Monday, August 14, 2006

America, Explained Dr. Seuss-Style


A Prissy Patriot hat tip to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and yes, Fitz really does blog Demeaning Democracy August 13, 2006 By Edward M. Kennedy

The comments he made on the result of the Connecticut Democratic primary - that it might encourage "the al-Qaida types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task" - are an attack not just on Democrats, but on democracy itself.

What happened in Connecticut is in fact a model for democracies everywhere. The people of the state heard a vigorous debate between two competing visions of how to protect this country. Young citizens became deeply involved, and turnout was high. The primary reminded us of the miracle of our democracy, in which the nation is ruled by its people - not by any entrenched set of leaders. There are few better messages we could send the world in these troubled times.

Cheney's comments about the election were ugly and frightening. They show once again that he and his party will stop at nothing to wrap Republicans in the flag and to insinuate that anyone who votes against them is giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. It's obvious that this administration lacks basic respect for our fundamental freedoms.

Truthout Bush back in D.C., but 'Camp Casey' still open

CRAWFORD -- Anti-war demonstrators said today they hope that the end of President Bush's ranch vacation doesn't hurt attendance at their protest activities for the rest of the summer.

They urged those who oppose the war in Iraq to keep coming to their 5-acre campsite purchased last month by Cindy Sheehan, who resumed her protest a week ago. Click to learn more...

Sheehan's first trek to the one-stoplight town last August during Bush's monthlong vacation turned into a 26-day vigil that drew more than 10,000 people and spurred counter-protests by Bush supporters.

If you cannot make it to Texas, please attend Camp Democracy at the National Mall in September.

Via WRH -Black box voting A Citizens Tool Kit in pdf Things you can do to ensure the voting process is safe for all Americans.

Author of this is unknown, but Prissy thinks it is an excellent sumation of the entire situation.

America, Dr. Seuss Style

The Whos down in Whoville liked this country a lot, But the Grinch in the White House most certainly did not. He didn’t arrive there by the will of the Whos, But stole the election that he really did lose. Vowed to “rule from the middle,” then installed his regime.

(Did this really happen, or is it just a bad dream?) He didn’t listen to voters, just his friends he was pleasin’ Now, please don’t ask why, who knows what’s the reason. It could be his heart wasn’t working just right. It could be, perhaps, that he wasn’t too bright. But I think that the most likely reason of all, Is that both brain and heart were two sizes too small.

In times of great turmoil, this was really bad news, To have a government that ignores all its Whos. But the Whos shrugged their shoulders, went on with their work, Their duties as citizens so casually did shirk.

They shopped at the mall and watched their TV. They drove a gas guzzling big SUV, Oblivious to what was going on in D.C., Ignoring the threats to democracy.

They read the same papers that ran the same leads, Reporting what only served corporate needs. (For the policies affecting the lives of all nations Were made by the giant U.S. Corporations.)

Big business grew fatter, fed by its own greed, And by people who shopped for the things they didn’t need. But amidst all the apathy came signs of unrest, The Whos came to see we were fouling our nest. And the people who cared for the ideals of this nation Began to discuss and exchange information: The things they couldn’t read, in the corporate-owned news, Of FTAA meetings and CIA coups, Of drilling for oil and restricting rights.

They published some books, created Websites, Began to write letters, and use their e-mail (Though Homeland Security might send them to jail!) What began as a whisper soon grew to a roar, These things going on they could no longer ignore. They started to rise up and fight City Hall Let their voices be heard, they rose to the call, To vote, to petition, to gather, dissent, To question the policies of the “President.”

As greed gained in power and power knew no shame The Whos came together, sang “Not in our name!” One by one from their sleep and their slumber they woke The old and the young, all kinds of folk, The black, brown and white, the gay, bi- and straight, All united to sing, “Feed our hope, not our hate!

Stop stockpiling weapons and aiming for war! Stop feeding the rich, start feeding the poor! Stop storming the deserts to fuel SUVs! Stop telling us lies on the mainstream TVs! Stop treating our children as a market to sack! Stop feeding them Barney, Barbie and Big Mac! Stop trying to addict them to lifelong consuming, In a time when severe global warming is looming!

Stop sanctions that are killing the kids in Iraq! Start dealing with ours that are strung out on crack!”

