

Marcia Thompson Eldreth hopes many believers will also want a banner that symbolizes that faith.

The 55-year-old Maryland woman, a trained artist, has designed what she calls the “United States National Christian Flag,” which is being manufactured in South Carolina.

“Back in the spring of 2003, my pastor preached a sermon saying he believed every born again believer should boldly identify with Christ by flying a Christian flag,” Eldreth said.

Eldreth said she felt led to pray about that sermon and asked God in her prayer what he would want on a flag. Shortly afterward, she said, she got an image in her mind of a bald eagle, the symbol of the United States, carrying a wooden cross.
It would be sacreligious to suggest that Ms. Eldreth was maybe gazing on the logo of the US Marines, or possible the National Rifle Association, when she came up with her design. Lest this come to the attention of evil Satanic copyright lawyer types at one of those organizations, we will refrain from mentioning these similarities. To continue:
After she designed the flag, Eldreth had several prototypes manufactured and then appeared on the popular evangelistic TV show “The 700 Club” to talk about her design.

The flag flew recently as part of a display of the Ten Commandments monument that toured Columbia and other parts of South Carolina and is also included in monument’s national tour.

“My flag has a mission...it’s a rallying flag for American Christians,” she said.
Because, of course, up till now they've been so disorganized and confused and silent and humble and all.

I Give Up 

I'm not here. Oh, don't worry, my heart is still beating. I'm still alive. If I wasn't I couldn't be part of the culture of death. I suppose one could say that the only thing keeping me alive is the thought that were I to die, I would no longer be able to be a member in good standing of the culture of death. Or one could not. But be aware that only the living can create a culture of death. As far as we know. I think.

No, I haven't left my body, only where I usually abide. I'm now surrounded by white beaches skirted by lolling peacock green seas and gentle white surf that breaks like a gathered waist band on the sun-speckled sand,(I'm thinking of one of my favorite skirts when I was a blond cutie in high school and certain hunched-shouldered but self-consciously well-groomed, unbathed but heavily perfumed right-wing elites could not bear to admit I was smarter than they were); it's an island where breeze-bathed palm trees bend and sway to the seductive beat of the samba, where the people wear mahogany skins that make their teeth shine more brightly than ours, and flowers abound with the same generosity as the wide smiles of those mahogany natives. The canopy of sky above me is blue as a bruise...which might be God's way of reminding us we're not in heaven yet. Or...not.

Yes, I needed to escape. From politics, from religion, from the good fight. No, I'm not disappointed in my side, and I still love my country, but damnit, don't we have to admit that it was soooo much harder to end Terri's life than we thought it was going to be? All that great proceduralism empty of either content, ethics, or morality, seven years of an activist Judge with the perfect cover of being a Republican and not just a Baptist, but a Southern Baptist, and all those appellate Judges ready to back him up, and then out of nowhere, Randall Terry, Randall Terry? Randall Terry pops up out of nowhere, with a new haircut and better clothes, and every cable news channel is interviewing him as if he was like a regular human, and doesn't bother to notice that anyone not on our side isn't really a human, not in the sense that we are? So, I came here, where God's plenty and a madly expensive, rentable, weekend retreat on the beach would convince me that we're on the side of the angels. (And doesn't it just burn you to a crisp that we're not going to get any credit for making it possible for Terri to become one, to become beautiful again, freed from that awful body of hers, and that meaningless worthless life of hers.)

I won't ask you to forgive me, because I knew exactly what I was doing. April 1st was approaching, I was tired of being on my side, so I asked myself, what would Peggy Noonan do? And that's what I did.

Except here's the thing that's odd about all this. I thought I was channeling Peggy. But I keep feeling that I need to talk about Hillary in 08; every palm tree seems to be whispering in my ear that I have to remind everyone, in my own uniquely underhanded way, wherein seeming to praise Hillary, I'm showing the world what a lying, thieving bitch she is, in her very being that she is a lying, cold-hearted thieving, corrupt, unAmerican bitch. So, who's channeling whom?

Okay, I give up giving up.

While I make my way home, do yourself a favor and pay a visit immediately to THE HERETIK, who is celebrating April 1st in his own inimitable way, and don't stop with April one, keep on scrolling if you haven't visited in a couple of days; this guy's a regular tonic. Okay, that's all, I'm running to catch my plane....

A Brief Check-In 

I'm incommunicado for much of the day, but in light of recent events I just wanted to throw out two things:

1. Go read Stephen King's "The Woman in the Room", from his first collection of short stories, Night Shift.

2. People are still dying in numerous and horrific ways in the Congo, and I'm sure some of them would like to hear more about the Right's concern for the infinite value of human life.

Summer of 43 




Tickets go on sale in May. Limited availablity. Dates, explanations, promises, excuses, restrictions, rationales, and scheduled appearances, are subject to change without notice.

Channel Your Inner Jesus Red State Style

Kick out the fools motherfuckers !!!

*

Thursday, March 31, 2005

This Was the Draft 

Terri’s dead. Sad, but not uncommon. I’ve been around long enough to bury a lot of my friends, relatives, even a son, and surely all of you have dealt with this somehow too. People die. Okay, let’s get down to it, then. This isn’t an “us” versus “them” issue unless we let it be. Death and taxes, all that—it will happen. Granted, any power to frame this discussion is limited, but I contend that most people in this world are faced with similar issues all the time, usually on a scale that eludes the Kens and Barbies on the news, at least on-air.

I’m talking about end of life, quality of life issues. Philosophically, it’s thorny ground, lying in the realm of ethics and debated for a very long time: utilitarianism is but one example, Bentham’s mummy, theories of the afterlife being trotted out and so forth.

If real power is the power to choose, then who gets to decide to make end of life decisions? The individual? Well, what about individuals who can’t decide? Living wills? Frank discussions? Okay, then what about people who literally can’t decide? People who were born with, or developed, cognitive ability so limited they can’t decide? Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters then decide? And what of those who would laugh at the problem, since all around them people are dying from diseases that could be easily prevented or cured, with the money and access to the means? Have we decided that universal health care is the answer after all? I mean, there are people dying all around the world as I write this, and many are dying from a lack of clean food and water, a lack of access to basic medical care. Nursing homes? Extraordinary measures? Ha! Not an option. Who decides for them? The World Bank? The IMF? Big Pharma?

And then there’s the issue of what makes life worth living, anyway. I like to eat, sleep, screw, drink, write, paint, play music and lots of other things (not necessarily in that order). If I couldn’t do any of those things, should I be allowed to die? Frankly, I’d say yes, I should be; I don’t think lying in a bed attached to tubes is anything close to life as I know it, and the thought of becoming worm’s food sounds pretty natural to me. I have a document that lays this out. But that’s me. What about others, especially those whose ideas—or their caretaker’s ideas—of what makes life worth living differ from any “norm”? And what if their means allow them to keep these folks alive indefinitely, whether they would want it or not, no matter the expense?

I can’t help but think of a mother somewhere in Africa watching her baby die of diarrhea caused by bad water, knowing there’s nothing to do. Or Nazis emptying hospitals and killing undesirables, while lying all the while about why. What decision? Seems obvious, but think of how it will be pitched by Rove. I shudder.

