Monday, May 31, 2004

Let's Take a Trip

Perhaps we should take a trip down memory lane. This could be fun! Let's go!

August 26, 2002


Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

--Vice President Dick Cheney, Remarks at VFW 103rd National Convention

Septemeber 12, 2002


Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

[...]

The Iraqi regime possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.

[...]

We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that would be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas. We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using the UAVs for missions targeting the United States.

[...]

The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his 'nuclear mujahideen' -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past.

--President Bush, Remarks to the UN General Assembly

October 7, 2002


It possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.

--President Bush, Remarks in Cincinnati, Ohio

December 2, 2002


If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

--White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Press Briefing

January 9, 2003


We know for a fact there are weapons there.

--White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Press Briefing

January 28, 2003


Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of Sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

--President Bush, in his State of the Union

February 5, 2003


We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

--Secretary of State Colin Powell, Address to the UN Security Council

February 8, 2003


We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

--President Bush, in his Weekly Radio Address

March 17, 2003


Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

--President Bush, Address to the Nation

March 21, 2003


Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly.

--White House spokesman Ari Fleicher, Press Briefing

March 22, 2003


There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

--General Tommy Franks

March 23, 2003


I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

--Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board

March 30, 2003


We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.

--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

April 10, 2003


We did not want this way. But in refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam gave us no choice but to act.

--British Prime Minister Tony Blair

April 13, 2003


I have absolute confidence that there are weapons of mass destruction inside this country.

--General Tommy Franks

May 3, 2003


We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.

--President Bush, Remarks by the President and PM of Australia

May 4, 2003


I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

May 12, 2003


US officials never expected that we were going to open garages and find weapons of mass destruction.

--National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

May 27, 2003


They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.

--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

July 17, 2003


We based our decisions on good sound intelligence, and the -- our people are going to find out the truth. And the truth will say that this intelligence was good intelligence. There's no doubt in my mind.

--President Bush, Press Conference with President and PM Tony Blair

January 25, 2004


I don't think [Iraqi weapons of mass destruction] exist.

--David Kay, former Chief U.S. Arms Investigator in Iraq

February 3, 2004


With respect to stockpiles, we were wrong, terribly wrong.

--Secretary of State Colin Powell

This is why we went to war?


Reason #99

Friday, October 3, 2003
White House Proclamation


We must support the institution of marriage and help parents build stronger families. And we must continue our work to create a compassionate, welcoming society, where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

During Marriage Protection Week, I call on all Americans to join me in expressing support for the institution of marriage with all its benefits to our people, our culture, and our society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of October 12 through October 18, 2003, as Marriage Protection Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

Is it possible for anyone to talk out of both sides of his mouth? Sure can! Lookie here. President George W. Bush, ladies and gentlemen.

"We must continue our work to create a compassionate, welcoming society, where all people" (as long as you're white, straight, upper-class, and from Texas or thereabout) "are treated with dignity and respect." AND Let's write discrimination into the Constitution for the first time in it's 200+ year history! I support marriage of all types, as long as it's white on white with two sexes.

Reason #100

Saturday, October 11, 2003
Washington Post


The Bush administration is proposing far-reaching changes to conservation policies that would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries.

Giving Americans access to endangered animals, officials said, would feed the gigantic U.S. demand for live animals, skins, parts and trophies, and generate profits that would allow poor nations to pay for conservation of the remaining animals and their habitat.

Yay! Killing endangered species in order to make money to protect them! Almost sounds like a good idea. It's like killing for peace.

And thank goodness someone's looking out for "hunters, circuses and the pet industry" who make up the "demand for live animals, skins, parts and trophies"! I always wanted a piano with ivory keys. Real ivory, not that fake, non-poached crap. I want nothing but the real thing.

Reasons Not to Reelect Bush

From now until the election in November, I will occassionly give darn good reasons why President George W. Bush should not be reelected. I will start with Reason #100 and work my way up, in no particular order. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find 100 reasons without too much of a problem. Do enjoy and check back often for these special posts and regular ones too!

Why Ann, Why?

Ann Coulter, the right's pretty pony, is at it again.


Now liberals are using their control of the media to persuade the public that we are losing the war in Iraq. Communist dictators may have been ruthless murderers bent on world domination, but they displayed a certain degree of rationality.

[...]

And yet the constant drumbeat of failure, quagmire, Abu Ghraib, Bush-lied-kids-died has been so successful that merely to say the war in Iraq is going well provokes laughter.

The first part is laughable and not even worth my time. A liberal bias in the news? Whatever. Anything network that isn't a lapdog of the right is, of course, liberal.

With regards to the second part, since when did this war become a game between the right and the left? "Bush-lied-kids-died" Oh, hahaha. I get it, it's funny! No it's not. Americans are dying. Innocent (among the guilty) Iraqis are dying. And it becomes more and more apparent each and every single day that there was no need for this war to begin with. But the drumbeat of negativity is what's causing this dramatic downshift in Bush's approval rating. Of course.

His numbers aren't falling because Bush didn't have a plan of attack (or occupation) in Iraq and sent men and women to die for a personal vendetta. It's that damned liberal bias that's bringing us down.

It's not like Bush wanted to bomb Saddam, God made him do it.

It's not Bush's fault that we got into Iraq and no weapons of mass destruction were found! Those damn intelligence agencies misinformed him!

It's not Bush's fault that prisoners at Abu Ghraib were being tortured, Rummy never told him.

Whatever! In fact, whatever happened to the Republican ideal of personal responsibility? Whatever happened to bringing honor back to the White House? What a bunch of bull hockey.

