Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

All comments welcome, pro or con. Passionate ok, but let's be civil. ...Pertinent comments will be published on this blog. Air your viewpoints.


Skyline - Houston, Texas

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Progressive Faith Bloggers' Conference - 2006

From xpatriatedtexan

We'll be throwing open the curtain at the Montclair State University Conference Center Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16..

It's open to all.

The title should take you directly to his post which contains all the information you'll need. Some of you have already participated in the Carnival. I hosted it a few weeks ago on rocrebelgranny.


This item from Common Cause has been forwarded to you by worried american.


If the text above does not appear as a full, clickable link, please copy the whole web address and paste it into the address box of your browser.

Someone Hire Her - Quickly

From Zay N. Smith
Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes today

Mom vs. Mother Nature

Michelle Braxton, a Bolingbrook reader, writes:

"I've decided that, as a woman and mother, I am fully capable of running FEMA much better than it has been run. I watch the weather reports. I organize and plan ahead. I feed people and clean up messes. Between disasters, I make sure everyone has supplies and is prepared for the things that have to be done. . . ."

Forget FEMA. How do you feel about port security?


Personal Message:

See article below Medicare ; About Congress and spy program. It is email blitz time again, friends. Congress must know the will of the people. If you don't know or remember how to contact Congresspersons:

New Offensive on Medicare Drug Benefit

By Shailagh Murray and Charles Babington

Democrats are stepping up their attacks on the Medicare drug benefit, which they regard as an increasingly ripe issue for the November midterm elections.

Congress wrangles about Bush's spy program.

To view the entire article, go to

Would you like to send this article to a friend? Go to

Progressive Traditionalist

PT may now be found at his new location.

His old link still works or did this morning but this might be simpler.




Our last chance for freedoms and rights is at the polls this fall. Activists must work harder than before to save our country. Enlist voters, recruit adherents.




I hope every one will access the video in the post below, "Dr. Sam...Tribute to WWII Veterans". It is only a couple of minutes long.

These men and our forebears reaching back to the Revolutionary War assured us the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

We must not allow the present administration to steal those rights and freedoms from us and negate all that these men and previous generations fought, bled and died for, to make a mockery of their sacrifices. We must not allow this.

Failure upon Failure

We keep piling it on.

It's after 2:00 a.m. and I was taking one last look through the mail. I haven't seen this article from Common Dreams printed elsewhere.

It covers a little of everything; our relations with the champions of torture, our failures in the Middle East and the overall incompetence of this Administration.

It's a little more in Worried American's bailiwick than mine but I'll take a chance we're not duplicating once again. I wanted to get it on here and I may not be back before late tomorrow.

Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Blues Band: A Heartfelt Tribute to our WWII Veterans

"Before You Go" - Tribute to WWII Veterans and all veterans. Our WWII vets are passing on at about 2,000 a day now. WWII was a war that really was necessary to preserve our freedoms and way of life, unlike the propaganda lies we've been told about wars since then.These old men were young when they fought that war, like our troops today who fight and get maimed and die. America owes them a tremendous debt and much gratitude.

Click on button to open video.

I wonder if Patriotic Trio will think these men are "stupid and useless" because they are old. If it had not been for these old men, they would not be able to enjoy the freedoms they have today, even the freedom of speech to write obnoxious comments.

Fred Phelps may have found his soulmate

His name is Ron Hood and he's Ohio's darling of the religious right. The Chamber of Commerce seems to like him as well. That tells me something right there.

I don't think he'll get very far with his most recent anti-gay efforts but he's someone to watch. He's a rabid reactionary and I'm sure his ambitions don't stop at the Ohio state line. He's already campaigning for a larger voice in the Ohio state government.

Here is his agenda in his own words from his web site:

The article from Huffington Post, reprinted in Common Dreams today refers to him as a "no-neck" and says in part:

What is it about Ohio and Florida? There's always trouble brewing. As we know, they've got lots of problems with their voting machines, lots of dead white people who vote and lots of living black people who aren't allowed to. But now they have something else in common: the irrational-- and probably insincere-- fear of gay adoption.
He's another one of these young, "sincere" men whose attractive exterior covers up his slimy interior.

Remember his name.

Lou Dobbs on Dubai

Thanks to Tina of Fuzzy and Blue. The link is in the title.

Lou is not happy.


Once upon a time I think I was tagged for a meme. The answers are over on granny. Finally.

One down - six to go.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Raging Grannies and Code Pink

I told Worried American in the comments that I'd check further on the many activities of the Raging Grannies.

The attempted enlistment at a recruiting office had already happened and included the grannies, Code Pink, and some other concerned older women. Their ages ranged from around 50 to 102. 102? You go girl!!

From what I could find, they started in Canada and are gaining momentum.

Incidentally, "grannie" does not necessarily equal "decrepit". I was a granny at 36 and a great-granny at 55. Not many of us are sitting around in our rockers knitting although we may do that as well.

From Common Dreams - 2-15-06.


All 50 Governors and the National Guard

I said I was going to stay away from the subjects Worried American covers so well but since I have an Army veteran son now serving in the National Guard, this is of special interest to me.

Seems like the state governors have figured it out as well.

We all know are soldiers aren't properly supplied with the equipment they need. As Rumsfeld proudly said "we go to war with the weapons we have". Did he mean barefoot soldiers, no armor, and antiquated vehicles? What did he mean by that callous, unfeeling statement?

To me it means that in spite of their pious proclamations about our brave soldiers, they just don't care.

Now what available equipment there is has been shipped overseas leaving the National Guard in the states without the means to perform what should be their duty. Floods, hurricanes, fires take their toll here every year. Remember Katrina and Rita?

The National Guard should be at home doing the jobs it was meant to do with the equipment necessary to perform those duties.

(If anyone read this before and thought I was nuts, sorry. A phone rang and I got distracted. I didn't realize I had a paragraph or two left to write.)

From truthout today.

No links this time

Just a quote from our comments - all caps so we wouldn't miss it.


What an indictment of the citizens of the country they profess to love.

There was much more.

One more time. By the time Worried American posts to this blog, I've usually read the same thing in its original form. We have always worked as a team, even when we accidentally post the same thing. She is doing a masterful job on both blogs and it makes no sense for me to duplicate her efforts.

It gives me more time to focus on other issues. There are plenty to go around. I sometimes write about local issues as well. I read editorials and Letters to the Editor from cities and small towns around the country to get a sense of what's going on outside the Beltway. My small city is in many ways representative of the country as a whole. What happens here happens elsewhere.

With respect to the photos. I said I hadn't looked at them. I had seen them before. As opposed to our commenter, it had nothing to do with not caring. It's because I care too much, I'm already convinced, and there are days when if I had to look at or read about one more outrage, I'd lose hope. I'm not ready to do that yet but the photos caught me on one of those days and all I could see was the faces of my own little girls. I believe the word is empathy.

Of course I look at other blogs and as many publications as I can find. We all do. People have been known to link to us as well. I'm more casual than Worried American so I call it "stealing" or borrowing. We're sharing information and points of view.

In the meantime, my lazy self will stay busy raising kids, attending vigils and meetings, writing letters, and trying to make a difference.

I may be a lot of things many people despise but the one thing I'm not is indifferent.


