Saturday, July 14, 2007

MTV New Season Features More Blood Porn & Mutilation

The folks at MTV have really sunk to a new low. They have a show now in its second season called “Scarred”. I saw a few minutes of a promo for the new season and turned it off in disgust. Maybe it’s just a sign of getting old, but I prefer to think it’s a sign of taste and decency. MTV’s “Scarred” is nothing but trauma porn.

Yea, I admit I occasionally watch Funniest Home Videos, but this is a collection of kids and other idiots doing skateboard tricks unsuccessfully. Now this is not the clips of kids racking their balls on a railing, that’s funny! This is kids getting life threatening head injuries to rock music. One scene featured a teenager going into convulsions from his wipe out. Somehow I find that a lot less funny.

I guess it all depends on your opinion of humor, but I thought brain injuries just lacked the giggle factor of slapstick. What the MTV generation has become being nurtured on “Jackass” is getting pretty frightening. I know teens have an invincibility complex, but turning a tidy profit on these same teens discovering that they are mortal through home videos of permanent injuries and head trauma seems wrong.

Wonder why kids try stupid things? Well there are probably lots of explanations, but I can assure you that glorifying the gore that results in their mistakes won’t help matters. Come on MTV, what happened to music videos? Don’t make stars of the stupid, that’s what CNN and Paris Hilton are for!

Tony Snow Excuses Iraq Parliment Vacation

Snow can lie better than any guy I know except...well the rest of the Bush Administration.

Bush Give Real Reason For Iraq Invasion - He Tried To Kill My Dad!

Using colorful language, President Bush is quoted as saying in private to Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, "We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Motherf*#ker tried to take out my Dad".

So like many have long suspected the attempt to link Saddam to 9/11 and the entire war was a personal vendetta as well as a boost for energy companies and the military suppliers. The comment was mentioned on the Cappy McGarr talk radio show today.

Glad to know our brave fighting men and women are not dying in vain, it's for Bush's dad! Why didn't Bush share this information with the American public before lying us into the war. Heck, some folks might have backed the idea, but we will never know because Bush saw he best course was telling lies. WMD's are more convincing than personal vendettas any day.

And why are we not impeaching this guy?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Christian Fundamentalists Disrupt The Senate

Seems fundamentalists are causing problems all over the world. In the Middle-East they are killing each other because of a difference in their version of Islam. Sunni against Shia, they battle over details of the Prophet's successors.

Here in this country, fundamentalists battle over similar disputes, but mostly they are Christian. Yesterday the reports of a couple of radical Christians trying to blow up a church they felt was a rival to their brand of the religion. Additionally the Senate was disrupted yesterday by Christian fundamentalists trying to shout down the chaplain giving the opening prayer. In this case he was Hindu, a first for the Senate and a good move toward a more inclusive version of this practice. The fundamentalists problem was that he was a heathen, (aka not Christian), and therefore not worthy of their silence or respect.

Personally, I think the Senate should not have a prayer any more than our public schools should. The implications of a state-endorsed religion are too obvious to argue. The Constitution expressly forbids this, yet there it is. Now before you go condemning me, I am a Christian and I still feel my religion should not be incorporated into the government. Our lawmakers can let their religious beliefs influence their decisions all they want, but to institutionalize a prayer goes too far.

Meanwhile, the radicals will continue to condemn and try to destroy each other. Sad behavior from religions who preach peace.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Radical Christians Try to Bomb Church in Burleson, Texas

Apparently their church is better than any church. That was the motive behind placing an incendiary device at the door of a new church under construction in Burleson, Texas. The church, Victory Family Church was undamaged, but the men got bogged down in the mud trying to escape. A deacon of the church caught them and called police.

Two other suspects escaped in a car. The crime carries a possible life in prison sentence. The two stated to authorities that they belonged to a radical Christian group bent on destroying all other denominations. Sounds a lot like the "one true church" dogma of the Pope.

Bush Pleads Guilty - Says His Administration Leaked CIA Name

Sometimes the off the cuff statements at a press conference are more dramatic than the intended purpose of the press conference. That is the case of today's meeting with President Bush. In what can only be considered a startling admission, Bush confirmed that someone in his administration leaked the name of an undercover intelligence officer for the CIA.

