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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

June 25, 2005
Don't Do This

I feel all ranty today, sorry.

There are things I wish the Left wouldn't do.

#1 - Swarm speakers on the Right for every passing remark. Like Rove and his recent idiotic remarks about the Left and 9/11.

Wouldn't it have been enough for someone in the public eye to say, "Someone needs to remind Mr. Rove that there are quite a few Democrats in the armed forces."

And then someone else could have said, "Perhaps Mr. Rove would like to poll New York's police, fire, and rescue services for their party affiliations before he insults their patriotism and their sense of duty?"

You see what I mean. If the Left had to respond, they needed some nice sound-bitey put-down that could have made it on the evening news and would have made the evening headlines. Turn the insult back on him and move on.

By attacking him chaotically from ten different directions, all we wound up doing was giving his (carefully worded) slam at the Left more and more air time. If we'd just ignored it, or sneered at it as a cheap, political stunt, which it was, would the MSM really have cared anyhow?

Just slap him upside the head in passing and keep your eyes on the ball. Don't allow yourselves to be distracted from the important things by some petty squabble over rhetoric.

Which brings me to my next point.

#2 - I don’t want the Left to apologize when they don't make any mistakes. Durbin should have stood his ground. He didn't say anything inappropriate and it was wrong of the Democratic Party not to stand behind him.

If you read descriptions of prisoner abuse and torture, you don't expect to see the USofA's name signed to them, do you? That's what he was saying and he should have stuck with it.

Grow a spine people. Say what you mean and stand behind it.

Anyhow.

#3 - Make irrelevant personal attacks. This isn't about the "leadership", it's about the world o'blog. The next blog on the Left I read dissing Condaleeza Rice for her appearance is coming off my reading list permanently.

(I'm of two minds about this one. John Bolton's mustache isn't something that should be sprung on an unsuspecting public without warning, you know? If a man is going to walk around with a white rat on his upper lip, he really should be preceded by someone waving a red flag. But I realize that voluntary facial disfigurement isn't really grounds for objecting to someone's politics, so I won't mention it any more.) (Unless I forget.)

#4 - Ignore Iraq. I do believe that a lot of our more prominent politicians are afraid to say too much about Iraq because it is true that in this day of global media, what they say goes into ears around the world, which includes those of people in Iraq that don't like us. And it does, to some extent, encourage those who are fighting our soldiers.

We need not to care about that. We made our dirty laundry the world's business when we invaded a non-aggressive country on the flimsiest of pretexts. We have to live with the consequences.

We didn't have any business invading Iraq. It was stupid. Sticking our jaws out and wading on through a sea of blood is only limiting the options for the future.

None of the problems that Iraq, or the greater Middle East has can be solved while staring down the muzzle of an M-16. Especially now that we've admitted to the world that we deliberately turned Iraq into a lightning rod for terrorists.

This is not a war that can be won. The neocons have gotten a couple of thousand USofA soldiers and maybe as many as 70,000 Iraqis killed, proving that their tactics Do. Not. Work. They're a bunch of pie-in-the-sky lunatics who are trying to kill an idea, to destroy a belief system. That can't be done.

I believe that the troops we have over there will do everything humanly possible to make their mission a success, but that doesn't alter the fundamental problems with the mission itself. Bring them home now, while we still have some shred of dignity. Don't wait until we're airlifting the last survivors off the top of our embassy.

#5 - Hit and run. Pick some issues and hammer away at them. Don't talk about Social Security one day and Congressional ethics the next day and judicial nominees the next and then take a break to make remarks about the level of corporate fraud in Bush's campaign donor list and then take a side-trip into Medicare before running over and yelling about job outsourcing.

Yes, I know the Right keeps changing the subject. They do that every time you start to back them into a corner on one topic. Why do you let them get away with it? Get a grip on yourselves.

Stop letting them set the terms of the debate.

