Monday, August 31, 2009

Who do you believe?

Only one man can be correct here:

I think the interrogations were in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the convention against torture that we ratified under President Reagan.

-Sen. John McCain


Former VPOTUS Dick Cheney in an interview on Fox:

WALLACE: So even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you're OK with it?


And just in case you're having a hard time grasping the significance of what he just admitted to, Andrew breaks it down for you:

The former vice-president of the United States is here backing torture techniques that even his own hack lawyers believed were illegal. He is basically saying that the law had no salience or relevance in his program of torturing prisoners. He is attacking the rule of law in its entirety. Let that sink in: we had a vice-president who had contempt for the rule of law.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Eulogy

Standout passage:

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know what God's plan is for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and with love, and with joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

-President Barack H. Obama


Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Song for Saturday

If you've ever seen this movie then this song is unforgettable for you. I don't know if its the music itself or the story thats being told while its playing, but every time I hear it, I'm moved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Where is the Right on Torture?

Andrew makes a great point:

It is not the amoral discussion of torture that appalls me; it's the amoral discussion proffered without any moral discussion ever being offered.

And to go straight to the amoral argument without dealing with the fact that the government secretly and illegally, walled, froze, beat, contorted, stripped, shaved, near-drowned, near-suffocated, and denied sleep for hundreds of hours to unknown numbers of prisoners and murdered 100 of them that we know of - this befuddles me. It was illegal; it was unethical by any standard of ethics; it was immoral and indecent; it required a conscious subversion of democratic norms to accomplish; and it is a terrifying precedent in a country allegedly founded on the rule of law. I do not understand how a libertarian cannot stand up against this and be counted - for once and for all on the grounds that is remains the greatest violation of individual liberty and dignity and due process in recent times in America.

Where are the "values voters" on this? Where is the religious right? Where are the civil libertarians? Where are the advocates for the rule of law that demanded the head of a President caught lying under oath about his sexual exploits? Was it ever about the rule of law? Is it all politics all the time?

If even one of the things on this list was done to an American by another government, can you imagine the response you'd get from them then?

What were you doing at 17 years old?

This guy sailed around the globe alone. He's the youngest to ever do it:

Mike Perham suffered knockdowns and damage to his yacht during the 24,000-mile (38,700-km) trip and the teenager from Hertfordshire, southern England, said he was now looking forward to a "good meal and a very good night's sleep."

Fewer than 250 people have sailed solo around the globe, but his record is already in jeopardy if a 13-year-old Dutch girl persuades a court to allow her to set sail.

Perham, who started sailing aged seven, was the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, aged 14, in 2007.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For My Favorite Reader

Whoever-You-Are, I would suggest never citing this woman ever again. Here she is getting destroyed by Jon for fifteen excruciating, but quite amusing minutes:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

R.I.P Teddy

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
— Ted Kennedy, addressing the Democratic National Convention in New York City on Aug. 12, 1980, just months after his own bid for the presidency ended in failure.

Lets pray he was right...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote for the day

If this program passes, one of these years we will tell our children and our children's children what it was like in American when men were free.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism, or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it.

-Ronald Regan, talking about the end that Medicare would bring to America during his run for Governor.

Sounds like something off of Hannity's show doesn't it? This was the early 60s people...

What's changed? The opponents to health reform have quite literally cut and pasted 45 year old arguments and are presenting them as new by replacing "Medicare" with "Obamacare".

Its just for decoration, man. Just for decoration...

Oh Bub Rub and Lil Sis. How I've missed you....

Whoo Whoo!!!

Picture of the Week

(People wait to receive free medical treatment during the Remote Area Medical health clinic in Inglewood, California. The non-profit has been providing free healthcare services to remote areas of the U.S. since 1985.)

Is the truth relative?

Have you stopped to ask your self: Why do people believe crazy, outlandish theories? In an interesting article in Newsweek, Sharon Begley takes on the mental state of the "Bush knew about 9/11, Obama was born in Kenya, Death Panel/Book" crowd.

The heart of the piece:

For an explanation of this behavior, look no further than the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance. This theory holds that when people are presented with information that contradicts preexisting beliefs, they try to relieve the cognitive tension one way or another. They process and respond to information defensively, for instance: their belief challenged by fact, they ignore the latter. They also accept and seek out confirming information but ignore, discredit the source of, or argue against contrary information, studies have shown.

Which brings us back to health-care reform—in particular, the apoplexy at town-hall meetings and the effectiveness of the lies being spread about health-care reform proposals. First of all, let's remember that 59,934,814 voters cast their ballot for John McCain, so we can assume that tens of millions of Americans believe the wrong guy is in the White House. To justify that belief, they need to find evidence that he's leading the country astray. What better evidence of that than to seize on the misinformation about Obama's health-care reform ideas and believe that he wants to insure illegal aliens, for example, and give the Feds electronic access to doctors' bank accounts?

