Left of Center: By Yukkione: October 2006
Democracy At Risk
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Time : 6:51 PM

by Garrison Keillor

I would not send my college kid off for a semester abroad if I were you. Last week, we suspended human rights in America, and what goes around comes around. Ixnay habeas corpus.

The U.S. Senate, in all its splendor and majesty, has decided that an "enemy combatant" is any non-citizen whom the president says is an enemy combatant, including your Korean greengrocer or your Swedish grandmother or your Czech au pair, and can be arrested and held for as long as authorities wish without any right of appeal to a court of law to examine the matter. If your college kid were to be arrested in Bangkok or Cairo, suspected of "crimes against the state" and held in prison, you'd assume that an American foreign service officer would be able to speak to your kid and arrange for a lawyer, but this may not be true anymore. Be forewarned.

The Senate also decided it's up to the president to decide whether it's OK to make these enemies stand naked in cold rooms for a couple days in blinding light and be beaten by interrogators. This is now purely a bureaucratic matter: The plenipotentiary stamps the file "enemy combatants" and throws the poor schnooks into prison and at his leisure he tries them by any sort of kangaroo court he wishes to assemble and they have no right to see the evidence against them, and there is no appeal. This was passed by 65 senators and will now be signed by Mr. Bush, put into effect, and in due course be thrown out by the courts.

It's good that Barry Goldwater is dead because this would have killed him. Go back to the Senate of 1964 - Goldwater, Dirksen, Russell, McCarthy, Javits, Morse, Fulbright - and you won't find more than 10 votes for it.

None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea. Mark their names. Any institution of higher learning that grants honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor. Alexander, Allard, Allen, Bennett, Bond, Brownback, Bunning, Burns, Burr, Carper, Chambliss, Coburn, Cochran, Coleman, Collins, Cornyn, Craig, Crapo, DeMint, DeWine, Dole, Domenici, Ensign, Enzi, Frist, Graham, Grassley, Gregg, Hagel, Hatch, Hutchison, Inhofe, Isakson, Johnson, Kyl, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Lott, Lugar, Martinez, McCain, McConnell, Menendez, Murkowski, Nelson of Florida, Nelson of Nebraska, Pryor, Roberts, Rockefeller, Salazar, Santorum, Sessions, Shelby, Smith, Specter, Stabenow, Stevens, Sununu, Talent, Thomas, Thune, Vitter, Voinovich, Warner.

To paraphrase Sir Walter Scott: Mark their names and mark them well. For them, no minstrel raptures swell. High though their titles, proud their name, boundless their wealth as wish can claim, these wretched figures shall go down to the vile dust from whence they sprung, unwept, unhonored and unsung.

Three Republican senators made a show of opposing the bill and, after they'd collected all the praise they could get, they quickly folded. Why be a hero when you can be fairly sure that the Court will dispose of this piece of garbage.

If, however, the Court does not, then our country has taken a step toward totalitarianism. If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it's no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.

I got some insight week before last into who supports torture when I went down to Dallas to speak at Highland Park Methodist Church. It was spooky. I walked in, was met by two burly security men with walkie-talkies, and within 10 minutes was told by three people that this was the Bushes' church and that it would be better if I didn't talk about politics. I was there on a book tour for Homegrown Democrat, but they thought it better if I didn't mention it. So I tried to make light of it: I told the audience, "I don't need to talk politics. I have no need even to be interested in politics - I'm a citizen, I have plenty of money and my grandsons are at least 12 years away from being eligible for military service." And the audience applauded! Those were their sentiments exactly. We've got ours, and who cares?

The Methodists of Dallas can be fairly sure that none of them will be snatched off the streets, flown to Guantanamo, stripped naked, forced to stand for 48 hours in a freezing room with deafening noise, so why should they worry? It's only the Jews who are in danger, and the homosexuals and gypsies. The Christians are doing just fine. If you can't trust a Methodist with absolute power to arrest people and not have to say why, then whom can you trust?

''That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.''

posted by Yukkione at 6:51 PM | Permalink | 10 comments
Whats Happening to my America?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Time : 8:26 AM

What’s happening to my America? We are slowly becoming just like the enemies we have fought for generations. The US government has given a Halliburton subsidiary a contract to build detention centers in the US. Congress recently passed a law that allows the President to federalize State National Guards even at the opposition of said states Governors. Of course there is the Patriot Act which was passed even though few actually read it, and which goes against the very fabric with which this nation was created. The Pentagon has a 400 page document which calls for Phyops to be used against foreigners, but says that American may be exposed to this propaganda and that that’s ok. We have paramilitary contractors from companies like Blackwater patrolling in cities like New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, and they will be used in other domestic situations. Citizens can now be detained indefinitely and held without charges. They have limited access to lawyers, family and the evidence if any against them. There are also plans to shut down the civilian internet during “emergencies” because they deem it to be a weapon. Military Intelligence while unable to actively gather information on citizens is not prohibited from receiving it. So to those ends a myriad of gray agencies are now in place to provide them with said information. This includes NASA, the very agency Bush gave more money to to aid in “space exploration”. NASA uses its computer banks to data mine info provided by credit card companies and airlines. The Bush administration in league with the Pentagon have also deemed space as the property of the US and plans on weaponising it. Moreover we have committed ourselves to developing more nuclear weapons even though we have enough to blow up every major city in the world 20 times over. All this at a time when we have over 50 million people without health care, we have over five million more people below the poverty level, our students score near the bottom of western countries in math and science, and personal bankruptcy is at an all time high.
Time to hoist our flags higher, and slap more yellow ribbons on our SUV’s. Time for peaceful revolution.
You can read some more here.

