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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, July 7-9, 2006

 

These Guys are Idiots!

As the ring announcer might say:
"In this corner are The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal who all released information that everyone already knew;
"And in the other corner, we have the Bush administration who now released information that no one else knew"

"We have disrupted a terrorist network that was in the planning stages of an attack,"
-a joint statement by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security

Well, that's a good thing, right?

"Officials said the FBI had been monitoring Internet chat rooms..."
-From the Associated Press

Did the terrorists know they were being monitored in chat rooms? If not, whose to blame for leaking this information which is regarded as an "ongoing investigation" by the White House, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security?

President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party faithful keep pointing to the New York Times as traitors because they reported that the federal government was watching international money transactions through the SWIFT bank, where , it seems, all international monetary transactions are relayed. Although these liars and charlatans who occupy our nation's capital have already released the information that we (the US) is keeping track of the money, they still harped on, as they term it, the "liberal" New York Times for reporting information that we already knew (forgetting that the LA Time and the very conservative Wall Street Journal also released that same info).

Additionally, a Lebanese official released the name of the suspect Amir Andalousli, a.k.a. Assem Andalousli, the fact that he was al-Qaeda and that he was from Beirut. The official remained "anonymous". Why did we have to know this? One would think that some bit of this information might have been kept secret for security purposes. Maybe Mr. Andalousli/ Andalousli was going to receive a telephone call the day after his identity was released that could have brought more terrorists to justice. Who knows, maybe Osama bin-Laden was going to invite him to the big al-Qaeda shin-dig and Barbeque in Tora Bora next week.

In any event, the release of the data (dates, times and names) was just for show. It's like they (the Bushites) need to say "See? We told you we're doing something."

And why do we have to know that the Holland Tunnel, which connects New York's Manhattan Island with Jersey City, New Jersey, was the main target of al-Qaeda. We got that message loud and clear on September 11, 2001. Bridges and tunnels... Got it. Does it make us safer to drive through the tunnel knowing that bin-Laden wants to destroy it? Maybe we could organize a "Tunnel-Watch-Group", similar to the neighborhood watch groups that help deter crime in our cities and suburbs. Bring a gas mask if you have to watch the center of the tunnel.

Sure, it's important for the police and fire department to know this stuff. they are, after all, the first responders. Maybe we shouldn't have cut their funding. Maybe we shouldn't have cut the COPS program.

"We cannot guarantee perfect security, but we are going to do everything in our power to minimize the risk and reduce the threat from terrorism to all those who ride our trains, travel our highways,"
-Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff

We already know you can't guarantee anything but huge tax give backs to your boss' "base of haves and have-mores", Mr. Chertoff. That much is true. But how is releasing the name of a captured suspect going to help us? Is it going to help us in the same way the release of Valerie Plame's identity did? Some of you may remember the ongoing investigation about Mrs. Wilson/ Ms. Plame. She was the undercover CIA operative whose identity was released as a political punishment to former Ambassador Joe Wilson for telling the truth. Her whole operation, which revolved around her expertise in WMD (that's Weapons of Mass Destruction, not to be confused with Karl "The Traitor" Rove's expertise in Weapons of Mass Distraction). What do you think happened to Ms. Plame's contacts and resources once her name was revealed? Just how did THAT help us?

"This is one instance where intelligence was on top of its game and discovered the plot when it was just in the talking phase,"
-Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

It appears that the good senior senator from New York doesn't get it either. A grand stand play that telegraphs our every move is not a good idea.

And now, thanks to the identification of the target (the Holland Tunnel), the terrorists will have to find another target. Imagine an NYPD investigation where the detectives say "We expect the next rape victim will be brutalized in Central Park at the West 79th street entrance, so that's where we'll be watching."

These guys are idiots!

-Noah Greenberg



Why Gay Couples Should Adopt

I can think of no worse fate for a human being than to live bereft of hope.

Think of what life must be like for children abandoned by their parents, who then grow up, sick, malnourished and unloved in orphanages.

