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Will Cheney Retire for “Health Reasons”?

Posted by libhom Friday, April 27, 2007 3 comments

Dennis Kucinich's courageous decision to introduce articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney creates additional pressure on the faux VP, who already is widely unpopular due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • the Iraq War and the fraud committed to get us into that war

  • his fanatical support of torture

  • his reclusive and secretive behavior

  • the conviction in the “Scooter” Libby trial

  • his efforts to intimidate those who disagree with him

  • his hateful personality

  • the fact that he was never elected to the office

Cheney has had four heart attacks and been through other heart surgery. There has been tremendous press coverage of his problems with clotting blood in his leg.

Cheney is 66 years old. This is past the theoretical American retirement age of 65, and he would personally and professionally be better off if he did retire for health reasons.

GOP political operatives must have realized by now that their jobs would be much easier if Cheney was hanging out with the bin Laden's, rather than decreasing Bush's poll numbers further than even Bush is capable of doing.

There has been some speculation on a couple of other blogs about this in the past:

Was McCain Offered Cheney's Job?

Changes in the White House

Cheney is one of the most power-mad people in world history, but even he may see the benefits of doing so. Maybe, some Republican high-rollers will be smart enough to convince him.

Romney on the Supreme Court

Posted by libhom Thursday, April 26, 2007 0 comments

Mitt Romney shows how truly nutty and anti-woman he can be in today's USA Today article:

"There's a lot more to being pro-life beyond appointing conservative justices."

"That, I will do," promised Romney. "I like Roberts and Alito, I like Thomas and Scalia. I like that kind of thinking on the bench, and that's the kind of justice I will appoint."

That makes if official. The Christian religious extremism we have seen under Bush would be replaced by Mormon religious extremism under Romney.

Don't assume Romney is a moderate because he was Massachusetts' Governor. The real Romney is far, far to the right.

A New Toy from Funny Times

Posted by libhom Saturday, April 21, 2007 0 comments

The Funny Times web site now has a new toy, the Cartoon Playground. You can put pieces together, along with your oh-so-witty captions and be your own political cartoonist. Here are a few of my "masterpieces."

Prepared to be whelmed.

The actual newspaper is much funnier.

Wow! Howard Kurtz Really Is a Bigot!

Posted by libhom Sunday, April 15, 2007 0 comments

I knew for some time that the Washington Post's media critic Howard Kurtz was an obnoxious rightist. But, I had no idea that he was such a hateful bigot. Thanks to Media Matters, I now do.

On April 12, ABC's News had a segment with Kurtz chiming in on Imus:

KURTZ: The pressure on CBS -- just as it had been with NBC -- from this national eruption over Imus' racial remark simply proved to be too great. He became the symbol, the poster boy, for all of the anger in the country about radio hosts and television hosts who go too far and, in the end, he couldn't survive.

DAVID MUIR (World News Saturday anchor): Imus and his radio show had a long history of off-color remarks. Just last year, he called his own bosses "the Jewish management," and he used other words to describe them, as well.

KURTZ: Over the years, Imus made fun of blacks, Jews, gays, politicians. He called them lying weasels. This was part of his charm. But when he went too far, he became his own worst enemy.

This is sick and wrong for so many reasons. What is “charming” about making fun of blacks, gays, and Jews? Notice how Kurtz does not act as if making fun of whites, Christians, and heterosexuals is “charming.”

Since when are blacks, Jews, and gays “lying weasels”? This is reprehensible.

Also, it is truly offensive to act as if an often disreputable group of people like politicians is somehow comparable to queers, Jews, and African-Americans.

Kurtz really is horrible. His employment at the Washington Post discredits a newspaper already made disreputable by its right-wing bias and its butt kissing of the Bush regime.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Has Had Some Excellent Reports on Imus:

Racism Is to Be Expected From Don Imus
Why Does Tim Russert Associate With Don Imus' Bigotry?
The Mainstreaming of Anti-Semitism

Thanks for telling me it was a good day until I briefed you. [Redacted name] -- You are only interested in your career and provide no support to your staff -- no msn support and you don't care. I cannot support a msn that leads to corruption, human right abuses and liars. I am sullied -- no more. I didn't volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves. I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored. I trust no Iraqi. I cannot live this way. All my love to my family, my wife and my precious children. I love you and trust you only. Death before being dishonored any more. Trust is essential -- I don't know who trust anymore. Why serve when you cannot accomplish the mission, when you no longer believe in the cause, when your every effort and breath to succeed meets with lies, lack of support, and selfishness? No more. Reevaluate yourselves, cdrs . You are not what you think you are and I know it.

