Friday, May 27, 2005
US Passes 491 Billion Defense Bill
"US Passes 491 Billion Defense Bill"
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a 491 billion dollar defense bill that contains funds for the war in Iraq.
By a vote of 390-39 late Wednesday, lawmakers passed the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act which establishes the budget for the Pentagon and all other agencies' military spending.
The bill includes $49 billion to support operations in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and fight terrorism.
The new funds will be used to equip army vehicles with bomb-proof armor plates, and to purchase more night vision devices and explosive device jammers, which the military plans to use in its anti-insurgency campaign.
But the House defeated an amendment that would have compelled the administration of President George W. Bush to lay out a specific timetable for pulling out from Iraq, by a vote of 300-128.
I'm assuming every American who opposes taxation is marching in the streets in protest of the complete absense of any public debate on this massive sum of money being allocated to a war with no end in sight?
I heard Bush state today (I'm paraphrasing, because I couldn't find the exact quote online), "These people [the insurgents] cannot be deterred or negotiated with. You cannot persuade them by appeals to reason." Etc. They are simply mindless zombies, monsters with no emotions, logic, motivation, thoughts or feelings. The only solution is to kill each and every last one of them. This is essentially what Bush is saying.
If our stated policy, then, is perpetual war, can we not at least tax the rich to pay for this extravagant Crusade? For how long are we going to continue charging these wars on the nation's credit card?
Senator Conrad (N.D.) pointed out the absolute absurdity of the current deficit situation: we are borrowing Billions of dollars from other countries in order to fund huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Thus the current quest for Global Domination could very well bring down the American Empire—not through the defeat of our military, but through the collapse of our economy.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Republican urges Bolton rejection
"I strongly feel that the importance of this nomination to our foreign policy requires us to set aside our partisan agenda and let our consciences and our shared commitment to our nation's best interests guide us."
—Republican Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio.
Maybe there's some hope for sanity and bi-partisanship yet.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
George Galloway lays bare the hypocrisy of the U.S. Senate (and, well, of the U.S., period)
Now, I don't think I need to. Except perhaps to say, "Mr. Coleman, George Galloway said it best. And I second his comments." (And then maybe call him some names, make a remark about his mother, etc.)
While you can find transcripts of Galloway's statements, I strongly encourage everyone not to just read them; instead, watch the video or listen to a recording of his testimony. You can download either or both here:
video (Real Media format, 12MB [click here for a free download of RealPlayer]):
Audio (clip - 1.1MB):
Audio (complete testimony - 21.7MB):
Friday, May 06, 2005
"U.S. to consult Saddam for tips on disposal of nerve agent" from BrainSnap.com
by Byron Kent on September 22nd, 2004. national | science and technology
After running into delays in destroying the United States' deadly VX stockpile, the Army has announced it will hire Saddam Hussein as a technical adviser. Ever since Saddam was able to destroy his stockpile of chemical weapons in less than three months, he has been considered a leading expert on arms reduction.
A month before the US led invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell estimated the Iraqis had 100 to 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. In his February 5 presentation to the U.N. Security Council, Powell claimed: "It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons."
The United States is storing 1,269 tons of the nerve agent VX in Indiana. US Army chiefs claim that if the US is serious about getting rid of their stocks of VX, then it should think seriously about consulting foreign experts like Hussein.
After all, in more than a year of occupying Iraq, the United States has been unable to find the WMDs the former dictator was hiding. The rate at which the Iraqis must have destroyed their chemical weapons far exceeds the US Army's procedure.
"It's a pretty impressive benchmark to set," said one of the Army's disarmament experts, Col Peter Traverse. "It's clear he could teach us a thing or two about meeting our pledge to eradicate WMDs."
Saddam, former brutal dictator of Iraq, was captured by U.S. forces in December 2003 and is now awaiting trial. According to insiders, negotiations to secure his assistance broke down recently over demands made by the former Dictator for a rubber duck for his prison bathtub.
Critics of the plan, however, say the US should have no dealings with a man guilty of war crimes. According to Colonel Traverse, however, collaborating with former enemies has been part of US policy for many decades.
"When it comes to technological expertise, the United States has always been willing to work with former enemies. As a great nation, we must believe in forgiveness. Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was, for example, instrumental in landing our boys on the moon in the 60s. Without Nazi ingenuity - or the expertise of a man who used slave labor to develop WMDs in the 1940s - the United States might have lost the space race."
VX Destruction Begins - Indiana
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Pat Robertson: judges worse than 9/11 terrorists
(Of course, I got this info. from MoveOn.org, and we all know that, as a group of politically-biased liberals who hate America, they just make things up. So you should not trust them.)
(Instead, you should click here to watch Robertson say this on video. It's also, apparently, in his book "Courting Disaster."
Other not-quite-so-insane-but-still-idiotic-and-disturbing remarks of late:
The Republican leader of the House of Representatives responded to rulings in the Terri Schiavo case, by saying ominously: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to pay for their behavior." 
In previous remarks on the subject, DeLay has said, "Judges need to be intimidated," adding that if they don't behave, "we're going to go after them in a big way." 
A Republican Senator from Texas directly connected the "spate of courthouse violence lately" to his view that unpopular decisions might be the explanation. "I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions, yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds and builds to the point where some people engage in violence." 
(Yes, Cornyn did add that killing judges was "certainly without justification"; but that's not exactly what the rest of his remarks imply.)
The Chief of Staff for another Republican senator called for "mass impeachment" by using the bizarre right-wing theory that the president can declare that any judge is no longer exhibiting "good behavior," adding that, "then the judge's term has simply come to an end. The President gives them a call and says: Clean out your desk. The Capitol police will be in to help you find your way home.'" 
Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, who hosted a speech by the Senate Majority Leader last Sunday has said, "There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe off the bench." 
James Dobson who heads Focus on the Family focused his anger on the 9th circuit court of appeals: "Very few people know this, that the Congress can simply disenfranchise a court. They don't have to fire anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do is say the 9th circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone." 
Edwin Vieira (at the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference) said his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Stalin: "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem.'" 
(The full quote is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." This at a supposedly Christian conference on "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith." Jesus would be proud. He also said that Justice Kennedy's philosophy "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law." Ah, it makes sense now, no?)
I don't know much of anything about Justice Kennedy; but I do find it infinitely amusing that he was appointed by REAGAN. I guess that's just how far-right these people are now; even a Reagan appointee is a "Marxist/Leninist." (Oh, and don't forget "Satanist." That's crucial.)
The director of Operation Rescue alleged that “the courts of this land have become a tool, in the hands of the devil, by which the culture of death has found access,” and failed presidential and Senate candidate Alan Keyes declared that “the judiciary is the focus of evil” in the country today.
In a lengthy April newsletter, James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, compared the courts’ actions to Nazism: “It is eerily similar to what the Nazis did in the 1930s. They began by ‘euthanizing’ the mentally retarded, and from there, it was a small step to mass murder.” A short time later, Dobson went on to compare the Supreme Court to the Ku Klux Klan:
I heard a minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in the South, and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality. And now we have black-robed men, and that's what you're talking about.