I have found this as a major frustration in my debates with friends and readers. If you come to an debate unwilling to concede that your opponent has good, reasoned, and well though out points that you may need to incorporate into your thinking, then you won't learn very much and you'll just frustrate each other.

It is my hope that anyone I converse with on subjects of wildly differing opinion will feel like I considered their point of view fairly and without prejudice. And I hope the same courtesy will be returned back to me.

We'll all be better for it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What exactly is the Republican party right now?

When your chairman is out promoting demonstrable nonsense like this, you're in big, big trouble as a serious political party:

And if you want an example of bad public policy, just look at the situation with our veterans, when you have a manual out there telling our veterans stuff like, 'are you really of value to your community,' you know, encouraging them to commit suicide. I mean, this is crazy coming from the government, and this is exactly what concerns people and puts them in fear of what the government control of health care will look like.

I get loyal opposition.

This is something else altogether...

The Big Kahuna

You can read the whole thing (although still heavily redacted.) here.

You should. This stuff was done in your name. We're all responsible for it in a way.

The report reads like something out of the Inquisition.

A revealing quote found within:

"One officer expressed concern that one day, Agency officers will wind up on some 'wanted list' to appear before the World Court for war crimes stemming from activities [redacted],"

He was right about that.

We conducted mock executions, we threatened to kill peoples children and rape their wives in front of them. All of which is expressly forbidden by federal law. No reasonable person can dispute that.

This happened. In America, this happened. Let that sink in for a bit....

Once you see whats in there and you see how much is still redacted, you wonder "if this is what they're willing to let out, what in the world could they be hiding?".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Glorious, Inglorious Bastards!

Just got back from Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino's latest classic.

The guy is the master. He's a big music fan, so, I love his use of music in film. The movie also stars my favorite actor, Brad Pitt. He plays this Sgt. Slaughter lookin' guy from Tennessee who's in the Nazi killin' business and, as his character says, "business is a-boomin'". It can be best described as a Nazi Revenge Fantasy Film. And, boy, is it wild. You'll be on the edge of your seat for most of it, because you know its about to go down, but you never know when.

Well worth the price of admission.

So much so, I'm going to pay to see it again. A personal honor I bestow on very few films.

Peep it.

Torture Nation

The Big Kahuna of CIA reports is due out Monday after having its release delayed four times. This is supposedly the report that, once filed, put a halt to the Bush torture program. People who have read it report that it will turn stomachs. Much will probably be redacted, but here is a sample of what you can expect to find:

...the report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. According to the sources, who like others quoted in this article asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, Nashiri's interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him. "The purpose was to scare him into giving [information] up," said one of the sources. A federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with "imminent death."

Emphasis mine.

Again, the question isn't IF we broke the law, the question is how far up did it go.

Imagine if you read this had been done to our girls just freed from N. Korea. How would you feel about it then? Is this any different?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Song for Saturday

I love this band. They make me wish I had, at 13 years old, gotten together with my 2 best musically inclined friends and made sweet music together.

Friday, August 21, 2009


From the looks of it, this movie will be a watershed moment in the history of cinema.

Truly stunning stuff.

You heard it here first...

What ever happened to "majority rules"?

Matt takes a stab at what this might mean:

It seems, though, that the GOP has decided that if they use filibusters to obstruct congressional action that the press will keep reporting this in a "congress fails to do X" kind of way rather than a "GOP obstructionism" kind of way, which makes filibusters a win-win for Republicans. Be that as it may, the filibuster is a bad idea and should be done away with. Given how hard the Democratic caucus whined about the "nuclear option" just a couple of years ago, they couldn't do it without being called hypocrites, but that's just further evidence of what a bad idea the "Gang of 14" deal was.

It seems clear to me that this current minority doesn't like being a minority very much. While this is a perfectly legal way to go about doing things, the unprecedented way its being trotted out is troubling. Remember in School-house Rock how they sang about how a bill becomes a law? Well, that's no longer true. The majority doesn't get to rule. Now you need a Super-majority to rule. I heard a smart person liken it to playing basket ball on a 12-foot hoop. You make scoring 20% more difficult. Same thing is happening in the US Senate right now. They're playing on a 12 foot hoop because the minority wants to...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Love Art...

...In all of is varied and amazing forms. Enjoy! This is eight and 1/2 minutes well spent:

(There's a gem for the Metallica fans @ about the 6:30 mark. If you have to ask, its not for you.)

(Hat Tip: Kevin W.)

I Can't Imagine How Enraged I'd Be...

Imagine if you've made all your mortgage payments on time and you come home one day and the bank has auctioned your house anyway!!!!

Brett, you're dead to me now.

