Tuesday, April 25, 2006

War with Iran?

Attack Iran, destroy the US constitution
By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith

From the article:

Last October, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee whether the president would circumvent congressional authorization if the White House chose military action against Iran or Syria. She answered, "I will not say anything that constrains his authority as commander-in-chief."

When pressed by Senator Paul Sarbanes about whether the administration can exercise a military option without an authorization from Congress, Rice replied, "The president never takes any option off the table, and he shouldn't."

The founding fathers of the United States were deeply concerned that the president's power to make war might become a
vehicle for tyranny. So they crafted a constitution that included checks and balances on presidential power, among them an independent congress and judiciary, an executive power subject to laws written by Congress and interpreted by the courts, and an executive power to repel attacks but not to declare or finance war.

But the Bush doctrine of preemptive war, as laid out in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States and reiterated this year, claims for the president the power to attack other countries simply because he asserts they pose a threat. It thereby removes the decision of war and peace from Congress and gives it to the president. It is, as Senator Robert Byrd put it, "unconstitutional on its face".
(emphasis added)

Israeli child.

Iranian children.

Remember the anti-Bush chants of 2004?

Four more wars! Four more wars!

Think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is bluffing?

Think Bush is?

How are you enjoying your Spring so far? ,

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Our President

This is our president.

Worst President in History?

From the article:

"Historians do tend, as a group, to be far more liberal than the citizenry as a whole -- a fact the president's admirers have seized on to dismiss the poll results as transparently biased. One pro-Bush historian said the survey revealed more about "the current crop of history professors" than about Bush or about Bush's eventual standing. But if historians were simply motivated by a strong collective liberal bias, they might be expected to call Bush the worst president since his father, or Ronald Reagan, or Nixon. Instead, more than half of those polled -- and nearly three-fourths of those who gave Bush a negative rating -- reached back before Nixon to find a president they considered as miserable as Bush. The presidents most commonly linked with Bush included Hoover, Andrew Johnson and Buchanan. Twelve percent of the historians polled -- nearly as many as those who rated Bush a success -- flatly called Bush the worst president in American history. And these figures were gathered before the debacles over Hurricane Katrina, Bush's role in the Valerie Plame leak affair and the deterioration of the situation in Iraq. Were the historians polled today, that figure would certainly be higher."

"Even worse for the president, the general public, having once given Bush the highest approval ratings ever recorded, now appears to be coming around to the dismal view held by most historians. To be sure, the president retains a considerable base of supporters who believe in and adore him, and who reject all criticism with a mixture of disbelief and fierce contempt -- about one-third of the electorate. (When the columnist Richard Reeves publicized the historians' poll last year and suggested it might have merit, he drew thousands of abusive replies that called him an idiot and that praised Bush as, in one writer's words, "a Christian who actually acts on his deeply held beliefs.") Yet the ranks of the true believers have thinned dramatically. A majority of voters in forty-three states now disapprove of Bush's handling of his job. Since the commencement of reliable polling in the 1940s, only one twice-elected president has seen his ratings fall as low as Bush's in his second term: Richard Nixon, during the months preceding his resignation in 1974. No two-term president since polling began has fallen from such a height of popularity as Bush's (in the neighborhood of ninety percent, during the patriotic upswell following the 2001 attacks) to such a low (now in the midthirties). No president, including Harry Truman (whose ratings sometimes dipped below Nixonian levels), has experienced such a virtually unrelieved decline as Bush has since his high point. Apart from sharp but temporary upticks that followed the commencement of the Iraq war and the capture of Saddam Hussein, and a recovery during the weeks just before and after his re-election, the Bush trend has been a profile in fairly steady disillusionment."

The article is interesting, and the approach is far less biased as one might imagine.

In keeping with that theme, and through some serious self-analysis, a new challenge has developed for me personally.
The current state of affairs in the United States under the Bush regime has deteriorated immensely and I have been thoroughly affected by it.
I cannot go about day to day all cheerful and motivated knowing that our once great nation is being rammed into the reef by a cabal of reckless pirates with delusional goals.
My behavior has become less than friendly, I am irritated all the time, have trouble sleeping at night and have taken a less than open view of some of the people around me.

In short, my tolerance, patience, civility and humility are gone.

The challenge is to accept what has happened, what is happening, know that the next presidential election will be as ugly as ever and that the United States will be in the quagmire known as Iraq for many years to come even though we should get the hell out of there now.

There is no solace in the fact that many people knew Bush spelled trouble for the United States back in 2000 and knew that Iraq was a bad idea that was going to blossom into an even bigger and badder idea. When Bush was reelected I was flabbergasted. Somehow the option "lessor of two evils" that I hear from many then-Bush supporters moved them to vote for Bush and not Kerry. This is a red herring argument. Conservatives always vote Republican - regardless.
That "two evils" argument is personal justification for a vote that they now regret - but I am willing to bet my life that the majority of Bush voters will vote Republican again in 2008.

This is not how I wanted to spend these years of my life.
But here we are. All of us.
Those that believe in this President, those that saw him for what he is, those that support this president through their own selfish goals, those that dislike him as intensely as the those that dislike the Clintons, as well as those that stand on the sidelines and watch all of this unfold.

We are living in a historical time, as is any time - at any time.
These are not historical good times though, these are historical terrible times.
We are going to have to face the music for a long time to come. The next president, be him/her either Democrat or Republican has little or no chance of correcting the current administration's mess. And that is what it is: a mess.

