Fondly, Lizzy - The OCD Gen X Liberal
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Big changes are afoot.
I haven't been to school/college in over 23 years, but that's all about to change. I am starting the digital video program at one of our local colleges this Wednesday.
The past few years I have been editing family & friends home movies and turning them into DVD's, but I always found the software I use to be very limiting. I have pondered taking it upon myself to learn Adobe Premiere, but I don't think I have the self-discipline to do so. Additionally, I always knew that if I really wanted to be an editor, I'd have to learn how to use a Mac.
I'll be purchasing my first Mac next weekend. Extra bonus - Apple is a blue company.
I'm also hoping that school will fulfill some wanderlust (wonderlust?) for something new. Sometimes you need to shake things up -- right?
Time will tell how school will affect my blogging time. But, hey, wouldn't it be cool if the Dems fix so much of what is wrong with the world that we all could take a little break? (yeah, right)
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Person of the Year:
For me, it begins and ends with Keith Olbermann - the Edward R. Murrow of our generation. I love this man. In a world of O'Reillys, Hannitys, Weiner-Savages, and Limbaughs, Olbermann stands out as a man of truth, courage, critical thought, and humor.
Jack Cafferty (from CNN's The Situation Room)
Best Network TV Show:
Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip (NBC)
While Studio 60 has been uneven at times, this exchange alone was enough to earn it the top spot on my list.
Boston Legal (ABC)
Law & Order SVU (NBC)
Countdown with Keith Olbermann (MSNBC)
Best in Cable:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
The Sopranos (HBO)
Big Love (HBO)
CNN's The Situation Room (Hate to go a day without Jack Cafferty & Bill Schneider)
What's With That House? (HGTV)
Best in Reality TV:
Project Runway (Bravo) (Earns the top spot for one reason only - Tim Gunn)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Best TV Character:
Hugh Laurie as "House."
Laurie's portrayal of House makes this otherwise standard medical drama one of the best shows on TV. In the last new episode of this year, there has never been a truer depiction of a drug addict on network TV.
Stanley Kamel as Dr. Charles Kroger on Monk (USA)
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk on Monk (USA)
Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Sam Waterston as Executive A.D.A. Jack McCoy on Law & Order (NBC)
Wallace Langham as lab tech David Hodges on CSI (CBS)
Maria Lark as middle daughter Bridgette Dubois on Medium (NBC)
I rarely go to the movies, so I picked the best film I've seen on DVD this year. If you haven't seen Goodnight and Good Luck, rent it. The subject matter is even more relevant today. My prediction, in the near future, George Clooney will be considered one of the top filmmakers of our time.
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
Films I wish I could add to this list, but haven't seen yet:
An Inconvenient Truth
The US vs John Lennon
Thank You For Smoking
Again, I don't hear a lot of new music, but from what I did hear, the choice was clear: The Avant-Garde Sounds of The Hard Left
Minneapolis power-pop at it's best.
Neil Young: Living With War
While songs like Let's Impeach the President and Looking for a Leader deservedly got the most press, Young's "Families" is the best song on the disc. With very few exceptions, Neil Young can do no wrong, in my book.
Best Radio Station:
Feingold alone stood up to the Bush admin when no one else would. Along with the late Senator Paul Wellstone, Russ Feingold is my political hero. Hearing the news that he isn't running for President was crushing.
Howard Dean - WAY underrated for what he accomplished for us in the last election
Rahm Emanuel - Instrumental in our victories
Dennis Kucinish - Dares to speak where others won't
Al Gore - Finally coming into his own. Will Gore be the comeback kid in '08? We'll see.
Barack Obama - He may be the one we've been waiting for
Best Guy Named Sven:
Sven Sungaard, weekend meteorologist, Kare-11 News.
(Or, as I like to call him, "Sven Svenson") What can you say about a goofy guy from Minnesota named Sven? Perfect. There is something about him that is extremely sweet. Come on, just look at the guy.
2 Picks That May Hurt My Street Cred :
1) Best reality show moment:
Lukas Rossi performing Coldplay's "Fix You" on Rockstar Supernova.
If you play the video, stick with it, it gets better. If video won't play, click here
2) Best Pop Song Criticizing the President, for the younger crowd:
Pink featuring Indigo Girls: "Dear Mr. President" If video won't play, click here.
And best of all:
Laura, Tom, Paul, Julie, Hallie, Noah, Ethan, Scott, Jane, NY relatives, family-in-law, Michelle, Wendy, Norman, Stella, Wellstone the parrot, Little Bird, all of my blogger friends, Brian, Bekkah, Pat, Heather, Scott, David the contractor, and Kurt & Brian - my (very) occasional drinking buddies -- I wish all of you the best of everything in 2007.
Monday, December 25, 2006
What better way to get the Christmas dinner conversation going than with some fun facts!
This is the first of THREE Christmases left under President George W. Bush. THREE.
Ok, that's not too cheery. Let me try again.
If the daily death toll continues at this rate, sometime on Christmas Day a U.S. soldier will die in Iraq and, with his or her death, more U.S. troops will have been killed in Iraq than all the people lost on 9/11 (2,973).
