Archive for the 'War on the rational/ logic' Category

What’s the Matter with Texas?

“I Love my country always, my government when it deserves it, and the President occasionally” Mark Twain once said. A country and its people and the government of a given country are often not the same thing. One can agree that one can be critical of an administration or government well still being proud of one’s country’s, its features, and the ideals it espouses and the history it has lived and written.

Having said that secession is one measure that severs ones ties not only with their government but also their country. In Texas, Gov Rick Perry (R-TX) has used the term “states rights” as a rallying cry at conservative gatherings, seeking the mantle of the new Jefferson Davis with better hair.

Now some conservatives, including one right wing Christian activist who calls for the execution of gays (if only Iran was a Christian instead of an Islamic theocracy it sounds like this guy would feel right at home) call for secession from the United States and in some instances even say they “hate the United States”.

For some folks in Texas, the prospect of a universal health care scheme isn’t just cause for protest and debate — it’s reason enough to secede from the United States altogether.

Some 200 people rallied at the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday, a small but vocal crowd that set itself in opposition to pro-health care reform protesters.

Larry Kilgore, a Christian activist that the Texas Observer says has advocated execution for homosexuals, “drew some murmurs of disapproval” when he told the crowd: “I hate that flag up there. … I hate the United States government. … They’re an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!”

“We hate the United States!” he declared later in his address.

What gets me is this is the region of the country, such as during the Civil rights movement, they are the first to label others as anti-American; when some of these characters are willing to abandon it.



Tom Ridge Says Bush May Have Raised Terror Alert out of Politics

All those who believed that the Bush/Cheney White House at least in the two or three years following the horrendous attacks and in the wake of the carnage of 9/11, used the newly established U.S Department of Homeland Security to exploit fear for political gain, tragically may have been all too correct. That is if the first Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, is to be believed in his forthcoming book.

The Huffington Post via U.S News and World Report says that in his upcoming book, Ridge will allege amongst other matters, that despite heading the Department formed to monitor and combat terrorist threats both on and in the United States of America, he was barred from attending National Security Council meetings, was kept out of the loop on FBI activities and findings, and just before the 2004 Presidential Elections the administration had exerted pressure on Ridge to up the threat level for reasons he now ascribes to politics rather then intelligence about any attacks.

According to the article Ridge was so incensed he thought it was worth resigning over and perhaps that is why he did not serve in a second Bush/Cheney administration. Despite this when questions were raised at the time, Ridge denied politics had anything to do with raising the threat level. It is great he is making those revelations now, but if an administration was so craven to use the instruments of National Security for political gain and this is in fact true, Ridge should have resigned right away and informed the public that the administration screamed terrorist attack not based on national security but political calculation. Personally, in those days I would have thought an allegation such as that was far fetched, but an official like Ridge coming out and exposing the truth (again if its true and not just an attempt to hock books), it would have given such claims at least some credence, and maybe saved some national dignity in the process.

But what is painfully obvious now, the hype leading up to the Iraq War if not made so by the torture memos, excessive secrecy, domestic spying, or accusing political rivals of wanting to erode this nation’s strength; is that the Bush/Cheney’s would take anything whether it be profound,non-existent, even contrary to reason, against the interests of their own political party, the nation’s welfare, prosperity, and even the lives of thousands of men and women to further their agenda and consolidate power. In the wake of all these other allegations of legally questionable, immoral, and even outright illegal conduct by the now previous administration this hardly seems like a surprise. But it is just further proof that for eight years that we had a government that cast aside an notion of accountability, proof, or the old notion that “Politics stops at the water’s edge”.

Still these statements if true, would show that even a national tragedy which left in its wake debris carnage, and thousands slaughtered; the Bush/Cheney administration perceived it as an issue just as ripe for political exploitation and demagoguery as tax cuts, spending, and abortion are in a typical election year. Where most Americans saw tragedy, bloodshed, peril, and the grief of losing someone under such violent circumstances; the Bush/ Cheney white house saw little more then a political issue to bludgeon opponents, dissent, and anyone who questioned their wisdom with, and as an opportunity to radically shift the apparatus and values of our government and country in a more authoritarian direction, while keeping those charged with our safety and from true danger uninformed and possibly the United States vulnerable to such an attack.

Now you can call that mindset many things; opportunistic, gloom and doom; but you can’t call it the accountable, honest, prudent, dignified, or effective conduct of a government of liberty loving people. Too bad we didn’t have all the people yelling about threats to our freedom regarding health care reform there when liberty was really under attack in an area where the government has great power and can do the most damage.


Is this Really Your Idea of civility, Sarah?

Ex- Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate last week claimed that President Obama and proposed Democratic legislation to reform health care would include Nazi style “death panels” that could decide rather her parents or child with down syndrome lived or died.

It was the latest eruption of post-logical conservatism that has come to define the ex-Alaska Governor.

The provision of HR 2300 section 1233 that Palin referred to was for “End of Life Counseling” or a voluntary provision in Medicare that would allow those with perhaps a terminal illness, to pay doctors to go over with the family and the patient themselves a living will and other such measures the patient and or there family could take if they are in such a condition they can’t say at the time what they would want. This would presumably prevent a fiasco such as the 2005 Terri Schivo incident from happening.

