Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Oh Mickey, You're So Fine

In contrast to Fahrenheit 9/11, the movie "Mickey Mouse" refused to release, the Disney corporation gives us "America's Heart and Soul." A movie that gives us a positive view of America.

I think these two films and their approach are a perfect example of the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Al Franken said it best when he stated that the right "loves America like a four-year-old loves her mommy. In other words, America can do no wrong and anyone who criticizes her is evil. On the other hand, the left loves America like an adult loves their parents. We recognize the good and the bad in them, but in the end we love them anyway."

Michael Moore's film is not about his hatred for America and the people going to see it are not there because they hate our country. Quite the contrary. As a liberal, and I use that word proudly, I love my country. There is no place on earth that I would rather be. However, our country is sick right now. We are not well. There is a deep divide in our country that is causing us to spew vile hate and filth at each other. All you have to do is listen to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity and you can hear the anger. Not just at liberals, but at anyone that doesn't agree with them. Republicans can't take constructive criticism. If it doesn't agree with them, it's wrong and un-American. The times that I have listened to Limbaugh and Hannity I am amazed at the hatred in these men. How can anyone hate another person or group of people so much that they would want them killed. I actually heard Hannity say that the only solution to our terror problem is to kill them. This is the party of God?

There's an old saying that a fish rots from the head down. Meaning everything starts at the top. The hate in this country comes from our leadership. Just last week we had our Vice President telling a member of congress to "go f@#! yourself." And the best part? Other Republicans justified it by saying it needed to be done and it was just good fun.

Michael Moore did not make his film out of hatred. He made his film out of love. Love for a country that he wants to see get well. Our country is dying and it's rotting from the head down. When you're sick you have to cure the disease to get better. Our disease is in the White House. We have a chance to cure this disease in November.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Fahrenheit 9/11

This is a very moving movie. Despite what the critics say, I don't see how anyone could not be affected by parts of this movie.

First of all, the theater was probably 85-90% full. Considering it was a Sunday evening, I was surprised. I was also surprised to see a wide range of ages. During the movie I did see two couples walk out, one about ten minutes after it started and another about half-way through. Both were young couples and I can't say what prompted it. I would guess that they were hoping for something more like Dodgeball or White Chicks. Anyway, on to the movie.

Michael Moore begins by revisiting the 2000 Presidential election. Watching that footage for the first time in almost four years, I was surprised at how angry I still am. Seeing the protests, the rhetoric, James Baker; it was sickening. Next, the movie goes through 9/11 and a number of scenarios connecting the Bush family with the Saudis. Here is where Michael Moore receives the majority of criticism. Some critics claim that he's trying to show proof by juxtaposition; placing a number of events together and then saying how could this not be true without actually offering concrete proof. (Kind of like our government did concerning Saddam and his WMDs/ties to terrorism/threats to the United States.) To a certain degree, I can understand, but not support, the criticism. He makes a lot of claims in a short amount of time and offers the least amount of proof necessary. But, to show all of the evidence available, this movie would be at least four hours long, so I understand his approach. Now, if you are a person that doesn't want to believe that our government could be completely corrupt, this could be a little hard to swallow. However, if you've been following some of the alternate media outlets, all of this is common knowledge and easily understood.

What I don't hear the critics talking about is the next portion of the movie. When Moore talks about the human toll of the war in Iraq, it is undeniably one of the most powerful movies ever made. We all hear that "war is hell'" but the media never shows it so we don't actually believe it. Michael Moore shows it. The bodies, the blood, the pain, and the heartbreak of the families. All of this is intercut with shots of our administration selling their lies, underscoring their brutal and deadly dishonesty. Anyone who sees this and doesn't feel remorse or guilt must be completely heartless. Everyone who supports the war should be forced to watch this portion of the film. Even if you agree with George W. Bush, you should see what is happening to our soldiers and their families. It's unimaginable.