On second thought, skip the politics for a day and just enjoy the pie.
Merry Christmas to each of you, and peace on earth, wherever we Americans have dropped in.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Cool Kwanzaa, or Festive Festivus where ever you are.
I'll see you in a couple of days when I will be posting my big year-end "Best of" special.
Until then, let there be peace on earth and good will toward men.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Lawmaker won't apologize for 'Islamophobic' letter
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Virginia congressman will not apologize for writing that without immigration overhaul "there will be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Quran," his spokesman said.
Republican Rep. Virgil Goode's letter to constituents also warns that without immigration overhaul "we will have many more Muslims in the United States."
Spokesman Linwood Duncan said Goode's letter was written in response to complaints his office received about Minnesota Rep.-elect Keith Ellison's request to be sworn in using the Quran.
Ellison is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress.
Goode's office released the letter to CNN Wednesday.
In it, Goode wrote, "When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Quran in any way.
"The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran.
"We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country.
"I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."
He added, "The Ten Commandments and 'In God We Trust' are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Quran.
"My response was clear, 'As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, the Quran is not going to be on the wall of my office.' "
The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked Goode to apologize.
"Rep. Goode's Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office," the council's Corey Saylor said in a statement. "There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry."
Duncan told CNN that Goode stands by his comments.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004
President Bush and Members of Congress,
As you enjoy your holiday vacations with your families, I strongly urge you to also remember the sons and daughters of America whom you have sent to fight in a bloody war that has taken them so far away from their families, their lives and their homes. I urge you to remember the sons and daughters of America who will not be coming home – ever.
In November We, the People of the United States of America voted for change. We voted for an end to the war in Iraq. We do not want to continue fighting a war that was never officially declared a war and we do not want our sons and daughters to continue to die in this ill-planned, immoral, misbegotten war without end. We want you to bring them home and to bring them home now.
You have so far ignored our pleas and our cries to end this war. It does not touch your lives and it does not affect you on an hourly basis. But, while you sit in your comfortable homes and offices, safe from harm, there are hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are not comfortable and who are affected. They are either fighting in this war or worrying about their loved ones who are fighting for their lives every day. There are families who are living in dreadful fear of that knock on the door. They watch the news shows and wonder, with every announcement of yet another death of American military members, whether theirs is still alive or one of the dead.
This month alone there have been 61 of America’s sons and daughters killed. That’s 61 families whose holidays are ruined, who will forever have their Christmas tainted by the death of someone they love in this horrendous war. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis are also dead.
While you sit in your homes, waiting to make up your minds what to do, lives are being forever changed. This war may not affect you or your family, but it does affect hundreds of thousands of people across this country and in Iraq. Every second, every minute, every day and every week that you take to “think” about the war, lives are changed or forever ended.
Last weekend I put up my Christmas tree and was rocked with the memories of the last Christmas I spent with my only son, who died a month and a half later, in February 2004. He was home on an unexpected leave. My husband and I had no money as he had been laid off from work and I was the only one keeping us afloat then. We had barely enough to make ends meet. But Jeremy was coming home and we were determined to make the holiday a good one for him, knowing that this could very well be his last Christmas ever.
I got a PayDay Loan. Then, because all of our holiday decorations were in storage in another city, I went out and bought a small silk tree and decorated it. I bought small, inexpensive gifts and food for our traditional Christmas Eve feast. And when my son came home, I hugged on him, kissed him and spent as much time as I possibly could with him. In the end, it was a good Christmas.
Now, I put that little tree up every year in remembrance of my only son, my beloved boy whose voice I will never hear again, the young man I will never again hug or kiss. And I cry tears of sorrow for the senseless end of his life.
Please, I beg of you, do not hesitate one more hour, one more week to end this war. Do not send more troops to Iraq, do not extend tours of duty, and do not continue in this war. The Iraqi’s do not want us in their country and the American people want their sons and daughters to come home. Please, listen to us and bring them home.
We cannot afford to waste another day while you are enjoying your holidays. Today the death toll is 2,950. How many more will die before you make up your minds to end this war?
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I was going to write something about agreeing with Rep. Kucinich about getting out of Iraq, then I ran across this post by PoliShifter. His post is much better written and researched than I could have ever done.
Please read it here:
Pissed On Politics: Gimme A Reason To Stay There
(Dennis Kucinich is right.)
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Time's Person of the Year is You:
pissed off patricia
...and maybe even me.
Ten Reasons to Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney
I ask Congress to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for the following reasons:
1. Violating the United Nations Charter by launching an illegal "War of Aggression" against Iraq without cause, using fraud to sell the war to Congress and the public, misusing government funds to begin bombing without Congressional authorization, and subjecting our military personnel to unnecessary harm, debilitating injuries, and deaths.
2. Violating U.S. and international law by authorizing the torture of thousands of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths, and keeping prisoners hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
3. Violating the Constitution by arbitrarily detaining Americans, legal residents, and non-Americans, without due process, without charge, and without access to counsel.
4. Violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.
5. Violating U.S. law and the Constitution through widespread wiretapping of the phone calls and emails of Americans without a warrant.
