Thursday, December 4, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical Starring Jack Black as JC

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

What does the gay community do when faced with religious oppression? Why, make a musical of course!

Folks, this is a good one.

Shrimp anyone? Or are you too busy getting your wife stoned?

Monday, November 10, 2008

What will YOU do for Veteran's Day?

This is a response I gave to the comments from a picture posted by clfhcks

What's interesting is how the commentaries jump to conclusions about what he meant by 'BULL SHIT.'

From the page: "You guys fighting like a bunch of middle-school girls over a guy with your ad hominem diatribes, with the exception of wquatman. Not one of these comments are asking what these guys mean by their flag.

Folks, regardless of what that answer is, we need to pull together to support them not only while they are in harm's way, but when they return. Driving around with a yellow ribbon and attempting to slap down anyone who disagrees with your worldview does not serve our brave men and women in the least.

These guys are hurting. For every dead soldier there are 10 like this one who have returned with obvious wounds like this or not so obvious wounds. Stop this senseless bickering and give your support where it's needed as in veteran's benefits or just someone for these guys to talk to.

Honor the warrior, not the war"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Real America?

Credit: John Fraser

Here's a text message I received the other day forwarded from my son's [friends]:

Hallmark is coming out with an Obama Christmas ornament.
Now every family in America can hang a nigger from a tree.

I was at a local pool hall this Friday where I overheard someone say that there is an Obama Assassination pool, where they are betting on the date it will take place. Then I heard another man say, "I just want to say that I'm pro-assassination."

Racism is alive and well here in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

Imagine that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Electronic Vote Flipping

UPDATE: Guess what happened when I tried to vote this morning?....


I was voting for the Democratic RR Commissioner candidate Mark Thompson and when I tapped the box, it put a check on the next office race (a democratic candidate). They took the [voting] computer out and put me on the next one which let me vote without any DETECTABLE problem.

Prediction: Massive voter turnout. Polls showing Obama with a double-digit lead in the polls on election day. Exit polls showing Obama with a landslide victory.

McCain wins in an upset,
confounding the experts.
Vice President-elect
Palin declares it a miracle.

We have been warned.

I received two reports this morning of vote flipping, one from Travis County (Austin) and one from Bexar County (S. Antonio). In the second case the individual claimed that after detecting and fixing 5 "flipped" votes they then discovered two more.


Here is what our local Democratic HQ leader wrote in response to this:

Every voting machine in Smith County is programmed by ES&S. All of the ballot programming and PEB programming is done in Nebraska and air-frieghted here for each election (at great expense to the county taxpayers, I hasten to add). I am 100% confident that no one in the county Elections Administrator's office has the knowledge or the ability to do the programming you suggest. Nor do I think any of them would be willing to do such a thing. The folks in Nebraska ... well, I don't trust them at all.

However, I agree that flipping the vote is entirely possible. The scenario you outlined is likely a workable method. This is not news. Believe me, I share your sincere concern, both for Smith County voters and for every other voter in the US who is forced to use these damned machines by the county and/or state legislators who chose them and continue to ignore significant studies which indicate how easily they can be tampered with. Further, our officials, specifically the County Commissioners Court, ignore the many counties and states which have essentially junked their machines in favor of the good old printed ballot.

Until we get control of our local decision-makers, we can either vote on these machines or sit at home and refuse to vote as a protest. I know which of those choices is the better at this point. I am begging for volunteers at each poll to insure the integrity of the process, both inside as appointed Poll Watchers and outside as Election Protection team members and electioneers. Are you willing to step up and work for freedom on Nov. 4?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Got Pranked (video)

People laughed out loud upon hearing the audio tape of Quebec comedian Marc-Antoine Audette talking to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as he pretended to be Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France.

But now, coming as it did just before the election, Palin's obliviousness during the prank phone call cannot be overlooked. If she is that easily duped by some joker obviously dropping clues to let her off the hook, then what does this reveal about her judgment and political street smarts? Reasonable observers can only conclude that she's naïve, easily manipulated and not even close to being ready for prime time.

Palin's heart may be in the right place, but her head is in the Alaskan clouds. Inattention to detail and gullibility are not exactly qualities that help the vice president do a good job. In 2008, at least, Palin simply represents too much of a threat to national security for voters to let her get any closer to Washington that she already is. --updoc1011

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hanging Palin


This kind of idiot stunt negates what the
Democratic Party stands for, Chad.
Especially since this kind of behavior is
EXACTLY what we are trying to stop.

Any questions, dumbass?

Justification for Murder
"If you can, help others;
if you cannot do that,
at least do not harm them."
Dalai Lama

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Joseph McCarthy Politics


Chris Matthews does a great job here exposing the RNC's naked attempt at slander. These are the same tactics that Joseph McCarthy used back in the 50's. We all know where that led. Here we go again.

Folks, I just had a conversation with several people last night that are convinced that Obama will be assassinated. One of them also said that McCain, if elected, will be assassinated and Sarah Palin will become president and set everything straight.

Imagine that.

Whatever the outcome, the next president will inherit a fractured nation where a huge chunk of them will dance in the streets if Obama is picked off with Joe Six-pack's .306 Remmington deer rifle. Thanks to the RNC's propaganda machine, we are teetering on the verge of civil war once again over race. We all know where that led as well.

I guess by these McCarthyism standards, I am now classified as one who 'hates America.' Well, I guess those of you who 'love America' better get busy contacting the DHS to report my 'un-American' activities. For the record, back in July of 1997, I took an oath to 'protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' I still consider that oath to be in force. To pledge allegiance to some flag is meaningless if 'for which it stands' means something completely different than this precious document. I you regard this country to be something different than upholding the Constitution of the United States, then consider me your sworn enemy.

Here we go again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

IVAW members arrested while attempting to present questions to Obama and McCain

From the page: "Neither of the candidates have shown real support for soldiers and veterans. We came here to try and get serious questions answered, questions that we as veterans of the Iraq war, have a right to ask, but instead we were arrested. We will continue to ask these questions no matter who is elected. We believe that the time has come to end this war and bring our troops home, and we will be pushing for that no matter what happens in this election." said Jason Lemieux, a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps and member of IVAW who served three tours in Iraq."

