Thursday Open Thread

It's a jail day for me -- all day -- I'll be back for the debate tonight.

This particular jail is built underground and there's no working wireless connection. It has the feel of being in star trek, between the identical uniforms of the jail guards and the high tech stations. There are underground tunnels with colored arrows on the concrete floors directing you to the next set of gated doors.The jail staff is very polite. The place is so efficient that processing takes about 3 minutes, then we're on our way into the bowels of the building. By the time we follow the yellow brick road to the right area, our clients are already seated, happy to see us.(Anything to get out of those cells for a few hours.).

For the rest of you, there's lots to talk about, from tonight's debate to Bernie and Rudy and Judy, from drivers' licenses to FISA and whatever else might be on your mind.

Enjoy. I'll look forward to reading the thread when I get home.

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    Bridge players... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 11:09:38 AM EST
    hate Bush.

    Of course, they are "traitors."

    Good One (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 12:47:08 PM EST
    They should be made into international heroes. And to call the event nonpolitical is utter BS. If it were a non-political event the sign would have offended no one.

    Good One (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 12:47:33 PM EST
    They should be made into international heroes. And to call the event nonpolitical is utter BS. If it were a non-political event the sign would have offended no one.

    How is a bridge tournment a political event? (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 07:20:17 PM EST
    It wasn't until these sufferers of BDS made it so.

    At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, "We did not vote for Bush."

    And since they supposedly do represent the country, they should be sanctioned. They are not, as were the Dixie Chicks and other so-called entertainers, acting as private persons.


    is free speech (none / 0) (#29)
    by tnthorpe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 07:31:39 PM EST
    only as free as YOU say it is?

    I don't think so!


    Catch a clue (1.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 08:16:13 PM EST
    I didn't say that couldn't say what they wanted to say.

    I said that if they make a political statement they can't claim to represent the country.


    you forgot (none / 0) (#32)
    by tnthorpe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 08:25:29 PM EST
    what you said already?

    You said they should be sanctioned. Why? Why is their speech punishable?

    You need to read your own posts more carefully.


    Good grief (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:44:25 AM EST
    Being sanctioned has nothing to do with free speech. Censorship is defined as prior constraint.

    Go to work for MacDonalds and then go on TV hold a sign saying "Big Macs Bad for you" and see what happens.

    If you represent an organization that has diverse beliefs you shouldn't expect a free pass when you inaccurately represent those beliefs.

    And the country, as a whole, doesn't agree with them.

    These people claim to represent the US in international Bridge competition. If they didn't do that I see no problem with them saying what they want.


    Doesn't agree (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:57:35 AM EST
    with what? That they didn't vote for Bush? That's what the sign says. You did read it didn't you or is this just more autopilot bloviating on your part?

    Is that fact sooo terribly factual that you think it needs suppression. You really need to get over your desire to play little tyrant like your boy in the White House.


    Your continual whimpers demonstrate a (1.00 / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:47:59 PM EST
    a lack of knowledge coupled with a large ego. Something that usual ends in disaster.

    One more time.

    No. They had no right to display anything of a personal nature at a public function associated with the event in which they are representing the US.

    Rights come with responsibilities.

    Live with it. That's what adults do.


    you like (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 09:57:07 PM EST
    to think you decide who has what rights where. World doesn't work that way, luckily.

    Too too funny.

    You can't really respond substantively to why this sign ought be subject to more than a passing sigh or groan or burst of applause. No, it's war-defeating, leftist self-involvement that challenges decorum and the very roots of civilization.

    Too too funny.

    Now, seems you need to be getting busy on that SNL skit. The scene opens in South Waziristan, not far from the Afghan border. News of the devastating blow to Bush's credibility by means of the international bridge players' sign is cause for a general celebration....
    You can pick it up here since you seem to think this scenario plausible......


    Nope (1.00 / 2) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:26:53 AM EST
    They are not being "punished" for their political beliefs, but for taking actions that they had no right to take because they claim to represent the US.

    Let them act as individuals. They have that right.

    They don't have the right to claim to represent me.

    And yes, they claim to represent the US.

    a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

    At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, "We did not vote for Bush."

    And the fact is that they did not. But 51.24% did.
    They do not even represent a majority.

    They are typical of the Left.


    bottom line (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:54:42 AM EST
    you decide their speech isn't free over some confused notion of their being some sort of "representative."

    Semantic gibberish.

    Even you can do better, but like most speech curtailing conservatives you don't really want to.



