Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, January 5, 2006
Abramoff Quotes in the Lead
"It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left. Our job is to remove them from power permanently."
- Jack A. Abramoff
Lobby abuse is an important issue. However, keep in mind that the Republican party used Abramoff's money machine as a weapon to destroy the Democratic party.
"I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah,"
-Abramoff, in an e-mail to an ally, about an American Indian tribe's money
Funny, I thought a "snake" like you didn't have "paws", Jack.
"Jack" knows prison.
A Rick Santorum Quote
"I feel like I'm being treated like the folks from West Virginia,"
-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in response to a question by Imus in the Morning's Don Imus
How come that every time one of these "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party hypocrites gets boxed into a corner, they take the low road and try to equate themselves as victims on the same scale as those who are murdered, tortured or killed in action? Just yesterday, "G"lobal "W"arming Bush said that he was injured in "combat" with a tree to a group of wounded soldiers in Texas. That came just a day after the president's "good friend" "Kenny-Boy" Lay compared his indictment to the terror attacks that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
The nerve of these guys. Man... I would "move Heaven and Earth" to make them stop the brewing "mushroom cloud" of their hubris.
Vouchers Unconstitutional in Florida
"This is an important victory for public education and church-state separation. Now the state legislature can devote its attention to improving public education rather than subsidizing religious and other private schools. The children of Florida deserve the very best public schools the state can provide. Taxpayer dollars should be spent in public schools, not private religious academies."
-The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Florida's Supreme Court ruled five-to-two that the new "separate but equal" has to be set aside. For those of you who didn't know, Jeb Bush's school voucher program that would have funneled needed monies from under-achieving public schools to private schools, including religious schools for those students whose public schools simply didn't make the grade.
Bush's idea was a simple one: He's going to "fix" public schools by de-funding them. How does he figure that this crazy plan would work? Just like all other "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party schemes, the plan is to eventually get all schools to fail so that there is no public school system left at all. When there are only private schools left to choose from, the owners of those schools could start to exploit the system by: Getting rid of experienced, but more expensive teachers; raising the price of tuition so that only students whose parents can afford a "better education" for their children will be able to afford the difference between "voucher" and a real education; or allowing religious-based education to pick up the slack. Those who choose "none of the above" will have the "opportunity" to send their children to "voucher only schools" whose teachers will be of lesser quality; whose classes will be larger; and whose students will have to learn on their own or not at all.
Could you think of a worse system?
Jeb Bush's Opportunity Scholarship Program (I just love these Orwellian names) included only 750 Florida children. Unfortunately good voucher programs, like the charter schools program, who educate some 82,000 children and a disabled children program, which educates about 16,000 students will also be affected. Leave it to a Bush to tie together two good programs as hostage to a bad one.
"Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high-quality system of free public schools."
-The Florida State Constitution
That means every student who uses public funds gets to receive the same education. The civil rights movement of the last century took care of the "separate but equal" policies of the racists who ran the segregated south. When you have a "separation", you will never have "equality".
The Opportunity Scholarships Program "violates this language,"
"It diverts public dollars into separate private systems parallel to and in competition with the free public schools that are the sole means set out in the constitution for the state to provide for the education of Florida's children. This diversion not only reduces money available to the free schools, but also funds private schools that are not 'uniform' when compared with each other or the public system."
-The Florida Supreme Court
"We will work to protect these programs so important to so many families,"
It's not "these programs", Mr. Bush, it's "THAT" program.
The ruling cannot be
challenged by the US Supreme Court because
it doesn't present any federal questions. It's 750
families Vs. millions of others, Governor Bush. Can't you see the
big picture? Or is it that you just really don't care?
Keep up the good work, Rev. Lynn. You obviously do get it and care.
Recess Posts Made in the Dark
"Now comes news that the president has started the new year by making what the Washington Post calls a "raft" of recess appointments aimed at circumventing the need for Senate confirmation of presidential appointees.
