Off Topic

A few folks have kindly inquired privately where else I write. In fact, my work pops up all over the place - for example, I used to write for a Los Angeles paper (although I've never been deeper into LA than LAX). A search at Amazon.com on "Kate J. Chase" shows you most recent book titles.

But some very recent stuff is found here:

How to Talk to and Support a Friend or Loved One Diagnosed with Cancer
How to Protect Your Home Office or Business Against Disasters
Parents: Don't Assume Software Keeps Your Kids Safe Online
Looking for a Job? Katrina-Ravaged Areas Need You
Come to Vermont to Leaf Peep or Ski But Stay for Good Food

John McCain: The Answer to Energy Worries is Nuclear Power

I happened to catch McCain on Letterman last night - although I generally ignore CBS these days since they bent over and spread it to the right wing on the whole Bush National Guard debacle where the lies still well outnumber any semblance of truth.

McCain insists the answer is nucular (his phrasing), that we just harbor unreasonable fears about it.

Well, here's my take on nuclear. Yes, it has much potential. The problem is that since the very beginning of our harnassing of it, we've done so blind. We have no good way to dispose of spent crap from nuclear energy (or weaponry), we have little protection for these plants that don't need to be attacked to cause problems (hello Three Mile Island!), and we still don't begin to understand its ramifications.

My partner, John, had a father who was, as a metallurgist, involved in a nuclear accident back in the '50s. A completely unnecessary accident that could have been prevented except that the company he worked for wanted results that could not be achieved safely. His boss ordered him to conduct an experiment that was guaranteed to blow up. It did.

That he survived at all was a miracle. But it cut his life much shorter. And, sadly, we're not much farther along in dealing with the ill effects of radiation as we were then. Quite honestly, I doubt we'll ever have a way to fully use nuclear power safely or a way to save people exposed to massive doses of it (a particularly gruesome death where those last 2-3-4 days put hell to shame).

Anyone recall Chernobyl? That site is still - about two decades later - so toxic and yet the sarcophagus literally built around it to contain it is disintegrating, land for miles and miles around it still a devastated wasteland, people still living with the horrible effects. That's how we deal with nuclear accidents; we hide them under a blanket and smile. Unfortunately, radiation permeates and penetrates through a LOT, including blankets.

So let John McCain move into a nuclear reactor and tell us how his cancer's doing a few months later. Then tell us nuclear power is the answer.

Anyone Watch the Bear Fights in the House of Reprehensibles on Friday?

If only they had directed some of that hot rhetoric up here to the great frigid north where it is highly unlikely we'll see the bare ground again until sometime in April (hint: crocuses are a May-June bloom up here as some indication of long the winters are).


Poll: So Who Leaked CIA Agent Valerie Plame's Identity to Bob Woodward?

Which Senior White House Official Told Bob Woodward About Valerie Plame if Not Scooter Libby?

To select multiple entries hold the Ctrl key (or the Apple key)

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Our "New" Great Security Plan

Build a huge fence between Mexico and the US.

Can you say, "No bid Halliburton contract with overages well into the billions"?

I just knew you could.

But all kidding - and there wasn't much, trust me - aside, when Israel did this it was a very BAD idea. In a VERY RARE expression of criticism by Bush of Ariel Sharon, our Commode in Chief said the wall was a very bad idea.

Ah, but we're good at telling other countries they can't do what we do ourselves. And as much as Bush said the Israeli wall was a bad idea, our tax dollars went to Israel to help pay for it.

This is like Bush's speech today in which he blew up at North Korea saying there was no discussion until N Korea gets rid of ALL its nuclear stuff. But America has more nukes than the entire rest of the world put together. Why aren't we getting rid of ours? Though exactly where we'd get rid of it is in question considering the half life of this crap is astronomical. But I'm sure Halliburton would be very willing to accept another multi-billion dollar no-bid contract to pretend to get rid of it safely while actually placing it in the Jersey Pine Barrens or as part of the "new and improved" levee system in New Orleans.

Having no scruples, no ethics, no humanity really clears the way for you to proceed exactly as you'd like - the rest of the country, world, and universe be damned.


