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Friday, December 31, 2004

What if they gave a Watergate and there was no press?

   By Marion Delgado at 8:33 AM

Gerald Nicosia, author of Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans Movement, started out the year in possession of the only known copy of the FBI files on Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). The 20,000-plus pages included extensive surveillance reports on John Kerry, revealing details both flattering and unpleasant for the candidate. On March 25, somebody cracked open the sliding glass doors leading to Nicosia’s kitchen and made off with three boxes and some files Nicosia had extracted and left on the table.

The initial suspicion (inasmuch as any existed) focused on the Kerry campaign, which had just been forced to offer an embarrassing retraction about one event cataloged in the files. But Nicosia, who had offered to let the Kerry campaign know of any potentially damaging stories, told the Prospect that he “never bought that.”

And in August, just before the Corte Madera police consigned the burglary to their cold-case files, a more likely consumer for the stolen info appeared: the then-Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (later the Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth). Its book, Unfit for Command, and some of its later advertisements denounced Kerry’s anti-war activity -- and included some information, such as details of Kerry’s two trips to meet with a Vietnamese delegation in Paris, that Nicosia believes was only available in the files. “In the end, the Swift Boat guys did use a lot of material that was in those files,” Nicosia says. “They really milked that stuff.”

Did any of the stolen material fall into John O’Neill’s lap? Could the burglary have been tied to the Swift Boat group? If we can’t even discern how closely it was tied to the Bush administration, we’ll certainly never answer those questions. Then again, that’s how it seemed to George McGovern's supporters in 1972.

-- Jeffrey Dubner
In Other News (American Prospect)

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Lied about the war (a) outrageously (b) scurrilously (c) and missed the welcome mat

   By Marion Delgado at 8:49 AM

When I called the Times to cancel my subscription, the operator asked why. I mentioned the fake WMD stories and a few other things. She said, "Well, I'll just put down 'Lied about the war,'" leading me to wonder if "Lied about the war" had become a new checkoff box on the cancellation forms, along with wet newspapers and poor delivery service. -- Lynnell Mickelsen
[from Salon.com Books | Letters]

Proudly in Lock-step, they find us annoying.

   By Marion Delgado at 7:09 AM

Most Annoying Liberals of 2004 John Hawkins from RightWing News has assembled a masterpiece, describing the top 20 annoying libs of 2004. Although, HundredPercenter is in lock step with RWN, I would have slapped Eminem and Puff "Vote or Die" Diddy right on the top of that list. They, unfortunately, did not make the list.
[from HUNDREDPERCENTER NEWSWIRES: Most Annoying Liberals of 2004]

I've been named along with such other luminaries as President Al Gore, Oscar winner Michael Moore, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter and legendary CBS anchorman Dan Rather. As Generalissimo El Busho says, we're defined by our enemies and I am damned proud to be hated by people who hate such admirable patriots.

-- Ted Rall
[from Search and Destroy]

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

   By Marion Delgado at 9:16 AM

It's a fine thing to volunteer to help the sick and poor, but I'd rather live in a country where everyone has access to health care and the poor can find jobs that pay a living wage. And if Bush's destablizing policies are allowed to go forward, the day will come when we'll have more sick and poor than we have volunteers.
[from The Mahablog]

Friday, December 24, 2004

A Christmas Tale For My Cyber Friends

   By Emelius at 10:28 PM

      In the night of 12/24/07, though sensors woven through the very fabric of the house had thus far registered a complete absence of sentient bio-activity, I found myself abruptly summoned from a rare, genuine and expensively induced examples of that most priceless of states, sleep.

      Even as I hurriedly dressed, I knew that dozens of telepresent armed-response drones would already be sweeping in from the District, skimming mere inches above the chill surface of the Potomac. Vicious tri-lobed aeroforms that they were, they resembled nothing more than the Martian war machines of George Pal’s 1953 epic, “The War of the Worlds”.

      And while, from somewhere far above, now, came that sound, that persistent clatter, as though gunships disgorged whole platoons of iron-shod mercenaries, I could only wonder: who? Was it my estranged wife, Lady Betty-Jayne Motel-6 Hyatt, Chief Eco-Trustee of the Free Duchy of Wyoming? Or was it Cleatus “Mainframe” Sinyard himself, President of the United States and Perpetual Chairman of the Concerned Smart People’s Northern Hemisphere CoProsperity Sphere?

      “You’re mumbling again, big guy,” said Memory, shivering into hallucinatorily clear focus on the rumpled sheets, her thighs warm and golden against the Royal Stewart flannel. She adjusted the nosecones of her chrome bustier. “Also, you’re on the verge of a major fashion crime.”

      I froze, the starched white tails of an Elmore of Shinjuku evening shirt half-tucked into the waistband of a favorite pair of lovingly-mended calfskin jodhpurs. She was right. Pearl buttons scattered like a flock of miniscule flying saucers as I tore myself out of the offending Elmore. I swiftly chose a classic Gap t-shirt and a Ralph Lauren overshirt in shotgun-distressed ochre corduroy. The Gap t’s double-knit liquid crystal began to cycle sluggishly in response to body-heat, displaying crudely animated loops of once-famous televangelists of the previous century, their pallid flanks streaked with the sweat of illicit sexual exertion. Now that literally everything was digital, History and Image were no more than Silly Putty in the hands of anyone with a BFA and a backer in Singapore. But that was just the nature of Postmodernity, and, frankly, it suited me right down to the ground.

      “Visitors upstairs, chief,” she reminded me pointlessly, causing me to regret not getting her that last chip-upgrade. “Like on the roof.”

      “How many?” And this was Samsung-Sears’s idea of an “expert” system?

      “Seventeen, assuming we’re talking bipeds.”