I personally know three little girls from China saved from such a fate by American gay women who adopted them, had them treated for their diseases, feed them, love them and are raising them to know and appreciate China as well as America.

How can any politician, preacher or CHRISTIAN gainsay such generosity and love?


-Robert Chapman



Today's Quote (Kinda)

The following is paraphrased. I heard the interview live and got it down as best I could:


"Most of the time, I agree with the president. I don't agree with him 100 percent of the time, but when I do disagree with him, I disagree with him in private."
-Senator George Allen, Jr. (F-VA), from ABC's "This week with George Stephanopoulos"


Is that why you vote with President Bush 97 percent of the time, Sen. Allen? When you have these little "disagreements", and you and the president are speaking "in private", how does he sway you to see his side of the argument and change your mind? Do you say things like "I never thought of it that way, Mr. President," or "Thank you for making me see the like, President Bush."?

Personally, I think it goes something like this:
SEN. ALLEN: I have a problem with the bill, President Bush.
PRES. BUSH: Just shut up and do what Karl ("The Traitor" Rove) tells you to do. You don't want to make me "leak" those photos to the press, do you? Dick (calling to the VP Dick "Go <F---> Yourself Cheney", who is sitting in a chair in a corner of the darkest part of the room)! Get one of those lackey's from Fox News on the phone, or maybe Bob ("Another Traitor") Novak. I got something to tell them.
SEN. ALLEN" (Dejected) Okay. I'll do whatever you say, again.


Allen is in a cat-fight to keep his Virginia senate seat. President Bush's approval rating in Old Dominion is hovering around 40 percent. (Is it that high? It must be a Fox News Fantasy Poll.) He is running against Democratic challenger James Webb, the former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Webb, who voted for Bush in 2000 is one of those Republicans who have seen the light, so to speak. Maybe he just wants to become a senator and feels that this is his best shot at it. Whatever the reason, he is doing and saying the right things.

Although, I'm sure, some of the "farther-left-than-me" members of the Democratic party will look at Webb and say that he's just a Republican in Democratic clothing, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and it's something we all need to do.

This election is going to be a referendum on the Democratic party as much as it is on the Republican party. It's my belief that we need to support people like Webb. Whether or not you choose to look at his candidacy (and similarly, the candidacies of other moderate-to-conservative Democrats who have won, or will win their respective primaries) as the lesser of two evils, or are going to give them the benefit of the doubt (as I'm willing to do) is up to you. But keep in mind that despite of our penchant for over-analyzing everything we see (as good voters should), we need a change in DC. That change comes in the form of a new Democratic Majority in either or both houses of congress.

There aren't many candidates like Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who choose no party affiliation. (Actually, Bernie might be further green than Blue.) Rep. Sanders speaks his mind and is an excellent candidate as he runs for the senate seat of retiring Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT). Jeffords got so ticked off at his Republican party in 2001that he left them and became an Independent who sided with the Democrats on procedural matters, thus keeping the senate Democratic at the time.

Whereas I'm sure that Webb's viewpoints will be closer to that of Jeffords rather than his hopeful replacement Sanders, a Webb victory over Allen in Red Virginia would be a huge victory. During the two-part interview with the candidates (they were interviewed separately, then had the interviews mixed together to give it a debate-like appearance), Allen had the audacity to identify himself with, of all people, Thomas Jefferson. The author of the Declaration of Independence must e turning over in his grave.

Although polls have Allen at about a ten point advantage over Webb, the former son of the late Coach George Allen, Sr. is having problems at getting over that magical 50 percent line. Webb, who endorsed Allen in his 2000 race, started out his campaign for the Democratic party's candidacy with a mere 17 percent of the state's voters willing to give him the nod over the incumbent. He is now over 40 percent and seems to be climbing.

