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Have you been to your local jail lately? That's where I'm headed, so if you've got stuff to talk about, here's some space. I'll be back late this afternoon.

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  • Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:26:35 AM EST
    I've been thinking a lot about Feingold's censure motion. It certainly scared the Democrats more than the Republicans, because it gave them a chance to rally around the War on Terror. What if we can divide them with a new meme: The War on Congress. After all, that's what all this presidential power grab and blowback is all about, right? So, every conversation about the censure, the lying to Congress, the NSA, etc., our guys say, "Well, this is just another part of the Bush/Cheney War on Congress." Then, the GOP would be forced to stand up for themselves, right? Any other ideas?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:35:32 AM EST
    What Strikes Me writes;
    Then, the GOP would be forced to stand up for themselves, right?
    No, wrong. But you are right that Feingold's censure motion scared the Demos more than the Repubs. But the reason you give is wrong. What it did was to make the Demos, if they voted for it, admit that they don't want to spy on terrorists, and use all of the technology we have in defense of the country. That would be political suicide.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:45:02 AM EST
    On Saturday, illegal aliens will be marching in Los Angeles for rights to which they aren't entitled. IOW, foreign citizens who've entered the U.S. illegally or who've remained here illegally are now agitating - and being agitated - inside the U.S. Have we indeed reached a critical mass of foreign citizens here? Do we have no choice but to give them what they want? If we give them what they want, won't millions more come and make the same demands? And, won't they make even more demands? Will our elected representatives capitulate to these foreign citizens' demands?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:48:51 AM EST
    Political suicide. Kind of like the Port Security deal and its unraveling. Quite a tale that told. Nothing - including "defense of the country" - takes priority over Bush & co selling anything and everything to the highest bidder. How patriotic.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:54:05 AM EST
    ppj - If the dems ever did anything like that you'd be turning yourself inside out and speaking in tongues here. "Social liberalism" aside. It is to laugh.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:10:32 AM EST
    BigMediaBlog: Great story. I actually like the idea. I think the state should support the march--maybe give out hot dogs and soda at no cost. The larger the turnout, the better--for law enforcement. While their all in one place, we can easily round them up, arrest them on immigration charges and deport them. I'm from South Texas. I see the benefit immigrants, not only from Mexico but from all across Latin America, have on our country each and every day. Not only do they provide a strong, able workforce but their culture is rich and inexorably connected with ours (particularly mine, here in San Antonio). This doesn't remove the fact that those immigrants that are here illegally are here illegally. It's an affront to all those immigrants who were patient and completed the process legally to condone the hopping of our border. Round 'em up, move 'em out. Then let's work towards making the immigrant application process easier so those who want to come, can come--legally.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:27:00 AM EST
    big media.... Good post & great link.... The larger goal is to support the "right" of all Spanish-speaking illegal aliens to stay in the USA permanently, I like that "right" sentence. So, according to them...every living person on the planet has the "right" to sneak under the fence and then stay here? And I love this one too... Their motto is "!AQUI ESTAMOS, Y NO NOS VAMOS!" This translates as, "We're here now, and we're not going!" Why should this have to be translated? This is America...we speak english here. You want to stay...assimilate into 'our' culture...learn the language! I'm quite tired off having to punch the "for English" button for just about everything I do. How did we lose our country? When did Spanish become our second (first?) language? Our 'motto' should be..."go home and apply to come here legally like our laws state"... These people have NO respect for America...and prove that by marching for rights they don't (& shouldn't) have! Keep marching ...bring more focus on this...and hopefully Americans will wake up & take their country back.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:37:58 AM EST
    Greetings Ms Talkleft, Gerald Zerkin if I can reach him and others: Thursday, March 23, 06 I was reading the LA Times today re the continuing government prosecution of Moussaoui. The government claims that he should be put to death for not cooperating with investigators. Originally they were claiming that he should be put to death for lying; now they are claiming he should be put to death for not telling the truth. The idea is that if the gov had known that terrorists were planning to hijack one or more planes and then fly them into buildings, thereby using them as weapons rather than for some other purpose, that would have been sufficient for the fed gov to have prevented the 9/11 attacks. What the prosecution seems to not know and what the defense has not yet argued, is that, the federal government did know that terrorists were planning on hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings. No, I am not talking about the Aug 6 PDB. According to the book 1000 Years for Revenge by Peter Lance, the Phillipines police had arrested and interrogated in 96 a close associate of Ramsi Yousef. (Yousef was a genius Al-Qaeda bomb-maker and responsible for the first attack on the WTC.) Under threat of being transfered into the custody of the Mossad, this fellow had spilled all the beans on what he and Yousef were up to. And, according to the Phillipine investigator's documentation, the beans included the plot that eventually became the 9/11 attacks. This fellow informed the FBI of everything learned, and the associate of Yousef was transferred to the US for trial and sentencing. However, here in the USA, the FBI bent over backwards in order to keep the details of that plot from becoming public knowledge. They kept it secret from most of the rest of the government, and, in the trial of the associate of Yousef, the Philippines investigator was not brought as a witness, if I recall correctly. (I read the book more than a year ago.) The reason or reasons for which the FBI intentionally kept secret the details of the plot that later became 9/11 are not clear from the book by Peter Lance. However, one would make an educated guess that the FBI was motivated by two factors: 1) their traditional penchant for secrecy and the belief that it would help them catch perpetrators if those perpetrators did not know their plot had been compromised; 2) a desire not to alarm the flying public with details of a plot that, in their view, was likely to be foiled anyway. In any case, whatever the reasons may have been that the FBI kept secret the details of the plot, it seems to me that government knowledge of the plot back in 1996 is a factor to be considered by the jury or the public, in weighing the culpability of Moussaoui. That is, assuming that Peter Lance and his book are telling the truth.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#9)
    by Patrick on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:42:01 AM EST
    Originally they were claiming that he should be put to death for lying; now they are claiming he should be put to death for not telling the truth.
    What's the difference? Or am I missing something........

