Saturday, July 28, 2007

Terrorist "Dry Run" Alert Was A Fake Report By FBI

Hummm? Wonder why there was a terrorist warning last week right in the middle of the Gonzales mess and Senate Judiciary hearings? So did I. Seemed kinda convenient and turns out it was fake. The whole story of terrorists doing "dry runs" of items that might be detected as suspicious was concocted by the FBI and put in a TSA bulletin.

One woman who was stopped carried two ice packs for her bad back. She was detained for 3 hours and questioned with lame brained stuff like, "do you know Osama Ben Laden?" In her own words she told a CNN reporter that it was a stupid question because if she did know him "would she tell them?"

Watch the video on Raw Story and then relax and go back to undressing before going through the metal detectors.

Iraq Reconstruction Projects Fail Without Iraq Government Participation

What do you do with a rebuilt power plant that is badly needed to supply energy to a war torn city? Well, if you are the US in Iraq, you hand it over to some local folks and say, “run it”. Seems the Iraq government is refusing to take charge of the reconstruction projects the US is completing, so the projects are being tossed to locals who may or may not have the expertise needed to run them.

That power plant, a $90 million project was turned over to locals who didn’t know what fuel to use and the brand new plant is now out of commission again. Nice work, eh! The al-Maliki government can’t seem to get it together and won’t accept the projects to manage. Heck, they can’t even manage to sit down together and get a few minor bills passed, much less run the infrastructure of a country.

Seems the de-baathification of Iraq was one of the most amazing blunders ever. It would be like restoring Germany after WW2 but not allowing anyone who had ever been a member of the Nazi Party to participate. Well since almost every part of German society was required to be Nazi members that would be a failure. Guess what? Same thing in Iraq, but apparently nobody bothered to watch the History channel or even crack open a book.

Very sad indeed, and costing us a fortune as well!

GOP Front Runners Shun YouTube Debate

Check out the audience next time Bush has a public appearance. It will be made up of pre-screened ideologically compatible people who won't dare ask a real question. Lately Bush has taken to appearing before only military audiences, I guess that way there is no question, he is Commander in Chief.

his should be kept in mind when wondering whether the GOP candidates will appear on a CNN YouTube debate. Fat chance, at least for the front runners! They want only the softball questions that the press will come up with, not real questions and occasional surprises from real Americans. Why does the press play along? Well imagine you are a fashion critic and you get invited to all the big shows in Paris. You job depends on being able to attend those shows, therefore you never give a scathing review of a major fashion designer. You won't get invited back!

The same is true for the press. Criticize the President too much and you will never get another chance to ask a question in a press conference. Or worse, you will loose your White House credentials. No story, no job.

The CNN YouTube debate, though a gimmick, was interesting because real questions got asked. It's hard to bob and weave when a voter is asking the questions and that is what the GOP fears. The American Public is anathema to the GOP. If the real people actually ask questions, the candidates might have to give answers and they have none. All these guys have is talking points that are issued by their think-tank. With the exception of really marginal folks like Ron Paul they are George W. Bush all over again.

So, I am not surprised the front runners won't appear on the debate, they have little to loose by staying away, and everything to gain by sticking to their script.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Philippines Prison - Doin' Time To The Oldies!

This is a real prison in Cebu, Philippines where they choreograph dance numbers for inmate exercise. Wonder what their recidivism rate is just to get back to the chorus line?

Why Not Blame The Gays?

Great video from singer Oded Gross. Funny and oh so topical.

Cheney To Have Minor Surgery Saturday - Bush Will Be President While He's Out

Dick Cheney is going into the hospital Saturday to have his batteries replaced. At least the ones on his implanted defibrillator. That means that while he is incapacitated, Bush will actually be President for a short while. Let's just pray he doesn't screw things up....more that they already are!

Gonzales - Pathological Liar?