I R Not Ded

Oops, sorry. I was using President Bush's "How I Learnt Real Good Uzing Phonetics While at Harveyard Doing My MBA (or Megalomaniac Bastard-eye-za-shun of A-thor-a-tee)" as my style guide.

His followup book was an even bigger bestseller, "Hooked on Cocaine and Comix".


Former Corp for Public Broadcasting Head Tomlinson Broke the Rules

This is a known, but investigators now agree that Ken Tomlinson spent his time as head of PBS by trying to make it a right-wing flag waving network.

Even After All That's Come Out About the Bushie Lies

Bush practically called anyone who questioned his decision a traitor today.

Talk about taking responsibility.


D is the Grade for the New Medicare Drug Plan, Part D

Even a PhD complains he can't begin to make hide nor hair of the "great" plan that will, no doubt, end up screwing seniors.

For Those Still Claiming the Bushies Lied


From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Marty McNett of Burlington (Letters, Wednesday) believes there is no proof that President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so we should lay off claims that he did.

I refer McNett and anyone else who is laboring under that misconception to read "Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements On Iraq," prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform -- Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004.

This 36-page report goes into great detail about outright false and deceptive public statements by Bush (55 misleading statements), Vice President Dick Cheney (51), former Secretary of State Colin Powell (50), former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (29) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (52) on the subject. These 237 misleading statements were made in a variety of forums (53 interviews, 40 speeches, 26 news conferences and briefings, four written statements and articles and two appearances before Congress) beginning at least a year before the war began, and their frequency peaked at key decision-making points.

Here are a few excerpts: In October 2002, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research concluded in the National Intelligence Estimate that "the activities we have detected do not, however, add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons."

Fewer Than 1 in 10 Americans Want a Congressman Willing to Play Ball With Bush

This USA Today/Gallup poll is the worst yet:

Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a congressional candidate who is a Republican and who agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. Even among Republicans, seven of 10 are most likely to back a candidate who has at least some disagreements with the president.

Bush's job approval rating sank to a record low 37%. The poll finds growing criticism of the president, unease about the nation's direction and opposition to the Iraq war.

"All of this is a culmination: How we ended up going into Iraq, gasoline prices, the underlying economic jitters, the sense that the president is out of touch with what the average person wants," Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio says. "What good news have people heard?"

Chattanoogan: Frist Sells Soul to Devil

I'm not sure even the Devil would accept "Here Kitty, Kitty - let me dissect you!" Dr. Frist.

On the way to work at his job on Capitol Hill, Sen. Bill Frist’s limo stopped at a traffic light, and the Devil opened the door and joined him on the back seat.

Frist reportedly thought for a moment or two about asking the Devil to leave, but decided against it. He was intrigued. When you are trying to pilot a sinking ship through a mine-laden harbor, you will look just about anywhere for a life jacket.

By the time they reached the Hill, the Devil had Frist’s signature on a personal services contract. “Do a little easy work for me, Billy Boy, and you’ll see a return that will make that HCA stock you dumped at just the right time look like chicken feed in a cyclone.” Without batting an eyelid, Frist got into the Senate chamber and announced that the leaking to the Washington Post of the fact that the CIA had set up secret world-wide torture camps was a far more serious “crime” than the establishment of those very same camps. “There you go, Devil. You owe me ten grand.”

Let’s try to weigh these two alleged “crimes” side by side and try to determine which on a scale of important things is the more serious. Leaks to Post? World revolts? No. Torture camps? World revolts? Yes. Hmmmm.

Is Cheney's Cheney Replacement for Libby Even Worse Than Scooter (On or Off Crutches)?

From the Taipei Times:

US Vice President Dick Cheney chose someone in his own likeness to be his new chief of staff. Like Cheney, David Addington avoids public acclaim. And like Cheney, Addington already has made a large imprint on President George W. Bush's White House.

At Cheney's side since the 1980s, Addington has been a behind-the-scenes player in one after another of the sensitive and contentious situations the Bush administration has faced.