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:46:50 AM EST
    haha Patrick - I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 12:51:43 PM EST
    ppj said,
    "What it did was to make the Demos, if they voted for it, admit that they don't want to spy on terrorists, and use all of the technology we have in defense of the country."
    Well, that is what it turned out to be, precisely because the Repugs controlled the framing. If the democrats jumped on the framing with the "War on Congress" threaded through the censure motion, instead of trying to explain the NSA spying, they would control the frame and put the onus on the GOP to defend it's self-immolating War on Itself.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    American Prospect has a great piece picking apart Chris Matthews. Here is the link.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:03:33 PM EST
    "Trusting to escape scrutiny by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood - that serpents eye that charms to dystroy, he plunged into war." A. Lincoln

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#14)
    by MikeDitto on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:26:18 PM EST
    The Colorado Domestic Partnership Benefits and Responsibilities Act passed the House Judiciary Committee this morning, and goes to the full House tomorrow, with Fred Phelps angrily protesting outside. Should be a fun day. He's actually starting his bile fest today, so I'm headed over there with the digital cam to check it out. Wish us luck! Better yet, toss us a few shekels!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#15)
    by roy on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:30:15 PM EST
    "That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence.... I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good." A. Lincoln

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:34:28 PM EST
    et al The discussion about the connection betweem al- Qaida and Saddam is now over. From ABC News: Iraq Archive Document Describes Bin Laden Meeting
    A newly released pre-war Iraqi document indicates that an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995 after approval by Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden asked that Iraq broadcast the lectures of Suleiman al Ouda, a radical Saudi preacher, and suggested "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. According to the document, Saddam's presidency was informed of the details of the meeting on March 4, 1995 and Saddam agreed to dedicate a program for them on the radio. The document states that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties to be left according to what's open (in the future) based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation."
    This was orginally reported in a Clinton JD indictment in 11/98, which said:
    In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the government of Iraq."
    Of course the Left called it lies, all lies. And then there was the same information from Fitzpatrick to the 911 Commission.
    We corroborated the relationship with Iran to a lesser extent but to a solid extent. And then we had information from al-Fadl, who we believe was truthful, learning from others that there were also was efforts to try to work with Iraq. That was the basis for what we put in that indictment. Clearly, we put Sudan in the first order at that time as being the partner of al Qaeda. We understood the relationship with Iran but Iraq, we understood, went from a position where they were working against each other to a standing down against each other. And we understood they were going to explore the possibility of working on weapons together.
    There you go boys and girls. Read it an weep.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:44:24 PM EST
    I hope "thier spirits" haunt your sorry a**.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#19)
    by desertswine on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:47:32 PM EST
    "Help me... Spock." A. Lincoln

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 01:49:17 PM EST
    "I'm ... a crook." R. Nixon

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 02:56:56 PM EST
    What PPJ left out in his post was the following:
    (Editor's Note: This document is handwritten and has no official seal. Although contacts between bin Laden and the Iraqis have been reported in the 9/11 Commission report and elsewhere, (e.g. the 9/11 report states "Bin Ladn himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995) this document indicates the contacts were approved personally by Saddam Hussein. It also indicates the discussions were substantive, in particular that bin Laden was proposing an operational relationship, and that the Iraqis were, at a minimum, interested in exploring a potential relationship and prepared to show good faith by broadcasting the speeches of al Ouda, the radical cleric who was also a bin Laden mentor. The document does not establish that the two parties did in fact enter into an operational relationship. Given that the document claims bin Laden was proposing to the Iraqis that they conduct "joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia, it is interesting to note that eight months after the meeting -- on November 13, 1995 -- terrorists attacked Saudi National Guard Headquarters in Riyadh, killing 5 U.S. military advisors. The militants later confessed on Saudi TV to having been trained by Osama bin Laden.)