Saddam's Gun

The gun that Saddam clutched in his hands as he was being pulled out of his hideout hole is now in the possession of our fearless leader, George W. Bush. The story can be found here, but this isn't the best of the news.

It's kind of a fun point to make, but interesting, nonetheless.

Did Bush get a background check in the District of Columbia for the transfer of ownership of said firearm?


Federal law generally requires that licensed firearms dealers conduct a background check on all prospective firearms purchasers to ensure that such persons are not prohibited from buying or possessing a firearm. This background check requirement and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) were enacted through the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, pursuant to Public Law 103-159, and codified at 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq. Federal law defines a number of classes of prohibited purchasers (including felons, fugitives, persons adjudicated as “mental defectives” or those committed to mental institutions), and leaves to the states the power to determine additional classes.

Did Bush get a special license to possess a firearm in a federal facility?


(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

Or what about the District of Columbia law prohibiting firearms being given as gifts?


Private firearms and ammunition transfers (i.e., transfers by non-firearms dealers) in the District of Columbia can only be made to licensed dealers. D.C. Code § 7-2505.01 and 7-2505.02(a). Such transfers can be initiated only by persons who are eligible to register a firearm, and may not include unregisterable firearms. Section 7-2505.02(a) and see District of Columbia Regulations section. The District also prohibits the use of firearms and/or ammunition as security for a mortgage, deposit or pledge, and prohibits loaning, borrowing, giving, or renting a firearm or ammunition to or from another person. Section 7-2507.01(a) and (b).

And how.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Susan B.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

--Susan B. Anthony


Savage, again.

On the May 24 broadcast of Savage Nation, nationally syndicated right-wing radio host Michael Savage went on a tirade on topics ranging from same-sex weddings to the Patriot Act, yelling on the air statements such as "90% of the American people find [the marriage of same-sex couples] repugnant! And sickening! And disgusting!" and "And all you talk about is the Patriot Act? Then you're insane! You're insane. And you have destroyed this country by buying into that big Left lie."

Recent polling is inconsistent with Savage's claims about the American public's view of same-sex marriage. According to a February 2004 Newsweek poll, 56 percent of Americans either oppose a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage or support full marriage rights for same-sex couples. A May 2-4 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that "49% of Americans favor and 48% oppose 'a law that would allow homosexual couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of married couples.'"

From the May 24 broadcast of Savage Nation:


But the question is what's good enough for you? You wanna live in a country like this? Where a gang of liberal judges hijack any law they don't like? And hold you hostage to it? They make homosexual wedding the law of the land, when 90% of the American people find it repugnant! And sickening! And disgusting! And don't wanna accept it! And don't wanna live in a degenerate nation!

You call that a rational Nation? When a small gang of judges impose their despicable agenda on you, day and night? That's a rational Nation? That's a democracy? When a small gang of people who own the media can impose their propaganda on your head, day and night? When a small gang in the media can take Arab propaganda and run it over the U.S. Military, day and night? When a small gang in the media, and a small gang in the courts, have hijacked this country? You call that a democracy? And all you talk about is the Patriot Act? Then you're insane! You're insane. And you have destroyed this country by buying into that big Left lie.

That big Left lie, we're fighting a war on terror. Radical Islam wants to cut your throat. Radical Islam has said it wants to cut your throat. Radical Islam blew up two buildings in New York, and killed 3,000 citizens! Radical Islam blew up the World Trade -- excuse me, the Pentagon as well. And you're fighting the President, who's trying to fight them! You're insane, because you bought into the Left wing lie. You bought into the Left wing lie.

No, I think what's insane is that I actually listened to this broadcast the whole way through. Oy.

Fox News

Appearing on the May 25 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes to describe a trip to Iraq in February 2003 (shortly before the war began) that transformed him from an opponent to a supporter of the war, Assyrian Reverend Ken Joseph called for "a day of prayer to pray for Iraq" before the crucial handover of sovereignty -- only to be interrupted by the show's co-host, Sean Hannity.

From the May 25 edition of Hannity & Colmes:


JOSEPH: Well, we're asking people this Sunday, is the 30th, one month before the handover. We're just asking people to set aside a day of prayer to pray for Iraq, that somehow this handover will...

HANNITY: Can we pray for the reelection of George Bush?

JOSEPH: And then also pray -- pray for the Christians.

Hey, Fox News reports and you decide, remember? No right-leaning bias here. Can you see any?


God Made Me Do It

Well isn't this strange? According to Haaretz (which is, by the way, Israel's most reputable newspaper), President Bush proclaimed in a high-level cabinet meeting that God told him to attack Iraq. Don't believe me? Go to this link and look at the last paragraph, which reads


According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

Very strange.

One interesting tidbit about the people who were given missions to accomplish from God in the Bible: they all were hesitant at first. Jonah (from the Whale tale), after getting his instructions to go to Ninevah, got on a boat... and sailed in the opposite direction! Moses used modesty to get out of his path with God by saying that he wasn't good enough. But Bush wasn't hesitant. He went all out. God told him to strike al Qaeda. God told him to strike Iraq and Saddam. What's next? What else did God tell him? Do we have more in store? Did God tell him when al Qaeda's going to strike the United States again? It freaks me out to many degrees to hear Bush speak this way.

Why did God tell Bush to strike Saddam and not the pope, who was utterly opposed to the war in Iraq? Why didn't God tell the leaders of other countries that they should also strike Saddam? It just doesn't make any sense.

It doesn't make any sense, I tell ya. God didn't tell Bush to bomb the guy his father didn't depose back when, which added to the reasons why his father didn't get reelected. Bush bombed Iraq because Bush wanted to. Killing thousands of Iraqis and sending American men and women into harms way just because is Bush's legacy. He's not answering to a higher power. But he doesn't see anything wrong with hiding behind one.

