October 23, 2007 archive

Move On Joins The FISA Bandwagon

And cheers to them for that:

In a move that will up the pressure on Hillary and Barack Obama to stand firm against the Senate telecom immunity FISA bill, MoveOn and a dozen top progressive blogs will launch an all-out campaign tomorrow to pressure the two Senators into publicly declaring their support for Chris Dodd's threat to place a hold on and filibuster the bill, Election Central has learned.

. . . If Hillary and Obama don't comply, Green added, “it would send an unfortunate signal to Democratic voters about whether they're willing to stand up to George Bush. The idea is to get Democrats to stand on principle and exercise the powers of their office to stop Bush from covering up how far he went in illegally spying on the private emails and phone calls of innocent Americans.”

Well done Move On.

Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain


Truth be told, what the Democrats are doing today is smart short term politics.

The scenario will probably play out like this:

A) Piss off your base by refusing to Impeach / Defund
B) Strengthen your gains with the squishy middle, do not risk pissing them off
C) Count on the base having nowhere to go come election time
D) Win in 2008 and MoveOn from there

Essentially, they are following a smart political strategy.

But in the mean time…

With Sand in the Vaseline

Maryscott did well yesterday on MLW Talk Radio.  I was on hold, having come late to the party.  My son was being all quiet and respectful.  Asking a hyper 8 year old to be quiet the first 15 minutes home from school, when he is bubbling with news of the day is like asking water to flow uphill, but he made me proud.

He made me laugh too.  He did stage whisper twice.

“Can I talk to her on the phone too?”

(I nodded no)


“Whoa, she really needs a TV show like all those guys we watch.”

(I nodded yes)

Out of the mouths of babes.  He later clarified what he wanted to ask:

“How can Bush be so evil and why won’t anyone stop him?  All he wants is war, war and more war Mom!”

Important If True . . .

prosecution of key anti terrorism case falls apart http://www.latimes.c… “serious consequences” Cheney uses the phrase to set up an attack on Iran. How ’bout we use the phrase on congressional Dems to set up a primary challenge to them?

Four at Four


  1. Southern California is on fire. The Los Angeles Times reports on More evacuations and new fires.

    High temperatures and fierce winds returned to Southern California this morning, complicating the efforts to control a string of wildfires that grew overnight, prompting new evacuations. San Diego County authorities estimated 1,000 homes had burned there, and blazes in the mountains east of Los Angeles.

    Fires sprang up in San Diego and Los Angeles counties, and evacuations were ordered in Orange and San Diego counties. Weary firefighters fought to contain major blazes that have burned for days across seven counties, with containment days away at the soonest.

    In especially hard-hit San Diego County, Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts said this morning that the burned area in the county could be approaching 300,000 acres, with an estimated 1,000 homes lost. He said 270,000 “reverse 911” calls had been made warning residents to evacuate. At least 15,000 people spent the night in shelters, and the number of evacuees could exceed half a million.

    The San Diego Union Tribune reports the Witch Creek fire is “Going to get worse.”

    The Witch Creek fire burning across northern San Diego County has left a grim toll: 500 homes destroyed and 250 damaged; 100 commercial buildings destroyed and 75 damaged; 50 outbuildings destroyed and 50 more damaged. At least 145,000 acres have burned, authorities said Monday.

    “It’s going to get worse. It’s probably the worst fire this county has ever had, well worse than the Cedar fire,” Sheriff Bill Kolender said in a news conference.

    The New York Times reports that the California fires force 300,000 from homes. “More than a dozen wildfires continued to rage unstopped in southern California for a third day today , forcing an estimated 300,000 people to evacuate their homes and blackening over 400 square miles of brushland and suburbs. Hot, gusting winds made the advancing flames nearly impossible for firefighters to control, officials said. The winds are expected to keep blowing through the day, and perhaps longer.”

Four at Four continues below the fold with additional news.