Sen. Allen has aspirations to the White House. Brought up a northerner, he has constantly looked toward the South for his support and has relied, as so many "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party officials have done, on family name (see Tom Kane, Jr. as another example) to get where they want to be. It will be interesting to see if the same voters who elected former Governor Mark Warner (also a presidential hopeful on the Democratic side) and present Governor Tim Kaine (D) will open their eyes minds to the obvious: George Allen has and always will vote against the interests of the majority of Virginia's voters and that it's time for a change.

We all wish to be able to congratulate Virginia's new junior Senator James Webb on the evening of this November 7th.

-Noah Greenberg


 

Pushing Bernie

"According to this letter published in Vermont's Rutland Herald, the national Republican Party has already started the shady and ethically-questionable practice of push polling in the 2006 U.S. Senate race.

"Specifically, Vermonter Tony Gordon reports receiving a call from a out-of-state call center in Nebraska. The caller asked "While it is fine to have a gadfly like [Senate candidate] Bernie Sanders in the House, since Vermont is such a small state, we must have real leadership in the Senate. Do you agree or disagree?" Clearly, as Gordon notes, the question was deliberately phrased to guarantee a desired result and spread misleading information about Congressman Sanders - not to guage actual public opinion."
-David Sirota's web site (http://www.davidsirota.com/2005/09/gop-caught-push-polling-in-vermont.html)


It's scare tactic time. The object of push polling is to tell "mis-truths", what the rest of us call lies, to potential voters. Bernie Sanders, the obvious best choice for senate in Vermont (some are even petitioning him to make a White House run in 2008) is now under assault by the same people who won South Carolina for "G"lobal "W"arming Bush over Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2000 with the use of "Push-Polling". Look for more of the same throughout the 2006 senatorial and congressional election races this year. While the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party have no platform to run with; have only a record as a "do-nothing" party while in the majority in DC; and have only the wish to stay in office, but not the platform to do so, they will have to do anything to keep their jobs.

Let's just hope the American people will not only see through this scheme, but will react as they should have always reacted: With disdain and anger at the GOP who take them, simply, for easy-manipulated fools.

-Noah Greenberg



Bush's Racist Army

Do you all remember Timothy McVeigh? Just as a reminder. He was the guy who drove the truck which he filled with explosives that detonated and killed 167 people at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. He was also the guy who was called a "model soldier" by friends and superiors in the United States Army. McVeigh was a white supremacist American born, bred and trained Terrorist.

The US Armed forces, while they classify presumably gay people as having a "mental condition" no longer have any problems allowing as many Timothy McVeighs as wants to come into Donald "We Don't Know What We Don't Know" Rumsfeld's army. You know, be all you can be and "Sig Heil" and all that other stuff. Wasn't it just about three generations ago that we fought against these people?

"We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad. That's a problem."
-An Army Investigator

These Army investigators estimate that there are thousands of gang members and extremists in the Army right now. In other words, we are training future American born terrorists. We are training them to fight their war on our soil against the majority of the American people.

The Army used to weed out these extremists, but in the need for warm bodies who can hold a gun, they have decided let them in. They include:
-Skinheads
-Neo-nazis
-Various other racists and hate groups
-Neocons (I had to put that in there)

"Because hate group membership and extremist activity are antithetical to the values and mission of our armed forces, we urge you to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to white supremacy in the military and to take all necessary steps to ensure that the policy is rigorously enforced,"
-Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center

I can hear Rummy now: "The Southern Poverty Law Center? They must be one of them Commie-Liberals places. Is anyone bugging them?"

"Neo-Nazi groups and other extremists are joining the military in large numbers so they can get the best training in the world on weapons, combat tactics and explosives. We should consider this a major security threat, because these people are motivated by an ideology that calls for race war and revolution. Any one of them could turn out to be the next Timothy McVeigh."
-Mark Potok, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project

It could even be worse than that, Mr. Imagine a whole army of Timothy McVeighs.

Fascism is on the rise in this nation. Keep this troubling report in mind.

