June 17, 2009 archive

the ONLY thing to defend is the rule of law

I never  r e a l l y  thought about the rule of law before. I took for granted that the law existed as a regulatory force in society. Something both to keep me in line and keep me safe. I had no idea how important the concept of a RULE of law would become to me.

Well, I had no idea until a little over eight years ago. . . until the dark years . . .

cross posted at dKos

Four at Four

  1. The CS Monitor reports Federal judge rules Bush ‘torture memo’ lawyers could stand trial. In a 42-page decision, US District Judge Jeffrey White ruled John Yoo “can be held personally responsible for the indefinite military detention and alleged torture of an American citizen who was suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda.”

    “Like any other government official, government lawyers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their conduct,” White wrote.

    Meanwhile the CIA fights against full release of detainee torture report, reports the Washington Post. The CIA wants to suppress passages in a May 2004 report that describe “in graphic detail how the agency handled its detainees” claiming its disclosure could “damage ongoing counterterrorism operations”.

    The report was written by “Then-Inspector General John L. Helgerson and his team of investigators traveled to secret CIA prisons and witnessed interrogations firsthand, making them the only observers allowed into the detention sites who were not participants in the program”. The report indicated war crimes were committed.

    “The argument was that combining the techniques amounted to torture,” said a former agency official who read the report. “In essence, [Helgerson] was arguing in 2004 that there were clear violations of international laws and domestic laws.”

Four at Four continues with fighting in Pakistan, refugees number reach all-time high, cement, and climate change impact in your state.

Bernie Sanders on Single Payer — Take Action

Bernie Sanders is circulating a petition advocating Single Payer.  Here’s what the good Senator has to say about it in his e-mail.  

Please read it and go to his web site and show your support for Single Payer.  We may have to settle for the fall-back position of a Public Option, but we should show them our true desires anyway.  


Supporting Single-Payer Health Care

Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. Close to 20,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have regular access to a doctor.  

The time is now for our nation to address the most profound moral and economic issue we face.  

The time is now for our country to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide cost-effective, comprehensive quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country.  

The time is now to take on the powerful special interests in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and pass a single-payer national health care program.

Sign the petition

Tell Bernie your experience with health care and insurance.

For more background information, see my diary from a few days ago Healthcare: The Big Issue, The Big Test for Obama

We’ve got to keep pushing, keep yelling, keep demanding.  YYEELLLL!!!

Change, Comfort, and Challenge

Think back on your life. Before every big life change, you have experienced some form of anxiety….either the butterflies in your stomach feeling of excitement and anticipation…or the butterflies in your stomach feeling of stark fear!

There have been times of great change in your life where you were eager to get on with it….and times when you needed a push to make the leap.

And if you are like me, there have been times when you had the opportunity for a great change in your life and didn’t take it….when you chickened out. And regretted it. Or even paid dearly for it. Sometimes it is just incredibly difficult to take that last step over the threshold and through the portal of change.

In fact sometimes it can seem that the portals of change are barred and have fierce guardians stationed before them…


More of the same from ObamaNation (abomination)

More of the same old same old from the Obama Administration.  

Obama Blocks List of Visitors to White House

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn’t have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com’s request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

Updated: CREW says it filed suit Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service. Here’s a copy of CREW’s complaint.

“We are deeply disappointed,” said CREW attorney Anne L. Weismann, “that the Obama administration is following the same anti-transparency policy as the Bush administration when it comes to White House visitor records. Refusing to let the public know who visits the White House is not the action of a pro-transparency, pro-accountability administration.”

Enjoy your new overlords.  Same as the old overlords.

Oh, but I know, Obama is really trying!   He’s just up against such pressure and such opposition like a 67% approval rating and both houses of Congress.


Clarence Thomas in the White House

What if Clarence Thomas were President? This prospect would horrify most “liberals,” but would the policies coming out of the White House be very different from the “change we can believe in?” A Thomas presidency would favor corporations over working people; promote government secrecy over transparency; protect torturers from prosecution; and continue endless war, thereby enriching and aggrandizing the Military-Industrial Complex.

Obama is better looking than Clarence Thomas, and he has better political instincts than Condi Rice, but he is an example of the Plutocrat Party (Democratic wing) expanding the proven tactic of the minority shield. Installation of a minority candidate into a high office immunizes that leader from most liberal criticism and clears the way for a plutocratic agenda.