    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 02:58:24 PM EST
    and this (an unnamed source):
    (Editor's Note: The controversial claim that Osama bin Laden was cooperating with Saddam Hussein is an ongoing matter of intense debate. While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable -- i.e. an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document -- four days after 9/11 -- is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.)


    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 03:00:00 PM EST
    PPJ The discussion about the connection betweem al- Qaida and Saddam is now over. From ABC News: Iraq Archive Document Describes Bin Laden Meeting It's usless.... ya know if they acknowledge this, they won't be able to chant "Bush lied" anymore... This will go ignored... Just like this next topic...... Check out the Christian Peacemaker Teams website for the group's statement on their "release" What actually happened was.... Our troops teamed with British forces to rescue three left-wing, anti-war activists kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. Those freed were Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32; and Briton Norman Kember, 74. The men, who were members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams, were kidnapped on Nov. 26 along with their American colleague, Tom Fox, 54, whose body was found earlier this month. And this gem of an e-mail sent to the CPT website by a reader.... Congratulations on the safe return of your activists. I'm sorry they did not all make it home safely. I read your press release relating the "release" of the activists; please note that they were not released, they were rescued. The term release implies that their captors let them go. You know that is not true, they were rescued by a team of American and British soldiers who risked their lives to free people whom apparently have no gratitude for their actions. It is one thing to be against war and the actions of our military (I'm not justifying that position, just acknowledging your right to it), but another to deny when they SAVED YOUR ASS!!!! Are you so insecure in your position that you think even acknowledging your people were rescued, not "released" would undermine your whole message that the military serves no useful purpose? Actually, I think you are correct in your assumption, so I guess you should stick to your story lest any of your supporters start to use logic and reason to dissect your beliefs. Where would you be then? I guess you might have to begrudgingly join the rest of society who realizes that a strong military is the best defense of a free nation against tyrants and terrorists who are out to destroy us and our way of life. God bless you, and I hope you quit sending your hippies to WAR regions risking not only their lives but the lives of the soldiers who end up having to secure their "release" by RESCUING them.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 03:30:42 PM EST
    Of course the Left called it lies, all lies. And with good reason, too. Funny how, Jim, jeepster, bb and all the clueless clown posse wacks leave out the inconvenient truth parts, isn't it?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    "I hope you quit sending your hippies to war regions.." They go of thier own accord unlike a certain species of talk radio humping chickensh*t hawk that will perpetually push an endless number of twenty year olds between themselves and the line-of-fire.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#26)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    I love how ppj momentously says "the Left" in just about every post. As if he knows what it means. I keep picturing Lee J. Cobb in Twelve Angry Men railing about "that damn ungrateful kid."