Still, it’s coming at us, folks. And it’s as good a time as any to think about it. You can bet the one-dimensional machine of destruction is thinking about how they can use this issue even further to prop their agenda. Which, by the way and obviously, has nothing to do with life but more with greed and fear.

Sorry to be a bummer, but sometimes that’s…

Let's Make A Living Will 

I wasn't going to cross-post this, but in light of the day's events, and given that NPR is doing a piece on it as I type this, I thought it was important to give it a wider audience. Regardless of how you feel about the Schiavo case, if you haven't thought about making a living will, you need to. With the government making a beeline toward ever more invasive legislation to limit your options, it has become an important issue for many people. And because of that, having a living will drafted and executed, ready to be adjusted over time according to one's changing needs or perspective, can be an essential safeguard to peace of mind and an infinite kindness to the people you love.

The first thing you must do decide what it is you want. Explore the many scenarios that could happen, and ask yourself how you would want to be treated in those circumstances. For comprehensive info, turn to the American Bar Association's Consumer Toolkit, which includes tests to help users establish criteria for treatment or non-treatment. Also helpful is The Living Will: A Guide To Health Care Decision Making, which takes a broad overview and divides it into easily comprehensible steps. Elder Options of Texas, also offers definitions of advanced directives, DNRs, living wills, and durable power of attorney.

When you know what kind of care you would want under most possible circumstances, you'll need to choose a document in which to memorialize your wishes. These can include a Do Not Resusitate order and/or an advanced directive (a/k/a living will). A sample living will can be found here, at Free Legal Forms, and another here, at The People's Lawyer. A simple example of a DNR order can be found here. Remember: each state may have different laws as applied to these forms, and you must do the legwork to be sure of being in compliance.

The next step is to sit down with the people who will have to carry out your wishes if the worst happens, and tell them what you want. This includes your physician and your loved ones, and any person you may choose to act on your behalf as a health care proxy or with power of attorney. Don't just throw out a casual comment and expect that it will be remembered or will hold up in court.

We know how that works out.

What We're Up Against: Part Forever 

Terri Schiavo is gone; she has finally been allowed to enter fully into that peace that surpasses all understanding.

MSNBC is still with us, like a Biblical plague: you can choose which one strikes you as most apposite from this list of the ten plagues about to be featured prominently in Passover seders across the country.

In the ll:OOAM EST hour of MSNBC, Bob Kur, standing in front of the White House and discussing what impact Terri Schiavo's death might have on the President politically, reports that said President has deeply felt moral and religious beliefs about what was the right course of action in this case, and even though polls don't show a majority of Americans saw the issue the same way, Republican strategists are sure those same Americans will respect the President for his steadfast adherence to his own set of moral values. He then goes on to point out there were two sides to the question of her death; was it really a mercy killing, or was it, as the President believed, something much worse?

Huh?

I have not been able to replicate Kur's exact words, except for "mercy killing," which was the term he clearly affixed to the opinion held by 65 to 85% of Americans who felt that the Florida court system had fairly and rightly adjudicated the conflicting claims by Terri's husband and her birth family, and that the intrusion into a private family matter by the executive and legislative branches of both the state and the Federal government had crossed a line that shouldn't be crossed in a democratic republic like ours.

Euthanasia is illegal in every state of these United States, including Florida; Oregon, please remember, has a PAS law, which is not euthanasia. But that is how Bob Kur framed the issue - that those Americans who were ready to accept that the Florida judiciary had carried out its duty correctly in adjudicating what Terri's wishes were in regards to being kept alive by medical means in a state similar to the one she has been languishing in for fifteen years now, were, in fact, in favor of offing Terri by means of a mercy killing.

As Bob Somerby so often and so incomparable says, try and make yourself believe that a major media White House correspondent can be that dumb and that lacking in knowledge of the basic facts of the issue he's talking about; oh, that's right, it's not that hard, is it? Not if you've been paying attention to the way big media operates, and has been for the last several decades.

I agree completely with Xan here, and what she says about Tom DeLay is just as true about what the right wing has revealed about itself in the Schiavo case. Liberals and Democrats should not let them run away from the implications of their own stance, and should not be afraid to frame this, and the corresponding issues of the right to choose and judicial activism, as issues on which a majority of Americans share our views.

To be continued

Have You Seen the Vigilante Man? 

Followup on border vigilantes. That’s what they are. The reincarnation of the railroad cops of the 30’s. These are the people who have all of the “stop the invasion” posters up along the border. Neo-Birchers, America Firsters, nativists of every stripe, skinheads and so forth are welcome. Scary, scary people. And the government allows them to form this mob. Their first partei aktion in tomorrow. I won't help them with a link, but this is from their website:

The Minuteman Project is a grassroots effort to bring Americans to the defense of their homeland, similar to the way the original Minutemen from Massachusetts (and other U. S. colonies) did in the late 1700s. Like them, we want to bring to this effort only what few personal possessions we can carry...plus our heart, mind and spirit.

This call for volunteers is not a call to arms, but a call to voices seeking a peaceful and respectable resolve to the chaotic neglect by members of our local, state and federal governments charged with applying U.S. immigration law. It is a call to peacefully assemble at the Arizona-Mexico border to bring national awareness to the decades-long careless disregard of effective U.S. immigration law enforcement. It is a reminder to Americans that our nation was founded as a nation governed by the "rule of law", not by the whims of mobs of ILLEGAL aliens who endlessly stream across U.S. borders. Accordingly, the men and women volunteering for this mission are those who are willing to sacrifice their time, and the comforts of a cozy home, to muster for something much more important than acquiring more "toys" to play with while their nation is devoured and plundered by the menace of tens of millions of invading illegal aliens.

Not a call to arms, eh? What then? Anyway, that’s the alleged agenda, and it’s bad enough, complete with faux history and lofty if poorly written and reasoned rhetoric. Now, the real agenda:

Future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures with no common bond to hold them together, and a certain guarantee of the death of this nation as a harmonious "melting pot."

The result: political, economic and social mayhem. Historians will write about how a lax America let its unique and coveted form of government and society sink into a quagmire of mutual acrimony among the various sub-nations that will comprise the new self-destructing America.

A-ha. Now we see their stripes. Let’s play connect the dots. And a picture forms of... could that be a brownshirted mob?

And once again I must plug the November Coalition since the Keillor Liberal Litmus Question sticks in my mind: What is the actual effect of this action on the lives of real people?

What, indeed? Bankruptcy reform, cuts in social programs, vigilantes and walls on the border, wars on everything from the poor to drugs to Afghanistan to iWaq…look! over there! a tit!

Oy.


Popular? 

Atrios sends us over to this telling article about Tom DeLay by one of the more tiresome of the "conventional wisdom" pundits, Howard Fineman. The A man is right in that when Fineman starts writing your epitaph you're probably done but it was this paragraph that caught my eye:
There’s a certain logic to the enterprise: don’t take on the Texas president, who remains popular, especially as commander-in-chief. Take on another Texas, who comes from Houston, who is close to the Oil Boys, and who can be made to stand for the GOP’s never-ending vulnerability, which is that they are too close to corporate power, especially the kind that sells gas for $2.50 a gallon.
Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute.

Since when did a president with an approval rating in the low to mid 40s become popular?

WTF is up with that?

Are you kidding me?

The low 40s is popular?

