Thursday, August 16, 2007

lgf: Radical Front Groups Seething Over NYPD Terror Report:

lgf: Radical Front Groups Seething Over NYPD Terror Report:

"WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today that a new NYPD report on “radicalization” may result in all U.S. Muslims being viewed with suspicion. CAIR says the 90-page report purports to outline a four-step process of radicalization, but in fact describes ordinary activities, associations and behaviors as indicators of a potential terror threat. In a statement, CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed said: “Whatever one thinks of the analysis contained in the report, its sweeping generalizations and mixing of unrelated elements may serve to cast a pall of suspicion over the entire American Muslim community."

I got two sides to this.

One is that it is hard to determine if a group of people are getting together to plan a football game or a wedding, even a vacation - or an attack. The report goes on to say that there is nothing that they could find common amongst all attackers. What that means for law enforcement is that it should not assume that every meeting is a terrorist meeting.

Two, for those who claim that this is going to make people suspicious of Arabs. I got news for you, right or wrong, what makes people suspicious of Arabs is 9/11, and other attacks that have been carried out by Arabs. Most Americans understand that not all Arabs are bad people, but for those with doubts, the seeds were planted not by Americans or the police but by other Arabs and Muslims.

lgf: Giuliani's Foreign Policy Statement:

lgf: Giuliani's Foreign Policy Statement:

"America has a clear interest in helping to establish good governance throughout
the world. Democracy is a noble ideal, and promoting it abroad is the right
long-term goal of U.S. policy. But democracy cannot be achieved rapidly or
sustained unless it is built on sound legal, institutional, and cultural
foundations. It can only work if people have a reasonable degree of safety and
security. Elections are necessary but not sufficient to establish genuine
democracy. Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders
sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. History demonstrates that
democracy usually follows good governance, not the reverse. U.S. assistance can
do much to set nations on the road to democracy, but we must be realistic about
how much we can accomplish alone and how long it will take to achieve lasting

The election of Hamas in the Palestinian-controlled
territories is a case in point. The problem there is not the lack of statehood
but corrupt and unaccountable governance. The Palestinian people need decent
governance first, as a prerequisite for statehood. Too much emphasis has been
placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians —
negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. It is not in the
interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist
terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism.
Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance,
a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace
with Israel. America’s commitment to Israel’s security is a permanent feature of
our foreign policy."

I have posted this before, but I wanted to re-post it because I focused on the last half of it last time. I think he makes some solid points in the first paragraph. Democracy is about more than voting, it is a cultural attitude, and a change that takes time. It makes me wonder if Iraq needs more time before it can be a democracy. I am not suggesting that they can't ever be democratic, but that they need to learn how to understand it. Democracy is not voting for the person who shares your beliefs, it is not voting for the person your spouse votes for, it is not voting for a fellow member of your extended clan or tribe. It is voting for the person with the best ideas. I think that sometimes this is lost, this is lost even in America sometimes, and we have a long history of elections.

lgf: Mass Murder in Iraq:

lgf: Mass Murder in Iraq:

"The U.S. military blamed al-Qaida in Iraq, and an American commander called the
assault an “act of ethnic cleansing.” The victims of Tuesday night’s coordinated
attack by four suicide bombers were Yazidis, a small Kurdish-speaking sect that
has been targeted by Muslim extremists who consider its members to be
blasphemers. The blasts in two villages near the Syrian border crumbled
buildings, trapping entire families beneath mud bricks and other wreckage.
Entire neighborhoods were flattened."

Violence like this might be blamed on Americans, but it should be blamed on Islam. I am beginning to wonder if Iraq is headed for a blood bath of biblical proportions no matter what the outcome with American troops is. When the violence is about the terrorists, then you can root out the terrorists. When the violence is about Sunni versus Shia, maybe you can settle the peace, and they will stop fighting when they form a government. An event like this is a window into a violent nature that doesn't want peace, unless it is the peace of submission. America has a lot to lose in Iraq, and it just may be facing a battle that it can't win.

List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations

List anonymous wikipedia edits from interesting organizations

A couple days ago I posted about how Fox News had changed some entries in Wikipedia. Well it turns out that it isn't the only one that likes to play that game. For a site that tracks changes to Wikipedia click above.

There is some fun stuff, like someone at the Repubican party subtracted this from the Harry Potter entry.