A lot of people have said that anyone who votes should see this film. I agree. Maybe not the whole thing, as I'm sure a lot of naive people will disagree with Moore's take on Bush, but at least the part concerning the war. If you can still vote for this murdering, lying fool, you might want to check your conscience. Our president likes to claim that he is a man of God, but I know of no man of God that could possibly subject any human being to this fate.

Go see the movie, then do something about it.

Friday, June 25, 2004


Looking Out For #1

How many shady deals can our government perpetrate? How many times can we screw the Iraqis? Isn't it enough that we bombed their country, stole their oil, allowed terrorists to infiltrate their borders, and will be turning over a steaming pile of shit to them in about five days?

Apparently not. As I write this, our government is looking to extend Order 17 in Iraq which gives our troops immunity from prosecution for war crimes. This means that we can't be held accountable for killing innocent civilians and destroying property.

So in other words, we can do whatever we want and there's nothing Iraq can do about it. So much for sovereignty.

What are we afraid of? That the Iraqis might not appreciate us? What could they possibly be dissatisfied with? After all, we overthrew Saddam, a man with no military, no weapons, and no way of threatening our own country in order to install a democratic government which goes against the principals of their religion. Are we scared that they might want justice for the little torture incident at Abu Ghraib? Or maybe we're concerned that they might not be happy about our wrongful detention of hundreds of Iraqis. Then again, it could be that we've killed a few thousand innocent civilians. But that's just trivial stuff. After all, they're free. Now they can clean up our mess, fight off the terrorists we let in, and try to restore order to a country in chaos. I can't understand why we would want immunity. We've obviously done nothing wrong.

By the way, check out the mouth on Cheney.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


SHHHH!...Don't Tell

Once again, the Supreme Court has sided with their chosen one. In a 7-2 decision, the Court has stated that the Bush administration does not have to turn over records concerning Cheney's energy task force.

(Despite Justice Scalia's personal relationship with Vice President Cheney, he was allowed to remain on the case and sided with the majority.)

This decision allows Bush/Cheney to continue to hide the names of those that helped write this administration's energy policy. Speculation is that Cheney, a former energy industry leader himself, gathered friends like former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay to help formulate an energy policy. Surprisingly enough, the final draft of that policy was very favorable to the big energy companies. Energy companies being allowed to write policy to increase profits? Only in America!

In fact a lot of what this administration has done during its tenure has been to the benefit of big business. Tax incentives, deregulation, environmental policy, and the list goes on. But this shouldn't come as any real surprise considering the background of the administration officials. Haliburton, Harken, Chevron, ... all big business.

Some people claim that there are certain things that need to be kept secret, my wife has friend who believes that there are certain things that we don't need to know, but I don't believe in that doctrine. Not when it comes to our government. Personal lives are one thing, but national policy is another. This is a government of the people, for the people. Policy that benefits a few while disenfranchising many is simply bad policy.

Once again, I ask the question: Why does this administration have so many secrets? I believe it was our own president that said: "A country that hides something is a country that is afraid of getting caught." I know it's a stupid quote, but maybe he knows something we don't.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Sex, Lies, and Divorce Papers

Living in Illinois, I find this particularly interesting, but I also think that this has a greater ramification. Illinois Senate candidate Jack Ryan (R) is reeling from the sex scandal set off by the release of his sealed divorce papers.

To begin with, I am inclined to say that this is nobody's business but his own. I had the same opinion when the Republicans were hunting Clinton for his indiscretions with Lewinsky. Things like this make no difference in every day life and simply serve as a political tool for the opponent. Is it a little twisted? Maybe, but it's his business.

One thing this situation does is that it points out a few differences between the parties. Take for instance the Republican reaction to the Clinton affair: feigned outrage, months of media coverage, Ken Starr's investigation, and impeachment. Now contrast that with Ryan's opponent, Barack Obama's reaction: "I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on that. Those are issues of personal morality. The issues I'm focused on are public morality." Slightly different approach, wouldn't you say?