COL Ted Westhusing

Life needs trust. Trust is no more for me here in Iraq.

Suicides of soldiers are tragic, yet not rare consequences of war. However, two things stand out about this one.

1)The suicide note has been made public.

2)The soldier's suicide is not exclusively a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the psychological difficulties that naturally come from killing people and trying to kill people. This suicide results partly from the nature of the mission, the specific war, and the behavior of higher ranking people in the military.

Robert Bryce of the Texas Observer did an excellent analysis of the story, along with extensive background, but I think the suicide note needs to be read on its own first, absent of explanation.

Credible estimates of the number of suicides of Vietnam veterans vary from 20,000 to 200,000, with the higher estimates based on single car accidents and gunshot wounds not reported as suicides. The view of the people making the higher estimates is usually that the suicides were not classified as such to shield the families of the dead. Even 20,000 suicides of Vietnam veterans is tragic and disturbing.

One of last night's tornadoes in Texas ended up destroying the Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Haltom City. This poses a dilemma for any Baptist wishing to think logically. There are two sets of Baptist beliefs in conflict here.

  1. The Baptist church is God's church, and Baptists are the correct kind of Christians.

  2. The God of Christianity is an all-wise, all-loving, and all powerful being that controls the paths of tornadoes just as he controls everything else. This God loves the Baptist church and thinks that Baptists worship him correctly.

Of course, this is hardly the first time that severe weather has destroyed a church, mosque, temple, etc., but it is amazing that religionists never really clue in on the obvious problem that such destruction poses to their beliefs. Instead, they focus on emotional appeals to rebuild their churches, which may feel good to them, but do not address the fundamental weakness in faiths they hold as very important to their lives.

The absence of such discussion in the corporate media is an example of the overwhelming pro-religious bias found there. Obvious and logical thinking like this is generally taboo.

Kucinich's Showing in MoveOn.Org's Poll Shows Promise

Posted by libhom Thursday, April 12, 2007 1 comments

The corporate media and Democratic functionaries dismiss Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign, and his poll numbers tend to be low. But, Kucinich's showing in their presidential preference poll, which followed their virtual Town Hall on Iraq, tells an interesting story.

Sen. Barack Obama 28%
Sen. John Edwards 25%
Rep. Dennis Kucinich 17%
Gov. Bill Richardson 12%
Sen. Hillary Clinton 11%
Sen. Joe Biden 6%
Sen. Chris Dodd 1%

MoveOn members have some qualities that make them different than general Democratic Primary voters.

  • They are very well-informed on the issues.

  • They are following the 2008 presidential campaign already, though most people are avoiding thinking about it until next year, an attitude that I can certainly sympathize with.

  • They are even more likely to oppose the war, though the rest of Democratic voters have been moving in that direction.

Despite his money disadvantage and every effort by corporate media outlets to belittle or ignore him, Kucinich's honest, direct, and well-considered position to immediately withdraw from Iraq has tremendous appeal for rational people. As Kucinich's other positions gain attention, he will gain more support.

Kucinich has a chance to win. The only way for Democrats to beat him will be to co-opt his positions. Either way, liberal values are in a much better position than they would be if Kucinich had not decided to run.

The Religious Roots of the Second US/Iraq War

Posted by libhom Sunday, April 08, 2007 4 comments

Much well-deserved attention has been given to the role of political corruption in starting the war in Iraq. The role of big oil, Halliburton, Bechtel, and a host of contractors and arms dealers in getting us in Iraq and keeping us there gets plenty of discussion online, if not in the corporate media.

However, the religious roots of this war often are ignored. The pretext of the war, as absurd as it was, involved the farcical notion that Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Baath Party were in collusion, even though they were mortal enemies. The 911 attacks certainly never have been a valid reason for the Iraq conflict, but they created an enormous amount of anger in the US that could easily be exploited.

