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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mark Warner for President??

I spotted a bumper sticker on a pickup truck here in central CA today. Mark Warner for President.

I haven't paid much attention to the '08 elections yet and perhaps I should start.

He's a moderate (or centrist). I checked his record on the issues important to me and he's a mix. Virginia seemed to like him. Evidently he's been in the running for a while.

I'm wondering what any of you know about him; positive or negative.


More on Rummy

This must have been speech my friend was talking about. Evidently not all of Salt Lake City was receptive.

From Associated Press today (reprinted in truthout).

Veterans Clash With Salt Lake City Mayor

Published: August 30, 2006

Filed at 4:51 p.m. ET

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The American Legion opened its national convention in Salt Lake City with high hopes the gathering would help ''unite America'' behind the war in Iraq. Instead, the veterans have found themselves in a fight with the city's anti-war mayor.

Mayor Rocky Anderson, a Democrat in a city that is considered liberal by heavily Republican Utah's standards, has accused the Bush administration of lying about the rationale for war. He has called President Bush a ''complete disaster.''

And on Wednesday, he organized a big protest rally a few blocks from the Salt Palace Convention Center, just hours before Bush's arrival here for an address to the American Legion.

''No more God-is-on-our-side religious nonsense,'' Anderson said at the rally, absorbing waves of cheers and applause from the thousands of protesters as he called Bush a ''dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights violating president.''

The American Legion was so offended by Anderson's protest plans that it refused to extend the customary invitation to the host city's mayor to deliver the welcoming address.

''Rocky ought to sit behind his desk and leave the rest of the world alone. I wouldn't dream of doing things like this,'' said Legionnaire Lynn Beckstead, 71, of West Valley City. ''If you don't like Bush, fine, but respect the office. This is a very conservative state, sweet and friendly. That's not sweet.''

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, who is also a Democrat but has said little about the war, was mildly booed Tuesday when he gave the welcoming speech, apparently because some Legionnaires thought he was Anderson.

Anderson seems to savor the controversy, even inviting peace activist Cindy Sheehan to Salt Lake City for the protest. She dropped out, citing health reasons.

When some Legionnaires said convention attendance would drop because of the mayor, Anderson said it was ''very strange'' that free speech would discourage people.

At least 12,000 veterans are at the convention.

Inside the Salt Palace this week, the stage has been dominated by the Bush administration's most senior and powerful members. Speaking to a friendly audience, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended their war policies Tuesday, and the president will give a speech on Thursday.

Rumsfeld said the world faces ''a new type of fascism'' and likened critics of the Bush administration's war strategy to those who tried to appease the Nazis in the 1930s.

''Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?'' he asked.

The Legion went on record in 2005 as saying it ''fully supports'' Bush in the ''global war on terrorism.'' The Veterans of Foreign Wars, which is meeting in Reno, Nev., this week, has a similar stance. Together they have 5 million members.

The Legion has no anti-war speakers at its convention and no nationally prominent Democrats. Rep. Lane Evans, an Illinois Democrat who voted against the war in 2002 but is known for his work on behalf of veterans, was supposed to appear Wednesday but canceled, citing health reasons.

''We're not going to invite Cindy Sheehan or Rocky Anderson to speak to our convention. We're trying to unite America,'' said Legion National Commander Thomas Bock, 59, of Aurora, Colo., who has a son in the Air Force. He said he has a ''real problem'' with people who claim to support the troops but oppose the war.

''What we don't want to do is open our stage for public debate,'' Bock said. ''It's our convention. We have common beliefs. Our membership has voted unanimously to stand behind our troops.''

Some Legionnaires said they would welcome other voices.

''You'd be an idiot to just listen to one side,'' said Luis Diaz, 54, a Navy veteran from San Leandro, Calif. He said it is a ''misuse of U.S. troops'' to be in Iraq after learning there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Others said the convention should not be turned into a stage for diverse political voices.

''We get the other side in the daily press,'' said Bernard Olson, 72, a Legionnaire from Northfield, Wis.


Rumsfeld Makes a Speech

Which I didn't bother to listen to but my friend Chris who writes Rude Cactus did.

Chris talks much more about his family and day to day life than he does politics but there's no doubt about where he stands.



Virtually everyone on the planet knows that nicotine is addictive.
Nicotine is similar to Heroin in addictive quality.
Some people are more prone to addiction than others but almost everyone can become addicted with sufficient exposure.
Anti-smoking campaigns have led the majority of smokers to quit; therefore sales of tobacco products decreased, and thus the profits.
To protect their profits and boost sales and recruit new smokers who experiment with cigarettes, the tobacco companies implement measures to increase the addictiveness of tobacco products.

For a good movie re: this subject, check out "The Insider", starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, from your local movie rental store. It is about a true story of a top tobacco CEO and scientist whistle-blower who revealed the sordid secrets of the deliberate assault on public health by the tobacco producers.

Specific targets: already addicted smokers who may try to quit; teen agers and 20+ yr. olds; African Americans.

More nicotine in cigarettes than 6 years ago
Level has risen about 10 percent, regardless of brand, says report.

BOSTON - The level of nicotine found in U.S. cigarettes has risen about 10 percent in the past six years, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Health.
The study shows a steady climb in the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs of smokers regardless of brand, with overall nicotine yields increasing by about 10 percent.
Massachusetts is one of three U.S. states to require tobacco companies to submit information about nicotine and the only state with data going back to 1998.
Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. called the findings "significant" and said the report was the first new release on nicotine yield in more than six years nationally.
The study found the three most popular cigarette brands with *young smokers — Marlboro, Newport and Camel — delivered significantly more nicotine than they did years ago. Nicotine in Kool, a popular menthol brand, rose 20 percent. More than two-thirds of *black smokers use menthol brands.
Calls to Philip Morris USA, the United States' largest cigarette maker and manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., manufacturer of Kool and Camel cigarettes, were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The study tried to measure nicotine levels based on the way smokers actually use cigarettes, health officials said, in part by partially covering ventilation holes as they smoke and taking longer puffs. Traditional testing methods which do not take real-life smoking habits into account, typically report lower nicotine contents, officials said.
Click for related content
Vote: Have you ever tried to quit smoking?
Message board: Share your experiences and what worked
How tobacco can cause lung cancer
Of the 179 cigarette brands tested in 2004 for the report, 93 percent fell into the highest range for nicotine. In 1998, 84 percent of 116 brands tested fell into the highest range.
Smokers who choose "light" brands hoping to reduce their nicotine intake are out of luck, according to the report that found for all brands tested in 1998 and 2004, there was no significant difference in the total nicotine content between "full flavor," "medium," "light," or "ultra-light" cigarettes.
The finding means that health care providers trying to help smokers quit may have to adjust the strength of nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches and gums, according to Department of Public Health Associate Commissioner Sally Fogerty.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina Anniversay

Spike Lee will have a documentary on HBO tonight. The details are here

They're still doing a "heckuva job" in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

Moveon send me an action notice along with the link to the special but I haven't had much luck using my gmail links here. If you're interested, let me know and I'll forward it or you can go directly to their web site.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Emancipation Day?

