March 22, 2010

GOP Blundered Big Time on Health Care Reform Bill

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:20 am


March 21, 2010

Today’s nuclear wars

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:48 pm

This is a rehash of an article I did last October. I updated and reposted it on my site because I think it is an issue that should keep getting publicity, yet is seldom, if ever, mentioned in the mainstream media. The use of DU should be reason enough for everyone to want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 1945, the first nuclear weapons were unleashed on civilians. In 1991 the first nuclear war was fought in Iraq. The second was fought in Serbia in 1999. The third and fourth are still being waged in Afghanistan and Iraq, thanks to our tax dollars, the callousness of the U.S. government and complacency in our media.

You will not like what you see in these photos, but get used to it. People in Afghanistan and Iraq will be seeing things like this for the next 4.5 billion years, because that is the half-life of depleted uranium (DU).

While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, that there is no hazard posed by DU, US troops in Iraq have reportedly been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used. They are instructed to wear masks if they have to approach destroyed Iraqi tanks, exploded bunkers, etc.

DU is the Trojan Horse of nuclear war – it keeps giving and keeps killing. There is no way to clean it up, and no way to turn it off because it continues to decay into other radioactive isotopes in over 20 steps. While the U.S. and British governments claim that DU is a conventional weapon, the truth is that it meets the definition of a weapon of mass destruction in two out of three categories under the U.S. Federal Code, Title 50 Chapter 40 Section 2302.

Most Americans know little or nothing about DU and its devastating effect on human life. It’s about time you do. The use of DU munitions is yet another reason to end these wars that are destroying not only lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and the ranks of our military, but also the credibility of our nation in the eyes of the world community.

Read more here:

John Ensign as ‘Tricky Dick’ in Watergate Two


“Buried under the pile of details that have emerged in the last 48 hours on the John Ensign investigation is one crucial over-arching development: The federal probe into the matter appears to have expanded, and shifted its focus in a way that … could make it an even graver threat to the Nevada senator than before.”
– Zachary Roth, “John Ensign Page,” TPM Muckraker, March 2010.

“A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to a Republican campaign committee and companies in Nevada in a probe of Sen. John Ensign, who has been under scrutiny for his efforts to find lobbying work for the husband of his former mistress.”
– Pete Yost and Ken Ritter, “Federal Grand Jury Subpoenas GOP Senatorial Committee, Companies in Sen. Ensign Probe,” AP, March 18, 2010.

March 20, 2010

Addicted to Nonsense

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 11:56 pm

I normally post my writing on the blog. I am going to make an exception here because I think this is well-worth reading. It was written by Chris Hedges, who spent years overseas as a “real” journalist. I think it’s well-worth your time to read:

Addicted to Nonsense
By Chris Hedges

Will Tiger Woods finally talk to the police? Who will replace Oprah? (Not that Oprah can ever be replaced, of course.) And will Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who crashed President Barack Obama’s first state dinner, command the hundreds of thousands of dollars they want for an exclusive television interview? Can Levi Johnston, father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s grandson, get his wish to be a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars”?

The chatter that passes for news, the gossip that is peddled by the windbags on the airwaves, the noise that drowns out rational discourse, and the timidity and cowardice of what is left of the newspaper industry reflect our flight into collective insanity. We stand on the cusp of one of the most seismic and disturbing dislocations in human history, one that is radically reconfiguring our economy as it is the environment, and our obsessions revolve around the trivial and the absurd.

What really matters in our lives—the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steady deterioration of the dollar, the mounting foreclosures, the climbing unemployment, the melting of the polar ice caps and the awful reality that once the billions in stimulus money run out next year we will be bereft and broke—doesn’t fit into the cheerful happy talk that we mainline into our brains. We are enraptured by the revels of a dying civilization. Once reality shatters the airy edifice, we will scream and yell like petulant children to be rescued, saved and restored to comfort and complacency. There will be no shortage of demagogues, including buffoons like Sarah Palin, who will oblige. We will either wake up to face our stark new limitations, to retreat from imperial projects and discover a new simplicity, as well as a new humility, or we will stumble blindly toward catastrophe and neofeudalism.