6. Violating the Constitution by using "signing statements" to defy hundreds of laws passed by Congress.
7. Violating U.S. and state law by obstructing honest elections in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
8. Violating U.S. law by using paid propaganda and disinformation, selectively and misleadingly leaking classified information, and exposing the identity of a covert CIA operative working on sensitive WMD proliferation for political retribution.
9. Subverting the Constitution and abusing Presidential power by asserting a "Unitary Executive Theory" giving unlimited powers to the President, by obstructing efforts by Congress and the Courts to review and restrict Presidential actions, and by promoting and signing legislation negating the Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
10. Gross negligence in failing to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina, in ignoring urgent warnings of an Al Qaeda attack prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and in increasing air pollution causing global warming.
Signatures are being gathered here: Democrats.com
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
How much more of this sociopathic incompetence can the congress and general public take? My hope is that somehow, somewhere there is a bipartisan group quietly discussing impeachment procedures, and any day now the news will break that Bush & Cheney's days are very numbered.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Several years ago, there was a great cable/satellite TV network called TechTV. I used to watch it several hours a day. It is where I learned almost everything I know about computers, and anything geeky. "The Screen Savers," "Call for Help," and "Fresh Gear" were among the great shows on the network. I actually got on the shows several times, via webcam, to ask tech questions.
Then, unfortunately, a couple years ago, TechTV's rival, G4, bought them out and ruined everything...but enough about that.
In the good old days of TechTV, there was a sweet Asian man named James Kim. He was one of those people that you just knew was a great person. His good vibes came right through the TV.
When I heard the news of his death today, I was extremely saddened.
My thoughts are with his family tonight.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Tortoise and Hippo
"Much of life can never be explained but only witnessed."- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD
NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.
The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, 2004 before wildlife rangers rescued him.
"It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.
"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.
"The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained. This is a real story that shows that our differences don't matter much when we need the comfort of another. We could all learn a lesson from these two creatures. Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together.
Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate.
(Sorry, couldn't resist...plus Norman kinda looks like the hippo)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
From Bush's November 30 news conference:
...Another major focus of media attention was the following Bush statement in a news conference with Maliki: "I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq. We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done, so long as the government wants us there."
Bush also said "this business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever."
From the 60 Minutes Interview With Bob Woodward:
Bob Woodward: Late last year, he had key Republicans up to the White House to talk about the war, and said 'I Will Not Withdraw Even If Laura And Barney Are The Only Ones Supporting Me.' Barney is his dog."
Bush has to go.
Nancy Pelosi made a pledge that she will not bring impeachment proceedings against Bush, but it is a pledge she must break for the good of the country, and the world.
Even some key Repubs are finally seeing this President for what he is (an ignorant, totally incompetent bully.) My hope is that they will start to entertain the thought of impeachment -- not only because it's the right thing to do but, their own political futures may depend on it.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
My fiance's band, The Hard Left, is featured on Not Lame Recording Company's home page. Check it out, they are the 9th one down.
And, if you're up to it, and you've listened to the disc, please feel free to add a customer review!
Don't have the disc? Want one? Email me your address and I'll hook you up. You can also listen to a few of the tracks here.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
From the Al Gore interview in GQ:
"... And you know, I’m even reluctant to talk about it in these terms because it’s so easy for people to hear this or read this as sort of cheap political game-playing. I understand how it could sound that way. [Practically screaming now] But dammit, whatever happened to the concept of accountability for catastrophic failure? This administration has been by far the most incompetent, inept, and with more moral cowardice, and obsequiousness to their wealthy contributors, and obliviousness to the public interest of any administration in modern history, and probably in the entire history of the country! "
From the AP:
Bush, Webb have chilly moment over Iraq war
November 29, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. -- Jim Webb made was clear during his successful Senate race that his son's combat role in Iraq was a sore subject, and President Bush learned it for himself in a chilled recent exchange at the White House.
At a private reception for newly elected members of Congress two weeks ago, the Democratic senator-elect and leading Iraq war critic had avoided a receiving line and photo op with Bush. Then, the president found Webb.
"How's your boy?" Webb, in a Wednesday interview, recalled Bush asking.
"I told him I'd like to get them out of Iraq, and he said, `That's not what I asked. How's your boy?"' Webb said.
At that point, Webb said, Bush got a response similar to what reporters and others who had asked Webb about Marine Lance Cpl. Jimmy Webb, 24, have received since the younger Webb left for Iraq around Labor Day.
"I told him that was between my boy and me," Webb said.
Note from Lizzy:
I'm beginning to like the idea of a Gore candidacy in 2008 more & more. Obama, Edwards, Bayh, Clark, Gore? Like the kids say -- it's all good.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
The following news item pisses me off. Who are these 530 registered Dems they polled for this, because I don't buy these results for a second. Like I've said many times before, I've never been polled, and no one I know has ever been polled. If we had been, Hillary would be at the bottom of this list.
When Obama announces his candidacy after the holidays, I'm hoping he knocks Hillary off the top of this ridiculousness.