Dear friends and supporters,

Yesterday Veterans For Peace Long Island was privileged to march in
solidarity with the Iraq Veterans Against the War to the front gates
of Hofstra University. As I am sure you are aware, the peaceful march
to express concerns to the Presidential candidates was meet with
unprovoked violence and brutality by the Nassau County Police.
Following a mounted police assault in which we all peaceably moved
back from the front gate of Hofstra, the Police abusively sought out
and arrested members of IVAW. Three veterans were injured in the
assault and taken to local hospitals. In all fifteen demonstrators
were arrested, twelve of them Iraq War veterans.

The Hempstead 15 will be arraigned on November 10 and VFPLI will be
there to stand in solidarity with those who continue to sacrifice so
much for our country. Please remember them and join us
to support our courageous brothers and sisters and to demonstrate to
our representatives that such police brutality will not be tolerated
on Long Island.

Peace and justice for the Hempstead 15.

The following photos are of Nick Morgan, IVAW member, after the above described police assault targeting Iraq veterans exercising their rights to freedom of speech and assembly. His injury is a result of being trampled by one of the police horses. He suffered a broken cheekbone.

The photos were taken by Vietnam Veterans Against the War member Bill Perry.

You can see more on the IVAW site and watch the full coverage on Democracy Now.

Here is an update on the Hempstead 15 from Kris Goldsmith of IVAW, one of the veterans arrested at Hofstra.

On Wednesday, October 15th 2008, a peaceful protest outside the third Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on Long Island was met with violence and misconduct by police.Iraq Veterans Against the War had a clear mission that night: to ensure that the issues most important to Veterans would be at the forefront of the debate. With over 4,183 service members having been killed in Iraq (at the time of the protest), it's unforgivable that the candidates have been allowing the Occupation of Iraq and it's casualties to fall into avoidable talking points instead of focused attention.At 7:00pm the night of the debate, IVAW members led a contingent of a few hundred peaceful protesters to the main gate of Hofstra University. As per our letter to Moderator Bob Scheiffer, because we hadn't received notice that two of our Veterans would be allowed to enter the debate to address the candidates, a small, uniformed contingent of Veterans physically attempted
entry.Immediately police began arresting those who "crossed the line". They then began using horses to physically knock protesters back away from the Hofstra gates.As the order to get back on the sidewalk was being complied to at least one officer charged his horse up the curb, and onto the sidewalk- directly resulting in at least three injuries- including two Iraq Veterans.Nick Morgan, a former Army Sergeant was trampled, knocked out, and had his face crushed by the hoof of a horse.Witnesses say that police left him unconscious on the sidewalk for up to ten minutes before arresting him. Nick, disoriented and obviously suffering a concussion, was initially refused medical treatment beyond a simple piece of gauze taped to his face.When Morgan was escorted onto the bus in handcuffs, he didn't know where he was, or why he was arrested. Police initially refused to bring him to the hospital irregardless of his potentially life threatening condition. It
wasn't until other members of IVAW demanded he be allowed to see a doctor, that the police hesitantly put Nick into an ambulance.At the hospital Morgan received stitches, and it was discovered after an x-ray that his right cheek bone was clearly displaced and pushed back into his skull.After treatment, the semi-conscious Veteran was brought to Nassau County's Headquarters Jail and shackled to a bench with the rest of us. With fifteen in total sitting in the jail, the officers and detectives began taunting and harassing Nick, with all of us witnessing this misconduct by police.We, the "Hempstead 15" were issued the same summons and case number for "disorderly conduct" and "failure to obey a lawful order".On November 10th 2008, the Marine Corps Birthday, and one day before Veterans Day, we will be heard in court. We would like to invite you to come out in support of the very Freedoms granted by the United States Constitution that we swore to uphold and
defend when joining the military.First District Court, County of Nassau, Arraignment Part, 99 Main Street, Hempstead New York 11550 (Room 268)I hope to see you all there, for a Peaceful action.

-Sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith
Iraq Veterans Against the War
"1 of the Hempstead 15"

For those who would like to support the Hempstead 15, here are some suggestions from IVAW

So what can YOU do about it? My fellow veteran brothers need you. We need to call the NY police department and ask them why they would trample IRAQ WAR VETERANS exercising their FREEDOM SPEECH in a peaceful manner. Is this the way members of the military who don the uniform and make an oath to defend the constitution, America, and it's people are treated? We MUST NOT ONLY hold the Police Department accountable but the Presidential Candidates as well for allowing this to happen. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY, THIS IS A POLICE STATE.

Below are the numbers. Call now and anytime until November 10th when the court date is set for the detained veterans. Stay posted for a possible action then.

Public Information Office
516-573-7138 (24 hour)
516-573-7118 FAX
And the complaint line
Call 516-573-7000 and ask to be connected to the Desk Officer where the incident occurred (Hofstra University).
NC Police Internal Affairs Unit: 516-573-7120
NC District Attorney’s Office, Special Investigations : 516-571-2100
NYS Attorney General, Civil Rights Division: 1-800-771-7755

Thank you for your continued support,

Wendy Barranco
IVAW - Los Angeles
Combat Medic
OIF 05-07
Tikrit, Iraq

Here are the names of those veterans arrested at Hofstra.

A total of ten veterans were arrested during the action, including Matthis Chiroux (Army Sergeant), Kristofer Goldsmith (Army Sergeant), Adam Kokesh (Marine Sergeant), Mike Spinato, Geoff Millard (Army Sergeant), Marlisa Grogan (Marine Captain), Nathan Peld (Navy, 1998-2004), Nick Morgan (Army Sergeant), James Gilligan (Marine Corps, 6 years) and Jose Vasquez (Army & Army Reserves, 1992-2007).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Angry voter threatens Registrar, says he needs to 'keep the ni@@er out of office.'

As you may well already know, this is not an anomaly. This is well within the norm around these parts. You want to see people in the south dancing in the streets and praising Jesus? Show them a picture of Obama with his brains splattered all over the inauguration platform. If he gets that far. Maybe Obama should have less faith in the Secret Service just like the Pope has less faith in his own protector?

Look at this man. Pretty normal looking to me. Pissed off and scared, but normal looking.
Besides, he's just sayin' what millions of god-fearin' white folk are thinking already.

Do you think our nation's preachers across the country are going to stand up in front of their congregations and condemn this attitude as the teachings of Jesus demand? If you do, I've got some prime real estate in the 9th Ward of N'yoluns to sell 'ya.

We are destroying ourselves from within. Bin Laden doesn't have to lift a finger to help.We have met the enemy and he is us.

The terrorists have already won.