If you watched even a little of the so-called testimony this week by the United States of America Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, you have no doubt found yourself asking the question, "does he really believe we are that stupid?" No I used his full title just so the impact of this little mans actions hit home. Remember, Gonzales is the guy who is in charge of prosecuting people who break the laws of the United States of America. His credibility should be beyond reproach.

Instead his performance was laughable at best and tragic at worst. He danced around straight answers so much that it seemed like an Abbot and Costello routine. I kept expecting him to answer, "who's on first".

What does it say about an administration when the man they pick to be the nation's lawyer can't give a straight answer to any question. What does it say about how far our country has fallen from any kind of respect in the world community when people who are such obvious liars represent us. The rest of the world sees our press and they know what goes on here, and they have figured out that we have been hijacked, we just don't know it.

Back here at home we fret over Lindsay Lohan and now Nichole Richy getting exposed as the stoned addicts they really are, but don't seem to care that the Attorney General is incapable of telling the truth. In the big picture, Nichole or Lindsay's mess won't make a bit of difference to anyone but their families and their agents. The Alberto Gonzales mess will make a difference in the lives of every American for a long time to come. How can you trust a government when its chief prosecutor seems to be a con man?

Aquafina Bottled Water - Direct From The Tap To You

For years I have been telling my friends who rave about the quality of bottled water over tap water that they are being duped. For example, we have a popular brand here in Dallas called Ozarka. If you buy the "drinking water" version, not the stuff from the spring, you get Grand Prairie Municipal Water Supply H2O. It says so on the label.

Now Aquafina, the fancy sounding water form Pepsi is going to print its mysterious source on its label as well, "Public Water Source"! Damn I am proud to live in a country where you can just turn on a tap and bottle the water and sell it back to the stupid fools that live here at premium prices!

I am reminded of a segment on Penn and Teller's Bullshit where they filled fancy bottles from a garden hose and served it in a high priced restaurant and asked diners to sample the subtle differences in the premium waters. People went on and on about the distinct flavors and even the bouquet of the tap water. Again, what a country?

One of the great benefits of living in America is that our water supply is one of the safest in the world. Tap water from Dallas or New York or even Detroit is safe to drink. Go to Mexico and drink the tap water for a few days. Then when you recover from the diarrhea get back to me on the water in America. So why do we buy water in bottles? Well we are suckers for any con man who comes along and tells us that we are special and "deserve the best". We already have it, but we just can't see it. The answer is as clear as the water from our tap.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Houston Hate Crime - Murderer Says He Was Doing God's Work

Jailhouse confessions are rarely as inflammatory as the one given by Terry Mangum, accused killer of a gay flight attendant in Houston. His killed his victim, Kenneth Cummings, Jr., he says because, "I planned on sending him to hell."

If that doesn't send shivers up your spine I don't know what will. Mangum told a reporter for the Houston Chronicle that he felt called by God to carry out the killing as retribution for the "sin" of "sexual perversion". Mangum has admitted to killing Cummings after luring him out of a bar and then stabbing him to death.

This is another example of why hate as propagated from the pulpit by fundamentalists is dangerous. Nothing fires up a person who is vulnerable to delusion like telling them God has a mission for them. Should churches have the right to preach hate? Well that's a good question. Personally I figure they can preach anything they want, but these wackos need to understand that what they say has deadly consequences. If their preaching rises to the level of death threats, there are laws to deal with that and they should be prosecuted.

There are few better cases than this for a federal Hate Crimes Bill. Clearly this murder was motivated by nothing but blind hatred, and as such it should be treated the same as a person who lynches someone because of their race or nationality.

Director of FBI Testifies Gonzales is Lying!

Now Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI is contradicting the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee! The Bushies are turning on the Buishies! If the Senate can't bring Gonzales up on perjury charges and make them stick there is something far more wrong that I could imagine.

Gonzales has lied and lied again to the Senate taking on an attitude of a sociopath who cannot stop lying to cover up other lies. He needs to quit and save everyone a lot of trouble, but now he can be charged with a crime and put into jail. Looks like his stubbornness might just land him in the clink.