I would also like to point out that the Republican party is supposed to be the party of "family values." They also claim to be the party of moral decency, higher integrity, and, if you ask our President, God's personal choice. Apparently God looks the other way when it comes to certain Republicans like Packwood, Gingrich, Limbaugh, et al. (Maybe God even looks the other way when it comes to ignoring the Pope's advice and killing innocent Iraqi civilians too.) But what I find the most interesting is that you don't hear the Democrats whining and haranguing about the sex scandals like the Republicans do. I think it's called taking the high road.

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. If you don't want them exposed, I would advise you to stay out of the public eye. Or, at the very least, be honest and up front about it. When he began his bid for the Senate Ryan was asked by GOP officials if there was anything embarassing in his past and he replied that he "didn't think so." Did he really think that this would remain hidden? Based on recent political history that would be naive.

As I said, I find this to be an interesting dilema. What will the GOP do to spin this into a Democratic attack?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


That Giant Sucking Sound

You may remember that Ross Perot coined the phrase "giant sucking sound" during a debate over NAFTA with then Vice President Al Gore. (By the way, does anybody know what ever happened to the H at the beginning of Perot's name?) At the time Perot was referring to American jobs moving to Mexico, however I think the phrase can be currently applied to the Bush administration's popularity. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News Poll, Bush is headed down the drain.

If you've been following this blog (and according to my counter not many people have) you'll know that I've spent a lot of time discussing George W. Bush's truthfulness or, more appropriately, his lack of. Judging by these poll numbers more and more people are seeing through his deceits. The White House's lies and secrets are finally beginning to catch up to them.

Could it be the lack of WMDs that is finally doing him in? Maybe it's the continued instability of the situation in Iraq. Could it be the fact that Osama bin Laden has never been captured? It could be the abuse scandal that now appears on the brink of reaching to the highest powers in Washington. Still though, it could just be the fact that he continues to make poor, uninformed choices. Or maybe he's just a jackass, who knows?

Regardless of what the reason is, Bush is floundering. He is drowning in a sea of his own lies and secrets. The only thing that I think could save him would be the bin Laden life preserver. I expect to see it thrown in before November.

For more opinion on Bush and his lies check out this article from the L.A. Times.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Will The Truth Come Out?

We may, and I stress may, finally get some truth about the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib. A judge in the courts marshall hearings has ruled that the top military commander in Iraq and his subordinates may be questioned.

I really don't think this will get us anywhere, but it will force some people to make a tough decision. The way I see it they have three choices:
  1. Invoke their fifth amendment rights and look guilty as hell,
  2. Lie under oath and perjure themselves, or
  3. Actually tell the truth (not likely to happen).

So I would say that choice two seems the most likely. However, there are some problems with choice two. What if someone doesn't play ball? What if someone has a conscience? What if someone has a shred of moral decency? All it would take is one person to cave in and this would all blow up in their face.

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a society that valued truth and decency? (I know this is getting a little idealistic, but hear me out.) Isn't that the standard we like to hold ourselves to? Isn't that the reason (one of many) we invaded Iraq to begin with, because Saddam had no sense of decency and he wasn't being truthful about his stockpiles of weapons? Isn't truth and decency the vision for the new Iraq?

I'd say this would be the perfect time to set the example for the rest of the world. Step up to the plate and be honest! Even if it means that some top level officials get screwed in the process. The only way to restore America's credibility worldwide is to come clean about these abuses.

The current administration has cost our nation a lot of well-earned and well-deserved respect as the guiding force in the world. Up to this point we have always tried to be on the right side of conflict. Good over evil. I know that the White House would have you believe that the war on terrorism is an example of just that, but over the last sixteen months, we have become the aggressor and the tyrant. We have crossed the line from good to evil. Hopefully these hearings can bring us back and begin the long, slow process of restoring our dignity.