I'm so disappointed, I can't find the words. This sums up my feelings as well as you can.


I hope he's happy, because we Packer fans lose regardless of how his time in purple turns out...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Follow Me

Been a while since I posted this plea:

If you're a regular reader of the blog, please sign up in the upper right hand corner so I can know who my readers are. I like to cater to my audience, so, please sign in, come often and comment when you feel moved to do so...


Fail, Fail, Fail!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chart of the Day

This chart was created based on Politifact's scoring of claims made on both sides of the debate. Admittedly not scientific, but telling none-the-less...

Happy Monday

How Will America End?

Choose your own apocalypse.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Even they don't believe what they're saying...

Not one word of it.

A Song for Saturday

Rock/Rap fusion. Love it. Lupe a great talent, learn about him.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lyrics I Love

Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My oh my heh, hey

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

-Des'ree. You gotta be.

Oh, Glenn

I couldn't decide which of these two made the point better, so I'm posting both.

Keep in mind, this guy has a huge viewer-ship and has convinced thousands of Obama's desire to kill them. They go to town-halls and cite his program like its scripture.

In that context, enjoy:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck's Operation
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Glenn-Harried Glenn-Lost
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cost of Ignorance

The "death panel" provision was dropped from the senate's version of the bill.

The provision said: if a senior wants consultation on end-of-life planing, that it would be covered by the plan. It was a good idea. A Republican came up with it. No one was going to force anyone to do anything.

Now, if this stands the way it is, they'll have to pay if they want the consult. That is the fruit of ignorance and fear mongering. It just hurts people.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thank God for Jon

Sometimes the best cure for this stuff is laughter:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Lets debate facts, please.

Get the facts here.

There is a lot of misinformation out there in regards to the health care debate in DC. I've said this before, there are plenty of things to legitimately debate. But what we can't do is spend our time debating blatant falsehoods and misrepresentations. That helps no one, well, no one except those who look to profit from maintaining the status quo. Lets make sure all our debates are facts based, shall we?

I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

How about you?

230 Miles Per Gallon!?!?

(GM CEO Fritz Henderson at company's Tech Center in Warren, Mich.)

Where do I sign?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

District 9

I haven't been excited to see too many films this year. That all changed when I read this article. A taste:

This week’s Entertainment Weekly names District 9, a sci-fi thriller with no big stars and a small budget, the must-see movie of the summer. While those who missed last month’s Comic-Con probably have yet to hear of it, by next week it may be all moviegoers are talking about.

Made for only $30 million by a 29-year-old South African-born director, Neill Blomkamp, the action-packed movie is tinged with a surprising moral intelligence — it’s also an allegory about apartheid — and may become the most unlikely sci-fi blockbuster of the season. Says District 9’s single A-list name, producer Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings), “In an industry that’s looking to make movies out of every obscure TV show, District 9 is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Do as I say, not as I say.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

-Sarah Palin. August, 7th.

There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us.

-Sarah Palin. August 9th.

Rather drastic change in tone, no?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thank God for Rachel II

The first 8:20 are must-see-TV.

We need more smart people on the TV-machine...

Thank God for Rachel

A Song for Saturday

This video makes me think two things:

1) 80s music is REALLY popular in Europe.

2)The thunderstorm bit in the beginning challenges me to always think about what is possible when you apply your imagination.

You'll really enjoy this if you've been in a choir.

(Hat Tip: Lori S.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ad of the Day

Now THATS relaxing...

Lyrics I Love

Their anger hurts my ears
Been running strong for seven years
Rather than fix the problems, they never solve them
It makes no sense at all
I see them every day
We get along so why can't they?
If this is what he wants and this is what
she wants
Then why is there so much pain?

-Blink-182. Stay together for the kids.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hooray for Diplomacy!!!

I happened to walk into the break-room at work today at this exact moment that doors were opening on the plane, and I got chills. I am so happy for the girls and their families. I can't imagine how great it must feel to see that your country sent a former president to pick you up when you got in a jam.

This is a great moment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Why Must I Cry

This segment is very funny. I love how the guy seems to have no clue he's the subject of the joke. The song is so terrible, its hard to believe anyone could hear it and think "yup. thats a winner.", but he does.


Warning: You will sing this crappy tune at some point. it happened to me, it can happen to you....

Tosh.0Thurs, 10pm / 9c
Web Redemption - Why Must I Cry?
Daniel ToshMiss Teen South CarolinaDemi Moore Picture

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'll Huff And I'll Puff...

I gotta get one of these...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Song for Saturday

OK. I was totally bored by this song until I saw him do it live on SNL ( I tried to find the video but its nowhere! If anyone can send it to me you'll win a prize). To me, it comes across as phony until you actually see him play it, then it clicks. Now its one of my faves.

Go figure.