Bikers Rev in Washington

I almost feel bad for this, but I couldn't help but giggle like a little school girl when I saw the picture of President Bush shaking hands with big, intimidating bikers in front of the White House. The bikers, part of the group Rolling Thunder, rolled into Washington to meet with Bush and solidify their endorsement of him in his reelection drive this year. To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of this group before, nor did I realize that


Rolling Thunder is an organization that seeks to create awareness of POW/MIA issues and promotes increased veterans' benefits. It has 70 chapters and over 7,000 members throughout the United States and abroad.

But this disturbs me, nonetheless. Here's a group, no matter what connotations you may have when you hear the word biker, that actively pursues legal and political avenues to further the Veteran-rights cause. So what are they doing endorsing Bush? He told a rally via videophone after the meeting


"In the Oval Office, I looked you in the eye as you told me of your relentless pursuit of finding out the plight of many of our POW/MIAs, and I appreciated so much your concern, your care and your persistence."

Whatever! According to the AP


"It's pretty audacious of the president to brag about looking the leaders of Rolling Thunder in the eye considering that his most recent veterans initiative is a secret plan to cut almost $1 billion from the Veterans Affairs," Kerry spokesman Phil Singer said.

The administration, according to White House documents, has told officials who oversee veterans programs to prepare preliminary 2006 budgets that would cut spending after the presidential election. The documents show spending for the Veterans Affairs Department would fall 3.4 percent from $29.7 billion in 2005 to $28.7 billion.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you would call hypocrisy.

Mother of a Gay Son

I highly suggest that everyone reads this letter in its entirety. It's beautiful.

Letter to the Editor
by Sharon Underwood, Sunday, April 30, 2000
from the Valley News (White River Junction, VT/Hanover, NH)

As the mother of a gay son, I've seen firsthand how cruel and misguided people can be.

Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from you good people.

I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda "could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What ever happened to the idea of striving...to be better human beings than we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Stockpiles

Every so often I'll read a blog with a conservative slant just to see what kind of lunacies the other side is thinking these days. So imagine my surprise when the people who bring us the not-so reknowned Power Line blog and saw that the writers are actually lying to their readers! Shocked, I was.

In his post, John H. Hinderaker ("Hindrocket") claims that the New York times actually put words into Bush's (et al) mouth when talking about stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He claims that


Actually, neither President Bush nor his aides ever said anything about "stockpiles" in describing the Iraqi weapons threat. The Times just made that part up. Here, for example, is President Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, where he gave his fullest description of the WMD threat. No reference to stockpiles. As we noted last January, President Bush's recitation was a precisely correct summary of the U.N. inspectors' reports: Iraq possessed materials from which a considerable quantity of illegal weapons could be produced, and it never accounted for the whereabouts of those materials.

In fact, Hinderaker even links to the State of the Union address, which indeed does not have a single mention of stockpiles of anything, and uses this fact to further his claim.

How silly do these people, especially Mr. Hinderaker, think we are? Of course, how many people who read Power Line are going to check up on the facts presented to them? I hope I have more intelligent readers and ones who will check up on my writing with the links I so graciously present with most posts when available.

So did Bush and his people ever really say that Iraq had stockpiles of anything, or was the New York Times making the whole thing up? Let's take a look down memory lane, shall we? And please do check out my links. They are all taken from the White House's official website.


United Nations' inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

--President Bush, remarks at the United Nations General Assembly, September 12, 2002

For the sake of your children's future, we must make sure this madman never has the capacity to hurt us with a nuclear weapon, or to use the stockpiles of anthrax that we know he has, or V-X, the biological weapons which he possesses.

--President Bush, remarks at Bob Beauprez for Congress Luncheon, The Adams Mark Hotel, Denver, Colorado, September 27, 2002

In defiance of pledges to the United Nations, Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons.
--President Bush, Radio Address, October 5, 2002

The inspectors concluded that Iraq likely produced two to four times that amount. That's a massive stockpile, and it's never been accounted for and it's capable of killing millions.

--Ari Fleischer, excerpts from the Press Briefing, January 15, 2003

Iraq has also failed to provide United Nations inspectors with documentation of its claim to have destroyed its VX stockpiles.

--Dr. Condoleezza Rice, "Why We Know Iraq is Lying," a column in the New York Times, January 23, 2003

Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents....

Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.


--U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, address to the U.N. Security Council, February 5, 2003

United Nations' inspections revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

--pre-war "fact sheet"

The outlaw Iraqi regime's chemical and biological weapons stockpiles, its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and its ties to global terrorists are a threat to the US, our allies and friends and to the Iraqi people.

--"Global Message", February 18, 2003

This is a small point to make, but I believe emphasizes the fact that the majority (or is it a vocal minority) of the Right believe that the only way to keep their supporters is to lie about anything, including things of public record. Especially when evidence of those lies can be found on their own website!

Is this High School?

Light-hearted post right now. It seems as though I've been in a light-hearted mood with the previous posts today. Oh well. We all need a little laughter in our lives from time to time.

Let us now look at our Commander in Chief as he reminds Americans what it was like to be in the boys' locker room after football practice. Enjoy.















President Bush, I salute you!



Axis of Eve

For you ladies who want to take your political dissention to the bedroom, or even to the streets, or even for you men who enjoy women's panties: I give you Axis of Eve.

Porners for Kerry

I just thought this was too interesting and too funny to pass up.