Celebrity worship has banished the real from public discourse. And the adulation of celebrity is pervasive. The frenzy around political messiahs, or the devotion of millions of viewers to Oprah, is all part of the yearning to see ourselves in those we worship. We seek to be like them. We seek to make them like us. If Jesus and “The Purpose Driven Life” won’t make us a celebrity, then Tony Robbins or positive psychologists or reality television will. We are waiting for our cue to walk onstage and be admired and envied, to become known and celebrated. Nothing else in life counts.

We yearn to stand before the camera, to be noticed and admired. We build pages on social networking sites devoted to presenting our image to the world. We seek to control how others think of us. We define our worth solely by our visibility. We live in a world where not to be seen, in some sense, is to not exist. We pay lifestyle advisers to help us look and feel like celebrities, to build around us the set for the movie of our own life. Martha Stewart constructed her financial empire, when she wasn’t engaged in insider trading, telling women how to create a set design for the perfect home. The realities within the home, the actual family relationships, are never addressed. Appearances make everything whole. Plastic surgeons, fitness gurus, diet doctors, therapists, life coaches, interior designers and fashion consultants all, in essence, promise to make us happy, to make us celebrities. And happiness comes, we are assured, with how we look, with the acquisition of wealth and power, or at least the appearance of it. Glossy magazines like Town & Country cater to the absurd pretensions of the very rich to be celebrities. They are photographed in expensive designer clothing inside the lavishly decorated set pieces that are their homes. The route to happiness is bound up in how skillfully we present ourselves to the world. We not only have to conform to the dictates of this manufactured vision, but we also have to project an unrelenting optimism and happiness. Hedonism and wealth are openly worshiped on Wall Street as well as on shows such as “The Hills,” “Gossip Girl,” “Sex and the City,” “My Super Sweet 16” and “The Real Housewives of (whatever bourgeois burg happens to be in vogue).”

The American oligarchy—1 percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined—are the characters we most envy and watch on television. They live and play in multimillion-dollar mansions. They marry models or professional athletes. They are chauffeured in stretch limos. They rush from fashion shows to movie premieres to fabulous resorts. They have surgically enhanced, perfect bodies and are draped in designer clothes that cost more than some people make in a year. This glittering life is held before us like a beacon. This life, we are told, is the most desirable, the most gratifying. And this is the life we want. Greed is good, we believe, because one day through our acquisitions we will become the elite. So let the rest of the bastards suffer.

The working class, comprising tens of millions of struggling Americans, are locked out of television’s gated community. They are mocked, even as they are tantalized, by the lives of excess they watch on the screen in their living rooms. Almost none of us will ever attain these lives of wealth and power. Yet we are told that if we want it badly enough, if we believe sufficiently in ourselves, we too can have everything. We are left, when we cannot adopt these impossible lifestyles as our own, with feelings of inferiority and worthlessness. We have failed where others have succeeded.

We consume these countless lies daily. We believe the false promises that if we spend more money, if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies, professional wrestling and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives. Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possessing unique if unacknowledged gifts. Faith in ourselves, in a world of make-believe, is more important than reality. Reality, in fact, is dismissed and shunned as an impediment to success, a form of negativity. The New Age mysticism and pop psychology of television personalities and evangelical pastors, along with the array of self-help best-sellers penned by motivational speakers, psychiatrists and business tycoons, peddle this fantasy. Reality is condemned in these popular belief systems as the work of Satan, as defeatist, as negativity or as inhibiting our inner essence and power. Those who question, those who doubt, those who are critical, those who are able to confront reality, along with those who grasp the hollowness and danger of celebrity culture, are condemned for their pessimism or intellectualism.

The illusionists who shape our culture, and who profit from our incredulity, hold up the gilded cult of Us. Popular expressions of religious belief, personal empowerment, corporatism, political participation and self-definition argue that all of us are special, entitled and unique. All of us, by tapping into our inner reserves of personal will and undiscovered talent, by visualizing what we want, can achieve, and deserve to achieve, happiness, fame and success. This relentless message cuts across ideological lines. This mantra has seeped into every aspect of our lives. We are all entitled to everything. And because of this self-absorption, and deep self-delusion, we have become a country of child-like adults who speak and think in the inane gibberish of popular culture.

