Friday, March 31, 2006

The Great Libertarian Fallacy

A good place to start is the Libertarian Mantras. All the wingers recite them, even when they are flying directly in the face of even the agreed base of the thinking.

But the mantras actually promote Progressive values if you correct just one bit of raging illogic (probably deliberate). That is the Libertarian very narrow definition of what is government.

Try this
"Government is what government does"

"Someone Deciding about your life (what medicine your doctor can prescribe, how your electric is produced,etc)"? Yes? Then they are government!

"Do they charge you for the privilege (Insurance bill,power bill, etc")THAT is TAXES! And then the key Question.

"can't hold them accountable for their decisions?" THEN THAT IS TYRRANY!!!!!

If you doubt it, try changing your power company, or your health insurance. Worse, your health insurance is often changed for you, with a whole new set of rules (LAWS!)about what you can and cannot do. And every year the laws are more oppressive and the taxes more obscene (over 60% of my not fabulous income, last I looked) They usually hide those costs in the salary you are not paid, so people don't know what they are really paying.

Also Libertarians usually talk about Free Enterprise and Capitalism as though they were the same thing when they are actually opposing things. I thought I was the only one who saw this till I read the Halloween Documents that should be required reading in every high school as they are as important to the nature of the country as the writings of the founding fathers.

Essentially if your business is a commodity {Free Enterprise (say building computers in the '90's)}your prices (and profits) are limited by what your competition will accept. The only way to control (raise) profits is to own (control) the market {Capitalism (think Microsoft)}. No real capitalist would knowingly invest in a business market that had real free enterprise because they could not make a profit beyond what everyone else is making. This dosen't mean they might make the mistake, or buy into such a Market and "De-Commoditize" it.

In any case Capitalism is "government by other means" and DeJure Government the means by which those governments are held accountable.

I am all in favor that the government governs best that governs least, but any action that involves several (or millions) achieving a single goal involves a de'Facto government, no matter what the name is on the door.

There are many things that need no government.
1.Who I engage in sex with, or how, as long as they are willing, aware, and old enough.
2. What (or if) I think about the Metaphyisical and how I want it to affect my life. (this does not include my actions that include others who don't wish to be included)

The list is much longer but again Libertarians are very selective in how far they let their logic go, it is up to progressives to show that freedom cannot be so limited. As soon as your action affects someone else in space or time you become a Government limiting their freedom, and thus must be accountable to them, or become the hated tyrant.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Whoa! ... You Go Girls!

The Dixie Chicks were never my kind of music, you could find it here but never on a MSM station, so If my favorite musicians made those comments(and I suspect most would ) you would never have heard of it.

An I suspect that even the Chicks did not contemplate the depths of depravity so much of the country fan base had sunk to. But there is nothing like the dose of cold water a ton of depraved hate mail, and few hundred death threats can do to wake you up and make you pay attention. I guess if I had been a fan, the steel in their spine might not have been a suprise. But their new song aught to insipre even the "Boss" with these words.

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

The Democrats should make it their Anthem
or at the least invite the Dixie Chicks to do the National Convention.

Mr King was never this scary

Stephen King always bored me because most of his scenarios were not good enough for even suspended disbelief. Maureen Farrell's article might be the same except for all the links backing up all her points, like several per paragraph.

Her story is no less surreal, but there has been a lot of surreal since Nov 2, 2000. It has been like somebody hijacked reality and stuck us in this bad novel. Well here is the punch line to that bad novel.

Legislation to Turn the US into a Theocracy is Introduced in the House

Remember when Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Interior James Watt said that we need not worry about depleting our natural resources because, thanks to End Times prophecies, future generations wonÂ’t be needing them anyway? Or when Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said he believed that "time is running out ..." as in Armageddon is approaching?

Back then, Frank Zappa appeared on Crossfire, shocking panelists when he said that the US was gearing up to become a fascist theocracy. More than two decades later, legislation to complete the transformation was introduced in the House.

"If enacted, the Constitution Restoration Act will effectively transform the United States into a theocracy, where the arbitrary dictates of a 'higher power' can override law," Chris Floyd wrote. Columnist James Heflin warned that "If the Act passes, Iraqis would have stronger protection from religious extremism than Americans."

Cosponsored by Sen. Brownback, whose rent is subsidized by the "secretive" religious organization, the Fellowship, the legislation is the work of Dominionists, or Christian Reconstructionists, who call for the "universal development of Biblical theocratic republics."