From CNN.com/Political Ticker:
Clinton is '08 frontrunner, Kerry's support slips
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, remains the frontrunner for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008, with more than twice the support of any of her potential rivals, a new CNN poll shows.
Hillary Rodham Clinton 33%
Barack Obama 15%
John Edwards 14%
Al Gore 14%
John Kerry 7%
Wesley Clark 4%
Joe Biden 3%
Bill Richardson 3%
Evan Bayh 2%
Tom Vilsack 1%
Interviews with 530 registered voters who describe themselves as Democrats or Independents who lean to the Democratic Party conducted by telephone on November 17-19 by Opinion Research Corporation. Sampling error: +/-5% pts
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Latest letter from Michael Moore:
Sunday, November 26th, 2006
Tomorrow marks the day that we will have been in Iraq longer than we were in all of World War II.
That's right. We were able to defeat all of Nazi Germany, Mussolini, and the entire Japanese empire in LESS time than it's taken the world's only superpower to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad.
And we haven't even done THAT. After 1,347 days, in the same time it took us to took us to sweep across North Africa, storm the beaches of Italy, conquer the South Pacific, and liberate all of Western Europe, we cannot, after over 3 and 1/2 years, even take over a single highway and protect ourselves from a homemade device of two tin cans placed in a pothole. No wonder the cab fare from the airport into Baghdad is now running around $35,000 for the 25-minute ride. And that doesn't even include a friggin' helmet.
Is this utter failure the fault of our troops? Hardly. That's because no amount of troops or choppers or democracy shot out of the barrel of a gun is ever going to "win" the war in Iraq. It is a lost war, lost because it never had a right to be won, lost because it was started by men who have never been to war, men who hide behind others sent to fight and die.
Let's listen to what the Iraqi people are saying, according to a recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland:
** 71% of all Iraqis now want the U.S. out of Iraq.
** 61% of all Iraqis SUPPORT insurgent attacks on U.S. troops.
Yes, the vast majority of Iraqi citizens believe that our soldiers should be killed and maimed! So what the hell are we still doing there? Talk about not getting the hint.
There are many ways to liberate a country. Usually the residents of that country rise up and liberate themselves. That's how we did it. You can also do it through nonviolent, mass civil disobedience. That's how India did it. You can get the world to boycott a regime until they are so ostracized they capitulate. That's how South Africa did it. Or you can just wait them out and, sooner or later, the king's legions simply leave (sometimes just because they're too cold). That's how Canada did it.
The one way that DOESN'T work is to invade a country and tell the people, "We are here to liberate you!" -- when they have done NOTHING to liberate themselves. Where were all the suicide bombers when Saddam was oppressing them? Where were the insurgents planting bombs along the roadside as the evildoer Saddam's convoy passed them by? I guess ol' Saddam was a cruel despot -- but not cruel enough for thousands to risk their necks. "Oh no, Mike, they couldn't do that! Saddam would have had them killed!" Really? You don't think King George had any of the colonial insurgents killed? You don't think Patrick Henry or Tom Paine were afraid? That didn't stop them. When tens of thousands aren't willing to shed their own blood to remove a dictator, that should be the first clue that they aren't going to be willing participants when you decide you're going to do the liberating for them.
A country can HELP another people overthrow a tyrant (that's what the French did for us in our revolution), but after you help them, you leave. Immediately. The French didn't stay and tell us how to set up our government. They didn't say, "we're not leaving because we want your natural resources." They left us to our own devices and it took us six years before we had an election. And then we had a bloody civil war. That's what happens, and history is full of these examples. The French didn't say, "Oh, we better stay in America, otherwise they're going to kill each other over that slavery issue!"
The only way a war of liberation has a chance of succeeding is if the oppressed people being liberated have their own citizens behind them -- and a group of Washingtons, Jeffersons, Franklins, Ghandis and Mandellas leading them. Where are these beacons of liberty in Iraq? This is a joke and it's been a joke since the beginning. Yes, the joke's been on us, but with 655,000 Iraqis now dead as a result of our invasion (source: Johns Hopkins University), I guess the cruel joke is on them. At least they've been liberated, permanently.
So I don't want to hear another word about sending more troops (wake up, America, John McCain is bonkers), or "redeploying" them, or waiting four months to begin the "phase-out." There is only one solution and it is this: Leave. Now. Start tonight. Get out of there as fast as we can. As much as people of good heart and conscience don't want to believe this, as much as it kills us to accept defeat, there is nothing we can do to undo the damage we have done. What's happened has happened. If you were to drive drunk down the road and you killed a child, there would be nothing you could do to bring that child back to life. If you invade and destroy a country, plunging it into a civil war, there isn't much you can do 'til the smoke settles and blood is mopped up. Then maybe you can atone for the atrocity you have committed and help the living come back to a better life.
The Soviet Union got out of Afghanistan in 36 weeks. They did so and suffered hardly any losses as they left. They realized the mistake they had made and removed their troops. A civil war ensued. The bad guys won. Later, we overthrew the bad guys and everybody lived happily ever after. See! It all works out in the end!
