This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, January 25, 2006

 

A Bush Quote in the Lead

"When he says he's going to hurt the American people again, or try to, he means it,"
-Bush, speaking about Osama bin-Laden and his brand new audio tape

Funny how GW doesn't take bin-Laden seriously, isn't it though? See if you can remember the following answer to this question posed to President Bush:

Questioner: Where is Osama bin-Laden?
Bush: I don't know where he (Osama bin-Laden is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him. ... I truly am not that concerned about him.

Well boys and girls, it's getting close to election time, and it's time for "G"lobal "W"arming Bush to "care" about Osama bin-Laden again.

And just why does GW choose to "care" now? Well, it appears he needs an excuse to keep on spying on US, the regular middle class American citizen. Osama bin-Laden is the new "Red Menace", and if you don't agree with President Bush, you must be "against US". Well, if US him and we are them, then I must be against US, but you'd think I'd know if I were one of them.

Any questions?

Fear-mongering; class warfare; and exploiting divisive issues are just a part of the Rovian President's plan. Breaking the law is simply the means to those ends.

-Noah Greenberg



The Patriot Act Flies in the Face of Patriotism

"a permanent police force, to be known as the 'the united states secret service uniformed division'" empowered "to make arrests without warrant for any offense against the united states committed in their presence"..."or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the united states if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony"
-A clause from The House version of the Patriot Act reauthorization

Okay, make your own historical analogy. Don't all fascist states have secret police force under the control of the leader?

-Robert Scardapane



Hamas

So here we are. A new country is being formed in the Gaza Strip (and, as they hope, the West Bank and Jerusalem) that will be intent on destroying all who live in their neighbor, Israel. Hamas is the GOP of the New Palestine, a place where pictures showed cheering Muslims (I am making the assumption that they are Muslims) after three of the four terrorist planes of 9/11 had hit their targets. This is a place in which the Late Yasir Arafat's party was considered too "moderate" to stay in power.

Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel.

Hamas is the new ruling, democratically elected party of the Palestinian Authority.

In the end, just what defines a successful terrorist strategy anyway? When they get their own nation to lead,, that's what. It is what has happened in Gaza (assuming the former PLO gets state status) and it might be happening in Iraq.

Democracy is growing in the middle east. In some places that is a scary thought. For example, the Bush administration is pushing for Egypt to become a more Democratic place. In a Muslim country, that could mean more power for religious extremists. In Egypt that would mean big troubles for the whole area.

If you were wondering, Arafat's old party, Fatah, won only 43 of 132 seats in the new Palestinian parliament. The radical, terrorist Hamas took 76 of that same 132.

I am committed to implementing the program on which you elected me a year ago. It is a program based on negotiations and peaceful settlement with Israel."
-Temporary Leader Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority

Good luck getting that done now.

"There was a peaceful process as people went to the polls, and that's positive. But what's also positive is that it's a wakeup call to the leadership. Obviously people were not happy with the status quo."
-GW Bush, referring to Hamas' landslide victory

Does this guy have to spin everything? This election, GW, was not a "good thing" for the Palestinians, for the US, for Israel or for the world in general.

"Hamas was created by the people and belongs to the people. I want Hamas to run the government. It has clean hands, puts the poor before the rich and will resist the occupier."
-Ali Abu Shusha of Ramallah

I guess the term "clean hands" is all a matter of interpretation. Does that include blood?

And women aren't so sure about Hamas "belonging to the people". After all, Muslim theocracies aren't known for their fairness to women.

"I'm worried about the way this victory will affect how I can dress in public, and even if it will affect where I can work,"
-Kamilia Barghouti of Gaza City

There is even more to worry about. If Hamas does not become a real government trying to lead its people in Peace, it runs the risk of becoming just another haven for terrorist and terror-like activities.

Hamas needs to publicly denounce terrorism and say they want peace between them and Israel. Hamas should view this as an opportunity to begin a Peace process by declaring that they no longer want to destroy Israel and force them into the sea.

 

Hamas has the first move.

"If Hamas respects the rules of the democratic game, we have to let the winners win. But now Hamas will be in power and find out what it will be like to live in the real world. Hamas will have to face reality, and part of reality means dealing with Israel."
-Daoud Kuttab, a Palestinian analyst and teacher at Al Quds University in Jerusalem

We shall see.