Some include: the investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer's name, the fight not to disclose which corporations advised the White House on energy policy, the dispute over the treatment of suspected terrorists, and the White House disagreements with the commission that investigated intelligence failures surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks and with the Senate Intelligence Committee over the release of documents. Cheney tapped Addington after Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff, was indicted in the CIA leak investigation.

Addington, who previously was the vice president's lawyer, was special assistant to the secretary of defense when Cheney led the Pentagon during the presidency of Bush's father, George H.W. Bush.

In some respects, Addington is a Cheney twin. Neither is prone to knee-jerk reactions. Each has a direct style that some interpret as blunt and unyielding. Neither is prone to expressing excessive emotion. Both prefer short meetings. Each is a voracious reader. Both are known for their work ethics and mental organizational skills.

Now Extreme Rights Are Worried That a Little Alito on the Supremes Won't be Enough


Some anti-abortion groups are starting to wonder whether Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito is as strong an ally of their cause as opponents have depicted him.

Although most major conservative groups have embraced him, those whose sole mission is to restrict and prohibit abortion have reservations about Alito as they learn more about his record on that issue.

"I don't know what his personal views are, but I know that he has ruled on pro-life cases four times and he has ruled against pro-life positions three times. And the fourth was a split decision," said Richard Collier, president of the Legal Center for the Defense of Life based in Morristown, N.J. "If you look at the paper trail, it is all negative."

Also concerned is another group from New Jersey, Alito's home state and the jurisdiction where many of his rulings as a federal appeals-court judge have had a direct effect.

"There's a big question mark about what he would do" on the Supreme Court, said Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life. "We certainly hope that Judge Alito is all the things that our opponents claim he is, but we don't know that yet."

The country's biggest anti-abortion group, the National Right to Life Committee, has not taken a formal position on Alito's nomination, but its Web site suggests his record on abortion is mixed at best.

Tony Blair (aka Bush's Poodle) Faces New Questions, Possible Impeachment Over Iraq, the Cooked War

Story here from the Sunday Herald.

An Attempt to Shut Down the O'Reilly All Spin Zone

A faithful Daily Kos apostle has some ideas for taking Bill O'Reilly off the mandated airwaves.

Britains Learn of Nasty Gitmo Prisoner 11th Hour (Non) Surprise

From the Guardian (UK):

Human rights campaigners are calling it the 'November surprise' - a last-minute amendment smuggled into a Pentagon finance bill in the US Senate last Thursday.

Its effects are likely to be devastating: the permanent removal of almost all legal rights from 'war on terror' detainees at Guantanamo Bay and every other similar US facility on foreign or American soil.

'What the British law lord Lord Steyn once called a legal black hole had begun to be filled in,' said the British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, speaking from Guantanamo, where he represents more than 40 detainees. 'It looks as if it is back, and deeper than before.'

If the amendment passes the House of Representatives unmodified, one of its immediate effects is that Stafford Smith and all the other lawyers who act for Guantanamo prisoners will again be denied access, as they were for more than two years after Camp X-Ray opened in 2002.

The amendment was tabled by Lindsay Graham, a South Carolina Republican, and passed by 49 votes to 42. It reverses the Supreme Court's decision in June last year which affirmed the right of detainees to bring habeas corpus petitions in American federal courts.

As a result, about 200 of Guantanamo's 500 prisoners have filed such cases, many of them arguing that they are not terrorists, as the US authorities claim, and that the evidence against them is unreliable.

None of them were given any kind of hearing when they were consigned to Guantanamo. Instead, the Americans unilaterally declared they were unlawful 'enemy combatants', mostly on the basis of assessments by junior military intelligence personnel, who were often reliant on interpreters whose skills internal Pentagon reports have criticised.

For Kinky and Sick, You Don't Have to Go to an Orgy

Just visit with an ultra-conservative, Republican family values type, a surprising number of which have not only been outed in picklish peccadilloes, but also for the children they spent so much time wanting to "protect" from the same stories of Bill Clinton's cigars and fellatio that these folks devoted all their energy toward reviling.