A mighty sound started to rise and to grow, “The old way of thinking simply must go! Enough of God versus Allah, Muslim vs. Jew With what lies ahead, it simply won’t do. No American dream that cares only for wealth Ignoring the need for community health. The rivers and forests are demanding their pay, If we’re to survive, we must walk a new way.

No more excessive and mindless consumption Let’s sharpen our minds and garner our gumption. For the ideas are simple, but the practice is hard, And not to be won by a poem on a card. It needs the ideas and the acts of each Who, So let’s get together and plan what to do!” And so they all gathered from all ‘round the Earth And from it all came a miraculous birth.

The hearts and the minds of the Whos they did grow, Three sizes to fit what they felt and they know. While the Grinches they shrank from their hate and their greed, Bearing the weight of their every foul deed. From that day onward the standard of wealth, Was whatever fed the Whos spiritual health. They gathered together to revel and feast, And thanked all who worked to conquer their beast.

For although our story pits Grinches ‘gainst Whos, The true battle lies in what we daily choose. For inside each Grinch is a tiny small Who, And inside each Who is a tiny Grinch too. One thrives on love and one thrives on greed. Who will win out? It depends whom you feed! ________________________________________ Author unknown but sent in by Shari Bandes.

Hot Links

Mail and Guardian Fragile UN-brokered truce in place

There were no reports of any Hezbollah rockets being fired at Israel after the truce took hold.

"We are entering the stage of a ceasefire. The firing is over," a senior Israeli army officer said over the radio, giving orders to his soldiers.

"We hope the ceasefire will be kept. We are asking you to stay alert and prepare as Hezbollah could still break it."

Thousands of Lebanese displaced by the war headed south -- some to check damage to their houses, others hoping to return home for good. Drivers honked their horns, and hundreds of cars jammed a narrow road leading south from Sidon.

Reuters Stunned Iraqis angered at blasts that killed 57

Three buildings collapsed inwards. A projectile crashed through the roof of one of them and pulverized everything in its path, crashing through three floors of reinforced concrete.

"Suddenly we heard a massive sound. A building over there was completely flattened. I don't know how we survived," said Sarwad, a resident. "There must be hundreds of people still buried."

Iraq's defense ministry said on Monday that the destruction was caused by a car bomb and four Katyusha rockets.

Reuters Lieberman should drop out of election race: Dean

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Lieberman should support his party -- and Lamont -- rather than running against him to defeat the Republicans.

"I know how hard this is for Joe, and he is a good person, but the truth is I lost one of these races and I got behind my party's nominee and I think that is what you have to do if you want to help this country," Dean, former governor of Vermont, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"The way to help this country is to limit Republican power."

Prissy agrees with Governor Dean...

Houston Chronicle Britain downgrades terror threat level

The threat level was lowered from critical to severe to reflect an intelligence assessment that a terrorist attack remained highly likely but was no longer imminent.

The critical level was declared last week when police rounded up two dozen people suspected of involvement in the terror plot. Police questioned all but one of the suspects Sunday, but authorities remained silent on what, if anything, they learned.

Financial Express Google says it won't pull an AOL

Google users should have faith that their Web searches won't end up being public information like they have at AOL, says Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "We have systems in place that won't allow it to happen," Schmidt told reporters after a keynote discussion at the Search Engine Strategies conference. "Our No. 1 priority is the trust our users have, and that would be a violation of trust, so the answer is that would not happen."

However, during the keynote discussion, Schmidt had hedged a bit, saying, "We are reasonably satisfied... that this kind of thing could not happen at Google," before adding, "Never say never."

Please use caution Google, Prissy does not want to end up like this

Odd companions...Watch George H.W. Bush blow birthday candles for Mrs. Moon the '90s, in the French news piece "Moon: La fin de l'Empire," featuring Bob Parry

UPI Israel maintains Lebanon roadblocks

In the first day of a cease-fire with Hezbollah militants, Israeli forces maintained roadblocks in southern Lebanon Monday to block the transfer of weapons.

Israeli Army Radio quoted military officials as saying the air, sea and road blockade will continue until "Beirut formulates an effective mechanism, which will block transfer of weaponry to south Lebanon." Thousands of Lebanese refugees reportedly jammed bombed-out roads to return to their homes in the southern part of the country.

Reuters No evidence Iran active in Iraq: US general

There is no evidence the Iranian government is stirring trouble in Iraq, a U.S. general said on Monday, playing down suggestions that Tehran will retaliate for U.S. backing of Israel's war on Hizbollah.