Our multi-colored froggy friend Kvatch and I were discussing my post (see below) about the celebration of women's suffrage here in the USA.

He thought women's suffrage is fine as far as it goes but it doesn't go nearly far enough. He cleared his froggy throat a few times, said RIVET!! (frog for EUREKA!!) and out came this post. Nice going Kvatch and thanks for the link which I'm reciprocating here.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Today Is Women's Equality Day in the U. S.

The Anniversary of the 19th Amendment (if you're a female and an American citizen, you know which Amendment that is). If not, the links will tell you.

Here and here is Pat Green writing in The Wild Winds of Fortune.

And here is a little more info from Women's History.

Not quite there yet, but we're working on it.

To all our friends:

Happy Women's Equality Day.


Has Everyone But Me Seen This?

Subject: Google

1- Go to

2- Type in Failure

3- Look at the first listing

4- Tell others before the people at Google Fix it!


AIDS and the Black Community

A bill to allow condoms in the California prisons will be presented to the Governor for his signature. Why is this important and what does it have to do with the title of this post?

We may not want to admit it but sex occurs in prisons with great regularity. I'm sure it isn't exclusive to males but for the purpose of this post, we're discussing the male population. These men usually get out of prison and return to either a heterosexual or a bisexual life. They are often silent about their prison experiences.

Here is the breakdown of nationwide prison population by race, gender, etc. It should come as no surprise that the ratio of incarcerated black males to the nonincarcerated is the highest. Some other time we can explore the reasons for that; for now it's enough to know that it's true. It's also true that they're infecting their sexual partners on the outside; often without knowing that they themselves are HIV positive.

I'd been thinking about this subject since I watched an ABC news special the other evening about this silent epidemic and then read enigma4ever's excellent post on the same topic.

I found this article in a 2001 issue of Ebony. They were aware, even then, of the growing crisis. Their statistics are out of date; it's become worse.

Rather than try to speak as an older white woman about this subject, I'll let the links from these Black publications and organizations speak for themselves. Men, women, and children are dying in this country of a disease many of us thought was being brought under control. Something must be done. Of course we must do what we can to help other nations with their epidemic but we can no longer allow the silent epidemic here to continue unchecked.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Personal Note

I haven't disappeared. Between getting all three girls settled in middle school and my husband and daughter with their various ailments, I've been doing a lot of driving along with the normal routine. I can't read emails or blogs in the car, I sure can't prepare posts, and by the time I get home, I'm a little glassyeyed. I've been hitting the sack early (for me) to have younger girls at their bus stop by seven, Elcie on her bus at the house at 7:25, and Ray to his physical therapy sessions three times a week at 8:00.

To once again quote my illustrious governator, I'll be back.



Bush and Hitler - Sound Familiar??

YouTube™ – Broadcast Yourself

I want to share the following video with you:

click on picture to start video

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Bush and Hitler. Yeah, it really does sound familiar. From

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1 minute video; Bush and Hitler - sound familiar??

Weapons of Mass DECEPTION - the US and UK Medias

War, we have come to believe, is a spectator sport. The military and the press ... have turned war into a vast video arcade game. Its very essence- death - is hidden from public view.": Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for New York Times=

"Television is altering the meaning of "being informed" by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation... Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information - misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information - information that creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing.": Neil Postman=

" The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent.": Gore Vidal

Why Do We Hate Them? By Jason Miller
Western corporate media shamelessly serve the Neocons by perpetuating a virtually endless cycle of hatred and violence. They incite and feed Islamophobia and they fabricate a plethora of false justifications for the malevolent actions of Israel and the United States. But then in a fascist nation, corporations are wedded with the state, militarism is the state’s primary focus, scapegoats and enemies are essential, and the function of the Fourth Estate is to provide the propaganda to control the masses.

Spin : Video: Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of all of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.

Why Democracies evolve into Dictatorships By James Cooke
Liberal commentators continue to respond with hysterics or dumfoundedness at the ability of Conservatives to destroy civil liberties while thus far waging three preemptive wars (yes Lebanon is a U.S. war). It should have been clear by now— with the media and Democrats suppressing or supporting the most blatant atrocities engineered by the Republicans— that larger forces are at play.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

AlterNet: GOP Goes Reefer Mad!

Time for a giggle break! Now and then we have to publish something to laugh about. For a good laugh, click on the excerpt of the video as it depicts the terrible, violent effects of marijuana.:-)

Those of our readers who have even a nodding acquaintence with pot smokers know how silly the anti-drug movie "Reefer Madness" is. All the pot smokers I knew (and they were numerous), became increasingly laid back as they became more and more stoned. Unless, ofcourse, their joints had been laced with PCP or other dangerous drugs.

The young drug users I worked with showed the movie as a comedy. Individuals who are stoned seem to get their giggle box turned on quite readily; even the straight counselors and volunteers like me got tickled watching it.

The asininity of the GOP's accusations come across as ridiculous as Reefer Madness.

GOP Goes Reefer Mad! Silly is not the word for it!!

BOO! DailyKos. :-D

Pundits admit Bush is a Disaster;

To begin restoring America, prosecution of war crimes is essential, as well as ousting all the Neocons


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I thought you might be interested in this from Jim Hightower's Lowdown Newsletter! It's a long poster but contains very revealing facts.

POSTER: Are you safe yet?

Saturday, August 5, 2006
Posted by Jim Hightower

Note: this is a text version of a full-sized poster that is available for download as a PDF.

To request hard copies of the poster, please contact Laura at Hightower's office, via our contact form (select "Copies of poster" from the drop-down menu).

Are you safe yet?
The war president
  • Number of Americans killed in Bush's Iraq war as of August 2006: 2577
  • What Bush press flack Tony Snow said the day the total number of American dead reached 2,500: "It's a number"
  • Number of Americans killed since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" on May 1, 2003: 2,438
  • Number of Americans wounded (a vague term that includes such horrors as brain damage, limb blasted off, eyes blown out, psyche shattered, etc.) in Bush's war:
    • Official count: 18,777
    • Independent count: up to 48,000
  • Estimated number of Iraqi civilians (men, women, and children) killed in Bush's war since Saddam Hussein was ousted: 38,960
  • [WA: very conservative number. Some human rights group estimate 250,000 total]
  • For Iraqis, the bloodiest month of the war so far: June 2006
    more than 100 civilians killed per day
  • Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmit's advice to Iraqis who see TV reports of innocent civilians being killed by occupying troops: "Change the channel." [WA: intelligent remark?]
  • Percent of Iraqis who want American troops to leave: 82
  • Stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction found in Iraq since Bush committed Americans to war in 2003 on the basis that Saddam had and was about to use WMDs: 0
  • Number of nations in the world: 192
  • Number that joined Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" (COW) to invade Iraq: 48
    (The list includes such military powers as Angola, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Latvia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Romania, Solomon Islands, and Uganda.) [WA: many of the weaker nations were coerced into joining by threats to cut off foreign aid, etc.]
  • Number of COW nations that actually sent any troops to Iraq: 39
    (Of these, 32 sent fewer than 1,000 troops. Many sent no fighting units, deploying only engineers, trainers, humanitarian units, and other noncombat personnel.)

