Thursday, June 30, 2005

Homelessness is unPATRIOTic

The New York suburb of Summit is using the PATRIOT Act to force homeless people from a train station. Richard Kreimer, a 55 year old homeless man, filed a lawsuit after being kicked out of the station. The city claims the homeless threaten "attacks and other violence against mass transportation systems." U.S. Justice Department spokesman Kevin Madden criticized the city's use of the act. "To apply it to this case is, shall we say, an overreaching application of the law."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Troops or No Troops?

Paul Rieckhoff has some interesting observations in today's Huffington Post. Last night's address by President Bush has left him puzzled about several points. I'm particularly interested in this quote of the President:
"If our commanders on the ground say we need more troops, I will send them. But our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job."
And how it squares with this quote from Major John Wilwerding, cited in a month-old Knight Ridder article entitled "U.S. Army officers cite lack of troops in key region":
"Because there weren't enough troops on the ground to do what you needed to do, the (insurgency) was able to get a toehold."
As I watch CSPAN right now, as I write this, Senator McCain is pointing out to members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that commanders in the field NEVER ask for more help, because that's the nature of the commanders.

FLASH: Everybody's Not Dead!!

Donald Rumsfeld is peeved that "the news media seem to want to carry the negative." He contends that "the news media doesn't present on television every day the large number of people who are killed in car accidents, or the large number of people who are homicide victims in the United States every day", but "they do carry every act of violence that occurs in Iraq it seems, over and over and over." According to the Defense Secretary, people in Iraq aren't as focused on the violence as we are here in the U.S. "So the impression that the people have here is of violence, and the impression people have in Iraq is of a more balanced situation."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Westboro Baptists: Gays Cause War

In another of the more hate filled events of our current culture war, a group from the Westboro Baptist Church apparently protested at a soldier's funeral, carrying their notorious (and sickening) "Thank God for IEDs" signs. Family and friends of the slain soldier were reportedly able to ignore the protesters, who claim God hates America and that war deaths are punishment for what they see as immoral behavior.

Santorum: Liberals Cause Sexual Abuse

Michelle Pilecki has a post over an Huffington where she points us to Senator Rick Santorum's latest, an analysis of the current state of the Catholic clergy. It seems the cause of of sexual abuse by priests has something to do with Boston being liberal. A mental giant, this man.

BART Cops Hit List

Romenesko has a posting about how the president of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Officers Association reportedly theatened reporters at the Contra Costa Times. "If you publish names and salaries, you're on our hit list." The cops claim publishing salaries will threaten their families. Experts disagree.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Women and Other Domestic Appliances

Danica Patrick is a bit surprised about Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone's remarks. "Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances." Ecclestone said during a conversation with the Indy Racer. Her thoughts? "I can't believe that he would say it to me over the phone, not to my face, but directly to me"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Frontline's "Private Warriors"

Tonight PBS aired the pretty excellent Frontline piece Private Warriors. Of course it was very pro-military, so I expect Ken Tomlinson will demand an equally anti-military piece sometime in the future to balance it out. Until then I suggest you take a look at the effect use of corporate military personel is having on the war in Iraq.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Not Sorry About Lynching

Here is a list of the 13 U.S. Senators who so far have refused to sign recent legislation apologizing for the lack of anti-lynching laws in the past:

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Robert Bennett (R-Utah)
Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.)
Judd Gregg (R- N.H.)
John Sununu (R- N.H.)
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas)
Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
Trent Lott (R-Miss.)

These five Senators signed the resolution a day after it passed

Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio)
Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.)

These Senators waited two days before signing it:

Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

And Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) waited three days.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Nun Crucified in Romania

Maricica Irina Cornici, 23, and a nun for only three months, was crucified by a Romanian Orthodox priest who says she was "possessed by the devil". Father Daniel, himself only 29, reportedly had Cornici bound and kept locked up for several days without food or drink before gagging her and chaining her to a cross, where he left her to die.

He was unrepentent today as he celebrated a funeral mass for the woman he reportedly killed. He is quoted as saying "God has performed a miracle for her, finally Irina is delivered from evil".

While the priest faces murder charges, Bogdan Teleanu, spokesperson for the Orthodox patriarchate in Bucharest, refused to condemn the killing because he "didn't know what the young woman did". A parishioner defended the crucifixion, saying Cornici "had to be punished, she had an argument with the Father during a Sunday mass and insulted him in front of the congregation."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rice: More Patience & Generosity Please!

From the Associated Press:
Responding to the growing criticism, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Americans to "reach down" into themselves and "look for the kind of patience and generosity that we have exhibited in the past."

How Long Do the "Last Throes" Last

At today's press briefing ABC correspondent Terry Moran asked White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan "Scott, is the insurgency in Iraq in its 'last throes'?"

The press Secretary's answer repeatedly mentions the "desperation of terrorists and their tactics", but he was unwilling or unable to answer the question directly, even when rephrased as "Well, I'm just wondering what the metric is for measuring the defeat of the insurgency." To answer that question, the Press Secretary suggested the reporter should "go back and look at the Vice President's remarks".

Late last month Vice President Dick Cheney told Larry King "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

So apparently these last throes may last for a very long time, at least if Mr. McClellan's answers are any clue.

Monday, June 13, 2005

MSN: No Democracy for China

It seems MSN has banned the words "Democracy" and "freedom" for China users of its free blogging service Spaces. Anyone who attempts to input either of these words is prompted with an error message aying "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Texas Gov: Gay Vets Should Move

Texas Governor Rick Perry, when questioned about the rights of gay veterans returning from service in Iraq, suggested they should leave the state. He is quoted by the Fort Worth Star Telegram as saying "I'm going to say Texas has made a decision on marriage and if there's a state with more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that's where they should live".

Understandably, gay vets are outraged. "The governor’s remarks dishonor their service and he should immediately apologize. We should be thanking these brave men and women, not asking them to leave." says Sharra E. Greer, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's director of law and policy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

God's Gift to the Ignorant

Dan Gillmor points us to Richard Dawkins' Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant. Creationism is just one part of religious extremists' attempt to make a Christian version of sharia a reality. I can't wait until they go after gravity.

Greetings Comrades!

Just to remove any doubt about which model the Bush Administration is following, this propaganda poster is now reportedly on display in MARC commuter trains in the Washington DC area. Are you really sure that guy next to you isn't a terrorist? Best to turn him in, just in case.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Deep Throated, Pt.1

There's too much out there about the newly confirmed identity of Deep Throat, and I'll try to post some interesting links to commentary about the disclosure. But first, I almost gagged when I heard Gordon Liddy moralize about Mr. Felt's actions. It seems Media Matters didn't miss it either and has a page detailing how much of the media are interviewing various Watergate crimminals without disclosing their parts in "our long national nightmare".

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Religious Party

Why are religious leaders allowed to meddle in politics if there is a Constitutional separation of church and state? I was reminded of that question while reading this post over at Kos. I'm certainly not proposing that we repeal any amendments, but it might be time to distinguish politicians from pastors and priests.