Strip club owners are putting a little bada-bing in the presidential campaign by asking patrons to turn their eyes away from the stage for a moment to fill out a voter registration form — and then vote against President Bush.

"It's not to say our industry loves John Kerry or anything like that," said Dave Manack, associate publisher of E.D. Publications, which publishes Exotic Dancer magazine. "But George Bush, if he's re-elected, it could be very damaging to our industry."

Friday, May 28, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

A Justified War

Is there a war that could possibly be justified? Well, sure. World War I & II -- they seem pretty justified. The Afghanistan "War"? Well, maybe. It was a long stretch, but the world did heave a collective sigh when the Taliban (a completely destructive and restrictive group of the fringe Muslim persuasion) was thrown out of the government and banished to the far reaches of... well, Pakistan. But more than naught, the reason for the invasion was only because the United States was attacked first.

What about the war in Iraq? Was this a justified military action on the part of the United States? As a Democrat and, more importantly, a liberal, this question is a tough one. Should the human race take one second to recoup while someone, anyone, in this world is suffering at the hand of a ruthless dictator? Of course not. As a civilized (and I use this word very loosely) world, we should put aside religions and countries and come together to combat hunger, poverty, AIDS, torture. But of course this does not happen. Take China, Iran (though they seem to be getting better), North Korea... please.

But seriously, these are three countries that have shown time and time again that the value of human life is almost nil. True, China has a population of over one billion and that's about nine-hundred million more than they can effectively feed, but forced state-sponsered abortion is not the way a liberated society acts. Iran and North Korea aren't much better, and these are only the countries we hear about more often in the news. Who ever hears of the plights of the Hondorans or the Somalians or the Chechens until the employees of the American Embassy are being evacuated?

American foreign policy has been a joke, if you think about it. We only help you if you can help us or if our interests are directly in peril. As a general practice, the cost of human life (human life as described as a human outside of the United States) is pretty worthless. And this saddens me. It saddens a lot of people.

The United States, land of the free and home of the brave, is a living, breathing conundrum. The current administration (among others, so I'm not exactly Bush-bashing) worries more about stopping women from having abortions than it does about making the already-livings' lives worthwhile. The philosophy of Republicans seems to be one that forbids a woman from having an abortion and also forbids the federal governement from aiding her once she has this unwanted child.

In the eyes of conservatives, the role of the federal government should be limited. So infinitely tiny that it fits just so snuggly inside the bedroom of its citizens. You can regulate who I love, who I have sex with, or what I do or don't do with my body, but don't you dare try to tell me what I can or cannot do with this concealed weapon I have in my side pocket.

Yes, abortion is awful. Yes, no child should ever be deemed "unwanted". But we do not live in a world of absolutes. We do, however, live in a world where women are raped and impregnated and do not want to carry the resulting baby to full-term. We live in a world where complications arise during pregnancy that can endanger the life of the mother and the mother has no option but to carry out the pregnancy. Where's the logic in that? Does a woman lack a certain cognitive skill that would allow her to choose saving her life over that of her unborn child?

And also, as one of my friends likes to point out, the ultimate Republican Pro-Life Disabling tactic: What if the fetus turns out to be gay?

Where's the compassion for the child when he is forceably-born? In fact, where is the compassion for any American once they are born? Unless a federal assistance program is run by a religious-affiliated (read: Christian) group, its use is deemed too liberal and too costly for the likes of the federal government. But why? Why shouldn't the federal government take a more active role in the bettering of its citizens? Major corporations have known for years that happy people make happy employees. And aren't we all a sort-of employee of the government?

Who wants a country full of lousy, depressed, uneducated, obese people? Why not pay for college educations (or at least give tax-breaks for those paying for college educations)? Why not put more money into programs that give nutritious food to pregnant mothers and their children? The role of the federal government (or state, or local) should not only be to protect. But as the police advertise so sleekly on their squad cars, they should also serve. We, not only the government but everyone, should take care of our own.

Own does not imply fellow Christians or fellow Jews or fellow Muslims or fellow Southerners or fellow Americans. Our own is our race -- the human race.

So, finally back to my original question, was the war in Iraq justified?

Although I had mixed feelings at first, I am now steadfast in my answer of no. Did we liberate millions of humans from a monster? Yes. But did we do it for the right reasons? No.

America saw a country that needed to be liberated and it sent our own people into harm's way to do just that. But we did it, or so Bush and his lackeys would have us believe, because Iraq posed an imminent threat to the lives and safety of Americans living not abroad, but right here on the mainland. Our case for war was so full of holes and so stretched thin that many countries, many we had considered our allies just a month before, that they just plain didn't believe us. The Bush administration took unprecedented world support and an unprecedented approval rating and crashed it into the ground in only a few quick months. Today, the Bush approval rating is a dismal 41% and falling. World support is expectedly even lower.

If this war was justified, wouldn't there have been more of a rally behind us in our effort to depose Saddam and do good in the name of humanity? Not in all cases, but surely in this one. There are unpopular stands we can take in the name of humanity, but this surely would not have been one of them.

We live in the 21st century. The century looked at, at least by me, to be the one where humanity comes to value every life. The United States isn't in Iraq for this purpose. In fact, I don't even know the real purpose we're over there.

Are we there because Saddam mistreated his citizens? If so, is Iran next? North Korea? China?! The day the United States sends an army into China to liberate the people is the day I fall over in disbelief. We cannot afford to break from good relations with the Chinese government and yet it is one of the worst, humanitarian-unfriendly governments in the world.