The responsibility to end this war now falls upon the Democrats. Congress controls the purse strings and the Constitution says only Congress can declare war. Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi now hold the power to put an end to this madness. Failure to do so will bring the wrath of the voters. We aren't kidding around, Democrats, and if you don't believe us, just go ahead and continue this war another month. We will fight you harder than we did the Republicans. The opening page of my website has a photo of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, each made up by a collage of photos of the American soldiers who have died in Bush's War. But it is now about to become the Bush/Democratic Party War unless swift action is taken.
This is what we demand:
1. Bring the troops home now. Not six months from now. NOW. Quit looking for a way to win. We can't win. We've lost. Sometimes you lose. This is one of those times. Be brave and admit it.
2. Apologize to our soldiers and make amends. Tell them we are sorry they were used to fight a war that had NOTHING to do with our national security. We must commit to taking care of them so that they suffer as little as possible. The mentally and physically maimed must get the best care and significant financial compensation. The families of the deceased deserve the biggest apology and they must be taken care of for the rest of their lives.
3. We must atone for the atrocity we have perpetuated on the people of Iraq. There are few evils worse than waging a war based on a lie, invading another country because you want what they have buried under the ground. Now many more will die. Their blood is on our hands, regardless for whom we voted. If you pay taxes, you have contributed to the three billion dollars a week now being spent to drive Iraq into the hellhole it's become. When the civil war is over, we will have to help rebuild Iraq. We can receive no redemption until we have atoned.
In closing, there is one final thing I know. We Americans are better than what has been done in our name. A majority of us were upset and angry after 9/11 and we lost our minds. We didn't think straight and we never looked at a map. Because we are kept stupid through our pathetic education system and our lazy media, we knew nothing of history. We didn't know that WE were the ones funding and arming Saddam for many years, including those when he massacred the Kurds. He was our guy. We didn't know what a Sunni or a Shiite was, never even heard the words. Eighty percent of our young adults (according to National Geographic) were not able to find Iraq on the map. Our leaders played off our stupidity, manipulated us with lies, and scared us to death.
But at our core we are a good people. We may be slow learners, but that "Mission Accomplished" banner struck us as odd, and soon we began to ask some questions. Then we began to get smart. By this past November 7th, we got mad and tried to right our wrongs. The majority now know the truth. The majority now feel a deep sadness and guilt and a hope that somehow we can make make it all right again.
Unfortunately, we can't. So we will accept the consequences of our actions and do our best to be there should the Iraqi people ever dare to seek our help in the future. We ask for their forgiveness.
We demand the Democrats listen to us and get out of Iraq now.
Friday, November 24, 2006
NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is one of the best shows of the new season.
On the show, there has been an ongoing battle between 2 of the characters; "Matt" the head writer/Hollywood liberal, and "Harriet" the anti-gay Christian-right actress.
A couple weeks ago, Harriet asked Matt to explain the culture wars. Matt's response was the best line (and most succinct explanation) I've heard from a TV show in years:
Harriet: I don't even know what the sides are in the culture wars.
Matt: Well, your side hates my side because you think we think you're stupid. And my side hates your side because we think you're stupid.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I have a lot to be thankful for, including my loving family, friends, dogs, and birds. I am also thankful for my health, semi-wealth, and to you - my blogger friends.
But this year, I (we) have something new to be thankful for, and I couldn't be happier:
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
My decision was swayed by a letter written by a mother of a soldier killed in Iraq. Many people, including one of my family members, do not appreciate the words & actions of this woman, but I do. She is not a tool of the far left. She is a mother in pain...a mother that deserves some answers. We all do.
What's my conclusion to this debate?
Let's impeach the motherfuckers.
Here's the letter:
There are many important issues facing our nation and the 110th Congress. Minimum wage increases and universal health care are long past due.I certainly appreciate the stirrings about bringing our troops home from Iraq within 3 or 4 months, too! After all, more troops were killed yesterday while our politicoes are playing footsies with each other! We thought that Nov. 7th was a day to celebrate! When the last of our brave young people come limping home to their relieved families that will be a joy-filled and historic day.
I believe, though, that those same troops and others who have fought so bravely, died so needlessly, and have been wounded for life deserve justice for what the Bush regime has put them through. I believe that this country and the world deserve justice for the raping and pillaging by the pirates who have stolen our liberties and inflicted torture and other pains and hardships upon the world. I believe that impeachment proceedings are the most important issue that the 110th Congress should put on OUR table.
Since I have written open letters to George and Reps Pelosi and Conyers, I have had almost overwhelming support for the ideas, but there are also some legitimate concerns that need to be addressed.
First of all, many people believe that impeachment proceedings will be seen as "political" revenge for what the Republicans have done to the Democrats for the last 12 years or revenge for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Impeachment is not a political tool as used by the Republican Congress, but it is a Constitutional remedy for elected or appointed officials who are abusing their powers. If George has not abused his powers as president and commander in chief, then no president in history has. I will not detail his high crimes and misdemeanor and crimes against peace and humanity, because all of his illicit activities have already been well documented. Justice should not be a partisan issue and if Congress took their oath to the Constitution as seriously as they take their allegiance to the special interests and to partisan politicking, George would have already been impeached.