      “What’s that supposed to mean?”

      “That Nintendo-Dow micropore sensor-skin you had ‘em stretch over the Realistislate? After those Columbian bush ninjas from the Slunk Cartel tried to get in through the toilet-ventilators? Well, that stuff’s registering, like, hooves. Tiny ones. Unless this is some kind of major Jersey Devil infestation, I make it eight quadrupeds – plus one definite biped.”

      “It can’t be Sinyard then.” I holstered a 3mm Honda and pocketed half a dozen spare ampules of gel. “He’d never come alone.”

      “So maybe that’s the good news, but I gotta tell you, this guy weighs in at close to one-forty kilos. And wears size eleven-and-a-half boots. As an expert system, I’d advise you to use the Mossad & Wesson bullpup, the one with the subsonic witness protection nozzles—“ She broke off, as if listening to something only she could hear. “Uh-oh,” she said, “I think he’s coming down the chimney…”


      {Originally published as "Cyber-Claus", in The Washington Post Book World Dec 1, 1991. Reprinted without permission.}
Yule Tide Greetings to all and may the servers be democrat.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

No Soup For You

   By Emelius at 2:56 PM

      The US has reduced it's contributions to world food organizations and the fight against world hunger. It's reduction in money and other aids is spelling disaster as it's effects will be felt by millions of starving people around the world. This is all part of Bush's efforts to balance the budget, a budget he has yet to balance. Instead of starving the worlds poor, you would think that Bush would find cut backs in other less helpful programs, but sadly to say, he has not.

I'm A Lumberjack And I'm OK

   By Emelius at 10:24 AM

      The White House once again strikes a blow against environmentalists. Bush announced yesterday that there would be new streamlining processes put into place to allow logging in national parks and grasslands. These new procedures will give authority to log to regional directors and reduce the time it takes to get approval to do so. Environmentalists claim that this new directive is an attempt to get rid of or bypass the National Environmental Policy Act. To get an idea as to how this all falls out, environmentalists are outraged by this and commercial loggers are celebrating.


"Until now, you had these voluminous plans that were never implemented," said Michael Goergen, executive vice president and CEO of the Society of American Foresters. "Now they can say, here's the plan, watch us implement it, and watch us report on the results. It's a very exciting approach, one with a solid environmental management system."


      I think he has been hit with one too many trees.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

We Have A Winner, Again, Again

   By Emelius at 12:55 PM

      Washington state may have a new Democratic Governor today when the ballot tallies are turned in. In what has been a recount drama, democratic candidate Christine Gregoire looks to win by 8 votes. This is without hundreds of ballots that the GOP went to court to block. This was the second recount held in the state for this race and was sponsored by the democrats.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yes Virgina, Dems Are Retarded

   By Emelius at 8:15 PM

      In the second such incident caught so far, the electoral college has voted for the wrong person for president. Democratic electorites from New York have casted a vote for John L. Kerry instead of John F. Kerry. The error was eventually caught in time before the ballots were certified, but still!!!!! How the hell can we win the nation if we can't get people to vote right when they have the answers given to them?

Bush Meets With NAACP

   By Emelius at 7:44 PM

      In a stunning surprise, Bush met today with the NAACP. The NAACP had written a letter to Bush congratulating him on his re-election and requesting a meeting to discuss issues that they think are creating problems for the black population of this country. Sitting in on this meeting was none other than man of the people Karl Rove. I guess Cheneybot was out for repairs. At the end of the day though, the White House had no substantive comment on the meeting.


"I should point out that this does not constitute an official meeting with the NAACP," said Mfume, whose resignation as president and CEO of the NAACP is effective December 31. "I do hope, however, that it begins the process for future dialogue with the NAACP."

The News Gets A Little Slimmer

   By Emelius at 6:24 PM

      The online magazine Slate was bought by The Washington Post thus taking another player out of the news business. While Slate has been hosted by MSNBC, it held an independent view from the network. Now can it keep it's distance from the post?

Social Security Is Fine

   By Emelius at 1:20 PM

      In the debate over the future of Social Security, President Bush has made it his long standing goal to kill the program. This was a hot topic that went underground after the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City. Critics though say that Bush is using fuzzy math to describe the problems and look to the new standards that were implemented last year by this very same president. It is no surprise that the White House is trying to create fear for his project. There are others though that are looking at trends and futures and understand the dangers of a privatized Social Security program. These people are telling a picture that Bush refuses to review and that is that the program is as healthy as ever.


"Social Security is like a car with a flat tire," said Peter Orszag, an economist at the liberal Brookings Institution and adviser in the Clinton White House. "There is a problem. We need to fix the flat tire. But we don't need to replace the car."

Monday, December 20, 2004

ACLU vs CIA

   By Emelius at 7:00 PM

      In a major accomplishment against the administration of the secret, the ACLU today won the right to view CIA documents under the Freedom Of Information Act. At the heart of the matter are documents that pertain to detainees held by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Housing Report Shows Poor Are In Danger

   By Emelius at 6:31 PM

      The National Low Income Housing Coalition released a report that states that:


In only four of the nation’s 3,066 counties can someone working full-time and earning federal minimum wage afford to pay rent and utilities on a one-bedroom apartment



      The report goes on to describe that an average person working in the US would need $15.37 an hour to pay for rent and utilities. That number is far less than the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour and enough to cripple many Americans attempting to live life on their own. MSNBC broke down the report and gives the glancing details.

Bush Denounces Christmas

   By Emelius at 1:55 PM

      Bush today, in breaking ranks with some republicans and FOX "News", levied a severe blow to Jesus Christ and his cause to find his way into every American house this month. In a press conference earlier today, Bush wished not a Merry Christmas, but rather Happy Holidays.


PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you. Please be seated. Good morning and happy holidays to you all. I thought I'd come and answer some of your questions....

(And in closing)
All right, happy holidays.

Thank You For Your Service, Harry Buttle

   By Emelius at 9:35 AM

      OK, the obscure Brazil reference of Harry Buttle may be a bit much, but the fact that Rumsfeld is too busy to personally sign the letters of condolences to the families of dead US soldiers, is too much. Up till now, Rumsfeld has been having his signature affixed to the letters via a machine process. It is no wonder why people feel that there is a human/personal aspect missing from this administration.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

My Take on the November 2nd Election

   By Majority Reporters at 11:20 AM

I was intending to write this article on November 3rd, but circumstances in my life have given me less
time to contribute to the channel blog than I have in the past. Let me first list various statements I
have heard since the election:

1. Bush has gotten a mandate
2. Bush won by sticking to his guns
3. Bush did not win because there was widespread cheating in, for example, Ohio
4. The Democratic Party must remake itself since Bush won and the Democrats lost seats

I will now address those statements, in turn:

1. According to most of the press reports, Bush won by 51%. Winning by 51% is not a mandate, it is
BARELY WINNING. If someone got less than that, say 50% it is called a TIE. Someone had to be declared
the winner. In this case, most publications have called Bush the winner. If he did win, he barely won.

2. In the history of the U.S., no president in power during a major conflict has EVER LOST REELECTION.
This means that short of Bush walking into congress, pulling out an AK-47 and shooting everyone in the
room, it is extremely likely that he would have won reelection. This is what the GOP was counting on.
This is one of the reasons that the Bush Administration took us to war against Iraq in the first place.
He takes us to war, and automatically a majority of Americans think "You gotta back the president
during a war". Instant win. The only people that have to pay the price are the U.S. Soldiers, the Iraqi
Citizens, and the citizens of the world.

Furthermore, for a wartime president to only win by 51% says that an incredible amount of people thinks
he SUCKS, since no wartime president has ever won reelection by less than that. This means the US
thinks he is the bottom of the barrel.

3. I took a class in statistics at the U of AZ in the spring of 2002. I studied my ass off and got an A
in the class. I have always understood statistics well. The reports I have read out of Ohio are highly
disturbing. Statistically, the odds that there was planned widespread cheating in Ohio are extremely
high. Sure, there is a chance there was no cheating, but then there is a chance I will win the Powerball
Lottery too.

4. The Democratic Party does need to change, but not because of the last election. For a wartime
president in power after the 9/11 attack to spend as much money and lie as much as the Bush
administration has to only get 51% of the votes shows the the Democratic Party did battle very hard.
Also, an awful lot of people gave an awful lot of money to the Democratic party to try and combat the
Republican party. This means that a lot of citizens believed in the democratic party.

However, the Democratic party has some fundamental flaws. First, it goes basically goes into a coma
after a presidential election, whereas the Republican party keeps on chugging every day of every year.
This gives the Republicans chances to win people over when the Democrats are asleep. In addition to
this, the Republicans seem to understand just how important it is to nurture its base. While Karl Rove
dumped tons of money trying to convince average Americans that Bush was Jesus and Kerry was Satan, he
also made sure that the right words were being fed to the party faithful and developed a huge machine
to pump them up and get them to the ballot box.

So, what should be the future of the Democratic Party? In my opinion, the core of the Democratic Party
should be built around one word: TRUTH. Why is the word truth so important, and why should it be the
core of the Democratic Party? Because our nation is filled with people of differing opinions, and if we
strive for truth, both striving to learn the truth and then to disseminate the truth out to others, it
will become clear as time passes which ideas work and which ones do not, which ideas are based on lies
and which ideas are based on evidence. As we tell the truth, Americans learn whether it is important to
feed the poor, or give tax cuts to the rich, if outlawing abortion brings us closer to God, or just
causes many women to end up dead in some back room.

Just as many Americans turn to The New York Times
to give them answers when they believe that newspaper is telling them the truth, many Americans turn
away from that same paper when they think they are being handed propaganda and lies.

Our party should strive to be the party of record. We should fight for the truth and expose lies
wherever they occur. We should bring to light not just the stories of the big and mighty, but the small
and easily forgotten. We should be the party for all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed,
national origin, and sexual inclination. We should strive to support those who investigate, and we
should strive to build the various networks that give these incites to the world.

It is through looking at the world and speaking bravely about it that we will make gains that greatly
exceed all of our losses. It is when we speak for shorter times and less often, that the lies
overshadow the truth. Speak your mind, while you still can.

Thanks for Reading,

Steve :)

Friday, December 17, 2004

Kansas Courts Reject Death Penalty

   By Emelius at 4:29 PM

      In a move to protect the life of the living and not put the power of god in the hand of man, Kansas has reversed the death penalty.


Kansas is one of 38 states with the death penalty, though it has not executed anyone since capital punishment was restored in the United States in 1976.

The state court ruled 4-3 that the Kansas law violates the U.S. Constitution because it requires juries to opt for the death penalty if the evidence for and against the defendant is otherwise equal.

Voter Recount Fraud

   By Emelius at 3:54 PM

      UPDATE: MSNBC reports that more ballots have been uncovered today in the ongoing story of secondary recount fraud.


With Washington state in the middle of a recount of its amazingly close governor’s race, election officials in Seattle’s King County entered a warehouse Friday and found a plastic tray containing 150 misplaced ballots



*************************************
December 16, 2004:
      Despite one recount, 573 absentee ballots that were rejected may be counted. You may recall that in Washington after a machine recount, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire, reduced her deficit from 261 to 42 votes. This is truly a race to be watching.


