Saturday, October 11, 2008


10/10/08 :
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
Cpl. Jason A. Karella, 20, of Anchorage, Alaska, died Oct. 9 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division...

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.


Stop the violence. End the Oppression

Rest in Peace.

Rise in Glory.

Lifted via Susan Russell
--the BB

Honduras hace 142

Today I noticed the flag counter reaching 142 so I watched the list scroll by. I finally spotted the newest nation from which we have a first-time visitor: Honduras!

Estimado visitante, quiero darle la bienvenida. ¡Regrese pronto!

The Republic of Honduras is bordered by the Caribbean on the north, Nicaragua to the southeast, the Gulf of Fonseca on the Pacific to the south, El Salvador to the southwest, and Guatemala to the west. The capital is Tegucigalpa, the unit of currency is the lempira, and the international calling code is 504, the same as the internal area code for New Orleans.

Encouraging tourism, some great video images (Honduras is inside. Get to know it, get to know yourself):

Gillermo Anderson "En mi paĆ­s"

A very fun video:
La Casa de la Justicia - Karla Lara - Honduras

--the BB

Please God we survive them

The Bush presidency is coming to an end.

Unless he invokes one of those largely overlooked executive orders and declares martial law and dismisses congress and cancels elections.

You think I'm kidding.

I believe he is that power-mad.

Then there is the chance we will attack Iran. Nobody has talked about this lately. I truly believe Dick Cheney is that evil and fully capable of trying to make it happen.

While they wring their hands over "voter fraud" - an extremely rare problem - they are busy working their magic for election fraud: not the casting of a fraudulent vote by an individual but the fraudulent manipulation of the results of the election, wholesale cheating.

Of course they are capable of it and until we abolish electronic voting devices our elections remain susceptible to these problems.

You know, even if it took us a month to count paper ballots we could still have more confidence in the election results. And we know the machines are eminently hackable. So what's the rush for overnight results? It feeds news cycles but are news cycles worth casting away democracy?

Anyhow, given that I would happily dance on Bush's grave (yes, I really would), I will certainly breathe a sigh of relief and rejoice when he leaves office. I never said I was nice.

100 days, 4 hours, 11 minutes - but who's counting?
--the BB


The big story - "a striking decline in his sentence-by-sentence speaking skills." The reason? One doctor says "presenile dementia" a catch-all term for earlier-than-normal cognitive declines (probably "dry-drunk syndrome"). This video intercuts footage from 10 years ago with recent footage - the difference is dramatic and disturbing. And obvious.

See it yourself at

Show it to your friends who think George Bush is okay. He's not.

Pity Charlie Gibson. What did he do to earn the rage of George W. Bush? There he was, moderator of the second presidential "debate", and all he was attempting to do was, well, moderate, going beyond the stilted question-asking automatons that were Jim "Eyes Courtesy of My Taxidermist" Lehrer and Gwen "No Question Too Insipid" Ifill. Instead of merely allowing the candidates to blather on for an additional minute, Gibson tried, desperately at times, to get the two men to answer a direct fuckin' question. Kerry responded to Gibson, engaging him and mostly expanding on the question. However, George W. Bush chose instead to either ignore or bulldoze Gibson. It was the Old West: no tinhorn reporter's gonna ask George W. Bush a follow-up.

Early on, Bush turned on Gibson twice, viciously smacking the TV morning show host to the ground and standing on his large ass, braying like the loudest howler monkey in the desiccated rainforest, "You tell Tony Blair we're going alone," our president at that moment showing he was tough enough to pound the Good Morning, America guy, motherfuckers, now bring him the head of Katie Couric.

The latest Zogby-Reuters poll gives Kerry a 3-point lead over Bush. This is a tracking poll taken from Friday through Sunday, which seems to me shows that Bush didn't help himself in the Friday debate.