Secondly, many people are fearful that impeachment proceedings will bog down Congress. Elizabeth Holtzman who was a Representative from New York and sat on the investigative committee that recommended impeachment articles be charged against Richard Nixon said, last weekend at our impeachment forum in Philadelphia's Constitutional Hall, that this kind of reasoning doesn't give Congress enough credit. Ms. Holtzman said that Congress is able to "walk and chew gum" at the same time. I will have to take her word for it, since she is the reasoned voice of experience.
Lastly, people are concerned that holding George accountable will further divide a country already damaged and split by the "Uniter." This is a legitimate concern, but our country healed completely after the Nixon debacle, and we will heal again. I would like to also give us Americans the credit that we deserve. We have proven over and over again that we are very resilient and strong enough to withstand a quest for accountability.
Recent polls have shown that most Americans want proceedings instituted against BushCo. The newly elected Congressional leadership will not institute these proceedings unless the will of the people is shown. Many members of the Congresses, in both parties, that have been seated since BushCo came to power in an illegal electoral coup in 2000, have been willing co-conspirators in the Bush crimes against everything and it is up to the will of the American people to correct the course that is robbing the Blessings of Liberty from all of us and from our posterity. As the preamble states, it is our Constitution, as well as it is theirs, and we need to reclaim our country and our humanity before it is lost to us forever.
Bringing Articles of Impeachment against BushCo will not only bring resolution and justice to our nation and the world, but if this regime is made to be held accountable for their crimes and abuses of power, then future administrations may be slower to commit such blatant and belligerent crimes and the world will be a safer and more peaceful place. But there is an overriding reason for these proceedings to be instituted as soon as possible: A president is not above the law, or the law. A president is an elected official who has a duty to obey, carry out and protect the laws of our land, not break them as if he were a dictator of a banana republic, not leader of a once great nation. We need to restore our greatness and our credibility to a world that despises us for allowing BushCo free rein to commit their aggressions against the world.
By attaining this justice that our world so desperately needs, we people of compassion and courage cannot bring back the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed already. We cannot put the buildings back together that the war machine's bombs have destroyed. We cannot make whole the people who have been emotionally and physically wounded by these high crimes and misdemeanors. We cannot put back together the families who have been torn apart by illegal wars. No matter how hard we try, we cannot prevent the pain that has already been caused by BushCo, but by bringing them to justice, we can, and will prevent more needless suffering here at home and abroad for the present and for our posterity.
Our dead, our soldiers, and the people of Iraq are voiceless in the debate on accountability and we must be their voices. The Constitution cannot break out of its glass at the National Archives and sit-in in front of the White House or walk the Halls of Congress to demand that BushCo quit desecrating it and what the US used to stand for. It is up to us, the citizens, to protect humanity and the law of our land. As historian Howard Zinn states in the introduction to Impeach the President, the Case against Bush and Cheney, edited by Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips:
We cannot expect either Republicans or Democrats in Congress to initiate any challenge to the existing order of things. In the history of the nation, serious injustices---slavery, racial segregation, the rights of working people, the condition of women, the war in Vietnam---have only been remedied by powerful social movements that have forced the government to change its policies.
Now we have another such time.
Our very existence as a nation of laws and justice depends on it.
Impeach for Change
Gold Star Families for Peace
Ever since the election, I've been watching, listening & reading about how people feel about the impeachment question.
Of all the information out there, one article got to me in particular, and did sway my opinion. It was written by a mother of a slain soldier.
Will post tomorrow...
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
AT&T and Little Steven's Underground Garage hosted The New York Dolls at First Avenue last night.
There was a battle-of-the bands contest between 3 Mpls bands to be the opening act for the show. The Hard Left won!
It was a great show. Seeing my boys up there on the big stage was awesome. I also ran into a few people that I haven't seen in 20 years. Punk rockers may get old, but they don't fade away.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
To My Conservative Brothers and Sisters,
I know you are dismayed and disheartened at the results of last week's election. You're worried that the country is heading toward a very bad place you don't want it to go. Your 12-year Republican Revolution has ended with so much yet to do, so many promises left unfulfilled. You are in a funk, and I understand.
Well, cheer up, my friends! Do not despair. I have good news for you. I, and the millions of others who are now in charge with our Democratic Congress, have a pledge we would like to make to you, a list of promises that we offer you because we value you as our fellow Americans. You deserve to know what we plan to do with our newfound power -- and, to be specific, what we will do to you and for you.
Thus, here is our Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives:
Dear Conservatives and Republicans,
I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:
1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.
2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.
3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.
4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.
5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.
7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.
8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.
9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.
12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.
I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest of the world.
(Click here to sign the pledge)
P.S. Please feel free to pass this on.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I was saddened to learn that Russ Feingold has decided not to run for President in '08, but I do understand it. Unfortunately, he just doesn't have the name recognition among the general public.
I'm going to hold out hope that he is going to be picked as someone's running mate.
Now that Russ has bowed out, my choice is Barack Obama (surprise, surprise.)