I believe that if Bush would've came forward from the very beginning and said, "Lookit, I see pain and I see suffering in this country and I want to do something about it. I realize full-well that there isn't much I can do immediately because humanitarian work takes time. We'll give the people a good footing and then build them up and up, one generation at a time, until they look back at where they've been and cry in disbelief," that this country and the world would have rallied behind him because of his sincerity and his conviction for helping others.

But of course, was he talking about Iraq or could he have been talking about the US?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Death Penalty

The Associated Press is reporting that


The Supreme Court ruled for the first time Monday that a death row inmate can pursue a last-ditch claim that lethal injection is unconstitutionally cruel.

In a rare unanimous decision on a capital punishment case, justices sided with a convicted Alabama killer who claims his veins are so damaged from drug abuse that executioners might have to cut deeply into his flesh to administer the deadly drugs.

This surprises me on so many levels, actually.

First -- this was unanimous? Just, wow. I didn't think that the justices could agree on anything. I'm very happy, but wow.

Second -- the justices sided with a convicted Alabama killer whose veins are so damaged from drug abuse that his state-mandated death may be extremely painful and inhumane. Again, I'm very happy that the justices sided this way. But I would imagine that the conservative justices on the bench would have seen this as an ironic just-dessert type of situation. He killed someone and now he'll doubly pay.

Go US Supreme Court -- even Scalia.

Two year-old Terrorists



Does this look like a terrorist to you? Apparently it does to our military, which says that the site where this two-year-old was injured was "a safehouse for foreign fighters."

I am so tired of being lied to. I am so angry at a government that expects to get away with lying.


Approval Rating

Down into Daddy territory. The president's approval rating is down to 41%, according to a just released CBS News poll.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Big-Headed Neil

This isn't really newsworthy, but sad nonetheless. On the Neil Cavutto show, he had this to say about his fortunes:


Remember the other day I told you nerds rule? Now, proof, from no less than the president of the United States, that they're also very influential. You don't believe me? Look where I'm standing!

[. . .]

I just wish my old pals in high school could see me now: Neil the nerd, now Neil-the-invited-to-the-White-House nerd standing on the same hallowed ground as Fox super cool guys Wendell Goler, Jim Angle and James Rosen.

Take that football team captain. Take that all you cheerleaders who dismissed me as some freak of nature. Still a freak, but now a force of nature freak.

Just ask anyone. Just ask ... the president of the United States.

Gee. I wish the President of the United States George W. Bush would save me a seat at the popular table! There's no one in the world more popular than the President of the United States George W. Bush. And when he invites you to the White House, you know you're something, all right!

I'm so glad I have that certain something. What is it called? Oh yes. Self-esteem.

*****

As a side note, go to www.google.com and type in "miserable failure" and press the I'm Feeling Lucky button. Oh yeah. I love the internet.


War Crimes

According to the Observer, those American and British troops who are/will be implicated in the torture scandal will be immune from prosecution of war crimes in Iraq after the June 30 deadline.

Apparently, this is part of the deal brokered with the UN in order for the multinational body to lift embargo sanctions against Iraq.

Immunity without impunity.

King of Iraq

According to the Associated Press, Paul Bremer announced last week that "the United States would leave Iraq if requested to do so by the new Iraqi government." Said Bremer, "I don't think that will happen, but obviously we don't stay in countries where we're not welcome."

This, of course, makes no sense whatsoever. They've killed almost 800 of our soldiers in the last year or so, we've killed 10,000 or so of them. We've abused, mistreated, detained and ridiculed countless others. And 80 percent of Iraqis now "report holding a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of coalition forces."

But we "obviously don't stay in countries where we're not welcome."

Run Against Bush

I found this website this afternoon Run Against Bush.Org and I thought it would pretty cool for those of you who like to run or jog or bike or hike or just like advertising your political affiliation. And if you'd like to, I wouldn't mind receiving a free tshirt from one of you!

Revelations

In a Newsweek poll, a full 17% of Americans "believe that the end of the world will occur in their lifetime." That's 1.7 Americans in every ten. That's insane!

Of course, with Bush in the White House, this number is greatly higher than it used to be, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Perhaps a Fake?

This is just too interesting. From what I can gather, there is now great scepticism about whether the video showing the beheading of Nicholas Berg is even real or not. You totally have to check this out yourself and tell me what you think. This is some crazy shiznit.

One obvious question running through my mind: Is the U.S. government responsible for this mock-beheading in order to take the heat off the Abu Ghraib scandal?

More Abuse

THIS IS FROM AN article in the the British paper The Observer on Sunday. I don't really have time to comment on it, but I thought it was pretty important and needs to be read by everyone. Tell me what you think.


Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.

The disclosures, made in an interview with Tarek Dergoul, the fifth British prisoner freed last March, who has been too traumatised to speak until now, prompted demands last night by senior politicians on both sides of the Atlantic to make the videos available immediately.

They say that if the contents are as shocking as Dergoul claims, they will provide final proof that brutality against detainees has become an institutionalised feature of America's war on terror.

FCC Double Standard

I'm no fan of Howard Stern, although I've been known to watch an episode of his or two when it's on late at night on television. But the whole FCC half-a-million dollar crackdown on his show, only after he turned his back on Bush and started to speak against him on his broadcast, spoke volumes of the double-standard the FCC employs. Clear Channel, who owns many, many of the radio stations that play Stern, dropped him after he said that when he read Al Franken's new book, it changed his view of Bush and he will be voting against him and encouraging others to do the same. Clear Channel is a widely-known contributor to the Bush/Cheney re-election committee. So whatever!