Smell another Bush pardon coming down the pike? This is why Cheney and Bush need to be impeached first!

Karl Rove Gets A Subpoena

Finally somebody wants to really play hardball! Patrick Leahy has issued a subpoena for Karl Rove in the Attorney Gate scandal. It's about time! Now if the Senate Judiciary Committee follows through and appoints a special investigator into Alberto Gonzales, maybe, just maybe Bush will push him to resign rather than spill more beans about the crimes committed in the White House.

According to,

“The evidence shows that senior White House political operatives were
focused on the political impact of federal prosecutions and whether federal
prosecutors were doing enough to bring partisan voter fraud and corruption
cases,” Leahy said. “It is obvious that the reasons given for the firings of
these prosecutors were contrived as part of a cover-up and that the stonewalling
by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort.”

McCain Looses Entire Media Team - Can He Continue?

I have to turn away from the news nowadays when John McCain is on. It's like watching a slow motion ship wreck. His campaign is going down hard by the bow and yet he is standing on the deck rearranging deck chairs.

Today McCain's Media Team resigned en-mass. That is a really bad sign and another example of how his housecleaning is backfiring. A story in the Wall Street Journal say longtime media experts and ad-makers Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens emailed campaign manager Rick Davis to say that they were quitting. It just keeps getting worse for McCain and yet he can't figure out that his campaign is over.

Note to John McCain: Take some time to spend with your family, get away from Washington for a while, or just concentrate on doing your job as Senator. Whatever your excuse, walk away from this ugly disaster while you still can. Your credibility went when you aligned yourself with the White House, and now your bid for that office is going down in flames. Jump ship now while you still can.

Gonzales Lies to Senate Again! When Will Somebody Do Something?

Well Gonzales has done it again! Lied! Surprised?

Gonzales sat in front of cameras and the Senate Judiciary Committee and told them he was discussing "other intelligence activities" with bedridden Attorney General John Ashcroft when there is a memorandum from John Negroponte that tells exactly what Gonzales was discussing and it was not "other intelligence activities". He lied. That is criminal when you do it in front of a Congressional Committee. Perjury is a crime and now Gonzales needs to be prosecuted for this blatant crime.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lohan Vs Real News

I was checking Google News and found a really distressing figure. The outrageous veto threatened by Bush for the expanded Childrens Health Plan proposed by Congress has 263 related articles, but the story about Lindsay Lohan getting arrested for cocaine again has over 1200 articles! What the heck is that about?

A known drug addict and media whore, Lindsay Lohan gets more news coverage than the President denying health care for poor kids? The news media is so screwed up I can't believe it. No wonder voter turn out is so poor and no wonder we have the scumbag politicians we do in high offices, we are a nation of brain dead fools who are distracted by colorful objects and loud noises!

I hope Lindsay gets better, but come on folks!

Rev. Jim Wallis, Author of "God's Politics", Speaks in Dallas

Last night Patrick and I attended a speech by Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics and it was an evening well spent. Reverend Wallis has been writing about the hijacking of Christianity by the Religious Right for years and his words have never been more true than today. Interestingly, the lecture was held at a local Baptist Church. Who would have thought such an event would take place there in Dallas., Texas?

Turns out the minister of the church introduced Reverend Wallis! Not all Baptists are far fight fundamentalists. Some of them even believe in following the words of Jesus and working to fight poverty, hunger and other social justice issues!

Wallis talk was informative and in the end uplifting. He sees a light at the end of a very dark tunnel here in this country. He calls for a spiritual revival, one that puts social justice at the forefront and reclaims the word Christian from the hands of radical fundamentalists.

His book is a must read and I look forward to his next. If you want to get motivated to go out and do something worthwhile, read it.

Albert Ellis, Pioneer in Modern Psychology Dies at 93

Many years ago as I was going through a particularly stressful time in my life, I sought the help of a psychologist. Having read some of Freud as well as Jung in college, I decided I needed someone who took a more practical approach to counseling. I found a doctor who used what was then called RET or Rational Emotive Therapy. Today it has an extra letter and is called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Whatever you call it, it works!