Follow the money:

  • The official White House claim before the invasion of what the war and occupation would cost U.S.taxpayers: $50 billion
  • As of July 2006, the total amount appropriated by Congress for Bush's ongoing war and occupation: $295,634,921,248
  • Current Pentagon spending per month in Iraq: $8 billion (or $185,185.19 per minute)
  • Assuming all troops return home by 2010, the projected "real costs" for the war: More than $1 trillion
    (includes veterans' pay and medical costs, interest on the billions Bush has borrowed to pay for his war, etc.)

Howlin' Paul Wolfowitz

Bonus stat!

  • Annual salary of Stuart Baker, hired by the Bushites to be the White House "Director for Lessons Learned": $106,641
  • Number of lessons that Bush appears to have learned: 0
  • Number of the 39 COW nations contributing troops that have since withdrawn them: 17
    (An additional 7 have announced plans to withdraw all or part of their contingents this year.)
  • Number of COW troops in Iraq: 150,000
  • Number of these that are U.S. troops: 139,000
  • Number of White House officials and cabinet members who have any of their immediate family in Bush's war: 0
Bush's explanation
Matt Wuerker
The imperial presidency

Signing statements

When signing a particular congressional act into law, a few presidents have occasionally issued a "signing statement" to clarify their understanding of what Congress intended. These have not had the force of law and have been used discreetly in the past.

Very quietly, however, Bush has radically increased both the number and reach of these statements, essentially asserting that the president can arbitrarily decide which laws he will obey.

  • Number of signing statements issued by Bush as of July 2006: more than 800
    (This is more than the combined total of all 42 previous presidents.)
  • A few examples of congressionally passed laws he has effectively annulled through these extralegal signing statements:
    • a ban against torture of prisoners by the U.S. military
    • a requirement that the FBI periodically report to Congress on how it is using the Patriot Act to search our homes and secretly seize people's private papers
    • a ban against storage in military databases of intelligence about Americans that was obtained illegally
    • a directive for the executive branch to transmit scientific information to Congress "uncensored and without delay" when requested
  • Provision of the Constitution clearly stating that Congress alone has the power "to make all laws": Article 1, Section 8
  • Provision of the Constitution clearly stating that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed": Article 2, Section 3
  • Name of the young lawyer in the Reagan administration who wrote a 1986 strategy memo on how to pervert the use of signing statements in order to concentrate more power in the executive branch, as Bush is now doing: Samuel Alito, named to the U.S. Supreme Court by Bush this year

National security letters

These are secret executive writs that the infamous 2001 Patriot Act authorizes the FBI to issue to public libraries, internet firms, banks, and others. Upon receiving an NSL, the institution or firm is required to turn over any private records it holds on you, me, or whomever the agents have chosen to search.

Who authorizes the FBI to issue these secret writs? The FBI itself.

  • Surely the agents have to get a search warrant, a grand jury subpoena, or a court's approval? No
  • But to issue an NSL, an agent must show probable cause that the person being searched has committed some crime, right? No
  • Well, don't officials have to inform citizens that their records are being seized so they can defend themselves or protest? No
  • Number of NSLs issued by various FBI offices last year alone: 9,254

NSA eavesdropping

In 2001, Bush issued a secret order for the National Security Agency to begin vacuuming up massive numbers of telephone and internet exchanges by U.S. citizens, illegally seizing this material without any judicial approval or informing Congress, as required by law.

  • Number of Americans who have had their phone and internet communications taken by NSA: Just about everyone!
    (NSA is tapping into the entire database of long-distance calls and internet messages run through AT&T and probably other companies as well.)
  • In May of this year, the Justice Department abruptly halted an internal investigation that was trying to uncover the name of the top officials who had authorized NSA's warrantless, unconstitutional program. Who killed this probe, which was requested by Congress? George W himself! (He directed NSA simply to refuse security clearances for the department's legal investigators.)

Interesting fact:

The New York Times reported this June that Bush was running another spy program. This one was snooping through international banking records, including millions of bank transactions done by innocent Americans. George reacted angrily to the exposure, branding the Times report "disgraceful" and declaring that revelation of his spy program "does great harm to the United States." The White House and its right-wing acolytes promptly launched a "Hate-the-Times" political campaign.

Name the guy who was the first to reveal that such a bank-spying program was in the works: George W. Bush! At a September 2001 press conference, he announced that he'd just signed an executive order to monitor all international bank transactions.

Watch lists:

From the Bushites' ill-fated Total Information Awareness program (meant to monitor all of our computerized transactions) to the robust efforts by Rumsfeld's Pentagon to barge into the domestic surveillance game, America under Bush has fast become The Watched Society.

  • Number of data-mining programs being run secretly on us by the federal government: Nearly 200 separate programs at 52 agencies
  • Number of "local activity reports" submitted to the Pentagon in 2004 under the "Threat and Local Observation Notice" program (TALON), which directed military officers throughout our country to keep an eye on suspicious activities by civilians: More than 5,000
    (They included such "threats" as peace demonstrators and 10 activists protesting outside Halliburton's headquarters.)
  • Number of official "watch lists" maintained by the feds: More than a dozen run by 9 different agencies
  • Number of Americans on the Transportation Security Administration's "No- Fly" list: That's a secret.
    (TSA concedes that it's in the tens of thousands. In 2005 alone, some 30,000 people called TSA to complain that their names were mistakenly on the list.)
  • Most famous citizen who is on the No-Fly list and has been repeatedly pulled aside by TSA for additional screenings at airports: Sen. Ted Kennedy
  • How can you get your name removed from TSA list? That's a secret.

Name that guy!

In 1966, a young Republican congressman stood against his party's elders to cosponsor the original Freedom of Information Act, valiantly declaring that public records "are public property." He said that FOIA "will make it considerably more difficult for secrecy-minded bureaucrats to decide arbitrarily that the people should be denied access to information on the conduct of government."

Who was that virtuous law maker?

Donald Rumsfeld!

Only eight years later, Gerald Ford's chief of staff strongly urged him to veto the continuation of FOIA. Who was that dastardly staffer?

Donald Rumsfeld!

Who is now one of the chief "secrecy-minded bureaucrats" who routinely violates OIA's principles?

Right, him again!