-Noah Greenberg



Media Madman
Bob Herbert of the New York Times Tells It Like It Is


"This guy is something. Remember his "Top Gun" moment aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln? And his famous taunt -- "Bring 'em on" -- to the insurgents in Iraq? His breathtaking arrogance is exceeded only by his incompetence. And that's the real problem. That's where you'll find the mind-boggling destructiveness of this regime, in its incompetence.

"Fantasy may be in fashion. Reality may have been shoved into the shadows on Mr. Bush's watch. But the plain truth is that he is the worst president in memory, and one of the worst of all time. Many thousands of people -- men, women and children -- have died unnecessarily (and thousands more are suffering) because of his misguided and mishandled policies."
-Bob Herbert


Bob Herbert of the NY Times tells it like it is. Impeach Junior!

-Robert Scardapane



A Letter to the Editor
If It's Good Enough For Congress ...


If health savings accounts (HSA's) and partial privatization of Social Security are such good ideas, Mr. Bush, why not make members of Congress and the executive branch pay for health insurance and defined-benefits pensions and live like the majority of American workers?
-PHIL GENINO, Alhambra

-Found and forwarded by Robert Scardapane



Chris Matthews Is A Disgrace

Chris Matthews has crossed the line. He repeatedly compares critics of Bush to Bin Laden. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) finally had enough. She posted a diary in Daily Kos on Matthews.


Here is part of the diary:

Since May 18, 2005, Chris Matthews has made statement after statement to do the Administration's bidding

And last week, in one day, three different MSNBC hosts compared those who dare to question the Administration to America's most hated terrorist. Mr. Matthews latest affront to responsible journalism took the form of comparing war critics to Osama bin Laden (Hardball, 1/19/06). Perpetuating this offensive trend, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough piled on, "If you look at a lot of the things that Osama bin Laden said, it sounds like an awful lot like what we hear from a lot of the president`s political enemies domestically." (Scarborough Country, 1/19/06). Tucker Carlson said, "Coming up, on THE SITUATION, we`ll listen to more of that chilling Osama bin Laden tape. I`ll tell you why bin Laden is starting to sound a lot like Howard Dean." (The Situation with Tucker Carlson, 1/19/05).

Comparisons between Americans and Osama bin Laden have no place in our national discourse. This rhetoric is pointlessly divisive and serves only to distract us from our most pressing priority: the capture of Osama bin Laden and the destruction of his terrorist organization.

If some Americans support alternative strategies in achieving victory in our war on terror, we ought to have an open debate to ensure that Congress and this Administration take the best course of action. Having real debates about our national security efforts at home and abroad will keep the pressure on our leaders to do what is right for the nation and the world.

The role of America's media is to inform citizens of the actions the government is taking to keep them safe and protect them from future terrorist attacks. Our newspapers, radio, and television programs are supposed to help sort fact from fiction and present a neutral account of domestic and international policy. Americans trust that their news sources will provide them with unbiased news, which will enable them to form their own judgments on the actions of national leaders. Our media has no business proselytizing its own narrow political agenda on the public's airwaves.

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

It's like I have been saying: MSNBC is simply Fox-Lite. -NG



In response to Stephen J. Spiro's " I spent the day visiting congresscritters. This year, I tried to make them aware that almost every time an underage girl gets an abortion, there is a conspiracy to conceal a statutory rape. This is serious child abuse, and hardly anyone cares. Their "boyfriends" don't want to be charged criminally, and they certainly don't want to be responsible for 18 or more years of child support! So, having seduced an underage girl, they then pressure or coerce --or seduce -- her into killing her baby. In Kansas and Indiana, the only places where the state Attorney Generals are investigating abortions on underage girls, Planned Parenthood is trying to stop them on the basis that these abused, raped girls' privacy is being violated!", Eddie Konczal writes:

I know Stephen will get attacked from many sides for his comments, but I want to compliment him for making me consider an aspect of the abortion debate that I had never before considered.

Like Stephen, I'm a "seamless garment" pro-life liberal (as oxymoronic as that may sound). I oppose (for the most part) abortion, but also war, the death penalty, and guns, and I support health care and environmental protection. Now, while I am not a supporter of abortion rights by and large, I do support exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, and incest. Should the rape exception extend to statutory rape? It's an intriguing question and one that seems to make a lot of sense. Allowing underage girls to have abortions - but holding the father liable for statutory rape - is one way of potentially bringing both sides of the abortion debate closer together. It would help reduce the number of abortions by offering a strong deterrent to pre-teen sex, but by making the male more responsible, without limiting the choices of the underage girl.