The man who developed this therapy died yesterday at 93. Albert Ellis, sometimes called the Lenny Bruce of Psychotherapy, was amusing, provocative and dynamic. I heard him speak once and was fascinated at the difference in his theories and the plodding "let's go back to your childhood" techniques used by some doctors. Ellis liked people to back up their recovery with action. That was the brilliance of his techniques, they involved active effort on the part of the patient to get better.

In later life I become a member of a 12 step group, and guess what? A similar technique that has worked for millions of addicts over half a century. Ellis was a pioneer, and much of what is discussed today in psychotherapy stems from his work. What he discovered had much in common with other psychologists, but he managed to present it with a style that was easy to comprehend and techniques that work, if you work it. (Apologies to Bill W.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Leahy To Gonzales, "I Don't Trust You!" - Now What Will The Senate Do About It?

A red faced Patrick Leahy (D - VT) looked Alberto Gonzales in the eye and said, "I don't trust you." Those words sum up what most Americans have thought for some time, and now a few Republicans are even agreeing. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said before the Senate Judiciary Committee, "the constitutional authority and responsibility for congressional oversight is gone." Sad day, this.

So Gonzales continues to lie and the Senate does nothing but vent their frustration during a hearing. Why not hold the Attorney General accountable? Charge him with perjury or any of a half dozen charges that would be applicable. Come on Congress and Senate are you public servants or just a bunch of whining wimps?

Bush Writes Decree To Give Himself Absolute Power - This Is Not A Joke!

So the "Decider" has made a rather scary decision. He has revamped the National Continuity Policy which is that document that states how the government will continue to run in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Should be pretty well examined by Congress one would think.

Nope! You see back in May our glorious leader issued a Presidential Directive that makes him the complete and sole leader in the event of a catastrophic disaster. No Congress, no Judiciary, just George and his puppeteer Dick Cheney.

Should this make you affraid? Absof*#kinglutely! Bush would become not only President but dictator of the country with no recourse to question any of his decisions. That scares the crap out of me!

Today Rep. Peter DeFazio tried to see the plan in a secure location just to understand what Bush decided. His official request which should have been a formality, was denied! Not only is Bush making laws by decree, he won't let anyone see them. If there is a better recipe for Dictatorship. I don't know what it is.

This is why impeachment needs to not just be "on the table" but job number one of Congress. Call, write and go to Washington and demand that this criminal and his gang be impeached ASAP. We cannot wait for him to stage a "catastrophic disaster" and take charge of the country in one stroke of a pen.

Alberto Gonzales Continues to Lie and Stonewall

Alberto "I Don't Recall" Gonzales is back in the hot seat in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. So far today he has mumbles, fumbled and said he would "get back to the committee with information". That was a response to a question by Diane Feinstein regarding his approval of a list of fired US Attorneys. Feinstein was clearly frustrated when she responded to Gonzales lack of information when she said “you don’t know after all we’ve been through, hearing after hearing?”

It is the same script Gonzales played out before and there will be no new information coming from him. Surprisingly the Democrats were not as hard on Gonzales as ranking Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who repeatedly assailed the attorney general for refusing to answer questions about morale at the Justice Department.

Specter pretty much summed it up with his exasperated comment, "I'm not making any progress here."

From my viewpoint I can see only one solution. Fire him and impeach the whole White House staff. Their criminal behavior has gone far beyond anything that should be tolerated.

Monday, July 23, 2007

David Hardt Wins Young Democrats of America Election!

The Young Democrats of America have elected the first openly gay president of their organization! Great news made greater by the fact that it's Dallas' own David Hardt. Even better news was the margin of his victory, 93%!

I met David recently at a Stonwall Democrats meeting and he is going to be a great president for the YDA's. Congratulations to David and the Young Democratsof America.

