Thursday, December 30, 2004


To What End?

At what point does determination become obsession? When is that line between perseverance and pure bull-headedness crossed? Wherever that line is, we are about to go charging across it.

Like a horse with blinders on, our current administration is hell-bent on maintaining the date for Iraqi elections. However, it may prove to be a little difficult if they don't have anyone to man the polling places.

All other things aside, we clearly aren't able to provide the necessary security to quell the Iraqi's fears. Of course our government tries to portray this as a desperate insurgency willing to try anything to disrupt the march of freedom, but day-by-day it looks increasingly clearer that the shoe of desperation is on the other foot; ours. As if we needed any proof of our desperation to regain control of the situation, we need to look no further than the hurried training and deployment of our guard and reserve units. Just today, my local guard unit deployed two months early in an effort to beef up security for the upcoming elections. After a mere two months of training, the unit was given a five day leave to come home for Christmas and upon their return to training yesterday, they were informed that they would deploy this morning at 6:00 AM. Happy Holidays, boys.

The article goes on to say that insurgents are claiming that democracy and the Muslim faith can not co-exist.

This, of course, is not a new revelation. This has been discussed since the beginning of the invasion. There are certain principles to democracy that do not align with the Islamic faith. By installing a democratically elected government in a Muslim country, we may be forcing the Iraqis to choose between their faith and their government. If that is indeed the case, what legitimacy will the elected officials have? Furthermore, what will be the basis for their decisions? Will it be the good of the country, the equality of all Iraqis, or the teachings of their faith? And finally, will we accept and support a democratically elected Iraqi government if it grounds itself in the teachings of the Islamic faith and denies the rights of some of its citizens based on gender, religion, or ancestry?

All of these questions have yet to be addressed and here we are a mere month from the magic day without enough troops to secure the nation and, apparently, enough personel to man the polling stations. What an embarassment this has become.

Sidenote: With today's deployment, Mrs. kissfan and I are seeing former students and colleagues being sent into harm's way. Our thoughts are with them and their families and we both hope to see them returned safe and sound whatever the outcome in Iraq ultimately is to be.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Too Smart For Our Own Good?

A few days ago, the Associated Press ran an article that I found to be disturbing, but very telling. It seems as though some of our nation's college students are reluctant to learn anything new out of fear that it may contradict their "core values."

In other words, "Don't challenge my beliefs as a conservative. Don't offer me a differing viewpoint, because I don't want to hear it." In even simpler terms, "Don't make me think. Just allow me to be a sheep."

This is part of the problem in today's political world. Many people have become so closed-minded that they refuse to listen to any opposing viewpoint. If it doesn't come from Rush, Coulter, or Faux News, then it must be tainted by a liberal bias and is therefore unreliable. Even our colleges and universities are being brought into question.

So how do we solve this problem? As Dr. Teresa Whitehurst, a clinical psychologist, explains, some would say that you just have to be careful that you don't get "too much education" because it could lead to liberalism.

You see, to some people liberalism and education are one in the same. This is, of course, categorically false. Education does not equal liberalism, it equals information. When you are educated, you are informed. And when you are informed, you have the capability to make your own decisions. This is what the conservatives fear the most: an educated country.

As long as the majority of Americans are willing to be led around like sheep, the conservatives will be happy. An informed population is their worst enemy. An informed population is curious and curious people tend to seek the truth. The truth is not something the current administration is terribly fond of. But from the AP article, it appears as if there is a rising tide of Americans that don't want to be informed. They simply aren't curious enough to seek the truth. They are content to live in their sheltered world of misinformation and right-slanted views and the rest of the world, the informed part, can just go to hell.

So much for challenging ourselves to be better people. So much for challenging ourselves to be critical thinkers. So much for challenging ourselves to be the leaders of tomorrow. We're content to be the followers of today. We are content to strive for mediocrity.

Pity the world if the conservatives get their way.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


In the Spirit of Christmas

With all of the harsh words spoken between the two political parties, it can be difficult to look past the hurt feelings and come together as one during this holiday season. I, for one, was shocked to find out that we as liberals "hate Christmas." Imagine my surprise when I found out that Christmas was "under attack" from the left. To be honest, I feel ashamed. So in the spirit of Christmas, I'd like to offer a musical olive branch to the conservatives, wingnuts, and religio-crazies out there. So like a long-distance dedication, I would like to offer this song by Pat Godwin as a token of my apologies. Enjoy!

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Sidenote:Because of the holidays and the kissfan's anniversary, Truespeak will be taking a short break. I'll see you back here on Wednesday, December 29. So spend some time with your families, relax, and enjoy yourselves because 2005 is just around the corner and we need to start preparing for the midterm elections in 2006. Until then, Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004



How are we supposed to be able to secure an entire country when we can't even secure our own military bases?