-Noah Greenberg and Robert Scardapane



Assaulting Religious Freedom in Hardesty, Oklahoma

Daily Kos tells us the story of Nicole Smalkowski, an atheist who refused to recite the Lord's prayer with her teammates at a public school basketball game in Oklahoma; how she was kicked off the team for this; how the school principal assaulted her father, when he went to talk with him about the episode; how false charges were filed against him and how the jury, recognizing perjury when they heard it, unanimously found the father not guilty just two weeks ago. All this and much more.

"One of the main problems with any totalitarian state is the need for radical conformity. Any difference is not tolerated. In fact any difference from the main group can get you killed, jailed, persecuted. It is perceived as a threat to the power of the state.
"The 'good' folks of Hardesty [Oklahoma]knew they vastly outnumbered the Smalkowskis. They knew they were not in any physical danger from them. They knew their churches, homes and religion were under no threat from these atheists. The threat was to their power. The power to make you pray their prayers to their God at a time and place of their choosing.
"If you are a Christian, Jew, Atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Baha'i, or any kind of American you must stand with the Smalkowskis. You must stand with them if you would like to make those prayer decisions yourself and not have them imposed on you.
"There's no particular reason to believe that God wants to hear the prayers of people who were forced to pray. It is the powerful Christianists who are pleased by those prayers, not God."
-Daily Kos


I have nothing against religion. However, I am deeply troubled by the merging of religion and politics. I warned Republicans that their party was co-opted by religious extremists - the followers of Pat Robertson. Now, we are seeing the effects - religious bigotry and intolerance is on the rise.

America is was never intended to be a "Christian nation". The founders did believe in God but were intentionally generic in their references to God. They did not support any particular religion and tolerated people who did not believe in God. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was a theist - a person who believes in God but not in any organized religion.

We must push back against the so-called "Christian right" before they irreparably damage the traditions of our nation.


-Robert Scardapane



The Illegal NSA Wiretap Program

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Can you assure us that there is no warrantless surveillance of calls between two Americans within the United States?
ALBERTO GONZALES: That is not what the president has authorized.
NADLER: Can you assure us that it's not being done?
GONZALES: As I indicated in response to an earlier question, no technology is perfect.
NADLER: OK.
GONZALES: We do have minimization procedures in place...
NADLER: But you're not doing that deliberately?
GONZALES: That is correct.

Just in case there was any question as to the transparency of the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush, now we know. They are about as transparent as a lead-lined box painted matte black.

-Forwarded by Victoria Brownworth, Commented by Noah Greenberg



Jenny Hanniver responds to Thursday's Madman:

This is the best Madman in a long, long time, now that they're laying off those narrow anti-immigrant diatribes--and stay off, please. A lot of people have much worthwhile to say in this issue.

See "It's Not Really Slavery, But..." then watch the old Robert Redford movie, BRUBAKER. Rent-a-con has been going on a long, looooong time. NEVER, EVER FORGET that the rural South has always been, and still is, the most corrupt part of the country. It makes Northern machine politics look like a Sunday School picnic.

Read "Osama Who" in case you missed that little news tidbit. To the Bush administration Osama's no longer ANY priority at all.

What's an "Automated Payment-Transaction Tax"? Never heard of it, which makes me immediately suspicious. Sounds like just another regressive tax like VAT (Value Added Tax), which Europeans hate, and it seems obvious that it wouldn't replace the highly regressive Sales Tax, which it also resembles. A graduated, progressive income tax, with the kind of provisions in place during the1930s - 1960s, is the ONLY kind of tax that's ever been reasonably fair. Hell, they knew that in the Middle Ages; they just didn't know how to determine how many people they had, and how to calculate truly progressive formulas.

Don't miss the sarcasm of "Fascism's Roots" --A MUST READ, especially by Jews who've been flirting with the extreme Right. This will remind them of who the real Anti-Semites are--not liberals with reasoned objections to Israel's militarist policies.

"Something Funny" is hilarious--a satire in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal"!

