SUV drivers: consider yourselves warned

So help me god, if I ever see one of these on the street, I'm going fucking postal on the dipshit who's driving it.


60 Years Later and It's All the Same Shit

So the Democrats discovered their collective cajones in a long forgotten drawer somewhere, dusted 'em off, and strapped 'em on today. About fucking time, is all I can say about that.

Kerry and Boxer, along with 10 other Democrats and the Independent-But-For-All-Intents-And-Purposes-Democrat Jim Jeffords, voted a big fat en-oh on Condi "It was a series of actionable items" Rice. Which leaves a depressing number of Democrats still voting for her, but it's better than I would've anticipated a month ago and if it weren't for Barack Obama's "aye" vote, I'd be downright gleeful about the whole affair.

And then they passed the collective cajones on to the 8 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of whom voted an even bigger fucking EN-OH on Alberto "the Geneva Conventions are just so quaint" Gonzales. Which is good news, yes, and a step in the right goddamn direction for sure, but some of the Senators' reasons for voting against him were, seriously, not acceptable.

The man helped implement torture, people. I can't help thinking he would've been just as comfortable whipping up a tidy legal brief to justify the systematic elimination of millions of people. The gulf of difference isn't all that huge, isn't even a matter of degree, really -- they both sit on the same side of the road to Hell:

Daily Kos :: Hunter Goes REALLY REALLY Postal



Freedom Action Network

As you may or may not know, my husband and I, like many of you, spent a good deal of time and money we didn’t have on political activities this last year, trying to do our part to get rid of Bush & the Right Wing Hate Machine, and we were devastated by what happened on November 2nd. But we knew we couldn’t spend the next four years like the last four, angry and frustrated and feeling helpless to stop the damage being done to the country we love.

On November 4th, I had lunch with a good friend who felt like we did, that we had to do something. We weren’t sure what it would be, what form it would take, but we were determined to be a force for change no matter how small our contribution. So we called a few friends and gathered in someone’s living room one Thursday night a couple of weeks later and talked about what we could do. Together, we became the founding members of a grassroots progressive organization called Freedom Action Network.

Over the next two months, FAN met weekly to refine ideas and goals and ready the organization for expansion to our friends, families, and anyone else interested. And January 20th, 2005, Black Thursday, is our official coming out party:

On our website, you can find out more about our organization and what we hope to accomplish. There’s also a bulletin board where you can help build a network with likeminded people by signing up as a member. On the board, you can share articles and information you think others should know about, comment about the latest FAN posting or Action Item, or learn about an issue or project that you can participate in.

In the coming days, we’ll have Action Items that you can take to make a real difference, easy things intended for people who don’t have a lot of time or money but who want to do something to help. Action Items might be a letter to write, or a message to spread, or sending stamps for a mailing campaign. On the main page, you’ll also find 5 important articles or blog posts to read in the “Around the Blogosphere” section that will change frequently.

We want you to make FAN a daily habit. Bookmark the site, make it your home page, or add it to your RSS reader. Even if you can do nothing more than check the site each day and maybe read an article from “Around the Blogosphere”, you’re doing something important by becoming armed with information you can disseminate among your daily circle. And if there’s more you can do, all the better.

If you’re in the Portland area, join us for our next meeting: Thursday, January 27th at 7 PM at the Urban & Public Affairs Building on the PSU Campus (email me at writerscramp at gmail dot com for driving directions). You’ll meet a group of smart and interesting progressives of all ages and backgrounds united by a common cause. We guarantee you’ll leave feeling energized and ready to get to work. And even if you’re not in the Portland area, there’s still work for you to do and ways for you to be involved. Just stay tuned to the FAN site to keep abreast of the latest developments.

So please…visit the site and join the fight.


Repeat after me: there is no crisis

Atrios points over to an interesting dialogue over at The Wall Street Journal Online between conservative economist Arnold Kling and progressive economist Max Sawicky about the so-called Social Security "crisis". And despite Kling's protestations to the contrary, there is no crisis.

At the bottom of the article, Max provides links to more information so that you, too, can demolish the conservative Chicken Littles with facts and economics:

The Center for Economic and Policy Research
The Economic Policy Institute's research on Social Security
The Brookings Institution
The Century Foundation
"What Stock Market Returns to Expect for the Future?"


"I might not know much about God, but we sure did build a nice cage for him." -- Homer Simpson

How succinctly Deepak Chopra boils down one of the biggest sources of many of our problems today:


CHOPRA: Actually, our image of God is outmoded anyway, whether the tsunami occurs or not. Religion has become divisive, quarrelsome and idiotic. Religion is the reason we have all this conflict in the world. We have squeezed God into the volume of a body and the span of a lifetime; given God a male identity, an ethnic background; made him a tribal chief and gone to war. Yet people are not ready to forsake their image of God.


The head, it doth explode

So by now, everyone's read, or at least heard about, the Washington Post interview with Junior (Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy ). And you've no doubt read/heard the quote many times, but I'm putting it here anyway, just for effect:

"'We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections,' Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. 'The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me.' "

I have no words for this. Nor for this:

The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer. Much of the focus is on the accumulation of intelligence and targeting information on Iranian nuclear, chemical, and missile sites, both declared and suspected. The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids. “The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible,” the government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon told me.

--from Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article, "The Coming Wars"

And I've long since run out of tears for this:

Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher." ...

"The disaffecion inside the Pentagon is extremeley accute," Hersh says. He tells the story of an officer telling Rumsfeld how bad things are, and Rummy turning to a ranking general yes-man who reassured him that things are just fine. Says Hersh, "The Secretary of Defense is simply incapable of hearing what he doesn’t want to hear."

The Iraqi insurgency, he says,was operating in 1-to-3 man cells a year ago, now in 10-15 man cells, and despite the harsh questioning, "we still know nothing about them...we have no tactical information.”

--from Sy Hersh's ACLU talk this summer, via The Poorman

Even if I still believed in the Biblical Christian God, I think I'd get the clue that He's deserted us.


Read this.

I guarantee this will be one of the best things you've read in a very long time. Period.

"God" is my Puppet, I shall not Want


"Wide Liberty"

Pericles over at Daily Kos does it yet again with an in-depth analysis of the myth of "activist judges" and how we can start reframing the debate. He puts forth the very simple concept of the Constitution that I think gets lost or forgotten by most of us (me included) when we contemplate and argue the Constitution*, i.e., that the Constitution isn't meant to delineate what rights the people have, but rather, what authority the government has and the requirements the government must pass in order to prove it has the authority to infringe on the assumed rights of the people. Put more simply, the people of the United States are implicitly assumed to have all God-given rights to start -- the burden is therefore on the government to prove its authority in restricting or limiting those rights, not on the people to defend them.

From this idea derives concepts like the right to privacy that aren't explicitly stated in the Constitution, from which flows so many important rulings on everything from a woman's right to choose to striking down the anti-miscegenation laws that existed until very recently in many states. These rulings speak to the heart of what the Founders intended when they created the Constitution and they're the key to understanding both how our judiciary is meant to work and how to turn the manufactured threat of "activist judges" back to our advantage.

*(Alongside your copy of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights, should be a very well-worn copy of The Federalist Papers.)