Over 50% of the people in this country share liberal values. Why aren't you talking to them about those values? What do you stand for? What are your issues? Who are your people who can speak to the public on those issues? Find those people and give them your support.

Pick any three issues and own them. Find some simple, clear rhetoric that explains what you believe, or what you want to do, and then repeat it until it sinks in to everyone's brains. If the Left keeps hammering at their chosen points, refusing to be side-tracked and refusing to apologize when they haven't said anything wrong, they could have the Bush Administration and the Republican leadership biting their own tails in a month.

Every now and then, I just get tired of being the party of the grown-ups, you know? The party that tries not to burn bridges and tries to reach across the partisan divide to a bunch of teenaged thugs too busy strutting around and talking tough to see the truth.

I'm just saying. I'm tired of trying to be reasonable and responsive when the other side thinks power is an end in itself and that killing someone proves moral superiority. That's the kind of bullshit that's gotten the world into wars for centuries and one of these days we really do need to just grow up.

Posted by AnneZook at 06:26 PM | Comments (19)
June 24, 2005
Friday's Trash

So, what news got tossed out with the Friday trash this week?

How about US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo and Iraq, Afghanistan: UN source

Whaddya know?

Washington has for the first time acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.

It's about time.

"They haven't avoided anything in their answers, whether concerning prisoners in Iraq, in Afghanistan or Guantanamo, and other accusations of mistreatment and of torture," the Committee member said.

I'm glad to hear it. Except....

"They said it was a question of isolated cases, that there was nothing systematic and that the guilty were in the process of being punished."

The US report said that those involved were low-ranking members of the military and that their acts were not approved by their superiors, the member added.

Okay, so they didn't avoid anything but the truth.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:06 PM | Comments (1)
Friday Humor

You know how it goes. You get an e-mail address, and the next thing you know, you're getting e-mails. Sometimes they make you giggle.

This week's offering (with apologies to those of you who have, "already seen this one"):

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're 30 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Democrat."

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Republican."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You've risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and then you expect me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met but, somehow, now it's my fault."


Posted by AnneZook at 02:39 PM | Comments (1)
A Few More Links

I just had to call Ken Salazar's office (I do that so often any more he's programmed into my cell phone) and leave a message that I don't support a flag-burning amendment and I don't think he and Congress should be wasting taxpayer dollars on something so unnecessary.

Why can't Congressional Dems see that this is mere window-dressing for the Republicans? The Right knows this isn't an issue for the voters, they know no one cares and very few people support such an amendment. It's just a cheesy attempt to get themselves "patriot" points.

Anyhow. The news.

I knew that just because someone's in the military, it's not safe to assume they're a Republican. I knew it. Maybe someone should tell Karl Rove (202-456-2369) about these patriotic Democrats, 'cause he doesn't seem to be aware of them.

Zimbabwe's government is still getting heat for their game of Extreme Eminent Domain.

Remember that fuss over magnanimous "debt relief" a week or two ago? I've been trying to find the catch ever since.

The World Tribunal on Iraq is supposed to release their report today. (DeepDish TV site with downlink, for those media-enabled.)

"The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) has been convened to bring international law to bear on America" aggressive behaviour around the world, with particular emphasis on the Iraq war. This represents an historic attempt by the people of the world to hold states and their leaders responsible for severe violations of international law.

If Bush really is that homophobic, would he be appointing openly gay men to government positions?

13,000 IBM jobs are leaving the USofA and Europe, but never fear. The company isn't in trouble or anything. India will be getting around 14,000.

More humorously, Tales From the Department of Homeland Ineptitude.

(Color me so entertained. How did I miss this on Captain Jack Harkness?)

Update:

CE Petro has a story about an underhanded attempt to kill a federal science center and an "abuse of power."

We knew. We knew. We said it would happen, and it's happening. Flushed with the triumph of their victory over those slutty wimmin what has sex outside of sanctified marriage and probably not even in the missionary position, many pharmacists have now decided that it's against their moral values to prescribe such civilization-destroying substances as pain relievers. Avedon Carol has the story.