If You Had Seen What I Have Seen
By Scott Ritter
The Independent U.K.
Sunday 10 October 2004
The inspection process was rigged to create uncertainty over WMD to bolster the US and UK's case for war.
It appears that the last vestiges of perceived legitimacy regarding the decision of President George Bush and Tony Blair to invade Iraq have been eliminated with the release this week of the Iraq Survey Group's final report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The report's author, Charles Duelfer, underscored the finality of what the world had come to accept in the 18 months since the invasion of Iraq - that there were no stockpiles of WMD, or programmes to produce WMD. Despite public statements made before the war by Bush, Blair and officials and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic to the contrary, the ISG report concludes that all of Iraq's WMD stockpiles had been destroyed in 1991, and WMD programmes and facilities dismantled by 1996.
Duelfer's report does speak of Saddam Hussein's "intent" to acquire WMD once economic sanctions were lifted and UN inspections ended (although this conclusion is acknowledged to be derived from fragmentary and speculative sources). This judgement has been seized by Bush and Blair as they scramble to re-justify their respective decisions to wage war. "The Duelfer report showed that Saddam was systematically gaming the system, using the UN oil-for-food programme to try to influence countries and companies in an effort to undermine sanctions," Bush said. "He was doing so with the intent of restarting his weapons programme once the world looked away." Blair, for his part, has apologised for relying on faulty intelligence, but not for his decision to go to war. The mantra from both camps remains that the world is a safer place with Saddam behind bars.
But is it? When one examines the reality of the situation on the ground in Iraq today, it seems hard to draw any conclusion that postulates a scenario built around the notion of an improved environment of stability and security. Indeed, many Iraqis hold that life under Saddam was a better option than the life they are facing under an increasingly violent and destabilising US-led occupation. The ultimate condemnation of the failure and futility of the US-UK effort in Iraq is that if Saddam were released from his prison cell and participated in the elections scheduled for next January, there is a good chance he would emerge as the popular choice. But while democratic freedom of expression was a desired outcome of the decision to remove Saddam from power, the crux of the pre-war arguments and the ones being reconfigured by those in favour of the invasion centre on the need to improve international peace and security. Has Saddam's removal accomplished this?

'He can run but he can't hide'
What a goon. Rethugs were licking their brown-flecked lips when Bunnypants pulled that quote out of his ass Friday night to describe John Kerry. Like everything else Bush does, it was stupid.

1. Bush hid from the Vietnam war by hiding in the Air National Guard, where he hid so well he was unaccounted for and possibly AWOL during an 18 month period.

2. Bush hid from his Nat Guard-required physical.

3. On September 11, 2001, he ran and hid in bunkers across the country until he thought it was safe to return to Washington.

4. He hid his records, and his dad's.

5. He hides from protestors

6. Hides from press conferences

7. Hides from anyone who hasn't taken a loyalty oath

8. Hides from taking the blame

And speaking of somebody who "can run but can't hide," what the hell ever happened to Osama bin Laden, anyway?


10/11/2004 02:13:52 PM

Intelligence failure
"As a massive piece in the New York Times revealed, it was cooked, abused or lied about by the most senior figures in the administration."
In one of the most egregious abuses of intelligence in US history, the Bush administration falsely claimed that expert opinion supported a near-ludicrous theory that aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq were suitable for use in developing nuclear weapons. In fact, that theory's principal backer was a low-level CIA analyst who was almost laughed out of an international conference when he presented his theory.

"Everybody was embarrassed when he came and made this presentation, embarrassed and disgusted," the Times quoted one expert who attended as saying. "We were going insane, thinking, 'Where is he coming from?'"

The American people should be clearly told and retold that it was the Bush administration itself, and its lap dog CIA head George Tenet, who were responsible for the bogus intelligence that it used to sell the case for war.

So why isn't Kerry pointing this out? Why didn’t he respond Friday night by telling Bush, "Yes, I saw the same intelligence as you, Mr. pResident – after your administration cooked it."
10/11/2004 03:00:59 PM

Good News

What the hell has happened to our country we actually have occasion to rejoice because Congress passed an anti-torture Bill.

I mean, sometimes you just step back and go what the fuck has happend to this place?
-Atrios 3:39 PM

See any parallels between then and now? Discuss with specific examples.

[These are from articles and posts I clipped back on October 11, 2004. I have links but they're a pain to transfer from my old documents. If anyone wants a specific link, ask in the comments and I'll provide it.]

--the BB

Betty White chimes in (probably NSFW)

I've seen this in a few places, most recently at Crooks and Liars.

Betty White discusses the campaign with Craig Ferguson.