    You write: (1.00 / 2) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:32:22 PM EST
    over some confused notion of their being some sort of "representative.

    What part of this, from the link in the post, don't you understand??

    a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month.

    Definition - represent:

    to speak and act for by delegated authority: to represent one's government in a foreign country.

    If you represent someone then you are not free to take unilateral actions that those you represent disagree with.

    And I haven't said they can't speak. They are free to do so. But not as a representative of the US.

    They are also free to be sanctioned for their actions.

    It is a concept called "personal responsibility." As a certified Leftie I understand you are unaware of the concept.


    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:43:18 PM EST
    If you represent someone then you are not free to take unilateral actions that those you represent disagree with.
    I'm sure Bush would... sorry, I mean should... too. I'm sure you'd agree of course, since he is the "president" and represents the "country".

    Yes, of course you would.


    He hs been elected for a (1.00 / 2) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 07:52:54 PM EST
    specific period of time as chief executive.

    We have Congress as representatives and senators.

    Hopefully when fully educated you will understand the difference.


    thanks for (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 03:12:37 PM EST
    showing everyone here how confused you are. The bridge players, however, know exactly why they are being persecuted.

    Ms. Rosenberg said the team members intended the sign as a personal statement that demonstrated American values and noted that it was held up at the same time some team members were singing along to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and waving small American flags.

    "Freedom to express dissent against our leaders has traditionally been a core American value," she wrote by e-mail. "Unfortunately, the Bush brand of patriotism, where criticizing Bush means you are a traitor, seems to have penetrated a significant minority of U.S. bridge players."
    So, the women held up a factual sign and that means they can be punished by the small minded who dislike facts they disagree with. (Sound like Bushism to me)
    The US Bridge Federation has decried the impromptu message as "a political statement" and said it was particularly out of place in China, where acts of "political dissent" are frowned upon.
    I would hate for a little political and personal freedom to anger the Chinese, wouldn't you? I would hate for American values to be introduced to a conformist, communist political system, wouldn't you? How is embodying personal liberty in a communitst country an "action unbecoming a member," as the USBF would have it? Is there any sort of actual reason here?
    The USBF homepage claims that:
    It is simply not the time or place for any team to make a political statement -- and all participants should know that. The championship rules expressly require participants to abide by the provisions governing Olympic athletes, including the Olympic Charter ban on demonstrations and political propaganda.
    Talk about a constricted reading of the rules, another sure sign you're in Bush-loving, liberty-restricting territory! The women did nothing absolutely nothing to cause offence and those who are manufacturing this tempest and who support it ought to be ashamed of themselves.


    hehe (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:04:36 PM EST
    Ms. Rosenberg said the team members intended the sign as a personal statement that demonstrated American values

    Uh, if you are intelligent enough to be on a bridge team that is representing the US in world wide competition then you are also intelligent enough to understand that anything you do in public at a function attended by the team and part of the function you are involved in is not a "personal statement."

    And as you very well. No, exceedingly well know, such actions encourage our enemies in this time of war.

    With rights come responsibilities. You and these bridge team players should focus on that.

    As I said. They had the right to do what they did. Now they should have the backbone to accept the sanctions.

    Your and their failure speaks volumes about your dedication. This is just politics.


    awwww (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:24:54 PM EST
    back to the right wing canard about free speech emboldening our enemies?

    You didn't respond to the post at all substantively, so, I'll pose the question again.

    How does exemplifying American values of personal liberty in communist China threaten anyone but those with some awfully thin skin?

    You don't have an answer for that, do you?

    nah, just more nonsense about the great amorphous enemies suddenly taking courage from independent minded bridge players.

    Man, you oughta be working for SNL because this material is priceless.


    Your twisting and turning doesn't even (1.00 / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:44:28 PM EST
    meet the low standards you usually demonstrate.

    Again. They made a personal statement at a public function.

    That's not good taste or their right.

    They made their bed. Now they should be adults and sleep in it.

    Join them.



    Blackwater and lawlessness (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by tnthorpe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 01:32:58 PM EST
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 -- Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.

    The F.B.I. investigation into the shootings in Baghdad is still under way, but the findings, which indicate that the company's employees recklessly used lethal force, are already under review by the Justice Department.
    Will Mukasey's DOJ be aggressive in prosecuting such recklessness? Where might a thorough investigation lead since Blackwater has connections at the highest levels in the Bush administration?