Friday, June 18, 2004


Liar, Liar, ...

Somebody is lying. I know that this is the third day for this same topic, but something is definitely wrong here. In this article from CNN, Cheney reasserts that Iraq was associated with al Qaeda. Alright, fine, let's agree to disagree on this issue. But I want to take a look at the last line of the article:

Probably?! How would that be possible? Hasn't the 9/11 commission conducted hours upon hours of interviews and analysis? Wasn't everyone interviewed under oath and thereby required to be truthful? Oh wait, there were two people that weren't required to be under oath. Who was that?

If Cheney knows something the 9/11 commission is unaware of, then that can only mean that he and/or President Bush withheld information. Just like everything else, they have not been truthful or forthcoming. Why can't this administration just be honest. Why do they continue to hide the truth. I would think that after all the heat they have taken over Iraq, that they would be willing to come forth with some sort of "smoking gun" evidence that could justify their actions. But no, they continue to keep secrets. Why? Better yet, what exactly is the lie? Is it that they know something that they aren't telling or is the lie simply that they know something. Could Cheney's information be the lie?

Either way, someone in this administration has lied again. How many times do they get to lie about why our soldiers are dying before someone, the Democrats, the media, anyone, will call them on it? Has our nation become that spineless? God help us if we have.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


I Know You Are, But What Am I?

The soap opera continues. As I pointed out yesterday, there is some disagreement between the 9/11 Commission and President Bush over whether or not Iraq had ties to al Qaeda. Bush says yes, the commission says no. Now Bush is arguing.

I can't understand what would make him think that anyone would believe him. His track record on being correct about Iraq is not a pretty one. On top of all of this the L.A. Times is reporting that our intelligence on Iraq was a complete failure from the beginning.

In addition, we are learning about Iraqi prisoners being held in secret and hidden from the International Red Cross. Another direct violation of the Geneva Convention and another indication of this administration's dishonesty.

At some point, I would hope that someone would develop a conscience and admit failure. The White House lied to bring this country to war and has been covering it up ever since. We are desperately searching for something to justify ourselves and have made matters worse in the process. It's like when you were a kid and lied to your parents about how the lamp got broken and then had to cover the lie with more and more lies.

The hole's getting deeper around this administration and they just keep digging.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Who To Believe?

Today's special is dueling opinions.

According to this article from the Boston Globe our president and his sidekick assert that there was a direct link between al Qaeda and Iraq.

Meanwhile, this statement made by the 9/11 Commission asserts something completely different.

So, who should we believe?

Well let's see; our president has already lied to us a number of times concerning Iraq. He said that there were WMDs; there weren't. He said that we would be welcomed as liberators; we weren't/aren't. He said that we would bring stability to the Middle East; we haven't. He said that we were doing this to protect America; we haven't. (And these are only the lies about Iraq.)

Is the 9/11 Commission fully credible? That has yet to be seen, but I think it's clear who can't be trusted.

In November we have to make a change. Now some of you may be worried that Kerry isn't the right choice; but I think it's clear that Bush is definitely the WRONG choice. It's time for a change.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Appealing To A Higher Power

James Madison, the "Father of our Constitution," is quoted as saying:

yet the Bush administration is trying to use religion to its political advantage.

Although the invoking of religion is nothing new for Bush, I think it shows the hypocritical nature of his leadership. During the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Pope was very outspoken against military action. But like so many others, he was ignored. George and his PNAC buddies were going to war no matter what. However, now that it works to their advantage, the White House is looking to the Pope for help. I guess when the chips are down, a desparate man will resort to anything

However, this approach is not an isolated incident. You can draw parallels between Bush's approach to the Catholic Church and his approach to the United Nations. Anything that will help the President politically is fair game (like the recent U.N. resolution concerning Iraq), but if it goes against his intentions (like the advice of U.N. members who were opposed to invading Iraq) he conveniently ignores it.