--the BB

Gioia Bruno adds her voice

It's Saturday.

Time to get up and shake our collective booty.

Some "Change the World" music by Gioia Bruno, inspired by Barack Obama.

Change the world one song, one action, one belief at a time. (T. Chianetta)

Written by Andy Fraser, Gioia Bruno, Musiq Maniacs
Produced by Musiq Maniacs
Engineered by John D. Thomas
Video Edited by Kim Gonzalez
(c)2008 Smoovicity Inc. (SESAC)
*A song inspired by and written for Barack Obama

Free Download @

h/t to Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars
--the BB

Palin's ethical challenges

It seems she cannot bring herself to give an honest response when asked about the report.

Read about it in Jake Tapper's post at ABC News.
--the BB

NO on Prop 8 - you can help defeat it - updated

Learn about Prop 8 here.

Donate to help defeat Prop 8 here.

Consider taking action by looking here.

The proponents of Prop 8, who want to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, have marshaled all their forces and are working very hard to promote it. Not long ago it seemed easily doomed to defeat since most Californians are not fond of discrimination. The efforts of the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church, and other totalitarian religious organizations have made it possible that Prop 8 might pass. We need all the help we can get to defeat it.

I don't live there any more but I tossed my $100 in because it's the state I grew up in, came out in, and fell in love in.

Stop bigotry now.


h/t to Jeff Lieber who compares today's fuss to an earlier generation's fuss over "miscegenation."

[I have known and loved many wonderful people who belong to totalitarian religious organizations. I do not judge individuals by the institution any more than I would lay all the crimes of the Bush administration at the feet of every American.]

Here's the headline from Americablog:
Out-of-state Mormons pouring millions to defeat gays in California. And they're succeeding.

Here is the beginning of an article from the Associated Press:
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormons are being asked by their church leaders to step up their already considerable efforts to pass a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California.

Senior elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a televised appeal to members Wednesday night and laid out a week-by-week strategy for boosting Mormon involvement before the Nov. 4 election.

They urged Mormons to man phone banks, distribute campaign materials and intensify voter registration efforts during an hourlong meeting, which was broadcast to church buildings in California, Utah, Hawaii and Idaho.

The Mormon church is part of a coalition of conservative groups backing Proposition 8, which would amend the state constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman and thereby overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

"What we're about is the work of the Lord, and he will bless you for your involvement," Elder M. Russell Ballard said during the broadcast.

What a sanctimonious expletive deleted.

I know they're scared shitless that all those cute young Mormon husbands will be seduced into lives of sodomy given half a chance but really, isn't this overkill? Do we need a "Christian" Taliban here in the United States?

--the BB

All McCain has left

I am so glad that Obama does not take smears lying down.

--the BB

Friday, October 10, 2008

Getting to know you: McCain at the craps table

Michael Kinsley shares a tale about John McCain in a Puerto Rican casino in 2005:

McCain’s game is craps. So is Jeff Dearth’s. Jeff was at the table when McCain showed up and happily made room for him. Apparently there is some kind of rule or tradition in craps that everyone’s hands are supposed to be above the table when the dice are about to be thrown. McCain—“very likely distracted by one of the many people who approached him that evening,” Jeff says charitably—apparently was violating this rule. A small middle-aged woman at the table, apparently a “regular,” reached out and pulled McCain’s arm away. I’ll let Jeff take over the story:

“McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME.’ The woman started to explain...McCain interrupted her: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME,’ he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO?’ McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the ‘bring it on’ position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. ‘Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,’ the pit boss said to McCain. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM.”
Read it all here.

I believe an appropriate response might have been: Yes, we know who you are and who your daddy and granddaddy are and we really don't give a shit. Arrogance is not becoming. In anyone.

h/t to Hunter who has more to say on this
--the BB

Getting to know you: the series

Sarah Palin on discussing Barack Obama's acquaintance with Ayers who was active in the Weather Underground when Obama was eight years old and who later turned himself in to the feds:
Mrs Palin has defended her comments, saying they were "about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about".
--the BBC
There are other things that have been known but not talked about much.

Max Blumenthal and David Neiwert have a new article at Salon about extremists who supported and helped shape Governor Palin in her early political career.