    An 'atheist' was walking through the woods... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:06:37 PM EST
    'What majestic trees!' 'What powerful rivers!' What beautiful animals!', he said to himself.

    As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.  

    He  looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped  & fell on the ground . He rolled over to pick himself up but saw  that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw  & raising his right paw to strike him.  

    At that instant the Atheist  cried out,  'Oh my God!'  

    Time stopped...

    The bear froze...

    The forest was silent.

    As  a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. 'You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.' 'Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer'?

    The  atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps You could make  the BEAR a Christian'?

    'Very well,' said the voice.  

    The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:  

    'Lord  bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.'

    h/t to TexDem :-)

    heh (1.00 / 2) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 08:19:38 PM EST
    The  atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask You to treat me as a Christian now

    There are no atheists when being chased by a hungry bear...



    Most people do not capitulate, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 08:46:54 PM EST
    sell their souls, and throw their principles out the window, as easily as you do.

    dumb and dumber (1.00 / 2) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 09:57:53 PM EST
    The comment was a take off from:

    There are no atheists in foxholes.

    And I doubt you have ever been in immediate danger. Much less chased by a hungry bear.

    So I believe you  don't have the vaguest idea of what you speak.


    That's quite a presumption (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:36:32 PM EST
    There were alot of people -- whose words we still have -- who stared the guillotine full in the face every day during the Revoloution who never renounced their atheism.

    I'm sure you do believe that. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 07:44:28 AM EST
    For years I've watched you convince yourself of the most irrational things, while you try to find anyone you can stupid enough to believe them with you.

    Why should today be any different?


    Your failure to understand (1.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:07:00 AM EST
    I think is based on the fact that you think all Christians believe that God will intervene on behalf of one who "believe in God" in the "here and now."

    That is incomplete. Most Christians, or at least the ones I know, believe that God has the power to intervene, but will not ordinarily do so. Prayer has many forms. There are prayers of thanks, requests for help, either direct or indirect, understanding, etc.

    There is an old saying that goes, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."

    On a scale of 1 to 1000 of bad taste, your little joke rates about a 5. I find it interesting only because you chose it to insult a complete class of people by insinuating that Christians are hypocrites and routinely act poorly.

    It is, of course, an extension of your stated belief on how to deal with those you disagree with:

    First of all, (none / 0) (#67)
    by Edger on Thu Jan 25, 2007 at 03:18:25 PM EST

    Do we offer them respect? Absolutely not. We do our best to marginalize and get rid of them.

    Whether or not you are a Christian I do offer you this advice. It is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith, and often ignored by believers and non-believers.

    "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

    Life is a boomerang. We all have a lot of ducking to do. I'll let you try and figure out your number.


    Are you still hoping to find someone here (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:42:08 AM EST
    stupid enough to think that you make any sense at all?

    Good luck.


    That "little joke was in bad taste" (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:43:35 PM EST

    Why am I reminded of Brando/Kurtz talking about those who love to rain down napalm but cant countenance pilots who write f*ck on their planes?


    You have to have read all (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 12:47:06 PM EST
    those books in which Ann Coulter tells us how much all "liberals" hate Christianity to understand Jim's point, Im afraid.

    Heh! (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:27:40 PM EST
    You also have to fall for their little trick of trying slide in the basic premise of christianity hoping that people won't notice and will implicitly accept the premise and begin arguing about whether or not to believe in a god that the premise assumes exists, which also implies acceptance of the other basic premise of original sin: iow, walk into the trap blindly.

    Like ppj, they hope to find people stupid enough to think they make any sense, and it makes them crazy when they're seen through. They end up doing nutty things like burning people alive. All in the name of gawd and saving them, of course..

    I guess I just blasphemed, or something...


    The humorous thing is this. (1.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 11:01:04 PM EST
    If you are correct, you will never know.

    If you are wrong, you will never know.


    Speaking of ... (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 11:02:58 PM EST
    people stupid

    mission accomplished.


    Humorless Mullahs, aplenty (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 09:27:54 AM EST
    We should be thankful that there havnt been any cartoons of praying bears in the newspaper or certain people might be forced to take to the streets.

    Btw, Whose better at skinning people; Christian bears or Pat Robertson, Ole Jerry & co?


    Well (none / 0) (#39)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:32:28 AM EST
    I am agnostic and I have been in situations (serious health crises of close family) where I wished I did believe in the existence of a God who could intervene. I know that the faith of other family members was comforting to them and I was in dire need of comfort at those times.