(Am I the only one still waiting for Viagra to hit the list?)

Posted by AnneZook at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)
Bummer

Iraq. Where terrorists go to train.

I wonder if it's also where "America" is going to die?

Just like in Vietnam, the Americans have no meaningful intelligence on the resistance. It's a massive, American strategic, cultural and linguistic failure. That's why American "counterinsurgency" in Iraq these days is reduced to supporting militias nested in the Interior Ministry - "Rumsfeld's boys", as they are known - as well as operations conducted by El Salvador-style death squads. There's no way this will win Sunni Arab hearts and minds. For most Sunni Arabs, from the simply alienated to the terrified, most of them impoverished to sub-Saharan conditions, the American presence - in the form of awesome firepower - only means death and destruction.

Sometimes I think we kind of suck.

Not just of Iraq. My increasing familiarity with our military and so-called 'diplomatic' history discourages me.

It's because Iraq isn't an anomaly, not entirely. It's because, as I came to realize some time back, we're only the "good guys" because so much of the rest of the world is so much, and so appallingly worse than us.

(I mean, am I being naive when I think it just isn't good enough to be less evil than we might be?)

Sigh. Moving on through the headlines....

No wonder we're especially hostile to the U.N. at the moment.

UNITED Nations human rights experts yesterday said they had reliable accounts of inmates being tortured at Guantanamo Bay and accused the United States of hindering their attempts to visit detainees at the US naval base in Cuba.

The four independent experts said the US had not responded to numerous requests to check the condition of terrorist suspects at the camp. They said their request for a visit was "based on information, from reliable sources, of serious allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of detainees, arbitrary detention, violations of their right to health and their due process rights".

The experts, who report to UN bodies on different human rights issues, have been trying to visit Guantanamo since early 2002. They said they had yet to hear back from Washington on their latest request - made a year ago and renewed in mid-April - to visit the camp. A US spokeswoman said the request was still being reviewed.

I wonder if we've decided to try and discredit the U.N. in the eyes of the rightwingnuts before they can confirm that yes, the USofA is, indeed, torturing people?

You do realize, don't you, that if they create a successful campaign of propaganda around how corrupt and useless the U.N. is, then the rightwingnuts won't believe anything the U.N. says, don't you?

I mean, at first I assumed we were stalling to get things cleaned up before the human rights team saw the place, but I just realized (I'm so slow....) that we have no intention of cleaning things up and even if we did, the prisoners left there would still be able to tell the U.N. what happened before, so the only thing we can do is to stonewall and undercut the U.N. Human Rights experts.

When they announce that, yes, we waged an illegal war and, by the way, torturing prisoners, no matter what semantic tricks you play to pretend they aren't prisoners, is also illegal, the freeper types are going to scream that the report is revenge for our talk about U.N. corruption.

And the corporate-owned soul of the MSM is going to report the freeper outrage as though it's a rational and reasoned rebuttal of the U.N.'s report. And at least 50% of the people who read about this in the paper or hear about it on the evening news are going to believe it, because "it must be true, or they wouldn't say it."

I've been thinking about Eric Alterman's lastest Think Again column, too.

The Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration plans to disclose in the Federal Register that the agency has collected personal data about airline travelers. This took place in spite of a congressional ban and the agency's promise not to do so. The administration, apparently, considers itself to be outside of laws passed by Congress and unbound by its own promises.

The more I read this stuff, the more discouraged I become about our future.

The Register's investigation also discovered that the Act's definition has grown so elastic that when the authorities are hunting for a terrorist suspect and make an arrest for other reasons, the case is still logged as "anti-terrorism." In an almost comical aside, we learn this expansion of the definition has swept into its net "College entrance-exam cheaters, check forgers, sham husbands and those who overstay visas." What's more, records show that officials at the Justice Department have instructed federal prosecutors to catalog their work in ways that inflate the number of terrorism investigations.