If you remember, Bush swore he would dismiss anyone who did this and swore to get to the bottom of the leak. Apparently he was counting on the short attention span of the American people. In the same press conference he dismissed that admission as old news. Well it might be old news to him but not to most of us.

He also defended his commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former aide to Vice President Cheney who was convicted of perjury. Not a very good argument for that one, since he criticised the sentencing as being too harsh, yet dozens of criminals receive the same sentence or harsher every year.

With this admission of guilt pointing to the White House, it's time for impeachment for the good of the country and our constitution.

Miers a "No Show" at HJD Hearings

What if the House Judiciary Committee gave a hearing and nobody came? Well that is the scene, as Harriet Miers failed to appear today in response to a subpoena from the committee. She is claiming Executive Privilege, but she is no longer an employee of the President and her legal grounds for this excuse are less than shaky.

Firedoglake has much more on the legal details of this developing story. I gotta wonder when the American people will see that Bush and Cheney are hiding their illegal activities behind the shield of Executive Privilege? Come on folks...WAKE THE F*$K UP!

McCain's Florida Campaign Head Arrested For Bathroom Sex Solicitation

Looks like another nail in the coffin of the John McCain campaign. His Florida campaign director, State Representative Bob Allen (R), was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer in a public restroom. Looking at Allen's voting record, he supports the views of the Christian Coalition about 90% of the time and is endorsed by the Florida Right to Life Committee.

Another conservative closet case? Probably, and it's always sad when a persons internalized homophobia lands them in a fix like this, but I have to admit a certain amount of schadenfreude at this story. notes that on his House web page, Allen's listed recreational interest is "water sports." Interesting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

NY Firefighters Debunk Giuliani's Urban Legend - Video

Lady Bird Johnson Dies at 94

Lady Bird Johnson has always been one of my favorite Texans. She always projected a refined charm yet managed to feel like just one of us. The former first lady was a tenacious crusader for conservation and single handedly brought the bluebonnet back to the roads and highways of Texas.

She died at her home in Austin. Lady Bird was 94 and was active even after a stroke in 2002. She will always be remembered here in Texas and throughout the country. I suspect she and Molly Ivins are having iced tea with Ann Richards and smiling down at the wildflowers that are so prolific this spring.

GOP Hates Our Troops

GOP hates our troops? Strong language, but it would seem to be true. Senator Jim Webb introduced a bill to assure troops as much time at home as they have been deployed to avoid burn out and to help the troops in their family life. Both should be the kinds of things you would expect people who claim they love our troops to support.

Not the GOP. They are filibustering the bill to death right now. Read Webb's statement about this travesty on here.

McCain Running Out of Money and Momentum

Apparently John McCain can burn through millions just like the Bush Administration. Spend lots and have little to show for it seems to be the standard procedure. Consider the billions spent on the Iraq war. We have a "Green Zone" that is arguably less secure than ever and an Iraqi government that fails to govern.

In McCain's case, he has burned through most of the $24 million he raised in the first half of the year and has yet to run a TV ad. No wonder he was red faced when informed of this little problem by his top aids. Now he is scrambling to reshuffle his staff and scrape up money to stay in the race.

John, you are already out of the race. Why not cut your losses and go back to being a Senator?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Senate Panel Cuts Off Cheney's Funding

The Senate Appropriations Panel has refused to fund Vice President Dick Cheney's office until he complies with the executive order regarding his handling of classified materials. Cheney as you may remember has refused to provide this information because he claims his office in not part of the executive branch.

Basically, Cheney wants to have his secret cake and eat it too. The panel is chaired by Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. I am glad to see the Democrats begin to make a few waves!

Pope Says Other Christians Not True Churches

As a Christian I have a bit of a problem with Pope Benedict telling the world that if you aren't Roman Catholic, you are not part of the true church. This is a massive (no pun intended) step back from Vatican II and another divisive move on his part. His previous move, authorizing the Latin Mass again has already pissed off the Jewish community and now Benedict seems ready to take on the reformed churches.