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 04:23:27 PM EST
    I figure Bush has killed thousands of babieb in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that's not counting the ones who will die of hunger and lack of medical care, because Bush made sure that money for those things went to the rich.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#30)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 04:58:36 PM EST
    Thanks for the DKNY ad.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 06:46:31 PM EST
    So your justified killing all those women and children.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 06:46:53 PM EST
    et al - ABC News is not exactly a Right Wing organization, and you might want to note how this is (at least) the third source saying essentially the same thing. Deny all you want, but this now is clearly past what any reasonable person would need to accept the fact that Saddan and OBL did make common cause.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 07:08:31 PM EST
    The paper of record does it again:
    An article in The Metro Section on March 8 profiled Donna Fenton, identifying her as a 37-year-old victim of Hurricane Katrina who had fled Biloxi, Miss., and who was frustrated in efforts to get federal aid as she and her children remained as emergency residents of a hotel in Queens. (Go to Article) Yesterday, the New York police arrested Ms. Fenton, charging her with several counts of welfare fraud and grand larceny. Prosecutors in Brooklyn say she was not a Katrina victim, never lived in Biloxi and had improperly received thousands of dollars in government aid. Ms. Fenton has pleaded not guilty. For its profile, The Times did not conduct adequate interviews or public record checks to verify Ms. Fenton's account, including her claim that she had lived in Biloxi. Such checks would have uncovered a fraud conviction and raised serious questions about the truthfulness of her account. An article about her arrest and the findings from additional reporting about her claims appears here.
    Perhaps she was one of those missing?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#33)
    by rMatey on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 07:42:35 PM EST
    "This doesn't remove the fact that those immigrants that are here illegally are here illegally. It's an affront to all those immigrants who were patient and completed the process legally to condone the hopping of our border. Round 'em up, move 'em out. Then let's work towards making the immigrant application process easier so those who want to come, can come--legally." Round 'em up, put the leg chains on 'em. Bus them to rebuild homes in Katrinaland. After they've worked for six months, toss 'em back across the border with no money. After you do a few like that, the rest might figure out that you mean business. Oh, yeah. No property or other financial gains count that were made while you were here illegally. Thanks!!!!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 09:12:12 PM EST
    what any reasonable person would need to accept the fact that Saddan and OBL did make common cause. Except for the fact that you've clearly demonstrated that you aren't contained in the set that is defined as 'any reasonable person', there's this
    While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable -- i.e. an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document -- four days after 9/11 -- is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.
    If, after almost 3 years of having access to Saddams' files, this is the only thing to come up to demonstrate a link to Saddam and AQ,with no names behind the document as to where it came from, who found it, etc., the only rational response is to quote the Church Lady, and say How con-vee-nient!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 09:24:34 PM EST
    insult to another commenter deleted, this commenter is warned. Read the comment rules.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 10:08:34 PM EST
    When you're talking about tens of thousands of people, the only way to arrest large numbers of them is with military and not police action. Obviously, that shouldn't be done in anything but the most extreme cases. The goal is to avoid problems in the first place: we can't allow foreign citizens to come here and agitate, and the way to prevent that is to keep them from coming here. As far as rebuilding the Gulf Coast is concerned, both Bush and Harry Reid supported illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs from American citizens. If the Democratic Party of today were more in the FDR mold, they would have put forth a WPA program for American hurricane victims. Instead, Harry Reid supported those illegal aliens who were taking jobs from American hurricane victims.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#37)
    by Johnny on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 12:21:52 AM EST
    Doesn't it just chaff the arses of those wrong wingers who voted for a president bound and determined to harvest the immigrant workforce? And Jim, this handwritten note is only slightly more viable than those WMD plans we found-you know, the ones drawn on a napkin? Don't worry, if the admin felt it needed to justify itself and it's invasion, it would have. That they have not bent over backwards to prove any of their accusations, and in fact have pointedly avoided confrontation when called on their BS, speaks volumes about both the admin, and their supporters.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#38)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 12:32:24 AM EST
    Another of Jim's I-knew-this-guy stories. I'm feeling a Babaloo moment coming again. How about the Bin Laden quote again? We haven't seen that one for, oh what, 2 days?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:30:27 AM EST
    Yeah, One of the guys who used to work for the cousin of the guy who married the sister-in-law of Saddam's pool man. Well, his cousin used to play pickup soccer with this guy who played youth soccer with a guy whose cousin went to the junior prom with a girl whose cousin was like a friend of a guy who went to bin laden's house once to visit one his brothers and Osama had killed off the last of the Ice Cream, so they beat him up. He said he was a real jerk. Yeah, that's a real close connection.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:11:53 AM EST
    Washington Examiner -- 22 March 2006 (article pdf with graphics)

    TOPIC: THE 2006 MIDTERM ELECTIONS

    Steven Clemons is senior fellow & director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.

    Norman J. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    1.) Many think that the political landscape is ripe for Democratic gains in the 2006 midterm elections. Is this excitement too optimistic?

    Clemons: If you just look at approval ratings for the President and the Republican Party in general, chances are high that Democrats will surge in both chambers of Congress if not take the helm of at least the House in the next election.

    Many conservatives and centrist independents feel that the country is caught in a nasty quagmire in Iraq and that the mystique of American power has been punctured -- that America has shown its financial and military limits in a wrong-headed venture abroad. Showing limits is something conservatives never want to do; they don't want to be out on a limb in risky conditions.