If Bill Clinton had ratings like that at this point in his presidency folks like Mr. Fineman would've been wondering aloud when congress was going to impeach him for unpopularity, a la Gray Davis.

And, within a few weeks, the punditocracy would've been demanding Clinton's impeachment.

Am I wrong?

Terri's Gone. 

Terri Schiavo died 5 minutes ago, according to NPR, who just broadcast a brief live report from outside the hospice. Thank God she can finally rest.

...And Your Enemies Closer 

As we're now due for the inevitable bloviating over the Terri Schiavo Burial Arrangements Hysteria for a few days [anybody wanna guess how long it takes before some newsreader concludes his/her pontifications with "Remains to be seen"?], other subjects may be pushed aside in some news outlets....which of course is why you come to Corrente for all your information needs.

So let us stick to important things here, like a meditation on the statement often attributed to Lyndon Johnson but certainly older than that: "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." We speak here of Tyrannical Tom (the Bugman) DeLay, and the role he has to play in both capacities.

The wisest words I have seen on the matter come from a party known as Barry Champlain over on an Atrios comment thread:

Now listen to me carefully:

Do NOT allow DeLay to "step down to spend more time with his family".

Do NOT allow the Rethugs to make him just go away like he never happened... only to be replaced by his puppets in the Congress, while he yanks their chains from either K Street or Sugar Land, nice 'n' safe 'n' out of the spotlight.

He has to stay right where he is, for as long as we can make it happen.

An injured, scandalized DeLay is the only defense this country has against him. Providing him shelter and camouflage by virtue of the temporary masturbatory liberal high of forcing him to resign is really fucking short-sighted!

We pointy-headed libruls obviously have not learned the lesson of "WWKD?" That's K, as in Karl. I just don't see Karl helping the Dems purge themselves of their embarassments. You think, perhaps, he might actually like having "embarassments" in the enemy camp, getting daily shitty headlines?

There's a "Save DeLay's Hide" committee? Get the website URL. Post the link. Send money.
Okay, I don't know if there really is such a website, nor would I consider sending them money even if I had any as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has what appears to be more than enough for their needs. Way more in fact. But Barry's point is still good: DeLay does us more good twisting in the wind, leaving a trail of slime so foul it nearly glows in the dark which makes it easier to follow, emitting a stench that attaches itself to every cause, every unindicted co-conspirator person, every issue he touches.

Crib Songs: New collection of Jeff "Lick-n-Stick" Gannon's Greatest Swiped Hits...! 

The Plagarism Basement Tapes !!!!!
Many of you will remember JD "Meat Cannon" Gannon's controversial first major full exposure CD release titled "Blue Moves; Crossing the Red State Line," which of course contained the number one chartbuster coast to coast monster hit "White House Meat Cannon" and the haunting ballad "Scotty Got a Pretty Mouth."


Most of you probably have a copy of that punk-n-bugger classic shoved up, I mean inserted in, I mean spinning on, I mean lying over and over and over again... I mean, oh just forget it.

Playing!, yes, playing, that's it, playing itself out on your groovy CD pop and skip recording player machine right now as I write. Kick out the jams motherfuckers!

Anyway, "Blue Moves" was a major label release (as those things go) and became a cult classic with not only the methamphetamine gobbling glue sniffers loitering in front of slop shoots like Little Mean Footlickers but also with the Anti-Idyllitarian RottLiar mutts and the wavy-dooed elitist Claremonte Institute fellows, buddies, lawyers, and high priced sky-box glory hole seekers from such altars to feculent nasalized greed as Power Swine dot something or other. Power Swine, by the way, being Time magazine's corporate elitist GOP whore-dog-blog of the year award winner. Just in case you were wondering who walked away with last year's Time magazine wavy-dooed nasal voiced media lap-dog clown and pony show blogging honor.

Many of you will also recognize some of Jeff "JD" Guckert Gannon's previous efforts. "Mal4Male" for instance. Which was genuine Gannon/Guckert. However, for the most part, almost all of Gannon's material has been lifted directly from the lyric sheets of those who actually wrote the original tunes. Although, several rare outtakes may have been actually written entirely by Gannon/Guckert himself. Including "Park Bench Problem Personality" and "Pedophile Scandal," which dates back to 1989. And then there is the eerily titled "Johnny Gosch, Iowa Paperboy" for which reamins a mystery to this day.

Many of the recent "political period" garage band "chop shop" cut-n-paste singles and hits were produced right in Bobby Eberle's famous "plagarism factory". Or, "The Factory," as all the Kool-Aid guzzling RepubliCons like to call it. -- But, be careful Redneck Rose, don't drink too much of the "Purple Kristol!" It'll give ya two faced babies that grow up to be four feet tall adults and the next dang thing ya'll know you'll be living in Manhattan and calling people doll and whisking the little ones off to Gay Head for summer vacations! Fancy that.

Anyway. Off we go...

Now, as an exclusive offer, we have made available dozens of Jeff "JD" Gannon's most endearing hits. Hits that he stole word for word from someone else at some point in time! Where else could you find a deal like that? Surely you will all fondly recall such memorable jots as "One of the slain" and "Roads leading to Tikrit" originally written and performed by the Associated Press but later adapted by Jeff Gannon's Talon News Playboys.

How about "Medicine for the mentally ill" by the USA Today? As well as everyone's rockin' favorites: "A two-day celebration", "The nation's largest daily", "Patriotism to promote", and "Those who spoke out", --- all originally by Dockendorf but completely ripped off by Jeff Gannon and re-recorded for your "Factory" manufactured listening pleasure!

And of course there was Jeff's heart rending performance of the old time gospel tunes: "Antiquated tax", "Statewide lottery" and "The raising of [the] taxes." - All originally penned and performed by Bob Allen and the Associate Baptist Press Cowbell and Kingdom Come Kazoo Band.

Yes, my friends, you too can now make these amazing historic plagarized hits your very own cherished possessions! Plagarism performed by the very con-artist that the National Press Club in Warshington DC recently praised as an important news maker! Or something important. Important enough to invite this very plagarist (the celebrated Jeff Gannon) to the National Press Club's next pow-wow on journalistic ethics and blogging and hemming and hawing and eating shit at buffet tables along with other high priests and priestesses of the blogging glitterati. A regualar Delphic oracle. Even Mr. P-Niss has reconsidered and may attend, assuming he will be allowed to tell penis jokes and bring along the sacred stone omphalos, navel to the world. So...

Roll out the bunting, book the high school marching band, chill the Chateau St. Michelle, and line up the gaggers along the service bar! Kick out the jams motherfuckers!

Yes, it's all true. But, forget all that excitment for now. What's important now is that all these hits can be yours today for absolutely no money down and nothing more than the simple click of a mouse key. And these hits and many more are all contained on the Jeff Guckert Gannon Talon News Collection of "Greatest Plagarism Hits; Volume Ongoing!" Many produced by the great Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA fame which includes the live boggie-woogie duet of Jeff Gannon and Bobby "the Eagle List" Eberle himself collaborating and performing their show stopping cage rattler "threw down the guntlet," which they ripped off from some honky tonk press release or wire service caterwauler somewhere down the road at some dusty god forsaken crossroads or another. Who knows. Whats important is that it's all recorded for you to enjoy - all this and more - and it can be all yours at the low low price of $0. Thats right! $0! Nothing. Nada. Not one guckert fucking dollar vowel or dime!