"Snape is the half-blood prince and kills Dumbledore." Harry Potter
They also thought they should re-write the page on Christopher McCandless

This is how someone in the Democratic camp feels about Rush Limbaugh
'''Rush Hudson Limbaugh III''' (born [[January 12]], [[1951]] in [[Cape Girardeau, Missouri]]) is an idiotic[[United StatesAmerican]] [[entertainer]] and [[radio]] [[talk show]] host. A commentator with a [[conservatismridiculous]] point of view, he discusses [[politics]] and [[current events]] on his show, ''[[The Rush Limbaugh Show]]''. For over 17 years (and continuing [[as of 2005]]), Rush Limbaugh has an audience estimated between 13.75 and 20 million listeners weekly according to the [[Arbitron]] ratings surveys, the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. Most of them are legally retarded. [][] Rush Limbaugh

While someone at Wal-Mart seems concerned about Ann Coulter's personal life Ann Coulter

For the most fun go here.... Wired's list of salacious edits


lgf: Hamas Child Star: 'Every Palestinian Hopes to Be a Martyr':

lgf: Hamas Child Star: 'Every Palestinian Hopes to Be a Martyr':

"GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Saraa Barhoum picked at the buttons on her pink bellbottom jeans as she twisted on a chair inside the bustling new Hamas television headquarters. The afternoon light bounced off the sparkly outlines of butterflies on her frilly top, and a colorful hijab framed her 11-year-old face. Saraa wants to be a doctor. If she can’t, the young star of Hamas television’s best-known children’s show said, she’d be proud to become a martyr. Saraa says little Jewish girls should be forced from their homes in Israel so that Palestinians can return to their land."

If this is the enemy we face, how do you win a war against 11 year old girls that want to die, that wants to be a martyr. What kind of sickness encourages her to be a martyr and not a doctor.

lgf: Taxi Jihad in Vancouver

lgf: Taxi Jihad in Vancouver:

"A blind Vancouver man who was shunned by a taxi driver who didn’t want a guide
dog in his cab has reached a $2,500 settlement with North Shore Taxi. Bruce
Gilmour, 49, had called a cab from a West Vancouver coffee shop after a day of
skiing in November 2006. But North Shore Taxi driver Behzad Saidy, a Muslim,
refused to transport Gilmour and his golden retriever Arden, saying his religion
prevents him from associating with dogs."

I want to be clear, this is upsetting to me, even before I begin to read the details. A blind person with a dog should be able to use the same services as the rest of us. In my opinion blind people are one of the few groups that have the right to service animals. To discriminate against a blind person because they have a dog with them is wrong. It is doubtful to me that it had anything to do with the dog.

Then I read the excuse he gave about religion. I am not a scholar but I have never heard of this in my experience of studying religion. It sounds to me like a lie that was invented to cover the truth, that he did not want to service a disabled person. Even if that is the case, I have little respect for a religion that cannot allow its followers to look with grace and mercy on those who have greater struggles and to help them. Even when that means doing something you otherwise should not.

lgf: Poland Will Boycott UN Anti-Israel Conference

lgf: Poland Will Boycott UN Anti-Israel Conference:

"A conference of UN NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be hosted at the European Parliament this
month, will be boycotted by Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)
from across the political spectrum, who say that the conference is biased
against Israel. The meeting, set to take place at the European Parliament on
August 30 - 31, has been organized by the UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.“ "

There is going to be no peace in that land until the rights of both the Israeli's and the Palestinians are respected. Israel is not going to be destroyed as a nation, and Palestine has the right to exist as a nation, once all parties agree to those simple facts, peace is not far away. There are many on both sides that can't accept those facts, and discussions like this one only stir the pot, without bringing peace.

Are The Wheels Coming Off For Obama?

Captain's Quarters: Are The Wheels Coming Off For Obama?

"Obama defended his push to prosecute a tougher military effort to root out
al-Qaida on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which drew criticism from primary
rivals for sounding too bellicose. “Now you have narco drug lords who are
helping to finance the Taliban, so we’ve got to get the job done there, and that
requires us to have enough troops that we are not just air raiding villages and
killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there,’’ Obama said.
Campaign spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama was not endorsing the current Bush
policy, which consists solely of air raids and bombing of civilians."