In this vein, let me offer up the Armchair Subversive's Rogues Gallery of alleged and/or convicted Republican Pedophiles, such as:

  • Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.
  • Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.
  • Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.
  • Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child molester.
  • Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.
  • Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.
  • Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
  • Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.
  • Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.
  • Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.
  • Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.

You remember the last one listed, don't you? AKA the Bind-Torture-Kill (BTK) serial killer who was very active in the local GOP in between torturing whole familes.

The list, btw, goes on ad nauseum. And I do mean nauseum.


Josh Marshall: We Need a Truth and Reconcilation Commission

Check out Josh's piece on Ken Mehlman, RNC Chairman in The Closet, and his appearance on Meet the Pumpkin...er... Pumpkinhead Russert... ouch... Meet the Press today.

JUST to try to sort out the Bush lies exclusively regarding Iraq. Man, would this panel have a job to do!

Mr Toast Burning in Hell


Say hello to Wind in the Wire.

Slate: Deceitful Double Standards Underlie Our "We Don't Have a Policy of Torture" Torture Policy



"It's not about who they are. It's about who we are."

So said Sen. John McCain, in defending his amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would bar U.S. officials from inflicting "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" on detainees in the war on terror. But while Sen. McCain is surely right that how we treat those in our custody ultimately reflects back on us, this debate is also very much about who "they" are. That's because the Bush administration's justification for employing "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment" against certain individuals expressly turns on the fact that these individuals are foreign nationals held abroad. The coercive-interrogation policy is predicated on a double standard: According to the administration, we can do it to "them" because "they" are different from "us."

On this theory, what would indisputably be illegal if done on U.S. soil, or if done to a U.S. citizen anywhere in the world, becomes lawful when inflicted on foreign nationals held abroad. It is this theory that drove the administration to warehouse hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under our control but technically beyond our borders. It is this theory that drove the administration to open a network of CIA-controlled secret prisons—dubbed "black sites"—in undisclosed locations around the world. Application of the theory has already resulted in multiple homicides in the course of interrogations, one of which is recounted in gruesome detail by Jane Mayer in the Nov. 14 issue of The New Yorker.

Dear Dick, What a Sadistic Bastard You Put Forward. Thanks!

A letter from General JC Christian:

Dear Vice President Cheney,

I don't think you're exploiting Melvin Sembler's skills very efficiently. The man should be heading up your Iraq team rather than serving as our ambassador to Italy. After all, as the founder of the STRAIT, Inc. youth treatment program, he has a demonstrated record of implementing the very policies you embrace.

You don't have to take my word for it; read what his former clients have to say:
    Just one of many survivors is Samantha Monroe, now a travel agent in Pennsylvania, who told The Montel Williams show this year about overcoming beatings, rape by a counselor, forced hunger, and the confinement to a janitor's closet in "humble pants" -- which contained weeks of her own urine, feces and menstrual blood. During this "timeout," she gnawed her cheek and spat blood at her overseers. "I refused to let them take my mind," she says of the program. The abuse took years to overcome.[...]

    "You don't understand what they did to these kids," Bradbury told AlterNet. "They put stuff up my butt."
According to Dr. Arnold Trebach, a professor emeritus at American University, nearly half of the children committed to Ambassador Sembler's care received similar treatment. If he can do that to American kids, just imagine how biblical he could go on foreign adults. He's your kind of guy.

He's also, apparently, Our Leader's kind of guy. After all, he awarded Mr. Sembler his ambassadorship and even named a building after him. You can't get a better endorsement than that.

Welcome Visitors from Afar

Happened to notice today that - for whatever reason - traffic through here from other countries matches or exceeds those coming in from North America (yes, at least 5 US residents do recognize there are a couple other countries in North America, really).

One big positive of blogging, in my humble opinion, is that it can bring global citizens together in a way that reduces some of the worst effects of geographic boundries.

But - even more selfishly important for Americans - there is also the need for us as Americans to cross borders through blogs, to see what people in Iraq, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and others are saying about global warming, the War on Terror, media spin, top headlines, megacorporations, and the increasing division between the extreme wealthy and the rest of us. I try to do this regularly, and use various translation tools online to help me read blogs in languages other than I can read (my English and Spanish isn't bad, my French sometimes passable, my German and Dutch spotty, and my Asian language skills are non-existent.