The crusade to Christianize America in order to prepare for Christ's Second Coming is not one that is going away any time soon. The Act, which was reintroduced in 2005, is currently being marketed by the media-savvy Concerned Women For America, which was founded and is headed by Rev. Timothy LaHaye's wife, Beverly.

and as a key part of their support forIsraell

In a starkly honest essay, Christian Reconstructist Gary North pointed to the elephant in the revival tent. "In order for most of today's Christians to escape physical death, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel must perish, soon. This is the grim prophetic trade-off that fundamentalists rarely discuss publicly, but which is the central motivation in the movement's support for Israel, he wrote, regarding fundamentalists' defense of "the doctrine of an inevitable holocaust."

Fun times ahead

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Unsinkable Molly Ivins....

Another cat bell, Another windmill. No one can say Democrats don't have ideas or that the Ideas are not practical. Only the problem is that without a way to hold congress critters accountable, they won't install any other way to hold them accountable.

I do like the idea of supporting democracy, however, and think we should try it—especially here in the U.S. of A. To this end, a couple of dandy ideas are now circulating, and I think they’re worth your support and excitement. For ages, all good reformers have wanted to get rid of the Electoral College and have direct popular election of presidents, instead. The disastrous election in 2000 finally culminated in Bush v. Gore, a Supreme Court decision so bad even the court disowned it at the time.

Every nightmare scenario about just how screwed up things could get with the Electoral College all came true. What a giant mess: a textbook case of why the Electoral College is toxic piffle. But the desire to Do Something about the mess in 2000 burned itself out. The Republicans who took over Congress are just not natural reformers.

Trouble is, the system has just about “ruint” presidential elections, which now turn on a handful of swing states, while everyone else is ignored. While millions of dollars, hours of political ads and hordes of politicians descend every four years on the swing states, you can barely tell there’s an election going on in the rest of the country. Should you live safely tucked into a solidly red or blue state, your vote is unsought, uncounted and unnecessary—we know how your state’s votes will be cast whether you vote or not.

The Campaign for a National Popular Vote has a dandy new approach. Instead of trying to amend the Constitution through a long, difficult process that can and will be stalled by small states, the campaign proposes a simpler, elegant solution. According to the Constitution, each state legislature can instruct its own electors to cast their votes however the state decides, usually as winner-take-all for whichever candidate carries the state. But there is no reason a state legislature cannot instruct its electors to vote for whoever wins the popular vote.

Democracy! What a concept! The states can do this one by one, subscribing to an interstate compact that would take effect when enough states join to elect the actual winner—a majority of the 538 electoral votes.


The possibilities for unintended consequences here is boggling, to say nothing of evil intended consequences. A covert Republican campaign to get Dem States to pass such lege would guarantee a Republican switch but not necessarily one to the Dem side. Even a Maine type proportional voting scheme, could have similar consequences. The Florida lege even threatened to go the other way before the Supremes beat them to it, and there is nothing too keep them from doing it again for partisan gain.

In any case I wrote this to Molly's article....

What with computers and technology beyond the horse drawn wagon, why not try for a more direct democracy? While I might agree that having everyone vote on every issue might have some bad results (though an improvement on the present), a biannual bid that actually made EVERY vote count might actually work.

What if everyone voted for a favorite person to actually represent them? That person would usually come from where their supporters were, but not necessarily, but would have personal contact with nearly every voter who supported them.

So what if they get only say 10k votes, they could formally form a coalition of like minded fellows till they reached some magic number (say 1 million) and that coalition would put one of their number as the official representative in congress. The rest would essentially be the office staff, and thus still have a day to day impact. Those coalitions with the most votes would get the best chairmanships etc., evening out those with big excess votes with those barely over the line.

The result would be total representation all the time for each and every voter. Gerrymandering would be impossible, and no longer would nearly half of all actual voters, (much less the rest) go unrepresented.

Of course such a plan is as like my plan to staff the entire government bureaucracy with drafted conscripts, forced to do 4-6 years of patriotic service for their country, and then back to the real world, not setting up some lifetime program of empire building or cozy relationships, just go in, do your job for patriotism, and get out. Short a Wiser Washington, Jefferson, Franklin et. al. the chances of a real, thought out system are all but nil.

Even such reform as banning voting district pseudopodia, or width to length maximum ratios, is out of reach if there is no accountability.