More boots on the ground means that the enemy will draw them into street battles, taking aim from houses or mosques. Forcing the troops to return fire in a situation where innocent people will be caught in the cross fire. It also means more target for suicide bombers. The reality is that we cannot win this war as long as they are able to hide among the civilians.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Illegal alien hit-and-run kills 2 Maryland men Updated

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Illegal alien hit-and-run kills 2 Maryland men Updated:

"Police say the driver of the van, 31-year-old Manuel De Jesus
Gonzalez-Geronimo, turned himself in at around 12:30 a.m.
Tuesday.Gonzalez-Geronimo, of Hyattsville, was charged with failure to
immediately return and remain at the scene of a collision involving death,
failure to immediately stop a vehicle at the scene of a collision involving
bodily injury, and driving without a license."

He turned himself in!!!! Ok, I am not saying that makes up for the fact that he fled the scene, but give the person a little credit. He knew when he walked back into that Police Station that it would mean the end of his freedom, even if there were not charges he would be sent back to Mexico. A crime was committed here, there is no question, and the justice system is taking care of it.

On the right people will come out of the wood work and talk about how this is a crime that is about him being an illegal. That is not the case, this is a crime about a man who had an accident and fled the scene. The fear that people on the right are trying to put into people is wrong. The implication being that if these people were not here we would be so much safer. American's committ these very same crimes as well, so that just isn't true.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Rutgers player to sue Imus for libel, slander, defamation, double secret defamation, etc

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Rutgers player to sue Imus for libel, slander, defamation, double secret defamation, etc:

"Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, has filed a
lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation — the first civil suit to
be filed against the former radio host. Vaughn is asking for monetary damages of
an unspecified amount…Today’s suit refers to terms used by Imus April 4 —
including referring to women on the team as “nappy headed” — as “debasing,
demeaning, humiliating, and denigrating” to Vaughn and her fellow players.
“There’s no way these bigoted remarks should have seen the light of day,”
Ancowitz told ABC News.“Don Imus referred to my client as an unchaste woman.
That was and is a lie.”"

If you ask me it is Al Sharpton this young lady should be suing. Imus made a mistake and said it once on the air. Sharpton took advantage of that mistake and that young girl for his political advantage, making a single comment the most repreat phrase of the year on television news (ok I don't know that). The point is, that Sharpton, in order to push his own political agenda forward took steps that harmed this girls career and her life. If Imus should be sued, so should Sharpton.

Gabby Babble: Babblicious Picture

Gabby Babble: Babblicious Picture

Man this womyn looks like she is about to pop... but she is still hot.

Faded Youth Blog » Blog Archive » CASTING NEWS!

Faded Youth Blog » Blog Archive » CASTING NEWS!:

"Aniston joins Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long,
Ginnifer Goodwin and Barrymore in the Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting
story arcs dealing with the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.
Aniston will play a woman in a long-term relationship with a boyfriend who will
not commit to marriage."

This is really sounding like it is going to be a great movie. The book is great, though I haven't read it, I hear it is full of great advice on dating. This will also be a good way for Jennifer to make a come back, she is a beautiful womyn, but she still needs to make a solid come back - get her out of the shadow of Brad and Angelina.

Buzz Foto LLC - Paparazzi Is An Art Form!

Buzz Foto LLC - Paparazzi Is An Art Form!: "Always Try And Get The Stars Together"

Buzz Foto LLC - Paparazzi Is An Art Form!

Buzz Foto LLC - Paparazzi Is An Art Form!: "SHANNON IN A FUNK at Long Beach Airport after getting served with a summons"

Wow, Funk could have taught Britney a thing or two about fashion. How to look put together when you leave the house for example.

First Daughter Jenna Bush is

First Daughter Jenna Bush is

"President Bush is getting a son-in-law: His daughter Jenna is marrying
boyfriend Henry Hager, the White House announced Thursday. “President and Mrs.
George W. Bush are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jenna
Bush, to Mr. Henry Hager, son of the Honorable and Mrs. John H. Hager of
Richmond, Virginia,” the White House said in a statement. “Miss Bush and Mr.
Hager became engaged Wednesday, August 15, 2007.”"

Maybe Bush can plug him into one of the openings that he has in his staff. Honestly though, congrats to Jenna and the family, I wish them the best of luck with their new life.

August 16th, 2007 Happy Birthday Madonna! | Allie Is Wired - The Entertainment Blog

August 16th, 2007 Happy Birthday Madonna! Allie Is Wired - The Entertainment Blog:

"Madonna Louise Ciccone (born August 16, 1958), better known as Madonna, is an
American dance-pop singer-songwriter, record and film producer, dancer, actress,
author and fashion icon. "

Happy Birthday Madonna, there are few people who have changed the world as much as you. Thank you for being you.

