Sunday, May 31, 2009

On Judges With Agendas & Senators with no conscience.

It seems only reasonable that we immediately and retroactively hold sitting Supreme Court Justices to the same standards according to the judicial oath as we hear the non-loyal opposition party pretend to a statesmanlike and Constitution loving reverence for the rule of impartial law.

Judge Sotomayor owes no one an apology for an old statement that reflects the very process by which the most recently approved and currently sitting judges were evaluated and approved by an extremely partisan U.S. Senate that cared little for equality and blind justice.

Today’s arguments and pretended wisdom belching out of the entire Republican apparatus continue to prove why we hired the right guy in last election but still have to continue to fire an entire Party.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Waterboarder Cheney is the kind of American we did not and will never need.

This video should be required watching for anyone who thinks Hannity & Associates know what the hell they’re talking about.

Via TPM and this link

This out from MSNBC ...

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on tonight's "Countdown" pledged to donate $10,000 to charity after disc jockey Erich "Mancow" Muller was waterboarded today on live radio, in an attempt to prove the technique was "not torture." After six seconds Muller said it was "absolutely torture" and that were he to be interrogated by the use of waterboarding he would "confess to anything." Olbermann promised to donate $10,000 to the charity Veterans of Valor, founded by Sgt. Klay South, who administered the waterboarding to Muller today, and withdrew his offer to Sean Hannity to make a donation to the charity of his choice if he followed through on his offer to undergo waterboarding.

If you haven't seen the Mancow waterboarding, you can see the full video here. It's powerful on a number of different levels.

Required Reading: What you eat ain’t what you is.

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now via Alternet

with Michal Pollan "Don't Buy Any Food You've Ever Seen Advertised"

Excerpt:

Amy Goodman: Energy, healthcare, agriculture, climate change, global outbreaks like swine flu—what do all these topics have in common? Food. That’s right, none of these issues can really be tackled without addressing some of the fundamental problems of the food system and the American diet.

Well, my next guest is one of the leading writers and thinkers in this country on food. Michael Pollan is a professor of science and environmental journalism at University of California, Berkeley, author of several books about food, including The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and his latest, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, which just came out in paperback. ... Let’s start with the latest news over the last month, swine flu. How is that connected to industrialized agriculture?

Michael Pollan: Well, we don’t know for sure yet. We’re still kind of investigating. But the best knowledge we have is that this outbreak came from a very large industrial pork operation, pork confinement operation, where, you know, tens of thousands of pigs live in filth and close contact. And this was in Mexico.

And, you know, it’s very interesting. Last year, eighteen months ago, the Pew Commission on animal agriculture released a report calling attention to the public health risks of the way we’re raising pork and other meat in this country. And they actually predicted in that report—they said the way you’re raising pigs in America today creates a perfect environment for the generation of new flu pandemics, basically because once you get that mutation, which sooner or later is about to happen, it very quickly—you have ... so much genetic material coming together, so concentrated, and then so many pigs can catch it, and ... we’ve created these Petri dishes for new diseases. And here we go.

Goodman: And what has been the industry response?

Pollan: Oh, the industry response and the media response, by and large, is not to pay attention to that part of the story. We haven’t gotten a lot of investigation of, well, exactly how do these things evolve and how did these conditions contribute to it.

The other angle, too, is that, you know, as we bring any pressure to bear on American animal agriculture, the tendency is going to be for it to move to Mexico. And indeed, that appears to be the case here, that these are American corporations who have to escape any kind of environmental regulation, have moved their confinement, animal operations, south of the border.

Goodman: Explain how these animal operations work.

Sunday Morning Contrariness

If Concerned Women of America is against it, I’m for it.

CWA is the creation of the religious right, principally the wife of Left Behind author Tim LaHaye, Beverly.

I’m on their mailing list with a hope that something they me will fire up a writing mood. Today, cleaning up my back-up email, I’ve been prompted to do 2 things so far:

(1) Reply to one alert by sending them an email with a comment that their issue is silliness.

(2) Send a letter to the National Institutes of Health – as CWA asked – but not to oppose Stem Cell guidelines expansion but to convey the opposite opinion to what CWA wanted me to say.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Discredited Tavern Blowhards

The folks in this small coastal county don't talk politics too frequently except when the setting is comfortable - like when that kind of talk invites a sip or two of liquid spirits.

Like in the Elk Snout Tavern nestled among the trees on a quiet beach setting looking out on Willapa Bay.

Here there's more tavern customers who voted Democrat than did Republican but fewer who talk about it. Among the fewer who voted Republican and talk about it, there's not much credibility left.

There's still a few - both young and old - who seem permanently lost in that specific so-called tired "conservative" philosophy pretending to old fashioned values but what in reality is nothing more than manipulated anger.

If you remove the manipulated anger, there's not much substance to tavern arguments in support of a view against health care reform that includes a generous dose of what manipulators insist is socialized medicine.

If you remove the manipulated anger, there's not much substance to tavern arguments in support of a foreign policy that depended on big business driven expansion at the point of American military guns.

If you remove the manipulated anger, there's not much substance to tavern arguments against what have become minority religious viewpoints regarding God versus Politics.