And as the Majority of states get an extra edge of Three Electoral Votes when their population only justifies one, they would still over rule, unless the state voted against the actual vote count of that state. Say an Ohio that had a plurality of votes for the Democrat, putting all their votes for the Republican. Then two or three swing states could pull it off, but the partisan acrimony from which ever side got the short end would be deafening. Also a New York and California for instance could throw the vote Republican , but not Democrat as they would (presumably) have a Dem winner in any case.

Myself, I would be happy just to have an honest vote count. Without that, nothing good is possible.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Habeas Schmaebeas

Check out the long version, apparently Bushco was handing out your tax dollars like drunken sailors to anyone who had a captive. So criminals just grabbed people off the street and sold them as AlKaka.

As a result there wasn't any evidence secret or otherwise, except what was beaten out of them. Real AlKaka got shipped off to secret black sites to have done what even Gitmo folk couldn't stomach, so it would appear that a high percentage at Gitmo were at best low level and more likely just folk.

The REAL reason against abortion

Labored logic

Democrats have been buzzing about comments made by state Sen. Nancy Schaefer (R-Turnerville) at a recent eggs-and-issues breakfast in Hart County. We quote from the Hartwell Sun newspaper: "Commenting on illegal immigration, Schaefer said 50 million abortions have been performed in this country, causing a shortage of cheap American labor. 'We could have used those people,' she said."

It has always amazed me that these folk made such a thing about abortion. There are no graveyards for stillbirths or miscarriges. There is no history of counting one's age from earlier than birth. And all early literature I have seen is more concerned with the life of the mother for what was iffy medicine.

It is only when women get to the technical capability of controling reproduction that suddenly several religions decide that such is a bad idea, but show little concern for life after birth, much less the majority of "unborn" as yet unconcieved.

For this I cannot believe that there is any actual concern, at least at the leadership level. What then would make them so vociferous?

The only possible explanation is the desire to have as many desperate people as possible to exploit. That is why the Repiblicans are so conflicted about immigration. If they actually stop it, a prime group of exploitable folk is lost, but if they bacame legal they wouldn't be so exploitable. So they come up with halfway measures that keep them exploitable, and perhaps create another exploitable stash of folk neither legal or "Guests".

Have been keepin busy so posting less.
Had link to article but lost it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Winger homophobes harass funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq

The Westboro Baptist Church first gained national notoriety when they picked the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a Wyoming student who was murdered in 1998 for being gay.

They have since picketed the funerals of Frank Sinatra and
Bill Clinton's mother, celebrated the terrorist attacks of September 11 as an act of God's wrath, and have even targeted Santa Claus and the Ku Klux Klan.

But it was the callousness and cruelty of harassing the grieving families of soldiers at dozens of funerals across the country that has sparked a grassroots movement of bikers determined to drown out the jeers and taunts.

Like Ann Coulter they stand beyond the mainstream, even of Republicans, not because of what passes for their Ideas, but because they give open voice to them, and in Straussian Ideology that is as great a sin as opposing the likes of these idiots.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Anatomy of Terrorism

Oldish article very smart and indepth as to why BinLaden and Bush are joined at the hip, each the perfect foil for the other, and why that is a VERY bad thing for the rest of the world.

What can we expect Bin Laden to do next?

As the Iraq War drags on, it is becoming less and less popular. The Afghan War is mostly out of the public view, but to the extent that it also drains American lives and money with no end in sight, it also is losing support among those who are paying attention. The memory of 9/11 is starting to fade, as years without an attack convince more and more Americans that we are safe.

All of these factors threaten Bin Laden's plans. If President Bush is tempted into pulling our troops and TV cameras out of Iraq, Bin Laden loses. He needs the United States to continue playing the Great Satan role, because there are many secular Muslims who still hope to fit into the globalized world economy. He needs an enemy to focus their fear and anger, and only the United States is up to the job.

What's more, if he is going to bankrupt the US economy, he needs a wider war. At this point the US military is stretched thin, so a wider war would require a draft or some other unpopular measure for swelling the ranks. The American public would have to be very, very riled to agree to such a thing.

All of this points in one direction: Another attack on the United States, probably within the next year. Ideally, the trail would lead back to some area where the US doesn't currently have troops, and where there is an attackable enemy. Iran is an obvious choice, if Bin Laden can engineer it. But Syria would work as well, and may be easier to manipulate. Egypt, Pakistan, and/or Saudi Arabia could fill the bill if the attack on the US were coupled with a revolution against the corresponding US-supported government. So, for example, an attack on the US coming from Pakistan could be synchronized with the assassination of President Musharraf to draw American troops into that country.