Clinton Got A Blowjob

Satire exposing hypocrisy? Imagine that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Olbermann Fact-checks Palin

The Hunt For Bin Laden

Watch CBS Videos Online

The officer who led the army's Delta Force mission to kill Osama bin Laden after 9/11 reveals what really happened in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, when the al-Qaeda leader narrowly escaped. Scott Pelley reports.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Free Market

Sept. 26, 2008

To the Editor, Tyler Paper

Alexander Hamilton must have been one of the first human beings to read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, the "free market Bible"; we don't know, nor do we know how many times he read it from it's publication in 1776 until Hamilton was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. That he believed in the principle of the free market is, however certain and in successfully promoting the establishment of the First Bank of the United States as a private enterprise with private bankers in charge of the nation's commerce and money supply he started the great American capitalistic juggernaut, the envy of the world. The world may not be so admiring of late.

Neither Hamilton's wisdom nor Adam Smith's has been questioned by those in charge of the American government except for Andrew Jackson who "sued for a divorce" between the American government and the Second Bank of the United States and was granted the same. Jackson was a populist President and believed the government should not show favoritism to the rich to make them richer at the expense of the common people.

Perhaps the time has come to question both Hamilton's and Smith's wisdom of free trade, free markets, supply-side economics, Reaganomics, deregulation, privatization, trickle down economics, Laissez-faire, or whatever label one wishes to use to describe the present economic system of the United States where the bottom line displaces the view to do the moral thing in all circumstances.

The truth is the free market shouldn't be allowed to be "free", that is, free from doing the right thing. Those who ask the masses to trust them to be alert to the "welfare" of the People should never be trusted. When it comes to making money, no one can be trusted to place the common good above personal interest. Our times are characterized by

the claim that it is best to turn business loose, trust them to always do the right thing, everyone will benefit! Everyone will get a piece of the pie! No! That's a lie!

Human nature being what it is, individuals, businesses, banks, all human endeavors must have requirements to do the right thing. Rules must be made and enforced. The reluctance of the American people to make this requirement of their politicians and of commerce has now brought the entire world to the brink of financial disaster not to mention the potential suffering of our own People.

The hard learned lessons of the other "great depression" have apparently be lost and the resulting complex safeguards have been steadily dismantled replaced with a spend now; pay later mentality. The present bailout talk describes the "tax payer" as picking up the tab. Not so. The government just prints the money and no one pays more or less in taxes as a result of trillion dollar wars or trillion dollar bailouts. The idea of fusing paper, ink, and thin air to create billions upon billions of dollars with value is absurd and is as offensive to hard working people as the cooked books of ENRON.

The free market era is over. Working class Americans paid dearly. Perhaps the government should now focus on it's Constitutional duties of watching out for the welfare of it's People.

Judson Malone

That Sucks You Into Feelin' Like This

Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 by The Wiscasset Newspaper

by Christopher Cooper

Remember the Communists? The Red Menace? You young people won't of course, because as I sit here Monday night writing this sorrowful recitation Public Television is furnishing me with a gleaming, glowing, grand video hagiography of Ronald Reagan, by which I understand that The Great Communicator defeated those evil, dangerous threats to the American Way Of Life through toughness, resolve and horsemanship. Communists were before your time and you may be forgiven for worrying more and properly about our current threat to The American Way Of Life, International Terrorism.

But if you do recall those decades, you remember we, the self-proclaimed Greatest Nation On Earth, with the most modern, powerful weapons at our disposal, and the bravest soldiers and the smartest generals and the benevolent will of Great God Almighty watching over us and guiding us, nevertheless lived in fear of them-those Communists. We were bigger and we were better, and we were scared, but we were also bold and belligerent and self-assured. But deep down inside, we were scared.

But though Nikita Khrushchev (a fat, bald, loud, funny Communist) or Chairman Mao (a goofy little Communist from China-Red China), or even Fidel Castro or Ho Chi Minh (secondary or subservient Communists we sometimes called 'puppets', but of whom we were also fundamentally afraid, yet contemptuous), while any or all of these might wish to annihilate us with atomic bombs or multi-million-man armies that would march across the Pacific and into the living rooms of good, TV-watching, barbecuing Americans, there was one glorious weapon, of immeasurable power and undeniable goodness that would render us triumphant: our economic system.

Capitalism! This, they beat into us all through high school, was what made us great. Maybe the Soviet Union and even Red China could build big chemical rockets and equip them with nuclear warheads. But they could never build as many or update their design as frequently or keep them as shiny and oiled and pretty as ours because those nations labored under the handicap of the government ownership of the means of production. Communists (and to a somewhat lesser but still disturbing degree, Socialists) believed that factories and farms were owned by the citizens collectively, through the agency of government. In America, by contrast, our teachers assured us, individuals started, owned and ran the machinery that made us great.

And, in doing so, each of us who might choose to start a business, build a factory, create jobs, add to the Gross National Product, had a chance to become comfortable, secure, and if everything worked just right, even rich. We might also, of course, make bad decisions and go bankrupt, but that didn't often happen, my teachers told me. This was the Land Of Opportunity and only the lazy, those who would not apply themselves, work hard, get their hands dirty, would fail to prosper. Persons who failed to prosper might end up on welfare. (Years later, Bill Clinton promised to 'end welfare as we know it', and pretty much did, so now life might be just a bit rougher even for those lazy misfits lacking sufficient ambition.) That was the deal, and most people most of the time believed it was a good one.

But time passed. Conditions, I guess, changed. In 1979 Congress took pity on the Chrysler Corporation, the smallest of America's three giant automobile manufacturers, and provided an infusion of half a billion dollars or so to help those good folks over a rough spot in their road. Then, after being freed from some troublesome government regulations in the early 1980s, America's savings and loan institutions went into the real estate business in a bad way, and began imploding suddenly and publicly. Neil Bush, son of a president and brother of the current officeholder, ruined an institution called Silverado Savings And Loan. When the federal government stepped in to rescue that one institution alone, it set back the taxpayers more than a billion dollars. Taken all together, this episode, known as 'The Savings And Loan Debacle', cost us about 124 billion dollars. More or less.