I think the Republicans have a name for this affliction; they call it flip-flopping. Something they like to claim is one of the reasons to vote against John Kerry. Maybe George's mother forgot to teach him about people in glass houses.

Monday, June 14, 2004


To Hell In A Handbasket

The Bush administration better hope that the Reagan-o-thon continues a little while longer to take some attention away from Iraq. Things are quickly falling apart as we approach the June 30th "turn over of power."

Since the new Iraqi government was named on June 1, dozens of civilians and foriegn workers have been killed and two members of the new government have been assassinated.

Meanwhile, the city of Fallujah has become exactly what the Bush administration does not want: a working theocracy facilitated by our own truce agreement.

When will we figure this out? We are failing. Bush can say that we are making progress as many times as he wants, but repeating a lie over and over still doesn't make it true. Democracy and Islam have basic fundamental differences that will not allow them to exist together. So the Iraqi's are left with two options: forfeit their religion for the vision of a foriegn government; or fight to protect their beliefs and values. I wonder what the United States would do if faced with the same situation?

Fortunately, people here in the U.S. are losing patience. On Wednesday, a group called Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change will release a statement condemming the Bush foriegn policy as destructive and dangerous to the American people.

The White House is already trying to spin this as irrelevant and too little too late, but the stature of the members of this group has to give them some credibility. Even those who served under Bush-the-Smarter and Reagan-the-Great realize how pathetic our current leadership is.

Friday, June 11, 2004


It Just Keeps Coming

Even mild-mannered Kofi Annan can't stop himself from criticizing Bush.

In a commencement speech at Harvard, Annan criticized the U.S. policy of pre-emption.

This unnecessary war in Iraq has hurt our credibility world-wide. We have alienated our allies and empowered our enemies. And despite the fact that the neocons will say statements like this hurt our troops, I believe differently. Our troops should know the truth. Our sons and daughters and fathers and husbands should know what they are up against and what they are fighting for.

They are fighting for power; not liberation, as the current administration would have you believe; not to protect our freedom, we were already free and under no threat from Iraq; and not to bring democracy to the Middle East. We are fighting to gain a foothold in an oil-rich, Muslim controlled region of the world so that we can wield our power over the non-Christians and get our hand into the cookie jar of their wealth.

If you need proof, ask yourself why did we go to war in Iraq? Was it because of the threat of WMDs? That was the first reason our government gave us and it turned out to be untrue. Was it because of Saddam's links to al Qaida and Osama bin Laden? The president himself admitted that there was never any proof of that. Was it because of Iraq's role in the 9/11 attacks? Please! Was it to free the Iraqi's from a tyrannical and torturous regime? Apparently not because we just took his place as the torturers. So why? I'll tell you why: Power.

Was Saddam a bad guy? Absolutely. Was it our place to remove him? Absolutely not. If we're going to play the role of big brother protector for all the innocent victims in the world, we will be at this for a long time. Not only are there other more despicable leaders in the world, but some of them actually are a threat to our national security.

So that leaves one more question. If this is about WMDs/liberation/democracy, why did we choose an oil rich nation who's leader had a past history with our country and a grudge with our president's father? POWER


Brother Ray

The entertainment world lost a true pioneer yesterday. One of the original ten inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Ray Charles did as much for soul and R&B as Elvis did for Rock & Roll. Charles was a master of all musical genres and infused his spirit and genius into all. He will be truly missed.

As a tribute to Ray, everyone should listen to "What'd I Say" at some point today.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


The Friends You Keep...

George W. Bush has taken a lot of criticism for his (lack of) intelligence. I think we've all heard stories about his less than stellar academic achievement. During the 2000 campaign, a big deal was made about the fact that Bush didn't have to be the smartest person because he would surround himself with good people. Well, that hasn't really happened, has it? We only need to look at some of the advice this president has been receiving lately to realize that. Take for example Iraq, Chalabi, or even torture. Maybe a smarter president would be able to tell the difference between good and bad advice. Maybe a smarter president would have chosen more trustworthy people to advise him.