"There is nothing that we definitively have found to say that there are any Iranians operating within the country of Iraq," Major General William Caldwell, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, told a news conference.

U.S. officials have previously said the war between Israel and Iran-backed Hizbollah might encourage Tehran to make mischief in Iraq to pressure the United States, which has some 130,000 troops in the country.

Irish Examiner Netanyahu: Many failures in the war

There were many failures in the management of the Lebanon offensive according to Israeli opposition leader and head of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s first speech to the Israeli parliament since the early days of the offensive, Mr Netanyahu criticised the war for its many failures.

“It must be said, honestly, there were many failures, failures in identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, failures in the management of the home front,” he said. “Without doubt we shall need later on to learn the lessons and fix the mistakes.”

Pre-emptive wars are always a mistake, as Israel's own history has witnessed before. The lesson is don't start them... other countries did not see the kidnappings as "an act of war."

WaPo...still shilling for more war Airports Remain on Alert; Another Plot Called 'Highly Likely'

British Home Secretary John Reid said Sunday that another attempted attack is "highly likely." He said authorities have thwarted four major terrorist plots since the July bombings in London last year. British police are holding 23 suspects -- most of them London-based Muslim men in their twenties -- in connection with an alleged terrorist plot unveiled last week to blow up as many as 10 airliners leaving Britain and bound for the United States.

Flashback from Electronic Frontier Foundation Location Privacy: 3, Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking: 0 December 01, 2005

Well, that fear has now been confirmed by a newly-issued third court decision denying a DOJ request for a cell-tracking order, a request that was made after the DOJ chose not to challenge the other two decisions. This time, a federal magistrate judge in Maryland has followed the lead of judges in New York and Texas by refusing to allow the feds to track people's movement via a cell phone unless the government can at least meet the requirements for a search warrant.

Even though there are now three published decisions rejecting the government's arguments and none supporting them, we're aware of at least one other case where the DOJ is still pushing for authorization to track a cell phone without a search warrant. At this point, one has to wonder: how many public trips to the woodshed is it going to take before the DOJ either stops seeking these orders, or is willing to subject its claims to appellate court scrutiny? I think we're going to find out soon enough--at this rate, we'll have a dozen new denials by the spring!

They claim its "surveillance"-Gonzo's DOJ...or are they just a bunch of stalkers?

Austrialian Blackout hits Tokyo

The blackout snapped off electricity at 7:38 am local time (0838 AEST) when a ship with a crane accidentally touched a power cable on the Edogawa river east of Tokyo, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc said.

"Most of the affected areas are now recovering, excluding parts of Shibuya ward in Tokyo," a company spokesman said.

The blackout affected around 800,000 households in Tokyo and neighbouring Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, the company said.

A fire department official said there were reports of people trapped in elevators, but could not provide further details. The humid capital had morning temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

We're Not in Kansas Anymore Dick Cheney Is No Wizard of Oz

Did you read the story about United States Army 1st Lt. William “Eddie” Rebrook IV, whose arm was shattered and artery severed by a roadside bomb in Iraq? The Army discharged him because of his injuries. But the Pentagon refused to allow him to go home until he paid $700 for his blood-soaked body armor discarded on the battlefield by the evacuating medics.

The Charleston Gazette quoted his mother as saying, “It’s outrageous, ridiculous and unconscionable. I wanted to stand on a street corner and yell through a megaphone about this.”

That’s how I feel after researching this story about Dick Cheney, deadly depleted uranium, and its effects on American and Coalition troops. In 1991, then Secretary of Defense Cheney authorized the first massive use of depleted uranium munitions by United States forces. As a consequence the lives of almost 2/3rds of the men and women who served in the Gulf War have been destroyed. Their families have been ripped apart, and their children are being born with tragic deformities. Does the same fate await most of the one million troops who served in Afghanistan and Iraq? Read on and judge for yourself.

Quotes of the Day

Hat tip to Bartcop..."Republicans cannot be trusted with the keys to both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government."-- Richard Viguerie, Reagan architect

Watergate showed more strengths in our system than weaknesses... The whole country did take part in quite a genuine sense in passing judgment on Richard Nixon.--Archibald Cox

Possibly it wasn't too important for the world to know that we couldn't be bought, but I did want Al Capone and every gangster in the city to realize that there were still a few law enforcement agents who couldn't be swerved from their duty.--Eliot Ness

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.--Josh Billings (1818 - 1885)