Though [Mark] Chryson belongs to a fringe political party, one that advocates the secession of Alaska from the Union, and that organizes with other like-minded secessionist movements from Canada to the Deep South, he is not without peculiar influence in state politics, especially the rise of Sarah Palin. An obscure figure outside of Alaska, Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin’s campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution’s language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as “Black Helicopter Steve,” to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. “Every time I showed up her door was open,” said Chryson. “And that policy continued when she became governor.”
Read it all here.

h/t to JaciCee who also discusses the AIP's links with the North American Secessionist Convention and the Constitution Party. Check her article out here.

Max Blumenthal's interview with Mark Chryson:

--the BB

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Check it out

The New York Times tells all (just before the release of the investigative report that the Alaska Supreme Court said, today, may be released).

Ms. Palin has denied that anyone told Mr. Monegan to dismiss Mr. Wooten, or that the commissioner’s ouster had anything to do with the trooper. But an examination of the case, based on interviews with Mr. Monegan and several top aides, indicates that, to a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Mr. Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it.

In all, the commissioner and his aides were contacted about Mr. Wooten three dozen times over 19 months by the governor, her husband and seven administration officials, interviews and documents show.

Just like John McSame, Sarah Palin offers us more of what we have been enduring almost eight years - abuse of official power, stonewalling, denial.

h/t to ajc888

--the BB

Well put!

George W. Bush lies about everything, all the time, and without compunction. Big things, little things, provable things and unprovable things. He has spent his entire administration lying about everything from war to the economy to his own advisors' activities to surveillance to the plain meaning of laws to everything else, and he's staffed his government and his Justice Department with unapologetic liars as well. Anyone who hasn't realized this at this point is beyond the help of reason or medical science.

--Hunter at Daily Kos

My friends, he really does understand us. Honest.

--the BB

Getting to know you: the series

A Rolling Stone debunking of some John McCain myths:

For an article on McCain as viewed by a fellow POW visit FranIAm to whom I tip the hat for the video as well.

A quote from the article:
"McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."

--the BB

Hey, California: NO ON PROP. 8!

Don't turn my native state into a hotbed of hate.

Oh, and bleep the Mormon Church for stepping into this so heavily. My disdain for and outrage at that institution knows no bounds, no matter how many good people buy that brand. And that goes for all the other church groups out spreading hatred and fear and bigotry. Y'all should be ashamed of yourselves and I have no doubt Jesus is ashamed of you right now. This goes double for the Anglican neo-Puritan sex-Nazis to whom I say, in the most loving way, SYFPH. I know Jesus is ashamed of me for hating about this too. At least I have the courage to own my feelings and I'm not saying they come from God or the Bible. I'm just angry and neither the deity nor the devil gets credit for it.
--the BB

This time last cycle

There was talk of Bush's anger during the debate. Now it's angry McCain. Four more years?
Ron [Fournier], AP: "As he fought to keep his emotions in check in a testy, personal debate with Sen. John Kerry, the president asserted 'That answer almost made me scowl.'... Several answers brought Bush's emotions to the surface, for better or worse, as he sought to curb Kerry's momentum.... Bush was the most aggressive, at one point overrunning moderator Charles Gibson's attempt to pose a question.."
From thirdparty's diary of 10/9/2004

Lest we get cocky, consider this:
Consensus in last night's debate is summed up in this headline on Bloomberg News:
Bush Fails to Stem Kerry Momentum in Second Debate, Polls Show

On October 10, 2004, we get this from Hoffmania:
Y'know - this is fine for judging talkshow hosts, baseball players and sizing up real potential friends. But call me nuts - I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to have a beer with my president. I want them brighter than me, smarter than me, classier than me.

Oh, yeah. I also want my president to be more sober than me. I'm just crazy that way.

Why is this still a valid question in the eyes of the press?

How about this tidbit from the Washington Post on 10/10/2004?
For Marines, a Frustrating Fight
Some in Iraq Question How and Why War Is Being Waged
By Steve Fainaru
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 10, 2004; Page A01

ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq -- Scrawled on the helmet of Lance Cpl. Carlos Perez are the letters FDNY. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, the Pentagon and western Pennsylvania, Perez quit school, left his job as a firefighter in Long Island, N.Y., and joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

"To be honest, I just wanted to take revenge," said Perez, 20.