Bush's Cooked Iraq War

Important post at Think Progress for what is grudgingly admitted on Faux News today:

On Friday, President Bush claimed that members of Congress who voted for the 2002 Iraq war resolution “had access to the same intelligence” as his administration. ThinkProgress has published information debunking that claim. Our position was backed up this morning by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS).

Appearing on Fox New Sunday, Chris Wallace asked, “What about this question, Sen. Roberts, about whether or not — the fact is you didn’t get the same intelligence. Is that a legitimate concern?”

Roberts acknowledged: “It may be a concern to some extent.”

Of course, Roberts immediately began to offer caveats. He argued, for instance, that “we had the same information on the aluminum tubes at the time we went to war as the time that we took another look and said, whoa, wait a minute, this isn’t adding up.” In fact, it’s not true that Congress had the same information as the White House on aluminum tubes. As the New York Times explained, of the 15 assessments of the tubes sent to Congress, “not one of them” informed readers that experts within the Energy Department believed the tubes could not be used to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program.

But this critical point should not be obscured: President Bush’s statement on Friday was absolute. Either Congress did or did not have the “same intelligence” as the White House prior to the war. This morning, not even Sen. Pat Roberts — who has led efforts to delay and downplay the need for investigating prewar intelligence — would back him up.

Crooks & Liars has video... /font>

Remember When They Said New Orleans Police Department Corruption Was All in the Past?


HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A former New Orleans police officer who resigned after being accused of abandoning his post during the Hurricane Katrina crisis was arrested while driving a stolen truck, authorities said.

Willie Earl Bickham, 39, was expected to face felony charges including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and impersonating a police officer, said Houston police Sgt. Nate McDuell.
Bickham told Houston police he was still a New Orleans police officer. But police officials in Louisiana said Bickham resigned in early September to avoid being fired for abandoning his duties.

Bickham was driving a 2005 Chevrolet truck when he was pulled over for speeding Saturday. The officer who made the stop noticed the black truck had no license plates.

The car dealer's name marked on the truck was a New Orleans dealership that had reported several vehicles stolen during the hurricane crisis, McDuell said.

Bickham, who has family in Houston, could also face weapons charges: He had a pistol issued by the New Orleans department, McDuell said.

George Clooney

The Times looks at George Clooney and suggests a new age Warren Beatty or Robert Redford (and Beatty was shadowing Arnold on 'special election' night the other night).

I'm impressed by Clooney, more off camera than on, but the peak oil movie coming up and "Good Night, Good Luck" are stunning in what they tackle.

Condi Rice: Aggressor of State

Want to bet the man on the left is thinking, "She scares me. Condi Rice really, really scares me. Did I mention she has her hands on my testicles, twisting them while she keeps whispering through her teeth, 'I'll show you Bush diplomacy!'"?

Photo lefted from Skippy who lefted it from... I'm not sure who.

Santorum Evolved?

With the junior senator from Pennsylvania, I doubt it. It's called sucking up to an increasingly angry base that's watching everything get pissed away to the extreme right wing.

Posted by Skippy:

er, we mean...no intelligent design for santorum...sen. rick santorum has gone on the record as opposing the inclusing of intelligent design discussions in science classes (hear that, dover, pa? that's your own senator talking). the beaver county (we kid you not) times online tells us:
    u.s. sen. rick santorum said saturday that he doesn't believe that intelligent design belongs in the science classroom.

    santorum's comments to the times are a shift from his position of several years ago, when he wrote in a washington times editorial that intelligent design is a "legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in the classroom."

    but on saturday, the republican said that, "science leads you where it leads you."
hopefully not into marriage with dogs.
Wait. So Rick Santorum was FOR intelligent design before he was AGAINST it?

Flip flopper!