I don't know what else to say. We keep hearing from the administration that we are making progress, but we keep seeing things like this that indicate things are getting worse. What a complete mess.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


I Can't Take It Anymore!

These are just a few excerpts from articles suggesting that the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay may have gone all the way up to the White House. According to one article the abuses were authorized under an executive order.

From another article:

And this from the ACLU:

(You can view all of the ACLU's documents pertaining to abuse here.)

We were told that the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were an isolated incident commited by a handful of rogue soldiers. This was a lie. Unfortunately, I've lost track of just exactly how many lies we, the American people, have been told by this administration. Yet nobody has been held accountable. When is the buck going to stop? When will someone in the press ball-up enough to ask the questions and start an investigation?

We have been lied to from the beginning of this debacle known as the War in Iraq. We were told that Saddam possessed WMD. We were told that we would be greeted as liberators. We were told that we had enough troops on the ground to do the job. We were told that the capture of Saddam would break the insurgency. We were told that the insurgency consisted of a handful of former Saddam loyalists. We were told that the retaking of Fallujah would break the back of the insurgents. We were told... We were told... We were told... We were told...

How many more lies will we tolerate? How many more deaths will we put up with? How many more families will be destroyed before someone decides that they have had enough. Who fucking cares if this is a "war president?" He is lying to us! We owe it to our country and to our soldiers to find out the truth!

Everyday that this war goes unchecked is another day that we are being lied to. It's another day that a soldier is putting his or her life on the line for a lie. Presidents have been impeached for lies that didn't lead to anyone's death, so why are we allowing this president to get away this? For every day that goes by, for every soldier that dies, for every Iraqi civilian killed, we deserve an answer. When are we going to get them?

Monday, December 20, 2004



Does anybody remember the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)? It involved really bad sci-fi movies and a viewer and his two robots who made sarcastic remarks about the films. Quite amusing, indeed. Well, I thought it might be fun if we applied the same principle to our daily news. I like to call it Political Science Theater 3000 or PST3K. Welcome to episode one.

Yea, yea, Happy Holidays prick!
Because you're always so forthcoming with information.
I'm sure you do.
As opposed to achieving something else?
So what if they're not in this country, right?
So my rich friends can continue to screw the country out of taxes.
To everyone except the ones who need it most.
Yea! Screw the middle schools. Little fuckers are annoying anyway!
You heard him folks, he said the fix was in on Social Security.
You know, both parties: Republicans and Conservatives.
Like gay marriage and cures for diseases.
I know of one type of intelligence that isn't going to be improved. His!
Just as soon as they move to Canada.
You see, now that we've bombed the shit out of them, they're just really pissed off at us. I'm sure they won't retalliate or anything.
As long as they continue to kiss our asses and do what we want them to.
We've had Diebold programming their voting machines for at least six months now.
I thought they were already expressing their "free will" by bombing the shit out of us whenever they feel like it.
However, there's a good chance they could all be dead by election day.
And they will have absolutely no authority whatsoever.
Assuming it meets our our specifications, that is.
So just how many beginnings does this process have, asshole? You've been telling us this for twenty-one months now. Is there ver going to be an end to this process?
Except for the tyranny we're forcing them to live in right now. But that's beside the point.
In other words: We're screwed!
Like I said: SCREWED!
Yea we know, Diebold.
Or at least the ones we haven't already slaughtered.
Uh, we've seen your strategy, George. It's been the same since the beginning. It's called "Whack-a-Mole." You might want to rethink it.
Uh, that's spelled D-R-A-F-T for those of you playing along at home.
Or at least we'll keep killing someone. Who knows, maybe it will be an insurgent, maybe not. We're really just guessing anyway.
And eventually kick our asses out.
No, they just export their jobs to other countries that pay $.50/hr and aren't required to pay federal taxes.
Except for us, of course.
No kidding, I hear Rumsfeld's had to have his signature machine refurbished twice already.
That's more than you've ever done, jackass!
Blah, blah, blah!

Friday, December 17, 2004


Look Over Here

No post tonight. Instead, check out Ickabod's Rightside Down. After a short break, he's back on track.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Dissension In The Ranks

The list keeps getting longer.

As George W. Bush continues to stand by his embattled Secretary of Defense, the rest of his party is getting the hellout of Dodge. It all started with the armor question. Now for those of us who have been following the "internets," this really wasn't anything new. But for the American "sheeple," this was shocking. Maybe if Rumsfeld had answered the question a little more diplomatically, he could have defused the situation. But delicacy has never been Rumsfeld's strong suit. In fact, his snarky response only added fuel to the fire.

