December 2007 archive

Should Your President Be Self-Serving or Conscientious?

How do you  go about choosing a candidate to support? Is it an entirely rational process? Do you decide what the most important issues are for you and then compare each candidate’s proposed policies on them point by point to make your selection? Or do you go by your “feel” for the integrity and character qualities of the individual candidates? When the candidates are in broad agreement on the major issues (such as ending the Iraq occupation, providing healthcare for all Americans, restoring constitutional limits on executive power, etc.) and they only differ in some specifics of how they would get to those goals, questions of character begin to take on more weight, even among those who are most wonkishly informed and passionate on the issues.

Political psychologist Aubrey Immelman, research director and founder of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict in Collegeville and St. Joseph, Minnesota, specializes in developing personality profiles of prominent political figures (as well as criminals – heh).

The 50 most Loathsome People of 2007

I just have to share this:

The 50 Most Loathsome People of 2007

Here’s a little sample:

10. Alberto Gonzales

Crimes: The most truckling, amoral flunky to ever serve as Attorney General. A jurisprudent organelle, he manifests no concept of the law independent of its expediency to the president. Would smilingly accuse himself of providing material support to al Qaeda at President Bush’s request, hurriedly plead guilty, sign his own death warrant and flip the switch himself. His testimony before congressional committees is to public service what cholera is to the small intestine. As first Hispanic Attorney General, Gonzo typifies the self-betrayal and ethical compromise necessary for minorities to become successful Republicans. Been felching sweet approval from Bush’s lily-white ass since Texas. A conscienceless, memo-drafting, loophole-crafting liar for hire, pushing for all the worst administration policies, including nixing habeas corpus, denying and then defending rendition, torture, political firings, and a ton of other evil stuff. He even visited a seriously ill and disoriented John Ashcroft at the hospital, attempting to coax him into reauthorizing a clearly illegal wiretapping program. The only Attorney General who ever could have made John Ashcroft a sympathetic character by contrast.

Exhibit A: “The fact that the Constitution — again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away.”

Sentence: Death by dull guillotine, head bent by Beckham.

Nobody gets off the hook here.  If you’re a Hillary Clinton supporter, you might want to skip this one:

Some thoughts on the darkness

New Years is a great time for reflecting back and looking forward. As I do a bit of that today, its clear that the last year has been one of darkness. But, as the poet David Whyte says, there is a place for darkness – even a sweetness.

Sweet Darkness by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired

the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone

no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark

where the night has eyes

to recognize its own.

There you can be sure

you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb


The night will give you a horizon

further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:

the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds

except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet

confinement of your aloneness

to learn

anything or anyone

that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

BBC Edits David Frost’s Interview of Bhutto

I received an e-mail this morning from The Existentialist Cowboy about an interview Benazir Bhutto gave to David Frost of the BBC’s “Frost Over The World!”

BBC’ Bhutto Interview.

At 5:01 of this video Bhutto tries to express the names of three individuals whom might be responsible for her attempted assassination in October ’07.  However, the camera leaves her for David Frost and cuts out her remaining two suspects, leaving the interview itself completely indiscernible.  Why would the BBC edit out this VERY important piece of information?

Here is the complete interview and at 6:13, you can hear her full list-the uncut version….

Did you hear that?  “Omar Sheikh the man who murdered Osama Bin Laden”

Wikipedia says this:

November 2007

In an interview with political interviewer David Frost, taken on November 2, 2007, the recently assassinated Pakistani politician, and Pakistan People’s Party chairwoman, Benazir Bhutto, claimed that Bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. During her answer to a question pertaining to the identities of those who had previously attempted her own assassination, Bhutto named Sheikh as a possible suspect while referring to him as “the man who murdered Osama bin Laden.” Despite the weight of such a statement, neither Bhutto nor Frost attempted to clarify it and no other mainstream media appears to have further inquired about it.

Why not?  Where’s the outrage?  Shouldn’t we celebrate the fact that this man who purportedly was responsible for 9/11 is now gone?

Oh I have so many questions…if OBL is dead, then there is quite remarkably, complete silence from the MSM…Is this the reason why Bush closed up shop at the CIA’s OBL Station in 2005?

Is this the reason Bhutto was assassinated, because she knew too much and the powers that be needed her out of the way?

Len Hart of the Existentialist Cowboy writes;

Bhutto herself has exposed the fraudulent nature of the Bush/Blair “war on terrorism”. If Bin Laden is dead, as has been reported, then the various tapes that he is alleged to have made are all phony. The war on terrorism itself is a callous, calculated fraud perpetrated by a murderous Bush regime, a murderous Blair regime, a murderous puppet regime of Musharraf.