Access Hollywood | Britney & Criss Angel: The Real Thing Or An Illusion? | Celebrity and Hollywood News

Access Hollywood Britney & Criss Angel: The Real Thing Or An Illusion? Celebrity and Hollywood News:

"LOS ANGELES, Calif. (August 16, 2007) – Is Criss Angel the new boy toy of
Britney Spears… or is it all an illusion? Brit and the 'Mindfreak' magician were
seen entering The Tower Hotel in Beverly Hills late Wednesday night…and then
leaving Thursday afternoon."

This is just confusing for me to think about. Maybe she wants Criss to do a project with her ex Kevin. You one like he did in Times Square, this time she wants Kevin in the concrete block and she wants it dropped in the ocean. I doubt these two are a couple, maybe a fling, though that might be a step down from Cameron.

Amy Winehouse Out Of Rehab, Back In The Pub

A Socialite's Life: Amy Winehouse Out Of Rehab, Back In The Pub

"The last we heard, this biddy was in America seeking help for her problem
with....every drug known to man. Seriously, Pete Doherty is worried about her.
Now, London's 3AM Girls are saying that she was in Britain getting help. And
that she's since fled rehab via helicopter and got her ass to the nearest bar.
Something's not right with this chick. And I don't think her skank husband is
helping her out much."

I love that, Pete is worried about her. You know they could make a good couple, imagine all the dealers that they would keep in business. This girl needs help, and it appears that rumors that she was getting it are not as true as they sounded. Running away from rehab via helicopter? Was she singing "no, no, no" the whole time. "Tried to make me go to rehab, I said, 'get my helicopter'"

Quick Hits: Bynes Hitches Her Skirt Up

Is she trying to steal Lindsay Lohan's look?

Nicole Richie's Baby Might Be Legitimate

A Socialite's Life: Nicole Richie's Baby Might Be Legitimate

"Good Charlotte was on Regis and Kelly today and Regis got Joel Madden to admit
he's going to ask Nicole to marry his douche ass. First off, that's pretty
hardcore being on Regis and Kelly. They couldn't get booked on Mother Angelica's
show? Secondly, way to wreck a surprise, Regis"

The more I see them together, I get used to them being a couple and I start to believe that it is going to work with them. It is hard to be star lovers, and even harder to be star parents, there are few who make it, so when I say it is still hard to believe, it isn't personal. The best chance that they have is if they get away from the scene at least for a couple years, and raise the kid and make a family. I don't know if they are willing to do that though.

Paris Hilton Pal Caroline D'Amore Gets Engaged - Engagements :

Paris Hilton Pal Caroline D'Amore Gets Engaged - Engagements :

"Model and Paris Hilton party pal Caroline D'Amore will soon be taking her
trademark catwalk strut down the aisle: She tells PEOPLE she's engaged to
filmmaker Matthew Ross. While taking in the U.S. debut of Sweden's Odd Molly
fashion line at Skybar in West Hollywood, D'Amore, 23, a fixture on L.A. couture
runways and the Young Hollywood party scene, said Ross popped the question a
week ago. "

Congrats to them, I wish them the best of luck in their new life.

Hayden Panettiere FHM Magazine October 2007 | Pop Crunch

Britney Spears Playboy Magazine? | Pop Crunch

Britney Spears Playboy Magazine? Pop Crunch:

"Celebrity informant Rav claims that custody battling mother of two Britney
Spears is prepared to bare all for a centerfold in Playboy Magazine-if only Hef
will have her. "

While she was offered money in the past to pose for Playboy I don't see why the mag would want the pictures now. Since they made the offer everyone in the known world has seen her goods, the thrill for Playboy and its readers is to get pictures of hot womyn that people haven't seen naked. Britney still has a hot body, but not that hot. It would also be bad for her career right now and bad for her court case.

Britney Spears Allure Magazine September 2007 | Pop Crunch

Brad Garrett hits at photographer’s camera

Brad Garrett hits at photographer’s camera:

"Garrett, who stars in the Fox sitcom “‘Til Death,” is shown slapping away a
camera in a video posted online Monday. The camera belonged to a photographer
working for, which posted the video, TMZ Managing Editor Harvey Levin
said Monday."

While everyone might love Raymond, it sounds like not everyone loves photographers. I have said this before, but some of these stars should be happy that anyone even wants to take their picture. Do you even know who this person is, don't click on the link and cheat - do you?