Important If True . . . : Herb Caen edition

Back when I was a kid, I used to look forward every day to reading the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle was a paper that was – how to put this – unique in its outlook and editorial stance. Freed from the stifling journalistic rigor of, say, its distant and uptight cousins, The New York Times or the The Washington Post (and if you’re wondering how I can use the phrase “journalistic rigor” in the same sentence as “The New York Times” or “The Washington Post,” remember: this was when I was a kid, okay?), the Chron (as we called it) practiced a more, umm, Bohemian style of journalism, one that reflected, perhaps, the decidedly less weighty priorities of the residents of Baghdad-by-the-Bay and its environs.

OK, We Tried THAT….Now What America?

Bamboozled by a blow job, America turned to Republicanism to save it from moral decay and to restore ‘honor.’

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

How’s that workin out for ya there, America?

Confused by relative peace, a good economy, growing but slow progress on Gay and Civil Rights, the respect of the world, a long record of fairly successful diplomatic effort, progress on the environment and huge budget surpluses…..America turned to Republicanism.

And has nearly destroyed itself.

Message to Al: Jump In or Drop Out!

Just got this e-mail from Democracy for America:

  Dear Thomas,

Our challenge to Al Gore: Jump In or Drop Out!

Something surprising is happening at Democracy for America; former Vice President Al Gore is leading the race for the DFA Presidential endorsement — as a write-in candidate.

Voting is still open until November 5 at midnight, and there is plenty of time for any candidate to win. All your candidate needs is your vote right now:


Despite the fact that Al Gore has not announced that he will run and wasn’t even included in the endorsement poll, DFA members have seized the power and written him in. With over 65,000 votes cast so far, the time has come for Vice President Gore to make a decision.

The clock is ticking. We are deep into the 11th hour. There are fewer than 90 days until the first votes are cast. And filing deadlines to be on the ballot start closing in just days.

You deserve to know. Is Al Gore in or out?

Together, we are the boots on the ground that knock on doors, make phone calls, and recruit new supporters whether advocating for the next president or electing Governor Howard Dean to Chair the Democratic National Committee.  DFA members are working to take our country back and the DFA endorsement is worth more than just words to the candidate that wins.

Vote for your candidate now:


Of course, this is not an ordinary endorsement poll. All voters are asked for their top three choices. And in the end, only an announced candidate can win the DFA endorsement. That means this will be the first poll in the nation that can accurately report both the remarkable support Al Gore has in the progressive grassroots AND which announced candidates earn that support if he never jumps in.

When we announce the results on November 6th, one year from Election Day, everyone will be watching.

Don’t keep us waiting, Mr. Gore. It is time for an answer.

Arshad Hasan
Executive Director


Share this email:

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Democracy for America. 

This message was sent to tfahey1371@aol.com. Visit your subscription management page to modify your email communication preferences or update your personal profile. To stop ALL email from Democracy for America, click to remove yourself from our lists (or reply via email with “remove or unsubscribe” in the subject line). 

Paid for by Democracy for America, www.DemocracyforAmerica.com and not authorized by any candidate. Contributions to Democracy for America are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. 

Stark Apologizes

The GOP censure motion of Pete Stark failed. Apparently there was a quid pro quo. He apologized

This was badly handled all around. While I thought Stark’s comments stupid and counterproductive, they did not merit all this nonsense. This is a bad business.

Priests Sentenced in Fort Huachuca Torture Protest Case

On October 17, Louis Vitale and Stephen Kelly, two priests arrested for trespassing as they sought to deliver a letter protesting U.S. violations of the Geneva Convention in relation to torture, were sentenced to five months in prison. Fr. Vitale is 75 years old.

On November 19, 2006, Vitale and Kelly had tried to give their protest letter to Major General Barbara Fast, then-commandant of Fort Huachuca Army Base, and previously intelligence chief for the U.S. command in Baghdad during the period the worst abuses took place at Abu Ghraib. Fort Huachuca itself is the site for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School. It is alleged that torture techniques are taught at the school. See my article “Torture on Trial in Arizona Desert” for more on the trial and on Ft. Huachuca. Most notable was the judge’s refusal in the case to allow any evidence about U.S. use of torture or “the morality or immorality of the government’s use of interrogation techniques…”