    -----from Steve Clemons, TWN, March 22

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:21:30 AM EST
    Regarding Abdul Rahman, the Afghani on trial for his life for converting to christianity, CNN reports"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001. If this guy is a "moderate" Muslim, there is no hope for peace with this religion. That they even think that God can be humiliated by a man losing, or changing, his faith is beyond fathomable.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#42)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:35:33 AM EST
    "Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,"
    Talk about a mental defect. Nobody should die over imaginary friends. I'll never understand the human race.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:41:46 AM EST
    Editor's Note: This document is handwritten and has no official seal.
    This is a very important aspect to the ABC article that Jim left out. This kind of evidence reminds me of the application to join al Qaeda filled out by Padilla and entered into evidence by our government. Whitehouse.org had a funny on their site where Bush said he had proof the Saddam had WMD's and he showed two sales receipts for WMD's filled out and signed by the first Bush and Reagan.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#44)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:47:19 AM EST
    Kdog: Talk about a mental defect. Nobody should die over imaginary friends. They don't, usually. But they'll be happy to send you or me or someone elses kids to die for bush. You're right. No one should die for imaginary friends.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:50:13 AM EST
    Talk about a mental defect. Nobody should die over imaginary friends. Agreed. What's even more discouraging than this guy's views is that no muslims stand up to denounce this guy for the nutcase that he is, lending creedence to the belief that he really is a "moderate" and therefore most muslims agree with him. A religion that believes that those who deny God must be put to death isn't all that new (as deranged as it is, it's an old belief), but I don't know of any other religion which professes belief in an Almighty who, omnipotent though He may be, can nevertheless be "humiliated" by one man failing to believe in Him. Can anyone cite another example, or is Islam alone in this belief? And what does it mean when your God's personal self-esteem is so fragile?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:50:50 AM EST
    Well, as Jon Stewart says, "Ah, Religion, that thing that gives us comfort, strength, and inner peace in a world torn asunder and filled with conflict, toil and strife caused by Religion."

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#47)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:26:03 AM EST
    Justpaul. Of course no one can name another religion like Islam. The militant and somewhat "mainstream" form of Islam takes the cake for religous crazines. When non believers try to relate christianity to Islam they have to go back hundreds of years to the crusades and inquisition to find any similarites. However screwed up some Muslims are I take offense at the general religous bashing that I often see on this site. Who is anyone here to make fun of someone for their personal beliefs? There are a lot of crazy people in this world but don't slam religion in general just because some crazies use religion to push their ideas.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#48)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:37:33 AM EST
    Slado, I'm not "slamming" all religion because of the crazies who happen to be religious, but I will "slam" every religion that professes a belief in an omnipotent being so insecure he/she is humiliated by the failure of a mere mortal to worship them.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#49)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:39:17 AM EST
    debbie, did you ever read or hear the late lamented comic Bill Hicks and his take on Gulf War 1?
    "You know we armed Iraq. I wondered about that too, you know. During the Persian Gulf war, those intelligence reports would come out: 'Iraq: incredible weapons - incredible weapons.' How do you know that? 'Uh, well ... we looked at the receipts.'"
    Link

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#50)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 07:40:17 AM EST
    don't slam religion in general just because some crazies use religion to push their ideas.
    Religion kills. Probably more people than anything else. Christianity or Islam.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:06:16 AM EST
    Johnny, debbie, et al - I again refer you to the fact that we now have three separate sources, all saying the same thing. When you couple that with the common sense thought that Saddam hated America more than he hated OBL, a reasonable person must conclude that they had working agreements. This is bolstered by the fact that we know that al-Qaida people came to Iraq for medical treatmet, and used Iraq for training locations. Wiggle and squirm, squirm and wiggle. The truth is out and your claim of "no connection" is melting like the spring snows.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#52)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:42:16 AM EST
    Edgar nothing kills like communism. Russia, Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam all have killed tens of millions of people without the mention of religion. Dictators are dictators wether they use communist ideas or religous ones but when it comes to killing people religion takes a back seat to communism .

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#53)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:42:27 AM EST
    ppj says,
    The truth is out and your claim of "no connection" is melting like the spring snows.
    Of course, it's almost ridiculous to assume leaders of two constituencies didn't meet in this interconnected world we live in. It's amazing to me we didn't find more meetings than we did. Working relationship? That's a different matter. Rumsfeld had a better working relationship with Saddam than did UBL. Handshakes, WMD exchange--the works! Look how that turned out for Saddam. Sending a couple of low-level terrorcrats from each side to have lunch does not make a justification for war.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#55)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:57:37 AM EST
    "If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can, too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged." It would appear that "moderate" Islam shares a viewpoint with communism: The adherents, willing or otherwise, must not be allowed to leave.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#56)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:19:40 AM EST
    Rumsfeld had a better working relationship with Saddam than did UBL. Handshakes, WMD exchange--the works!
    Good one WSM. What about the business connections between the Bin Laden family and the Bush family? Jim, pleeeaaassse, don't you think that if your premise was even remotely factual that Bush and his minions would be SCREAMING it at all these speeches?
    used Iraq for training locations.
    The training camps were in area of Iraq that was controlled by the Kurds not Saddam. Get off you knees!!!!!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#57)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    What about Osama's feelings for Saddam? Gee, ya forgot to factor those into the equation, didn't ya, Jim? Oh, well, another wingnut wet dream bites the dust. That's a shame. Well, Jim, It's been out there for years and no wingnut's been able to take it and run with it. Not flush. Not albushira. Nobody. And you know how responsible those whack job outfits are. Christ! Stephen Hayes hasn't even gone near it. NEXT!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#58)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:22:35 AM EST
    And they say that kinda thing never happens in the Oval Office anymore.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#59)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:22:37 AM EST
    Dictators are dictators wether they use communist ideas or religous ones but when it comes to killing people religion takes a back seat to communism . WTF, did the history of man begin in 1900? Slado your cereal is getting soggy. LOL