  • What happened to NSA Director Michael Hayden, who was the key architect of Bush's illegal eavesdropping program and the one who would've formally denied clearances to Justice Department investigators? In May, Bush promoted him to head the CIA.
  • This past May, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned that journalists who report on NSA's spy program could be prosecuted under the antiquated Espionage Act of 1917.
  • Times in U.S. history this act has been used to go after the press: 0
  • Margin by which the U.S. House in 1917 voted down an amendment to make the Espionage Act apply to journalists: 184-144
Bush's enemies
Bush in flight suit


Cheney on Halliburton

  • Total value of contracts given to Halliburton for work in the Bush-Cheney "War on Terror" since 2001: More than $15 billion
  • Amount that Halliburton pays to the Third World laborers it imports into Iraq to do the work in its dining facilities, laundries, etc.: $6 per 12-hour day (50 cents an hour)
  • Amount that Halliburton bills us taxpayers for each of these workers: $50 a day
  • Amount that Halliburton bills U.S. taxpayers for:
    • A case of sodas: $45
    • Washing a bag of laundry: $100
  • Halliburton's campaign contributions in Bush-Cheney election years:
    •  In 2000: $285,252 (96% to Republicans)
    •  In 2004: $145,500 (89% to Republicans)
      Plus $365,065 from members of its board of directors (99% to Republicans)
  • Increase in Halliburton's profits since Bush-Cheney took office in 2000: 379%
  • Halliburton's 2005 profit: $1.1 billion
    (highest in the corporation's 86-year history

Cheney on leaving Halliburton

  • Annual payments that Cheney has received from Halliburton since he's been vice-president:
    • 2001: $205,298
    • 2002: $162,392
    • 2003: $178,437
    • 2004: $194,852
    • 2005: $211,465
  • Cash bonus paid to Cheney by Halliburton just before he took office: $1.4 million
  • Retirement package he was given in 2000 after only 5 years as CEO: $20 million
  • Number of times in the past two years that Republicans have killed Sen. Byron Dorgan's amendment to set up a Truman-style committee on war profiteering to investigate Halliburton: 3
  • Naughty word Cheney used during a Senate photo session in 2004 to assail Sen. Patrick Leahy, who had criticized Cheney's ongoing ties to Halliburton: "Go #@!% yourself.

Regime of secrecy

Judge Keith on deomcracy

  • Increase in the number of government documents marked "secret" between 2001 and 2004: 81%
  • Number of government documents stamped "secret" in 2001: 8.6 million
  • Number of government documents stamped "secret" in 2004: 15.6 million (a new record)
  • Cost to taxpayers of classifying and securing documents in 2004: $7.2 billion ($460 per document)
  • Number of previously declassified documents that the CIA tried to reclassify as "secret" under a 2001 secret agreement with the National Archives, even though many had already been published and some date back to the Korean War: 25,315
  • Number of different "official designations" the government now has to classify nonsecret information so it still is kept out of the public's reach: Between 50 and 60
    (They include such stamps as CBU - Controlled But Unclassified, SBU - Sensitive But Unclassified, and LOU—Limited Official Use Only.)
  • The only vice-president in history who has claimed that he, like the president, has the inherent authority to mark "secret" on any document he chooses: "Buckshot" Cheney
  • Number of documents Cheney has classified: That's a secret.
    (He claims he does not have to report this to anyone—not even the president.)
  • Of the 7,045 advisory committee meetings held by the Bushites in 2004, percentage that were completely closed to the public, contrary to the clear intent of the Federal Advisory Committee Act: 64% (a new record)
  • Number of times from 1953 to1975 (the peak of the Cold War) that presidents invoked the "state secrets" privilege, which grants them unilateral power in extraordinary instances literally to shut down court cases on the grounds they could reveal secrets that the president doesn't want disclosed: 4
  • Number of times the same privilege was invoked between 2001 and 2006: At least 24
  • Under Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno issued an official memo instructing agencies to release as much information as possible to the public. In October 2001, AG John Ashcroft issued a memo canceling Reno's approach, expressly instructing agencies to look for reasons to deny the public access to information and pledging to support the denials if the agencies were sued.
  • 2005 FOIA requests still awaiting a response at year's end: 31%
    (a one-third increase over the 2004 backlog)
  • Median waiting time to get an answer on FOIA request from Bush's justice department: 863 days


Angry chefs sue over Chicago foie gras ban - Food Inc. -

Animal Rights activists get foie gras banned; labeled cruelty to animals by the manner this delicacy is produced. Ducks and geese are force fed in order to develope the fat livers necessary to make foie gras.

Animal rights activists protest the killing of animals to use their furs as human garments. Some even protest the usage of their hides to produce leather wearables, such as shoes. Many women wearing fur products, and even fake fur garments, have been attacked and have had red paint, symbolizing blood, thrown on their expensive fur coats and stoles.

Most animal rights activists decry meat eating of any kind, averring that animals have the right not to be used as a food. Many assert that humans should be vegetarians instead of omnivores. Little by little they seek to impose their views on the public at large. I agree that animals should be treated humanely but I do not agree that a small minority of the population should be allowed to dictate to the majority .

Now they have convinced the city fathers to ban foie gras from menues. What is next?

Ban eating chicken? I had the opportunity to tour a chicken farm in Arkansas where chickens were raised to sell to the chicken packing plant in that state. The chickens were kept in hundreds of tiny wire cages with a constant food supply placed before them. Lights were kept on at night to encourage round the clock feeding by the birds. Confined to their small cages, the chickens had no life other than eating. Accustomed to the life of the free range chickens on my grandparents' farm, I felt sorry for these chickens, but my pity did not cause me to stop eating chicken. Such treatment can be viewed as inhumane, so shall we forsake eating chicken? Shall the activists get laws passed forbidding chicken as food animals? Or turkeys? Shall we have nice fried soybean mystery meat drum sticks for our picnics, or soybean loaf for Thanksgiving?

How about eggs? The egg laying hens had much the same treatment as the chickens raised for meat. The hens were confined to tiny cages with slanted ramps for the eggs to roll down to a recepticle where they were gathered by attendents. Is such confinement inhumane? Shall we be forced by law to give up eggs?

Or beef, pork, mutton? The practises of the meat industry to encourage rapid growth in meat animals must also be viewed as inhumane by activists, as well as some of the means of slaughter. Shall they be allowed to outlaw the use of these animals as food?

Should animal rights activists dictate to the American people that they should henceforth forego the consumption or usage of any animal products?

I agree that animals should be raised and butchered humanely. I do not agree that any small group should enforce their views upon the general population. Protests about inhumane treatment has brought about many changes in the treatment of animals, and that is good. Forcing the American public to become vegetarian and eat soybean imitation meat products is a crock of it. Or imitation meat from algae.

So you don't care about the ban on foie gras because you don't eat it anyway? Remember - one small step at a time and each victory inspires another, until you find yourself experiencing meatless, eggless 24/7s 365 days a year.