Tamim Ansary penned a letter that went all over the internet that put the whole thing in shorter form, but as the above article points out Bush wants to have an enemy in BinLaden and solving the issue is what he would like least to do.

For his really scary prophecy..

Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done," they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Pushing aside moral qualms and killing innocent people, what's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that?

Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

Mr. Ansary might have been too optimistic about the horse sense of the administration.

Who is the real enemy here?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It is the Stupid Ideology

This is cross posted in response to questions concerning the relevance a teacher of the classics can have. His point is that Rich folk get what they want because they are rich and exploit the poor because they poor, and classic socialism is a cure for this.

There are so many ways to respond that I picked follows...

It is not Dead Professors I am concerned about, nor have I forgotten the Classics, but just as Marxists took a skewed logic and made it a (more skewed) ideology, The results of Mr Strauss' teaching is a new ideology, combining Plato and Social Darwinism, that denys even a modicum of Social Responsability, that is at least paid lip service, in other schemes. The only lip service is in deliberate lies to cover true purpose as far beyond Orwell as Orwell is beyond Machievelli.

Leo Strauss and the American Right by Shadia B. Drury is a very detailed disertation on the point and should be required reading for those who would fight the Bushivicks. As it puts a very different perspective from where your comments would indicate.

As for the Socialist model, it is only as good as the ability to hold the leadership accountable, and has the same disadvantage of bigness when it tries to be a Government run Conglomerate.

I would much rather see an actual Free Enterprise Model where there was a strong, but complex Government that could enforce Honor, and make entry into any business as easy as possible, and making sure no "Captains" arose in any industry, maintaining a situation similar to the state that existed when people were able to become PC maunfacturers in their garages in that industry.

As Bigness became a problem taxes based on size could be a very effective weapon to incourage freedom and discourage empire building. Where there is a natural Monopoly, then that is government, and should be held to the same rules, if not actually a ministry of the main government, and that monopoly should be limited to the minimum necessary expanse, and allow competition where someone thinks they can. A good example is maintaining power poles and some power production but allowing anyone to sell to the grid (managed of course, to avoid the California worst case )

Of course as I pointed out, the current government, and the current voting system makes all such discussions academic, untill there is another chance to restore Freedom and democracy. Perhaps even then the gulf between best and possible would still be problematic.

I suppose that as yet most folk have still not figured out that the voting system is toast. They still think that the Republican Corruption Culture, will wash Democrats in like a Tidal Wave. I can only wish it so, but I will be as Flabbergasted as I would be pleased if it is.

Ion Sancho, American Hero

Apparently Republicans believe that they can turn the country into something like Serbia under Molosivic and nobody would notice. Well not quite nobody, but finally there is somebody in a position to do something with both a spine and a gag reflex, namely Ion Sancho. I wrote this to the elections supervisor....

It would appear that Mr Ion Sancho should have a statue along side Paul Revere for PROVING that the three approved electronic voting systems are hopelessly flawed and any believable election on them impossible no matter the result.

I understand that Vote-pad and Auto-mark have both better records but are not authorized. And in the interest of saving Florida Taxpayers, I understand that the Austrailian system is absolutely free and open source, eliminating any questions of security, or fraud, and saving taxpayers millions of dollars to boot!

Why is it, after all this time, with so much PROVEN chicanery, the Greatest country in the world still is talking about a voting system a THird World country would reject and the WHOLE World is laughing at us about?

CC-Brad Blog-FreeDem blog

Prolly Bev Harris deserves a statue niche as well

Monday, March 06, 2006

Libertarians are wienies

Freedom for all but this got banned from posting on their blog

Perhaps we are not liked (or more properly the local American face) because we keep stealing their stuff, and kicking sand in their face. Sometimes more one, sometimes more the other.

A Libertarian may see a difference between the US Government, and a Mulitnational Corporation full of Americans. But most folk only see power structure with the pointy end sticking them in the face.

60min and for that the DEA might look harder at the Narco-nightmare on the sothern border. As far as I am aware Mark Emory is not about murdering even toking opposition.