Riverbend in Baghdad

Click on the title for riverbend's latest post, dated today.

Thanks Mother Damnable for the heads up.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Governor of Oregon attends all state citizen military funerals.


Alternet: The new photographs from Abu Ghraib

This blog post has been forwarded to you from by

I wonder just how many will actually click on "center for constitutional rights" ?

The new photographs from Abu Ghraib

Are ugly, sad, stomach-twisting, necessary, and political.

UPDATE: There is a problem with the link to the video. The link to the center for constitutional rights still works. Anyone interested in the photos can find them on

If any of you read the news interview with one of the convicted torturer/abusers, you will see that he states the dogs were muzzled and the prisoners hooded when they threatened the prisoners with dogs. The photos reveal that the dogs were not muzzled; the one that savaged a prisoner certainly wasn't muzzled. In some photos of prisoners/dogs the victims are hooded, in some they are not and show terror of the dogs.


The AP reported ...the US government conducted a massive simulated attack on the internet called "Cyber Storm". The war games were designed respond to misinformation campaigns and activist calls by internet bloggers, online diarists whose weblogs include political rantings and musings about current events.

Before Bush took office political rantings and musings were protected under the 1st Amendment. No More. The War Department is planning to insert itself into every area of the internet, from blogs to chat rooms....

The resolve to foreclose on free speech has never been greater.


Sing About the Children

Iraq's Child Prisoners (1 August 2004)


Iraq News Photos - Sing About The Children

Worried American ( has sent you a news photo.
Personal message:

Think this Iraqi baby's heart is pounding? Not running and playing, ofcourse, just suffering pain and terror.
Does it make a difference if his name is John or Samuel or Ahmed or Pedro?

Iraq News Photos

Note that there are over 300 more photos of war and strife if you want to check it out.Just click at top, commentary at side. You can set the slides for maual, fast, medium, or slow. ============================================================

Ads seeking release of kidnapped journalist air on Iraqi TV - News -

Efforts fail to find kidnapped journalist in Iraq - Conflict in Iraq -

In the midst of all the other chaos, fears and atrocities this administration has sucked America into, let us not forget one small victim of Bush's insanity.
Click on more photos under picture for 4 more pics.

More Raging Grannies

I was just going to link to my friend Mother Damnable's blog but then decided this poem/song from Raging Grannies deserved its own spot over here as well.

She posted another in her comments box and yes, she was the one who asked me about the "grannies".

I read it and the first thing I thought of (beyond the tragedy of course) was the Woody Guthrie song "Deportee" (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos). Different circumstances but another nameless, faceless group.


Chorus: The children of Iraq have names
The children of Iraq have names
They must not be collateral damage
The children of Iraq have names
repeat Chorus

The children of Iraq have beautiful faces
They are not the faceless ones
The children of Iraq have hearts that pound
When they run and dance and play
The children of Iraq have many dreams
They are not the dreamless ones
The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes
They are quick and lively with their laughter
repeat Chorus

The children of Iraq have hopes and fears
They want to grow and live and love
The children of Iraq have smiles and tearsJ
ust like you and me
[SPOKEN: (Please repeat each name aloud)]

The children of Iraq have names
Call them Omar
Call them Mohamed
Call them Fahad
Call them Marwa
Call them Tibya
Call them by their names
but never call them statistics of war.
From Raging Grannies

Raging Grannies - updated

Someone the other day was asking me about "Raging Grannies" and what I knew about them.

Here, from Common Dreams the other day, is an article by one of their Seattle members. They haven't started here locally but it wouldn't surprise me to see them around soon. They're catching on.

Update - yes they have started here. I'll have to find out how they're doing. I'm one "raging granny" who may not be able to sandwich in one more thing but we'll probably do some vigils jointly.

Afghan Prison - worse than Guantanamo?

I was on my way to bed (just about to turn off computer for night) when Slate came in with this front page article from the NYT.

You may have to log in to the NYT to read it but it's not behind the fire wall so shouldn't be a problem.

Impeachment - here's a start

Stupid Country has posted Ramsey Clark's draft of Articles of Impeachment along with a link to the original site.

He ( I think he's a he) is asking for comments. Meantime, I'm posting them here as well. The one comment he's received so far thought that 20 articles might be overkill and "muddy the waters". Any ideas either for this site or for Stupid Country? I'll try to forward anything posted here or you can go straight to the site.

Looks like Ramsey Clark covered everybody and everything.

President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have committed violations and subversions of the Constitution of the United States of America in an attempt to carry out with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes and deprivations of the civil rights of the people of the United States and other nations, by assuming powers of an imperial executive unaccountable to law and usurping powers of the Congress, the Judiciary and those reserved to the people of the United States, by the following acts:

  1. Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of over one hundred thousand Iraqis, and thousands of U.S. G.I.s.
  2. Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.
  3. Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.
  4. Instituting a secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States through the National Security Agency.
  5. Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.
  6. Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  7. Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.
  8. Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the "Supreme Law of the land" under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.
  9. Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an "enemy combatant."
  10. Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.
  11. Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.
  12. Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.
  13. Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.
  14. Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.
  15. Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.
  16. Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed "terrorist."
  17. Engaging in criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, depriving thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf States of urgently needed support, causing mass suffering and unnecessary loss of life.
  18. Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.
  19. Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.
  20. Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.

Extraordinary Rendition

From the NYT editorial page today:

The administration's tendency to dodge accountability for lawless actions by resorting to secrecy and claims of national security is on sharp display in the case of a Syrian-born Canadian, Maher Arar, who spent months under torture because of United States action. A federal trial judge in Brooklyn has refused to stand up to the executive branch, in a decision that is both chilling and ripe for prompt overturning.
You can click on the Title for the rest of the Editorial.

The Times goes on to blast the Federal judge who weaseled out of the case by claiming issues of National Security.

Mr. Arar's case has been well publicized over the years (since 2002) and I hope at some point justice will be done. In the meantime, I wonder how many more innocents are sitting in prisons somewhere in the world subject to torture and inhumane conditions. We will probably never know.

Our government says we don't torture. We do, of course, but this is worse. We spirit these people away to countries that are all too willing to use torture. All under a cloak of secrecy in the name of national security. It's the vilest kind of hypocrisy and they keep getting away with it..

From everything I read while backtracking tonight, Mr. Arar was innocent and was detained because he knew someone who knew someone who might have known someone else who may or may not have had ties to Osama. Using that criteria, they could come after us all. We all know someone who knows someone etc.

I looked through the news and couldn't find any other mention of this. Maybe tomorrow or maybe I just missed it. I'm getting it on here because I don't want it buried once again.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are We There Yet?

The title is something all kids say at one time or the other and is a quote from a commenter on Kathleen's Rhodian Attic.

If we aren't there yet, we're not missing it by far. Take a look.

The conservatives are beginning to wake up. Too little, much too late I'm afraid. Wm. F. Buckley climbed on board yesterday and there have been others. Buckley said "we failed". No equivocation. I would go much further and said we never should have been there in the first place but "we failed" will do.

On an unrelated note (somewhat). Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church, Wichita KS) and his Merry Band of maniacs will be picketing the funeral of a National Guard Sergeant in Turlock, CA about 25 miles from here. I think the motorcycle group ( have you heard about them yet?) will be there as well. They say they are not protesters and their only agenda is to protect families. I hope that turns out to be true.