The 2-1 vote, with Democrats in the majority, directs election workers to reconsider absentee ballots that county officials say were erroneously disqualified because the county failed to enter those voters' signatures into the election computer system for comparison with signatures on ballot envelopes. GOP officials last night said they might challenge the decision in court.

A Democratic Holiday Shopping Advisory

   By PoliticalGeek at 3:24 PM

From Dr. Merrie R Siegel, Assistant Professor of Flute, University of Idaho, comes the following message:
With the holidays upon us, we might wish to be mindful of who we patronize relative to their Election Cycle political donations, as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. Be aware which corporations helped re-elect Bush and vote with your pocketbook this holiday season.

Shopping?

Price Club/Costco donated $225K, of which 99% went to Democrats
Rite Aid, $517K, 60% to Democrats
Magla Products (Stanley tools, Mr. Clean), $22K, 100% to Democrats
Warnaco (undergarments), $55K, 73% to Democrats
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, $153K, 99% to Democrats
Estee Lauder, $448K, 95% to Democrats
Guess? Inc., $145K, 98% to Democrats
Calvin Klein, $78K, 100% to Democrats
Liz Claiborne, Inc., $34K, 97% to Democrats
Levi Straus, $26K, 97% to Democrat
Olan Mills, $175K, 99% to Democrats

WalMart $467K, 97% to republicans
K-Mart, $524K, 86% to republicans
Home Depot, $298K, 89% to republicans
Target, $226K, 70% to republicans
Circuit City Stores, $261K, 95% to republicans
3M Co., $281K, 87% to republicans
Hallmark Cards, $319K, 92% to republicans
Amway, $391K, 100% republican
Kohler Co. (plumbing fixtures), $283K, 100% republicans
B.F. Goodrich (tires), $215K, 97% to republicans
Proctor & Gamble, $243K, 79% to republicans

Spirits
Southern Wine & Spirits, $213K, 73% to Democrats
Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons (includes beverage business, plus considerable media interests), $2M+, 67% Democrats
Gallo Winery, $337K, 95% to Democrats

Coors, $174K, 92% to republicans; (also Budweiser - sd); Brown-Forman Corp. (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, Bushmills, Korbel wines - as well as Lenox China, Dansk, Gorham Silver), $644k, 80% to republicans

Hungry?
Sonic Corporation, $83K, 98% to Democrats
Triarc Companies (Arby's, T.J. Cinnamon's, Pasta Connections), $112K, 96% to Democrats
Pilgrim's Pride Corp. (chicken), $366K, 100% republican
Outback Steakhouse, $641K, 95% republican
Tricon Global Restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), $133K, 87% republican
Brinker International (Maggiano's, Brinker Cafe, Chili's, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, Crazymel's, Corner Baker,EatZis), $242K, 83% republican
Waffle House, $279K, 100% republican
McDonald's Corp., $197K, 86% republican
Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze), $121K, 89% republican

Traveling and or dining?
Hyatt Corporation, $187K, 80% to Democrats
Marriott International, $323K, 81% to republicans
Holiday Inns, $38K, 71% to republicans.

Be aware which corporations helped re-elect Bush.

HRW Cries Fowl In Iraqi Trials

   By Emelius at 2:15 PM

      Human Rights Watch has released a statement saying that the trials of Iraqi officials are deeply flawed and deny them the right to a fair trial.


The Iraqi Special Tribunal statute lacks significant fair-trial protections, including explicit guarantees against using confessions extracted under torture, and a requirement that guilt be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. At the same time, a suspect convicted by the tribunal may face the death penalty, which precludes the United Nations from providing the tribunal with much-needed technical assistance.

Weasi, We're Movin On Up

   By Emelius at 1:01 PM

      Media mogul Rupert Murdock has found a way to profit at the expense of the truth, integrity, and the pain of others. In an example of no shame and showing no responsibility to his stockholders, Murdock is currently in the process of buying a penthouse that overlooks the Central Park Zoo for a record $44 million.


Mr. Murdoch is buying one of the city's most opulent apartments on one of the most elegant stretches of Fifth Avenue. The apartment is on the 14th through 16th floors of a building designed by the architect Rosario Candela and completed in 1931. It has 20 rooms making up about 8,000 square feet and about 4,000 square feet of terraces spread over the three floors. The monthly maintenance is $21,469.07.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Do They Know It's Christmas, Chanukah, Yule, Deepavali .....

   By Emelius at 2:15 PM

      The Christians are going off on another tirade about how secularists and Jews are trying to kill Jebus again by trying to be inclusive during the holidays. This is a movement that was actually started by the FOX 'News' channel (aren't they supposed to report news, not make it?). It is in fact the Christians who are being separatists this holiday season by forcing their religion on everyone else. Saying Happy Hollidays and Seasons Greetings is not enough for them and for some reason seen as not including Christmas. I try to handle religion by being tolerant of all beliefs and ideas religious or not. The choices are simple, we either include every religion this holiday (including Islam), or we exclude them all. For me it is far easier to go with one simple message that speaks to everyone in one easy to understand banner. So Happy Holidays!


But the "keep the Christ in Christmas" contingent is particularly agitated this year over what its members see as a troubling trend on Main Street: Target stores banning Salvation Army bell ringers; UPS drivers complaining to a free-speech group that they have been told not to wish people a "Merry Christmas" (an accusation UPS denies as "silly on its face and just not true"); and major corporations barring religious music from cubicles and renaming the office Christmas bash the "end of the year" party.

"I think it is part of a growing movement of people with more traditional values, which make up the majority of people in this country, saying enough is enough," says Greg Scott, a spokesman for the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Semper Oy Vey

   By Emelius at 1:24 PM

      The ACLU was able to get hold of documents that show that 9 marines who had tortured prisoners received courts-martials. Also uncovered are other reports of abuse and torture of prisoners.