The personal challenge for me is to regain my patience, tolerance, civility and humility. I was a far more effective person when I was cheerful and social and I need to get those back.
Part of that process is continuing with my personal goals of education and putting that education to work for our society as a whole - even those people that are ripping our society apart.
It is an American ideal to be inclusive and tolerant.
I cannot let the current administration and it's completely un-American imperialistic and xenophobic policies corrupt me or my society.

Bush and his cabal have done much damage in a very short time.

I have another 30 productive years in front of me, and if I can keep my health, maybe another 40 or so years.

There is a lot of good and a lot of seeds that can be sewn in that time. This has always been my goal but the current state of affairs in our nation certainly has given added meaning and focus to those ideals.

No, alone one cannot save the world, but together and with others one can effect positive change. In order to do that I must take a decidedly less negative tone towards the socio-political forces that support and implement disastrous policies, and instead take a decidedly more scholarly and scientific approach to solving the crisis before it becomes a disaster.

Well, that's my personal challenge to myself. Hopefully I won't stumble too many times, but hopefully will recognize when I do.

Try and have a wonderful day. ,

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Marines crying for their lives.

From Gorilla's Guides:

Marines crying for their lives.

If this doesn't move you, nothing will.

Thanks to Mark from Ireland.

From Dr. C:

The Sobering Truth.

Thanks to Doc.

The man responsible for this mess from Crooks and Liars:

Bush can't answer the question.

Bush get's his ass handed to him by a college freshman, and is too stupid to know it.
Watch the body language as he 'listens' to the question. Note how intelligent and articulate the student asking the question is, and notice...well you'll see.

This is your president.

Thanks to C&L.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gorilla's Guides


Gorilla's Guides.

Go there every day and read and look and think.

Go there if you supported this president, this idiot of a president, twice, and take a good long look at the fruits of his labor.

If you voted for this despicable man and his despicable fraternity of idiots, it's your fruit too.

How do you like it? Does it taste good?

You voted out of your own self interests and out of ZERO concern for anybody else, including this nation, the people of Iraq and the people of the world. We are all people of the world, so you support(ed) policies that are against your own self interests. Get it? Understand? Try harder.

Take a good long look and think.

You do know how to think don't you?

While you're there perusing the effects of forced 'democracy' at the hands of the most powerful military in the world, try and convince Mark that this invading Iraq bullshit was even remotely a good idea. Try and convince anybody of that other than dipshit conservatives that cannot think beyond their own little box.

Fucking idiots. ,

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Storm's coming, where's Toto?

April showers bring May flowers.

April hail storms just beat the shit out of everything.

Took this shot from the front porch of el hogar de jalapeƱo rojo the other night. The research paper I was working on needed a break, plus I was worried about losing power.
Said research paper FINALLY finished and turned in last night.
After many late nights at the library and taking notes and all that, I polished it off with 4 straight days of coffee cake and Italian roast. A sushi fest complete with Kirin and sake occurred right after turning it in.
I-n-d-i-g-e-s-t-i-o-n, but happy.

The topic of the paper you ask? The Scopes Trial.

Turned out to be the largest paper in the class. The professor asked for a 6-8 page research paper and gave out a bunch of topics and of course I chose the Scopes Trial.

Twenty-five pages later it's done BUT, I have asked my professor to critique it thoroughly with the idea that I will continue to work on it when it is returned. I'm having my Lit professor take a look at it too.

My plan is to keep working on this project until I've explored and thoroughly analyzed and documented all aspects of that trial as well as the current and ongoing struggles that relate to it.
There was no way I could even begin to dissect that trial in 8 pages, no way.
What I did produce is still lacking in some aspects that I just could not fit in the paper given the time frame. I wound up reading 7 books in two weeks, plus had to look up a bunch of scriptures in the Bible. Five of the books concerned the Scopes Trial specifically, one book was a sociological study in the Puritan settlement, and one was a sociology text book that covered a wide range of subjects. Of course, I introduced the current battle of the war: intelligent design.

Might not sound like a lot of time and effort but I do have a full-time job that requires travel, and I do go to school full time at night... Needless to say that towards the end there I was fairly stressed and uptight. Lack of sleep combined with excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar can make even the most peaceful and laid back individual a time bomb waiting, no looking, for the fuse to be lit. Whew, can't wait 'til grad school...

My head was about to explooooode! I loved it though.
Here's a shot of the author (me) sitting in front of the computer just before I went outside to take a shot of that storm. The look of someone that has been awake for far too long:

At any rate, now that I am back in the swing and spring has sprung, I hope to bring some more of my hard-hitting and thoroughly biased commentary on the state of our once great nation.

I guess our nation is still great, it's just suffering badly at the hands of the conservative Republican party, aka warmongering - most corrupt - lying - greedy - anti-gay - anti-choice - anti-American - xenophobic - heartless - fundamentalist-religious-zealot - fraternity of idiots.

Did I leave anything out?

Actually I did. There is a student in my Lit class that was in Iraq as an MP guarding and escorting fuel convoys. She has agreed to allow me to interview her and post the interview here. She has also volunteered to turn me on to other soldiers that have come back, for more interviews. After initially speaking with her about it, it is quite clear that the story the administration is attempting to feed the American public is complete bullshit.

The interviews will be Q and A style, and I will offer no opinion. She and her cohorts have been there, seen it, lived it. It will be my questions and their answers in their words. I don't know when the first one will be up, but I'm anxious to get that ball rolling.

In the meantime, please visit Dr. C, Gorilla Guides, fizhog, Old White Lady, and all the other blogs on my tiny blogroll link list. There's a lot of good stuff out there that will make you think.

Gonna warn ya though, the Doc, Gorilla and fizhog don't fuck around. ,