Now, two months into a seven-month combat tour in Iraq, Perez said he sees little connection between the events of Sept. 11 and the war he is fighting. Instead, he said, he is increasingly disillusioned by a conflict whose origins remain unclear and frustrated by the timidity of U.S. forces against a mostly faceless enemy.

"Sometimes I see no reason why we're here," Perez said. "First of all, you cannot engage as many times as we want to. Second of all, we're looking for an enemy that's not there. The only way to do it is go house to house until we get out of here."

Perez is hardly alone. In a dozen interviews, Marines from a platoon known as the "81s" expressed in blunt terms their frustrations with the way the war is being conducted and, in some cases, doubts about why it is being waged. The platoon, named for the size in millimeters of its mortar rounds, is part of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment based in Iskandariyah, 30 miles southwest of Baghdad.

More on debating and campaigning, this time a Daily Kos diary from DemFromCT:
Well, there's the new confidence amongst Dems that Kerry is moving up. You can see it in the way Friday's debate and this week's campaign is framed. As noted before, Kerry thinks it's October and is running to the middle and going after weak Bush and undecided swing voters while Bush is still, after all these months, shoring up his base and trying to make the election about Kerry, not about him. Kerry goes positive, in other words, while Bush goes negative.

This article by John Edwards was in the Windy City Times:
It was almost six years ago that we learned the name Matthew Shepherd. We might someday have learned about how this bright, kind and compassionate man contributed to our country. But we learned Matthew Shepard’s name because of the terrible way he was killed on Oct. 12, 1998.

We still remember the fence where Matthew died. His brutal murder opened our country’s eyes to the hatred and violence that many gays and lesbians endure. Yet here we are, almost six years later, with a president who refuses to support legislation barring hate crimes based on sexual orientation.

According to the FBI, crimes committed in 2002 due to bias based on sexual orientation represent 1 in 6 of reported hate-crime incidents. There were more than 1,200 incidents and 1500 victims in 2002 alone.

John Kerry and I want an America that is stronger at home and more respected in the world. We know we cannot achieve that goal until we recognize that all Americans, including gays and lesbians, are part of the fabric of America’s family. And when it comes to family, we must protect each other. We must recognize that crimes against people because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation have no place in America.

That is why John Kerry and I firmly support the bipartisan legislation that will add new protections against hate crimes motivated by the real or perceived sexual orientation of the victim. George Bush has said that this kind of legislation amounts to “special rights.” But there’s nothing special about the right to be free from hateful violence.

In America, people ought to be able to take that right for granted.

Of the Bush campaign Lambert wrote this:
Truth isn't even relevant to these guys. They just make shit up, throw it, and if it sticks, so much the better.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little tour into the not-so-distant past. The resemblance of the McSame campaign to the Bush campaign should remind us how mavericky John McCain is NOT. The confidence over Kerry's debate performance versus an angry Bush should give us pause. Especially since various counties in the United States still use electronic voting machines that can be hacked and maniulated.

Never give up. Never give in.
--the BB

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sauce for the goose

Terrorist associations:

h/t to Hoffmania and the Jed Report
--the BB

A political fundraiser in San Diego

I saw a "Veterans for McCain" sign while driving through Corrales, NM, last weekend. While Corrales is definitely Republican turf, I still just don't get it. Dems are much better at supporting vets than Goopers. We're not the ones who wanted to cut combat pay, slashed budgets for vets, opposed better body armor, and sent troops in without adequate uparmored vehicles and sufficient bullets. Dems are the ones who pushed for the new GI Bill. McCain postures as a vet (and don't forget, a POW) but veterans give him a very low score for his alleged support.

Nice to see VoteVets speaking up:

--the BB

Senza parole

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Yesterday early evening

Or late afternoon, as you prefer.

While walking to the car park I looked up at the glorious sky. I wish this photo could capture how radiant it looked.

New Orleans early evening sky, October 2008

The Orpheum Theater, New Orleans

--the BB

Just a little re-run in cased you'd missed it

h/t to Watertiger at Dependable Renegade for reminding me about this one.
--the BB

Put down your smelling salts, asshats.