Scarlett & Ryan — First Pictures! | Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds : Just Jared

Scarlett & Ryan — First Pictures! Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds : Just Jared:

"Scarlett Johansson and rumored flame Ryan Reynolds grab lunch together on the
set of Woody Allen’s Untitled Spanish Project filming in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Scarlett, 22, and Ryan, 30, have been romantically linked for about four months

Forget about Cisco and DJ AM, this is the guy that gets all the hot womyn. He was also in a relationship with Alanis Morissette.

Nirvana Baby Talks About the Famous Album Cover - Nirvana, Nevermind :

Nirvana Baby Talks About the Famous Album Cover - Nirvana, Nevermind :

"Being the naked swimming baby on the cover of Nirvana's iconic Nevermind
album has advantages and disadvantages, according to Spencer Elden, who at 17 is
still famous for the photo. 'It's kind of creepy that that many people have seen
me naked,' Elden tells 'I feel like I'm the world's biggest porn star.' "

Haven't you always wondered what became of the baby, I thought it would be someone related to the band, it appears that isn't the case.

Jessica Biel Glamour Magazine September 2007 | Pop Crunch

Tori Spelling Second Pregnancy? | Pop Crunch

Tori Spelling Second Pregnancy? Pop Crunch:

"Thirty-four year old new mom Rev. Tori Spelling could be pregnant again just
five months after giving birth to her first son, five month old Liam. The former
Beverly Hills 90210 star will take a pregnancy test on her new reality show,
‘Tori and Dean: Inn Love,’ with the results to be revealed on next week’s

Is she going to have another baby so she can have another reality show. Let me guess, she is going to let the viewers name her new baby for her.

Lindsay Lohan Maxim Magazine September 2007 | Pop Crunch

New Paris Hilton Reality Show; Heiress Returns To TV After ‘The Simple Life’ Canceling | Pop Crunch

New Paris Hilton Reality Show; Heiress Returns To TV After ‘The Simple Life’ Canceling Pop Crunch:

"“I’m doing a show with a huge network right now,” Paris Hilton recently snapped
when asked how she felt about former BFF Kim Kardashian landing an E! reality
series just days after ‘The Simple Life’ got the boot. “It’s going to be a

For those of you who were afraid that you wouldn't be able to see your favorite socialite on TV anymore. Don't fear, Paris has a surprise that she is working on with a network. Hopefully it is as fun as the last project- hey I liked the Simple Life.

Mandy and Mayer "Just Friends" |

Mandy and Mayer "Just Friends"

"John Mayer, one of Hollywood's least-expected heartthrobs, has wooed the likes
of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jessica Simpson. Today Extra reports that he hasn't,
however, explored the bodily wonderland of Mandy Moore. And that comes straight
from the singer/actress' mouth!"

Well that is good news, I didn't really see them together as a couple anyways. I think that Mandy has a little more class then that, though she did date DJ AM.

So Many Britney Stories… — Top Socialite

So Many Britney Stories… — Top Socialite

The media is really going in for Britney right now....

Janice thinks she so cool — Top Socialite

Janice thinks she so cool — Top Socialite:

"The super annoying Janice Dickinson from “America’s Next Top Model” showed up
at the premiere of “Superbad” with this poor guy. She made him wear a t-shirt
cut in half to show off his abs, and then to boot it says “security” on it. Like
she has the hot security guy to escort her around all day. How charming…"

At least someone thinks she is cool, I don't know anyone who does. She bugs me, in a Teri Hatcher sort of way, that way that when you see them you want to look away.

Ellen Nabs Hillary Interview

Ellen Nabs Hillary Interview:

"HILLARY CLINTON is taking a detour from the serious rigors of political
campaigning and sitting down for a chat with one of daytime's funniest females! "

This should be a fun interview.

Happy Sienna Shines In September Vogue | POPSUGAR - Celebrity Gossip & News.

Gates of Vienna: September Nonsense

Gates of Vienna: September Nonsense:

"Black Diamond Pictures is about to screen a new movie about the insane but
charismatic founder of a religious cult whose followers are inspired to commit
mass slaughter against innocent civilians. “Wot th’-!?” you say. “So Hollywood
finally gets it about Islamic terrorism, eh?” Well, not quite. These particular
murderous religious fanatics are Mormons, the followers of Joseph Smith, and the
year is 1857. The film in question is called September Dawn, and is coming on
August 24th to a theater near you."

While this movie isn't about the threat of Islam, that doesn't mean it doesn't address the issue of terror and Islam. The key to this movie, is about the crimes that can and do take place in the name of religion. Like Islam, or Christianity or even Mormonism. When religious power and political power are held to closely, in the same hands, abuse of this power has lead to deadly results. Yes in September, in New York City, but also in Utah in 1857.