Wesley Clark, Joe Biden, and Bill Richardson are up there, as well...but Barack seems to be The One.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The best part of Bill Maher's show last night was his Oscar-style "In memoriam" salute to the fallen. This clip is going to make you very happy.
Also included, a couple of his New Rules, which are always good.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Rush Limbaugh Feels Liberated
Man, and I thought Rush was a true-believer. I guess being a disgusting right-wing neocon was all an act. Silly me.
Hey, Rush, you are who you are. Don't go changin' to try to please me.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
What is this feeling? Is it, dare I say, happiness?
Being that I'm a strong Democrat, I've felt like such a loser for the last 6 years. Winning feels a little strange, but a very, very good kind of strange.
We've taken the House, the majority of the governors races, Rumsfeld is done, and the AP has reported that we've won the Senate...does it get any better?
I think it will.
Bye, bye, Rove?
Rick Santorum (PA)
Conrad Burns (MT)
George Allen (VA) (hopefully)
Mike Dewine (OH)
Mark Kennedy (MN)
Katherine Harris (FL)
Michael Steele (MD)
Jim Talent (MO)
Tom Kean Jr. (NJ)
Ron Saxton (OR)
John Kenneth Blackwell (delivered Bush the Ohio vote in '04, giving him the presidency)
The saddest defeats:
Ned Lamont (CT)
Harold Ford, Jr. (TN)
Tammy Duckworth (IL)
Jack Davis (NY)
Patty Wetterling (MN)
Coleen Rowley (MN)
Wendy Wilde (MN)
Phil Angelides (CA)
Jim Davis (FL)
Mike Hatch (MN) (Very sad for my home state.)
Keith Ellison (MN) My district!
In a political first, a Muslim has been elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Keith Ellison, a Minnesota state legislator and lawyer, reached the political milestone by defeating two other candidates in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, which covers the Minneapolis area.
In my opinion, the more points of view, the better. Ellison will definitely bring that.
November 8th, 2006
You did it! We did it! The impossible has happened: A majority of Americans have soundly and forcefully removed Bush's party from control of the House of Representatives. And, sometime today perhaps, we may learn that the same miracle has happened in the Senate. Whatever the outcome, the American people have made two things crystal clear: End this war, and stop Mr. Bush from doing any more damage to this country we love. That is what this election was about. Nothing else. Just that. And it's a message that has sent shock waves throughout Washington -- and a note of hope around this troubled world.
Now the real work begins. Unless we stay on top of these Democrats to do the right thing, they will do what they've always done: Screw it up. Big Time. They helped Bush start this war, and now they should make amends.
But let's take a day to rejoice and revel in a rare victory for our side -- the side that doesn't believe in unprovoked invasions of other countries. This is your day, my friends. You have worked hard for it. I can't tell you how proud I am to count all of you as part of the greater American mainstream we now occupy. Thank you for all the time you gave this week to get out the vote. Some of you have been at this since the large demonstrations of February 2003 when we tried to stop the war before it started. Only 10-20% of the country agreed with us at that time. Remember how lonely that was? Some people were even booed! Now, 60% of the country agrees with our position. They are us and we are them. What a nice, strange, hopeful feeling.
A woman, for the first time in our history, will be Speaker of the House. The attempt to ban all abortion in the conservative state of South Dakota was defeated. Laws to raise the minimum wage were passed. Democrats were elected to fill Tom DeLay's and Mark Foley's seats. Detroit's John Conyers, Jr. is going to be the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Democratic governor of Michigan beat the CEO from Amway. The little township next to where I live in Michigan voted Democratic for the first time since... ever. And on and on and on. The good news will continue throughout today. Let's enjoy it. Savor it. And use it to get Congress to finally listen to the majority.
If you want to do one thing today, send an email or a letter to both of your senators and your member of Congress and tell them, in no uncertain terms, what this election means: End the war -- and don't let George W. Bush get away with any more of his bright ideas.
Congratulations, again! Now let's go find a spine for the Dems to do the job we've sent them there to do.
Yours in victory (for once!),
P.S. Thanks for all those photos you sent me of you with your brooms at your polling places. They're still coming in and we're posting them here throughout the day. And for those of you who asked how "Sicko" is coming along, the answer is: better than we ever expected! We're hard at work in the edit room and it will be in theaters in June. Thanks again, everyone, for your support.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
To vote in favor of the war, vote for the Republican. To vote against the war, vote for the Democrat. As crazy as it sounds, even if the Republican is against the war, or the Democrat is for it, it doesn't matter. All that will matter by midnight tonight is the math on the big tote board. Did America say YES to Bush or NO to Bush? The ONLY way they're going to add it up is by counting the number of votes under the big D and the big R. The only way to take a stand against Bush today is to vote for the Dems on the ballot.
2. IN ORDER TO CATCH THE REPUBLICANS STEALING YOUR VOTE, YOU FIRST HAVE TO VOTE. There are huge and valid concerns about the new electronic voting machines that must be addressed. It is far too easy to use new technology to rig the vote. But if your fear of that leads you to decide that you shouldn't bother voting, well, then, I guess they've succeeded in snuffing out your voice without having to rig the machine. Make them break the law if they want to win. Vote. We'll catch them if they do. I promise.