Perhaps the problem is that he is cutting into the Mexican profits.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

60 Minutes--What should be astonishing, now almost ho-hum

There was a bit of news here, I figured that hospitals were most abusive on folk who could least fight back (more of that Orwellian "faith based" and "non-profit") but at perhaps three to five times normal but CBS is reporting up to ten times normal prices to the uninsured. What with CBS fighting back the people highlighted got a break, too bad they can't do that for the millions of other suckers. Worse ..well read down.

The rest was not even a three on the astonishment meter, being old outrage on the web, and not even the strongest case at that. Though I suppose that the avarage Faux listener would be suprised, but then they would just take it as another reason to hate CBS and Canada, without even a clue to the narco-nightmare to the south.

This is what I wrote to them

Nice teasers, it is too bad you only scratched the surface of issues that have been on the web for years. It is true enough that Uncle Ed lived in a time when folk had a better idea of what news and honor is, and outrage was easier at a time when there seems there was so much less of it, though perhaps there was mostly less awareness. Now perhaps even he would get outrage fatigue.

The Hospital thing was best. I had figured that Hospitals and insurance companies were slicing and dicing the patients, but the hidden fact is that most people judge how much the insurance company pays, by how much the Hospital charges, and insurance companies rag on to emphasize those ideas. But for every uninsured the Hospitals rip off, the insurance companies are ripping off dozens. You could do a week of shows and barely touch the problem.

I am amazed at how much Mr Emory upsets the DEA, Perhaps he is cutting into the profits of the massive narco-nightmare on the south border. The connections to the Bush Administration and worse are all over the net, perhaps CBS could look into that, though it would be a more dangerous assignment than interviewing Zarqawi.

And speaking of him, I am glad you alluded to Wilkerson's wistleblowing, but of what I have read of what he said, much less what else is out there, you seemed to low ball it.

Even Uncle Andy seemed to walk softly::waves to Andy:: hey Andy They HAVE outsourced the government. Foreign (and Domesticish) corporations write all the laws, the guys in Washington are just the secretaries. And the little $400,000 stipend we give them is nothing compared to the money their REAL bosses pay.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Typical Doublethink

Winger partisan attack disguises itself as an expose' of partisan attacks. To say that the teacher failed to offer a balanced view in an atmosphere overwhelming with right wing propaganda, it would appear that he was supplying actual balance, otherwise lacking, and that was why he was attacked.

In the 20-minute recording, made on an MP3 player, teacher Jay Bennish described capitalism as a system "at odds with human rights." He also said there were "eerie similarities" between what Bush said during his Jan. 28 State of the Union address and "things that Adolf Hitler used to say."

The United States was "probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth," Bennish also said on the tape.

Strong language, but less beyond the relm of fact than SOTU itself. The history of capitalism is a history of fighting abuse of workers, customers, enviornment, and more recently even the investors.

The SOTU speech reminds me more of Orwell than Hitler, as Hitler's bombast was far more obvious than speeches crafted today. But knowing the truth behind what he said, it is easy to hear Hitler in the plans, and certainly in the results.

The Violence point is not hard to make as well, though the competition from the later Hitler years, Cambodia, the Inquisition, and many others beats the US easily in sheer brutality, Technology and Gun laws has given us a lead in shock and awe violence....And the plans in the works makes Cambodia look outright mild

The 20-minute recording of only a portion of the class was made by 16-year-old sophomore Sean Allen the day after the president's speech. The recording has raised questions about
what level of academic freedom is acceptable for high school teachers. It also has generated discussions about Bennish on dozens of websites.

A quick check of Google show them all to be Right Wing Web sites. All a part of a pre-organized attack that the Newt himself called the "Mighty Wurlitzer" to hype and expand partisan attacks nationwide before sensible people are even aware of the attack

Sean, who appeared on Rosen's show Wednesday morning, said in an interview he had been disturbed by the "political rants" he heard in Bennish's class. He added that he wanted to tape the session for his father, who later shared it with the media.
Sean, who described himself as a political independent, said the comments seemed inappropriate for a geography class.

Secret partial recordings by activists, blasted nationwide by the "Wurlitzer" are SOP, as are the standard obscuring of the partisan nature of the attack. I would be quite not amazed to find the young man in question is part of a church youth group recruited for this purpose, the self described political independent is not credible, but I am not there to check it out.

AP , it appears reported on the real reaction as.....

At least 150 Overland High School students walked out of class today to protest administrators' decision to put a teacher on leave while they investigate remarks he made about President Bush during class, including that some people compare Bush to Adolf Hitler.