And that's the beauty of it. Just pry open your beautiful minds and it's all free for the takin'! I know, it's hard to believe, but please - let Ron at Why Are We Back In Iraq tell you more about this amazing generous offer: GO! - HURRY - DON'T MISS OUT ON THE PLAGARISM FUN!

Or, to visit the most recent resources available on the Jeff Gannon collectors edition offer, see the following recent reviews:

Jeff Gannon Likes To Plagiarize The Associated Press (AP ApeMan - Live Monkey Bidness!)

Jeff Gannon The Plagiarist (Dockendorf sessions)

Somebody Stop Him (Still palgarizing after all these years!)

Big News To Come !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*

Another Plank Pulled From The Republican Wall of Silence 

From the BBC:
"The top US general in Iraq authorised interrogation techniques including the use of dogs, stress positions and disorientation, a memo has shown...
The September 2003 document is signed by the then commander of US forces in Iraq, Gen Ricardo Sanchez...
The memo authorised techniques including putting prisoners in stressful positions, using loud music and light control, and changing sleeping patterns.
It also authorised the presence of muzzled military working dogs to, as the memo puts it, "exploit Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations"... "Gen Sanchez authorised interrogation techniques that were in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions and the army's own standards," ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said in the union's statement."
Not that we haven't already had proof enough of high-level culpability for the approval of torture and policies leading to torture, what with the Bush memo. But the extent of the cover-up is finally beginning to be grasped:

"Army investigations have generally found that, where proven, abuses were not the result of policy set by senior leaders."
Sanchez himself denied granting permission for the abuses that took place in Abu Ghraib. Now that this has come out, no doubt Bush will give him a Medal of Freedom and promote him to head of the Joint Chiefs.

(cross-posted at my own site.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Republicans vs. The Constitution: The Schiavo Case 

Move away from the cameras, put down the signage and that oh-so-media-savvy styrofoam spoon and listen, please:

"Any further action by our court or the district court would be improper," wrote Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr., one of the members of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "While the members of her family and the members of Congress have acted in a way that is both fervent and sincere, the time has come for dispassionate discharge of duty."

The judge went on to deliver a scathing attack on politicians who got involved in the case, saying the White House and lawmakers "have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers' blueprint for the governance of a free people - our Constitution."

"If sacrifices to the independence of the judiciary are permitted today, precedent is established for the constitutional transgressions of tomorrow," said Birch, an appointee of former President Bush.
(via AP)

Indeed.

Tisk, We Say. Tisk, Tisk! 

Since of course as Responsible Lefty Bloggers we condemn acts of violence, even ones of the harmless if not downright symbolic nature:

(via Indianapolis Star)
A pie in the face didn't silence conservative pundit William Kristol during a speech at Earlham College.
A man who later was identified as a student at the private Quaker college jumped onto the stage and splattered Kristol with the pie Tuesday night about 30 minutes into a speech about U.S. foreign policy.
No record as to whether Mr. Kristol executed evasive maneuvers as well on spike heels as mAnn Coulter did during a similarly vicious attack last fall.

Mr. P-Niss, Meet Mr. Prick 

So, Sunday night a week ago, March 20th, the President cuts short his vacation at the family ranch in Texas and rushes back to the White House so he can demonstrate his sense of urgency and committment to life by being awakened and affixing, in his pjs, his signature to Terri's law, although the paperwork could, as easily, have been sent to him in Texas.

My first thought upon hearing on that Sunday evening of the President's planned rush back to Washington was of another occasion, in August 2001, when, upon being told by his National Security Advisor that Ben Ladin was intent on striking this country on its own soil, he didn't rush back to Washington from his six week Texas vacation, not to have any meetings, or talk to any administration officials working on terrorism issues, nor did he make any calls to anyone in his administration to make sure Al Queda was being tracked, nor did he request his National Security Advisor to do anything specific in resonse to the threat, nor did he ask for a review of what was being done on the Al Queda front, no, he did none of those things, or any variation of them. What he did do was nothing, absolutely nothing.

However, on Monday, March 21st, the day after Bush's rush back to Washington to sign legislation that affects only one American family, a different tragic event occurs that supplies us with another contrast in Presidential behavior. On that day, the worst school shooting since Columbine takes place at Red Lake High School among the Red Lake Band of the Chippewa nation. Jeff Weise, another of those deeply disturbed students we've come to know about too late, opens fire and manages to kill a security guard, a teacher, seven students, and to wound fourteen other people, and then to turn the gun on himself in a successful suicide.

The President's response is not to rush anywhere, neither back, nor forth. Instead, he sticks to his planned schedule and does another installment of Bush community Kabuki theatre on his Bamboozlapalooza tour to kill Social Security as we know and love it; important stuff, I know; in addition, he takes advantage of the occasion to refer to his own rush back to Washington to sign that legislation, which placed the Federal government squarely in the middle of one family's agonizing dispute about a crucial end of life question, and, which he holds up as an exemplar of his committment to what he identifies as a "culture of life."

What this President does not do is to manage to issue even a pro forma statement of shock, or dismay at the deaths of school children shot by another of their classmates, an all-too-familiar community trauma that one would have thought worthy of at least a word of sympathy. I guess the National Rifle Association wouldn't have liked their President to shed any light on another of those embarrassing examples of what can happen when an angst-ridden teenager has easy access to guns, even though in this case, it appears the guns were properly owned by his law-officer grandfather. (As Riggsveda notes today, the NRA is ready to take note of the Red Lake tragedy and to analyze what the real problem is: not too easy access to guns, but not enough guns and not enough access.)

The President continues to say nothing for the next four days.

It is not until he is jabbed in the ribs, rhetorically speaking, by some Native Americans who'd noticed his total silence that the President gets around to noticing what had happened. To be fair, the President must have been doing some thinking about Native Americans, because the 100 million dollars plus worth of cuts in their develoment programs by Bush's proposed budget are sufficiently specific to suggest the expenditure of time and attention, although the result was not generally applauded by Indian activists.
Chester Carl, chairman of NAIHC and the Navajo Housing Authority, noted that national security funding is vital for all Americans and noted the high percentage of American Indians in the military services, but pointed out that infrastructure needs in Indian country are greater than those in Iraq.


Chairman Carl's juxtaposition of Iraq and Indian country couldn't be more apt.This administration's total lack of familarity with the important body of knowledge that underlies Federal block grants for local development is reflected not merely in the deep cuts his budget makes in those programs across the country, it is nowhere better reflected in that on-going disaster which, from the beginning, has constituted this administration's reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Getting money and jobs to the grass roots local level immediately after the fall of Baghdad should have been the second most important item on the occupying army's agenda, right after the number one item, securing Iraq against the predictable looting of public buildings and public and private arms stashes, and the predictable penetration of Iraq's borders by Jihadists, in other words the immediate establishment of some sort of civil order. As we know now know, neither item was on anyone's agenda. And this president is just as heedless of what is necessary to keep available a decent "middle-class" life to those citizens of this country who are not in the top five percent of earners as he was of what would be necessary to keep Iraq from falling into chaos and insurgency.