If you removed the manipulated anger, you have removed all the old leading lights of a political party and what masquerades as "conservatism" reduced to tavern trouble-making - the sort of thing that used to arouse more suds-sippers but now annoys or bores the hell out of everyone in the room.

The manipulated anger-mongers sit in corner booths barely a few wrong words from being kicked out of the tavern on their asses.

The majority of voters last year hired a new guy and a new team.

The new guy and new team are showing a more vast and comprehensive interest in and sense of managing the family enterprise than the previous hirelings.

The previous hirelings were constantly interested only in hanging around the national cash register while pretending to be tending to business in all directions.

They failed badly. Their party, which set out on a course of national failure and betrayal decades ago when they betrothed themselves to the god-talkers, has nothing of substance to offer.

If as they say we still need a two-party system, the GOP is not one of the parties we need now.

You'll not find cogent nor well thought out counter plans, a genuine economic philosophy or governing perspective from among these old guard tavern blowhards still pretending to governing wisdom while refusing to be part of the solution.

All we're left with is cheap talk, cheap gestures, and childish strategies that assume a national gullibility or disinterest that is no longer prevalent and clear cut.

Cheap talk, cheap gestures and childish strategies.

Obama and team may not have all the answers, but in their shop they're working on the right priorities.

As far as the romper room tea-party crowd ...

We have better things to do with our time and more interesting places in the tavern than the single booth in the corner where they sip stale beer, munch on the same old buffalo chips and weep about how much they love their country while cashing their sponsors' ill-gotten paychecks.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Would you buy a used car from Dick Cheney? Would you seek treatment from a "Dick Cheney" doctor?

Although Dr. Dossey is pointing a finger at his own colleagues, I also see this as how an inadequate and naive leadership that makes the assumptions and justifications offered by the likes of Cheney, Rice & Associates shoves the "do-no-harm" backbone of our own national wellness system into the same dark and filthy pit they themselves have deliberately entered.

Larry Dossey, M.D.
Where Were the Doctors? Torture and the Betrayal of Medicine

Excerpt:


When most Americans think about torture, they imagine that it is practiced only by rogue regimes in third-world countries. Since April 2004, when a flood of photographs flowed from Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, we have learned otherwise.

The world now knows that torture and the dehumanizing treatment of prisoners is routinely engaged in by our country. And to the shock of many, including myself, we also know, largely as a result of Dr. Steven Miles' courageous book, that medical personnel have often been complicit in these activities. Miles describes six ways in which medical personnel collaborate with torturers.

"Some examine prisoners to certify them as capable of withstanding harsh interrogation.

Some monitor and treat persons during interrogation so that health-endangering treatment may proceed.

Some conceal evidence of abuse, either by designing nonscarifying techniques or by ensuring that medical documents or death certificates do not record injuries.

Some conduct abusive research. Some oversee the systematic neglect of prisoners' needs for health care, sanitation, food, and shelter.

Many keep silent as their imprisoned patients are abused."

This may sound like a non-lethal list of grievances against medical personnel until one looks at actual cases. Miles describes specific instances of torture and homicide in American prisons in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

These cases are not for the lighthearted. Many are gruesome, reminding one of medieval torture procedures used during the
Inquisition.

The strappado is an ancient form of torture in which a victim is suspended by means of a rope attached to his hands, which are tied behind his back. It is also known as reverse hanging or Palestinian hanging, because of its use by Israel in Palestinian territories. It is believed that Machiavelli was subjected to it during his 1513 imprisonment after he allegedly conspired against the Medici
family in Florence.

It was also used by the Nazis at Auschwitz concentration camp.

It has reemerged in American-controlled prisons in the Middle East.


When you think about the implications of the Cheney/Bushco attitude regarding torture, you have either a total sociopathic mental health state for an entire Republican era

... or you have a huge element of panic based on irrational thinking.

Was that the desired brand of wise governance we were trusting to keep us safe?

Think about it because this applies even to those non-prominent fellow citizens and neighbors who are willing to tolerate torture as either some sort of justifiable Jack Bauer silliness ...

... or the equally absurd notion that only Americans cannot be violated. Everyone else on the globe is fair game.

Leaders, fellow-citizens and neighbors of that mindset won't hesitate to come for you if they get into some irrational panic state about you as opposed to their own extreme and irrational notion of jingoistic patriotism masquerading as citizenship and love of country.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How is Obama ever going to be inclusive and be president to the nation if he keeps displeasing self-appointed authors of his election?

"He turns his back on people who have nowhere to go politically but to support him," Nader says. "And that's a very bad sign."

Sign of what, Ralphie?

Doesn’t matter whether its Nader, Daily Kos, Keith Olberman, Rachel Maddow or Move On.org.

I also worked to help put Obama in office.

I also don’t live on a street where only exclusively dogmatic liberals share the hydrants. I want to be partnered with all my neighbors in working toward the common good.

Won’t happen unless someone at the level of Barack Obama can succeed in bringing more together than catering to a group of folks who think they own the definition of civic duty and correct governance.

Doofusness; The incumbent sitting Lame Duck American President

It's a vanity issue. For Mr. Trump that means he must satisfy Mr. Hannity, Ms. Coulter and these kind folks: On Networks and ...

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