And I can tell you for a fact, that soybean imitation mystery meat is tolerable the first few times you eat it but after a bit you can't stand it any more. Trust me, those people who burble that it is delicious are lying. I know; I get it very often on the Meals on Wheels program for the aged and handicapped, artfully shaped into chops or steaks or patties. Our state prisoners get it too and they hate it.

So unless you are a vegetarian and if you like your eggs and meat products, you'd better care about the activists getting any of our foods banned. You'd better raise a commotion about it.

Oh yes, another thing. It is "cruel and inhumane" to force feed ducks and geese? But it is acceptible to force feed humans imprisoned in our torture factories? Are humans less valuable creatures than fowl?

Monday, August 21, 2006

More From the Religious Right

I tried to copy and paste an article from The Salt Lake City Tribune but it didn't work too well.

Tina at Fuzzy and Blue has an excellent post which includes the link to the article.

Remember faith based initiatives? What we feared has come to pass. These agencies are accepting public funding while discriminating in their hiring practices. Is anyone surprised?

And then there's this.

First Baptist Church in Watertown, NY, a member of the American Baptist Convention, has fired a woman who taught Sunday School there for 54 years. Their reasoning? She's a woman. They claim to have other reasons which for reasons of "Christian courtesy" they will not disclose.

I was raised in a member church of the ABC. My mom was a Sunday School teacher there for at least 40 years, maybe more. We were in that church every time the doors opened. It's quite different from the Southern Baptist Convention, or so I thought until today. I was wrong.

I went over to their website and read the letter from their pastor (who is also a member of the City Council). He's basing his decision on the literal interpretation of one verse of the Bible, (what scholars refer to as proof texting and I call cherry picking) the same verse which prohibits some denominations from ordaining women. But a Sunday School teacher? What could this woman possibly have done to deserve this treatment? She has to be in her 70's or 80's.

They're within their rights to do whatever they wish and Baptist churches are to some extent autonomous. I don't know why this decision was made (although I have some ideas from reading the pastor's letter) but I'm disappointed at their treatment of a woman who has served them for that length of time. Much of it sounds like political infighting. Of course they are disappointed at the media attention at what they believe should have been their little secret. Gosh, it almost sounds like the federal government.

It also attracted the attention of the Watertown Mayor who was not happy.

Several of the local churches have offered her a church home. I hope she takes one of them up on it. It would be too much to hope that the women of the congregation who keep the doors open or have in every church I've ever attended follow her.


It Was Only A Matter of Time

Florida and its illustrious leader have outlawed thinking in the public school system.

Teachers may no longer teach history; only parrot what is written in the textbooks.

What's next, newspeak?

From Common Dreams.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another Black Eye for the Military - Correction

The Associated Press has reported and government documents appear to confirm many instances of sexual misconduct by military recruiters.

As nearly as I could determine, all were men and most involved young women 16 to 18 years old. The incidents took place in government vehicles and recruiting offices, among other places.

And they're worried about allowing gays into the military? Give me a break.

The story is all over television. I picked up the AP story from the San Jose, CA Mercury News.

Correction: I went back and read it again. There was one incident involving a male recruiter and male victims. The recruiter is serving a 12 year prison sentence. It's only one incident though and doesn't change what I said earlier.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

More on Widows of Veterans

I'm not even going to try to explain the underhandedness of the Republicans on this one. They've been successful for years in cheating the widows of military out of survivor benefits. Now they're fighting a law which would correct it.

From">Truthout today.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Excerpt from Alternet

At this point, it might be easy for someone like me to say 'why bother?[Bush] got his two terms (albeit illegally), the damage is done, our economy is wrecked, our ecology is three steps backwards, our domestic policy is "every man for himself," and our foreign policy reads something like "how do say that in English, buster?" Our standing as a military power is forever tainted, and our flag, as a beckon for freedom if only to ourselves, is tattered and sad.'

So why kick them out now? Because, they can still do a lot of damage. Because, they deserve to be expelled. Because, they have committed crimes far more grievous than the last guy, with his 80% approval rating, whom they scalded, bewildered and ultimately defeated with a relentless media campaign. I mean, looking back, it wasn't Clinton who was defeated. It was us, the Americans who elected him, who stood up to the bullies. So they impeached him because we, the people, just wouldn't go along with it. Where is the media now, when there are REAL criminals in office?

You can hear the voices of the people on the Internet. Where is one echo in the media? Imagine, if a sweet little song rallied the folks to storm their local newspaper or TV station and say "HEY, how about putting our point of view on now? Except that there would be no one there, since Clear Channel bought up most of the radio stations and has a clear right wing agenda. How about the newspaper? No, Rupert Murdock, an Australian, seems to own most of the American news organizations. No, whatever fear you have of his regime, it cannot stop you from letting Bush know you that are furious with him and his criminal entourage.(DownWithTyranny)

Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.
« The AlterNet Blogs « The Mix « Evan Derkacz

Which is Worse - Profanity or Obscenity

Thanks to Pat Greene at the Wild Winds of Fortune.

She expressed beautifully what I've been thinking.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Here's Another Example of Republican Racism

This time from Florida. The Republican running for Katherine Harris' vacated congressional seat is also suffering from hoof in mouth disease

We all know blacks aren't great swimmers because he said so. He also apologized; too little, too late.

Thanks to Political Wire.


Polls are not votes; replies to a pollster is not the same as visiting a voting booth.

Did you read the article "Polls are not votes"? Do not think that we can all sit back and relax about the elections just because the polls are not in Bush and the Repub's favor.


Check out this link to The Future Was Yesterday; very aptly describes the warning. The election is NOT in the bag in spite of the polls.

Virginia Senator George Allen

Here is a story from the August 15, Washington Post. I've been frantic getting kids off to their first days of school and hadn't had time to look a a newspaper.

And here is what my Junior Senator wrote to me today. Don't worry about the fundraising aspect, I'm just putting it out here for information. I don't know if the video will work with a straight copy from my mailbox but you can get the idea from her letter. (Update: I checked the video and link after I posted this. It works, at least here).

He has since apologized for the name calling. It isn't enough.

From Senator Barbara Boxer today:

Dear ann,

By now you've probably heard about the remarks recently made by Senator George Allen at one of his campaign events, aimed at a young Democratic volunteer who was attending and videotaping the event.

Watch Senator Allen's stunning remarks here.

As you can see in the video, Senator Allen calls this young Webb campaign volunteer of Indian descent "macaca," which means monkey, and is a racial epithet used in some European cultures for people with dark skin. And he doesn't use this term once, but twice. On top of that, Senator Allen tells him, "Welcome to America" as if he's some kind of outsider.

Well, this young Webb campaign volunteer has a name, and it's S.R. Sidarth. Senator Allen should have known this because Mr. Sidarth introduced himself to the Senator before the event. Mr. Sidarth is a student at the University of Virginia, and he's an American, born and raised in Virginia.