Soon thereafter we began to hear the calls for Rummy's head. At first it was mostly from the left, but it gained traction on the weekend talk shows and we were soon hearing that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has no confidence in poor old Rummy. Most people thought "so what?" We all know that McCain can be somewhat of a maverick. But when others like Sen. Chuck Hagel (R - NE) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R- MN) started to join him, it began to look serious. Just recently we've seen the addition of Trent Lott (R-MS) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to that list. So how many more are yet to come?

This all begs the question: how long before Bush is forced to abandon ship? Or has he earned enough "political capitol" to ride this one out? You see, this puts our dear Georgie-boy in a rather awkward position between that proverbial rock and hard place. On the one hand he could stick with Don but he risks alienating even more of his party. This could hurt his chances of passing any future defense spending packages. On the other hand though, if he bails out on Donny, he's admiting that there may have been some mistakes made along the way in Iraq and he has stated repeatedly that if given the chance he would do it all again. Besides, admitting mistakes is not one of Shrub's strong points.

So where do we go? Obviously I'd like to see Rumsfeld kicked to the curb, but I shudder at who we would get to replace him. Wolfowitz? Perle? Any number of neocons could step in and continue on in the Rumsfeld tradition without interruption. So replacing him may not be the answer. In truth, I expect Bush to stick by his man and give the metaphoric finger to those dissenters in his party and the Dems in general. But don't get too down about this. It could easily work to our advantage.

The longer Bush sticks with his failed policy and policymakers, the more ammunition the Democrats will have in 2006. We just have to be sure that we start firing early enough. Now would be a good time to start. We can begin by referring to those dissenters as if they were part of our party. We can include them when we say things like "we disagree with the Secretary of Defense." We shouldn't hesitate to point out that conservatives are starting to agree with us. If we act now, we can use Donald Rumsfeld as our wedge. He's got poor approval ratings, he's abrasive, and he's stubborn; but best of all, he's Bush's boy. They come as a matched set.

So how do we frame this issue? Well, to use a familiar approach:

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Houston, We Have A Problem!

Shocking as it may be, a planned test of our missile defense system has failed yet again.

This just kills me. We are spending billions of dollars on a fantasy space-movie plan to protect us from the "bad guys." According to the article, we've been successful five out of eight times. Let's put that in perspective, shall we?

Five out of eight is approximately 63%. If my students score 63% on an exam, it's an "F." So missile defense is currently scoring an "F."

If I ran a company and I had an employee who called in sick every day the weather didn't meet his fancy, I'd fire him. Furthermore, if he spent three out of every eight hours on the job sitting in the emplyees lounge doing nothing, he'd be fired. If he screwed up three out of every eight projects he was working on, he'd be fired. Get my drift?

Now some would say that a 63% rate of success is pretty good. A baseball player would be thrilled if he could hit .625. Basketball players would be ecstatic with a 63% shooting percentage. But we're talking about apples and oranges here. With missile defense we're saying that 63% of the time we know when a missile is going to be launched under cooperative weather conditions from a known location, we are successful. So if someone like Kim Jong Il would be so kind as to launch a nuclear attack on us on a clear sunny day with an acceptable period of notification, we could expect to stop 63% of the missiles. Hopefully those other 27% will fail to detonate. If they don't, well we're sorry about that.

Maybe, instead of spending billions on a game of nuclear roulette, we should be investing our money in diplomatic efforts to curb the production of said missiles. But no, we continue to throw money down the drain on something that continuously presents a security risk. As we've heard so many times, we have to be right 100% of the time while the terrorists only have to be right once. Well so far we're only capable of being right 63% of the time. It's time to abandon this money-pit of a fantasy and actually focus on the problems at hand. If we are able to control the proliferation and development of weapons, there is no need for something like missile defense.

(Unfortunately, Haliburton and Lockheed-Martin won't make any money off of non-proliferation talks so this isn't too likely to happen.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Who Are These Guys and Where Have They Been?

Did I miss something? All of a sudden the Democratic Party is acting like they've got a pair.

Now I realize that these aren't exactly serious threats, but it's a start. It's better than laying down and letting the Republicans walk all over us like we've been doing since 9/11 for fear of being labeled unpatriotic. It's better than quietly taking the daily screwings that we've been receiving for the last four years. Sure, things may not change a whole lot, but at least we're making some noise. At least people will know that we don't approve of all the lies and secrecy. Hell, we might even get a reputation for standing up to authority.