But, in a humorous change of pace, the FCC has since received more than 1600 letters of complaint stemming from an Oprah Winfery show on teen sexuality. The show, which described and defined several sexual acts, originally aired March 16, and has since generated a lot of mock complaining. The letters that the FCC has received, and the Smoking Gun has uncovered due to the Freedom of Information Act, are intentionally funny and over-the-top, and most likely written by Stern fans, but speak to the absurdity of the double-standard the FCC uses when fining Stern for crude talk, but letting Oprah slip by when she discusses getting ones salad tossed, among other things.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Pittsburgh

During a recent roadtrip to Pittsburgh with a friend, I noted a plethora of totally awesome bumper stickers around the city and its suburbs.

"Regime Change Starts At Home," read one. Below it was a bumper sticker for John Kerry. "Left is Right and Right is Dead Wrong... Bitchass," exclaimed another. One other read, "Put the Pieces Together and See That BUSH LIED." As we drove past the cars, I'd give the drivers thumbs up or nod my head knowingly from the passenger seat. Now that I think about it, there wasn't a single pro-Bush, pro-Republican bumper sticker in the entire city of Pittsburgh OR its suburbs. I kinda like that. Of course I like discourse and I like lively debates, but I also kinda like that the city of Pittsburgh knows I'm right, and by right I mean Left.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Michael Savage

I honestly don't know what to say about this one-of-a-kind jackass. Media Matters is now transcribing Michael Savage's show. Thanks to them, you can read the whole thing and e-mail it to your relatives who think that the liberal media is biased and that you are exaggerating the level of hate and violence that comes from right wing radio. It's really and truly amazing what these people can get away with. I don't understand them, but that's why I'm not one of them.

Anyway, here's what he said


And I think there should be no mercy shown to these sub-humans. I believe that a thousand of them should be killed tomorrow. I think a thousand of them held in the Iraqi prison should be given 24 hour -- a trial and executed. I think they need to be shown that we are not going to roll over to them. It won't happen. It won't happen because of the CBS Communists. It won't happen because of the CNN traitors. It won't happen because of the MSNBC empty heads. And we the people are the ones who are going to suffer today.

Now, I don't remember exactly where I heard it or why it even mattered at the time, but there was this analyst who came in and looked at all the different media outlets coverage of the lead-up to the war in Iraq. The person or group, whichever, looked at all the things said as either pro-war or anti-war. After analyzing months of monologues and news reports Fox News Channel was the most pro-war---as if that's a surprise. But CBS News was a close second. So when Savage says "It won't happen because of the CBS Communists," I just don't understand. Perhaps he's talking about the Reagan miniseries, which Republicans persuaded CBS to cancel and bury it on Showtime where no one saw it. Or maybe he's talking about NightLine, which took an entire hour and honored the fallen troops by reading all 650+ names. Of course this was just horrible and anti-American and liberally-biased according to Republicans. But Ted Koppel came out and said that he was in fact for the war in Iraq, although he questions the way the situation is being handled today.

And CBS is the fuddy-duddy network. It's major demographic is old people. Other than Survivor and CSI, what show looks to entice the younger generation? And when you think of old people, what position on the war in Iraq comes to mind? Pro-War, Pro-Bush, of course. So "CBS Communists"? Puh-lease.

CNN Traitors? Shyeah. Judy Woodruff has her head so far up Bush's behind, it's sickening.

And this isn't even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stupid things he says on his show. But as if the thought of an American suggesting we kill a thousand of anything isn't bad enough, imagine with me for a second that SIX MILLION PEOPLE LISTEN TO HIM EVERY DAY. Scary times, we're living in.

Spin Rummy, Spin

Arianna Huffington is the Queen of Political Commentary. I love her take on some of this administation's most outlandish claims. Case in point, Rumsfeld. This is from her newest article "See Rummy Spin. Spin Rummy, Spin." It's rather long, but I love it.


To hear Don Rumsfeld tell it, even though the Bush administration had been told back in January about the abuse and torture going on at Abu Ghraib — and that there were photos documenting it — the idea that this might be a very bad thing didn’t really hit home until recently because no one in the White House had actually laid eyes on the photos.

“It is the photographs that give one the vivid realization of what actually took place,” Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. “Words don’t do it.”

Really?

So being notified by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that U.S. soldiers were torturing and humiliating naked Iraqi prisoners in the very place that had once been Saddam Hussein’s favorite Little Shop of Horrors wasn’t vivid enough to get the alarm bells ringing on Pennsylvania Avenue?

Neither apparently were the non-visual warnings about the mistreatment of prisoners delivered by the Red Cross, Colin Powell and Paul Bremer.

Why not? Is the country being run by a bunch of preschoolers who can’t process all those big words and will only sit still for a colorful picture book?

See Rummy spin. Spin, Rummy, spin.

Even the release of Gen. Taguba’s damning 53-page report detailing the “systematic and illegal abuse of detainees” wasn’t enough to pique Rumsfeld’s concern.

“The problem at that stage,” he testified, “was one-dimensional. It wasn’t three-dimensional. It wasn’t video. It wasn’t color.”

I challenge anyone to read the Taguba report and say that the nightmares it depicts aren’t chillingly three-dimensional. Even without pop-up illustrations.

Anybody who knows any tale of the torture knows that you don't need the photographs to be totally, utterly and unimaginably disgusted--especially if you're the Defense Secretary and part of your job description is to deter such behavior.


Intelligence Officers

I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE what the full scope of the ramifications will be for this photograph and this story. According to a military police officer who faces a court-martial in connection with alleged abuses at the notorious facility, Abu Ghraib, on the outskirts of Baghdad, Spc. Charles A. Graner Jr, 35, of Greene County, PA, of the eight men standing around a naked group of Iraqis lying on the ground, one is himself, four are military intelligence officers and one is a civilian translator.