Other records released by the ACLU today include investigative interviews with Navy personnel that provide a glimpse into the routine abusive treatment of detainees by U.S. forces in Iraq. For example, in one interview, a Navy corpsman described the regular process whereby Iraqis classified as Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs) would be taken to an empty swimming pool and handcuffed and legcuffed with burlap bags placed over their heads. They would then remain in the kneeling position for up to 24 hours awaiting interrogation. Despite providing this description, the officer stated that he "never saw any instances of physical abuse" toward the detainees.



NYTimes Story:

In the case of using the transformer to shock a prisoner, the documents show that the incident occurred in April 2004 at a holding area at Mahmudiya, just south of Baghdad. One marine was sentenced to a year in prison and a second to eight months




Another marine was sentenced to 90 days' confinement for squirting a flammable liquid on a detainee's hands and then lighting it with a match, also at Mahmudiya, in August 2003. The detainee suffered second-degree burns.

Washington Rejects Ballots

   By Emelius at 11:05 AM

      On Tuesday, the Washington Supreme Court rejected a Democratic lawsuit that called to include previously rejected ballots in the states recount.


" 'Recount' means the process of retabulating ballots and producing amended election returns," the court declared in a decision signed by all eight justices who heard arguments in Monday's emergency court hearing.

"Thus, under Washington's statutory scheme, ballots are to be 'retabulated' only if they have been previously counted or tallied," the decision states.



Democratic Party lawyer David Burman had estimated there were about 3,000 valid ballots that Democrats thought were possibly eligible for counting under the law. That was a fraction of the 15,000 additional ballots the Democrats hoped would be reviewed as part of the ongoing recount in the governor's race.


Turn Your Back On Bush

   By Emelius at 10:26 AM

      On Inauguration day, January 20th, 2005, thousands of protesters are being asked to take to the streets of DC but not in the usual manner. Leave your signs, buttons, and mega-phones at home and just bring a warm jacket. This time we send Bush a silent message by simply turning your back on Bush. What has been an effective strategy at sporting and other events where Bush has shown up in the past, TYBOB hopes to send a message to Bush personally. This is one event that Bush will have to witness and can not keep these people out.

Make The Caption

   By Emelius at 9:00 AM

      Nomadic posted an article last night, in the channel, that had this picture and it was just too good to let go. So, you Make The Caption and leave it in the comments section below.



If you stare at the picture and say 'RUMSFELD RUMSFELD RUMSFELD', he will poke you in your eyes

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Tweak Up Your IRC Posts

   By Emelius at 1:16 PM

      One of the purposes of our channel is the posting of information from the web. This can sometimes be more of a painful process than it needs to be. Today I will throw in my 2 cents in tech advice to help you in pasting more efficiently into the channel. This tutorial will be directed at users of the Firefox browser and an extension called Copy URL Plus. Firefox is available for many operating systems, but I will only focus on the one that most frequents our website, Windows XP. More detailed information for your particular OS may be found at the extension webpage.

      So what will be the final result? It will take a normal 2+ line paste and make it a single line paste that is easy to read in IRC.

      First make sure you have Firefox installed.

      Next download the extension Copy URL Plus.

      Then you are going to want to create a new .txt file and open it. Paste the following code in it.


user_pref('copyurlplus.menus.1.label', 'IRC Copy (Selection + URL)');
user_pref('copyurlplus.menus.1.copy', '"%SEL%" - %URL%');



      Save the file as user.js. Now this file may already exist on your computer. A search for user.js is your quickest way to find it. It should be located in your C:\Documents and Settings\(User)\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\(Something).default. If it is not, then copy your newly created file to that location. If it does exist, you can simply append the file with the above code.

      Then reboot and you are ready to go with a custom command. To execute the command, go to a website, highlight some text, right click, select 'Copy URL+', Select 'IRC Copy'. Then paste into IRC.

      I hope this helps some of you and if you need additional help, I refer you to the extension webpage where they have detailed information on this process.

President John Ewards ... DOH!

   By Emelius at 9:51 AM

      I know what you are saying, but no, I did not spell the name wrong and I got the candidate right. In an 'alzheimer' moment, a MN elector actually voted for John Edwards in their certification of the ballots. To add injury to insult, they even spelled Edwards name wrong or maybe it was just baby talk. So this gives Kerry 251 votes instead of 252 and some lucky guy named John Ewards has 1 vote. Can you imagine what it will be like if Kerry loses by one vote? I think I am going to dunk my head in a bucket of water now.

This Is Not America

   By Emelius at 9:50 AM

      Three intellectuals were detained on December 13 who have been critical of the government. Relatives of the three were handed a warrant that said they was suspected of "participating in activities harmful to the state. These detentions are the latest in an effort of the governments attempts to crack down on media and writings that speak out against the state. While this sounds like one of the latest stories to come out of DC lately, the twist to this story is that this all happened in China. If you read the story and replace Yu Jie, Liu Xiaobo, and Zhang Zuhua with John Williams, Carl Lampher, and Richard Smith, you would not be surprised to think that it was an American headline. This fits in nicely with the story of DC wanting to crack down on political free speech for the internet. Along with other stories of crack downs of free speech in the past few months, it leaves one to wonder, "Is China really the example that we want to follow even though we are financing our country from them?"

NH And OH Recounts Are Go

   By Emelius at 7:21 AM

      If you are curious about the goings on with the recounts this week, Verified Voting has got an update that I hope will answer some of your questions.

Monday, December 13, 2004

3 More Afghani Prisoner Deaths

   By Emelius at 5:26 PM

      Human Rights Watch today released a report that has uncovered 3 new cases of Afghanistan prisoner deaths.