The Bushies: More Spin Cycles on Iraq Than a Kenmore Washer

Posted by Stranger at Blah3:

The White House gets into this weird loop when they try to explain away their lies - the only way they can do so is to tell even more lies. Sad.
    While admitting "we were wrong" about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, President Bush's national security adviser on Sunday rejected assertions that the president manipulated intelligence and misled the American people. Bush relied on the collective judgment of the intelligence community when he determined that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, national security adviser Stephen Hadley said. "Turns out, we were wrong," Hadley told "Late Edition" on CNN. "But I think the point that needs to be emphasized ... allegations now that the president somehow manipulated intelligence, somehow misled the American people, are flat wrong."
In case you need the ultimate source to debunk the White House's lies about their lies, you can find it here. Bookmark it, email it, pass it around.

Ever come upon a blog and wonder...

What's the story behind what you see?

I do occasionally, like here.

Blog Labels

On a side note, it's always interesting to see how this blog gets categorized by third party types.

I set up this blog with the designation: news and media.

Yet, depending on who's labeling me, this blog - or me as the blogger - comes up under the categories of:

  • Neo-conservative - eh? Me? I don't want to attack anyone or make Halliburton any wealthier.
  • Sex talk - Not usually, unless we're quoting Rick Santorum. Cough.
  • Lesbian and gay - I'm rarely even merry, let alone gay. But last I checked, I'm heterosexual, and the blog really isn't about me or my sexual orientation or anyone else's.
  • Anti Bush - well, if the truth hurts.... but no, this isn't an anti-Bush site. If Bill Clinton were pulling this crap and I wrote about, would this blog be anti-Clinton?
  • Anti military - Not exactly. Both in the blog and in real life, I support proper treatment and training of the military, and feel the best support I can offer is to try to do what I can to see they are not used/abused as political pawns of the president and Congress.
  • Feminist - Sorry, no. A humanist, perhaps. I'm not a feminist, either in its best sense or the one Rush Limbaugh attributes to it.
  • Democrat Shill - Not correct either.

Bruce Willis Proves His IQ Isn't All in His Scrotum

Lessee: the $25 million reward the US has been offering for awhile now hasn't done any good, so I figure Bruce knows his million is safe.

Also from TalkLeft:

Actor Bruce Willis is offering $1 million to any civilian who captures Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Dog the Bounty Hunter has said several times he'd love to find Osama.
    Question: How about finding Osama or someone else in the Middle East? Could you do it?

    Dog: Absolutely. Waiting for the phone call from GW.
On CNBC, Dog said he could find Osama in 90 days.

Bruce, meet Dog. Dog meet Bruce.
Boy, you put Dog and Bruce together and you've got the IQ of Bush's dog Barney, who is more than 5x as smart as a Bush twin - Jenna or Barbara.

Another Brilliant Congressmen: Deny Citizenship to Children of Undocumented Workers

From the great folks at TalkLeft:

The Washington Post takes a well-deserved swipe at Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo Sunday. Tancredo is proposing that citizenship be denied to U.S. born children of undocumented residents. Apparently he has never read the 14th Amendment.
    The 14th Amendment begins: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." Not "all persons except children of illegal immigrants," not "all persons except those Congress exempts in moments of nativism." All persons.
Tancredo's off the wall theory is that these children are similar to diplomats in that they are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

The Terrell Owens Saga

From Xavier and Peter at Pibbshow:

Double Technical updates us on the Terrell Owens saga, now that Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson have weighed in. Nader frames the issue as one of consumer protection, arguing that fans are being ripped off by not being permitted to see TO play. And since Jackson referred to Owens's four-game suspension (possibly paid, possibly unpaid) and subsequent paid six-game sitdown as a "one-year" ban, he's just showing off his math skills. That might also explain where all of PUSH's money went. When we have troops dying in Iraq, White House aides run amok and big oil company executives aren't sworn in before testifying before the Senate because poor little Ted Stevens of Alaska won't allow it, aren't there bigger fish to fry?
The Nader thing really surprised the hell out of me. Is Ralph bored?

But I'm in total agreement: Owens is hardly our greatest worry right now, despite the fact that it's dominating press discussions.

[Ed. note to author: He's a sports figure. Why do you dislike sports figures?]