By the time we get rid of these maniacs in the White House, this kind of fraud and invasion of privacy will be more the norm than a shocking exception. How are we ever going to be able to rebuild a free society based, among other things, on the principle of, "innocent until proven guilty"?

I don't even know where we can go from here. I tell myself, maybe things had to get this bad before the complacent mass of society started to sit up and take notice, before real change could appear, but I don't believe it. As soon as the headlines disappear, people will go back to their lives.

If the Rove P.R. machine works, it's not even out of the question that the vast, ignorant herd of voters would elect another wingnut.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)
Naughty, naughty

Those of us listening to NPR this morning heard the story (here at Newsday) that Italy has issued arrest warrants for 13 people accused of participating in one of our 'kidnap the terrorist' schemes.

Seems that a 'suspected terrorist' named Abu Omar was kidnapped in Italy and they don't appreciate us breaking the law on their soil.

Investigators traced the agents through check-in details at Milan hotels and their use of Italian cell phones during the operation, the reports said. All the agents are American and include three women, Il Giorno said.

The reports said another six agents were being investigated for helping prepare the operation.

There's also talk about some or all of the 'agents' being CIA and one being an ex-USofA Consulate employee.

Anyhow, I don't know if the guy is a terrorist or not, of course, but I thought that just walking into another country and kidnapping people was going to get us into trouble.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)
June 23, 2005
Yes!

Have I not been saying this needed to happen? That "camp" is little more than a place where they try to brainwash children and convince them they're "evil" as a result of something they have no control over.

Via The Republic of T, of course.

Zach's parents are seriously in need of help themselves, but, they're adults. Zach isn't and he shouldn't be the victim of this kind of hate crime. If parents want to let themselves be brainwashed by hatemongers, that's their business, but society needs to better job of protecting our children.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)
Campaign Finance Shenanigans

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. How can they even think about passing this?

As someone who was a target for the United Way fanatics for many years, I have to object to offering the people who sign someone's paycheck this leverage. (Okay, yes, I held out with no problem, but I'm not an ambitious ladder-climber.)

Also, what happened to civil rights? Does anyone imagine that the lone two holdouts in a company's corporate structure aren't going to be punished for refusing to contribute? A fanatical enough CEO could turn political donations into a workplace "success" issue. Does anyone imagine this won't happen?

Republicans. Sheesh. Whatta bunch of money-grubbing slime.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)
Iraq, Torture, etc.

Stephen Pizzo is right.* I meant to mention this yesterday. Senator Durbin should not have apologized. The regime that made it possible to compare the USofA to Nazis and the Khmer Rouge should be apologizing.

I'm just saying. I wonder if the men who were beaten to death are grateful they were murdered by Americans instead of Soviets? You think it made a difference to them?

There isn't going to be any investigation into us torturing people because the Bush Administration knows good and well what's going on and they approve. We're going to need a lot more public outcry to get those members of Congress who still have consciences to move.

To the Bush Administration, I say, stop stalling and let the U.N. come and look if you're so convinced what you're doing is acceptable. And do it now, not in another month or two when you've had time to clean everything up.

Two from Cursor:

"Al-Qaida in Iraq" has reportedly "formed a unit of potential suicide attackers who are exclusively Iraqis, an apparent bid to deflect criticismthat most suicide bombers in Iraq are foreigners."

Makes it sound like terrorists worry about their PR.

In Houston, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay compared the "constant barrage" of bad news from Iraq to "all this reporting" in the local press about "violence, murders, robberies, deaths on the highways," adding that "if Houston, Texas, was held to the same standard as Iraq is held to, nobody'd go to Houston."

Has anyone told DeLay that no on in their right mind wants to go to Houston?

Also, has anyone told DeLay that it's unpatriotic, un-American, and giving aid to terrorists to compare Houston to Iraq and that he's denigrating the noble sacrifices of all of those people murdered or victimized by criminals in Houston by comparing them to the victims of war?