It is not in the mindset of George Bush to be able to concieve of what it means to be President of these United States of America. He only knows how to be President of those people he concieves of as being on his side. The rest of America be damned, and why not since none of them are going to heaven either. And those of us who did not vote for him, and do care about it when something like the shootings at Red Lake happen would like to formally not thank him for being such an utter and total prick.

One of the first places I look when I need some information on something happening on the Native American front is that remarkable blog, WAMPUM. Eric did not disappoint. He reminds us here that Red Lake existed before Monday, March 21st, and he tells us about "PS 280 And Red Lake," and if you don't know what PS 280 references, you should go and read EW's explanation:
Red Lake exists in a legal historical context. In 1953 termination was the oficial policy of the United States, and P.L. 280 ushered in the termination phase of tribal jurisdiction in federal Indian affairs. It gave Wisconsin, Oregon, California, Minnesota and Nebraska (the so-called "mandatory states") criminal and civil jurisdiction in Indian Country and provided a mechanism by which the states could assume permanent jurisdiction over Indian nations. The law applied to most of the Indian land within the boundaries of those five states except the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota and the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon.

When he signed it into law, even President Eisenhower expressed misgivings about the lack of tribal consent and urged immediate amendment of the law to require tribal referenda - no such amendment passed Congress until 1968.

The criterion for applying P.L. 280 was whether or not the United States judged that certain Indian nations were capable of handling their own affairs.
If you know anything about the history of Indian nations and the federal government that last statement shouldn't require any further response than "oy." Let Eric tell you the rest of the story here, which includes a surprise appearance by Richard M. Nixon.

Also courtesy of Wampum, I was directed to the Red Lake community's own website, Red Lake Net News, where you can find a link that allows you to send condolences and/or a contribution to a memorial fund. I choose the later because I couldn't conceive of what to say that might not feel like an intrusion. I do think it's important to let the people of the Red Lake band know that the rest of America cares about what happened there.

An important aspect of caring is the desire to understand, and I have found no better guide to Red Lake, (again thanks to Wampum), than Kent Nurland of Kent's Blog; Norland is a former teacher at Red Lake High School, and an historian who is also a writer, with quite a few books that I'm anxious to read based on the evidence of his blog, and who has a new book coming out in November, "Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy." I can't wait. I would suggest you read everything Kent has to say about Red Lake, but be sure not to miss, in particular, "Red Lake Redux: They Are All Our Children," here,"Silent City, Silent Cries," here, and "The Red Lake Shootings - The Media Recedes," here

P.S. As you may have guessed, this post was scheduled for publication last Friday, P-Niss blogging day here at Corrente, but was kept from being so by bloggerference. Seeing the reappearance today of the indefatigable Mr. P-Niss, I took the opportunity to post it. For any reader who missed last Friday's regularly scheduled P-Niss appearance, which included important new information about his status as a media mogul, including his hitherto unknown tie to The Washington Chestnut, you can find it by clicking here.

Grassroots, Coalitions and Criminal Sleaze 

via The Invaluable Froomkin at WaPo
And where does the White House find all those agreeable, coachable people to appear on stage with Bush [at the Paid-By-Tax-Money Private Privatization Part-ehhh's]?

Warren Vieth profiles one of them in the Los Angeles Times: Leanne Abdnor.

"She is the leader of two groups that are prominent in the Social Security debate: For Our Grandchildren, and Women for a Social Security Choice. Both have advisory boards, individual donors and websites, but no rank-and-file members.

"She appeared on stage with the president three times this month, in Florida, Colorado and Arizona, dispensing facts and figures to buttress Bush's arguments. . . .

"Abdnor is a focal point for critics who say she is part of a pro-privatization coalition financed by wealthy conservatives and business interests who try to create the appearance of broad support without building genuine grass-roots constituencies."
See a lesson here? Mayhaps we need to start a similar program. Each and every one of us needs to create a group, or at least a Cool Name For A Group. Then whenever we write Letters to Editors we sign it as President of the Cool Group, Inc. Never mind that Cool Group Inc has a membership of exactly one; we can all be board members for each other just the way the forces of darkness do.

Pudetilla hits it from another angle, one which would be prosecutable if we had a Justice Department that concerned itself with prosecuting crimes rather than enabling them:
Yesterday we noted that il Ducetto's crew had forcibly removed citizens from attendance at one of his little "let's destroy social security" pep rallies. Scorpio, on his part, was outraged that citizens were being denied access to tax payer funded events on issues of national policy simply because they appeared not to share il Ducetto's opinion. Josh Marshall, citing a dKos diary's account, suggests that the Republican organizers of these events don't actually use Secret Service agents to boot citizens who have not drunk the kool-aid:

It seems the planners of these taxpayer-funded events hire rent-a-cops, dress them up to look like Secret Service agents and then have them boot people who don't seem Bush-true.

But that surely can't be true. Oh, there may be no remedy for the decision of the current administration to supress the rights of citizens to assemble and hear political debate (whether or not they agree with it), but dressing up and acting like a Secret Service agent is a felony - so there may well indeed be a remedy here. It is very much against the law to impersonate a federal officer or employee. The statute (18 U.S.C. § 912 (1994)) provides:


Section 912. Officer or employee of the United States

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(emphasis supplied)

So, someone who dresses up like a Secret Service agent, and acting like a Secret Service agent forcibly removes a person who is excercising his/her right of lawful assembly, could be looking at some serious time in the pokey. And the folks who paid the imposter to engage in the charade, as conspirators, would, we assume, face similar liability.

Of course, we can't say we're suprised that they're crooks. But maybe those who are unlawfully booted from these events should be talking to the F.B.I., and maybe all of us should be asking to see i.d. the next time a republican tries to piss on our constitutional rights.
I admire Pudentilla's idealism in hoping that the FBI still contains enough patriots in the rank and file that such an appeal would do any good. Meanwhile, don't wade in yellow puddles.

Go read both links if you've got time; Froomkin is on fire today. Telling the truth right out loud in fact. My stars and garters, as Grandma used to say.

Katie Bar The Door; It's A Veritable Tsunami of "Journalists"! 

To piggyback on farmer's previous post about the Gannon/Guckert flap, I saw that Editor and Publisher reported Maria Recio (co-chair of the National Press Club panel that is set to include Guckert, along with other serious journalists such as Wonkette), said:

"...the inclusion of Gannon had caused "a flurry." She also said she had questioned whether to include Gannon when the panel was first organized: "I raised the issue of 'is he a journalist?' The consensus was that he was someone in the news."
So there you have it. The National Press Club's criterion for being a journalist is "someone in the news."

Who else can meet these stringent guidelines? Michael Jackson? The Pope? The guy who ripped off "The Great Velcro"? Or how about these rogue sea lice?

Maybe some of you folks out there might want to apply for your press pass now, to avoid the rush.

Spreading Freedom! (limited offer...please read the fine print) 

I see where Laura Bush Takes Quick Trip to Afghanistan . Hm. Maybe her stash was getting low?

Meanwhile, if you thought I was exaggerating the increasing militarism along the border with Old Mexico, it’s just going to get worse: 500 Agents to Be Added to Arizona Border And the vigilantes are expanding, too, with support from the Birchers. Vicente Fox asked for the wall to be torn down. It really is just like the Israeli security wall. But it ain’t gonna happen. It’s gonna get longer and taller. They’ve gotta keep those brown people out, by gum. Why, most of them don’t even want to learn to speak American reel gud like Tancredo or aWol, the famous C student.