This is just one more example -- a very visible and disturbing one -- of how out of touch Senator Allen is. So far he has only offered a half-hearted apology to Mr. Sidarth, claiming he had no idea "macaca" was a racially charged term. The facts belie this explanation.

This feeble attempt at an apology is simply not good enough.

Let's send Senator Allen a strong message from our PAC for a Change community that America deserves better. If George Allen can't appreciate the diversity of Virginia, then he simply doesn't understand that this is what makes America so strong.

Stand up and reject Senator Allen's divisive politics -- Please contribute to Virginia Democratic nominee Jim Webb's campaign for U.S. Senate today!

As you know, Democrats have a great shot at taking back the Senate this year. And even before George Allen's recent gaffe, Virginia has already been a huge potential pick-up opportunity, thanks to Democratic nominee Jim Webb.

Jim Webb is a decorated Marine, winner of the Navy Cross and two Purple Hearts, and former Secretary of the Navy. As a soldier, Jim was a legendary fighter. As a citizen, Jim has been a principled and persuasive leader. An early and frequent critic of the Bush Administration's foreign policy, Webb opposed President Bush's invasion of Iraq from the very beginning, while Sen. Allen has been the chief cheerleader of this war.

Please contribute $50, $25, or even $10 to Jim Webb as he takes on Senator George Allen to win back the Senate seat in Virginia!

If Jim Webb wins on November 7th, there's no stopping us! With your help, Democrats can -- and will -- take back the Senate this fall.

In Friendship,



Group to Rally Evangelical Voters

By Alan Cooperman

Conservative Christian radio host James C. Dobson's national organization, Focus on the Family, said yesterday that it will work with affiliated groups in eight battleground states to mobilize evangelical voters in the November elections.

To view the entire article, go to

� 2002 - 2006 The Washington Post Company



Horrors! Christians are Voting!
Today's Washington Post carries a story about my friend Jim Dobson. Dr. Dobson is encouraging Christians to register and vote in bellwether states this fall. The Post story uses scare quotes around the words "family policy councils" that have been organized by Focus on the Family. We plan to keep reporters busy this fall.

FRCAction, our* legislative arm, is co-sponsoring a major Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. 22-24 September. We'll partner with Focus on the Family Action, American Family Association Action, and Americans United to Preserve Marriage for this important briefing. FRC is also planning another simulcast. This one will be in Boston in October and the theme will be the threat posed to religious liberty by the groups demanding recognition of "same-sex marriage." [how does same-sex marriage threaten religious liberty?]

We are also cosponsoring Stand for the Family rallies in Minnesota, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania this fall with our friends at Focus on the Family Action. Predictably, Barry Lynn of AU reacted with alarm to the news. He called this effort a "church-based political machine" and threatened participating churches with a loss of their tax-exempt status. This is a hollow threat. Lynn and his ilk never complain when liberals go into churches and pass the bucket for donations. Regardless of what Lynn and other may say we will stand up for the family-- for faith and for our freedom [Bush buzz words--]

Marty's Meme

Marty tagged Granny and me for a book meme. Granny posted hers quickly and efficiently. As is common with me, I dilly-dallied, had to ponder on it, discarded numerous replies, procrastinated, was distracted by a few dozen red herrings, and finally settled down to write. Choosing has not been easy. I am a book lover and have been a voracious reader all my life. Books have had a tremendous impact on my life.
The meme calls for ONE book that has met specific criteria. ONE?? An almost impossible decision.

1). One book that has changed your life.

A toughie. We are shaped and molded in so many ways, by so many influences, that it is difficult to pinpoint one single thing. I will go back to my childhood. I was taught about the pain of racial bias by my maternal grandmother as she related tales of her maternal grandparents' suffering. My great-great grandfather was a mixed breed Cherokee Native American who married a white woman of good family; their union created a scandal, a disowning of my great great grandmother for marrying beneath her. An Indian in those days was scarcely a cut above a negro slave, and in fact, the Native Americans were called "red niggers". Both were treated as pariah dogs by even the lowest white in the social hierarchy. Their flight from hate and abuse was marked by the births of their children in state to state until they reached refuge in Texas, where they found acceptance. Their story was a part of our oral family history and served as an object lesson against racial bias. So I had a good foundation in racial tolerance.

Before I was born my maternal grandparents had negro hired help to work the fields, attend the cattle and horses, and for household help. When they moved to south Texas, they engaged Mexican labor. I was of school age before I ever saw an African American. My only knowledge of black people came from a book I checked out repeatedly from our rural Book Mobile, a library on wheels that visited the rural schools.

It was "Little Black Sambo", a story of a little African boy who encountered a tiger and through a series of adventures outsmarted the tiger and escaped being devoured. The book had colored illustrations and I was amazed to see a black child with kinky hair, flatish nose and full lips, quite unlike anyone I had ever seen. I was filled with admiration for this black child who seemed so smart and so brave. Little Black Sambo shaped my attitude and perception of a race I had never met. This child's tale coupled with my grandmother's teachings instilled in me an acceptance and tolerance of different races that served me in good stead when I entered the world at large and encountered the ugliness of racial hatred.

In the rural south Texas community where I grew up there was no overt racial hatred but definitely racial bias, viewing dark skinned people as enately inferior, just a few cuts below the whites in social status. I failed to absorb that attitude; Little Black Sambo had taught me that dark skin did not equate to inferiority, because he had shown me how smart and brave he was.
2). One book you have read more than once.

That's another toughie. Every book I have in my personal library I have read more than once; some I have read many times. I retain them in my library BECAUSE I want to re-read them.

I suppose I'll have to say Stephen Hawking's "Brief History of Time." That one is not re-read for pleasure, but in a dogged attempt to understand even a tiny fraction of what the man has to say. I am fascinated by theoretical physics, the universe and all it entails and am as dumb as a stump when it comes to grasping the simplest fact. It is said that mathematics is the language of the universe and my brain declares it will not speak that language. Nor can I think in those concepts. But I try.
3). One book you'd want on a desert isle.

Oh Boy! That's like being forced to choose which child you would keep and which ones you'd abandon.

After considerable dithering, I narrowed the choice to two: Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky's "Stargazers and Gravediggers", his memoirs to "Worlds in Collision", and Thor Heyerdahl's "Early Man and the Ocean, a Search for the Beginnings of Navigation and Seaborne Civilizations". Dr. Velikovsy is my most favorite maverick, heretic, and brilliant re-writer of earth history. I like mavericks, even when I don't agree with them, but I love Dr. Velikovsky, admire him greatly, despise his detractors, and cannot forgive him for jumping up and dying before he had published his other works . I have every book he has published.