Celebrities who come from humble backgrounds are held up as proof that anyone can be adored by the world. These celebrities, like saints, are examples that the impossible is always possible. Our fantasies of belonging, of fame, of success and of fulfillment are projected onto celebrities. These fantasies are stoked by the legions of those who amplify the culture of illusion, who persuade us that the shadows are real. The juxtaposition of the impossible illusions inspired by celebrity culture and our “insignificant” individual achievements, however, is leading to an explosive frustration, anger, insecurity and invalidation. It is fostering a self-perpetuating cycle that drives the frustrated, alienated individual with even greater desperation and hunger away from reality, back toward the empty promises of those who seduce us, who tell us what we want to hear. The worse things get, the more we beg for fantasy. We ingest these lies until our faith and our money run out. And when we fall into despair we medicate ourselves, as if the happiness we have failed to find in the hollow game is our deficiency. And, of course, we are told it is.

I spent two years traveling the country to write a book on the Christian right called “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” I visited former manufacturing towns where for many the end of the world is no longer an abstraction. Many have lost hope. Fear and instability have plunged the working class into profound personal and economic despair, and, not surprisingly, into the arms of demagogues and charlatans of the radical Christian right who offer a belief in magic, miracles and the fiction of a utopian Christian nation. Unless we rapidly re-enfranchise these dispossessed workers, insert them back into the economy, unless we give them hope, these demagogues will rise up to take power. Time is running out. The poor can dine out only so long on illusions. Once they grasp that they have been betrayed, once they match the bleak reality of their future with the fantasies they are fed, once their homes are foreclosed and they realize that the jobs they lost are never coming back, they will react with a fury and vengeance that will snuff out the remains of our anemic democracy and usher in a new dark age.

By Chris Hedges, who is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and who writes a weekly column for Truthdig that appears on Mondays. He is the author of “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”


Teabag Rally

Filed under: Uncategorized — Peregrin @ 8:26 pm


Saw this on Facebook. The owner said:

Think the Tea Party isn’t racist? Protesters at today’s last-ditch anti health car reform rally spat on Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver and shouted “Nigger” at civil rights hero John Lewis. Oh, and check out the sign. How sick is that? Is this really the American anyone wants? These people are a fucking disgrace to humanity.

Okay, so this is where it came from.

Life with Mr. Corporation




March 19, 2010

Sean Hannity punked out by a right-wing blogger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 9:13 pm
Conservative pundits like FOX New’s Sean Hannity can expect to take some flack from writers on the left. But when a “fellow” conservative writer calls his charity “a huge scam,” it may be time to take a closer look.
Sean Hannity has been traveling the country on his so-called “freedom concert” tour for years. These shows are promoted as benefit concerts by an organization known as Freedom Alliance to raise money to send the children of servicemen who died in Iraq to college. The organization proudly touts convicted con artist, Oliver North, as one of its co-founders.
According to conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel, less than 4 to 7 percent of the money donated to Hannity’s Freedom Alliance “charity” in the past two years actually went to the causes for which donations were solicited.
Hannity’s Freedom Alliance is supposedly “raising money to pay for the college tuition of the children of fallen soldiers and to pay severely wounded war vets.” According to recent reports, the truth is that millions of the money donated was spent to “ferret the Hannity posse of family and friends [about the country] in high style.”
In other words, Sean Hannity is using the wounded American heroes he claims to champion as tools to enrich himself and surround himself in luxury. Most of the money goes to pay for luxury jets and fleets of limousines for Hannity and his entourage, as well as other administrative costs that far exceed the usual ratio of costs to charitable outlays for legitimate charities.
Regardless of whether or not Schlussel’s assessment of Hannity’s charity is correct, it is always advisable to take a close look at any organization soliciting for donations before making a contribution. You have a right to know whether your money is spent helping the cause you donated to, or lining the pockets of millionaire punks like Sean Hannity.

Glenn Beck’s March Madness (so far)

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:23 am


March 18, 2010

Ye Olde Scribe Presents Another Edition of Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Filed under: Commentary — Ye Olde Scribe @ 6:30 pm

“Thanks to ‘Not So Dirty Harry’ in St. Augustine.”

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don’t Disguise Your Voice!
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.


America’s Missing National War Museum

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:19 pm

[If you are going to visit the White House in the next few days, would you please print out a copy of this column and put it into the White House suggestion box, while your are there? Thanks!]

An Australian pointed out to this columnist, that the first thing an American will do after visiting a tourist attraction in their country is to strongly assert that, back home, Americans have done the same thing bigger and better.