A friend asked me over coffee this morning the following riddle: “Why does Bush think it’s a bad role model to children to admit having smoked marijuana, but that it’s a good role model to children to brag about being a C student?” The answer, clearly, is national priorities—just look at the proposed budget. Plenty of $ for the War on Drugs that fills prisons with brown people, but slashes in public education.

As Garrison Keillor says in Home Grown Democrat,

We Democrats are at our worst when we lose touch with our principles—the protection of the powerless, paying attention to real consequences in the lives of real people and not flying on slogans or glib phrases—and we try to emulate Republicans as we did in signing onto the “war” on drugs that has ruined so many young lives. In our nation’s capital, nearly 50% of black men between 18 and 35 are either in prison or on probation or parole—nationally, it’s a human disaster: 6.6 million Americans in prison, nearly half of whom are black men. The cruelty of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 [!] is stark indeed, and of sentencing guidelines that impose mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug possession… no rational person can defend this, it is a Dostoevskian nightmare and it exists only because politicians fled in the face of danger. That includes Bill Clinton, under whose administration the prosecution of Americans for marijuana went up hugely so that now there are more folks in prison for marijuana than for violent crimes. More than for manslaughter or rape. This only makes sense in the fantasy world of Washington, where perception (X is “soft on drugs”) counts for more than reality. To an old Democrat, who takes a ground view of politics—What is the actual effect of this action on the lives of real people?—it is a foul tragedy that makes you feel guilty about enjoying your freedom.


And the ones who get out of prison with a felony rap can’t vote to change the system that sent them there, either. Meanwhile, fuggedabout going to college, pal, or finishing high school, because education spending is getting slashed, especially at tribal colleges where revenue is already a perennial issue.

So, let’s summarize the nightmare: (1) don’t let “them” in the country; (2) bust “them” for nonviolent consensual crimes and make them felonies so “they” go to prison and have a felony record; (3) disenfranchise “them” for having that record; (4) make it harder for “them” to get an education and a job by slashing social and educational programs; oh, and (5) make sure you and your buddies don’t do time—or even get caught—for doing the same damn thing.

It’s little wonder that in a Poll: Most American Adults Sleep Poorly except the ones lacking a conscience, the lying hypocritical dickheads! (apologies there to Mr. P-Niss)

And While We're At It, Let's Arm Nurses' Aids and Priests, Too 

In the "Stranger Than Fiction" category, the National Rifle Association demonstrates once more why they are America's favorite family-friendly special interest:

"All options should be considered to prevent rampages like the Minnesota school shooting that took 10 lives — including making guns available to teachers, a top National Rifle Association leader said Friday.
"I'm not saying that that means every teacher should have a gun or not, but what I am saying is we need to look at all the options at what will truly protect the students," the NRA's first vice president, Sandra S. Froman, told The Associated Press."
Well, sure. The NRA's long-standing solution to the carnage wrought by weapons usually includes an even wider distribution of weapons. And they can also be relied on to throw up their munitions-clutching hands in helpless frustration at the idea that any sort of controls could be successfully put on those weapons:

"Gun-control restrictions would not have prevented Jeff Weise, 16, from killing nine people and himself Monday at Red Lake High School near Bemidji, Minn.", said Froman, an attorney expected next month to be elected president of the NRA, which claims 4 million members.
The presence of an unarmed guard at the school failed to stop the siege, she noted.
"No gun law, no policy that you could implement now or that was already implemented, I think, could possibly prevent someone so intent on destruction", she said. "I think everything's on the table as far as looking at what we need to do to make our schools safe for our students."
Everything, that is, except the obvious.

!!! National Press Club Honors Mr. P-Niss !!! 

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE!!!! STATEMENT FROM MR P-NISS FOLLOWS!!! MUST CREDIT MR P-NISS!!!

Try to guess where this came from:
GANNONGUCKERT TALKING POINTS!!!! WONKETTE EXCLUSIVE!!!! MUST CREDIT WONKETTE!!!

We have obtained the TOP SECRET, MIRACULOUSLY DISSEMINATED talking points for next week's National Press Club "Blogger or Journalist" panel. As has been speculated elsewhere, this is CLEAR PROOF that the National "Whore" Press Club is a RIGHT WING CLOWN SHOW!!!!!! The talking points are as follows:

1. JEFF GANNON IS A REAL REPORTER. (Repeat until true.)

2. BLOGGERS GET THINGS WRONG AND ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED. They are good for penis jokes and for passing time in the news room when not taking dictation from the White House.

3. THIS PANEL IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. What we decide here could seal the fate of mainstream media for GENERATIONS to come.

4. A REACHAROUND IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED.


Give up? Well, nevermind, it doesn't really matter. What's important is that Mr. P-Niss is finally getting the recognition he deserves from the National Press Club in Washington DC. Mr. P-Niss is engorged with pride. Mr P-Niss would gladly accept an invitation to appear at next weeks National Press Club Blogging Invitational conference on blogging - especially since the theme of the program seems to have something to do with stupid ugly cartoonish dickheads. And, even more especially, Mr P-Niss would be delighted to spend an exciting penetrating evening rubbing himself against - I mean with! - I mean rubbing shoulders with! - with the lovely and delightful Anna Marie Cox. Yes. Whew...hoo boy.

But, sadly, Mr. P-Niss has other penetrating engagements he must attend to. For instance: today Mr. P-Niss will be in Phoenix Arizona charming the pants off the loser.... I mean loom - loom-inaries, yes, assembled luminaries, and dignitaries, and honorable members of the Phoenix City Council. And next week Mr. P-Niss will be very busy stroking his putter at this years True P-Niss Suck-n-Bang Putt Putt Theocracy Invitational in Scottsdale. So, as you can see, Mr P-Niss is a very busy P.


In any event Mr P-Niss would like to extend a warm thank you to National Press Club for recognizing the contribution Mr. P-Niss has made to blogging over the last fifteen years. Or at least it seems like fifteen years. As you can see Mr. P-Niss has finally come to the conclusion that blogging amounts to little more than some lonely frustrated juvenile exercise in shameless self gratification.

On the other hand (hee hee), I'll bet none of you jerk-offs at the National Press Club have a golf tournament named after you - now do you? Heh heh.

Once again, thanks a bunch NPC, and as we like to say around the ball washer at the Suck-n-Bang Country Club - keep it clean and don't let your meat loaf!

*

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Clucking Guckert to Headline Scheduled Cluckfest? 

Via the Agonist:
An Open Letter To The National Press Club

Members of The National Press Club,

We, the undersigned bloggers, are very concerned about how liberal political bloggers are being systematically under-represented and belittled in the mainstream media, academic settings and media forums. By being intentionally excluded away from these venues, we are effectively pushed out of the discourse of opinion-leaders. The result is that the conventional wisdom about blogging, politics and journalism, as it concerns liberal blogs, becomes a feedback loop framed by the Conservatives and their media allies.

More on topic including full letter.