That’s why Bhutto was assassinated. She was the woman who knew too much. Bhutto exposed the fact that US policies cause terrorism and she stated the various ways in which groups inside the US and Britain benefited politically and materially from the phony war on phony terrorism, the failed war in Afghanistan, the war crime that is still perpetrated against the people of Iraq. Bhutto posed a threat to the culprits in the Bush regime to include Bush himself. She posed a threat to the kiss ups in Musharraf’s regime to include Musharraf and the liars who tried to float the incredible “lone lever” theory. She was murdered. And the BBC has been caught censoring the most important piece of the puzzle. If Osama is dead, the war on terror is a bloody fraud!

And indeed reactions all over YouTube are quite the same….

May Benazir Bhutto rest in peace, and may peace prevail!

Four at Four

News and afternoon open thread.

  1. Headline news in Britain, not so much in the U.S.A. The Guardian reports, 2007 is America’s deadliest year in Iraq.

    This year has been the most deadly for American troops in Iraq since the invasion nearly five years ago, US military figures out today show.

    Deaths peaked in May when 126 American soldiers died in coalition assaults on insurgent strongholds… The 899 American troop deaths in 2007 surpassed 2004 when 850 US soldiers were killed.

    The US military deaths are dwarfed by Iraqi civilian casualties… Over the year, 18,610 Iraqis were killed. In 2006, the only other full year an AP count has been made, 13,813 civilians were killed.

  2. The Washington Post reports 32 K Street lobbyists are aiding John McCain. “McCain aides bridle at the notion that the senator, who has consistently fought in the Senate against so-called pork-barrel spending from such interests and championed laws to restrict their lobbying and political donations, might favor his big contributors… McCain has more lobbyists raising funds for his presidential bid than do any of his rivals. He has 32 “bundlers” of donations who are lobbyists. Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) is the closest to him with 29 lobbyist bundlers, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) with 18. McCain’s campaign has also been guided by lobbyists.” Maverick!

  3. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Sub-prime mortgage mess takes a bite out of states and cities. “Dozens of states, counties and cities across the nation will enter the new year facing deep and unexpected budget holes as the widening mortgage crisis cuts sharply into tax revenue… The effects of the housing slowdown are not being felt evenly across the nation… The 10 most affected states, including California, Nevada and Arizona, will lose a combined $6.6 billion in tax revenue next year, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors… The fallout has been most severe in California, where officials are grappling with a $14-billion gap.”

  4. The death of the public library may have been a bit premature. Reuters reports a survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found Generation Y biggest user of U.S. libraries. “More than half of Americans visited a library in the past year with many of them drawn in by the computers rather than the books… Of the 53 percent of U.S. adults who said they visited a library in 2007, the biggest users were young adults aged 18 to 30 in the tech-loving group known as Generation Y… Internet users were more than twice as likely to patronize libraries as non-Internet users, according to the survey.”

Circles and Cycles, Light Vs. Dark… and The Biggest Picture

Every year is a circle around the sun.  Every year our homes grow cold….only to slowly warm again. Every year the trees go bare, only to be replaced eventually by the budding of new life.

Every year the earth plunges into darkness…only to emerge back into the light.


It is our most basic cycle, and a reminder of the greater cycles, on grander scales, that we all pass through in our lives. And on grander scales too, some larger than our little lifespans, there are cycles of light and darkness. The waxing and waning of the light…of enlightenment.

Pony Party: Happy Holidays, part III

Hi all – I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. I’m oot and aboot, so I probably won’t be here to comment. Have at it!


The Hand Basket


Cross posted from SanchoPress…

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I remember my grandfather saying this. He meant our nation. I remember my mom saying this. She meant America.

It had already begun before my grandfather said it. It had gained momentum when my mom was saying it.

Now I say it. I say it meaning the United States. I also say it meaning the world. The momentum the hand basket had when my mom said it has turned into a flying hand basket. A jet propelled hand basket.    

The descent of the hand basket and all it contains, seems to be caught in a tsunami, a hurricane, an avalanche. At times it feels like there is no hope of stopping the hand basket from reaching it’s stated destination .

Yet, we must try. If we don’t, what do we tell our young children or our grandchildren? What do we say when they ask the inevitable questions?

What did you do to stop the hand basket so my generation wouldn’t be worse off than yours? How did you try to keep the path of the hand basket from making us the first group in America’s history worse off than those before them? Why did you let the hand basket move on and on and leave us on the brink of complete annihilation and destruction of our nation, our world, our planet?

Did you do your best to stop the hand basket cradling our country, our world and our planet? Did you at least try to slow the tide of the tsunami, the winds of the tornado or the avalanche of snow increasing the speed of the hand basket?

What things, people, circumstances, events, difficulties, problems and more are in the hand basket on its way to hell? We can’t even imagine all of what it contains, much less list them all. The hand basket contains all from the beginning of mankind and we’re letting it hurdle to hell at an unprecedented rate.  

To name just some of the recent things to be put in the hand basket from the United States, our actions, our lack of actions, our policies and practices would seem to fill the hand basket until it overflowed and the list would still not be complete.