3. WITH THE DEMOCRATS IN POWER IN THE HOUSE AND/OR SENATE, WE CAN GO AFTER THEM! These spineless Democrats who enabled Bush to start this war and funded it ever since are due for a shellacking from all of us. For nearly 6 years, they've hidden behind the cop-out of, "Hey, we're the minority, we have no power." As of tomorrow, hopefully, they will have no mask to hide behind. And it will be up to us to go after them.
4. I'LL PUT YOU ON MY WEBSITE. That's right. You can appear on my home page and be seen by millions later today. All you need to do is bring a broom when you go to vote. The broom is our mascot today because we're going to sweep the crooks and the warmongers outta office. Take a picture of yourself holding a broom outside your polling place, e-mail it to me, and I'll put as many of you as I can up on the home page of my website. People all around the world will see you! Government files with your name on them will be initiated! What better way to celebrate this historic day?!
And the final reason to vote today...
5. 2,836 + 655,000. Each one of them, American and Iraqi, are no longer with us because of the decision by one man to start a war. Each one of them represented a precious, God-given life that no man had the right to take away. Each one of them had a mother and father, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, friends and loved ones, little boys and little girls. It's mad, my friends, utterly mad, this senseless loss of human life.
So, do it for them. Call up whoever you know and tell them to meet you at the polls. And tell them to bring a broom, real or imaginary, with a big D on it. It's the only true American thing to do.
See ya at the victory party tonight!
P.S. Forward this to all your friends. Today is the day.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Karl Rove has been bragging for weeks about his "72-hour program" to swing the elections, which predict a Democratic takeover of Congress.
Now we know what it is: a dirty trick campaign using robocalls.
The calls are made to Democrats and swing voters at all times of day or night to make them angry. And they pretend to be from the Democrat ("Hello, I'm calling with information about Lois Murphy"). If you hang up, they call back 7-8 times, and each time you hear the Democrat's name, to get you angry at him or her. If you stay on, you get to hear a scathing attack on the Democrat.
Karl Rove's whole career has been devoted to dirty tricks. In 2002, his dirty trick was to force Congress to vote shortly before Election Day for the Iraq War based on two months of White House lies about WMD's and Al Qaeda ties. That dirty trick has cost the lives of 2,834 brave young Americans (16 so far in November), $2 trillion in debt to our children and grandchildren, and unleashed massive bloodshed in Iraq.
It's too late for legal action or even newspaper stories. If you receive one of these calls, write down the time and candidate and call every radio and TV show you can and urge everyone listening to vote against the disgusting Republican dirty tricksters. And forward this email to everyone you know so they aren't fooled by Karl Rove's dirty trick.
Let's make this Karl Rove's LAST campaign by voting ALL Republicans out of office.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
November 03, 2006 – 9:33 AM
Iraq army leaves canceled in advance of Saddam verdict
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The defense minister has canceled leave for all army officers, apparently fearing violence after Sunday's expected announcement of a verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein.
I knew the administration would pull something like this right before the election. However, in the grand scheme of things, convicted Saddam means very little at this point.
I'm with Bill Maher on this one. Instead of convicting & executing Saddam, let's give him his old job back. Either he'd whip his country into shape, or his people would kill him -- it's a risk we should take. (Am I just kidding? I'm not so sure.)
(Rumsfeld & Saddam makin' friends in the '80s.)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
From Bring It On!
It has been reported that George W. Bush has recently purchased a 98,842 acre farm in Northern Paraguay. What on earth does the President of the United States need a 98,000+ acre farm in Northern Paraguay for?
On the surface it looks all very innocent, but lets add the very quiet trip that Jenna Bush made to the country earlier this month in which she met Paraguayan President Nicanor Duarte and his family at their official residence. She also met with U.S. Ambassador James Cason. Could it be that our little drunken Jenna is all grown up and playing diplomacy?
This all still seems very innocent on the surface, but now lets add the five hundred U.S. troops that arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted U.S. troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court (ICC) jurisdiction. Neighboring countries and human rights organizations are concerned the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay is potential real estate for the U.S. military. Does Bush plan on being charged with something in the future? Does Bush foresee a collapse of the United States and feels a strong need to have a place to cut and run to, or does Bush just need a nice secret little place other than Gitmo where he can send people he doesn’t like?
Now things don’t look so innocent.
Mr. Bush, could you please tell us what your intentions are and whether these intentions are hostile toward the people of the United States, or do you just intend on retiring to Paraguay?
Sunday, October 29, 2006
And, to my regular blogger buddies, please watch this, too.
This is heartbreaking.
White House Fence Jumper Speaks
By Jonathan S. Landay
WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called waterboarding, which creates a sensation of drowning.
Cheney indicated the Bush administration doesn't regard waterboarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said.
The simple fact is, torture doesn't work. People will say whatever their captors want to hear, however non-true, to make them stop.
The worst part is, if it's ok for America to torture people, (which it isn't) it makes other countries believe it's perfectly fine to torture our own soldiers.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Here's a sweet little song to get you through the weekend:
(Adults only. Give it a minute to load.)