Feedback via Romenesko/Poynter.org
Keep Guckert/Gannon away from the press club
3/29/2005 4:17:28 PM

From GEORGE HENSON: The problems and questions that arose as a result of the James Guckert affair are many. Mainly, the White House facilitated a fake journalist’s entry into the White House and, by doing so, perpetrated a fraud against the American people. And since that time has participated in a cover-up. The National Press Club, by not taking a stronger and more vocal position in the matter acted as an accomplice after the fact. Their latest action can only be described as pandering, in the truest sense of the word, i.e. pimping.

James Guckert continues to pose as a journalist. He feels no shame, no remorse and no sense of obligation to journalistic ethics or standards. Now, the National Press Club has given him a new forum from which to assert his self-awarded "journalistic credentials." He is using the invitation to defend the delusional claim that he is a journalist.

Inviting James Guckert to participate in a panel whose purported objective is to dissect the charade that Guckert carried out is tantamount to allowing a defendant to sit in on jury deliberations. A panel of reputable journalists and bloggers can easily examine the fall-out from the Guckert affair without giving Guckert a public platform from which to ply his paphian trade.


I guess Karen Ryan was unavailable.

*

On To The Next Case 

bio-cochran3 Dead today of a brain tumor at 67. He came a long way from the kid in Louisiana whose great-grandparents were slaves, and whose grandfather was a sharecropper. Love him or hate, you have to admit the man could make some drama. Yes, he got OJ Simpson off, but he also won an $8 million+ verdict for Abner Louima, who was tortured by NYC cops, was a great civil rights advocate and philanthropist, and inspired the Jackie Chiles character on Seinfeld.

Oyez.

Does Bush ever listen to Himself? 

Well, no, because that could interfere with the operation of The Holy Earpiece. Anyhow:

President Bush said the differences "will be resolved through debate and persuasion instead of force and intimidation."
(via AP)

Right.

Oh, He's talking about Iraq.

That's alright, then.

Ku Klux Kristians dissect latest grave threats to western civilization 

You have been deselected. Next "selective service" window please:
...A retired U.S. Marine officer and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense says America's armed services are not like the civilian world, where everyone should be given an equal opportunity to participate. In fact, he contends, there are thousands of reasons why the military uses the phrase "selective service." As the U.S. armed forces continue to try to win the war against Islamofascism abroad, the Pentagon is continuing to deal with what some critics view as the liberal social engineering agenda in Washington, DC. But despite what many of the equality proponents protest, Colonel (Ret.) Ronald Ray points out that there is no inherent right to serve in the military, and many things can disqualify people from eligibility to serve. For example, he notes, "Today if you have three speeding tickets, they view that as an indication of your lack of subordination. They can keep you out of the Marine Corps. And obviously you don't have blind pilots, obviously you don't have disabilities -- flat feet, hernia." Although equal opportunity may work well in academia and in terms of civilian employment, the colonel asserts, "in the military, all service is selective service -- even the draft was called the 'Selective Service Act.' There is no right to serve your country in peacetime or in war time." The military has standards, Ray adds, and in a time of war, he feels they should go up rather than down. [Chad Groening]


Muslim Menace bewitches Christian Republic! Well, thank gawd the commie "International Jew" consipracy has given up on the project:
...An author and terrorism expert hopes his new book will be a wake-up call to all Americans. Investigative journalist Paul Sperry claims Washington, DC, has allowed radical Muslims to penetrate the U.S. military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security. Sperry is a media fellow at the Hoover Institution. His book is called Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. The author believes political correctness has allowed Muslims to gain access to all of the major U.S. security agencies. "They've penetrated our institutions, but we have not penetrated theirs -- and that is a scary proposition," he says. "This book is a wake-up call to Americans across the country. We've been played for suckers about this Islamic threat. We've been lulled into a false sense of security." Sperry says his book will make readers "hustle-proof," providing them with "cold, hard, politically incorrect facts and truths you have not heard since 9-11, and you deserve to hear without the PC spin out of Washington." Another area of concern Sperry points out is America's prison system, which he says has become the top recruiting ground for al Qaeda. And now, the author warns, terrorist recruiters have worked their way into U.S. public schools as well. [Chad Groening]


Brains drained at the schoolhouse door! Gasp!:
...Evangelist Ray Comfort is encouraging parents to weigh the pros and cons of sending their children to public schools. In his new book, How to Bring Your Children to Christ, Comfort says parents have a biblical mandate to teach their children about God; however, he asserts that too many mothers and fathers are abdicating that responsibility by sending their children to secular schools. "Parents need to think twice about who they're letting [teach] the children," the author says. "Even some Christian schools seem to lack some depth nowadays, so we need to be prayerful about who we allow to raise our children." As an alternative to a secular or substandard education, Comfort encourages parents to consider home schooling their children, not only to ensure their spiritual growth but to prepare them for what they may face in a secular university setting. "I preach open air and I witness a lot," the evangelist says, "and the most antagonistic and proud and self-righteous people are university students. I mean there's a brain drain -- their brains are getting drained as they get in the door. There are more atheists in universities than there are in secular society." Comfort urges parents to consider home education as the best opportunity for children to receive a solid, biblical foundation and Christian understanding of the world. [Allie Martin]


Fabulous! - scientific discoveries from the bone pickers at AiG:
...Scientists with Answers in Genesis (AiG) say a recently discovered dinosaur bone has dealt a stunning blow to the scientific establishment's "age-old" claims about fossil dating and the evolution belief system. Nevertheless, the biblical creationist group doubts that mainstream scientists will discard their entrenched beliefs in light of this new fossil evidence. A few years ago, a Tyrannosaurus rex bone was unearthed containing soft, fibrous tissue and complete blood vessels -- including red blood cells and tissues that should have dissolved millions of years ago according to the evolutionists' timescale. According to AiG, the remarkable discovery by evolutionist Dr. Mary Schweitzer of the University of Montana strongly supports the idea that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old at all, but were mostly fossilized under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago at most.


Please pass through the magical language machine, ignore the beautiful mosaics, and step directly into the melting pot:
...An Iowa congressman has introduced a bill that would make English the official language of the United States. Republican Steve King is calling it the "English Language Unity Act of 2005." The legislation would require the U.S. government to conduct business in English, but would not put restrictions on languages spoken in the private sector. King says too many immigrants are being told that they do not have to learn English to live in the United States. "And the message that they get -- mostly from the most extreme liberals -- says 'you don't need to learn this language, we can accommodate your culture; just come here and create your own enclave -- that's America, this beautiful, multi-cultural mosaic rather than a melting pot.'


More slackjawed boing-eyed whoop and holler via: Commentary & News Briefs March 28, 2005| Compiled by Jenni Parker (Agape Press)

*

Stoning Incorrigible Sons at the Crossroads 

Via The Wall of Separation:

March 28, 2005
Ohio Restoration Project: Bringing Theocracy To The Heartland

A fundamentalist congregation in Ohio is spearheading a right-wing Christian drive to dominate politics in the Buckeye State. Fairfield Christian Church of Lancaster has an ambition so great that it caught the attention of The New York Times, which recently reported that the church and its allies are "mounting a campaign to win control of local government posts and Republican organizations, starting with the 2006 governor's race."

The March 27 Times piece focused on the "Ohio Restoration Project," which entails efforts to mobilize thousands of like-minded religious leaders - dubbed "Patriot Pastors" - to help register at least "half a million new voters, enlist activists, train candidates and endorse conservative causes in the next year."