These were memorable and costly government interventions, but each time we were assured that the cost was well borne because the institution or industry was 'Too Big To Fail.' That is, if Chrysler stopped making cars or Neil Bush's bank went under due to its own bad business ethics, moral turpitude or criminal stupidity, we, the individual taxpayers and wage earners of America, wouldn't like the result. So government dabbled in the business of 'bailouts'. But, except for a few excursions into total ownership (such as, for instance, the taxpayers' assumption of the insurance exposure of nuclear power plants which the private insurance companies consider too risky to insure), the washing of corporate wounds in the salve of our money has been limited to a crisis every decade or so, and as time has passed even the very numbers have seemed to diminish-only five hundred million for Chrysler?

But now, in the space of a single summer, Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have, one concludes, gone over to the enemy. No longer proper Capitalists, trusting in The Miracle Of The Free Market, they've been casting cash at pretty much any old mortgage company that lent all its money to crack house entrepreneurs or took the company bank account to Vegas. Oh, they got tough with Lehman Brothers, but only after pledging seventy billion to an outfit called AIG-the American Insurance Group. I sleep better now, knowing a giant insurance company has been rescued.

Merrill-Lynch may have been saved by the Bank Of America (concentration of capital no longer an issue) and Bear-Stearns was swallowed by JP Morgan-Chase, but tonight my computer crackles with news that Morgan-Stanley and Goldman-Sachs are panicky. Fortunately, if theoretically reluctantly, government will ride to the rescue not of single entities any longer, but now comprehensively to lift out of the mire any struggling member of the 'Financial Services Industry.'

People, this is no industry. It's a shell game. This is not a bailout; it is an unraveling. You and I are being sold out, blatantly, publicly, and with the cooperation and collusion of the press and Congress. Was it a bad thing, that idea Karl Marx and Fred Engels hatched for the people to collectively own truck factories and potato farms? Maybe it was. But it's a far, far worse idea that we should put up our savings to buy discredited institutions that exist primarily to shuffle and reshuffle money in the interest of ever-greater, ever-shakier and more precariously-propped-up profits.

Do you know what a 'credit default swap' is? No, of course you don't; neither do I; neither do most members of Congress. Can you define 'mortgage-backed securities' or 'collateralized debt obligations'? I didn't think so. Well, you're buying a slug of 'em. Seven hundred billion dollars worth, they tell me. But it 'might top a trillion.' Sure. OK. Whatever. How'd the Red Sox do last night? Of course the press has whored itself out to megabusiness; we know that. And, as ever, Congress is startled and agitated but will, as always of late, go along with whatever gross deal Bush and the bankers and the moguls and the morons of Wall Street cobble together. But are any of my neighbors angry about this? Will we stand for it? Will we accept that it's for our own good?

I just popped up the Population Clock on my computer here Monday night just shy of midnight, and found the estimated number of persons with whom I share these United States stands at 305,229,725. If the burden were to be borne equally across the population, each of us would be assessed $2293 dollars as our share of the seven hundred billion. A family of four would be debited $9173. But you and I, fellow laborer, will inevitably pay much more because so many will pay nothing. Remember those tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires we all thought were such a good idea just a few years ago when we still reveled in the satisfaction that, however low we might have fallen or yet fall, we were still, one and all Capitalists, and what benefited the wealthy would trickle down to us as the marketplace worked its magic and business, free of burdensome regulation, rolled gloriously onward.

So Dick Cheney got his tax breaks and his trillion dollar war, and now his buddies who screwed up, lost, corrupted, twisted, misused, tainted or pissed away every decent dollar they were entrusted to handle will slide out the back door with their salaries and stock options, and any worthwhile thing the next president might have done for us or our country or the world will be hostage to the inevitability of paying the vig on the loan we're going to take out to make this terrible deal go down. Because we don't have the money. There is no seven hundred billion at hand. We'll borrow it. From the Chinese. The (still) Red Chinese.

So we'll raise the cash and we'll put aside our principles and we'll put a good face on it, won't we? John (The Maverick) McCain wants a bit more oversight in the future (too little and too late, you shallow dotard), and Barack (The Great Compromiser) Obama will vote for the bailout as long as it's attached to 'an overall plan.' Make of that endorsement what you will. Congress will posture, then Congress will approve, and you will pay. And your children unto the seventh generation. They're even calling it a 'rescue', as though an innocent animal or person was being saved from cold or fear or hunger or maltreatment. These men in suits will bugger the language as well as the law.

What are we getting for our money? 'Devalued Assets.' Houses nobody else will buy. Bad paper. Failed institutions. Worthless instruments. Crap, waste, detritus, byproduct, junk, trash, nothing you need, nothing you want, nothing that will do any of us any good. I'm going to use a bad word now, and if you don't like vulgar language, I'd suggest you put this journal down right now and go mow the lawn. And I'm counting on my editor to stand by me today and fight for my right, my duty to speak plainly and forcefully if crudely when I am compelled to discuss what pretty much everybody agrees is the worst mess this country has been in since the Great Depression.

My mother used this expression, and in the thirty-seven years since she died and in the nearly fifty-nine years I've lived in this marvelous Capitalist wonderland and paid my taxes and been screwed by insurance companies and given numerous banks their per centages and worked as many jobs as required to close the hole and hold firm the door against the wolf of cold and the terrors of hunger and despair, I've not heard a better description of the plan being put together today, tonight, this week, by the men who rule America. We are getting, as mom used to say, 'shit and shoved in it.'

Be careful with your credit cards. Nobody believes you're too big to fail.

Mr. Cooper has no investments, owns just one home, and, in the vernacular of his peculiar little Maine village, 'doesn't give a rat's ass' how many millionaires and billionaires and CEOs and traders suffer for their stupidity and greed and malfeasance. Readers wishing to try to correct his fallacious thinking may send advice and counsel to

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Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law

The witch hunt is begun.