Very interesting. Stephen has raised a fascinating line of debate. Is this an approach that pro-choicers and pro-lifers could agree upon?


In response to Stephen J. Spiro's "I spent the day visiting congresscritters. This year, I tried to make them aware that almost every time an underage girl gets an abortion, there is a conspiracy to conceal a statutory rape. This is serious child abuse, and hardly anyone cares. Their "boyfriends" don't want to be charged criminally, and they certainly don't want to be responsible for 18 or more years of child support! So, having seduced an underage girl, they then pressure or coerce --or seduce -- her into killing her baby. In Kansas and Indiana, the only places where the state Attorney Generals are investigating abortions on underage girls, Planned Parenthood is trying to stop them on the basis that these abused, raped girls' privacy is being violated!" Rhian writes:

I CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER WHERE THE MOTHERS OF THESE UNDERAGE GIRLS BEING SEDUCED BY TWENTY SOMETHING'S ARE. MY MOTHER WAS A ROYAL PAIN ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS, BUT ONE GREAT THING SHE DID TEACH HER DAUGHTERS WAS DEFENSE, OFFENSE, AND HOW TO HANDLE A WEAPON.

WHEN GIRLS ARE RAISED RIGHT, THEY THINK MORE OF THEIR EDUCATIONS THAN THE PHONEY ATTENTIONS OF SOME LOSER 22 YEAR OLD MAN.

WHEN GIRLS ARE RAISED RIGHT, THEY KNOW BETTER THAN TO PUT THEMSELVES IN POSITIONS WHERE THEY CAN BE RAPED, AND ALL POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE HAPPY TO PROVIDE SEMINARS TO SUPPORT THIS TYPE OF EDUCATION.

WHEN GIRLS ARE RAISED RIGHT, THEY ARE NOT IN THE TYPE OF PLACES AT AGES 11 THROUGH 17, WHERE THERE ARE 18 TO 30 YEAR OLD MEN PROWLING FOR SEX.

THE WORLD HAS BECOME A PLACE WHERE SIMPERING AROUND WITH MAKE-UP AND SLUMBER PARTIES, AND GUSHING ABOUT 'BOYS' (ESPECIALLY BOYS WHO ARE OVER THE AGE OF 18) MUST TAKE SECOND PLACE, OR THIRD, OR LAST, TO CONSIDERATIONS OF SELF RESPECT, FUTURE CAREERS, EDUCATIONS AND SOME EXPECTATION OF STABILITY WITH A MAN WHO HAS BEEN RAISED TO BE A DECENT HUSBAND AND FATHER OF VALUED CHILDREN.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN WHO CAMPAIGN AGAINST PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND ABORTION, TO REMEMBER THAT THE FAULT LIES IN THE FAILURE OF THE PARENTS WHO ARE RAISING THE GIRLS WHO USE THE CLINIC.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD WON'T BE THERE, IF NO ONE SHOWS UP TO USE IT.


As many of you know, the policy of Note from a Madman is to spend no more than three days on an original article. Day one, is the article itself; day 2 is a response; and day three is the reply to the response. In relation to Casey Sweet's original article, today is day three, so...

...in response to Stephen J. Spiro's criticism of her article, Casey Sweet responds:

Perhaps you are not a republican, I don’t know, but your words suggest that you have a mighty lot in common with the extreme right of the republican party. First, you start with the tired and old “you are a conspiracy theorist” chant that is a favorite republican minimizing slur, often used when an undesirable pattern of behavior is revealed. If conspiracy theorist means looking at a series of strategic maneuvers and choreographed telecasted events from Bush appearances and phone calls to former NSA official appearances to March’s to Gonzalez appearances to Rove to Cheney on and on (repetitive events or not) and drawing an intelligent conclusion – just like a football or basketball coach would openly look at the strategic moves of the opposing team and determine their WIN strategy – then your “label” could work. I would not mind the label based on that!

However, as a coach would never be labeled a conspiracy coach/theorist for being a critical thinker and looking at the whole picture, I don’t think anyone watching this administration can EVER be called a conspiracy theorist for drawing the easy conclusions from all the evidence of their spying, twisting, and lying to the minds and hearts of Americans. (Today even more came out – that the WH was informed before Katrina hit that the levees would not hold – but I digress and to start to discuss the lies fed to Americans by this admin for political gain goes far beyond allowable time.)