“It’s time for the United States to come clean about crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan,” said Brad Adams, Asia division director for Human Rights Watch. “The United States has to get serious about prosecuting people implicated in prisoner deaths and mistreatment.”

Cleaning Up The World

   By Emelius at 3:55 PM

      The world gathered to make the world a cleaner healthier place. Noticeably absent though was the United States, the worlds largest offender of pollution. While 190 countries came together to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the US felt that there was no need to engage in the reduction of green house gasses. My thought is that Bush thinks that he will destroy the world before the current agreement expires in 2012.


More than 6,000 attendees are milling in convention halls that resemble a kind of greenhouse bazaar, where businesses are trumpeting the merits of everything from windmills to nuclear power, which do not add to the atmosphere's greenhouse-gas burden. In a host of presentations, environmental and human rights groups have been showing how the accumulating gases stand to imperil some of the world's poorest countries and native cultures. More broadly, the conference reflects a world that remains deeply divided over what to do about the buildup of greenhouse gases that climate experts say has caused most of a 50-year warming trend.

Experts now largely agree that if oil and coal burning continue to increase at current rates, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will more than double in this century from pre-industrial levels, causing warming that could disrupt climate patterns and raise sea levels.



      This all comes on the heels of Bush pushing his 'Clear Skies' program where he would have us believe that air pollution is a top priority for him.


Environmentalists, however, say the Bush legislative proposal carried by Inhofe goes further than the rule, weakening parts of the Clean Air Act.

"The Bush administration is now staking its money on a bill in Congress that weakens and delays public health protections already provided under the current Clean Air Act, while forcing the EPA to delay public health protections under current law," said John Walke, director of clean air programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Administration officials now hope Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, can get the bill onto the Senate floor soon. The interstate rule on power plant pollution was to have been made final by the end of this year, but doing that could detract from the need for the legislation.

"The president wants to synchronize our strategy, and Senator Inhofe has asked that we allow his hearings to be concluded before we finalize CAIR (the interstate rule)," Leavitt told the AP. "We believe that it improves the possibility of passage of Clear Skies legislation, and of course we prefer to have legislation."


Propaganda Bomb

   By Emelius at 3:35 PM

      The Pentagoon is revisiting whether it should engage in 'Disinformation' by planting false stories in the media. This is nothing new and has been done several times during the Bush administration and it's prosecution of its wars. It appears that this current interest to spread propaganda is to try to win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people as well as the people at home. There are several problems with this measure though. It removes trust in what the Pentagoon says, can create confusion on the battle field as to what is really happening, and this will greatly backfire and cast America as a bunch of lying pigs. The short term benefits of such a measure should not outweigh the long term damage. But then again, that is how this White House and Pentagoon think. In the short term.

Remember Osama?

   By Emelius at 7:59 AM

      The hunt for Osama continues but not as you would expect. It continues in name only really. In a recent article in the NYTimes, it exposes some of the ongoing problems in the current hunt to find Osama. Between Pakistan interfering and the lack of US troops in the area, the effort is proving to be pointless and ineffective. The article even goes so far as to state the Osama is still coordinating cells that are determined to attack the US, even on the run. I know finding Osama is not the end all and I know that it is a key part of the process.

Ohio Submits Despite Protest

   By Emelius at 5:25 AM

      While around 100 protesters gathered outside of Ohio's Statehouse yesterday, Ohio plans to go ahead today with casting it's electoral votes for George Bush. The protesters were objecting to proceeding with it's plans to cast it's votes before a court approved recount has finished which is expected to be completed sometime next week. Many republicans in Ohio have discounted the protesters and the recount saying it is a waste of time and money. Yet, it is the right of the voters and candidates to do so. Any final process of the votes should be held off till the recount is finished to put off any appearance of trying to be partisan and disenfranchising voters. An effort by Secretary of State Blackwell should have done also in knowing that these recounts were coming, should have done what he could to try to get the initial and recounts done before the Electoral College was to cast their votes. Blackwell refuses to delay the sending of his certification.

Top Republican Warns Bush On Social Security Reform

   By Emelius at 3:05 AM

      Sunday, on Fox news, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, warned President Bush against Social Security reforms that can't be funded without throwing the United States into even greater debt. Sen Lindsey, who is in support of greater payroll taxes to pay for the reform said, "What I'm asking of the president, when it comes to the transition costs, be flexible,", "I think it's irresponsible to borrow the whole trillion dollars,". The real estimates of reform though are closer to $2-$3 trillion. Bush has said though that he will not raise payroll taxes. Maybe there is a magical money tree that we don't know about buried in Fort Knox.


White House officials say borrowing would not endanger the president's other financial goals, which include a pledge to cut the federal deficit in half by fiscal year 2009.

But Graham, who said he has proposed raising the annual salary cap for Social Security taxes from $87,900 to $150,000, said a big jump in borrowing could increase the deficit to more than $700 billion.

"I don't think you can make the tax cuts permanent, have alternative minimum tax relief and borrow the entire transition costs, which is over a trillion dollars, and have deficits that we can sustain," the South Carolina Republican said.



      To me the Social Security program is a needed safety net for our country. With all this talk about personal investment in the stock market, it seems to me that people are forgetting what happened in 1929 or 2001 for that matter. What kind of country allows its government to let people live in garbage dumps rather than ensure they have shelter and food. Some great country we live in.

Hannity On Moyers

   By Emelius at 2:44 AM

      Hannity recently just could not hold back on commenting on the recent announcement of Bill Moyers leaving PBS. The talking heads are classic in saying that you have to distingush editorial from news. To hear Hannity agree is a gut buster on it's own. This .wmv clip is laughable from start to end. As always we caution you not to watch this with children in the room.