[Author's note to editor: I don't dislike them; I just find them irrelevant, sort of like Lady Di's wardrobe and spring fashion colors. And, oh yeah, bite me.]

"Stick of Gum, Anyone?"

Apparently Rumsfeld will actually do something to help troops - at our expense, of course - by helping them brush their teeth using specially developed (and we'll be sure the price is multi-billion) anti-bacterial chewing gum.

It's not a bad idea but sheesh.

US-Pushed Mideast Summit Ends in Rancor

As do all of our "diplomatic" efforts - true under Powell but FAR, FAR worse under Rice.

She, of course, used the platform to go after Syria and try to talk up the legitimacy of our going to war there.

Our "nuke free" talks with North Korea are actually going even worse, if that is possible. And with the Bushies, incredible negatives are not only possible, they are to be expected.

The Phenomenon of Female Muslim Suicide Bombers

I do not understand this. Not suicide bombing, which also makes no sense but you sort of understand that desperate people do desperate things.

But why women, who have none of the rights of a man under most Islamic laws? Why would men even allow it?
From CNN:

Saijida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi said her explosives belt failed to detonate.

An Iraqi woman in Jordanian custody said in a televised confession today that she tried to blow herself up with her husband in an Amman hotel last week, in one of three attacks that killed 57 people. Her husband detonated his explosives belt, but she said hers didn't work. "I tried to detonate mine but I failed," she said, adding that people fled the room, and she fled with them.

Retired Marine General: Bush Shortchanging Vets in Too Many Ways

Excellent piece on General Hoar's Democratic radio address responding to Mr. Bush's weekly address yesterday.

I say this general is right on the mark: Bush has been pushing troops out faster and faster while working at home to cut their benefits, from educating their children to health care to base and hospital closings, to programs to help them keep their homes while in combat.

Three More Troops Dead in Iraq

I think we're at 2050 now, and we just hit the 2000 mark near the end of last month.

Three More Troops Dead in Iraq

I think we're at 2050 now, and we just hit the 2000 mark near the end of last month.

It Happens Here, Too

Vermont has its share of cases where police shoot and kill people in situations that don't always make a lot of sense. This is at least the third I've read about in my 5+ years here and what bothers me most is that this case involves the Barre Police Department, a PD where there has been past indication of officers going overboard.

I came from a small CT city where a police officer had been found guilty and sentenced for killing a black man - again a very small man who was wanted for a non-violent offense - he was trying to arrest when it was determined forensically that the dead man had been on his knees, his back to the cop, his hands not in a position to harm anyone or pull a weapon when the very young cop shot him. Cops throughout the area responded badly by threatening the investigators and prosecutors, something that is not unusual practice in that part of Connecticut.

But, lest you think this is a liberal diatribe about pigs in uniform, it's not. Unless we're in the cop's shoes - and we're not - we don't know what they saw and may have interpreted as a threat. Same holds true for combat.

As a strong society, we need to look at these cases carefully and see what there really is to learn from it. In cases where it's obvious that a cop was clearly in the wrong, prosecute to the full letter of the law. In the rest, we need to strike some intelligent balance between just assuming that a police officer is right and assuming all police are corrupt so this will continue. A cop who really does perceive a legitimate threat shouldn't be hung out to dry, but we also can't assume "mistakes happen" and let it end there with no thorough review.

In a case like this, you can't help but wonder, "Wasn't there something else the officer could do besides empty his gun into this small man?" Multiple shots were fired by the officer, with no indication that the man threatened the officer with the knife.

I've had weapons not just brandished in front of me, but used to threaten or hurt me. I have not responded with violence. And no, I don't just think the difference is because I'm a girl.

One of the reasons, however, I will not allow a gun into my home is that I know that stupid, scared people sometimes resort to a weapon - or something that can be pressed into service as one - whenever they feel any threat. When the last of my parents died when I was 18 and I was left in the house to raise my younger brother, I had several people try to give me guns "for protection". I had been raised around guns and knew how to use one. But by the time I was 18, I'd seen too many people do too many dumb things with a gun, and I didn't want one around me. Still don't.