      My inability to believe that was not at all a matter of  "principles"  but simply a genuine lack of belief.

      That someone would have a "principle" that believing in God is a bad thing suggests severe bigotry and intolerance and is a principle I would never endorse but that is different than not believing.


    maybe we need a thread on (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:22:39 PM EST
    "What I'm having for Thanksgiving Dinner", seeing as how it's a week from today.

    The bear already has his menu filled out, I see....


    It's a blessed day! (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:24:37 PM EST
    no veggies? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jen M on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:27:40 PM EST
    no cake?

    Right now, I'm just cracking up about this (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:30:35 PM EST
    The place in NYC which just the other week was noted for having the World's Most Expensive Dessert, just got shut down for health code violations.

    Rich (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:06:46 PM EST
    The definition of filthy rich

    Hah. Too funny! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:36:27 PM EST
    Probably sardines (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:32:14 PM EST
    and whatever else I can scrounge up. Maybe some tuna for a treat for the cat. :-)

    The cat is pretty small. Tuna will keep her happy. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:39:24 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#37)
    by Packratt on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 04:20:14 AM EST
    All I know is that we have to try and figure out how to feed about 15 people on the cheap. Nope, not family, they're all dead but for my wife and kids. But for a few friends and some soldiers from a nearby base who have nobody else to share the holiday with.

    Of course, even more difficult than the planning the provisions is determining the logistics of fitting 15 people in our 2 bedroom apartment. :(


    Remember the whole (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:20:58 PM EST
    "get tough on inmates and make prison prison by taking away their cable TV and weights and exercise" movement which was so popular among 90s politicians?

    Sure you do.  It's what's helped to make this country's prisons even more of a hellhole than they already were.  And, it paved the way for today's torturers - once you cross the line of demeaning and dehumanizing your captives, it's just a short jaunt to the waterboard.  (Shoot, I remember one state senator who wanted to put pairs of death row inmates into the steel-cage exercise yard and let them kill each other, then sell the videos to help finance the prisons.  But, I digress.)

    But, now that Monday Night Football is only on ESPN, a cable-only channel, wardens are starting to ask to get the cable turned back on.  Why?

    It helps keep the inmates occupied.  From Yahoo news:

    The warden of the Clayton County (Georgia, of course) Correctional Institution wants permission to spend money for a "management tool," satellite TV to keep his 226 inmates occupied watching football.

    Warden Frank Taylor is asking the Clayton County Commission to let him sign up for direct-broadcast satellite service for less than $100 a month. It would be funded with money collected at the prison's commissary and pay phones, which last year amounted to $41,000.

    "The reason is 'Monday Night Football' is now on cable," he said. "Although it might seem funny, when you have 90 percent of inmates watching something, it is a management tool for the institution."

    Currently, he said, inmates in the prison's five dormitories only get two TV channels, often with poor reception.

    But, wait, isn't that being too nice?  Maybe not...

    Taylor asserted that every state prison already has cable or satellite television, but the Georgia Department of Corrections says that isn't so.

    "Our televisions have antennas," said department spokeswoman Tracy Smith.

    No one seems to have reminded spokeswoman Smith that those little satellite dishes are ... anternnas.  But, to be fair, she's from Georgia....

    The problem is... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Packratt on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:05:29 PM EST
    That the whole "tough on prisoners" ideation transfered quickly from prisons to jails, where people held prior to trial are housed. This, of course, completely denegrates the idea of presumed innocence since it seeks to punish those merely accused of a crime, not convicted of one.

    While I was in King County Jail in Seattle awaiting trial for charges that were eventually dismissed thanks to video evidence, I spent two weeks in a holding cell that had people sleeping on the floor for 10 out of 14 days, had sewage on the floor from a drainage problem in the bathroom that would saturate the mattresses of people sleeping on the floor in a jail well known for frequent MRSA infection related deaths, and had no tv or books to occupy people.

    I made 5 decks of playing cards out of the medical kites that the guards refused to let me use to get medical attention while I was there to keep everyone occupied. I also witnessed prisoners being taken outside and cuffed in the rec yards in the snow for hours as a form of punishment for merely talking after lights-out.

    Prisons and Guantanamo aren't the only places for torture anymore, just look to your local county jail as well... AND NOBODY CARES ONE DAMN BIT!


    Abu Gonzales Perjury Fund (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:44:30 PM EST
    Well (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:03:47 PM EST
    In wingnut logic, since he is under investigation, he is guilty of course.