Church leaders say they are fed up with the Ohio Republican Party. According to the church's senior pastor, Russell Johnson, the party is not doing near enough to cultivate its Christian supporters. Johnson told the Times that his state's GOP "is out of touch with its base" and "acts as if it lives in Boston, Mass."

So what does Johnson plan to do about Ohio's GOP? He plans to work hard to yank moderate Republicans from public office and replace them with "godly" politicians who will undermine reproductive rights, stifle civil rights of gays, bring organized prayer to the public schools and teach creationism in science courses.

[...]

"There is a warfare for the heart and soul of America," Johnson continues. "This is a battle between the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell. Millions of souls weigh in the balances and the church stands at the Critical Crossroads of history!"


Yankers! God's Own Party horde devouring it's own "ungodly" assholes?

Let em eat tail.

*

The silence of the - "media" - sheep 

10 moments of silence:
"And here, in silence, are seven more."
That is how Jim Lehrer has ended many of his News Hour broadcasts during the last two years. The reference is to American military men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; their names, faces, ranks, hometowns, and service branches are presented, one by one. There is no background music or commentary. Only the mournful numbers vary.

As the war enters its third year and casualties continue, the question will not go away: What will it take to end the silence, to rouse the public from its torpor?

Disclosures about systematic torture of Iraqi prisoners by American military and CIA interrogators at Abu Ghraib prison, along with physical and psychological abuses of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba?

Silence.


Silence continues... via Common Dreams.org: Nation in a Persistent Torpid State, by David Rossie

Meanwhile, from the C-NoNews network: Look, over there, Michael Jackson fondling a grifter!

*

Monday, March 28, 2005

21st Century Emma 

Late at night. Rain. In a funk. Awakened by a nightmare. God’s own drunk. Fuzzy tongue and moldy brain. So, reach over in the gloom and find the “on” switch for the radio, hoping for late night jazz. And behold! What voice through yonder three-inch speaker breaks?

Why, it’s Arundhati Roy, of course. No mistaking that soothing voice.

And no mistaking that, behind that calm voice, is a fearless recipe for global unity on the issues nearest and dearest our hearts.

First, they replayed an old favorite: Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free)

Then, they played her Sydney Peace Prize speech: Suman's Realm " Arundhati Roy in Sydney

Basically, Arundhati’s recipe for fighting the one-dimensional machine of destruction is an auld one, but one proven effective time and time again over the centuries: Direct Action Brings Satisfaction. (Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

First, she points out how easy it is for her and me, and others who comparatively have it made, to avoid direct action. She points out that typically, people only resort to direct action (occupying corporate/government offices, boycotts, strikes, etc.) when they are desperate and fearless. When they have nothing to lose. Corrente has frequently noted the phenomenon of the frog warming in the pan, unaware of its own imminent demise in a boil. Religion and teevee are the opiates of the people, and all that. Then she points out that that much of the population of the planet is in exactly that position—nothing to lose. Hence the tactics they employ. She rejects armed revolt, and points out that demonstrations and rhetoric that have no financial consequences for the one-dimensional machine of destruction are of limited value, and fearlessly suggests that only by bringing the system to its knees financially can success be achieved. Then, she goes so far as to suggest three shocking things:

It CAN be done.
And those champions of peace and justice in the wealthiest nations are best positioned to do it through direct action.
We don’t have to wait until the pan is boiling and we are scalded.

I fell back to sleep with that sweetly-accented voice, sprinkled with the passion for justice of Emma Goldman, murmuring in my ear through the weak signal from our beloved public radio station, and when I awoke this morning I realized I had to start taking this direct action thing more seriously. I’m going to start, as she suggested, with a simple first move: inventory all of the shit lying about the farm here that in one way or another supports the corporations that are strangling the planet, and find a way to do without them. Maybe I can start trying to brew my own ethanol for the truck. How hard could it be? It's basically Everclear. I dunno. It’s a beginning. There has to be more action to take. You know, that whole act locally, think globally thing.

If you haven’t heard these speeches, take a look. Better to hear her speak them, but reading them will do. If you have heard them, you know what I mean. First time I heard “Instant Mix Democracy,” I was glued to the seat of the truck in front of the café; couldn’t leave until it was over.

You Can't Threaten Me 

The fools is up doin' it again. Maybe you'd hope you'd heard the last of Congress on the Schiavo debacle. Maybe you believed them when they said the bill they passed was narrowly tailored only for her specific case. Maybe you'd better check your bullshit detector.

In the NYTimes today, I rise to see this:
"Congress Ready to Again Debate End-of-Life Issues"
Not content to let this dying dog lie in peace, the motley fools on the hill are dragging it off its deathbed and dressing it up dancing skel like an organ grinder's monkey, in preparation for taking it to the debutante's ball, where they will all take turns whisking its moldering corpse around the dance floor in the ghoulish hope of re-election points from the audience:
"After a string of fruitless legal and legislative efforts, the central question in the Terri Schiavo case - Who makes end-of-life decisions when the patient's wishes are disputed? - is headed back to Capitol Hill, where debate over broader legislation has already begun.
On Sunday, lawmakers of both parties agreed that Congress has a role to play in such cases and should contemplate legislation that would give added legal recourse to patients like Ms. Schiavo. While it is difficult to predict whether such a measure could pass, the Schiavo case has clearly pushed thorny questions about end-of-life care to the fore on Capitol Hill, as well as in state legislatures around the nation.
The Republican-controlled House already passed a bill that would allow the federal courts to review cases like Ms. Schiavo's, in which the patient has left no written instructions, the family is at odds and state courts have ordered a feeding tube to be withdrawn. That bill evolved into one that was narrowly tailored to Ms. Schiavo.
Now some Democrats, prodded by advocates for the disabled, say Congress should consider whether such a law is needed."
No, it wasn't enough that we were all treated to one tragic circus. We need to get our noses in where they don't belong and make everyone's end-of-life decisions for them. And why? Because a few disability rights groups and religious conservatives think the average American can't tell the difference between someone in a wheelchair who wants to live, and a pathetic brainstem wearing a nightgown. So off they go:
"Already, the Senate health committee has scheduled a hearing next week to debate the Schiavo case and discuss "the urgent need for Congress to examine current health care practices used in the care of non-ambulatory individuals," according to a statement by the chairman, Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming.
The hearing was initially scheduled for Monday; in a fruitless effort to keep Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube from being withdrawn, Mr. Enzi called Ms. Schiavo and her husband, Michael, as witnesses, noting pointedly that it was a federal crime for anyone to impede their testimony. Later, when Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube was withdrawn, Mr. Enzi postponed the hearing until April 6."
Enzi already has a finely-tuned sense of humor, doesn't he, subpoenaing a woman whose cortex has liquified to speak before the Senate? (Not that they would have noticed a problem.) And that "urgent need to examine current healthcare practices" might make better sense to some if they thought to deal with the urgent needs of the 45 million uninsured. But why quibble? Personally, I can't think of a better boon to my quality of life than the state forcing itself between me and my doctor while it lets my uninsured daughter flounder without the medical attention she needs.

But don't worry. The decision to spend money and resources on people who don't want them will only be made for those with the ability to pay, and can be fiscally balanced by keeping poor people off the tubes. And once the Republicans get their malpractice caps passed, that will include a lot more of us.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

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~ Since 2003 ~


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