A patient doesn’t have to take the advice nor are they required to have the counseling. The idea even half the 256 Democrats in the House of Representatives or those on the committees voting on the draft of any health care legislation would all vote to approve such a measure as presented by Palin is erroneous and idiotic. Not only would it be illegal and immoral it would also be politically unpopular and just plain stupid, because the people would no doubt rise up and almost unanimously come out against it. In reality these consultations already happen every day, particularly with doctors and their patients, all this legislation would do is cover them under medicare.

Having sensed how stupid this was and the flames of hatred she had flamed Sunday in a facebook posting, she made an entreaty for civility in the dialogue on health care, despite her earlier remarks which did anything accept promote civility, but instead sowed the seeds of prejudice and fear.

Now today, Palin is backing off her comments that back off of her earlier erroneous “death panel” charges and is once again railing against “death panels” that only exist in that acid trip that is the world of Sarah Palin.

“Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system, these ‘unproductive’ members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care,” Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page.

“The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled ‘Advance Care Planning Consultation.’ With all due respect, it’s misleading for the president to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients,” she continued.

“Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often ‘if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual … or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility… or a hospice program.’”

Update (4:03PM/ET)- Provisions in health care reform, at least in the Senate Finance committee that is still struggling to come up with a bill that will please everyone, have dropped provisions that would have allowed medicare to cover end of life counciling. Its extremely disappointing. Not so much that this provision was removed, but that post logical voices that adhere solely to ideology rather then subscribe to the facts got this removed.

An absence of logic is the first sign of a society in intellectual decay. God help us.


Obama and Indefinite Detention

So much for change and the pre- Bush rule of law. A Defense Department attorney now states that even if detainees are found not guilty, they can still be imprisoned indefinably. So that is our new system, if your found guilty, you are to be kept in prison, but if you are found not guilty you are kept in prison. How can that possibly be troubling?

Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson moved the Obama administration into new territory from a civil liberties perspective. Asked by Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) the politically difficult but entirely fair question about whether terrorism detainees acquitted in courts could be released in the United States, Johnson said that “as a matter of legal authority,” the administration’s powers to detain someone under the law of war don’t expire for a detainee after he’s acquitted in court. “If you have authority under the law of war to detain someone” under the Supreme Court’s Hamdi ruling, “that is true irrespective of what happens on the prosecution side.”

Martinez looked surprised. “So the prosecution is moot?” he asked.

“No, no, not in my judgment,” Johnson said. But the scenario he outlined strongly suggested it is. If an administration review panel “determines this person is a security threat” and “for some reason is not convicted of a lengthy prison sentence, I think we have the authority to continue to detain someone” under “law of war authority” as granted by the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force, Johnson said. And beyond that source of authority “we have the authority in the first place.”

And people wonder why Obama’s approval ratings are going down (but still remain at a relatively robust 56%). The American people cast a ballot in November for change, but not change in this direction in terms of the government and not the courts or judiciary being the arbiters of who is guilty and who is not in the form of sole judge, jury, and detainer.


The Most disgusting Thing to come out of the Post Rationalist Neocon right- Please Osama Attack Us Again

Saw this disgusting dispatch around the blogosphere from the Dick Cheney Neoconservative post rationalist world today. The message of ex-Intelligence officer turned author , turned right wing lunatic Michael Scheurer, because we haven’t gotten attacked the only way we can prevent getting attacked eight years after being attacked is to be victim to a bigger attack, namely a nuclear attack by Osama Bin Ladden. Bin ladden is our only hope is what they are saying.

Its sad. Most people who lived through September 11, 2001 saw tragedy and carnage visited upon us, a nightmare. But some narrow element, especially the neoconservatives; it seems look back at that and see not tragedy, and don’t react with sorrow but respond by seeing it as a political opportunity or campaign issue. They are truly depraved to say the least.

Fitting these statements were made on the Fox News show of right wing zealot Glenn Beck, who it saddens me is actually viewed as a voice of truth by some who are close to me.

H/T: Crooks and Liars


The Constitution Came BEFORE Communism

Everybody’s favorite fictional and daft instrument of conservative populist platitudes Sam Wurzelbacher ( the so-called ‘Joe the Plumber’) has resurfaced again, according to Wonkette.

At a conference where Obama was once again compared to Stalin (how cliche), and “Joe”called for Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)to be “Strung up” He also said the following:

Wurzelbacher has a reputation for being a blunt, politically incorrect speaker. Referring to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., more than once, Wurzelbacher asked, “Why hasn’t he been strung up?”

And he glosses over facts. Referring to the Constitution as “almost like the Bible,” Wurzelbacher said of the Founding Fathers: “They knew socialism doesn’t work.

Yeah Sam, inspirational point except that Marxism/ Communism was born in the 1840s. The Communist Manifesto in fact wasn’t published until 1848; far after the crusade of our founding father’s as laid out in the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the foundation of our principles were laid when they were enshrined in the Constitution in 1787.


Jesus, Teen Idols, and Your Record Player

Some guy makes the case for the Devil being in Rock music, in teen idols, and why Jesus is the true lord and savior. Not quite sure if this guy is an 80s style televangelists or just a bad comedian. You decide.

H/T: Everything is Terrible