I wrote the following to Ms Rouse in response

It would appear to me that your attacks on Mr. Bennish are actually part of a partisan attack by people who hate American Democracy and Freedom. It you were actually reporting on partisanship in high schools you would have found and reported partisan rants from both sides. Instead you hide the partisan nature of Mike Rosen, who has actually guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh, and allow Sean Allen to claim that he is an independent when he is obviously part of an open conspiracy to only allow right wing partisan speech in schools.

This operation is openly promoted and advertised looking for volunteers to attack anyone who speaks outside the new PC. Many of these operations are part of a Dominionist plan to install a Totalitarian Theocracy in our country that makes the Taliban look easygoing. It is particularly revealing that your byline was not on the report when 150 (more?) students walked out in support of the teacher, and against the partisan attacks.

These folks have no honor.

It would appear that there is quite a bit of support for the teacher locally But I suppose that the facts will be reversed again by the "Wurlitzer" and they will blame what has to be spontaneous support as some sort of liberal conspiracy, while their conspiracy is framed as just a lone independant against overt PC by the left. Here's betting that young Mr. Allen is active in the local winger religious organization on campus.

Is the law a law or is it a piece of toast?

Even mild mannered Garrison Keillor is calling for Impeachment

Wiretap surveillance of Americans without a warrant? Great. Go for it. How about turning over American ports to a country more closely tied to Sept. 11, 2001, than Saddam Hussein was? Fine by me. No problem. And what about the war in Iraq? Hey, you're doing a heck of a job. No need to tweak a thing. And your blue button-down shirt--it's you.

But torture is something else. Most people agree with this, and in a democracy that puts the torturers in a delicate position. They must make sure to destroy their e-mails and have subordinates who will take the fall. Because it is impossible to keep torture secret. It goes against the American grain and it eats at the conscience of even the most disciplined, and in the end the truth will come out. It is comingout now.

I am reminded of the story of the preacher, citing a long list of crimes and perversions that had become commonplace in his parrish, but cites one as just over the top. Well Mr Keillor they are all over the top, if they have the bit in their mouth, torture may end up the least of it, not because it is not soul killing, but because there is so much worse they could go and perhaps have when folk are so dishonorable nearly anything can be believed.

It looks more and more like the law is toast.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

On The Nature of Honor

The basic problem with behaving with secrecy, and dishonor, is that anything might be believed, not matter how crazy.

It all reaches to the real nature of honor. Not the honor of the guy who gets the medals and ticker tape parades, the ones most deserving are usually the ones most embarassed by such things, and the ones who most chase it least deserve it. Honor can only be achieved by each individual in service to themselves, even if no one else knows about it.

Such honor is almost never the easy path. The person who speaks out against blockheadedness while everyone else rushes for the Kool-ade has not taken the easy path, and is hardly the traitor to that group. People who have taken what is obviously the hardest path are the most likely to be following their honor, even if you disagree with them.

Honor requires strength of will, but streangth of will, or body, is hardly a measure of honor. If you posses great strength, your honor is most at risk. People will always root for the underdog even if the underdog is the bad guy, there is a reason for this.

There are obviously times that temporary operational secrecy is necessary, but real honor would justify a movie about it. If such a movie about the real story would be an embarassment, then that embarassment is a measure of negative honor, if the movie would be boring honor would not have been much tested.

There is sometimes less honor in secrecy than the truth of dishonor. When the Nixon tapes were released any expletive he used (even "damn") was replaced with "expletive deleated". Everyone who read the transcript automatically assumed the worst expletive they could think of . So it is with any secret if a person suspects that the secret exists (even if it dosen't). Only transparent honor can make such thoughts

Did Neocons order 9/11, The idea seems preposterous on its face, as even the mechanism of doing so would be as likely as Saddam ordering those attacks. But Neocons made much of the need for such an attack to advance their agenda, and they certainly have flogged it at every turn to squeeze the last bit of horror out of it to their advantage.

Would AlQueda benefit from the destruction? Certainly, but like the old days when "Commies" were the enemy Each side feeds upon the other to raise power money and recruits.

It was AlQueda's fondest dream that we would invade Iraq and have benefited greatly by our doing so. But his Mechanism for ordering Bush to invade, or even to persuade Saddam to be sufficiently secretive and dishonorable enough to allow others to say he was planning what he clearly could not do, is a similar stretch.