Regardless of anyone's feelings about the war, this family is grieving the loss of their child. Phelps is vile. I took a look at his website and then went and scrubbed my hands. He has a calendar listing all the "protest actions". Every military funeral is there. Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking them as a hate site. That they are. This man left West Point for theology (his version) and has "pastored" his small church of mostly relatives since 1955. That's over 50 years of spewing hate. He has 12 or 13 kids tons of grandkids and a few greats.

I'm not sure he can be stopped as long as he stays within the law. The last time he was in this neck of the woods (I've written here before), he found no support and much opposition. He doesn't care - he's driven and now he's back. Aren't we blessed.

Talk to you later.

Could the government really be this evil?

I don't know and it's something I've so far been unwilling to admit, even to myself. I don't mean that I deny it like some still deny the Holocaust. I just don't know so I keep on reading.

9/11 conspiracy theories abound - some more credible than others.
The post I've linked to here, what I've read so far, seems credible.

Tina over at Fuzzy and Blue has posted an alarming chronology of events leading up to 9/11 along with a recommendation for a documentary. It's one event after another, all documented.

I haven't had time to read it all. It's past midnight here, so I'm linking to her blog with that disclaimer. What I did read was frightening. Most of the commenters here read Tina's blog as well but some may not. We should all take the time.

If it's true, can we do anything about it? I don't know. Do the series of events add up to proof? I don't know. I do know the more information we have, the more possibilities exist for change even though we're getting very late in the game now.

Sometimes I'm glad I'm 67 (almost 68 now) although I'm sad to leave a world such as we have now for my little girls to inherit. I'll just keep on reading and writing in the meantime. It beats doing nothing.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Valerie Plame

I just noticed this in my mailbox. It must have come in today. The White House has "discovered" 250 more emails which were presumably "lost". The spin should be on tomorrow if it hasn't already started.

So far I haven't seen anything else.

Things are not good in Baghdad

From Alternate today, a first hand account of the escalating violence between religious factions in Iraq.

Riverbend is a female blogger in Irag.

Click on the title to go direct to her blog. The link in the post will take you to Alternet's cover article (which also contains the blog link).

Bill Moyers on corruption

I've been watching for something new from Bill Moyers. Here it is, lengthy (it was a speech after all) but to me it was worth reading through.

One quote jumped off the page at me:

In the words of Louis Brandeis, one of the greatest of our Supreme Court justices: “You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both.”

We seem to have forgotten.

From the Public Action Campaign today (along with a call to action).

Civil War? Updated

I've been waiting to deal with this one. Been busy and haven't had time to read much more than headlines and other blogs.

Slate today has some links that may be helpful (or maybe not, they're mostly mainstream). Once again, the actual news may come from the blogs.

Updated one hour later. This just came in from TomPaine

I said to anyone would listen (based on nothing but my own feelings) that an invasion of Iraq would cause civil war. We go into an area where the population has hated each other since time out of mind and then are surprised at the results.

So what happens now? What will the geniuses decide next? I can hardly wait.

Paul Krugman today (and an article from Molly Ivins

This is from truthout today. I'm not paying extortion money to the NYT. I could understand charging for a subscription but they were much too selective.

He's talking about the ports, of course and the reasons we are so suspicious of anything that comes from this Administration.

Since it's still early, I'm adding a link to this rather than start another post.

Mollie Ivins in Alternet today weighing in on free trade, the UAE, Bush's charges of racism, and the ports.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More on Ports - delay in decision?

Thanks to Delilah Boyd for the heads up.

DeLay and Frist seem to be jumping ship as well.

Ted Rall on Ann Coulter

In addition to her many other lovely qualities, Ted says Ann Coulter is a liar and slandered him.

Would she do something like that. You bet your bootie she would.

Utah and Intelligent Design - update

Worried American and I receive much of the same mail each day; hence our tendency toward duplication from time to time.

She received a request from DefCon regarding the Utah Legislature and "Intelligent" design but she didn't want her name to show up here. As you know, she's much more anonymous than I and that's her privilege.

Follow the link in the title to DefCon's action request.

Utah is almost a done deal and we need to act quickly. We did win in Ohio, largely as a result of the letters and petitions received. Our voices occasionally make a difference. I don't think intelligent design in the classrooms would survive, even with this court, but who knows these days.



I've been asked why Granny and I post so much. Some our emailing lurkers as well as friends and family who seem to have a pathological terror of commenting on the blog comment windows have asked/complained about Granny and me being such prolific post-ers.

First allow me to say no one forces a person to read everything on the posts. That depends on a person's personal preference and interests.

Second, many if not most of our readers are much younger than Granny and me. Many if not most are still employed, have families and home duties to take up their time and energies. Many if not most simply do not have the time or opportunity to peruse all the newsies that Granny and I do. Most of the newsies that we subscribe to often offer news or viewpoints that you do not get from mainstream media or merely get sound bites instead of more indepth reporting. Therefore, we offer a source of news and information that our readers may otherwise miss. Upon reading a particular post, some of you have remarked to me, "I didn't know that! I never saw it on the news!" So we provide a service as well as a connection to like minded people.

Granny doesn't hold down a job but anyone who says that a woman who takes care of a home, husband, sick daughter, rears and participates in the education of 3 children, joins outside activites, engages in activism pursuits, maintains 2 blogs and reads countless more, plus keeps up with newsies does not have a job is full of malarkey. How does she do it? Snatching free moments here and there and keeping some mighty late hours. I know, during my late night insomniac hours I get pop ups that she is online. Often we post at the same time.

I, on the other hand, live alone and am responsible to no one but my cat and beta fish. I have a great deal of family involvement but normally have 24 hours a day to do as I please. I read a LOT of newsies of all sorts and research a great deal, getting more information on a subject or issue. I have the free time that most of our readers do not.

So that's why

South Dakota and a Woman's Right to Choose

Worried American was unable to access the Washington Post today and asked for help. Neither was I. It must be something in the system.

Their article was reprinted in truthout today (click on title) No big surprise. Previous courts have held this same law to be unconstituional because it is far too restrictive and places an undue burden on the woman.

This will be a test case for the post O'Connor court.

Also in the news yesterday, the Court has agreed to hear another third trimester case

This article came from San Diego. I was having a little trouble with links as well but all the mainstream news is similar.

When I have a little more time, I'll research it further although I don't think we'll discover anything we didn't know before. South Dakota has one of the most, if not the most, restrictive laws in the country. They have one clinic and most woman cross the state line already.

If the other third trimester case goes the wrong way in the Supreme Court, South Dakota won't matter much.

It's simple. They don't quite have the votes to overturn Roe (at least not until Ann Coulter gets her way) so they're pulling its teeth a bicuspid at a time.

What They Don;t Want Us to Know About the Ports

Delilah has information on actual port operations I hadn't seen anywhere else. Sure scares me.

Quail Hunting and the War in Iraq

This article has nothing to do with the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Others more expert than I have dissected that thoroughly and it may be time to move on.

This article from Mother Jones discusses the similarities of the type of "hunting" (or fish in a barrel) enjoyed by Cheney and friends with their attitude toward the invasion of Iraq.

I haven't seen it on any of the other blogs yet. A little different take.