Philosophactory: Strange Conditional

Philosophactory: Intermission

The “If-Then”: Natural Language vs. Formal Logic
Philosophy of The Conditional

The five part EXCITING, and LIMITED, and WHATNOT series on ancient
philosopher occurs at 9am PDT, or whatever o’clock your time zone, every
Tuesday and I’m really hurt you haven’t noticed. There are to be five schools
and here the list. Something said to unify the approach to philosophy in
antiquity, that it was to live a good life, well, and sometimes represented
as a state of calmness or tranquility:

  1. School of Epicurus

    the good life is the simple pleasures, freindships, good meals, walks
    at sunset, I add: if willing to endure hardship, add more extreme
    pleasures like surfing.

  2. The Stoics

    the good life, and ataraxia, follows from living a virtuous life, such
    that one becomes indifferent to hardship, and this is considered serene


    Homemade Conditional

    is being served in the lobby

  4. ??
  5. ???
  6. ????

    free bonus if you act now:

    • ???
    • ?????

(by pyrrho for publishing jointly at MLW and DocuDharma)

Logic vs Natural Language

Ok, this is a strange thing. I put it in a video, because I want to. But I
know many of you are written word junkies, and believe, I mean that
literally, and in the kindest but also you-may-need-help way, so I will
explain my brief point.

The logical form of the “if-then”, such as “if A then B”, is The
Conditional, and it’s a fundamental part of and a basic building blocks of
formal logic, and for that matter, informal logic, and il-logic. But it is
defined in a way that is very different and strange when compared to the
natural language conditional.

A –> B is a way of saying “if A then B”.

A strange thing in logic is that “A –> B” is untrue, false, when A is
true, and B is false. So that leads to two strange things about the
conditional used in formal logic.

Firstly, it means that if both A and B are false, then then A –> B is
true… we wouldn’t think that in natural language. “If bananas are blue then
oceans are made of ginger ale” is true? Maybe, on the theory also supported
in logic that with nonsense you can prove any other nonsense.

Secondly, and what I address in the short video below, meant to either
relax or stimulate you, either way, is the fact that if B is true, then it
doesn’t matter if A is true or false. Contrary to that in natural language it
matters that A is related to B somehow, regardless of the truth value, as
they call it, of A and B.

The example from the video:

If I have viable orange seeds, then I can grow an orange tree.

A = I have viable orange seeds.

B : I can grow an orange tree.

In the historical mainstream of formal logic A–>B here is true because
“I can grow an orange tree” is true. In natural language, it’s also true,
but not for that reason, it’s true because both A and be both mention
oranges, and thus have a relationship, which happens to be true, because
orange trees come from orange seeds.

In logic, this is also true “if I have a puppy, then I can grow an orange
tree”. In natural language that is not true, unless there is some link
between the puppy and the orange tree.

I love logic, but it’s a tool, and I think this is a very serious issue in
terms of what the limitations are for logic as we understand it right now in
terms of applicability to the natural world. It is possibly this logic
holding us back from abstract gains in knowledge in fields other than
physics, due to small errors in ancient logical tools meant, really, to
codify our true thoughts on “if then”.

What We Need: A Do Nothing Congress

Brian Beutler has a terrific run down of what went wrong tactically with the Democratic Congress last week (S-CHIP, FISA, etc.) But Beutler still is looking at the tactical picture and looking at a Congress that he wants to do something. The problem is that, and this is true, they do not have the votes to do something in contested areas like S-CHIP, Iraq funding and FISA. This mistaken focus is exemplified here:

There is no hypothetical package of enticements the Democrats can offer a Republican that outweigh the price that that Republican will pay within his own party. He'll only be treated leniently when his party bosses realize that, if they don't let him vote with the opposition, he might lose his seat. At some point the Republicans realized something crucial: That, for now anyhow, upholding the veto is politically neutral. . . .

What does this mean? It means that even on issues as politically popular as S-CHIP, Bush can stop all Democratic initiatives. The question is then what can the Democrats do? Simply this, END all the Bush travesties. Iraq, FISA, etc. By using the power of the purse and NOT funding them. More.

Load more