________________________

* He's wrong about the way we treat prisoners, though. We execute people. We've been known to do a bit of experimenting on prisoners and certainly some of them get raped. But those are more in our 0wn prison system than with prisoners of war.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)
Quickly

Bob Herbert is right. (He usually is) Gov Bush's determination to continue to make the Schiavo family the centerpiece of his political machinations is unconscionable.

900,000 people. That's a lot. They're currently displaced, fleeing flooding in China.

And then, suddenly, my brain explodes. Is Rehnquist really resigning? Can you even imagine what kind of wingnut the Bush Administration will nominate for the Supreme Court?

Posted by AnneZook at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)
Lying Liars

Hillary Clinton is in a tight spot.

Yeah, she's been lied about in that idiotic book, whose title I won't lower myself to quote, but she can't come out and pitch a fit about the "she's a lesbian" claim without making it sound as though being a lesbian is something bad. It's impossible to deal with it when the Other Side is tossing frantic 'insults' at you and you don't consider what they're calling you an insult...but you'd like to respond to their intent, if not their words. It's a no-win situation.

And she can't address the rape issue without having her words twisted and distorted out of recognition. (Arguably, her husband, who has been accused of rape, could bring Klein up on charges...but then, why turn a petty-minded insect into a nuclear threat?)

So, you know, to add my bit to the issue, let me point out that Edward Klein is a scum-sucking swamp toad.

Edward Klein is a partisan hack with the morals and the integrity of roadkill.

(Are those statements actionable? I suspect those statements are actionable.

Will I be called upon to defend those remarks in court, or since the guy has made himself "public" by publishing a book and doing interviews, is he fair game? Am I contributing to the moral decline in our political process by referring to roadkill?)

I mean, we all know that politics in this country isn't as high-minded as we'd all like, but in this book, Klein has rised the sewage level about ten notches.

The fact that the Right stoops to using these kinds of smear tactics only proves how little they deserve to be in power in this country and how threadbare their "policies" really are. (They didn't have many ideas, and none of those have proven, upon execution, to be good ones, and now they're freaking out.)

Also, although it will hurt, because I buy about 400 books a year on all kinds of topics, I think I'm going to stop buying anything with the Penguin imprint, because publishing this book was irresponsible and ducking the heat is unprofessional.

This country, as I've said before, is stuffed with people who actually believe that, "it must be true, or they wouldn't have let him print it" so now Penguin has made their (substantial) contribution to lying to the public.

I just can't support that kind of thing.

(Update: Achenbach takes on the topic.)

Posted by AnneZook at 10:24 AM | Comments (4)
Otherwise Noted

You know about "eminent domain" right? It was designed to allow government to take possession of property if it was needed for some important public project. (Don't you love my legalese?) Anyhow. SCotUS has decided that grabbing your house and giving your land to Wal-Mart is a valid public project.

I wonder if there's any point at which we'll be able to make Those People understand that a community is people, not corporations?

I wonder how all of those Little Republicans feel about this? Believing, as they do, that their party is the party of the "individual," with a mission to "safeguard" citizens against the machinations of Big Government, will they expect this Republican administration to pitch a fit? Do they actually believe their corporate-owned party leaders will stand up for the rights of individuals? I wonder if we'll see both the Left and the Right protesting this one? Certainly the libertarian types should be screaming.

In another blow for science and sanity, the guy who fabricated evidence to make it look like post-menopausal women are in danger of falling apart without hormone therapy, may go to jail.

Molly Ivins is keeping score on the corporate giveaways in progress.

Another billion for Halliburton. (Via Raw Story)

The House has been the gathering point for the rightwing crazies in government for several years now, so I discount their loonier proposals, but if this passes the Senate, I'm burning a flag. If I suddenly disappear, never to return, assume I've been arrested. (But don't send a cake with a file in it. I'm on a diet.)

A journalist had to flee Haiti or face kidnapping and possibly death.