The Port Sell-Out and the Dismantling of AMERICA

I've had a mad on at the Trilateral Commission for 30 years. I've felt even worse toward the Bilderberg Group. I don't know the CFR yet but I'll start researching them immediately and add them to my "don't- like- you folder." if there are as many negative reports on them as the other two. The Prison Planet publishes some very strange stuff at times but sometimes I agree with them, especially if I find similar material in more conventional publications. Too many of the conventional publications tip toe around the subject, dropping hints, being vague as if they are too frightened to say openly what they are trying to convey. These squirrels get a little radical but they aren't afraid to call the shots as they see them.

The Red Lady Speaks for America

The sellout of our major media - the NY Times. But others follow suit.

Rense is one of the mildly oddball sites I visit. Some of their writers are committed to unusual viewpoints but often they include some good points amongst their rhetoric. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Accept the good (if you agree) and ignore the rest.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Conservatives Embrace the Fuhrer Principle

Too many in Washington approve of Bush's power grabs and claim they trust him to run the country right. Are they fools, bought, or coerced?

Another view: GOP Loyalty Fetish; conservatives value a simple belief in the absolute and perfect authority of Geo. W. Bush more than personal responsibility.

I think their loyalty is more to the money-the megacorporations - than it is to their tool, GWB.


A Project of the Institute for America's Future

THREATENED, LOST JOBS . an administration that demands assent, no dissent.

In the text of the article, key phrases are highlighted. Click on the highlighted phrases for more information or access urls below for article about that subject.

(wrote to local paper): VA NURSE Laura Berg wrote a letter to her local newspaper, the Alibi.Subsequently threatened with a charge of Sedition.xxArticle first, then copy of her letter, .................................................................................

(federal law governing sedition) also treason and subversive activities. Click on number beside title of crime. Note: this url worked perfectly last night; today I get "page not found". To access the law page, click on the highlighted phrase "federal law governing sedition" in the text of the article.

(who was threatened with dire consequences)NASA Chief Backs Agency Openness) ..

...follow up: Bush Appointee Steps Down From Post at NASA ; lied about degree.,0,5810060.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

(forced to resign posts) Palace Revolt . Fed. employees who disagreed with policies, forced out.

See Granny's post below: "Republican Dissent." They'd better be careful, but thank God they have guts enough to stand against the wrongs.b

© 2004 ( Project of The Institute for America's Future )

Alternet: Behind the White House's Billion-Dollar Propaganda Push

This story has been forwarded to you from by


Behind the White House's Billion-Dollar Propaganda Push

In two years, the Bush administration spent $1.6 billion to paint a prettier picture of its failing policies, even as it cut away the social safety net.

Followup: Watchdogs group argue full probe of Bush propaganda spending. SOMEBODY OUGHT TO.'S NEW PROGRAMS: RED ALERT???


Consider these apparently unrelated facts:
1). the news in the above url, with some silly reasons, some that could be valid, but are suspect because we cannot trust anything that comes out of Washington, and everything our government does CAN be used in other ways.
2). The huge number of new trailer homes under armed guard in Arkansas, allegedly for the Katrina victims.
3). The amazing discovery that the trailer homes now cannot be used by Katrina victims because the geniuses in charge found out that trailer homes cannot be placed in a flood zone. DUH! Almost everyone knows that. Even existing ones must be able to be moved upon a warning of imminent flooding. At least that's the law in our part of Texas. Our "river rats" are quite familiar with the "bug out" notifications.
4). Haliburton and KBR (who else; Cheney's favorite contractors) are contracted to build detention centers here in the homeland (see the url above). Detention centers, concentration camps, whatever.
5). The US government set a precedent for interning American citizens with NO EVIDENCE of disloyalty, only suspicion that they MIGHT when they imprisoned citizens and FAMILIES of Japanese ancestry during WWII. You young folks- google it.
6). Our government is spying on citizens via every communications technology that we have and employing McCarthyesque techniques and methods to determine "links" to "terrorists", more likely anti-Bush proponents.He does not want dissent.
7). Bush has already warned us of his mind set when he said that anti-war sentiment constituted aiding and abetting, "giving comfort to the enemy" which is the legal definition of TREASON and punishable by DEATH.
8). Under the powers that Bush has grabbed for himself, he has the power to dictate who is an enemy, the measure of guilt.
9). Bush has managed to deny all legal rights to persons accused of being an enemy, even US citizens, including habeas corpus, any legal counsel. any right to the courts, and any definite charge of criminality. Just indefinite detention upon an unproven say-so of any person or any kind of suspicion - like blogging anti-Bush, anti-war material, accessing "on watch lists" sites, corresponding with foreigners or whatever floats the boat of the investigators??
10). Bush has his own secret army, paid mercenaries, that he may use like SS Storm Troopers or Gestapo if he so desires. The notorious Blackwater "Security" mercenaries have been used in Afghanistan and Iraq (and God knows where else) AND right here on American soil at New orleans, heavily armed mercenaries with authority to use deadly force patrolling an American city.

I will post addendums to this with sites backing up my statements. I may seem paranoid to some people but with the knowledge of past histories and the present tyrannical actions of our President and accomplice Congress, it is time to get paranoid. At the least, get suspicious.

Wake Up, America!

What are the most popular cars? Find out at

Republican Dissent

From time to time, I post an item from a conservative source critical of the current Administration.

Slate today has a list of them, some of whom have been punished for their criticism.

The President and his cronies are an easy target for us, not so easy from the other side of the fence. It's refreshing that not everyone is marching in lockstep.

American Progress Action Fund

I just recently began receiving this newsletter online. It's a daily report like so many others but it seems to contain some links I haven't discovered elsewhere. Just putting it out here fyi.

Decisions, decisions

I couldn't make up my mind which of the items from Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes to include today so I just clicked on the whole page.

A lot about ports, poverty, and the national debt.

With that column, I'm never sure which to do first; laugh or be angry.

Not at Zay, at the subject matter.

What is wrong with us?

More on Ports - White House Connection

From truthout today

Selling out America - More on the Ports

Tina at Fuzzy and Blue has put together an excellent article with respect to the UAE, Osama, and our ports.

Even Bill Frist is protesting. Viewers are filling up the mailboxes of Cafferty and others. Congress is threatening to block this move and the emperor is threatening veto.

He sees nothing wrong with turning the ports over to the UAE and accused the opposition of racism. Why didn't we object when a British Company was running the port? Perhaps we should have but we have almost no American shipping left. There is nothing racist about being suspicious of a country that may have laundered money for Osama, among other things.

Tina has several links in her post as well. Check it out.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Alternet: Who's Counting Bush's Mistakes?

This story has been forwarded to you from by


Who's Counting Bush's Mistakes?

Given how ambitious and wide-ranging the incompetence of this administration has been, it's high time we started keeping track of its many failures.

NewsMax Fleece Collection: An Offer You Can't Resist

Dear Blogger Friends; As an unspoken rule, neither Granny nor I promote advertising on this blog. We have no commercial interests nor agenda.
However, while clearing the inbox on one of my email sites, I encountered an advertisement that I felt compelled to pass on to you. I'm sure that you will want to order this great product immediately, one for each member of your family. Be the first to display your support for America's greatest asset every time you enter the public domain.
The article on the far right is sure to be of special interest. Granny will probably order one for herself and each of the girls for those chilly nights holding their vigils, and one for Ray, and Carol.....
Do you spell asset as a-s-s-e-t or a-s-s-e-t-t-e?
Be advised that my tongue is firmly in cheek.