Even the most recently added to the overflowing hand basket are so very sad, yet, the majority in the hand basket are good.

So, how is it possible that the hand basket is nearing it’s final stop so rapidly?

The bad, negative, evil and worse are the forces propelling the hand basket towards hell. They are only 10% of those in the hand basket. How could 10% possibly be moving the hand basket along at an ever increasing rate? Why would they be doing it? Why doesn’t matter. It may never be known. Maybe it is just that they are greedy, egomaniacs with a never ending lust.  

The rest of us just need to know they, the 10%, are steering the hand basket. They are not only steering the hand basket but they are making it move faster and faster each day.

The good who are the other 90% in the hand basket are desperately trying to put on the brakes, to stop the hand basket or to at least slow down what seems to be the inevitable fate of the hand basket.

Oh, the horrors in the hand basket. Oh, the terrible things in the hand basket just from The United States Of America. Just from the 10% of America’s leaders who are despicable and wretched.

In the hand basket is the war in Iraq. The devastation of a nation that America had no right or reason to invade. The horror of the death and destruction of a people, a nation, a society, a culture.

In the hand basket are the American troops and Iraqis who died. Innumerable others who suffered physical injuries.

Many more and their families who will live forever with the mental torture of TBI, PTSD, mental health issues, divorce, suicide, homelessness and more. All these with little or no help for their problems from the 10% who pushed so vehemently for them to perpetrate this trespass.

In the hand basket are forty seven million uninsured Americans with all the difficulties, heartache and misery this creates for them.

In the hand basket is now the body of Benazir Bhutto on top of Lincoln, Kennedy, Martin Luther, seven million Jews from the holocaust and so many many more bodies of those who died for reasons without just explanation.

In the hand basket are the hungry, the homeless, the forgotten. Many are from the wealthiest nation on earth. In the hand basket are the missing children, those forced into sexual slavery and child pornography. Many are from the richest nation in the world. They will never recover from their scars.

In the hand basket are the children who have been abused. Abused physically, mentally and emotionally. Those who will never be whole again without a great deal of help, if ever. Those who can not trust anyone. Those who feel that almost everyone is out to hurt them. Those that blame others for all their difficulties later in life. Those without the ability to listen to anyone’s direction. Those who spend their life fighting all authority and structure. Those that wallow in self pity. Who can blame them, they were damaged as children. Children are supposed to be our future. They are in the hand basket. Many are now adults and were once the children of our future and they are in the hand basket

“1 Dead In Attic…..

After Katrina” is a haunting, evocative chronicle by Chris Rose, through his Times-Picayune columns, of his own life and that of a New Orleans not only struggling to recover but to survive. Not in chronological order but arranged by theme, the columns start with Sept. 1, 2005 and end with Dec. 31, 2006.

As he often speaks for a Louisiana in pain, Rose eloquently describes not only the surrealness of her post-Katrina landscape but also some intriguing, often eccentric characters he meets in his beloved city and his own descent into the private hell of depression–and that of those around him. “1 Dead In Attic” should be required reading for anyone who wants to know what life in New Orleans after what Rose often calls “the Thing” was, and still is, like from the inside.

Our family game of Horse-oply and The Story of Stuff

My horse-loving 8 year old daughter received the Horse-oply game for Christmas. Horse-oply is just Monopoly with a veneer of horses. The board and cards are changed to horsey things but it is basically the same soul-killing game of merciless capitalism. I had forgotten how soul-killing Monopoly is because I haven’t played it for 30 years or more. We, of course, could not deny my daughter playing it at least once before it was buried deep in a closet and marked for Goodwill and somebody else’s problem.  So we set aside a few precious hours on Sunday afternoon to do the deed.

Cross posted at Pockets of the Future

Pony Party, NFL Round-up

i happen to be undefeated as well….you just dont hear me getting all braggy about it…


Docudharma Times Monday Dec.31

This is an Open Thread: Come as you are As you were

Headlines For Monday December 31: Obama Tries New Tactics To Get Out Vote in Iowa: Iran’s inner and outer circles of influence and power: Scores dead in Kenya poll clashes: Moscow loses sweet slice of history


After a Son’s Death, a Shared Mission in Politics

In an instant, a world in which everything seemed right suddenly seemed all wrong. John and Elizabeth Edwards’s 16-year-old son, Wade, their first-born, was dead, with nothing to blame but the gust of wind that had flipped his car off a wide-open road.

As the couple walked down the aisle of the church for his funeral, they braced each other, friends recalled, as if they could not stand alone.

In the bleak months that followed, the Edwardses looked for ways to keep Wade’s name alive, taking comfort even in seeing it printed on credit-card offers that arrived in the mail. Determined to honor their son publicly and fill their life with meaning, they created a learning center named after him. They chose to have more children. And they decided Mr. Edwards would enter politics, a path that took him first to the United States Senate and now to his second run for the presidency.

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