I think the majority of Americans agree.

By the way, comment posting has now been fixed and is open to everyone. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004



According to this article in the San Francisco Gate, our government can't count.

So let me get this straight, our government has been releasing false information to bolster support for the president? I'm shocked! I was told that this president would "bring integrity back to the White House." I was under the impression that he has "strong values" and a "commitment to the truth." Has it all been a lie?

You bet it has. This president and his administration have been misleading the public for a long time. It started long before he was selected as the commander-in-chief. You want proof?

Where to start? How about his military service? What about the pre-9/11 intelligence? What about Iraq's WMDs? Get the idea?

I was living in Texas in 1994 when George Bush ran for Governor against Ann Richards. They both went hunting (not together, although that could have been interesting) as a kind of PR stunt. Bush shot and killed a bird that was out of season and instead of acknowledging his mistake, he tried to sneak it into his game bag before anyone noticed. Needless to say, the media caught him.

Why do I tell you this? Because it goes to the heart of this administration’s problem. They can not tell the truth about even the smallest of missteps if it could hurt their image. They are unwilling to admit fault.

I work with a man that ends every meeting with the same question: “Is there anything else for the good of the cause?” The good of the cause is supposed to be our president’s job. Sometimes it is necessary to admit guilt or fault for the “good of the cause” to prevent the same things from happening in the future. This administration has been adamant about their decisions no matter the outcome and has often put the nation in peril because of it.

This is just one in a long line of deceptions. Future posts will discuss some of the more serious and disheartening lies that this administration has peddled for their own profit.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Is Nothing Sacred?

According to an article in the LA Times, the Bush administration can't even be respectful to the dead. They are hoping that Ronald Reagan's death will boost the President's lagging popularity. We already knew about Bush's lack of respect for human life as evidenced in his handling of the Iraqi/Afghan casualties, but now he's preying on the legacy of a dead president.

I realize that this administration has no moral value whatsoever. They like to tell everyone about the President's convictions, but what it comes down to is that they want to win at all costs. No matter the damage done to an individual (see Anne Richards, John McCain, Al Gore, etc.), this administration will use anyone's disadvantage (perceived or otherwise) for their gain. It's all about power: having it and keeping it. They will lie, cheat, steal, and even kill (Iraq) to maintain the power.

Modern conservatives adore Reagan. He is their messiah. He is the model for present-day conservatism, and here is our President hoping to benefit from his death. Pathetic.


Apparently I'm not the only person to notice this. Check out this Boston Globe Article.

Still don't believe me? Look at this.

Monday, June 07, 2004


Remembering Ronnie

I have to say that I don't recognize this man they've been revering in the news this past weekend. Who was this "great man?" The Reagan I remember was much different. The Reagan I remember was cruel and heartless.

I was in the fifth grade when Reagan was elected and a freshman in college when his term was up. And throughout his entire term my family received nothing from him. Absolutely no benefits whatsoever. We were poor and we remained poor. My father had to work two jobs to pay the bills and all I heard about was how trickle-down economics was working. Apparently eight years wasn't long enough for the benefits to trickle down to us. Our electricity got shut off, our car often ran out of gas, we sometimes had to drink Kool-aid for breakfast. Why? Because we had no money. Tax cuts weren't helping and we didn't qualify for federal aid because Ronnie had gutted it. As I said before, my father had to work two jobs to keep us above water, yet I couldn't get assistance for college because my parents made too much money. How is this possible? My parents did what they could to try and eke out a respectful life, but no matter how hard they worked they couldn't get ahead. Thanks Ron!

I remember Reagan as a friend of the rich. Not the great compassionate leader that he's being remembered as. I don't know this man they keep showing on television.


I agree.

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