This kind of intolerance seems really strange from a man who was a Hitler Youth. He seems to have found enough of God's grace for himself, but has little left for anyone else. Not the kind of person I would expect to be filling the shoes of John Paul II. Luckily, I am not Roman Catholic, so the pronouncements of the Pope shouldn't matter. My problem is that his intolerance will be reflected in the actions of his flock, and that could affect everyone.

McCain Fiddles While Campaign Burns

John McCain, once positioned as an outsider with bold new ideas for the GOP has now become a Bush sycophant who is bereft of anything but agreement with the White House. Is it any wonder his campaign is burning down around him?

In the latest blow to his once dynamic campaign staff, Terry Nelson and John Weaver have now jumped ship leaving only a few long time loyalists to fill the gap. McCain apparently buckled to the Bush machine in an effort to gain favor and become the fair-haired boy of the GOP. Instead he only looks pitiful and lost. After his latest trip to Iraq, he continues with the same "stay the course" tune that he has played so often of late.

As more and more Bush folks find themselves in hot water from their lies and wrongdoings, it seems strange to cast one's lot with him. I can only figure that McCain made some sort of back-room deal with the administration and now he is finding that it will do him no good. As a presidential candidate, McCain is toast. It is too late to change his tune, Rome is already a smoldering ruin.

Turkey Prepares Invasion of Iraq?

Those familiar with the ethnic makeup of Iraq will remember that he northern part of the country is occupied by the Kurds. This ethnic group has been the most stable of the Iraqi factions yet there are problems. Kurds not only live in Iraq, but in Turkey. They make up a pretty big portion of the parts of Turkey that border Iraq, and additionally they have been pushing for independence from Turkey for some time.

The end of Saddam made the Turks nervous. They see a free and possibly autonomous Kurdish state inside the Iraqi federation as a threat. They fear a Kurdish uprising in Turkey similar to the one that took place in Iraq even before the end of Saddam’s rule.

Now Turkey is massing military might on the border of Iraq in what appears to be a precursor to an invasion. Both the US and Iraq are urging restraint, but Turkey has already said that there is a battle plan in place for the invasion.

Yet again more conflict in Iraq. This one might have happened anyway, but I suspect the new found freedoms in the Kurdish north have triggered Turkey’s concerns. Another example of “democracy on the march”? How will Bush handle this one? Maybe another surge? So many questions and no answers.

An Open Letter to Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Senator Hutchison,

A man who should stand for integrity in our government has been caught lying to Congress again. Alberto Gonzales said in testimony to Congress, "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse," on April 27, 2005. The FBI has released information that he was informed of at least a half-dozen cases of abuse of the Patriot Act including unauthorized surveillance 6 days prior to his testimony.

How many more lies are you willing to allow this man to tell the American people before you ask him to resign?

I know you will send me a form letter that eschews this issue entirely, but I feel I have to keep writing until you eventually face the reality that Alberto Gonzales and indeed the entire Bush Administration are pathological in their lying.

Please, please do your job and demand oversight. Do your job and provide the all important checks and balances enumerated in our Constitution.


Hardy Haberman

(The above letter was sent to Senator Hutchison today. I will reprint her response, though I can only assume it will be a form letter that fails to address my question.)

Alberto Gonzales Lies to Congress Again!

How many times must the Bush administration folks be caught in blatant lies before we throw them out the door? The latest act of perjury comes from our old friend Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales, the Attorney General. He testified before Congress that, “There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse.” Now we know that was a really big lie because the FBI sent him at least a half dozen reports of Patriot Act violations that they had verified.

This would all seem almost humorous except that Gonzo and the rest of the Bushies are telling lies in a pathological manner. This should scare the hell out of Americans. It should cause us to march by the millions on the Capitol and demand the resignation of the whole bunch.

Why hasn't this happened? I suspect either we are too scared or just too damned lazy. Either way, someone has to do it. If you cannot go to Washington, at least write your representatives and demand action.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rove at Aspen Ideas Festival - Hubris Redefined!