Because an election takes place and people vote, democracy is not guaranteed. Because a constitution is written and a parliament or congress convenes, a democratic government does not automatically follow. A supreme court can be formed to decide the constitutionality of laws, yet, democracy can be absent. Even when rights are written down, they can still be in jeopardy. All the forms can be in place. There still must be leaders who preserve, protect, and defend a democratic constitution. A republic must be defended from tyranny which follows naturally from uncontrolled power. Never trust government to [govern.] Trust it only to yourself. --Judson Malone

If you think these fascists are going to go away easily, I've got some real estate mutual fund stock for 'ya!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Corporatism: Blurring the Line Between Business and Democracy


This series of e-mails were exchanged recently starting with the argument about who has the best qualifications to be president with my good friend Dave Collins jumping albeit reluctantly into the fray. What started out as a discussion of lawyers vs. business leaders ended with Dave suggesting who really is running the show in the good ol' USA: It's not the democrats, republicans, lawyers and certainly not the people. If that were true, we'd be out of Iraq today. We are no longer referred to as citizens. We are repeatedly referred to as 'the average consumer' in the media and our leaders. I submit that we are but cattle just as cows are fed grain to produce our McDonald's Big Macs. Just as the 'average consumer' is fed our microwave dinners along with cars, toasters and 401K's to produce yachts and vacation homes and the best boarding schools for the offspring of the top 1%. Only during election time are we ever called citizens. Elections are an illusion disguised as our contribution to democracy. The Democratic and Republican parties are just ranch hands for the corporations and the people who run them. Don't believe me? Follow the money that's being sucked out of the taxpayer's coffers to bail out the ruling class as the American electorate cattle allow themselves to be polarized and constantly at each other's throats, blaming one another for the threats posed by the other over ridiculous issues that are born out of fear. We the people? United we stand? One nation, indivisible? Give me a break. We are being manipulated like marionettes and we even think it was our idea to dance.


Occidental College - Two years.
Columbia University - B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

University of Delaware - B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

United States Naval Academy - Class rank 894 of 899

Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in journalism

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard

Walt Disney never went to college

Gen. George Patton finished last in his class at West Point

The Democrat Party has become the Lawyers' Party. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are lawyers. Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama are lawyers. John Edwards, the other former Democrat candidate for president, is a lawyer, and so is his wife, Elizabeth. Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate).

Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. Look at the Democrat Party in Congress: the Majority Leader in each house is a lawyer.

The Republican Party is different. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not lawyers, but businessmen. The leaders of the Republican Revolution were not lawyers. Newt Gingrich was a history professor; Tom Delay was an exterminator; and, Dick Armey was an economist. House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastic manufacturer, not a lawyer. The former Senate Majority Leader Bill First is a heart surgeon.

Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work.

The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like First, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich.

The Lawyers' Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers' Party, grow.

Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail? Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.

This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers. Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people. Lawyers seek to have new law passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side.

Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation. When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all consuming. Some Americans become 'adverse parties' of our very government. We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit. We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.

Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big.

When lawyers use criminal prosecution as a continuation of politics by other means, as happened in the lynching of Scooter Libby and Tom Delay, then the power of lawyers in America is too great. When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.

We cannot expect the Lawyers' Party to provide real change, real reform, or real hope in America Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789. Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders. Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.

Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business. Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work.

Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.

[J. Custer]

Mr. Custer,

I would not normally respond to something like this written by somebody I do not know but as I do know some of the other folks on this distribution I am making an exception.

Sir, you write with apparent respect for the leadership of corporate America. May I inquire; to what extent have you worked with the men and women who occupy the senior executive positions of the pharmaceutical industry, financial services industry, communications industry, hard rock mining industry, automotive industry and consumer products industry? For myself, I spent 20 years doing so with clients in each of those industries who served as Chief Executive Officer, CFO, COO, CIO, plant general managers, division executive VP and so on. I am not an attorney (in fact, I have the shortest legal career on record - the time required to walk down the steps of the law school and dispose of the school bulletin). But, after my experience and observing the behaviors of those men and women and those who hoped to rise to displace them, I too, rail against the corporations of this nation. These are not individuals who care one whit for the working folks of their companies, no matter how many crocodile tears are shed as they sign the papers to send the jobs to some other country, who bemoan the hardships they create when, in order to bolster the quarterly filings they gut employee benefits. They care nothing for the communities in which their offices, plants and facilities are located, only how many tax payer dollars they can intimidate corrupt political officials into offering up as enticements to come or to stay.

During the first half of the life of this nation established by "we the people" corporations were held on a very short leash, distrusted by government officials and the people who elected them. Strict constraints were placed on those legal entities and in many cases were limited to the life of a single project and then forced to disband. Here in Texas, when the Constitution was drafted the only state official given explicit, detailed duties was the Attorney General. His only specific job requirement (beyond the general requirement to enforce the laws of the state and serve as legal representative to state agencies and offices) was this:

    " shall especially inquire into the charter rights of all private corporations, and from time to time, in the name of the State, take such action in the courts as may be proper and necessary to prevent any private corporation from exercising any power or demanding or collecting any species of taxes, tolls, freight or wharfage not authorized by law. He shall, whenever sufficient cause exists, seek a judicial forfeiture of such charters"

As you may know, the nature of corporations in this country changed dramatically in the1886 Supreme Court ruling in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. In this ruling the court created the legal fiction of "personhood" for corporations. Well, actually, they did not but courts have acted for over 140 years as if they had. It turns out that a clerk to one of the justices wrote what is called the "head notes" for the ruling, mis-stating the intent of the ruling. That clerk was a former employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Custer, the power and influence that the corporate entity has gained in this country , aided and abetted by politicians of both parties has twice led it to the brink of destruction. The first time was the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th century, ultimately undone by the combine effects of T. Roosevelt's trust busting (remember inter-locking directorates?) and the excesses that led directly to the Great Depression. Then, after WW II the same forces, often the same families - the Walker and Bush families among them - began dismantling the reforms intended to control and tame the corporate beast. By the time William Jefferson Clinton left office and turned it over to the idiot with an illegitimate MBA, not only had the last shreds of those regulatory protections been stripped away - by the actions of both parties - but the ground work had been laid for the outsourcing of huge segments of the federal government to those corporations. So, today, fully 1/3 of the Pentagon budget (which is greater than the combined total of all other nations of the world, by the way) goes for SEVICES - not weapons, planes, tanks or ships - provided by private corporations. From the wholly dysfunctional FEMA to the National Security Agency to the EPA, it is common to enter a federal office and find more corporate contractors than federal employees. There is a political and economic theory that describes such a relationship between a national government and private corporations. Benito Mussolini coined that term; he said that the proper term for his party was not fascist but "corporatist".

Among many of my colleagues there is a bright light of hope that as the economy continues to collapse and the lives of average, middle and working class families become more and more dire they will recognize the true source of their hardship - the mega wealthy executives that were once my clients and their bought and paid for government enablers. You sir, do not inspire hope for that outcome as it appears you have a serious problem with what we in the military (USMC 1967-71) refer to as "enemy identification.

With respect,

Dave Collins

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th: A Message From Rick Noriega

Rick Noriega is an Iraq war veteran running for US Senate in Texas. Worth a visit.

McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare

I sure hope Obama is taking notes on this and Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. If this gets out where more people can see it, we can win... assuming it's not already lost via Diebold.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Had a great Idea

An e-mail from Cousin Quinn:

Just had a great idea sweep over my thoughts. forget the Veterans Memorial-- let's all be able to sign a slab of concrete in the middle of downtown with our names on it and then everyone for all eternity will know we were here! Saves money --could cost money -- to be given to the donation of whatever-- but at least it would take care of everyone that has to have their name on something-- seems that is all important in this city.
Can't wait to sign Quinn Dahlstrom -- militant. or misconception Dahlstrom.
Have a great day-- I just did
Quinn Dahlstrom

My response:
That's an interesting idea. I often question the motivation of erecting those memorials. About the only memorial in my mind that made any difference besides glorifying war was the Vietnam Memorial in DC. It seems to me that most memorials are in tribute to people who died as a result of a violent act in service to their community or country. How about a memorial that transcends the politics of war and erect a memorial to all that have served his/her community. This would include teachers, garbage collectors and people such as you, Quinn. In my short life, I have come to realize the NEED for opposing forces. I never understood our Congressmen and Senators referring to the 'loyal opposition.' Too much power in too few hands spells disaster. Take the current junta in power for example. Our Repugnicon legislators voted lock-step with W, and the DemocRats went along and voted for political safety, save a few notable exceptions. And the corporate controlled press was no help. Not so obvious is the fact that our forefathers built into the system to accomodate those opposing forces. Without it, we get nepotism, runaway corruption and loss of civil liberties. All we got left are unsung heroes such as Quinn who remains a burr in the saddle of city government. Not so obvous is the fact that her mere existence makes said government stonger and more effective for its citizens.

So here I pay tribute to a REAL PATRIOT,
Quinn Dhalstrom who remains vigilant
against the forces of tyrrany!

Generated at

(no, she's not dead)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What? More important than GAY MARRIAGE?

This is a talk given by the daughter of the famous Leakey family. She argues from the evolutionary anthropologist point of view that we are at a precipice in species survival where business as usual will lead to a dead end in the tree of life. It's too bad followers of the Christian and Muslim faiths will not (and cannot) hear it, for they have painted themselves into a corner with their belief system. All of humanity dealing with this issue is paramount to our survival as a species.

Louise Leakey: Digging for humanity's origins

From the page: "Louise Leakey asks, "Who are we?" The question takes her to the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa, where she digs for the evolutionary origins of
humankind -- and suggests a stunning new vision of our competing ancestors."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What would we do without Jon Stewart?

Either these people are stupid, or the people they are talking to are stupid.
I report, you decide...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HBO: Alive Day

I've had first-hand experience of what a soldier can go through coming home with a purple heart and no legs.

Honor the warrior, not the war.

Look at this man. Really look at him. How have you served your country? When given the opportunity, don't let a veteran go by without thanking him for his service. Don't let this man and others like him be forgotten. We owe a responsibility to these men and women. Are they being cared for? Don't wait until they are on a street corner with a cardboard sign to help. We can serve our country by serving these warriors. But what about their brothers and sisters who gave their last full measure of devotion only to return in a flag-draped casket? What of their surviving families?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sharing War's Burden

We need modern rituals to heal our wounded warriors

From the page: "Our troops do not enlist because they want to destroy or kill. No matter the political climate, most troops seek to serve traditional warrior values: to protect the country they love, its ideals, and especially their families, communities, and each other. In my work counseling veterans of several wars, I've seen that PTSD is, in part, the tortured conscience of good people who did their best under conditions that would dehumanize anyone."

A comment from Dave:

" Brothers and sisters,

I relate to this article and the perspective it illuminates; very strongly
and so I beg your indulgence as I offer a personal observation.

A few years ago I was at a classical music festival. One evening is
reserved for music other than that of "old, dead white guys" (unfair, I
know) and is held outdoors in a beautiful setting in NE Oklahoma. That year
performance by a group of men from several of the local First Nations was
featured. They
performed a series of traditional songs from their various traditions:
Delaware, Cherokee, Choctaw among them. Then the sing leader called for all
veterans in the audience to come forward.

Slowly, very slowly, men stood and walked down to the performance area. We
were invited to join the circle, standing behind the performers. They then
performed a song in tribute to the warrior; the drum beat close to a 70 per
minute pulse rate.

Among strangers I felt, for the first time since returning from Viet Nam in
1970, a sincere "welcome home" - made real by obvious understanding. They
were no longer strangers to me,
though I never learned the names of but a couple of the singers. Writing
these words and remembering the experience brings tears and a feeling hard
to describe, but one I cherish among my most precious.

The book, "Ceremony" (
explores this theme through the experiences of a survivor of the Bataan
Death March. The man was Dine, from the Four Corners region and he overcame
his PTSD and estrangement from the world by finding his healing path, or
way. For those interested in this topic, I urge you to read this
extraordinary book.

James Bradley explores the corruption of a traditional warrior society and
catastrophic results in "Flyboy". In my review of that book in The Veteran,
I touched on that aspect of this surprising book

I have come to believe the erosion of the traditional warrior role in
society was a prerequisite for industrialized warfare and all that has meant
in the last 200 years.

Honor the warrior, not the war.

Dave Collins
Texas Hill Country contact

Friday, August 15, 2008

Large Hadron Rap

Now THERE'S something you don't see everyday Mildred!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

T. Boone Pickens on The Pickens Plan

How can we reduce our dependence on foreign oil? T. Boone Pickens explains his plan for alternative, domestic energy in a 60-second TV commercial.

Join us at

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Drill Up, Not Down

"We need to pull this off before America's alternative energy, oil, coal and money to construct a space solar power infrastructure runs out."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Were do you get the best Philly Cheese Steaks?

View Larger Map
Why, Jim's Steaks of course!
(click and drag on the image to pan around)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

IMG_2144, originally uploaded by androidny.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday Honk for Peace in Tyler, TX

IMG_3015, originally uploaded by androidny.

Click here to see a video of the protest in action.

Here's two letters to the editor in response to a letter to the editor
criticizing the "Friday Honk for Peace" group:

To Tyler paper:

This letter is to protest the protest to the protest. One of your correspondents, initials RWM, writes that his Daddy was wounded in World War II, and therefore he thinks people have no business protesting the Iraq War!

He doubts " the sincerity and sanity" of the Tyler peace protesters, who appear on the Smith County Court House square on Fridays.