10 babies, 10 lives.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:55 AM | Comments (3)
June 22, 2005
BBA

I haven't done enough to support or publicize the BigBrassAlliance, I know. Seems like every time I think of something to say, I find someone else who has said it already, and said it better than I would have.

So, first, today's round-up of links from the Big Brass Alliance List:

Excerpts From the Downing Street Memos

Raw Story’s Backstory: Confirming the Downing Street documents

WMD claims were 'totally implausible'

British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office

What the 'Downing Street' memos show

'Downing Street memo': The second draft of history

The Downing Street Memo and the Court of Appeal in News Judgment

Why George Went To War: The Downing Street Memos still do not answer why Bush wanted war. Fortunately, he did that himself.

Why the Memo Matters

Bush's war worries

Memos show British concern over Iraq plans

I've been trying to figure out that "blogrolling" code, so I could link to all the BBA members. In the meantime, it mushroomed to 550+ members, which I clearly can't cram onto this page, even if I could figure out the code.

So, in lieu of that option, here's the list of bloggers concerned enough about the Downing Street Memos to have added their voices to the discussion:

Read More »


Posted by AnneZook at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)
Here at home

In June of 2000, the DoD was already handing Halliburton millions to build prisons and we don't know how many they built or where. I continue to worry about what's happening in the places we don't know about.

Common virus kills cancer, study finds

A common virus that is harmless to people can destroy cancerous cells in the body and might be developed into a new cancer therapy, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Is this what the Left needs to do to regain a national media voice?

It's just embarrassing, how backward parts of this country are.

What the heck is the matter with Kansas? They've got a veterinarian writing standards for a creationism curriculum because they consider him a scientist?

(That does it. From now on, I'm from Arkansas. You just thought I said "Kansas.")

I also say, forget making war around the world. We need to spend $300 billion to bring civilization to the this country, first.

In Minnesota, a charter school fails on two counts. It fails to pay for itself, and it fails to teach. (Via Media Transparency.)

How on earth can you mistake hydraulic fluid for soap for two months?

And what's wrong with Editor & Publisher? I haven't been able to get the site to come up for two days.

dontblamemeivotedforkerry.com

Posted by AnneZook at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)
Around the world

I head of that story about the USofA "pounding" some "insurgents" yesterday and, embarrassingly enough, I tuned it out as another Iraq story on a day when I had too much else going on to investigate. Turns out I should have listened more closely. We're fighting "insurgents" in Afghanistan.

Afghan and U.S. forces kill 32 Taliban, retake town.

Except there's debate about how many people were killed (some say 40, some say 60), and they weren't "Taliban" in all of the stories, they were "suspected insurgents."

You remember Afghanistan, right? The place where terrorists actually are but that we couldn't wait to get away from? We don't get many stories on how the remaining USofA troops are doing there any more.

Experts Warn Of Future WMD Attack

There is a 70 percent risk that the world will experience an attack with a weapon of mass destruction within the next 10 years, according to arms experts.

And we should know. We sold most of that stuff.

The Guardian talks about Iraq, the Downing Street Memos, and the reversal of public interest between the U.K. and USofA.

The administration has been put on the defensive, lamely insisting that the decision for war was only taken in February 2003. Some Democrats believe the distance between that claim and these memos supplies the vital element of any scandal: proof that the president lied. They argue that if a fib about a dalliance with an intern was enough to see Bill Clinton impeached, lies that led to the deaths of 1,600 US troops and hundreds of thousands of uncounted and unnamed Iraqi civilians deserve at least the same treatment.

That's not going to happen - at least not while Republicans control both the House and Senate, chairing the committees that are meant to investigate such matters. It's also true that, while the mainstream US press has given space to the DSM issue, much of the coverage has sought to play down the documents' importance. (Having failed to expose the holes in the administration's case before the war, the American media is perhaps embarrassed to show how gaping those holes were.)

Perhaps they are.

Another look at Africa and aid.

