THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note from a Madman

Thursday, December 15, 2005

 

If it seems as if we, here at Madman, are all over the place... well... it's because we are. As a matter of fact it is quite intentional. So enjoy or get angry... Read what you like or don't read what you dislike. This is an open forum, only marginally subject to good taste and proper spelling. Enjoy! (or don't enjoy)... The choice is yours. -NG



Today's Quote in the Lead

"I'm confident the president knows who the source is. I'd be amazed if he doesn't. So I say, don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is,"
-Right-Wing columnist Bob Novak, in response to a question at a luncheon at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.

Whoa there Novak, slow down. You mean Bush knows who the leaker is and he has not admitted this to Fitzgerald? I believe that is called obstruction of justice. The last President who did that ended up resigning.

-Robert Scardapane



Torture - Bad

Wow... After four-plus years of torturing everyone they could get away with, President "G"lobal "W"arming Bush has decided that torture is bad. Isn't it great that the leader of the free world has joined the rest of the free world at last.

The interrogation torture ban "make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad."
-Bush

Interrogation torture ban? So is it still okay to torture just for the fun of it GW? I bet Dick "Go Torture Yourself" Cheney will like that one. After all, he is the Marquis d' Sad reincarnated.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who has been pushing the president to accept a universal ban on torture finally persuaded GW that, in fact, torture shouldn't be condoned. Many of you will remember that Senator McCain was a pilot, then POW during the Vietnam war who, himself was subjected to torture by the North Vietnamese. In short, because McCain knows the pain, degradation and torment of torture, he is against it. That makes sense.

This gives me an idea. If being tortured can make a Republican speak out against torture, then it stands to reason that if we:
-Make Republican Senators and Congressmen and women lose their health care coverage, it will make them support universal health care
-Make Corporate CEO's drink the water that is tainted by the Clean Water Act, it will make them REALLY clean the water
But most of all, if you:
-Make the rich "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party ultra-rich elitists poor, they will understand the plight of Americans in need

"We've sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists,"
-McCain

Hmm. WE, the citizens of the United States were never like the terrorists. WE never condoned terror. WE never wrote memos, like Alberto Gonzales did stating that some kinds of torture are okay or that we could use torture because the Geneva Convention doesn't apply here. WE, the citizens of the United States are appalled by those who need to be prodded and poked and convinced that torture is NOT a good thing.

And, get this, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is against the bill, which has already passed the Senate and now has the president's support. He is afraid that it will hamper the CIA by effecting "the same high level of effective intelligence gathering".

Is that the same high level that ignored the warnings prior to 9/11? How could it get worse, Rep. Duncan? How do you justify being against torture? Perhaps Rep. Hunter ought to spend a little time locked up somewhere himself.

"We're going to get there,"
-Senator John Warner (D-VA) disagreeing with
Rep. Hunter

By the way, the provisions will pass both the GOP-controlled House and Senate by veto-proof margins due to their bi-partisan support, excluding Mr. Hunter (or is it "Mr. Hinder"?) of course. No matter how much President "G"lobal "W"arming or Vice President Dick "Go Torture Yourself" are against it, their opposition wouldn't matter. Think of it this way: How would it look if the only bill that GW was to veto in his entire tenure at the helm of the nation was an anti-torture bill?

Besides, just because there is a "law" that says you can't torture doesn't really mean that GW and his cohorts have to obey that law, does it? If you look at their track record of breaking laws, you'd know the answer. Remember, it was against a "law" to release the name of a covert CIA agent. Right Valerie?

I applaud all who support an anti-torture provision. What concerns me is that we needed this "law" in the first place.

-Noah Greenberg



Dingell’s HOLIDAY Jingle for O’Reilly and House GOP

Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (D) (MI-15) recited the following poem on the floor of the US House of Representatives concerning House Resolution 579, which expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected. “Preserving Christmas” has been a frequent topic for conservative talk show hosts, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly:

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;
Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly
We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!
This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy
At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!
‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.

-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane



Selective Morality?

In 1957, the CIA creates SAVAK, the Shah of Iran's secret police force, which routinely relies on torture -- using the same interrogation techniques the CIA imported from the Nazis. Nearly half a century later, the world learns of the CIA's network of detainment facilities and American-sanctioned torture.
***


The CIA followed a similar policy in Latin America - Chile, El Savador, Guatemala. They trained the death squads in these countries via the School of the Americas.

There are several examples of the United States creating a dictator only to turn on that person later. Indeed, Hussein was armed by the United States with weapons to fight Iran. Subsequently, he became persona non grata after invading Kuwait. The United States specializes at creating monsters that eventually fall out of favor.

-Forwarded and Commented by Robert Scardapane



What's New About Happy Holidays?

I've been hearing the phrase "Happy Holidays" all my life.

Why now is the religious right making such a big deal about it?

I think it's a great shortcut. It takes so long to say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" Besides, by saying "happy holidays" I've got all my bases covered from thanksgiving until the kids go back to school after the first of the year.

I wish people like Rev. Jerry Falwell would worry about peace on Earth and good will towards man, and not so much about how others care to observe the holidays.

Is anyone but me sick of hearing "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls" in over fifty different versions in every store they walk into? I've worked in retail so long I dread knowing I have to listen to Christmas music all day. Personally I can't wait for it all to end. And why is it I never hear Adam Sandler's " The Chanukah Song" when I'm shopping in Safeway?

-Sean Mr. Blue-Sky



In response to "But aren't there just as bad or worse leaders still in this world?", Robert Scardapane writes:

There must be. Last night, I listened to an hour straight of House resolutions from Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Tom Lantos (D-WA) against nations such as China, Zimbabwe, Croatia and Russia. Indeed - Russia! I suppose Bush can no longer peer into Putin's soul and see a good man. Or did he just see a kindred spirit that suppresses the media and harasses NGO's? I also listened to them discuss torture and slave labor camps in China. I thought to myself - no kidding, I have been saying this for years and wonder how we justify trade with China. The political system in China has actually become more undemocratic in recent years.



In response to the various thoughts on illegal immigration, Stephen J. Spiro writes:

Just for the record, there is no national official language. Puerto Rico and (I believe) New Mexico have Spanish as official languages on a par with English. Official languages in Hawaii are Hawaiian and English. I did some research a few years ago, but didn't save it. I THINK there is at least one other state with another official language besides English. English is official in all states which have "official" languages. A couple do not have official languages, but I cannot remember what they are. Several towns in Texas carry on official meetings in Spanish.

And Madman responds:

Official or not, for an illegal to remain and become "legal", it is my contention that he or she should learn English. When I ran my own business (1990-1999) and while running another’s (1985-1989) in NYC’s garment center, I learned enough Spanish to get by. The least someone who wants to make the US their home should do is to learn (or at least attempt to learn) English. I don’t think it is unfair.



In response to "People like former Chief Cannistraro and former fellow covert agent Larry Johnson are speaking out. They see the CIA as being demoralized by an executive branch that chooses to play the "revenge-game" by treacherously exposing covert agents as a political punishment," Rhian writes:

The more that unfolds from the outing of Valerie Plame, and Gonzales torture policies, the more convinced I am that Tenet was probably forced out of the CIA (the usual death threats to family) because he refused to go along with both ops, and whatever other ones we still don't know about.


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-Noah Greenberg