What are the most popular cars? Find out at Yahoo! Autos

No, I Hadn't Heard Everything.

From one pissed off vet today.

I had just skimmed over this, at Alternet I think. I'm just at the A's in my inbox so this may be a long evening. Briefly, this Administration, already the most secretive in history, is becoming even more so.

Opovet says it well.

And When I Think I've Heard Everything

Read the entire rant at Alternet Peek


P&O] has just renewed a contract with the United States Surface Deployment and Distribution Command to provide stevedoring [loading and unloading] of military equipment at the Texan ports of Beaumont and Corpus Christi through 2010.

According to the journal Army Logistician "Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports."

Thus, the sale would give a country that has been "a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia" direct control over substantial quantities U.S. military equipment.


Also from Alternet today:

Who's Counting Bush Mistakes:

Somebody is - here's the article.

Overweight, Undereducated, Middleaged?

Hey, no problem. Uncle Sam wants you.

The Army needs cannon fodder.

From truthout today.

Call to Clean up Washington

The House is dragging its heels and Senate seems to be taking off in several directions at once.

I've having a wild day so I'll just direct you to the title and go away again.

Dick Sticks Are Here!

I cpuldn't restrain myself. I had to do it.

A Bright Spot?

I don't put a lot of faith in polls (or studies) but it still doesn't hurt to take a look once in a while.

I found this at KOS today (excerpts). Here is the whole thing. Click the title.

TX and KS are especially interesting - below 50%. Even in the reddest of the red, he's not running away with anything.

Now if we can just rise up and do something.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Alito's new clerk he appointed seems to be overqualified to be a simple law clerk, except for a few experiences in his resume that makes him eminently qualified - for Alito.

He is a former top aide to Attorney General John Ashcroft and an architect of the Bush Administration's legal strategy after the September 11, 2001 attacks. So he's the architect of that perversion? With the other legal eagles and that horrid little Yoo? They are the ones responsible for advising that arrogant toad he could do anything he wanted?

With him at Alito's side.....this does not auger well for future rulings.

Oh my!!



Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger

A year after its creation, the White House civil liberties board has yet to do a single day of work.

By Richard B. Schmitt
Times Staff Writer

February 20 2006

WASHINGTON ; For Americans troubled by the prospect of federal agents eavesdropping on their phone conversations or combing through their Internet records, there is good news: A little-known board exists in the White House whose purpose is to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are protected in the fight against terrorism.

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,5039697.story?coll=la-home-nation

Sounds good on paper. Until you read the names and qualifications of Bush's appointees - all his good ole boys and girls buddies. Do we fall over laughing, or hide our faces and weep? Just how much faith do you have in these foxes to protect the henhouse? Will they stand up to Bush, cross him? That is, if the program is ever implemented. Probably just as well it isn't; it would just be another waste of taxpayers money and cushy jobs for Bush's buds.

Joe McCarthy and an obituary

We don't seem to have learned much from the McCarthy era. I've been chatting back and forth with a friend about Pete Seeger and the Weavers who were almost destroyed by the man's insanity. Today, the New York Times printed an obituary of a former Smith College professor, Joel Dorius, whose career lay in ruins due to the evil done by one man and the country which was complicit in that evil.

A fellow professor's home was raided and the professor forced to name names. Dr. Dorius was among those named. I had known about this case because of the San Francisco State connection but hadn't thought about it in years. Mr. Dorius was 87 and by now most of the McCarthy victims are either quite elderly or dead. We who were young then still remember the fear.

For further details you can also read the Doug Ireland story today. It's the second article down. (Easier to link the whole post than to single out the one story).

This particular story involves homosexuality but in those days it could have been anything. The paranoia of the country was approaching insanity with McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover leading the pack. It took a few courageous men to stop it in its tracks but not before it had done its damage.

Is this where the country is headed once again? The days of the witch hunts? So it would seem.



37 Million Americans Live Below the Poverty Level

37 million Poor Hidden in the Land of Plenty. That is 12.7% of the population - the highest in the developed world. Under Geo.W. Bush an extra 5.4 million have slipped below the poverty line. Most have jobs; some have two or three. But the economy having trouble providing a good wage.

But our president can allocate trillions to war.


Don't wory, it's only 1 paragraph. Won't take but a moment to review it.

Are there any wide eyed innocents out there reading the blogs? Do you really think "it can't happen here", that our Republic cannot become a totalitarian police state? Open you eyes, look around, read, research, listen to the scant news we get, ignore the propaganda and put 2 and 2 together. Even a first-grade child can tell you it is 4.

We are very rapidly becoming a totalitarian fascist police state, and possibly with fanatical theocracy overtones. Or a theocratic, totalitarian, fascist police state? IT IS HAPPENING, a part of a One World Order.

Why does our government allow foreign interests to own and control corporations, banking, and now some of our ports? Little by little national boundries are becoming blurred and we are eased into a one world system, one government, one financial system. The extremist Muslim fanatics want the same thing, except under THEIR system. So...who's going to win? And does our short sighted government arrogantly assume WE will?

We have already alienated the entire Muslim world, even those regimes that were friendly to us. Afghanistan, Iraq, poised over Iran, rattling the saber at Syria and several other Arab nations. Where does it stop? How far can Bush go before igniting another World War? If that wasn't bad enough, he and his emissary Rice make aggressive noises about some of our South American neighbors. Bush speaks of placing US troops in some of the African nations to preserve peace (and our interests?). He's angered our European and Asian allies.

He is building more war machines as fast as possible (and making those manufacturers and developers even richer at taxpayer expense and through foreign loans - because the US is basically bankrupt). Our military recruitment is down and military strength is diminishing. Is the draft next on the agenda to man Bush's empire building/ conquest agenda? China holds much of our foreign loans that shore up Bush's wild spending, and China is rapidly becoming a strong competitor on the world markets. And China has a population of billions from which to draw military recruits.

If a world war erupts, will China stay out of it? Not likely. To the victor goes the spoils and everyone wants a piece. Can America fight the entire world? Could we possibly win? No. But win or lose, those scenes of bloody horror and destruction would be OUR people, OUR cities. Bush's empire building, his goals to have the US be head of the One World and the New World Order must be stopped.


If you haven't read it already, please do read it. If you have, read it again. This is an important issue. Religion has played a major role in politics for a number of years, and most of our Republicans and many of our Democrats are deeply involved with the politico-religious groups. The Religious Right and the Christian Coalition decided years ago that bringing America to be a "Christian Nation" could be achieved by becoming active in politics.

They recognized the tremendous voting potential of the Church memberships. Pat Robertson has functioned as a fund raiser and a propagandist to the Christians. He and his affiliates have contributed greatly to the campaign war chests of many political parties and hopefuls who have thrown their hats into the ring. They have influenced many of the Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists, and the pastors have influenced their memberships. Their Christian colleges and schools are training up a new generation to enter politics, and they have enlisted many current politicians to their cause.