This photograph continues to break down the Pentagon's (read: Rumsfeld's) assurance that the torture of Iraqis is exclusive to Abu Ghraib and not anywhere else in the country. If the intelligence community is in on the torture and the immediate interrogation of the tortured individuals, why would this incident, this prison, be the only place it's taking place? It also furthers the hunches that the military police responsible for the torture were not acting on their own accord, but because of the instructions of superiors, including intelligence officials.

MSNBC reports that


Military police are responsible for guarding prisoners but are not supposed to be involved in interrogations. But in a report obtained last week by NBC News, Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who led the Army’s investigation of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, quoted the testimony of a sergeant at Abu Ghraib who said military intelligence officers lobbied guards to abuse the detainees to "loosen them up" for interrogation. "Make sure he has a bad night," the sergeant said he was told in regard to one inmate. "Make sure he gets the treatment."

Abu Ghraib is not the only prison in all of Iraq used for holding and interrogating Iraqis and other nationals in the country. Several are speculated to be used, most of which are top secret as to prohibit rescue attempts by insurgents. Saddam is even suspected to be out of the country and in a near-by prison, where many more Iraqis could also be held.

Who knows what goes on in these prisons? The International Red Cross was in Abu Ghraib and told the White House and the Pentagon what was going on, but no one listened. It wasn't until a low-level militaryman, also from Pennsylvania, came forward with a photograph that the Pentagon started to take this seriously.

Bush claims that Rummy never told him about the abuse, and that he didn't know it was going on. This is bad for him in two ways. If Rumsfeld truly kept this from the President while the Taguba report laid on the Defense Secretary's desk, unread, what kind of leader is Bush? His underlings don't give him all the facts. How can he make intelligent decisions? But if Bush knew about the torture and did nothing about it, he's negligent. He's no better than the torturers for knowing about it and doing nothing to stop it. Either way, he has some s'plainin' to do.

DisApproval

PRESIDENT BUSH NOW ENJOYS an approval rating of 44%, according to the latest CBS News Poll.

Can the president with the highest approval rating ever (upwards to 90% after 9/11) also reach the lowest?

updated: Fifty-eight percent of Americans now disapprove of the president's handling of the war in Iraq, while 39 percent approve. In December 2003, the numbers were reversed: 57 percent approved of Mr. Bush’s handling of the war, while 36 percent disapproved. Reflecting skepticism of the Defense Department, a full 61 percent of those polled believe the military is primarily upset because the public found out about the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, rather than because the abuse actually happened.

Nick Berg

THIS STORY OF NICK Berg, the American beheaded in Iraq, gets interesting-er and interesting-er. First there were reports that Nick was not allowed to leave Iraq because he was being held by American authorities. Berg had been in Baghdad from late December to February 1 and returned to Iraq in March. He did not find work and planned to return home at the end of March, according to his parents. Berg's communications to his parents stopped on March 24 and he told them later he was jailed by Iraqi officials after being picked up at a checkpoint in Mosul.

On April 5, the Bergs filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, naming Rumsfeld and alleging their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military in Iraq. The next day, he was released.

In an interview from outside his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania today, Michael Berg, Nick's father, directly blamed President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his son's death. "My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. This administration did this," Berg said in an interview with radio station KYW-AM.

"I have a written statement from the State Department in Baghdad ... saying that my son was being held by the military," Berg said. "I can also assure you that the FBI came to my house on March 31 and told me that the FBI had him in Mosul in an Iraqi prison."

$50 billion

Link


Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost more than $50 billion next year, a top Defense Department official told Congress Thursday in the Bush administration's clearest description yet of the conflicts' price tags.

The remarks by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz's edged the administration toward critics' estimates that combat will cost closer to $75 billion in the budget year that starts Oct. 1. White House budget chief Joshua Bolten earlier this year had said that next year's spending would probably be $50 billion.

How much of that would be better spent on schools, teachers, a medicare overhaul, social security, drug treatment centers instead of prison sentences, museum and art gallery funding, music programs in schools, college tuition tax-breaks, etc? Or better yet, all of the above?

New Torture Pics

"I DON'T KNOW HOW the hell these people got into our army," said Colorado Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell after viewing what he called a fraction of the newest images of Iraqi torture. A private screening yesterday of more than 1,600 photos in a top-secret room of the U.S. Capitol came one day after Islamic militants announced they had beheaded an American in Iraq to avenge abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Lawmakers differed over whether the new batch of photos should be released---a decision likely will be left up to the Bush administration. Some said they feared releasing photos would only further inflame international passions; others argued it would demonstrate the openness of American society and limit the damage caused by the gradual leaking of photos to media outlets. This is exactly it. The Bush Administration is caught in a sort of conundrum here. Release the images and see what Rummy turned a blind eye to, or keep them to themselves and allow Americans to imagine what these images portray. The House and Senate members who saw photos and video Wednesday of say they're of Iraqi corpses, military dogs menacing cowering Iraqi prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose themselves and other sexual abuses. Some lawmakers said the pictures included forced homosexual sex. I try not to, but how can't you picture these in your head?

Sen. Ron Wyden, D.-Ore., said "It was significantly worse than anything that I had anticipated. Take the worst case and multiply it several times over."

But taking a maneuver from the Senator James M. Inhofe playbook, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R.-Texas, said he thought "some people are overreacting." Overreacting? How is what we're doing right now not underreacting? But that was the topic of another post. I will, however, talk about Mr. Delay and his bandwagon of fools and tomfoolery later.