It is enough that Dishonor and Secrecy are the hallmarks of Right wing thinking, be they fascist or theocrat of any stripe or brand. The secrecy (as opposed to discretion) alone is prima facia case for dishonor, and dishonor when writ so large is reason for enmity from any and all humans who care a whit for even the concept of honor.

Bush Hatred or something else?

this was published elsewhere but dropped here to get the blog started

I see very little hatred for Bush personally. True listening to him is like fingernails on the blackboard, as much for bungled nonsense as outright lies, but if he vanished from the picture, nothing would change. A change of Sock Puppet would only divert responsibility, as indeed seems to be the plan Of the "reform" Republicans (who are the unindicted coconspirators of the indicted "culture of corruption" Republicans).
IMO there are three evils threatening "Truth, Justice , Freedom, and the American Way"

#1 Fascism- not the jackbooted thugs (though that was often a method)- but the privatization of government.
The Libertarian/Randist logic has a major flaw that somehow government ceases to be that if it is called something else. It simply removes accountability, and any notion of public responsibility.
As bad as Government waste, fraud, abuse has been, Enronization, WTO, etc. has been worse.
The Mechanism of group effort (Free enterprise, communist, capitalist, socialist) is irrelevant, but without accountability you have tyranny.

#2 Theocracy- It is one thing to hold an opinion in an absence of evidence, It is perhaps the nature of faith to hold an opinion in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But when policy is contrary to the evidence, enforced on those who do not even hold those beliefs, tyranny can be the only adjective. If forced to believe, Totalitarian must be added as well.

#3 Bigotry- More than just black and white, the concept of caste by any division that places barriers, removes Freedom, and hurts not just those who would profit by their contribution but all the rest for whom the contribution would never be made.

There was a time when these evils were variously scattered in both parties, but today they are in alliance, and taken over the Republican Party, and true to their tyrannical nature tried (mostly successful) to stifle any path of accountability.

This is what lies at the basis of "bush hate" and other than opposing Tyranny/Totalitarianism has nothing to do with policies reasonable people can disagree about.
I think that this is why there are so many "opposition" voices. Only Totalitarians can have the discipline and stay on message, because that is their nature.

Purists versus reality

This is part of a long post at Open I am putting up many saved thoughts to get this blog started...

Democracy in a pure "everybody gets a say and a vote on everything" is clumsy even in small committees, much less in giant nations or the world. That does not mean that representational democracy is an oxymoron, or that the existence of a leader is proof of a lack of democracy.
Even in said committee someone has to count and announce the votes. The real trick is [b] how you hold the representative responsible [/b] to do the will of those he represents.

When the US was founded there were few examples of representational democracy, and none that encompassed such a large geographic area. On top of that there were well known evils that never the less had a strong constituency, and not a few lesser ones that no one had thought through because they were so pervasive. How and how quickly such evils should be addressed are the historical base of real Liberal and Conservative discussion but no longer.

Given all that, the result was amazingly strong and effective, but many Democracies since have added a few bits to prevent some of the rougher edges that experience taught. Foremost among these is various ways to avoid "winner take all"that has been a constant problem in American politics, that forces any third party to assist the side they like least.

And while many evils have been addressed by amendment or law or legal ruling ( basically by any means possible) many structural flaws, and unintended consequences have been impossible to address. As well Technology has changed the world with good and evil consequences the would give the founders headaches just to think about.

To recognize that old and new evils exist, is not to "Hate America", but to try and make every level of life better than we found it. To support thuggery because they are "our thugs" is hardly patriotic, even when the enemy is real. Nothing makes an enemy more so, than his outrage at your thuggery, and the expectation he would be treated similarly. Even if his side does worse, as he usually also "patriotic" and blind to his own evil as any who substitute gut for brain.

The outrageous thuggery of 9/11 had even Iran on our side for a bit, and aware skillful actions, by a legitimate leader, might well have set the world to scouring out those who would act so brutally, no matter the particulars of ideology or theology. Sadly the Ship of State had a bumbling fool of a fake captain at the helm to drive the ship into Iraq.

Sadly I only wish they went in for "only" oil. It would seem that there was to be an enemy of the month club, of a couple weeks to build up, a couple weeks to take over and a couple weeks to build and plan the next one. That this might not work beyond a crazed fantasy, did not stop them from applying it to the first two before getting bitch slapped by reality.



One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come