President Homer

   By Emelius at 2:07 AM

      President Bush had been putting off his physical for months now, prompting some to even think that he may have been trying to cover something up. As it was though, a team of 10 doctors gave the overweight president a clean bill of health and said he was "in the top fifth percentile for a man his age". One thing to note though was that Bush was found to be overweight for a man of his size. When asked why he was overweight bush replied;


"I've obviously have gone through a campaign where I probably ate too many doughnuts, if you get my drift" he said. "My New Year's resolution has become apparent by getting on the scales."



Get my drift? Is that code for quenching one's appetite on the fears and death of others or is there a Krispy Kreme next to the Oval? Isn't gluttony a sin?

And Your Little Dog Too

   By Emelius at 1:27 AM

      Things in Fallujah have reached a new level of sadness now as the US military seeks out and destroys domestic animals that have been feeding on the dead and may have contacted rabies. I can only assume the type of mentality that would volunteer for such a job as to hunt down and kill cats and dogs.


The marines gather briefly over a pile of trash, one pointing across the dirt lot to a row of burned out homes where moments before a dog was seen loping for cover amid the ruined buildings.

"I think we wounded a couple and they took off that way," he said, as another marine pulled his quarry onto a ridge, its bloodied head rolling side to side in the dust.


Sunday, December 12, 2004

If You Can't Beat Them, Bury Them

   By Emelius at 5:16 PM

      Get in the hole, you, you, gay fictional person you! In the foreign country of Alabama, they want to not burn books, but bury books that contain positive depictions of homosexuals. Maybe in his fifth meeting with President Bush, Alabama state legislator Gerald Allen, can find a way to further discriminate against Americans.


I ask Allen what prompted this bill. Was one of his children exposed to something in school that he considered inappropriate? Did he see some flamingly gay book displayed prominently at the public library?

No, nothing like that. "It was election day," he explains. Last month, "14 states passed referendums defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman". Exit polls asked people what they considered the most important issue, and "moral values in this country" were "the top of the list".

"Traditional family values are under attack," Allen informs me. They've been under attack "for the last 40 years". The enemy, this time, is not al-Qaida. The axis of evil is "Hollywood, the music industry". We have an obligation to "save society from moral destruction". We have to prevent liberal libarians and trendy teachers from "re-engineering society's fabric in the minds of our children". We have to "protect Alabamians".

Some Wise Holiday Sexual Advice

   By Emelius at 2:39 PM

      There are a lot of things you can get this holiday. Make sure it is none of these. A twisted take on the prevention of STI's. Happy Holidays!

Have Your Self A Very Rummy Christmas

   By Emelius at 10:30 AM

Maureen Dowd takes a holiday twist with her weekly column in the NYTimes.

The 12 Days of Rummying

On the first day of Christmas,
my Rummy sent to me
a Saddam pigeon in a palm tree.
Not knowing Osama's address,
Rummy hastened to 'Potamia - and a mess,
exhorting his pal Cheney,
"Let's bomb Baghdad again, golly gee!

Arnold Over Exposed

   By Emelius at 10:23 AM

      Arnold Exposed is a new website that looks at the notion of changing the Constitution of the United States for the sole purpose of electing Arnold Schwarzenegger to the presidency.



Americans Against Arnold has launched defensive measures against Arnold Schwarzenegger's bliztkrieg attack on the Constitution because we love America and believe that the Founding Fathers were right: only someone born in America should be able to be President.

Just as important, we are dedicated to exposing the individual, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is totally unfit to be Governor of California, much less President of the United States. Arnold Exposed.com will serve as a meticulously documented encyclopedia of Arnold's sinister, grotestque and even barbaric activites, from his nazi links to illegal drug use and sexual harrassment.

Air America Is DC Bound

   By Emelius at 10:15 AM

      Color me red, white, and blue. AAR is headed to DC and will debut in our nation's capital on January 20, 2005 of all days. Along with the new station, AAR has announced that they have resigned Al Franken for a multi-year contract. So everyone can relax a little and finally enjoy the thought of some Senate aide eating lunch in his office and listening to Franken as he does the Oy Oy Oy show.



WRC (1260) plans to drop its syndicated sports talk programming in favor of Franken and some of the rest of Air America's left-leaning lineup while adding other liberal commentators, say people familiar with the matter. This would give WRC's owner, Clear Channel Communications, a "blue state" station to balance its "red state" programs on WTNT (570), which includes conservative hosts Laura Ingraham, G. Gordon Liddy and Michael Savage.

5,500 Down 130,000 To Go

   By Emelius at 9:35 AM

The latest figures are a telling story as to the mindset of soldiers that are currently invading Iraq. Forces are deserting rather than die for a war they do not believe in.


"I didn’t want, you know, 'Died deluded in Iraq' over my gravestone," says Felushko. "If I'd gone, personally, because of the things that I believed, it would have felt wrong. Because I saw it as wrong, if I died there or killed somebody there, that would have been more wrong."

He told Pelley it wasn't fighting that bothered him. In fact, he says he started basic training just weeks after al Qaeda attacked New York and Washington –- and he was prepared to get even for Sept. 11 in Afghanistan.

Rising Fuel Prices To Come

   By Emelius at 8:56 AM

      Tired of record gas prices? Get used to it. As we enter the huge consumption season of winter, gas prices show no signs of going down. The price of oil for winter consumption for home use will also rise. I remember a time when Bush criticized Clinton for the price of oil reaching around $34 a barrel at one point during his administration. Now the price bounces around $50 a barrel and production is expected to drop even more. Finally US representatives are starting the call to conserve energy at a time when Opec decides to make more profit.