    But it's all the fault of "The Lefffttttt".


    Sorry... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by desertswine on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:02:34 PM EST
    But I already gave to the Bernie Kerik Defense Fund.

    Does "waterboarding" constitute torture? (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:44:45 PM EST
    A Primer on the Law of Torture
    President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney as well as a succession of current and former attorneys general, legal counsels, secretaries of defense, judicial appointees, CIA agents and others seem to be having difficulty figuring out what constitutes torture or other cruel and inhuman treatment as a matter of law. For example, does "waterboarding" constitute torture? Perhaps they could do with a primer on the subject.

    What does the law actually say? According to the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment: "The term 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining information or a confession ... inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or any other person acting in an official capacity ... No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." Could any statement of law be clearer?
    Is the US bound by the law? Yes. Can the US president grant immunity? No. The US government crafted, promoted, adopted, signed and ratified the 1984 Convention Against Torture, which therefore automatically becomes the "supreme law of the land," pursuant to the US Constitution, which itself forbids cruel punishment. No enabling legislation is required to give effect to these basic principles of law.
    Torture, within the meaning of the 1984 Convention Against Torture, continues to be secretly and systematically inflicted and condoned by various officials at the highest levels of the Bush administration. Most of these high-level officials have no experience of combat, of imprisonment or of interrogation. They have trashed the reputation of America around the globe. As a result, they are contributing to the rise of international terrorism. These leaders and actors appear to lack the imagination, intellectual capacity and moral compass to understand what is at stake, and keep America on the moral high ground. They need a primer on the basics. They better learn quick, because there is no statute of limitations on war crimes and crimes against humanity, and as our US president has himself said, in a not-dissimilar context, "They can run, but they can't hide."

    Another Bushie in the prosecutors' sights (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    This time, HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson is under the scrutiny of the FBI, the DoJ, and a grand jury.  He was the guy who said (in so many words) that potential contractors better not have any problems with the president, if they want contracts.

    His problem seems to revolve around steering contracts to one or more friends.

    Oh, and Bushie's announced a whole crew of appointments to assist Mukasey.  Anyone know anything about these folks:
    U.S. District Judge Mark Filip, N.D. Ill., to be DAG;
    Grace C. Becker, of New York, to be Assistant Attorney General (Civil Rights);
    Nathan J. Hochman, of California, to be Assistant Attorney General (Tax Division);
     Gregory G. Katsas, of Massachusetts, to be Assistant Attorney General (Civil Division);
    Kevin J. O'Connor, of Connecticut, to be Associate Attorney General.

    I mean, are any of these truly odious, or are they just run of the mill Rethug loyalists?  I have a vague recollection of Backer being somehow involved in the DoD torture issue, on the facilitating side - but I'm not sure on that.

    Barry Bonds indicted (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by scribe on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 04:33:16 PM EST
    on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

    This will swamp everything, for at least a week, so watch for the Rethugs to try to pull out of their hats some propaganda nugget to chew on early next week, just in time for Thanksgiving.

    And for the Congress to find a way to fold like lawn furniture on warrantless wiretapping and retroactive immunity.

    Packratt (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 09:29:39 AM EST
    As I wrote, the comment was a take off from a once popular saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes."

    It refers not to the immediate threat of danger, but the recognition of being in a continuous life threating situation. It also refers to the fact that seeing death and destruction regularly and routinely affects many people in a way to make them believe in God. Note that I did not say in a structured religious organization, or a religion.

    I wrote it in response to Edger's attempt at being humorous at the expense of millions of people who do believe, and who try to do good and be better people. My point being that the Christian faith does, if nothing else, offer the individual a calming balm in times of stress, if the individual believes.

    You have made several comments describing some hard times you have gone through. You have my sympathy and best wishes. Since my knowledge of you is very limited I do not offer advice, but suggest that you try and remove yourself from people, places and situations that can place you at any kind of risk.

    Barack Obama, leadership where it counts. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Aaron on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 02:32:35 AM EST
    Transformative Proposals from Obama

    Today, Obama is throwing down the gauntlet on a internet freedom, telecom lobbyists, and on opening up government in general to the public. It's some genuinely radical stuff, and it includes the use of blogs, wikis, and openness in government hearings.

    That's not news (none / 0) (#20)
    by koshembos on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:03:44 PM EST
    Attempts to use the Internet to open the government to public participation has been around for several years. The efforts are still immature and will mature with use and time.