Unlike Dr. Velikovsy, Thor Heyerdahl has gained respectibility and acceptance in the scientific community but he too was reviled and regarded as a maverick when he first published . Ofcourse he had his money-where-his-mouth-was voyages to back up his theories. I think I'd have to choose Heyerdahl's "Early Man..." . Not only is it a re-reader and a study-er, but might be practical for individuals marooned on a desert isle.
4). One book that made you laugh.

That's easy. Bombeck's "The Grass is Greener Over the Septic Tank". Everything Bombeck wrote.
5). One book you wish you had written.

Several were on that list but I will choose John G. Fuller's "The Day of St. Anthony's Fire". Parts of it I would have rewritten in the street vernacular of the hippies and would have preached it from soapboxes and handed out free copies in an effort to counteract Timothy Leary's endorsement of LSD. Probably a futile effort; the mind expansion crap was too seductive for the young, but if I could have convinced just a few to leave LSD alone, maybe some would have not suffered the bad things. And yes, I know that many did their thing with no ill effects other than a bad trip or two, but some did not.
6). One book you wish had never been written.

William Powell's "The Anarchist CookBook". Yes, I know that today you can get stuff off the internet that makes CookBook look like a kindergarten primer, and it is, comparatively. But if the CookBook hadn't been written, some tragedies may have been averted. I hated it. I hated what it taught foolish young ones, full of angst and rebellion, to do to hurt people and to hurt themselves.
7). One book that made you cry.

Jack Hashian's "Mamigon". . Historically and factually accurate, written as a fictional novel, presents in plain, matter of fact prose the suffering of a people subjected to
incredibly inhumane sadism and genocide. Only one of many in history, sad to say. Reading this book helps one to understand other atrocities committed against a people, atrocities that are muted in the news and downplayed by governments. It makes you cry in pity, horror, and a terrible rage, and it sensitizes you to other inhumanities.
8). One book you are currently reading

Reading two: "Our Endangered Values" by President Jimmy Carter (still haven't finished it) and "They Came Before Columbus" by Ivan Van Sertima, another maverick that has the scientific establishment standing on its ear. They are P.O.d.
9). One book you are meaning to read.

Katherine Yurica's "BloodGuilty Churches". I've skimmed a few pages. Have read a number of articles by Yurica and in the main tend to agree with her. She has nailed the fundies pretty well.
10). Tag 5 people.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Blognonymous has a good post about how some states are screwing the voters to skew the election. Florida was just a dress rehearsal.

Thanks to our multicolored frog, Kvatch, for this important info.


Epidemic of Hatred
posted by Shakespeare's Sister
Friday, August 04, 2006 permalink
Continued again. And another incident that illustrates the inextricable link between misogyny and homophobia. (Hat tip 429 News.)
Three young men accused of brutalizing an 18-year-old gay man for hours last weekend have been charged with hate crimes, according to police, court documents and a prosecutor.The men also allegedly kidnapped a woman, who was held in a camper and kicked and beaten while the man was repeatedly attacked late Saturday night and early Sunday morning after a house party in Edgewood, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday in state District Court in Santa Fe.

Prosecutor Donna Dagnall, who handles cases in Children's Court, said the 18-year-old man suffered bleeding on the brain and a concussion as well as facial lacerations and bruising, but has since been released from a hospital. Dagnall confirmed the three men allegedly responsible for the beating have been charged under New Mexico's hate-crimes law."It's pretty clear to us that his homosexuality was the reason for the beating," she said.

The two had left the party when their attackers caught up with them, knocked them to the ground, and dragged them to a yard containing dogs. Their attackers threatened to throw them to the dogs, but instead tied them up in a camper and beat and humiliated them all night before finally releasing them.

So, let’s recap:Poland, Maine—mid-July: Lesbian couple’s home trashed; homophobic slurs left on walls.Riverside, California—late July: Patrons of gay club attacked.San Diego, California—late July: Five men attacked leaving Gay Pride.Detroit, Michigan—late July: A gay man and a transvestite robbed and attacked in separate incidents on one night.Santa Fe, New Mexico—late July: A gay man and a woman kidnapped and beaten.And those are just the stories I’ve come across in my usual reading, local coverage picked up gay wires or linked by blogs.

Not only have the major media outlets not made any attempt to call attention to this national issue, but they have wholly ignored** the comments of Renew America’s Deputy National Grassroots Director Guy Adams, who asserted that the gay community is “having sex with animals, a small group that's getting bigger, sex with infants, sex in the street in Chicago out in the open, it's just getting more and more perverted.” Renew America is chaired by **Alan Keyes, a former Presidential and Senate candidate and former ambassador during the Reagan administration.

There’s been a similar silence regarding Georgia Attorney General Republican candidate Perry McGuire’s** assertion that school gay-straight alliances should be prohibited because allowing them is "much like allowing a pedophile club or a gambling club to meet at school.” This is the kind of swill being disseminated by movement conservatives, as the LGBT community comes under both legislative and physical attack across the country. Will our media ever pay attention?In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. — Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Trumpet of Conscience", 1967. ( CHECK LINKS TO **)
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He tried to grab my butt
Posted by Melissa McEwan
at 9:39 AM on August 15, 2006.

So I put him in the hospital

Recently, I wrote about a story out of Santa Fe in which a woman and a gay man were held hostage and tortured by other people at a party they attended. Well, three men and one woman are being held in connection with the case, and two of the men have been charged with aggravated battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit kidnapping -- and they're already beginning to mount their defense in the press.

So why did they beat the gay man (and his female friend) until the sun came up, leaving him with "bleeding on the brain, a concussion, facial lacerations and bruising"? Because one of them told the other he** thought** the victim tried to "grab his butt."

In an interview, York told state police the comment upset him and made him want to fight the 18-year-old man, the statement says. York said everyone at the party made fun of the 18-year-old man because he was gay, the statement says.

Of course, not everyone at the party made fun of the victim for being gay. I'm sure his female friend didn't, and probably even defended him, which is why she was held against her will and kicked and beaten, too.

York said he wanted to "scare" the victim to "make him straight and to get him to stop acting the way he was," the statement says.

The ignorance is just astounding. Who has failed in their obligation to educate these young men about being gay and what that exactly means? Their quite possibly homophobic parents? Their schools, where, once upon a time not so long ago, health classes taught that homosexuality was not a choice? Their churches? (At least one of the two wore a rosary to court.) The media, who refers to being gay as "a lifestyle," making it seem as if sexual orientation is like choosing between being a ski bunny in Aspen or a beach bum in Boca? Our politicians, who at worst exploit homophobia and at best still can’t muster an unyielding defense of the marginalized LGBT community? Our entire culture? All of the above?