American policy is based overwhelmingly on the idea that Africa can lift itself out of extreme poverty through its own efforts, that aid is largely misused because of corruption, and that the United States already gives generous amounts. This is wrong on all counts: Africa is trapped in poverty, many countries are well poised to use aid effectively, and America’s contribution is tiny relative to Africa’s needs, America’s promises and America’s wealth.

We give almost nothing (comparatively speaking) and it's loaded with conditions.

What the heck is going on in Mexico? Is some kind of civil war about to break out in the southern part of the country?

An amazing tornado picture from Canada.

In Saipan, a volcano rumbles.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)
Hidden Casualties

Alternet carries Zach's story and talks about some of the brainwashing techniques used by these anti-gay cults.

I think this is the key missing from the battle with the homophobic rightwing. They're all fixating on evil and they don't see the children they're destroying with their narrow-minded hatemongering.

All of those people who think being gay is just something you wake up and decided to do one day, a story like this should be educational for them, too. Who would choose this kind of persecution and abuse?

Posted by AnneZook at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)
June 21, 2005
Sail Away

Sailing the universe on solar sails. I can't remember the name of the SF author who wrote about that, but I remember being entranced by the idea.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:21 PM | Comments (2)
Headlines Say....

"Kerry Cautious on Probing 'Downing Street Memo'". Those first two words? Those are why Kerry isn't sitting in the White House today.

"The US War with Iran has Already Begun" which is entirely true, if you consider the pre-bombing propaganda as part of a "war." The Bush Administration's fumble-fingered messing in Iran's recent electoral pie was ridiculous. Are they suffering from some kind of delusion that a message from the USofA would be welcome in Iran these days?

"18 Soldiers Indicted in Hazing Case" Criminy. Maybe torturing people isn't as alien to soldiers as I've been assuming? (What is it with the electric shock treatment?)

"Zim begins destroying vegetable gardens" The world has finally found someone wackier than the rightwing neocons on the subject of the environment.

"Domenici Backs Off Warming Limits" (Annoying registration process required.) Speaking of the environment, it looks like Congress won't be.

" House OKs Emergency Funding for Wars" Another $45 million. In, I might add, a $409 billion defense spending bill. That's $409,000,000,000.00 for "defense."

This brings the tab for Iraq (and, one presumes, Afghanistan) to three hundred billion dollars.

Who was the guy fired for estimating invading Iraq would cost us three hundred billion dollars?

"Progressives to unveil 'core principles'" I wonder if these bear any resemblance to the principles that Progressives out here in the hinterland are interested in? I wonder if they have anything concrete to offer? (I wouldn't object if they just wanted to roll out the 'principles' and have public debate on them first. We'll see.)

It certainly sounds like the Bush Administration is being backed into a corner, but please don't forget that if we successfully impeach Bush, we wind up with Cheney In Charge for real.

If Cheney also goes, we get Dennis Hastert, who seems to be more a DeLay mouthpiece than anything else. (Well, probably. Remember Tricky Dick's example. If Cheney resigns, then Bush appoints whoever he wants as VP and then that person takes over when we run Bush off.) Doesn't do any good to lop off one head. The Hydra doesn't die until you cut off all the heads.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)
June 20, 2005
Zach

He's being forced to stay in "anti-gay" camp for six more weeks.

Let me repeat that if this persecution wasn't taking place under the umbrella of being a "Christian" program, we might have some options. Public opinion, if nothing else. But no major media outlet is going to take on the religious rightwing over a case of homophobic child abuse.

If I could get to Zach, I'd willingly break the law and bring him back to Denver with me.

Also? His parents? Seriously in need of an intervention. (That's what you do when someone's brain is taken over by a cult, after all.) How they can hand their child over to some unbalanced lunatic is just beyond me.

Zach's story got very few hits on GoogleNews, and you have to look for it.

HoustonVoice

PlanetOut

Southern Voice

SoVo

Gay.com

New York Blade

FreeZach.jpg

Free Zach.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)