I don't have time right now to research my notes but at a later date I can give you statistics regarding the number of our fearless leaders who are involved with them. I don't know about you folks but I don't want the Pat Robertsons and his ilk running our country; there are too many of them already.

It is a hopeful sign that Robertson has lost about 200,000 of his 700 Club faithful (down from about 1,000,000 but that still leaves him about 800,000), and some of the evangelicals and fundamentalists are beginning to pull away from him, citing him as a "loose cannon". So the GOP has a vested interest in getting membership lists in order to propagandize and brainwash the churches - regain any voters that may be wobbling and assure the vote of new suckers.

There are so many seemingly disparate groups and organizations who are actually united in a common goal - to gain control of the United States government and of the people. Study the histories of other totalitarian governments. Each began using cooperation of dissimilar groups and as success was achieved in their climb to power, they betrayed and cast aside those they no longer needed. Even in instances of armed coup d'etat, the power seekers still had to enlist confederates and fellow conspirators as they built up their power base, and often betrayed them after a successful coup.

When Hitler was striving for power and control, he used the churches and religion as a tool to enlist the backing of the people. And we know what happened after that. Americans think we are involved only in foreign wars. Wrong! We are involved in a major war on many fronts right here in our homeland, and it is a war for freedom and control of our own government. We fight numerous skirmishes and think they were the battle, but they are exactly that - skirmishes. The real battle is much larger and more complicated. We must fight the skirmishes but we must also concentrate on the larger picture and fight the major battles.

America is burning.

Ports - I wish I had read this first

A much more thorough explaination from KOS. My first instinct seems to have been correct though. Why are we allowing a foreign country (not a private company, a country) to control our ports?

Religion and Politics? Yes, according to the GOP

They've asked churches (or their members) to mail the party their church directories. At least one Southern Baptist (not a member of the WCC) is up in arms and others will probably follow.

The World Council of Churches has protested vehemently. Of course, most fundamentalists despise the WCC so the GOP may not care. Bush's denomination (same as mine)is a member - interesting.

From KOS yesterday.

Line Item Veto?

Once upon a time I thought the line item veto was a good idea. It passed and was overturned by the Supreme Court during the Clinton administration.

Considering the abuse of power happening these days, I have rethought my position. The last thing this Administration needs is line item.

I despise the system as it exists. Too much pork and unrelated items slip through far too many bills and we're left saying "how did that happen". There has to be a better way to fix it though without handing this President more of a blank check than he already has.

What next?

More on ports

It's all over the news now.

Turning Over our Ports to the UAE?

I haven't had time to research this yet but other news reports have carried it.

Another action for any interested. Or - write your own letter. It always means more.

The Sanitized News

I started to do this in a comment but it deserves its own post. The horrors Worried American has been writing about should be shoved in the faces of America.

They need to be shown and often. They need to be banner headlines in the papers complete with photos and broadcast uncut on FOX news (never happen - they might upset someone). We need to be appalled.

We need to remind ourselves as well and I'm glad WA and several bloggers are doing it. I had made a comment that I hadn't looked at the photos here. I'm already convinced, I had seen them on other blogs, and I think Worried American should go right on posting them.

What has this country become and how did we allow it to happen? (We in the general sense, not we talking to each other).

Keep on writing, keep on posting, and, while we're busy writing, let's direct some of the rant at the sheep in Washington and the mainstream media. They need to hear from us.

We are so spoiled and sheltered over here. We change the channel to American Idol or the other "reality" shows when the reality in front of our noses becomes unpleasant. We shield our kids from the news, such as it is.

I'm rambling now but our avoidance of reality cuts right across the board. We, as a country, don't want to see unpleasantness.

One of the more recent squabbles here involved opening a methadone clinic downtown. We're at the heart of the methamphetamine traffic and, for the size of this city, have a huge drug problem with the attendant crime stats and gang activity. Letters were sent to the local paper bemoaning the damage to our downtown the clinic would cause. It was on a side street, away from most of the foot traffic, the businesses next door were fine with it. The complaints came from people who probably never would have known it was there.

Addicts had to travel 45 miles to the nearest clinic - most on public transportation. The critics claimed that, if they had money for drugs, bus fare shouldn't be a problem. People, they stole the money for drugs or sold themselves. Do we want them to steal bus fare and hang out on street corners looking for tricks? Do we want them unable to work because the bus trip takes up most of the day? The clinic would take a few minutes of their time and they could spend the rest of the day on recovery and even perhaps earning a living.

Of course it won't work for everyone and neither do drug outpatient programs but we have to start somewhere.

The newspaper, to its credit, supported the clinic and it opened. I've never heard of any problems.

Once again it's an example of the NIMBY syndrome. Another controversy involved the opening of an after school program a little too close to home for some. My God. A little noise of kids playing? Get a grip. My kids used to go to an after school program sponsored by Parks and Recreation. It ran until 6:00 p.m. and, while it wasn't day care, it was a godsend to poor working families. It cost about $40/month for all three girls and a little less when Elcie aged out with middle school. Most families could afford it, it paid for the snacks, etc. No one was turned away for lack of funds. The girls loved it, it kept them from playing stickball in the street, or making bad choices (not that I would allow it but I can't be everywhere) and they learned a lot. The Girl Scout troop met there as well and adapted their program to fit kids living in poverty and ESL The regular Scouting dues were waived in most cases. Of course, the funding for recreation centers was cut and they started charging. The girls stopped going. It would have cost over $200/month and I certainly didn't have it. At lease I was home with them. For the working poor, it was another story. Their children went right back to being latch key kids. A person making minimum wage (a rant for another time) will quite often let the older kids fend for themselves after school rather than pay half of their salary out for day care. Another unpleasant reality we don't want to think about.

Enough already. Our priorities as a country are so screwed up. I realize that our treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo and our abuse of innocent Iraqis is criminal. This administration has much to answer for and I'm not downplaying the importance of these issues.

But - it starts with individuals and the communities. If we don't care about our kids and our own citizens locally, if we're unwilling to get out and work for change in the small ways we can, we're not going to pay too much attention to "foreigners" thousands of miles away. It's just too unpleasant. Or they're just (name your own racist expression). Or we don't believe it. Our country wouldn't behave that way. Yeah, right.

Not everyone can be out in the trenches of course. I can't travel to San Francisco or Sacramento to participate in the larger protests. I do some hands on work through my activist church and support what I can but the girls and my husband take up a lot of time. (I'm brainwashing the girls which may be a contribution to society.) Some, like Worried American, have physical problems that limit their hands on involvement but they can and do write beautifully.

We can all do something.


Sunday, February 19, 2006


Americans as a whole are very generous people. When tragedy strikes around the nation or the world, Americans generate an outpouring of aid and sympathy. We want to help the unfortunate victims. Total charitable donations to various worthy causes amount to many of millions of dollars every year. We donate to organizations dedicated to helping the poor and sometimes we even participate on a personal level. We drop in grocery items in the collection boxes for Food for the Hungry; we work in drives for collection of aid items. Some of us volunteer to work in soup kitchens and clinics. The elite give charity balls and elaborate social events to raise money for good works. And here in Houston, at the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the poor in one of the huge centers, we see a scattering of well dressed matrons serving - and usually followed by a write up in the society pages praising their contributions.