Hubris is an amazing thing. Even so, the Bush administration has managed to redefine the term and embrace it as their sole property. My case in point is an appearance by Karl Rove at the Aspen Ideas Festival. During a question and answer period his lies and bluster were so profound that the audience groaned at his responses.

Asked about the poor treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo he responded, “Our principal health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed them so well.” This stunning response drew a collective shaking of heads. As to the weapons of mass destruction that failed to turn up Rove said, “We all thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The whole world did.”

Well Mr. Rove that lie and the rest of your garbage are just not playing anymore. It’s long past time for your exit from the world stage, and I suspect in earlier times you would already be locked up as a criminal. I keep remembering the crowds who hung Mussolini from a lamp post as the Allies advanced on Rome.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I would never endorse violence, but I do have to wonder why our country has sat passively by while Bush, Cheney and Rove have sent so many of our soldiers to their deaths for spurious reasons. In the case of Mussolini, the Italians at least could point to the trains that ran on time, we can point to nothing during the dictatorship of the Bush/Cheney junta. All we have to console us is the knowledge that Richard Nixon wasn’t so bad by comparison.

Bush Invokes Executive Privlidge Again - Obviously He is Hiding Something Big

Why doesn't the press just say what is painfully evident, Bush and Cheney are in the bunker, awaiting their final days in office. Once again, Bush invokes "executive privilege" to block an aid to Karl Rove from testifying before Congress. Once again the White House shrouds itself in secrecy to avoid letting the public know how many laws they have broken and what I can only assume are criminal acts.

I will use the Bush administrations own logic here. Tony Snow said something to the effect that the warrantless wiretapping was no problem unless you were a terrorist and had something to hide. Well, Bush should have no problem letting the public know what he is doing if he is not a criminal and has nothing to hide. The same goes for Dick Cheney. Obviously these guys have lots to hide and it isn't in the interest of national security, unless you consider keeping them in office a priority.

It's long past time for these criminals to go. Demand impeachment from your Congressperson and Senators. Demand that they do their job as your representatives and defenders of the Constitution. Kick the criminals out of the White House soon, or the American people might just follow the example of our forefathers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cindy Sheehan Asks Pelosi To Impeach, Or Else?

I like Nancy Pelosi. I really do, but her statement that impeachment was off the table several months ago really didn't set right with me. It seemed timid and overly politically correct and frankly a little lame.

Apparently Cindy Sheehan feels the same way. Next week she starts a 13 day caravan from Crawford, TX to Washington, DC. Along the way she will talk a lot about impeachment and stopping the war, and when she reaches Washington if Pelosi has not decided to join other Democrats in a move to impeach Bush and Cheney, she will campaign for Pelosi's seat in the House.

I sincerely hope Harry Reid and the other Democrats listen to her and do a little soul searching of their own. They were swept into office on a wave of discontent with the status quo, and according to a recent poll over half of America would back their move for impeachment. The public knows Bush and Cheney are cheats and liars and worse, criminals. It's time Congress acted like they read the news and actually consider what the criminals in the White House have done. It's time for reckoning, and if they won't do it, then other Americans will step up and take their place and will!

Last Day Of Magic Blogging For This Year

Got back from the magic convention and got some really great ideas and saw great performers. The show last night was a revelation. All the performers were from Latin America, and every act was not only first rate, but very original. One of my favorite performers was Gustavo Raley, a young magician from Argentina. His magic was original and fast paced, but for me the highlight of his performance was something unexpected, shadow figures. He sat before a small spotlight and did hand shadow figures and entertained us for a good 10 minutes. It was original and yet one of the oldest of variety acts. That takes talent to breathe new life into that kind of act!

The MC for the evening was a mentalist named Juan Ordeix. To most folks mentalism brings to mind people like Kreskin. This man was no Kreskin, he was amazing! He acted as master of ceremonies, and only did two effects, but everyone left the theatre scratching their head. Mind you this was an audience of magicians and we were fooled!

I hope to attend the conference next year for more great fun. Now back to politics, activism and general bellyaching.