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#60)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:25:50 AM EST
    I again refer you to the fact that we now have three separate sources, all saying the same thing. I again reinterate that the third source is a document that has a nameless discoverer, no one willing to vet it as being genuine, but of course, for you those are features, not bugs. Not to mention the fact that Fitzgerald removed OBL from the 1998 indictment you love to wave around here, so you're 0 for 2, and you certainly won't hit anything out of the park if your present trend continues unabated, as it often does here. When you couple that with the common sense thought that Saddam hated America more than he hated OBL PPJ, you've shown time and again that for you to talk about common sense is risible, especially as you made the remark this week about gunships in the thread about the 15 Iraqi civilians who were allegedly killed by American forces. This is bolstered by the fact that we know that al-Qaida people came to Iraq for medical treatmet, and used Iraq for training locations. And the MSM is keeping this from the American people because.......? And Bushco hasn't talked about this because...........? charlie, more whine for table 60, while I slice up some Velveeta for our disgruntled poker-playing friend here.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:34:00 AM EST
    WhatStrikesMe - Please provide me with proof that the US provided WMD to Saddam. If you can not, then what you have is a claim. If you read the ABC News article, the link to Fitz's comments to the 911 Commission and the indictment, you will note several things. 1. OBL and Saddam didn't like each other. The concept of geopolitics, often stated as "a friend of my enemy is my friend" has many examples through out history. The example you state, the US and Iraq versus Iran is well known. What is in dispute is what help we actually gave. One with more sharply defined differences in government, society and philosophy is the US and the Soviets during WWII. I think Churchill, speaking of England's cooperation with the Soviet's, said "I would work with the devil to defeat this enemy." (Quote is not exact, but close.) To deny the above is to indicate either ideological blinders or a very small knowledge of history. Or both. The second point is that the base agreement is to not attack each other. To "get along." This well known premise is that countries do not have "friends." They have areas of mutual interest. This is also demonstrated by the "enemy of my enemy..." concept, understanding that mutual interest leads to the first. A secondary example of mutual interest is China talking with North Korea regarding North Korea's nuclear program. China is hardly friends with the US, or Japan. But it shares a mutual interest in a country on its border, ruled by a madman, not having nuclear weapons. The third is to work jointly to develop WMD's, training and assistance. As Fitzpatrick put it to the 911 Commission:
    And we understood they were going to explore the possibility of working on weapons together.
    Of course Fitzpatrick is just a shill, right. Of course Lewis Libby might disagree. of working on weapons together. Sooner or later one has to look and say. It walks like a duck. It quacks like a duck. Good heavens! It is a duck!

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#63)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 10:44:00 AM EST
    Che's what is your point? If you read my earlier thread you make my point for me. You have to go back 100's of years to compare Christianity or any religion to MODERN Islam. There is no parrallel between Islam and any other religion. Islam advocates, death for homosexuals, converts and women who've commited the offense of allowing themselves to be raped.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#64)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 11:14:09 AM EST
    Of course Fitzpatrick is just a shill, right. Of course Lewis Libby might disagree. of working on weapons together.
    That would be Fitzgerald, Jim, but you've never let the facts get in the way of one of your wingnut fantasies before.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#65)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 11:27:30 AM EST
    I was comparing totalitarian governments (your probable true meaning-not communism) to religion. Now you are dividing religions and eras. Watch out behind you.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#66)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 11:30:14 AM EST
    Christians continue to kill. They call it democracy.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#67)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 11:31:21 AM EST
    Why just yesterday we "democratized" 56 more muslims.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#68)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 11:40:14 AM EST
    To deny the above is to indicate either ideological blinders or a very small knowledge of history. Or both. Like MS Tech Support, PPJ, your information is technically correct but utterly useless in a real world situation. All that's been shown so far is the Isalmicist version of 'my people will lunch with your people' kind of contacts, nothing like a collaborative project or anything that got past the drawing-board stage. Your faith in every little article you've cited to date is touching, but you still evade the question of the 'document' and where it came from and who found it, etc. You're 0 for 3, big guy. You know what that means: OUT. The second point is that the base agreement is to not attack each other. To "get along." Which is why the Kurdish branch of AQ operated in the no-fly zone areas of Iraq, because it was easier for them to get supplied by Saddam. Right. Anyhoo, here's a orange from the packing house, to get the bitter taste of defeat from your palate. TTFN.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#69)
    by Slado on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 12:18:12 PM EST
    Che you keep moving the goal posts. I truely am trying to figure out your point...unless its the same old argument that our government run by a christian is no better then the totalitarian or Islamic goverments of the Middle East. Is that your point? I'm trying to figure it out.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#70)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 12:29:34 PM EST
    PPL, I'm very familiar with geopolitical issues such as this. But that wasn't my point. What I'm saying is that you're pinning your hopes of a satisfactory reason for this war on the flimsiest of evidence--a couple of lunches, so to speak. (Not unusual for the Right to do this, but let's call a duck a duck, right?) I don't care if their guys had 4 whole meetings, or even--God forbid--five! It probably took 200 meetings to get Rumsfeld over to shake Saddam's hand. A meeting is not a reason to spend $500 billion and 10s of thousands of lives.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#71)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 01:23:04 PM EST
    "Moderate Islam shares the a common view point with communism." Moderate Islam? In case you hadnt noticed, there are tens-of-thousands of Muslims in the U.S that dont advocate anything like this, and something like a billion world-wide, yet you, like the rest of the wingnuts want make a relative few representative of the whole. Nice try at demonization moron; investing in defense stocks these days are we?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 01:57:37 PM EST
    "Our govt run by a Christian." Now thats what I call a leap of faith. Slado, have you ever heard the old spiritual that goes: "Everbody talkin bout Heavan aint goin there"? "By thier fruits shall you know them."? I also seem to remember something about the eye of a needle and a camel..