Inhofe Who?

YA KNOW, I HAVE a Republican friend. We get along just fine because we never discuss politics. But sometimes I just can't imagine why anyone would stick with such a party. Case in point: Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma. Here is a man who, as others condemned the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners, condemned the condemners for condemning torture. You didn't read that wrong. He's mad at us for being mad at the soldiers who tortured prisoners.

He said on Tuesday


I'm probably not the only one up at this table that is more outraged by the outrage than we are by the treatment. These prisoners, you know they're not there for traffic violations. If they're in cellblock 1-A or 1-B, these prisoners, they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents. Many of them probably have American blood on their hands and here we're so concerned about the treatment of those individuals. I am also outraged that we have so many humanitarian do-gooders right now crawling all over these prisons looking for human rights violations, while our troops, our heroes are fighting and dying.

I suppose you may be able to use this convaluted reasoning in your head if you were hardcore sadistic, but to the quote-unquote normal person... wha? Not only is this type of treatment not allowed in the United States---no matter if the person is a murderer, terrorist or insurgent---it's not allowed anywhere in the world during war thanks to the Geneva Convention. It just can't happen. A super-power cannot stoop to the level of torturing, be it physical, mental or emotional. And not only that, but according to American military intelligence officers who spoke with the ICRC, 70 percent to 90 percent of the detainees in Iraq were there by mistake! At least 70 percent of detainees in Iraq are there because of a mistake, not because "they're murderers, they're terrorists, they're insurgents."

And please don't forget about the 70 year old Iraqi woman who was ridden around with a harness on her back like a donkey for six weeks, never charged and then released. I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't have "American blood" on her hands.

Boykin Dork-in

LT. GEN. WILLIAM BOYKIN, you may remember him from such controversial comments such as saying about Bush to one gathering: "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."

And he told Baptists in Florida about a victory over a Muslim warlord in Somolia, who had boasted that Allah would protect him from American capture: "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol."

And he also emerged from the conflict with a photograph of the Somalian capital Mogadishu bearing a strange dark mark. He has said this showed "the principalities of darkness... a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."

It isn't too hard to paint him as being anti-Islamic and almost fanatical in his deluded belief structure. I mean... really. Only right-wing Christian zealots believe that Allah and God are two different entities. Allah and God come from the same mythology, so to speak. It's like saying saying a desk and a bureau are two different things because one's in English and the other is in French. "My desk is better than your bureau" is like saying "My desk is better than your desk" even though they're the exact same desk. This is frustrating in the extreme.

Allah in the Koran speaks to Abraham and Sarah. God in the Bible speaks to Abraham and Sarah. Both are childless until God comes along promising a son. Sarah becomes impatient and talks Abraham into sleeping with her chambermaid, Hagar. Abraham and Hagar have a child together and name it Ishmael. God comes through with his promise and makes Sarah pregnant. She names the child Isaac. When Isaac and Ishmael grow into their teens, Sarah asks Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away so they could not receive any of his wealth. God okays this, saying that this separation is good because from both boys great nations will grow.

And from this quick Bible/Koran story, we get the beginnings (and where the tree split) of Judiasm/Christianity and Islam. The decendents of Isaac became Jewish and the decendents of Ishmael have become Islamic. This is where the trouble began. But both religions can be directly and irrefutably traced back to one singular god entity: God/Allah/Jehovah/Yaweh.

But it would seem that Lt. Gen. William Boykin didn't get this memo. And indeed, neither did most of America including those residing in the White House. Although the broad-umbrella name for the current war we're into is the War on Terror, some believe (Muslim critics of the administration, among others) that this is a crusade against Islam. And with a general in charge like William Boykin, Bush has worked hard to refute such claims.

Lt. Gen. William Boykin is anti-Islamic/Muslim/Middle Easterner, or so it would certainly appear to most people with such comments. If you were the Bush Administration and you had a high-level ranking man in charge with such wild and volatile ideals, wouldn't you try to keep him as far away from the the war in Iraq? Wouldn't you want to keep him locked up somewhere deep in the darkest recesses of the Pentagon? Even if they agreed with him deep down, his name alone brings up a fire-storm.

So imagine my surprise when I see his name in connection with the recent prison torture scandal! The Associated Press is reporting that


A Senate hearing into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was told on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian under review for saying his God was superior to that of the Muslims, briefed a top Pentagon civilian official last summer on recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners. Critics have suggested those recommendations amounted to a senior-level go-ahead for the sexual and physical abuse of prisoners, possibly to "soften up" detainees before interrogation---a charge the Pentagon denies.

"This will be taken as proof that what happened at Abu Ghraib (prison) is evidence of a broader culture of dehumanizing Arabs and Muslims, based on the American understanding of the innate superiority of Christendom," said Chris Toensing, editor of Middle East Report, a U.S.-based quarterly magazine.

Would putting a muzzle on him be out of line? Why would you allow this man with such an abhorrent track-record in public relations with Arab nations to brief a Pentagon civilian on "recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners"? It's almost as if the Bush Administration was asking for a kick in the ass. How many scandals can Bush handle? In an election year, even! Oh my. His approval rating has bottomed out to an all-time low this week---46 percent, with 51 percent disapproving. I almost feel bad for him. Okay, not really.

In the Beginning

THIS MAY BE MY first post on this website, but it is not the first website I've written. You can find previous posts at this website, but I will not be updating it any more. That would be just silly because of the introduction and inauguration of this site. So please enjoy and feel free to comment. You can do this by clicking on the comment button and filling in the appropriate fields. Have fun and be liberal.

*Link removed by webmaster.*