If President Obama when he visits Canberra to address the Australian Parliament next week, takes the opportunity to visit the Australian National War Museum, there will be absolutely no danger that President Obama will tell his hosts that the United States has done it better because there ain’t no National War Museum in the USA. There are, to be sure, a great number of specialized museums in the states. There’s a museum of desert warfare in Southern California, the 3rd Cavalry Museum is in El Paso, TX, a Museum is at West Point, and the D-Day Museum is in New Orleans.

To the best of this columnist’s fact checking ability to determine, the United States does not have one central museum that honors all the combatants who have fought in all the wars waged by the U. S. A. If Australia can do that, why can the USA?

Due to bad timing, President Obama will not be in Canberra at the same time that the Aussie hot rodders hold their annual Summer Nats event. This year’s installment was held in early January, when it was summer in that hemisphere. [That, in turn, reminds us that we have recently learned (while Reading James Michener’s “Return to Paradise”) that a broken beer bottle is called “an Australian boxing glove.”]

The Hog’s Breath Cafe in Canberra boasts that they serve the best steak in Australia and maybe President Obama can take the time to put that claim to a taste test.

The last time this columnist heard the song “Santa Monica Boulevard,” we were in Canberra and as we listened to the tune, it made us wonder how many Aussies know that the road being honored used to be called “Oregon St.”?

One of the advantages of being a blogger is that the writer can tell the President of the United States, how he (the blogger) would do things differently. The White House does have a suggestion box, doesn’t it?

The Republicans, according to some recent scuttlebutt on the Internets, will use the period between the day after this year’s midterm elections and election day in 2012 to set the agenda and put the incumbent, President Obama, on the defensive. Since they intend to use a racist tactic, which will leave the President with a task that will be impossible. If the Republicans say that the President is incompetent because he is the first African-American President, any attempts to refute that will have to assert that he is incompetent for some other reason or that he isn’t an African-American. It seems that either response will be inadequate for winning re-election.

If President Obama wants to seize the initiative, set the agenda, and put the Republicans on the defensive; he could visit Australia’s National War Museum and then immediately suggest that it is time for the United States to honor its history by establishing a similar site in the United States.

If he moves fast, that would leave the Republicans in a bind. If the Republicans want to continue their sit-down strike in the legislative branch of America’s government, then they would have to vote against the suggestion of an American National War Museum or at least not vote for it. If they did that their ownership of the “Support the Troops” issue would start to evaporate quickly. If, on the other hand, they quickly followed President Obama’s lead and voted for a National War Museum for the USA, then it would look like the commitment to wage their sit-down strike was crumbling. It would look like President Obama was leading them around like puppies on leashes and they wouldn’t like that, either.

President Obama could go into Republican congressional districts and appeal to the local voters to replace any Republican who didn’t quickly and strongly support an Obama program to erect a National War Museum.

Australia’s National War Museum is open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas) and is considered by some to be Australia’s best tourist attraction. (Like the guy said in “Catch Me if You Can,” this columnist concurs.)

The Australian National War Museum, which is noted for the quality of its scholarly research department, informs visitors that the American success at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway was due to the fact that the Americans had broken the Japanese code and knew what radio orders were being given. American history books say those battles were won by American officers who made shrewd guesses about what to do in the midst of the evolving situation. Whatever. The U. S. won, and that’s the bottom line.

Australian entertainer Little Patty was given a military medal. Did any USO performers get a similar honor? (Do a Google search with her name and add: “Battle Long Tan.”)

Obviously, President Obama will not visit the secret American military base just West of Alice Springs. They don’t want or need the publicity a Presidential visit would precipitate.

It seems unlikely that President Obama will take the suggestion for a National War Museum for the United States. If he becomes a one term President, don’t say we didn’t offer any suggestions to prevent it.

For this column’s closing quote we’ll turn to the Narrator, in Mad Max 2 (an Australian film), who says: “For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Please Mr. Please,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap.” We have to go see if The Enemy Belligerant Interogation Detention, and Proscecution Act of 2010 (S3081) will bring Gleichschaltung. Have a Big Brother Approved type week.

2010 Astroturf Teabaggers Just 2000 Brooks Brothers Rioters Redux


Rachel Maddow video: Reviewing the History of Fake Conservative Protests

“Bush’s Conspiracy to Riot”
– Robert Parry, Consortium News, Aug. 5, 2002, updated Aug. 5, 2009.