"Have you given any thought to what our defeat would mean?" he asks, meaning I guess "defeat" of the United States by Iraq or Afghanistan. If that is not silly, what is?

As a Peacenik myself, I would ask that letter writer what a "victory" would mean as well. Since my Daddy was a veteran of World War One, maybe he would think me qualified to speak up?

The War Hawks in Bush Administration declared they wanted "regime change" and elimination of Saddam Hussein, and they did this ...after already announcing Mission Accomplished. No WMD, of course, their other objective, now recognized as a fraudulent excuse for Bush's dream.

Perhaps catching Saddam might be called "victory" for the USA. That is as close as we will come anyhow to an identifiable "win". We won't get into the issue of what it is costing every single American!

Comparing World War II with the present situation in Middle East is pretty far-fetched, That is, comparing apples to oranges.... to put it mildly.

Several of the Tyler peace protesters happen to be veterans of World War II, one a former German Prisoner of War. No one needs to be a veteran to advocate for peace, but the presence of these veterans does "make a different statement" from the sarcastic writer whose Daddy was one.

I do not doubt the gentleman's sincerity, but his sanity --hold on reality, that is--- or maybe his cultural deficiency ---is another thing entirely . What gives him the right to object to Americans "honking for peace" every Friday in Tyler, Texas? How un-American is he?

Anne Williams

To the Editor
June 30, 2008

The rhetoric from a very small contingent of citizens surrounding the ongoing protests against the Iraq War on the down town Smith Co. courthouse square on Fridays seeks to define what is "anti-American" locally; perhaps they wish nationally. Dream on!

The Constitutional right to peaceably assemble for the redress of grievances stands somewhat in tatters but remains in tact. That a large percentage of the participants in these local protests are Veterans, going back to the Battle of the Bulge and WWII POW incarceration is irrelevant to the issues. Anyone, not just veterans, may publicly exercise that right and should be courageous to do so because of the courageous acts of Veterans and their families who paid for it in blood, suffering, and death.

Perhaps this small group of Friday protesters would like a crack at "defining" what is anti-American locally…nationally.

Some of us would say that attempting to muzzle free political speech is anti-American. There is a long history of that. Women were thought to be anti-American to demand the right to vote while we were fighting WWI. At the height of the depression, May 1932, US American veterans protesting for the war bonus which the government had promised but failed to deliver, were removed at bayonet point using regular Army troops in Washington DC by none other than Gen. Douglas Macarthur. No wonder the framers of the Constitution included the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. They feared a day when citizens would have to bear arms to protect themselves from their own government!

Perhaps loosing representative government as we have is anti-American. Our system has sadly evolved into one where the elected representatives function under a system of legalized bribery! They represent primarily the people who give lots and lots of money! While the lobbyist write the legislation, they gad about raising money for the next election…down right un-American to some of us!

Perhaps the obscene squandering of untold billions on foreign wars which do nothing to increase our security, but rather make otherwise neutral peoples all over the world hate us passionately, is anti-American. We kill hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in "collateral damage", displace millions, destroy their infrastructure and stand impotent to restore them. We contaminate their whole land with depleted uranium. We attempt, with mercenary armies, to conduct the war by "contract".

In our confusion, we think that an ideology of terrorism can be fought with cruse missiles, tanks and gattling guns. We abuse our loyal troops with tour after tour after tour, then fail to fund their care when they come home. We blame their PTS on preexisting personality disorders so as to save the costs of treatment. We criticize those who want the troops to be treated decently and fairly. This is anti-American.

Judson Malone

Friday, June 27, 2008

Riding a Wave of the Cosmos

Forget wiping out, I would have had a heart attack a quarter into this video if I were on that board.

A product of a combination of the wind and the pull of our moon's gravity. Surfing is the only sport where one that comes close to interacting directly with the forces of Nature. But I don't have to explain that to any surfer. This is the appeal, I think. My friend Blais (Blaze) and his friends held surfing with reverence. He had a bumper sticker on his car that read, "There's nothing a day of surfing can't cure."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sister Bit by Rattler

Sister in chair_editedSister

Here's a wonderful story from my friend Dave. The hero of this story was initially mistook by me as a human sister. Silly me.

Sister is one of a pair of Spanweillers (spinger/rott mix - don't ask). She is built kinda like the largest of Spaniels, the Springer, but believes she is Rottweiller bad to the bone (except with friendly humans especially kids). Her sibling, Fearless, is short and stocky but is Springer through and through. Sister has survived two feral hog fights, a bout with a porcupine and numerous coons who, of the few who lived, never ventured 'round here again. However, the rattler damn near took her out.

It was one of the first days of the new snake season. Both dogs are very snake aware by nature - they will alert on a snake and hold position until they get direction from one of us if we are around. Otherwise they just steer well clear. However, Sister is developing cataracts. In addition, as it was early after coming out of hibernation the snake was il-tempered and likely struck without warning. She got hit in the area of the left eye. Fortunately I was out working (although that is what drew Sister out to the area where the snake was). I was able to determine something was bad wrong with her pretty quickly. I never saw the snake, deduced the bite from the rapid swelling, vet confirmed as soon as we got in the exam room about 30 minutes after the strike. She was in doggie ICU for 3 days. The vet thought initially that a fang had hit the eye ball. After 6 days in hospital she came home with a large scab below the eye. She was in good spirits and continued her recovery. After two weeks from release (3 weeks after the attack) she went back to the vet. He removed the scab, cleaned out the dead tissue (the venom cause necrosis) and stitched the face back together. In the process he discovered a hole just below the eyeball where one fang penetrated, missing the eyeball by, well, micrometers.

The lower eyelid droops because of pulling the skin together to cover the hole resulting from the lost tissue. It may be required that a little cosmetic surgery (laser) be done to pull the lid up closer to the eye. We are finishing up treatment for an infection of the exposed conjunctive tissue at the bottom of the eye socket that set in a week or so back. No big deal.

As you can see, we have one hell of a dog!