Yeah, I wanted "Kenny Boy" to go to jail, too. Of course, he may be some place worse, as I suggested some years ago in my update of "Pie in the Sky":

-There's a sin that we used to call "pride" --
-To Perdition it gave a free ride.
-Now there's folks who know they're heaven-bound--
-Till they wake up some day underground!

Victoria's response to the guy who hates Gay Families is also excellent. I'm sorry you've been hospitalized, Victoria, and really glad to hear you're back.

This whole issue is unusually good.



In response to Lew Warden's "Automated Payment - Transaction Tax" idea" from his website http://networkcentralca.net/, Billie M. Spaight writes:

The whatever-you-call it tax:

It's regressive. Anything that taxes anything across the board is regressive because the impact will always fall more heavily on poorer people. Rich people can choose not to buy diamonds and the like but everybody has to eat and pay transportation. I think necessities should not be taxed but anything like the stock market should be taxed at 75% or higher -- make it so miserable and profitless to do it that it will die on the vine. The stock market is immoral anyway. People who have no business directing what a company should do get involved and that is wrong. It's what makes business antilabor and what makes bad products because all they care about is the bottom line.

Luxuries should be heavily taxed. And rich people should pay a lot more taxes than poor people. That's how they do it in Europe and they have a great safety net.



In response to "(Gore's handlers) also made him stay away from Bill Clinton until the very end," Eddie Konczal writes:

That explains why Gore lost Arkansas and the 6 electoral votes that would have made Florida irrelevant.



In response to "Real solutions (NJ Democrats) vs. schemes and gimmicks (NJ Republicans). I guess we really did need a money man to fix New Jersey after all," Robert Scardapane writes:

I am satisfied with the budget resolution. The way it works is that 50% of the sales tax increase will go toward real estate tax relief. That percentage will rise over the course of time. In the meantime, real estate tax reform is going forward. I can conceive of a time when the 1% sales tax increase can be repealed. In short, Governor Corzine is proceeding on campaign promises to provide both property tax relief and reform. It's unfortunate that the budget was in such a state that a sales tax increase was needed. I think we will survive this small increase. I am pleased that the stalemate is over but let's not do this again. There is no excuse for missing a deadline.


In response to the Budget Crisis and Deal in New Jersey, Victoria Brownworth writes:

Living in Philadelphia, I have been watching the New Jersey budget battle with great interest. I have never been a huge fan of Corzine (I kind of resent when people buy elections), but I was very cheered by his handling of the crisis because it was so tremendous to see a Democrat taking a stand on something unrelated to flag-burning.

Every day Corzine went to speak to the Legislature at 9am. He slept on a cot in his office. In short, he acted like someone in charge and running things. He refused to back down on the plan that he knew would work but he was open to acceptable compromise and said so.

He had the support of the unions, if not of his own party, which was terrified of being labeled for taxing the state. But guess what: that's how you pay for things, with taxes (someone needs to tell Bush this). And unlike so many politicians, Corzine never lied about his intention to tax: he was clear that to balance the budget, some kind of tax hike would be necessary. And he was elected anyway.

I suggest the Democrats in Washington crawl out from under their chairs, stop shuddering and/or pandering to the Right and the non-existent "swing voters" and do what Corzine did: Envision (remember vision? Clinton had it, whether you liked it or not) a plan and then actualize it. That's how the Newt Gingrich crowd took over Congress in 1994. And that's what the Dems have to do to take it back in 2006 and 2008.

Corzine's looking mighty presidential these days. The DNC should take note. I certainly have.


In response to "I say it's time to jettison Paul Begala, James Carville and the professional losers at the DLC," Pat Thompson writes:

Perish the thought! There were others more involved, such as Shrum, and Donna Brazille, in Gore's case. Carville and Begala won the 1992 election for Clinton.



In response to "I think that the devil couldn't wait to get (Ken "Kenny-Boy" Lay) down there," Pat Thompson writes:

I just wonder if he's sitting happily on a beach somewhere.....He was friends with the King of the Universe, George W. Bush.