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Texans to Bush: Get Off My Lawn!

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Texans to Bush: Get Off My Lawn!:

"It was something that caught Chertoff and the Department of Homeland Security
off guard, the White House, Congress and even the average American citizen who
lives miles away from the border in question — Texans, who actually live along
that portion of the border, don’t want it."

Remember that wall that I keep saying is a bad idea and a waste of money. There are some other people it turns out that don't like the idea either. Who are these people? The people whose communities will be cut in half by the wall.

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Just As Long As They Aren’t White, You Can Put Them In Your Sights

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Just As Long As They Aren’t White, You Can Put Them In Your Sights:

"At this point in the video, the backpack-wearing figure begins to slowly
emerge from behind the rock outcropping. “You know what? I’m going to take a
fucking shot,” the first voice says. There are two flashes of light and the
sound of two semi-automatic rifle shots in quick succession. The figure wearing
the backpack appears to fly backward and drop from view. “Oh fuck, I got him
dude!’ the first voice says. “I fuckin’ got him!” There is a pause, then the
first voice says, “Dude, what are we gonna do?” The voice on the walkie-talkie
replies, “Get the shovel, get some lime, and hey, grab me a 12-pack, too, while
you’re up there.”"

This is the scene of a murder. The murder took place on the Mexican border, and the killers were Americans. What is described is a scene from a video shot by a vigilante group called Minute Men, they like to play army along the southern border. They call it protecting America from immigrants, but when they are shooting and killing those immigrants, that is called murder. Crossing the border illegally is not a crime for which the death penalty is handed down. Even if that were the case, these men are not police officers, let alone judges or jurors. We have a justice system in this country for a reason, and though it isn't perfect, it is not reason enough to take the law, and someone else's life, into your own hands.

Daily Kos: The mask comes off: Susan Collins goes O'Reilly

Daily Kos: The mask comes off: Susan Collins goes O'Reilly:

"'Tactics such as tracking demean the political process, contribute to voter
cynicism, and have no place in the type of substantive issues-oriented campaigns
that our voters deserve,' wrote Steve Abbott, Collins' chief of staff. "

What I think is demeaning is the idea that you think you can run for office and control the terms of your public image. Tracking means that you can't say one thing to one group of people, and turn around and day another thing to another group of people. America wants to know that its leaders are honest people. Tracking does not harm an honest and open politician, it does harm the ones that think they can play the system.

Daily Kos: Fred Thompson: The Money Is The Problem

Daily Kos: Fred Thompson: The Money Is The Problem:

"There certainly are regulations regarding political activity online.
Only, thank goodness, they're not stupid regulations, and they do place certain
obligations on candidates, parties and PACs in their online activities. The fact
that Fred Thompson has a website isn't the problem, nor, even, that's he's
already hiring and firing staffers like a failed candidate. No, the problem is
that once you start raising and spending money like a candidate, and start
referring to yourself as a candidate, you're a candidate, and as I've shown
before it's pretty clear that Thompson's campaign is in violation of the law."

Is Fred Thompson and his non-campaign breaking the elections laws? A better question is, now that Thompson has done it, and appears to be doing it successfully, should the laws be re-written before future candidates make a joke out of federal election law?

Daily Kos: ME-Sen: Outrage (!) over a traditional campaign tool

Daily Kos: ME-Sen: Outrage (!) over a traditional campaign tool

Senator Collins and her official, U.S. Senate staff speaking on behalf of her
campaign have all said quite a lot this week about the fact that she was filmed
during a public parade last weekend. Because of allegations of hovering,
intrusive behavior and intimidation, we thought it important that you see for
yourself film of the only interaction between Senator Collins and our employee,
and the respectful distance to which he kept himself.
Please view the tape here:
Please note that when Senator Collins approached our employee, Rick Redmond, to
introduce herself, he shook her hand, told her his name and even told her how
she would remember him from the past. A bit later in the tape, you will see that
she expected to be tracked because it is a normal campaign tool. Senator Collins
asked, “Are you my tracker?” to which Redmond replied, “Yes, ma’am.”
Expressing no sense of surprise or alarm, she then said, “Then we’ll be
seeing a lot of each other on the campaign trail.”