posted by Yukkione at 8:26 AM | Permalink | 13 comments
help with cancer research
Friday, October 20, 2006
Time : 1:48 PM

Hey there friends... Folding@Home is a networked computer project that uses thousands of personal computers to simulataniously crunch numbers to help find cures for many diseases. I've started a group called MoonBat and am asking everyone to download the Folding@home client found at the link below. It is safe to use and only uses the computer power you arent. The reasearch being done is of huge importance. Teams participate to see which ones process the highest number of chemical combinations. You will actually see a 3d picture of the chemical molecules you are working on. So please... lets see how many people we can get to help. Get the client and then add this group number to the configuration screen: 52543 I have the url's listed at the bottom. (this works alittle like SETI@home if your familiar with that.

* Alzheimer's Disease
* Cancer
* Huntington's Disease
* Osteogenesis Imperfecta
* Parkinson's Disease
* Ribosome & antibiotics

And here is our team page:

posted by Yukkione at 1:48 PM | Permalink | 5 comments
Bush and Blair sing of their Love

Time : 5:56 AM

posted by Yukkione at 5:56 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Jefferson's Manual
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Time : 6:08 PM

We as citizens don't have to wait for politicians to start impeachment procedings.
"Jefferson's Manual" is an interpretive guide to parliamentary procedure, and is included (along with the Constitution) in the bound volumes of the Rules of the House of Representatives. It is ratified by each congress (including the current one), and has been updated continuously through the history of our democracy. The section covering impeachment lists the acceptable vehicles for bringing impeachment motions to the floor of the House.

Before the House Judiciary Committee can put together the Articles of Impeachment, someone must initiate the impeachment procedure. Most often, this occurs when members of the House pass a resolution. Another method outlined in the manual, however, is for individual citizens to submit a memorial for impeachment.
For more information go here.
Thanks Libby

posted by Yukkione at 6:08 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Republican try to hide more bad news
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Time : 11:02 PM

Check this out from my friend Mike over at Born at the crest of the empire. So they know democracy in Iraq won't work.... right now they know it! Yet they parade around in happy faces and say "stay the course". They call us defeatocrats. They are responsible for the deaths of untold civilians and American military personel. And they still spew lies.
We need to address mechanisms by which we can remove a sitting President for gross incompetence. Impeachment only works for crimes. Incompetence by itself may not be criminal but its overwhelming harm should be reason enough. These bastards have to go.

posted by Yukkione at 11:02 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Debunking Republican Foley Myths

Time : 11:29 AM

A special Media Matters for America report: debunking the Foley myth machine Summary: The scandal surrounding the sexually explicit electronic communications former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) allegedly sent to underage former congressional pages -- and the House Republican leadership's alleged cover-up of Foley's behavior -- have produced a wave of misinformation. To aid members of the media in covering the scandal, Media Matters for America has compiled a list of the top myths, falsehoods, and baseless assertions surrounding the controversy.
Table of Contents
* Democrats and their allies orchestrated the Foley scandal as a political dirty trick
*Hastert did not learn about Foley's alleged behavior until September 29
* Alleged Foley emails that House Republicans possessed were merely "overly friendly"
* Foley scandal has not affected voters or Congressional races
* Hastert and the GOP leadership forced Foley to resign after they learned of the lurid instant messages
* Gay Men are More Likely Than Heterosexual Men to Sexually Abuse Children
* Kirk Fordham's Claim that Hastert's Office Told About Foley Before 2005 is Uncorroborated
* Hastert "Took Responsibility" for the Foley Scandal
* Conservative Evangelical Voters are Particularly Outraged by Foley Scandal
* Upon Learning of Emails, GOP Leadership or Rep. Shimkus Told Foley to End All Contact with Pages
* CREW Withheld Emails and Other Information From FBI, Congressional Leaders
* A "Velvet Mafia" on Capitol Hill Knew of Foley's Alleged Behavior and Protected Him from Public Exposure

posted by Yukkione at 11:29 AM | Permalink | 4 comments
One Day for Darfur
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Time : 8:45 AM

posted by Yukkione at 8:45 AM | Permalink | 8 comments
Hastert must step down as house speaker
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Time : 1:06 PM

Dennis Hastert, House Speaker knew about the improper action of congressman Foley and did nothing. Party loyalty was more important to him than the safety of our young people. This should not stand. Go here to send a letter to your representative, and let them know that they should support Hastert stepping down as House Speaker.

posted by Yukkione at 1:06 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
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