Look at what Obama is DOING, not at what he PROMISED:

He is breaking the laws against torture by immunizing confessed torturers.

He is jacking up already obscene “defense” spending.

He is blocking single-payer national health care.

He is continuing the occupation of Iraq and expanding the war in Afghanistan.

He is maintaining Bush-era secrecy claims over White House information (even visitor logs).

He is refusing to allow equal rights for gays.

He is providing unlimited taxpayer funding to corrupt Wall Street firms.

This is not a man of the people; this is a man owned by the CORPORATIONS – this is the equivalent of Clarence Thomas in the White House.

Payola and the Demise of Health Care Reform

Crossposted at BlueRage and CobaltVA.

The best solution to health care and one that has a large amount of support among the U.S. public is the simplest, the single-payer option.  Single-payer puts the insurance companies out of business, period.  No longer would health care be rationed by cost, services and treatments denied, permission to see doctors of choice denied. No longer would families be forced into bankruptcy, and no longer would the considerable cost of the 50 million uninsured be forced upon a health care system that is already stressed to the breaking point.

Read on, then contact your congress critters, state reps, relatives, friends and neighbors and tell them to raise hell for single-payer.  Grass roots is all we’ve got…

President Obama Hits The Snooze Button

Today the Obama administration will attempt to make amends to the GLBT community by granting Federal Benefits to the partners of Federal Employees who are involved in same sex relationships. This, as far as it goes, is a good thing. The problem is it is a case of too little, too late. The mounting fervor in the GLBT community over what is, rightly, perceived as a lack of priority on this communities issues has been a bit of a wake up call for the Obama Administration. The problem is they are just rolling over and hitting the snooze button, instead of waking up.

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

Open Thread

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez

And it’s Eastertime too

And your gravity fails

And negativity don’t pull you through

Don’t put on any airs

When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue

They got some hungry women there

And they really make a mess outa you

Now if you see Saint Annie

Please tell her thanks a lot

I cannot move

My fingers are all in a knot

I don’t have the strength

To get up and take another shot

And my best friend, my doctor

Won’t even say what it is I’ve got

Sweet Melinda

The peasants call her the goddess of gloom

She speaks good English

And she invites you up into her room

And you’re so kind

And careful not to go to her too soon

And she takes your voice

And leaves you howling at the moon

Up on Housing Project Hill

It’s either fortune or fame

You must pick up one or the other

Though neither of them are to be what they claim

If you’re lookin’ to get silly

You better go back to from where you came

Because the cops don’t need you

And man they expect the same

Now all the authorities

They just stand around and boast

How they blackmailed the sergeant-at-arms

Into leaving his post

And picking up Angel who

Just arrived here from the coast

Who looked so fine at first

But left looking just like a ghost

I started out on burgundy

But soon hit the harder stuff

Everybody said they’d stand behind me

When the game got rough

But the joke was on me

There was nobody even there to call my bluff

I’m going back to New York City

I do believe I’ve had enough

Iran: Be Careful What You Ask For….

So, Iran is having a ‘green’ revolution in response to the weekend’s election results.  

One Reason I support Universal Health Care

There was a time when most Americans had no medical insurance. It was as recently as in the 1950s. You got sick: you dealt with it. You treated yourself. You lived with it.

My mother was born in 1918. She got polio in the same year as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Her Medical provider was Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago. They tried the latest techniques to help her walk and stand. My grandmother even begged them to take the muscles from her own legs and give them to my mother so she could walk.. Modern medicine still cannot do that.

This is not to denigrate Shriner’s or any hospital, but the theory was that since one of her legs was weaker than the other, it would be a good thing to strengthen the weak one. They did this by breaking it and setting it so that the bones would thicken and strengthen. They broke both long bones in her leg. Unfortunately, the next day it was discovered that the wrong leg had been broken, So they broke the bones in her other leg and set them. The scars on her thighs resembled huge railroad tracks from all the surgeries done to get her to be able to stand.

Open Civil War Between Iranian Elite Factions?

Crossposted from Antemedius

Roving correspondent for Asia Times and analyst for The Real News Network Pepe Escobar explains how once again US Foreign Policy and meddling is backfiring and may lead to an US/Israeli attack on Iran, in Part 2 of a two part conversation with Real News CEO Paul Jay:

Real News Network – June 17, 2009

Struggle within Iranian elite,Pt.2

Pepe Escobar: Aggressive US and Israeli policy strengthens hand of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Part 1 is here.

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