About the whole Ayers thing:

"I don't remember ever hearing anyone raise concerns or questions or concerns about [Ayers'] background," says Anne Hallett, who has worked closely with Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge grant and with Obama on education and other community and legislative matters. "And that included everybody I was engaged with," including prominent Republicans, and corporate and civic leaders in Chicago, Hallett adds.
Oh, really?! So not only was Obama working on a Republican funded initiative, but prominent Republicans were involved on the board with Ayers. Do they all hate America so much that they are "palling" around with terrorist? He had been in their midst for years, why did not the republican's run him out of town.

It's the usual faux scandal with hypocrites going "Oh my, " and "Tsk," and reaching for the salts.

See JustForTheRecord's post on this here.
--the BB

Shall we talk about domestic terrorism?

h/t Joe Sudbay

--the BB


Happy from now on
are those who die in the Lord!
So it is, says the Spirit,
for they rest from their labors.

Latest Coalition Fatalities

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Sgt. William P. Rudd, 27, of Madisonville, Ky., died Oct. 5 of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire while on a combat patrol in Mosul, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.

10/07/08 MNF:
MND-Soldiers attacked in Mosul
A Multi-National Division - North Soldier died of wounds sustained from a small-arms fire attack in Mosul, Oct. 7...The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Pfc. Tavarus D. Setzler, 23, of Jacksonville, Fla., died Oct. 2 of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Majar al Kabir, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2d Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team...


Monday, October 06, 2008


10/06/08 :
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Spc. Jason E. von Zerneck, 33, of Charlotte, N.C., died on Oct. 2 of injuries sustained from a vehicle incident in Qara Bagh Karez, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2d Squadron, 101st Cavalry, Jamestown, N.Y.Regiment...

Eternal Lord God, you hold all souls in life: Give to your whole Church in paradise and on earth your light and your peace; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served you here and are now at rest, may at the last enter with them into your unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

There are reasons why we oppose torture. Here's one.

From Juan Cole:
One of the reasons the US military prefers to follow the Geneva Conventions, which forbid torture, is that when America tortures it encourages its enemies who capture GIs to torture them. It is therefore sad to know that Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld ordered that prisoners be tortured and that "the parents of Spc. Byron Wayne Fouty believe he was tortured by his captors . . ." Fouty was from Texas.
Godde have mercy upon him.

And deliver us from all butchers who yield up their humanity to torture, including and especially our own in the White House.

--the BB

Noonan nails it

h/t to Granny Doc from whom I also took the headline.
--the BB

So, the ambitious twit wants to run with the big dogs?

Just sayin'.

Granted, I believe Governor Palin was not a member of record of the AIP. But her husband, First Dude Todd, was until she ran for governor.

Think about it.

Country first? Hardly.

Alaska first. Her opening comments after McCain picked her echoed that.

But the reality, based on her executive style, is that it is always Sarah first.

I know one needs ambition to be a politician. I like to hear more about the People though.

h/t to Al Rodgers
--the BB

More architectural details

The Cotton Exchange, New Orleans

I really wanted a wide enough lens to capture the inscription.

Window treatment of the Cotton Exchange

Alas one does not quite get the detail of the copper trim at the roofline

Back when windows had presence

Scrollwork, New Orleans Cotton Exchange

Many downtown businesses in New Orleans are still boarded up after Katrina

A final shot of brick, stone, and romanesque windows

I have not completely stopped taking pictures like this. It's just that I have already photographed most of my immediate work environment and because of carpooling I don't take the leisurely lunches I would prefer.


--the BB

So, what was the Keating Five scandal all about? What was John McCain's role in it?

You can hear the story here (13 minutes 26 seconds):

Unless you are a free-market fundamentalist, in which case nothing will challenge your devotion to an unregulated kleptocracy, you should find this directly relevant to the recent financial milieu which has allowed unbridled greed and manipulation to lead us into the current economic shitpile.

Obama was 8 when Ayers was practicing domestic terrorism. I highly doubt he had, at that point, even heard of the Weather Underground. I am unaware of Obama ever advocating terrorism.

McCain was in his 50s when this was going on. I highly doubt that he can claim naivete in the Keating affair, though he may well plead close friendship. It is a matter of record that McCain has, on numerous occasions and rather consistently, advocated deregulation.