We are generous and we feel good about our generosity - as long as the poverty or tragedy doesn't impact us on a personal level. As Granny pointed out, NIMBY. Those same people probably donate to organizations or their churches to feed the hungry, help druggies and alcoholics rehabilitate, give to foreign church missions to carry the word of the Lord to others, but for crying out loud - NOT next door to us!! The concept of helping the poor, the addicted, the "lost" is noble as long as we don't have to live with the downtrodden. We don't want to see it.

We are the same way about the vast array of human suffering around the globe. The famines, the slaughter and displacement of entire peoples in ethnic cleansing, in civil wars, in all the natural disasters and instances of man's inhumanity to man. We give generously to collections to help these peoples. We give our checks, we bustle about securing clothing and other goods to be shipped overseas. We see images on TV and the internet and in our newspapers and remark how terrible it is. Fleeting news bites and it's on to something else; we do not have to deal with up close and personal or extended views of the suffering.

And we are the same about the monstrous effects of war on human populations. We get the "hurrah for our side; we destroyed the ____ of the enemy". We may be shown brief bites of the native people fleeing, being detained and searched, but quite sanitized and designed to keep us removed from the horrors of reality. We see our own casualties only as numbers, and if our wounded are shown it is usually in optimistic specials of how Johnny is adapting so marvelously to his prosthetics. We are fed lies and propaganda and patriotic buzz words to keep us quiet and supportive as much as possible -- and if any of us do dare to engage in anti-war protests we are investigated by our government's minions, and are accused of failing to support our troops.

And some of us do NOT want to confront the realities. We don't want to see the poverty stricken, the homeless, the addicted. And we certainly don't want to see the horrific reality of war. We don't want to see the blood, the grievous injuries to fragile human bodies, the dead. We don't want to see the wailing, the grief and pain, the dull shock of minds overwhelmed by horrors. We don't want to connect vast piles of rubble as once someone's home, business, workplace. We don't want to see it; we don't want to hear it; we don't want to think about it, except in the abstract of "oh, isn't it awful" as we change the channel on the TV.

And we don't want to confront the realities of torture, especially torture inflicted by the hands of our own and sanctioned by our government. We don't want to see the blood, the terror on victims faces, the shame and humilation, the pain and suffering visited upon them. We don't want to know. We tsk, tsk when we hear the news but we really don't want to know. We may comment about how we don't want war, but we go on about our busy lives and remain untouched and inactive. We do nothing.

I am criticized in some quarters for posting such terribly graphic photographs. I am accused of being cruel and insensitive, of secretly harboring a sadistic streak and delighting in blood and suffering. I am not and I do not. You see photos. I see real people. I have never worked in a war zone but I have worked in big city ERs that were almost like war zones. I have seen the immediate results of accidents involving steel and concrete and fire on human bodies; I have seen the end result of violence done one to another. I see the photos and I see the blood, smell it, smell the odor of violated flesh; I handle those awful wounds, restrain a fellow human writhing in agony, hear his screams, hear the frightened, grieved cries of the loved ones, and the children - the children are the worst, the helpless innocents. Sadistic, delight? No, it is 50 years of experiences hitting me in the head and heart like sledgehammers. It is reality to me.

I am accused and criticized of several things. It makes people uncomfortable, it offends, it traumatizes the sensitive. Yes, it does. BUT wake up, America, confront the evil that is happening, that WE are perpretating on other human beings. SEE them as real people and know that we are doing it to them. Awaken to reality and DO something. If you really care, you will.

And I will not stop posting the horrors. You don't have to look at them. You can skip on to another blog like flipping the TV channel. You can ignore them, you can pay lip service to sympathy and anti-war sentiments but deny reality. You can say NIMBY. Until WE are the ones on the photos.

I will post on our troops and what they suffer. They are war victims too.

Poor and Downtrodden? Not in My Back Yard

Many older churches in San Francisco are being forced to close because of the expense of retrofitting. Retrofitting is a good thing in most cases; no one wants the roof caving in unexpectedly.

However, it's taken an ugly twist in San Francisco. Golden Gate Lutheran in the Inner Mission section of San Francisco is an older church with a shrinking membership of around 40. In spite of this, they are home to many 12 Step Meetings, they have a soup kitchen, at one time or another have provided shelter for the homeless and share their space with three other congregations, one gay.

The Mission when I lived in the city was home to low and moderate income folk. Rents were reasonable, the climate is sunny, and it has some beautiful old Victorians. One of the most famous shots of San Francisco is the row of Victorians marching up the Dolores Street hill right about where this church is located.

The Mission has been discovered and the NIMBY's have taken over. The rents have forced many of the lower to middle class (including me) out of the city I have always loved. Homeless on their doorstep? Hungry people lurking? All those 12 Step programs? Horrors. Live and let live? Not in my back yard. The church had operated quietly for many years and was trying desparately to raise the funds for the retrofitting before the deadline when the NIMBY's blew the whistle. Not about the poor - that at least would have been open and honest. About the retrofitting of course. The wheels are grinding and the church which has quietly done so much good for so many years will probably close.

I can understand the importance of safety but these people wouldn't have cared if the church had fallen in. It would reduce the surplus population. They care about their "image" and resale profits and if it hadn't been the retrofitting, they would have found something else and then something else until the church was gone and the poorest among us with it.

The link is to the San Francisco Chronicle (Real Estate section surprisingly). My pastor talked about it this morning and I found the story.

Ann Naming Names; URL Found would like to share with you the following page from the American Enterprise Institute's website.

Message from
I found the correct url. At least it worked today. How much worse was Saddam than our torturers? They kill prisoners; do they also chop off extremities?

To view the page in your web browser, visit To learn more about AEI, visit

It is probable that the US will be hated as rabidly by the Iraqi people as they hated Saddam.
Our welcome there has already turned to hatred among many Iraqis and they want us out of their country. The battle with insurgents will go on for a long time, especially as we arouse more and more enmity amongst the Muslim world.

In the Saddam video, note the bruises on the right side and back of the man being beaten. You will observe similar bruising on the men in the Abu Ghraib photos, located on many parts of their bodies where they have been beaten by Americans.

One of the hand amputations was done by surgeons. Incision was made high enough on the palm to provide a skin flap to cover the stump. The sword amputations afforded no such small mercies.

I have been scolded for posting this and the Abu Ghraib atrocities on the blog, by reason that they were too graphic, too gruesome, too insensitive, etc.. I agree - they are. But Americans need to KNOW what is going on, and most Americans have little knowledge of what tortures are really like. We consider ourselves the "good guys"; we are told the Arabs are the "bad guys" . We need to know that this administration makes us the bad guy, the evil, perverted ones and we are very well earning the disgust, disrespect and enmity of the world --who HAS seen the photos and videos. We do not as yet have access to the videos and only a small fraction of the photos that have been broadcast to much of the world.

So? What are we going to do about it? He's OUR president.

Video of Iraqi torture victims [VERY GRAPHIC; NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN] Note: the video listed in the event materials box (above right) covers the conference proceedings and does not contain the images found in this Pentagon videotape.

Download file Video in MPEG4 format. Downloading Quicktime for Windows may help in the viewing of this version.

Download file Video in Windows Media format.