Sister (foreground) and Fearless

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's Keeping the Peak Flat

One of the misconceptions about peak oil is that we are going to run out of oil. Far from it. What's happening is that it is getting harder and harder to get to. Not only that, it is getting heavier and sourer. Gone are the days where you can poke a hole in the ground in your back yard and hear rumbling and whoosh! What's keeping our voracious appetite satisfied is demonstrated here in this video.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hill Country Adventure

"These shots are from my camera. Andy took many many more. These pics are from our Hill Country Adventure at the Titus Ranch in Mason, TX. Thanks to John Chatfield for sharing his Charity Auction cupon." --Frances

Hill Country Adventure

I should be posting my pictures as soon as I get time to do so. --Andy

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Turn The Page on History

Barack Obama's Democratic Nomination Victory Speech in Minnesota on June 03, 2008 in the very arena that the Republican National Convention is to be held. Impressive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

SRV Channels Jimi

The only white dude who could pull this off.
- even eclipsing Jimi Hendrix... Ever!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What "Semper Fi" Really Means

Stopping the War Machine: Military Recruiters Must Be Confronted

By Ron Kovic -Truthdig Posted May 30, 2008

We must use every means of creative, nonviolent resistance to stop
military recruitment across the country.
As a former United States Marine Corps sergeant who was shot and
paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in
Vietnam on Jan. 20, 1968, I am sending my complete support and
admiration to all those now involved in the courageous struggle to stop
military recruitment in Berkeley and across the country.
Not since the Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s has there been a
cause more just than the one you are now engaged in. Who knows better
the deep immorality and deception of military recruiters than those of
us who, decades ago, entered those same recruiting offices with our
fathers, believing in our hearts that we were being told the truth --
only to discover later we had been deceived and terribly betrayed?
Many of us paid for that deceit with our lives, years of suffering and
bodies and minds that were never the same again. If only someone had
warned us, if only someone had had the courage to speak out against the
madness that we were being led into, if only someone could have
protected us from the recruiters whose only wish was to make their
quota, send us to boot camp and hide from us the dark secret of the
nightmare which awaited us all.

Over the past five years, I have watched in horror the mirror image of
another Vietnam unfolding in Iraq. So many similarities, so many things
said that remind me of that war 30 years ago which left me paralyzed and
confined to a wheelchair for life.

Refusing to learn from the lessons of Vietnam, our government continues
to pursue a policy of deception, distortion, manipulation and denial,
doing everything it can to hide from the American people their true
intentions and agenda in Iraq. As we pass the fifth anniversary of the
start of this tragic and senseless war, I cannot help but think of the
young men and women who have been wounded, nearly 30,000, flooding
Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals
all across our country.

Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded, shocked and stunned,
brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, a whole new generation of
severely maimed men and women who were not even born when I came home
wounded to the Bronx Veterans Hospital in New York in 1968.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which afflicted so many of us
after Vietnam, is just now beginning to appear among soldiers recently
returned from the current war. For some the agony and suffering, the
sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and awful bouts of insomnia,
alienation, anger and rage will last for decades -- if not their whole

They will be trapped in a permanent nightmare of that war, of killing
another man, a child, watching a friend die ... fighting against an
enemy that can never be seen, while at any moment someone, a child, a
woman, an old man -- anyone -- might kill them.
These traumas return home with us and we carry them, sometimes hidden,
for agonizing decades. They deeply impact our daily lives, and the lives
closest to us. To kill another human being, to take another life out of
this world with one pull of a trigger, is something that never leaves you.
It is as if a part of you dies with that person. If you choose to keep
on living, there may be a healing, and even hope and happiness again,
but that scar and memory and sorrow will be with you forever. Why did
the recruiters never mention these things? This was never in the slick
pamphlets they gave us.

Some of these veterans are showing up at homeless shelters around our
country, while others have begun to courageously speak out against the
senselessness and insanity of this war and to demand answers from the
leaders who sent them there.

During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, returning soldiers
formed a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War, just as we had
marched in Miami in August of 1972 as Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Still others have refused deployment to Iraq, gone to Canada and begun
resisting this immoral and illegal war.

Like many other Americans, I have seen them on television or at the
local veterans hospitals, but for the most part, they remain hidden like
the flag-draped caskets of our dead returned to Dover Air Force Base in
the dark of night, as this administration continues to pursue a policy
of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and
rarely allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen.
Many of us promised ourselves long ago that we would never allow what
happened to us in Vietnam to happen again. We had an obligation, a
responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, as human beings, to raise our
voices in protest.

We could never forget the hospitals, the intensive-care wards, the
wounded all around us fighting for their lives, those long and painful
years after we came home, those lonely nights. There were lives to save
on both sides, young men and women who would be disfigured and maimed,
mothers and fathers who would lose their sons and daughters, wives and
other loved ones who would suffer for decades to come if we did not do
everything we could to stop the momentum of this madness.

Mario Savio once said,
"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious,
makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even
passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears
and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've
got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run
it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will
be prevented from working at all."

It is time to stop the war machine. It is time for bold and daring
action on the part of us all. Precious lives are at stake, both American
and Iraqi, and military recruiters must be confronted at every turn, in
every high school, every campus, every recruiting office, on every
street corner, in every town and city across America. In no uncertain
terms we must make it clear to them that by their actions they represent
a threat to our community, to our children and all that we cherish.
We must explain to them that condemning our young men and women to
their death, setting them up to be horribly maimed, and psychologically
damaged in a senseless and immoral war, is wrong and unpatriotic and
will not be tolerated by Berkeley -- or, for that matter, any town or
city in the United States.

The days of deceiving, manipulating and victimizing our young people are
over. We have had enough, and I strongly encourage all of you to use
every means of creative, nonviolent civil disobedience to stop military
recruitment all across our country.

I stand with you in this important and courageous fight, and I am
confident your actions in the days ahead will inspire countless others
across our country to do everything they can to end this deeply immoral
and illegal war.
(Note: This statement represents portions of several essays and writings
I have done over the past five years. -- R.K.)

See more stories tagged with:
*civil disobedience
Military recruitment*

Kovic was born in Ladysmith, Wis., and grew up in Massapequa, N.Y. His
autobiography, "Born on the Fourth of July," was adapted as an Academy
Award-winning film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as
Kovic. Kovic received a Golden Globe for his screenplay adaptation of
his autobiography.

Kovic is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.
vvawnet mailing list
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.
(773) 276-4189

Fighting for veterans, peace and justice since 1967

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson

Folks, the supercollider in Cern, Switzerland... and France, is about to be fired up. This will no doubt produce a breakthrough as significant as Einstein's famous E=mc2. What they expect to find is a fundamental constituent of matter called the Higgs boson, which is a theoretical particle or field that has been postulated to explain why matter has mass. Watch the videos to learn more about what and why this is an important thing to do...

Video 1 of 3

Video 2 of 3

Video 3 of 3