"Among the nominees who apparently couldn't stand the wait the normal constitutional process requires is Julie Myers, whom Bush installed as the new head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement section of the Department of Homeland Security. Myers' nomination was going to face stiff opposition from senators who believed she wasn't qualified; even right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin has suggested that Myers' nomination is a crony deal and a "bad joke." While Myers has little experience with customs or immigration issues, she is the niece of former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Richard Myers and the wife of the chief of staff for Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.
"Also on the raft: Tracy Henke, whom Bush installed as executive director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness.
Getting Henke through the Senate might have proved inconvenient, too: She's apparently the Justice Department official who insisted that politically embarrassing data about racial disparities in law enforcement traffic stops be deleted from a Justice Department report on the subject.
"And then there's Hans Von Spakovsky, to whom Bush just handed a seat on the Federal Election Commission. Von Spakovsky is apparently one of the political appointees in the Justice Department who overruled staff attorneys and analysts who concluded that Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting plan shouldn't be approved because it violated federal law."
-Kurt Vonnegut via
Cronies, everywhere you turn cronies. It's like a B movie ... call it " The Night Of The Living Bush Zombies".
-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane
Pat Robertson Claims Israel as His Own
"God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'"
-Pat Robertson regarding the stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon, Israel's Prime Minister who suffered a life-threatening stroke
Robertson considers Sharon's stroke to be God's punishment for Israel giving the Palestinian Authority Gaza as their own. Using Robertson's logic, if Sharon would have had Israel keep Gaza, the 77-year -old, extremely over-weight Sharon would have lived forever! I wonder if Robertson knows that even he wll die someday?
Robertson is a Godless, greedy Pagan who rules rather than preaches with the intrument of fear rather than love and understanding. His Godis a vengeful, unforgiving God. Fortunately for the rest of US, the REAL GOD is loving and forgiving.
Iraq's Civil War
Congratulations, President Bush
A suicide bomber set off explosives near one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines Thursday, killing almost 50 people, officials said.
The blast near the Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killed 49 people and injured 52, said Karbala police Col. Razaq al-Taie.
The site was a scene of chaos afterward with men ferrying the wounded in push carts and pools of blood on the ground. The bomber appeared to have set off the explosion only about 30 yards from the shrine in a busy shopping area.
The bomber detonated about 17 pounds of explosives and several hand grenades, Al-Taie said.
There can be only one interpretation - the Sunni and Shiite are fighting a civil war. Does Bush really think he can "win" in Iraq? Howard Dean is right - there can be no military victory in Iraq. The only way to "win" is diplomatic. The Sunni and Shiite must form a government where neither feels threatened. The Sunni believe that the last election was fraudulent. Their concerns must be addressed. The United States is currently training Shiite militia. Unfortunately, this fuels the Sunni's resentment as well. The net result is that the target remains on the backs of our troops.
-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane
In response to Rhian's "Women's Rights" response to an earlier article, Jenny Hanniver writes:
I do hope I'm not the only Madman reader with a background in science, and I wish Rhian would check her FACTS before putting out a whole lot of legends and myths. She has no knowledge of basic biology. Why do you print this stuff? It has all the reality of a Sean Hannity rant, or an accusation of witchcraft in 17th century Salem!
I can't answer all her misstatements, but I wouldn't send a daughter of mine to learn to emulate Cleopatra. Does she really prefer a "St. Trinian's" academy training little girls to be schemers, murderesses, imperialists and adulteresses? (Perhaps Rhian was thinking of Hatshepsut? But she was a schemer, murderess and imperialist, too.)
And "the wealthy never get abortions" is a statistic that strikes anyone like myself, born decades before pre-Roe v Wade, as reversed. The wealthy and the affluent middle class were the only families who could arrange reasonably safe abortions for their sisters and daughters, and they did. The poor usually just had children, legitimate or illegitimate, or in earlier times consulted the local healing woman, in modern cities a back alley coat-hanger "specialist." And what's Rhian's hangup on race? Margaret Sanger's experience of watching her Irish immigrant mother sicken and die from bearing far too many children was the foundation of Planned Parenthood. Sanger felt that no woman should ever have to endure such a dreadful life. In the U.S., Planned Parenthood is probably the most reliable and pro-woman counseling center for poor pregnant women of any race, and it's always been.