For the last 30 years, Iraqis inside Iraq had little knowledge of the full extent of Saddam Hussein's oppressive tactics. Many Iraqis who have documented his regime's history argue that Coalition authorities have not done enough to make this history known to the Iraqi people, and proponents of more stringent de-Baathification argue that until this education is completed, Saddam-era officials cannot be trusted with the rule of the new state.

Much of the recent controversy surrounding Abu Ghraib has made only vague reference to the prison's nightmarish past. Under Saddam Hussein, some thirty thousand people were executed there, and countless more were tortured and mutilated, returning to Iraqi society as visible evidence of the brutality of Baathist rule instead of being lost to the anonymity of mass graves.

Seven of these victims were Baghdadi merchants whose right hands were amputated and presented to Saddam as proof of their punishment. They have recently received medical attention in the United States, and now have the use of modern prosthetic hands. Four of these victims will speak of their experiences before returning to Iraq. In addition to their presentations, an unedited video documenting acts of torture during Saddam's reign will be shown, and our Iraqi guests will identify persons conducting the torture who hold office in Iraq today.

The Abu Ghraib Files; More on Torture and Shame

worried american browsed our website and suggested you should read the following item:
The Abu Ghraib Files

worried american wrote:
Complete articles posted on


Protect our privacy and freedom from government intrustion. Don't let Bush seize greater powers and further weaken our Congress (the gutless wonders).

Weldon Compares 'Able Danger' to Watergate

I have read similar reports before in independent newsies; the fact that one of our elected representatives gives the reports credence leads me to believe them. Our fearless leaders KNEW about the terrorists' plan, knew they were in the US, yet did nothing. So much for Bush's vaunted secrecy being essential to stop terrorism. I will post more complete articles on this.



Early Warning; Wm. Arkin: " 'Able Danger' and 9/11 Heartstrings"

Industries Get Quiet Protection From Lawsuits


Industries Get Quiet Protection From Lawsuits

Federal agencies are using arcane regulations and legal opinions to shield automakers and others from challenges by consumers and states.

By Myron Levin and Alan C. Miller
Times Staff Writers

February 19 2006

WASHINGTON — Near sunrise on a summer morning in 2001, Patrick Parker of Childress, Texas, swerved to avoid a deer and rolled his pickup truck.

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,7920968.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Another statesman heard from.

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist." -- Winston Churchill

Borrowed from another blog of course. Click on the title for the link.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Something Lighter for a Change

Fuzzy and Blue has posted a very funny Bush joke on her blog. We all need funny sometimes.

It's also somewhat warped. I'm still laughing.

Click on title

Another conservative speaks up

Abuse of power.

George Will doesn't go as far as I would and he doesn't rant. He's uncomfortable though and that is a good thing.

Friday, February 17, 2006

What one of my favorite bloggers is doing these days

Jessie hasn't written or commented too much lately. She's been quite busy with school and other things.

She's back and doing wonderful things with her life.

Take a look for yourself.

Will the real emperor please stand up

It's not the Shrub. As we suspected all along, the man behind the curtain is (drum roll) Dick Cheney.

He was evidentally telling the truth when he said he had authority for his abuses of power.

Check the article, not from one of "our" publications, from The National Review today. Executive Order 13292 (I imagine we'll be hearing much more about it) was quietly amended to extend the powers of the Presidency to the Vice President.

If Bush can do that with an Executive Order, I guess he and Cheney can do just about anything they want. I can hardly wait to see what comes next.

Speaking of Cheney, apologies were given today - by the victim to the perp. The victim is (paraphrasing here) sorry he caused trouble for Cheney or words to that effect. When I first saw that on another blog, I thought it was a joke. Nope. It's all over the news.

We'll probably never know the whole story and I'm not about to speculate here, but for a 78 year old man to apologize to the shooter? For what?

National Parks and the Administration

Not being content with laying the rest of the world to waste and giving ourselves the biggest black eye this country has ever known with the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere, this Administration thinks it would be a great idea to destroy our National Park System, all in the name of progress of course.

Our local action group, cvhopefuls, received a letter from the Sierra Club today. In some ways, it's a local issue because we are the "Gateway to Yosemite" (just ask the Chamber of Commerce - they'll tell you) but it affects us all. The Administration is trying to rewrite the entire law with respect to our parks, in effect doing away with them.

Teddy Roosevelt was a strange mix and there were many things about him that I didn't appreciate. What I do appreciate was the founding of our National Park System. He must be spinning about now.

I tried several different ways to copy the letter over here. None of them worked so I went to the Sierra Club website and found a synopsis. They have much more detailed information and if you want to see what the local Sierra Club is saying, just let me know. I'll send it.

Here is the synopsis.

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing a rewrite of the NPS Management Policies that would fundamentally shift in the policies governing the management of all our national parks. The philosophy of management for America's parks would change from one of conservation to that of commercialization.

The draft 2005 draft NPS Management Policies fail to meet the current level of protection afforded our national parks and fall short in providing clarity of guidance to national park managers. Sierra Club opposes the far-reaching changes being proposed in the NPS Management Policies proposal rewrite and urges NPS to abandon the draft and retain the current management polices.

Below is a preliminary analysis of problematic changes in the draft 2005 NPS Management Policies providing a sketch of how the proposal is fundamentally flawed and cannot be fixed.

Read the entire 23-page Sierra Club preliminary analysis

Congress is planning to act on this tomorrow, I believe so the time for phone calls is now.

BBC E-mail: UK troops in Iraqi torture probe

The US military; the British military. The brand new Iraqi police force. How are the Iraqi any better off without Saddam? Looks like they are worse off -- at least with Saddam their cities weren't destroyed, they had gas, water, electricity, food, gasoline, and insurgents weren't blowing them up.

** Message **
Really winning their hearts and minds, aren't we. Make them appreciate freedom and democracy . And recruit a few more thousand terrorists.

** UK troops in Iraqi torture probe **
The Ministry of Defence investigates press photos of British soldiers apparently torturing an Iraqi prisoner, and urinating on him. Video clearly shows arcing stream of urine. Then the soldiers allegedly threw the prisoner out of the back of a moving truck.

US Occupation Forces Torture Iraqi POWs. So they won't show the ones with the dog mauling the Iraqi nor the one with electrodes attached to a man's genitals. How about the one going through the web --with blood, blood. What else are they not showing?

So what's next? Raise the bar a little? Like the video in the site below. Don't let the kids see it.,filter.all/event_detail.asp


- Abu Ghraib abuse violates international law: ICRC - Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:30 AM ET


Personal Message:
More evil, from Us. Click on photos to enlarge - Abu Ghraib abuse violates international law: ICRC


The World Says STOP!
To view more stories please visit the New Zealand Herald website at



suggest that you visit the following URL:

THE WHOLE WORLD CONDEMNS US. This latest revelation fans the rage and hate for us and undoubtedly sent thousands of recruits pouring into terrorist training camps.


Annan Says U.S. Should Close Gitmo Prison

Annan Says Close Gitmo,,-5626021,00.html

If the barbarians closed it, they'd just ship all the prisoners out to one of their secret torture chambers.

Disclose the truth about Abu Ghraib

worried american spotted this article on and thought you should see it.
Note from worried american : Prisoner Abuse; World Disapproves
To see this story with its photo and related links on the Gulf News website, go to



Condemnation of Prisoner Abuse