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#73)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 01:58:53 PM EST
    Jondee, How typical. You can't be bothered to read the thread or make any attempt to understand that it's not me who labeled this guy a "moderate" but, apparently, CNN and that I asked why no truly moderate muslims have come forward to denounce this guy as the nutbar he is. No, as usual, Jondee, you go into attack mode without bothering to engage your brain and prove once again just how much of jackass you are. Have a nice day "moron".

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 02:04:55 PM EST
    "Theres no paralell between Islam and other religions." So lets round up the vermin and exterminate them all. Slado, if youre a "christian" Jesus is probobly considering converting back as we speak.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 02:12:40 PM EST
    j.p - You didnt say "this 'moderate' Muslim", you said "moderate Islam", which refers to millions of people. Before you jump into the wingnut "To War" feeding frenzy, think about what youre saying.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#76)
    by Johnny on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 02:23:02 PM EST
    Sure seems to me I have heard more than one mainstream christian calling for death. Oh thats right, when a christian (Robertson, Coulter come to mind) calls for death, they are no longer representative of their chosen faith. Hmmm... I smell hypocrisy there. Come on guys, even the president called this whole SNAFU a crusade! He has remarked about pitting idealogy against idealogy, has brought god into the arguments about the war... You are deluding yourselves when you say that christianity is not above using death as a conversion tool. I for one inherently distrust any faith that adheres to a "convert or bad sh!t will happen to you" doctrine.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#77)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 02:26:28 PM EST
    Jondee, Again, try going back to the original post on this issue and then follow the thread of comments forward. You'll find that if you bother to take the time to do this, instead of, as is your usual wont, just trying to pick a fight, you will see that the entire point of the thread is that the imam who made the original quote is considered a moderate muslim, even though he believes that any muslim who converts to christianity must die (he has even served prison time for opposing the Taliban, Jondee, thereby establishing his "moderate" bonafides). The other muslim, also referred to as moderate, was quoted as saying that muslims must not be allowed to leave Afghanistan just because they have converted to another religion. Now I know it's hard to keep up with all of this, especially when you can't be bothered to read the actual comments anyone has made, but if these guys are moderates, and they feel this way, then we are in a situation where there is no chance for any kind of peaceful co-existence, as hardline, or radical, muslims would be, by definition, even more severe on these things, and liberal Islam, if there is such a thing, certainly doesn't have much of a voice as of yet. So what are you saying, Jondee? That most muslims are not, in fact, moderate (so these guys don't speak for them)? Are they then, in your mind, all radical hard-liners, or are you going to invent a new tagline here on the spot to try to pry your foot out of your mouth with? And what is this crap about war and defense stocks (other than proof you haven't bothered to read any of what's been said)? Where did I suggest we should go to war with these guys? Where did I say I support the war goinging on now? Where did I even mention stocks? (Most of mine are invested in small third-world start-ups, by the way; how about yours?) Really Jondee, do you ever bother to even try to make an honest contribution, or are you strictly a Howard Dean rage-against-the-machine kind of "liberal"? Engage your brain at least once a week; it clearly needs the workout.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#78)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 02:43:24 PM EST
    Just curious Justpaul, what were Hugo Chavez's crimes that were so serious to warrant a death sentence from Pat Robertson? Is the argument that it was not about religion so it is not as bad. Murder is murder, whether Pat numbnuts is calling for it or some idiot imam. I agree that this is ridiculous and Afghanistan is a democracy according to our President. I also find it deplorable that the president can take time out to discuss the fate of ONE christian when MILLIONS in Africa are dying every day under horrific circumstances. Perhaps if those africans only converted to Jesus Christ the only true savior, our gov't (dems and repubs alike) would give a darn.....