Or , at least, the man who thinks of himself as the "King of the Universe". -NG


 

In response to, "Same-sex marriage certainly threatens children that become part of such unions. I believe that universal common sense wisdom tells us that children have a right to have a mother and a father. If you don't believe that God designed this plan for the creation and the good of children then at least respect the highest wisdom and experience of humanity and sociology. Why is everyone only looking out for their own pleasure?" Pat Thompson writes:

Since homosexual couples cannot just "accidentally" produce a baby during some lustful accident, their children are truly wanted. I think if God was thinking straight, she would have separated sexual activity from procreation. Many people want to have sex, but don't really want to have children. These children are born as mistakes.

Homosexual couples, on the other hand, have to go through a lot of effort, expense, and time before they can have a baby. They really do want to devote their lives to bringing up a human being. Otherwise, they could just have all the sex they wanted, with no possible procreation.

I happen to know a lesbian couple who had to buy sperm, and go through in vitro fertilization, to have a baby. Male homosexuals have to go through a lot more effort to find someone to have a baby for them, or, where allowed by the state, they can go through the adoption process, often adopting a special needs or older child, or racially mixed child, that no one else seemed to want. Their desire to be a family and to devote their time, energy, money and effort to raising a human being has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and certainly nothing to do with selfishness.

What a ridiculous statement, that people are just looking out for their own pleasure. Pleasure they already have, but wanting a family and to raise a child, in homosexual people, has NOTHING to do with sex! It is heterosexual people who have sex and sometimes wind up with a baby they don't want.



In response to, "Don't forget about (Mel) Carnahan in Missouri (D)," Pat Thompson writes:

Who could forget that more people voted for a dead man that for the GOP candidate (John) Ashcroft. So this administration appointed him Attorney General instead, since he just couldn't get elected!



Response to "BUSH: Osama Who? Never Heard of Him," Michael Brandes writes:

I agree. This just shows that GW is as dumb as he is made out to be. If he had any clue on what he was going on, the CIA would still be at least, attempting to track down Osama. He is the most dangerous terrorist of them all and most responsible for 9/1. Dumbya, somehow, made it seem that Saddam Hussein was more dangerous.

Although Saddam is now captured and on trial, Osama was, and is, still more dangerous. It seems as though the Main Stream Media, like Dumbya's FOX NEWS CHANNEL, have paid little attention to bin-Laden and have made a concerted effort to keep us Americans in the dark about his status. He must be caught or this war on terror, as they call it, will be a complete failure for Dubya and the World.

GW got us into the wrong situation when Osama bin Laden was more of a problem than Hussein. I doubt he can get us out.



In response to, "It's embarrassing and appalling that human beings in the United States in the year 2006 are being treated like cattle. My fear is that, with those in charge of our nation right now, other counties or parishes will see fit to do what East Carroll Parish is doing. But my real fear is that somehow, I will be driving through East Carroll Parrish, get stopped by Billy Travis, Brandon Wiltcher or Sheriff Shumate and become one of their orange-clad workers. After all, you never know when they might need a network engineer," Rhian writes:

Yeah, yeah, but keep in mind that the prisoners wouldn't be in prison if they hadn't already treated other people like 'victims.'

Not only is it great to get prisoners some work ethic, which might actually make a few of them develop some better self image of themselves, it's perfect that real Americans are doing jobs illegals cannot therefore, have.

One better would be to put them all in the military, and send them to the nasty places of the world to do a nasty president's bidding, instead of the National Guard, most of whom have jobs, wives, and kids. You know, send a criminal to catch a criminal (like Bin Laden or Pying 'I'm so ronry' Pyong)

As for you getting stopped and thrown into engineering chain ganghood, haven't there always been counties in the deep south, every sane person has just driven around?

I'm so jazzed I'm calling Joe Arpaio tomorrow to ask for about three of them to work on my place.
Can white boys be ordered?


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-Noah Greenberg