April 24, 2008 archive

Why I Support OR-Sen candidate Jeff Merkley

As many of you know there is a contested race for the Democratic nomination for the Oregon Senate between House Speaker Jeff Merkley and lawyer/activist Steve Novick. As an Oregonian, I am not represented by my current Republican Senator Gordon Smith. He’s a moderate poser, who trots out votes during election time where he sided with the Democrats in an effort to conceal his true political nature. The primary for the nomination is less than a month away, and time’s ticking for both Democrats to make their case. I want to make the case for Jeff Merkley here and now, and hopefully convince my fellow bloggers that Jeff Merkley will be a progressive champion for us.

Pony Party, Phone it in Friday

hey hey we’re the republicans

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports the CIA foresaw interrogation issues and thought investigations into their use of torture “virtually inevitable”. So “inevitable” that the CIA sought Department of Justice legal support.

    The CIA said it had identified more than 7,000 pages of classified memos, e-mails and other records relating to its secret prison and interrogation program, but maintained that the materials cannot be released because they relate to, in part, communications between CIA and Justice Department attorneys or discussions with the White House.

    Nineteen of those documents were withheld from disclosure specifically because the Bush administration decided they are covered by a “presidential communications privilege,” according to the filings, made in federal court in Manhattan. Some were “authored or solicited and received by the President’s senior advisors in connection with a decision, or potential decision, to be made by the president.

    Although the precise content of the documents is unknown, the agency’s statements illustrate the extent to which senior White House officials were involved in decision-making on CIA detentions, interrogations, and renditions, a term for forced transfers of prisoners.

    Translation: If this memo was the smoking gun, those nineteen documents are the smoking howitzer. Impeach.

  2. The New York Times reports Inmate count in the United States dwarfs all other nations’. “The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners… The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London… The gap between American justice and that of the rest of the world is enormous and growing.”

Four at Four continues below the fold with the Bush administration’s interfering with EPA scientists and Bush’s secret deal with Israel.

DOJ: The Weak Link In Preventing Tyranny

Tyranny: a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler.

Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

Accountability: an obligation to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

Justice: the administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments

There is no more tyrannical act than a ruler taking the law into his own hands to torture or kill a person.

There is no greater injustice than to have evidence…overwhelming evidence….of such an oft repeated immoral and tyrannical act, but to have no means of accountability.

There is no greater evidence of the substitution of tyranny for democracy, than to have the very agent charged with upholding justice refuse to do so.

The Department of Justice is that agent, in our democracy, and it is refusing to hold George Bush accountable for his confessed illegal actions.


By the act of politicizing and corrupting the DOJ to the point where it will not act against him under any circumstances, George “the Torturer” Bush has effectively escaped the Rule of Law and become a unaccountable ruler. Unaccountable to The People, unaccountable to justice itself. In other words, a ruler who makes his own laws, a tyrant.

This sounds like hyperbole, but it is where our nation stands at this point in time.  

Republicans in US Senate say SCREW YOU to Americans. Pay discrimination OK.

Or, should I say that Republicans in the US Senate say SCREW YOU to Americans, again (still)?

From AP:

Senate Republicans killed legislation Wednesday aimed at removing limits on how long workers can wait before suing their employers for pay discrimination.

Democrats, speaking to key constituencies of women, minorities and swing voters this election year, said they weren’t finished trying to pass the bill.

I don’t know which sentence above is more depressing.  I do know that the information contained in both is damning for both Republicans and Democrats.  The Republicans for being corporate whores and the Democrats for being election year whores.

Debate on the legislation, which was proposed in response to a Supreme Court decision last year, was steeped in election-year politics and shadowed by a White House veto threat.


The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last May 29 to throw out her complaint, saying she had waited too long to sue. Under the justices’ decision, which they said was based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employee must sue within a 180-day deadline of a decision involving pay if the employee thinks it involved race, sex, religion or national origin.

So, our esteemed Right leaning US Supreme Court decided that if you wait more than 180 days from the time you were discriminated against by an employer, in their estimation the statute of limitations on your complaint has expired.  (If anyone asks you why putting a Democratic Candidate in the White House this election cycle is a MUST, see Appointments – Court, US SUPREME).

Pony Party, The New Digs

You’ll be glad to know that the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has finally been cleared for occupation (*cough*cough*), and that the 950-person staff will be moving in throughout the month of May.

Sure, it’s about 6 months late and $140 million over budget…..but isn’t that just a pittance compared to the expected annual operating cost of $1 billion…..not bad for 21 buildings over 104 acres, replete with 600 blast-resistant apartments, huh?  

Pony Party, NHL Playoffs, Round 2

The first round was amazing…i always love the regular-season games, and then always pout, once the playoffs start, that they haven’t been playing this hard all year  😉  im such hockey brat!!

Anywho…here’s our first round results…

Eastern Conference

Montreal (1) over Boston in 7

Pittsburgh (2) swept Ottawa

Rangers (5) over NJ in 5.

Philly (6) over Washington in 7

Western Conference

Detroit (1) bested Nashville in 6

San Jose (2) beats Calgary in 7

Dallas (5) beat Anaheim in 6

Colorado (6) over Minnesota in 6

Tibet: Chinese Government Tries To Tone Down Nationalism…Will It Work?

There is a BIG difference between a protester and a separatist. A protester is a white man, holding a Tibetan flag, yelling, screaming and cussing at Chinese, a man ill-informed and stubborn. A separatist is a Tibetan man holding a Tibetan flag, yelling, screaming and cussing at Chinese, with the intent of separating the People’s Republic of China. In total, about 30 “protesters” came, and 2 “separatists” came. That’s right, only 2 Tibetans, and two or so dozens of ill-informed westerners.

Quote from text accompanying this pro-China YouTube of the protests surrounding the Olympic torch relay in Australia today:


Kevin Woster:

Many years ago, the federal courts ruled that the Black Hills of western South Dakota had been taken illegally from the American Indian tribes –

As governor, would you consider transferring Bear Butte State Park land and management to a consortium of American Indian Tribes as a gesture of reconciliation from the state?

Mike Rounds, Republican candidate in 2006:

“I do not believe that Bear Butte State Park, and it is a state park,
should be transferred to a Native American tribe.

I’m not sure which Native American tribe you might suggest (that) you hold
that they are all sovereign.

SD Governors Discuss Bear Butte

Why is the Bear Butte issue more critical than ever?

Have a little Faith in Me

I want to tell you about my Faith this morning.

(mirriam webster)


1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one’s promises (2): sincerity of intentions

2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust

3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs (the Protestant faith)

Transitive Verb:

archaic : believe, trust

Those in boldface ones come close.

My Faith in Humanity is as simple as my Faith in physics, my Faith in myself, my Faith in you.

Looking at Matt Gonzalez (Ralph Nader’s VP Candidate)

I’m beginning to like Matt more and more!

Buying our way to a better planet …

There is a debate, subdued at times, between various approaches toward changing the planet to the better.  In many ways, my viewpoint (on the optimist side) tends toward the ‘enviro-capitalist’, thinking that we can work to structure the economy to make the right choice, the easy (and preferred) choice.  There is a challenge between using financial mechanisms as a tool to move toward a A Prosperous, Climate-Friendly Society and going overboard.  

The line can be thin … or thick.

GreenSumption or Greening our Choices?

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