U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Saturday that oil producers and consumers alike must act responsibly on energy use, a day after OPEC oil producers agreed to slash production to keep prices up



     How high up and what extent these voices will call from is not known yet, but I will be eagerly awaiting. Maybe now we can get laws that do not benefit Hummers and SUVs and do reward alternative fuel use. My prediction though will be a pandering voice with no real environmental reform at the next State of the Union speech and a call to drill in our most volatile environmental areas.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Calling for Links

   By kio at 11:51 PM

Hola,

As most of you realized, there is a newsbot on the irc channel. It's sole function (for now) is to relay blogs which have rss feeds into the channel. If you haven't seen your favorite blog posted, provided the site has a rss capability, let us know in the comments below or /msg kio or /msg EmeliusBrwne with info and a link. After the approval of the review committee, the bot will relay the newly added blog.

The conditions for the link: it has to be blog, we don't need news; It has to be free (no subscription); it has to be political in nature; it has to be currently active; and of course, it has to be sane.

Yours truly, botmaster. Kio.

There are soldiers against the war...

   By Fancy Pants Elitist at 7:59 AM

Gentle Readers,

Almost any veteran or long time military member will tell you, you don't go to war unless you have an emminent threat, and that the military is here to defend *our* nation against attack, and to defend the constitution from threats both foreign and DOMESTIC. Anyone who has any brains knows that Iraq was not an emminent threat and that they had never attacked us, in any way that should lead to us attacking their unarmed nation. If anyone has attacked our nation, it is the illegal Bush administration, with it's blatant and unrelenting attack on our constitution and our civil rights, as well as it's horrid disregard for our troops' safety, as illustrated in the latest Q&A of Rumsfeld in Kuwait:
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (AP) -- After delivering a pep talk designed to energize troops preparing to head for Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got a little "talking to" himself from disgruntled soldiers.
He deserved this and should get more of this. Rumsfeld is nothing but a war criminal. He should be treated as a traitor to this nation for many, many reasons.

My favorite story though, comes from the San Diego Union-Tribune, where a sailor has refused to follow orders because this war is just wrong.

Sailor opposed to Iraq war refuses to board ship

Evidently, Pablo Paredes has
refused to board his Navy ship yesterday morning when it sailed for Iraq with thousands of Camp Pendleton Marines.
...
Paredes had planned to publicly throw his military I.D. into the ocean to underscore his stand against the war. But yesterday, he changed his mind after learning that he could be charged with destruction of government property.

In another story from the same Newspaper:

Acknowledging that he could face a court martial and possible imprisonment, a Navy petty officer yesterday said he will refuse to board his transport ship when it departs for the Persian Gulf this morning because he wants to make a public stand against the Iraq war.

This is the height of courage, and restores my faith in many of our military. This is NOT cowardice, as some war mongers might argue, he has risked a great deal by taking a moral stand. He has no desire to be part and parcel for sending many of our troops to probable death. He may very well end up being courtmartialed. Leavenworth is no fun, I know, my dad is a military judge.

One more story is here:

Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions

Soldiers Challenge Pentagon Policy Extending Enlistments, Seek Immediate Release From Service

The Associated PressThe Associated Press

WASHINGTON Dec 6, 2004 — Eight soldiers filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Army's policy requiring them to serve longer than the terms of their enlistment contracts.


It's likely that they won't be able to resist this violation of their contract, and in fact today, David Qualls, the only one of these soldiers who agreed to be identified, was told by this crazy judge that he had to go on to Iraq even while his case was being heard. The other plaintiffs have taken "John Doe" status because they are afraid of retaliation from the military. That's understandable considering this administration, and considering that they are IN IRAQ at this very moment. Good Luck, David and the rest of you. Personally, I think you should go AWOL before they send you off to this craziness.

To all of our troops that risk invoking the wrath of a government that has no regard for the safety of you or of this nation by fighting an immoral war, I thank you for your service. By resisting this war, you ARE defending the Constitution and honoring your pledge. That takes a great deal of courage. Good luck!

Ladyliberty /aka Fancypants

Friday, December 03, 2004

Welcome First Time Chatters

   By Emelius at 6:14 PM

We at AAR-IRC would like to welcome you to our IRC channel dedicated to Air America Radio. We are an unofficial chat environment designed to extend your listening experience and have been in operation since April 2004 started by people who have been listening to AAR since it’s launch.

IRC is a real time chat environment where you can discuss with others politics, AAR shows, and network with people from all over the world. Another great thing about our channel (Chat Room) is that you never know who you will meet. We have had people from AAR, political candidates, Black Box Voting, scholars, musicians, DJ’s, activists, artists, writers, programmers, and so many more.

There are several ways to connect to our channel and we can not cover them all. We have however tried to make it easy for newbies and veterans alike. On the right hand side of our page, you will see “IRC LINKS”. There you will find everything you need to get started.

#AAR – If you have an IRC client installed, there is a good chance that you can simply click that link and it will automatically launch your client and connect to our channel. If it does not, then start your IRC client and connect to the Undernet network then type ‘ /join #AAR ‘ and you are good to go.

Web Client – If you don’t have an IRC client installed, no fears. We have set up an internet web client that can have you chatting in a matter of minutes. Simply follow the link to the client and input a few lines of information, and you are good to go. If you get a ‘null’ error, just try another server. You may also get a java prompt. This is a standard warning and nothing to fear. Simply accept it and within minutes, you will be chatting with other fans of AAR.

IRC Clients – If you don’t have an IRC client and would like to get one for your operating system, we have provided a list of clients by OS for you to download and install. If you need help in choosing a client, pop in the channel and ask our chatters which ones they think would be best for you. We recommend a real client over our web client as they are more stable and flexible.

We hope that this has been instructional in being able to get you connected quickly and if you have more questions, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of this post or in our chat room. We also ask that you read our ‘Posts Of Note’ for channel guidelines and encourage you to participate in our lively discussions.

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