    There is a ton of government openness that can be achieved by simple depoliticization, reducing corruption and better contract award administration. Gimmicks are nice, but are just gimmicks.


    The House of Saud, patriarchal oppressors (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 11:09:16 AM EST
    Saudi punishes gang rape victim with 200 lashes

    Free the people of Saudi Arabia, free the women and children of the Arabian Peninsula from the hand of oppressive predatory patriarchal doctrine.  

    I call on the people of Saudi Arabia, to reject monarchal rule, and throw down the house Al Saud.  They are dogs who have fed themselves at the expense of the people for far too long.

    I hear that.... (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 09:07:51 AM EST
    As long as your calling on the people of Saudi Arabia to do the toppling, and not the US govt.

    It's up to the people of each country, and up to each individual, to secure their own freedom from tyranny.


    I also condemn SA and Iran. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 07:15:13 PM EST
    Well, at least they are more enlightened than Iran. In Iran they hang rape victims.

    How about genital mutilation? Very common in Egypt and other ME countries....

    Anyway, glad to see you are catching on why I think they're bad.


    Of course.... (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 09:18:32 AM EST
    people who stone, people who hang, people who mutilate, people who torture, people who lethally inject....of course they are bad.

    Where we differ is I don't support invading and occupying countries where such barbarism is practiced...it's up to the people of these countries to fight barbarism.  We've got barbarism and tyranny here at home to combat.


    kdog (1.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 11:15:03 AM EST
    .it's up to the people of these countries to fight barbarism.

    I would agree, except they aren't doing it, and it matters not why. They aren't.

    Now, as long as the actions of the radical Moslem terrorists were contained, I was content to let them solve their problem.

    But, like  an infectious disease, terrorism as a political maneuver has broken out and is spreading.

    It has to be stopped.


    More terror..... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:41:21 PM EST
    ain't gonna stop it Jim.  

    If you believe Marvin Gaye, and I do, "only love can conquer hate"


    No (1.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 07:48:40 PM EST
    I don't believe that philosophy espoused by a singer will solve the radical Moslem terrorists problem.

    It is a political problem supported by a warped belief in the Islamic faith.

    Get rid of that and then maybe the lovers will have a chance.


    And bombing them and starving (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 01:17:14 PM EST
    their children is going to change that how exactly.

    Or, is the point (as I suspect), that these people are unworthy of life and genuine humanitarian consideration?

    Let the Good Lord sort 'em out.


    Check out the Oil For Food (1.00 / 2) (#63)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 07:50:14 PM EST
    program and tell me who was starving children.

    And before that.. (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jondee on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 10:36:02 AM EST
    the "sanctions" that went on for years against Iraqi children in order to squeeze the one person who couldnt be squeezed.

    As if you cared about those children to begin with..You cant even muster concern for those "America-haters" effected by wildfires.


    Jails (none / 0) (#6)
    by Packratt on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 01:06:00 PM EST
    The King County Jail is quite different from the one you described. It takes several hours to process people and it's an old facility so you'll see some intreresting things walking through it's halls... from floor and wall shackle-mounts much like you see in old torture flicks and comic strips, to old rusted and barred holding cells in a jail full of plexglass enclosed cells and tanks.

    No legal haven in Canada (none / 0) (#19)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:02:42 PM EST
    US war resisters' appeals turned down:

    OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Two Americans who deserted the U.S. Army to protest against the war in Iraq lost their bid for refugee status in Canada on Thursday.

    The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear appeals from the two men, Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, over decisions by immigration authorities -- backed in two subsequent court rulings -- that they were not refugees in need of protection...

    Though it doesn't mean all the US soldiers who've fled to Canada are going to be deported, at least not right away.

    The War Resisters Support Campaign, aware of some 55 deserters who have come to Canada since 2004, said they would now press for a political way to let the deserters stay, since legal avenues seem to have been exhausted.

    Two opposition parties, the Bloc Quebecois and New Democratic Party, as well as a "good number" of Liberal members of Parliament, support the introduction of a special provision in Parliament that would let deserters stay...

    that's what you get, (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Thu Nov 15, 2007 at 03:16:52 PM EST
    for being a bad, bad girl! :)

    It's a jail day for me

    i see the state dept. IG's brother is on the blackwater BoD, and has been since this summer, contrary to what the IG testified to before congress. kind of the classic conflict of interest there. since he would, by definition, be involved in any investigation regarding state's use of blackwater, shouldn't he resign?