McCain has regretted his involvement in this.
I made the worst mistake of my life by attending two meetings, the first with the chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the government agency charged with regulating the practices of the nation’s savings and loans, and a week later with four bank examiners based in San Francisco who were at that time investigating the investment and lending practices of Lincoln Savings and Loan of Irvine, California, owned by my good friend and generous supporter Charles Keating.

Even last year he was saying, "I was judged eventually, after three years, of using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment."

My own opinion is that allowing the robber barons of a century ago or today to run loose and savage the populace is to tolerate, excuse, and even promote financial terrorism. The American People is now feeling a sort of fear for the future that might be termed "economic terror."

The McCain-Palin campaign wants to discuss associations. Let's start with this one.

Visit Keating Economics: John McCain and the making of a financial crisis.

You can also read commentary by John Dougherty here. An excerpt:
Black, now an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that McCain’s long-standing opposition to regulation of the financial markets and his support for relaxed accounting standards that allow institutions to mask losses makes him unqualified to handle the financial crisis that threatens an economic Armageddon for the country.
[Emphasis mine, as usual]

h/t to BarbinMD.
--the BB

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A different journey

I have found my mind increasingly wandering into the world of my fantasy fiction. The stories are drawing me back.

While it is much harder to write while "in exile" - all the material is on the laptop but I don't have hard copies of the maps and genealogies and timelines - I think I need to return to revising the first book and working more on the sequels.

If this happens I will be more detached and certainly have less time to blog and read blogs. I will keep y'all posted so you don't worry about me if I happen to be in another realm. (Do I have to spell out how tempting it is during an election year when one is far from home?)

This afternoon while in the Houston airport I read several chapters and made some minor revisions. It's begun.

--the BB

Travel days

Eddie checks out the airplanes
during his layover in Houston
on the way home for some green chile

Dillinger and Eddie in the Albuquerque Sunport
awaiting departure for Houston
en route to New Orleans

What's the fun of romping about New Orleans without someone to share it with? So Dillinger has joined Eddie for the current round. Dillinger is my killer 'diller and he originally came from Austin, Texas. Heaven only knows what trouble these lads will get into. I know they won't tell me everything (they have the same attorney as their sisters, Maggie and Belle).
--the BB

Compare and contrast

Two US embassies were bombed on August 7, 1998, by Al Qaeda. (story)

Told of these criticisms, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, branded them "preposterous," and noted that Osama bin Laden, suspected of bankrolling the installations that were bombed, "is one bad mother."

Washington Post, August 21, 1998

Mother Jones: You not only have had combat experience in Vietnam, but you were also a prisoner of war. When you look at terrorism right now, with people like Osama bin Laden, do you have any reservations about watching strikes like that?

John McCain: You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before. And where there is a parallel with Vietnam is: What's plan B? What do we do next? We sent our troops into Vietnam to protect the bases. Lyndon Johnson said, Only to protect the bases. Next thing you know.... Well, we've declared to the terrorists that we're going to strike them wherever they live. That's fine. But what's next? That's where there might be some comparison.

Mother Jones, November/December 1998 issue
[Emphasis mine]

What can I say? John was 5th from the bottom of his class; he's slow on the uptake.
--the BB

I have said on more than one occasion....

... that they are evil enough to do it.

Things are not going well for the GOP right now. Does this mean we are about two weeks away from attacking Iran? Cheney would do it in a heartbeat.

What can/will stop them?

Should it come to that I pray our generals would mutiny on moral grounds. But that's a pretty slim hope.

Whaddya think?
--the BB

Obama in Asheville, North Carolina

With just a month to go until election day, I know you’ve all been hearing a lot about politics out here in North Carolina. I know you’ve been seeing a lot of ads, and getting a lot of calls, and reading a lot about this election in the newspaper.

But none of you need the papers, or ads on TV, or folks like me to tell you what this election is all about. You know what’s at stake. You’re living it.

Here in Asheville, and across America, you’ve seen your incomes go down as the price of just about everything has gone way up. It’s harder to pay the bills. Harder to send your kids to college. Harder to save enough to retire.

And on Friday, we learned that we’d lost another 159,000 American jobs in September. It was the ninth straight month of job losses – more than three quarters of a million this year, including 24,000 here in North Carolina. And it came just as we finished a week in which our financial markets teetered on the brink of disaster.