I support the right of the March for Life Rally to be held and support its free speech. This is not the issue. There is no reason that a woman’s right to her body has to be a partisan issue, but it has been made that way by the larger political institution and to deny this is to deny reality. Observing what “is so” does not qualify as “conspiracy” in anyone’s dictionary except yours.

Perhaps the annual march in Washington has been more non-partisan in the past, but anyone taking the time to watch its extensive coverage on C-Span would see republican politician after politician stepping up to the podium, calling in, or standing nearby next to many other well-known republicans. If this had been a civil rights rally and democrats were front-and-center, clearly everyone would draw an obvious conclusion about who were the strongest supporters of the cause. So what is wrong with stating the obvious about the MFLR?

And for anyone to think that these series of events in the past weeks are not choreographed (the March was just part of a recurring event that was folded into the bigger picture) strongly suggests a lack of touch with political reality. This is part of the political game to design a strategy of events that promotes one party’s interests which at the moment for the republicans is getting Alito on the Supreme Court and in the bigger picture (if there could be anything bigger) trying to get republicans re-elected. And with both these efforts the republicans are going to extremes (ala Harriet Myers won’t do) to satisfy the religious right – the religious right who use crude phrases like “bloody-fisted baby butchers” and presume that all underage girls are “pressured or seduced” (which some may be). (Anyone paying attention when they were growing up will remember there were some girls as enthusiastic as boys (or more so) to have sex so let’s not generalize the victimhood of all girls and save legitimate finger pointing for the cases where it is accurate and true. But, again I digress.)

What you call butchery is called progress for women’s rights and supported by a majority of Americans. Your brand of “regulating” and “knowing” what is best for others is a butchery of rights and always makes me wonder what could possibly prompt people to waste so much time trying to limit my rights. My God is not a dominating God. I don’t propose to stop people (like you) from living to the bitter, painful, inevitable end of a terminal disease or to suggest the termination of a pregnancy or force you to ever use any medical advances resulting from research of discarded stem cells. WHY would you feel such a need to control my breath and personal choices? Leave my life alone, God gave you your own life.

I will let others decide if your words or attitudes are dishonest, stupid, or ignorant as you have accused me. I offer you freedom, you offer me domination and regulation.

Your words show you have passion for your beliefs and that same passion unfolds itself as extremism with an undercurrent of arrogance that you have the right to decide what others can do with their bodies or lives. It is interesting that we agree on our opposition to war, capital punishment, worker’s rights, and hospitality for immigrants and poor, yet, your extremism does not represent my view of a tolerant, accepting life allowing for many different people and their desires.

God does bless and love us all!


In response to, "Oprah has made herself a voice of honesty and integrity on the tube and in the larger society. (Be sure to catch her shows on terrorism and bird flu this week–eye-opening for sure.) She has dared to go where others have not and she has exposed her own dark side in order to help others–often", Pat Thompson writes:

Don't buy into the "fictionalized" memoir to tarnish Oprah. Memoirs are how a person remembers his own story, how he experienced it, how he tells it to himself, how he felt it, maybe how he wished it had been -- more dramatic, less ordinary. As you so thoroughly noted: TV is a wasteland. It is a narcotic to keep Americans from realizing that they've lost their freedom and democracy. At least we still have C-span. And I've been told by some Bush voters that the Daily Show with Jon Stewart has changed their mind about him. And Keith Olbermann can sometimes be counted on. Anderson Cooper on CNN was in the forefront of the Katrina story -- BUT WHERE IN GOD'S NAME IS MY LATE NIGHT CNN FRIEND AARON BROWN??????? He just disappeared.


In response to "What about the 'principle' of a good, free education for every child regardless of their parents' beliefs or economic situation? What about the 'principle' of being able to see a doctor when you are sick, without having to sell you home, car and belongings in order to afford it? What about the 'principle' of counting every vote? Have we all forgotten about that 'principle' the way the 'G'reed 'O'ver 'P'eople party have?", Pat Thompson writes:

These people have no principles -- all they care about, apparently, is their greed for money for themselves and those of their "class" who put them into power. They will use the simple Christian "patriotic" people of this country to attain their own goals, and these people will vote against their own interests again and again.


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-Noah Greenberg