And worse yet, we've failed the victim of these idiots' ignorance and thuggery. Our casual disregard for the inevitable consequences of allowing such bigotry and stupidity to flourish uncontested will be the unnamed co-conspirator on any indictments in this case. And so shall it be, until we treat with all due seriousness the evil of homophobia.
(Crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister.)
Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare's Sister.
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Gay man beaten to be `scared straight'

print email this story

Leroy Segura is allegedly involved in the beating of a gay man and a women in Edgewood, Monday August 14, 2006.
By NATALIE STOREY The New Mexican August 15, 2006

An 18-year-old gay man who was badly beaten in Edgewood on July 30 might have been assaulted because a man at the party believed the gay man had touched his butt, a statement of probable cause filed in state District Court says.

William York, 21, of Edgewood, and Leroy Segura, 19, of Moriarty have been charged with aggravated battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Bond for each man was set at $100,000 cash only by District Judge Michael Vigil on Monday. Two juveniles, a boy and girl, are also being held in connection to the case.

York believed the victim tried to grab his butt while they were at a party in Edgewood on July 30, the statement says. He said Segura, who is known by the nickname ``Half Pint,'' told him the victim tried to grab York's butt, the statement says. In an interview, York told state police the comment upset him and made him want to fight the 18-year-old man, the statement says. York said everyone at the party made fun of the 18-year-old man because he was gay, the statement says. York said he wanted to ``scare'' the victim to ``make him straight and to get him to stop acting the way he was,'' the statement says.

The juvenile male arrested in the case said he, York and Segura tied the gay man's hands, placed a torn black T-shirt over his head, walked him into a deserted field, pushed him onto a downed fence and beat him, the statement says. The juvenile, the statement says, said he egged on York by calling the gay man joto, a derogatory Spanish word meaning gay. The documents did not contain statements from Segura, who wore a rosary around his neck in court Monday.

The gay man suffered bleeding on the brain, a concussion, facial lacerations and bruising from the beating, which lasted for hours, state police have said. York, Segura and the juvenile male have been charged under New Mexico's hate-crimes law. The 18-year-old victim went to the party with a girl, who was also beaten and held inside the trailer house where the party took place, the statement says. She told police ``the male subjects would knock (the gay man) down and if he did not get up off the ground within a certain count or if he did not make any noise, they would jump on him, hitting and kicking him,'' the statement says. The female victim said the beating stopped as ``the sun was coming up,'' the statement says. The 2003 hate-crimes statute allows an additional year of prison time to be imposed for a felony determined to be a hate crime -- a crime based on the victim's characteristics such as sexual orientation or race. Contact Natalie Storey at 986-3026 or


Dobson storm troopers mobilized for fundie votes.

Dobson launches massive voter registration drive

Using churches to get out the evangelical vote




EXCLUSIVE: Bush Admin May Have Violated 26 Statutes, Dems Say
By Justin Rood - July 31, 2006, 1:53 PM

The Bush administration may have broken over two dozen federal laws and regulations -- some of them multiple times -- according to an unreleased report from the House Judiciary Committee Democrats.

"The misconduct I have found is not only serious, but widespread," reads a draft summary of the report by Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI):

The laws implicated by the Administration’s actions include federal laws against making false statements to congress [sic]; federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other government employees; Executive Orders concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence; federal regulations and ethical requirements governing conflicts of interest; the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; communications privacy laws; the National Security Act; and the Fourth Amendment.

The document, an update to the Democrats' December 2005 report, "A Constitution in Crisis," will be released later this week, according to knowledgeable sources. It is several hundred pages long, with over a thousand footnotes.

In earlier days such a report would be easily ignored. But with the looming possibility of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives in November, Conyers' charges pose a potentially serious threat to the Bush administration. After all, it takes only a simple majority vote in the House to impeach a sitting president.

On their face, the laundry list of alleged wrongs form a natural basis for impeachment proceedings -- but Conyers has insisted he has no intention of rushing to impeach. No, a slow walk to possible impeachment (preferably down a path that includes months of hearings) is more what the would-be chairman envisions, he has said.

My call to the White House was not immediately returned.Permalink TOPICS: George Bush
Ofcourse not. Do you really think the White House wants to discuss impeachments?

In the USA and around the world, an increasing cry to prosecute BushCo and underlings with war crimes

Personal Message:
Bush Admin plays CYA - to protect the guilty, including themselves. (CYA= cover your ass)

What do you do when you have committed crimes and are threatened with charges? It is simple - pass laws making the guilty unaccountable for their crimes.
War Crimes Act Changes Would Reduce Threat Of Prosecution

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.

To view the entire article, go to

Sometimes WaPo archives fairly quickly. This url may not be valid very long.

� 2002 - 2006 The Washington Post Company

Blogging Problems

Enigma4ever has reported a person has been visiting blogs, posing as her, and saying ugly things.

So far it hasn't happened here but I'm passing the word in case whoever it is shows up. The real Enigma has an avatar with her comments. The imposter probably doesn't.

If you notice anything like that, please let her (or me) know.


Federalize the National Guard?

Not if the governors have anything to say about it. Even the Republican Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, is appalled.

Of course the Guard and be federalized under limited conditions and the federal government can also declare martial law. It was done by President Eisenhower in Little Rock years ago to enforce integration at Central High. It isn't done often and it shouldn't be.

I don't trust the current administration. If they had the kind of authority they're pressuring Congress to grant them, any pretext would be an excuse to put the entire country under martial law. Scary thought.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Survey - see previous post

Thanks to our friend JW, we may have solved the problem.

Can everyone see the sidebar now?

When I had this problem on granny months ago, someone suggested I switch from IE to Firefox. I did and a friend fixed the width on my posts which caused the problem in the first place.

Computers are weird.


This Is a Survey

One of our commenters can't see the sidebar with the blogroll. I'm wondering if anyone else has the problem. If you are, please let me know, either in the comment box or at my email address which is:

I'd say you can find my email addy on the sidebar but if you can't see the sidebar, that's no help.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

San Francisco Anti-War Protest

Jessie has a post and several wonderful pictures of the protest on her blog.


Is This What We Want For Our Future? Our Children's Future??

"If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.": Howard Zinn, historian and author

=Four sorrows ... are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787.

First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut.

Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co- equal 'executive branch' of overnment into a military junta.

Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions.

Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and safety of its citizens."

: Chalmers Johnson, Sorrows of Empire

Planned No Defense Against, but Response To Second 9/11

Do you trust this man? "Uncle" Dick Cheney, one of our President's chief handlers. "Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets." ( Just as the first 9/11 created a justification and opportunity to strike Iraq, whose attack had been pre-planned long before 9/11).

"Cheney's proposed "contingency plan" did not focus on preventing a Second 9/11. The Cheney plan is predicated on the presumption that Iran would be behind a Second 9/11 and that punitive bombings could immediately be activated...."" (Sound --ho hum -- familiar?)

"Realities are twisted upside down. The disinformation campaign ... in full gear. ...British and US point to "preemptive war" as an act of "self defense". ...Fear and initimidation to build public acceptance for the next stage of the MiddleEast War directed against Iran and Syria."

The Pentagon`s `Second 911`. Read the article at