Yet instead of addressing these crises, Senator McCain’s campaign has announced that they plan to turn the page on the discussion about our economy and spend the final weeks of this campaign launching Swiftboat-style attacks on me.

Think about that for a second. Turn the page on the economy? We’re facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and John McCain wants us to "turn the page?" Well, I know the policies he’s supported these past eight years and wants to continue are pretty hard to defend. I can understand why Senator McCain would want to "turn the page" and ignore this economy.

But I also know this:

You’re trying to pay your bills every week and stay above the water – you can’t ignore it.

You’re worrying about whether your job will be there a month from now – you can’t ignore it.

You’re worrying about whether you can pay your mortgage and stay in your house – you can’t turn the page.

In 30 days you are going to elect the next president, and you need and deserve a president who is going to wake up every day and fight for you, and fight for the middle class, and fight to create jobs and grow our economy again -- not another president who doesn’t get it. Not another President who ignores our problems. Not more of the same.

Senator McCain and his operatives are gambling that he can distract you with smears rather than talk to you about substance. They’d rather try to tear our campaign down than lift this country up. It’s what you do when you’re out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.

I want you to know that I’m going to keep on talking about the issues that matter – about the economy and health care and education and energy. I’m going to keep on standing up for hard working families. We’re not going to let John McCain distract us from what we need to do to move this country forward.

Because November 4th, you and I are going to turn the page on the disastrous economic policies of George W. Bush and John McCain.
--Senator Barack Obama

Shall we talk about associations? -updated with video (2x)

The Ambitious Twit is trying to stir things up. How very mavericky of her! [OMG, spell check recognized mavericky. What is this society coming to? Don't answer that.]

So Governor Palin wants to play up the acquaintanceship of Senator Obama and a former member of the Weather Underground - something that was discussed earlier in the campaign and found to be smoke without any real fire. [They have served on charity boards together and Ayers had a fundraiser that benefited Obama though Ayers' violent activities took place when Obama was 8 and Obama has denounced the Weather Underground and any similar terrorist groups.]

Alaska Governor Palin has defended the remarks, which she made several times, saying it was "fair to talk about".


Mrs Palin has defended her comments, saying they were "about an association that has been known but hasn't been talked about".
--the BBC
Well, Governor, since you insist, may we note that Senator McCain's association with Charles Keating has been known but has not, of late, been talked about very much? Shall we engage in some vigorous exploration and discussion there, looking, perhaps, for clues to the early days of deregulation and timorous (or non-existent) oversight that helped lead to our current financial crisis? The ties between the Keating and McCain families were far closer than any association Obama has had with Ayers. And, arguably, of significant consequence for the American economy.

Shall we spend a lot more time discussing Governor Palin's association with the Alaska Independent Party? You know, the successionist group that believes Alaska should not be part of the United States. The group whose founder once said:
The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government...and I won't be buried under their damn flag...

I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions.

Governor Palin has palled around with this group and her husband (the First Dude) has been a member of AIP from 1995 to 2002.

Shall we discuss McCain's association with G. Gordon Liddy, a true maverick and criminal to boot who has hatched, though not carried out, plots for murder, kidnapping, and firebombing? Nice guy there. Does McCain agree with Liddy's harebrained schemes of former days?

We don't even need to go into Palin's association with a witch-hunting anti-semitic preacher do we?

Guilt by association is a very old game. If that is how she wants to play there is plenty of shit to fling but must we revert to the antics of monkeys in a presidential campaign?

And why the bloody hell can't you stick to policies and records of actions instead of pulling this nonsense?

Because you don't really want to face the embarrassment of the policies and actions that have gotten us into this mess and from which you cannot, no matter how many times you say "maverick," dissociate yourselves?

Let's face it, McCain and Palin have nothing to go on. So they're flinging shit. And a lot more of it will fly before election day.


Perhaps the GOP should switch its symbol to a simian.

See McCain's own words in the video below.

h/t to BarbinMD from whom I took these points and links

Paul Begala and Tom Brokaw discuss the issue

Update 2:

Here is a video of the CNN Truth Squad debunking Palin's claim:

h/t to Billary Redux
--the BB