Finally, to state that only humans practice abortion is absolute nonsense, as silly as the common right-wing claim that humans are the only species that practice homosexuality or bisexuality. Anyone who has ever raised animals--also called "pets" but who aren't always cutesy-pootsy pettable--must be very well aware that in a great many species males must be separated from pregnant females for the survival of the offspring, and sometimes of the female. This is true throughout the pet world from fish to rodents to domestic cats. And it's one reason why pets get neutered, whenever possible.
Male confidence in being the father of offspring seems to be the decisive factor. Monogamous animals, including "serially monogamous" ones who take new mates every mating season, are least likely to kill offspring or terrorize females into doing so, because the father knows he is likely to be the parent. One might think that egg-layers would be the most callous and careless, but from the standpoint of species instinct, the most nurturing fathers are found among egg-layers like birds and probably some dinosaurs--the monogamous ones.
Not many mammals are monogamous. Humans aren't. We resemble our closest anthropoid relatives, the bonobos (pygmy chimps) in our world-wide sexual promiscuity. Of course monogamy can be acculturated in humans, but as a thousand novels and movies tell us, it's not easy. Human males, like other animals, want to pass on their genetic code, and our hormones and brain are hardwired for promiscuity and jealousy. In the mammal world, the animals closest to humans in culture and/or genes, such as swine and chimps, are very promiscuous and are especially likely to look for ways to rid females of fetuses or newborns. If a male can make a female abort--through repeated scare tactics, excessive violence, kicking and jumping on her belly repeatedly, or some other tactic--he will do so. His basic instinct is to kill off competitors' offspring, impregnate her and assure that her offspring are his. Read Jane Goodall.
Usually the males find it more convenient to lie in wait till the female gives birth, at which time they kill and sometimes eat the newborns. Infanticide--sometimes at second-hand through abandonment--is a standard practice among hunter-gatherer humans, too (which we were for about 99 100ths of our deep-time human existence) who must space babies about four years apart for the safety of the whole tribe. Sadly, it is often the mother who obeys the tribal lore and kills an unwanted newborn baby, knowing that she cannot possibly carry two infants on the endless tribal trek. I'm sure that Rhian doesn't prefer infanticide to abortion. While both are tragic I strongly believe that infanticide, in which death is experienced by a feeling, developed human being, is more tragic than abortion of an undeveloped fetus.
Please, Rhian, consult a high school biology book before sending in all this invented "information".
You know why I print this stuff… Either it’s open or it isn’t. Some of the stuff I publish makes my skin crawl, but everyone gets to speak. When I went to the End the war rally in DC this past September, there were so many anti-Israel speeches that I felt like hopping the metro and going home. My friends aren’t always allies and my enemies aren’t always my opponent. -NG
"We do not torture. We do not permit torture, we do not tolerate torture, and we do not condone torture under any circumstances. We do not transport detainees from one country to another for the purpose of being tortured. We do not use the airspace or airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured."
"Torture is against U.S. law and we do not permit it anywhere by our personnel. Where there have been credible allegations of unlawful treatment of detainees, the United States government has vigorously investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted and punished those responsible. Our record on this is clear."
“The war on terrorism has to be fought lawfully. And if it's not, then we're not a country of laws and that is no place to be. "
"The President has insisted that even though they are unlawful combatants, we will treat them consistent with the obligations that we have under our international obligations like the Geneva Convention. There are military necessities, but we are going to be a country of laws."
"The United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture."
"The United States does not use the airspace or the airports of any country for the purpose of transporting a detainee to a country where he or she will be tortured."
"The United States has not transported anyone, and will not transport anyone, to a country when we believe he will be tortured. Where appropriate, the United States seeks assurances that transferred persons will not be tortured.”
When your neo-con friends try to convince you how "good" and "moderate" Ms. Rice is, just show them these quotes. She is a female version of Dick Cheney, minus the "charm".
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