Doctors Remove 5 Growths from Bush's Colon - Cheney Not One of Them!

Well big news is Doctors removed 5 polyps from Bush's colon. Not so big news, Dick Cheney thinks the VP job is "cruddy". Is there a relation between these two events? OK, I won't press make the scatological metaphor.

Cheney is for all practical purposes the President. Bush makes no move without consulting him, therefore he is a puppet. As such he merely parrots whatever Cheney says. Now in a biography that has been leaked, Cheney calls his job cruddy. I have to agree, except I would say he's done a cruddy job. His lies and secrecy have turned the Executive Branch of the government into the department of smoke and mirrors. Nothing, absolutely nothing that comes from either his mouth or Bush's can be trusted to bear any resemblance to truth.

Now they are trying to sneak in a new measure that will effectively allow the government to stifle free speech. His order is allegedly designed to prevent anyone from "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq” as the order is titled. Beware of these high minded sounding titles, they are always red herrings! Always! Remember the "Clean Skies Initiative"?

Here is the troubling passage for me from this executive order:

"B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people; "

This could be loosely interpreted as doing anything that goes against the Administration policy and knowing these guys, could involve criticism of their policies as well. How many times have you heard the President or Cheney say, "critiquing our policy undermines our troops" or something to that effect. They have been setting the stage for this one for months. Get ready, because the bill provides for freezing assets and more.

Now Bush and Cheney are consolidating their power far beyond political appointments, this one may target anyone who disagrees with them. Dictator? Hummm, you decide.

Now It's Tainted Dog Food - From Same Folks Who Made The Contaminated Chili

That recall of canned food now is affecting dog food! Seems that the same company and plant that makes the Hot Dog Chili Sauce and Corned Beef Hash, etc, also makes dog food! I will resist the comment about that canned chili already tasting like dog food...(Ooops!)

The recall now affects over 90 brands of canned meat! Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease that can develop in poorly pasteurized or improperly canned food. Until recently it has been eradicated from our food supply. Now after 40 years of safe food, we have this massive recall and 4 people being treated for the contamination caused disease.

Now the company says the machine malfunction that may have caused the contamination apparently wen on far longer that first announced. Just so you will be warned the following brands are affected"

Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry’s, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time.

The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food. This is the most disturbing part of the story. Dog Food made at the chili plant?

Again I ask the question, how much has the lax regulation of the Bush Administration-hobbled FDA got to do with this? First China and now Georgia. If it comes from a can, be careful!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Airport Blogging or What to do When Southwest Airlines Delays Your Flight

So I am stuck in the Austin, Texas airport for a couple of more hours while Southwest Airlines tries to sort out the cluster f*#k that a single thunderstorm caused in Dallas. So much for having a nice dinner with my partner tonight.

The only good thing to come from it is the chance to start the new Harry Potter book...if you call being already 150 pages into it starting? Good stuff. I wish I could write as delightfully as Ms Rowling. Her style is quick and exciting and just plain fun.

Meanwhile as far as writing, I am working on my next book and I hope to have it ready to read in a couple of months. I'll post more about it when that time approaches.

Goodbye Tammy Faye Messner

To some she was a characture of excess makeup and clothes, to others she wasa weeping minister's wife on the TV. To me Tammy Faye Messner was one of the best examples of redemption I have ever seen.

Formerly married to Televangelist Jim Bakker, whose TV ministry and theme park empire collapsed in a wave of scandals, Tammy resurrected her career as a television personality. She briefly had a talk show with Jim Bullock and strangely became an icon for the gay community.

She went from shilling religion for her first husband and his PTL empire, to becoming a genuine inspiration for millions of people in her fight against colon cancer. She was perhaps one of the kindest personalities to ever come from the Televangelism sector.

Her interview last week on Larry King shocked many people because of her obviously deteriorated physical condition, yet she exhibited the good cheer and optimism that was her trademark.

Rest in peace Tammy Faye.