Yet, the most significant religious origins for US war fever have had more to do with Christian extremism than anything else. The attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a plane flying over rural Pennsylvania caused a reaction that tapped into long felt fundamentalist Christian desires to subjugate, torture, and kill Muslims. A war that has lasted longer than WWII has yet to satisfy these hungers.

From the bizarely named “American Jihad” blog:

KILL!

KILL!!

KILL THE MUSLIMS!!!

View the works of these MURDEROUS MUSLIM BASTARS at: http://terrorwebs.blogspot.com/ then surf on over to http://michaelsavage.com/ and watch a few BEHEADING VIDEOS!

* MUSLIMS ARE PRIMITIVE SAVAGES
* MUSLIMS ARE PERVERTS AND QUEERS
* MUSLIMS ARE CRAWLING WITH VD AND AIDS
* MUSLIMS ARE DUMB AND IGNORANT
* MUSLIMS ARE DRUG DEALERS AND WHORES
* MUSLIMS ARE THIEVES AND KILLERS
* MUSLIMS ARE CHILD MOLDESTERS AND RAPISTS
* MUSLIMS ARE SATANIC SATYRS!
* MUSLIMS ARE EVIL TERRORISTS!!!

It would be easy to dismiss this as the rantings of a lone extremist, but it would be inaccurate. If you follow uncensored and anonymous Internet forums, you will find far too many postings expressing the same point of view. It also is interesting to note the homophobia of the poster, which is identical to that of militant Islamists.

The underlying problem here is that religion poisons politics and policy discussions, though not always by such extreme degrees. People who depend on absolutist religious ideologies always will be threatened by people who do not share those beliefs and by those who live their lives in ways that fail to conform to those absolutist religious beliefs.

Thomas Jefferson's Wall of Separation between church and state makes more sense with each passing day. If we cannot stop people from believing in religious ideologies, we can create cultural and legal boundaries that protect society as a whole from many of the consequences of such thinking.
  • Churches that engage in political activity should have their tax-exempt statuses removed. The IRS needs to start following the law in this area.

  • Courts need to do a much better job in enforcing the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, rather than crafting dishonest exemptions in it to appease religious majorities.

  • A cultural taboo needs to be put in place about bringing religion into politics.

A blog posting by Britain's former Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, raises some serious questions about the map presented by Tony Blair's government in their dispute with Iran.

But there are two colossal problems.

A) The Iran/Iraq maritime boundary shown on the British government map does not exist. It has been drawn up by the British Government. Only Iraq and Iran can agree their bilateral boundary, and they never have done this in the Gulf, only inside the Shatt because there it is the land border too. This published boundary is a fake with no legal force.

B) Accepting the British coordinates for the position of both HMS Cornwall and the incident, both were closer to Iranian land than Iraqi land. Go on, print out the map and measure it. Which underlines the point that the British produced border is not a reliable one.

If Murray is right, then it makes one wonder if this whole thing was created by the Bush/Blair alliance to provoke a war with Iran. Bush and Blair have no credibility and neither does the militant, fundamentalist regime in Iran.

If we see a Bush/Blair attack on Iran, we will know that those unfortunate British soldiers were ordered into Iranian waters. One can only hope that this does not happen.

We have seen the furor created by Bill Donohue, leader of the “Catholic League,” a homophobic, misogynist, racist, and Catholic-supremacist hate group which poses as a civil rights organization. Their latest jihad is over the chocolate depiction of the founder of Christianity in chocolate.

Although the artist meant it as an homage and chocolate is a much more pleasant substance than the paint which is usually used to depict Joshua Bar-David (“Christ's” real name), that hasn't kept Christian nutjobs from going ape over this.

One item in today's New York Daily News article shows how nutty Christian militants can be.

"I don't want to disclose the location because of people, some people who are fanatics," (the artist) said, adding that he's received threats.

It is amazing that people could get so worked up over a trivial event involving something as silly as religion. No wonder most of the world's wars are being fought entirely or largely over religion.

The only reaction sane people would have to this scupture would be a mixture of amuzement and hunger, not anger and hysteria.

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