Well, a note to the Senator, and to anyone who is thinking about running for public office. This type of activity is going to be common place from now on. Everyone wants to get the next Macca moment, and they want it to be an opponent who falls. The issue is that as long as they are in public, and the photographers are not obstructing them in anyway, they are free to tape what they want. It is only an invasion of privacy if you are in a place where privacy is to be expected. An example, if you are in your house, with a large front window with a view to the street and the shades are open while you are having sex - you should not expect privacy. However if you close the drapes, and someone sneaks into your yard and caught you through on crack in the drapes - you could expect privacy. When you are running for office, that is about the most public thing you can do. Get used to the cameras, if you win you will see more of them.

Crooks and Liars » The NAFTA Superhighway doesn’t exist

Crooks and Liars » The NAFTA Superhighway doesn’t exist:

"Through towns large and small it will run, plowing under family farms,
subdevelopments, acres of wilderness. Equipped with high-tech electronic customs
monitors, freight from China, offloaded into nonunionized Mexican ports, will
travel north, crossing the border with nary a speed bump, bound for Kansas City,
where the cheap goods manufactured in booming Far East factories will embark on
the final leg of their journey into the nation’s Wal-Marts. […] Grassroots
movement exposes elite conspiracy and forces politicians to respond: It would be
a heartening story but for one small detail. There’s no such thing as a proposed
NAFTA Superhighway."

This silly conspiracy has been floating around for too long. First of all there are enough interstates in this country to send goods back and forth between Mexico and Canada in a efficient manner. Second companies are not going to move to Mexico because of a new highway. Most of the companies that can move, and want to move, have moved to Mexico and in some cases China already. Third, a faster means of transporting goods, and yes goods across national borders, would mean less costly goods for Americans.

If you want to prove to someone what a farce this is, point to the I-35W collapse, if any interstate were going to be depended on to be such a super highway, that is the one. They don't invest enough money in it to keep it from falling down.

Crooks and Liars » Matthews calls out the Petraeus/WH propaganda Iraq report

Crooks and Liars » Matthews calls out the Petraeus/WH propaganda Iraq report:

"Chris: Is the White House going to pull a Lucy again? With the football trick,
all over again? For months President Bush has been asking us to wait for a
report from General Petraeus. How many times have we heard that phrase? “Wait
for the report from General Petraeus.” Now we learn that the White House is
going to write that report - the White House - and that the General will testify
publicly before Congress only after the report’s been written by Bush’s people.
Is this a sign of something we’ve seen before, is the Bush Administration going
to politicize that critical September report instead of letting the General
deliver a full and honest raw assessment to the American people? "

This is the greatest weakness of the Bush presidency, he has scorned the democratic process time and time again -in favor of a political process. There were good reasons to go into Iraq, and if more time had been taken to understand and to communicate those reasons, the eventual actions may have been stronger. If we had gone in with a larger body of international support, with more troops, more intelligence, more planing, the attack could have been a strong success. However the road Bush took, was the road of politics,where if you don't need to bring people over to your side, you do it without them. In September, there are a number of democrats and a number of republicans who are sitting on the fence with the war in Iraq. I think an honest answer, even if it is bad news could maintain their standing in support of the war. On the other hand, even good news that is delivered in a political speech from the White House is bad news. What America needs right now in regards to Iraq, is not more politics, but more truth.

Fred The Fearless?

Captain's Quarters: Fred The Fearless?

"'There's no reason for me to run just to be president,' he said. 'I don't
desire the emoluments of the office. I don't want to live a lie and clever my
way to the nomination or election. But if you can put your ideas out there --
different, more far-reaching ideas -- that is worth doing.' Thompson, like many
of the others running, has caught a strong whiff of the public disillusionment
with both parties in Washington -- and the partisanship that has infected
Congress, helping to speed his own departure from the Senate. But he says he
thinks the public is looking for a different kind of leadership. 'I think a
president could go to the American people and say, 'Here's what we need to be
doing. And I'm willing to go halfway. Now you have to make them [the opposition]
go halfway.' '"

He says he wants to run a different style of campaign, is that one that never declares that it is running? He makes some strong points here, but it still sounds like political hash to me. I still don't think that Fred is going to run for office, he is missing his window. At the end of the day we might just look back at this and understand that what he was saying was that he wanted to inject ideas into the race. He wanted the threat that he would run, to change the positions of others in the race, and it has. He has every right to do that.