“Brooks Brothers Riot”
– Wikipedia

March 17, 2010

The latest 9/11 document drop, thanks to the ACLU

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 9:22 pm

I know that “bart” is not into the topic of 9/11, but I continue to do research on the subject. I feel it is important because the attacks on 9/11 were the catalyst that enabled corporatist fascists in the U.S. to further their agenda. I may be naive, but I still think that if the lies their policies were based on are exposed, the American people may wake up and stand up against the corporations that own their government and are taking over the country. Exposing the lies about 9/11 may be the key to stopping the U.S. from becoming a corporate fascist state…Of course I could be wrong.

ACLU obtains document stating 9/11 commission told to “not cross the line”

According to a document obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Tuesday March 16, the 9/11 commission was warned on Jan. 6th, 2004 by high-level administration officials to “not cross the line” in the investigation of the events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

The high-level administration officials included Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet. The ACLU described it as a fax sent by David Addington, then-counsel to former vice president Dick Cheney.

The warning in the memo released by the government to the ACLU is just one example of how the Bush administration fiercely struggled to prevent the 9/11 Commission from conducting a deeper probe into the attacks. It is common knowledge that Bush and Cheney refused to cooperate with the investigation and when forced to do so, only testified together, not under oath.

What may not be known to many Americans is that members of the 9/11 Commission have publicly stated that the investigation was a whitewash, and stymied from the beginning.

John Farmer, the senoir counsel to the 9/11 Comission, said that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11, echoing the assertions of fellow 9/11 Commission members who concluded that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.

Senator Max Cleland, who resigned from the 9/11 Commission after calling it a “national scandal”, stated in a 2003 PBS interview:

I’m saying that’s deliberate. I am saying that the delay in relating this information to the American public out of a hearing… series of hearings, that several members of Congress knew eight or ten months ago, including Bob Graham and others, that was deliberately slow walked… the 9/11 Commission was deliberately slow walked, because the Administration’s policy was, and its priority was, we’re gonna take Saddam Hussein out.

On Democracy Now, Cleland also said, “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”.

While most of the above statements are hearsay and impossible to verify factually, the document that the ACLU has obtained collaberates what officials involved in the 9/11 Commission have been saying for years. The entire “investigation” was nothing more than a whitewash designed to hide the facts about 9/11 from the American people.

Read more here:

Lot’s of links in the above article!

The Tattlesnake — Erin Go Braless Edition

Some ‘Green Day’ factoids and toasts in honor of me late grandmother who, like Guinness stout, Harp lager, and G.B. Shaw, was a great Irish export.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Five Factoids About St. Patrick’s Day

1. St. Patrick’s real name was Patricius, and historians believe he was born in either Wales or Scotland.

2. The original color associated with St. Paddy’s day was blue instead of green.

3. St. Patrick’s Day was alcohol-free holiday in Ireland until the mid-1970s.

4. The shamrock was intended by St. Patrick to signify the Holy Trinity, not the luck of the Irish. He also created the Celtic cross, which is a combination of pagan and Christian symbols.

5. A pint of Guinness Stout, a staple of Irish drinkers on St. Paddy’s Day, has fewer calories than a pint of low-fat milk or orange juice.

A Random Sampling of Irish Toasts (for anyone who’s toasted to use):

Here’s to health,
fitness and tone
I’ve drank to health
So many times
I’ve managed to
ruin my own.

May we get what we want,
May we get what we need,
But may we never get what we deserve.

In all this world, I do think
There are five good reasons why we drink:
Good friends,
Good luck,
Good times,
And lest we be dry,
And any other reason why.

May the winds of fortune caress you,
May you sail a gentle sea.
May it always be the other guy
who says, “this drink’s on me.”

Here’s to cheating, lying, stealing, fighting, and drinking:
If you cheat, may you cheat death;
If you lie, may you lie on a loved one’s breast;
If you steal, may you steal another’s heart;
If you fight, may you fight for what’s right, brother;
And if you drink, may you always drink
With friends and none other.

Though you may be a scoundrel
And a sinner times seven
May you get lost on your way to hell
And end up in heaven.

BTW, think corned beef and cabbage is a traditional Irish dish? Cabbage, yes, but corned beef is English. Read below.


March 16, 2010

What Should Have Happened to Cheney in 2002

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:21 pm


March 15, 2010

The Real Republican Plan for Our Future

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 4:50 am


March 14, 2010

How Limbaugh Lives

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 6:43 am



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