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#79)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 03:41:52 PM EST
    j.p - You know g.d well this guy isnt representative of "moderate" Islam; if he were people would be getting killed everyday in the U.S and Europe where a large proportion of billion somthing Muslims live. Youre either being intentionally dense, are actually dense, or, so eager to jump into the demonize and kill em all feeding frenzy that youre incapable of thinking clearly about this.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 03:48:51 PM EST
    Btw, elementary point that you dont get: "moderate" in Afghanistan dosnt mean moderate in the rest of the world. Afghanistan (or,hadnt you heard?) has devolved into one of the most backward places on the planet in the last thirty years. Catch an effing clue.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#81)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 03:55:07 PM EST
    One more thing j.p. Do the thousands of "moderate" Muslims in the U.S pronounce death sentances against apostates? Do you know of even one case?

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 04:09:32 PM EST
    Jlvngstn writes:
    what were Hugo Chavez's crimes that were so serious to warrant a death sentence from Pat Robertson?
    So? We all know that Robertson has absolutely no way to carry out any action against Mrs. Sheehan's kissing partner. ;-) Jondee - Actually I think the saying is:
    Everybody wants to go heaven, but nobody wants to die.
    Dark Avenger writes:
    I again reinterate that the third source is a document that has a nameless discoverer, no one willing to vet it as being genuine, but of course, for you those are features, not bugs.
    Actually, Karl Rove, in his infinite wisdom, had these forged and smuggled into Iraq in 1995, knowing that Bush was going to be President and would invade Iraq and would need proof of the connection. So all these years they were just laying there, waiting to be captured.... duhhhhhh.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 04:47:06 PM EST
    ppj - Its a line from an old "Negro Spiritual". I'll google it for you if want.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#85)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 04:54:35 PM EST
    narius - Again, theres over a billion Muslims world-wide. How many cases do you know of where people were executed specifically for converting to Christianity? (You and Bush should try it.) They might cut your head off, but theres a shortage of tweezers and magnifying glasses.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#86)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    ppj - The song is: "Everybody Talkin 'Bout Heavan."

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#87)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:36:22 PM EST
    Well it seems that the Afghani government is coming to its senses and may be about to release this guy. Unfortunately, we've already got more imams in Afghanistan saying that if this happens, he should be killed by anyone who can get to him. Let's hope he gets out alive, assuming he is willing to leave.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:43:56 PM EST
    Jondee - So, did the saying come from the spiritual, or did the spiritual come from the saying? Either way, they both express a deep truth. Just as long as somebody doesn't jump and claim Shakesphere said it...

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#89)
    by swingvote on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:53:42 PM EST
    You know g.d well this guy isnt representative of "moderate" Islam. I do? According to what? According to who? You? Show me some proof Jondee. I didn't tag this guy a moderate, CNN and the Taliban did. So did all the muslims in Afghanistan who didn't stand up and denounce this guy for saying what he has said.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#90)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 08:37:23 PM EST
    Actually, Karl Rove, in his infinite wisdom, had these forged and smuggled into Iraq in 1995, knowing that Bush was going to be President and would invade Iraq and would need proof of the connection. So all these years they were just laying there, waiting to be captured.... duhhhhhh. Still no names behind it, PPJ? Where was it found, who found it, etc? Your attempt(aren't they all?) at humor fails to answer the questions I've posed, BTW, just in case you thought nobody noticed that here. So? We all know that Robertson has absolutely no way to carry out any action against Mrs. Sheehan's kissing partner. ;-) Yes, just like edgers' recommendation to you wasn't going to happen and was just a little harmless joke......... Of course, Trann Coulter can joke about the death of a Supreme Court judge, but it's all just clean, harmless fun, she's not going to kill anyone either, humans can't be bored to death(though Thor knows, some folks here try) :>)

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:04:44 PM EST
    Dark Avenger - edger was involved with Mrs. Sheehan? Who would have thought it? ABC News is doing a super job on the papers, plus many others. Wanna know where they came from? Try Google. Or call Karl. Your decision. But don't make him mad. We don't need another hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast.

    Re: Open Thread (none / 0) (#92)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 09:30:54 PM EST
    Comments approaching 100, which is our limit. Thanks to all for your input, we'll have another one of these soon.