A Step In The Wrong Direction (Update: Kyllo)

Captain's Quarters: A Step In The Wrong Direction (Update: Kyllo)

"The Bush administration wants to allow law-enforcement agencies to use
military and intelligence satellites as a resource for investigations. Real-time
imagery and technology than can look inside buildings and even bunkers could be
used to pursue criminal investigations, a boon for law enforcement officials --
but a nightmare for civil libertarians:"

While I am not shaken by this on the grounds of privacy, since that is not a large concern to me, I do see what could be problems. One problem could develop between state-local governments and the federal government. If the federal government is in the hands of one party and the state-local government is in the hands of another, could the feds resist co-operation. Second, as Ed points out in his article, the court has found that if the police use enhanced technologies to see into a residence, that they need a search warrant for that, which they should get. If you can get a search warrant, why do you need this technology. Third these are forces that should be aimed at keeping America safe from invasion, safe from threats on the outside, to focus them on the country means they are not watching external threats, is that a good distraction.

The best use I would see for a technology like this is in crowd mapping. At an event like Thanksgiving Day Parada, or the Super Bowl, an political rally or any gathering of people. If there were an attack at such an event, knowing how large the crowd was, and where it was concentrated would be very useful in sending in help to those who needed it, and directing people away from trouble. One of the common problems in protests, is that the police will send crowds the wrong way, and into more trouble. It is assumed that they do this on purpose, but maybe it is an accident caused by being to close to the action and not knowing where the crowd is moving.

Senator Reid blasts Bush attempt to kill Petraeus appearance before Congress - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Senator Reid blasts Bush attempt to kill Petraeus appearance before Congress - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"'The White House's effort to prevent General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker
from testifying openly and candidly before Congress about the situation in Iraq
is unacceptable. Not only does it contradict the law President Bush himself
signed in May, but it appears to be yet another politically driven attempt to
avoid giving Congress and the American people an honest and open assessment of a
war we can all see is headed in the wrong direction."

If we are going to understand the situation in Iraq as a nation, and if congress is going to make clear and educated decisions about the war, then Petraeus needs to talk to them. It isn't enough for him to give his report to the executive branch, and for the executive branch to pass it along to congress. He must be present to be able to answer questions that congress might have in regards to the war and how it is being run. I don't have any judgements right now that it is going good or bad, and hopefully congress will be able to be open minded when they hear the report.

Abandon ship - Tony Snow's ready to pack his bags - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth

Abandon ship - Tony Snow's ready to pack his bags - AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth:

"I've already made it clear I'm not going to be able to go the distance, but
that's primarily for financial reasons. I've told people when my money runs out,
then I've got to go."

It is beginning to sound like Bush is going to end his presidency alone. Shut the lights out when you leave George.

Mitt Roughs Up Online Sex Predators , Civil Liberties | Air America Radio

Mitt Roughs Up Online Sex Predators , Civil Liberties Air America Radio:

"Mitt Romney believes that online sex predators should be punished no matter
what it cost to our civil liberties. He has proposed amplified punishment for
online sex offenders and a lifetime tracking Global Positioning System for first
time offenders. Late last month Romney said, 'It's time to clean up the
Internet, make sure that those people who are using the Internet to become
predators against children, that those people are gone forever. I want to put
them in jail for a long time and make sure we have GPS on them for the rest of
their lives. One strike and they're ours. I want to know where they are
forever.” Many people have problems with Romney’s proposal because it violates
civil liberties and ultimately would not deterrent sex predators. They believe
the best way to deter is to education children on this issue. "

There is a more practical concern here, there is no reason that I know of to believe that someone who has committed one sex crime, is a sex criminal in a compulsive sense. However there are a number of people out there that are compulsive sex offenders. If you track them all by GPS after their first offense, it will be counter effective. The numbers of people the system would have to attempt to track would be so large, that it would be easy for the dangerous ones to evade observation.

Sex Crimes are terrible, and I think that there should be no room for tolerance of them. We do have to act wisely though, understanding our resources and understanding the crime.

Padilla Found Guilty | Air America Radio

Padilla Found Guilty Air America Radio:

"CNN's Susan Candiotti in Miami reports that Jose Padilla and two other
defendants were found guilty on all charges: 'Guilty on all counts. Jose
Padilla, as well as the two other defendants, guilty. Guilty of conspiring to
carry out a jihad overseas. Guilty-that’s a conspiracy. Guilty of conspiring to
provide material support and guilty for providing material support to terrorists
organizations overseas.' "

I think this sentence is going to make America safer, and I think that the trial has made America stronger. We must be able to show that world that we are willing to live by the rule of law, that means fair trials, even for terrorists.


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