A few weeks ago I was pretty tough on Senator Reid. I made some rather disparaging remarks about his "rather dance than fight" attitude. After reading this today, I have to say I'm at least encouraged. This doesn't mean that anything's going to happen, after all, politicians are famous for saying they will do something and then avoiding it like the plague. But at least we're making an attempt to control the issues. Now we have to follow through on this promise. We have to complain loud and we have to complain often. It can't be whining, we have to have facts and proof on our side. It's going to be difficult and it's going to take time, but it can be done. We've got to start somewhere and this is as good as anyplace else.

If this kind of assertiveness keeps up, we just might regain some control in this country.

Monday, December 13, 2004


Happy Spider Hole Day!

Has it been a year already? My how time flies!

One year ago today, Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a "spider hole" outside of his hometown of Tikrit. Oh how we celebrated. The media practically creamed themselves over the video of Saddam's medical exam. I remember waking up that morning to find a wild-eyed Tom Brokaw babbling about how things were going to be very different now that Saddam was in custody. This was going to be the United States' defining moment in the war. Now the Iraqi people could breathe easy. In fact, Donald Rumsfeld even went so far as to make this prediction:

Well, 838 US deaths later and here we are. The country is still in chaos, the Iraqis are still unable to provide their own security, and the insurgency has actually stepped-up it's attacks. Our soldiers have been dying at an average of 2.35 per day since Saddam was found in that hole. The death rate prior to his capture: 1.70 per day. Things sure are different.

Actually, there's been a whole list of things that were supposed to make a difference. There was:
  1. The fall of Baghdad - 1174 dead soldiers ago, (1.92 per day)
  2. The deaths of Uday and Qusay - 1060 dead soldiers ago, (2.08 per day)
  3. The capture of Saddam - 838 dead soldiers ago, (2.35 per day)
  4. The transfer of power - 445 dead soldiers ago, (2.64 per day)

As you can see, the death rate has been steadily climbing with each new difference making event. I can't wait for elections, because that will truly change everything.

Friday, December 10, 2004



According to my local paper, eleven Illinois school districts must stop after-school tutoring sessions because (you guessed it) the districts are underperforming. (Sorry, I can't find a link)

Call me crazy, but if the districts are failing shouldn't they increase their after-school tutoring program? That would make sense to me. However, the No Child Left Behind act says differently. According to NCLB:

Now this makes sense. According to the article:

Under NCLB, the federal money used for after-school tutoring must now be used to pay private companies to do the job of trained teachers. Yet another way the Bush administration is funneling money to private businesses and further depleting the resources of the schools that need it most.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Jesus - The Liberal Years (Part 3 of a Series)

Continuing in my series, I give you this letter from James, the brother of Jesus. The letters of James are addressed to Christians in general and not to any particular church. The letters are mainly concerned with the practical side of the Christian faith, consisting of the principles for every day conduct. They discuss true religion, faith and wisdom.

James 2:1-13:

Which of our two major political parties chooses mercy over judgement? It's certainly not the conservatives. So when the religious right shoves their faith in your face, remember that we are the party that Jesus would have chosen. It is our values that are most closely aligned with his teachings.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Here, Here!

I think Howard Dean has been reading Truespeak.

Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Caveat Emptor

Before statutory law the buyer of a product had no guarantee of the product's quality. Hence the latin term caveat emptor, which means let the buyer beware. I only wish that our nation had headed that advice on November 2. Now we are stuck with what we voted for. Let's take a look at what we're getting for our votes.




And all of this from just one day's news cycle. Thanks George. Thanks red America. I hope you're satisfied with what you got for your vote because we're stuck with him now.

Monday, December 06, 2004


Look Over Here

Today's post can be found here.

Friday, December 03, 2004


A Proud Liberal

Of late, the term liberal has become synonymous amoral. We on the left have been cast as valueless heathens worthy only of scorn and ridicule. To listen to the media, we are a gasping, dying breed clinging desperately to the ghost of a once great party. Never mind that our candidate received 56 million votes in the presidential last election. In today's journalistic society, you're only as credible as the outcome of the last election cycle. It's what I like to call the American Idol syndrome. Give us a contest so we can hurry up and mock the losers.

Well I, for one, refuse to play this game. I am proud to be a liberal. Despite the negative connotations; despite the amoralistic image; I am proud. I'm proud because I know that when I am faced with trouble, I will make the just decision. As a liberal I will always choose charity over greed, I will choose tolerance over bigotry, and I will choose humility over pride. My liberal values compel me to err on the side of compassion and mercy when faced with anger and hatred. And because of my liberal morals, I will always choose what is best for my country, my family, and my faith over personal gain.

These are the values I learned from my parents as a child and these are the values that I hope to pass on to my own children because these are the values of a liberal. While the media and the rest skewer my party for its lack of morals, I stand proud knowing that I too have strong values. I simply choose not to shove them in the face of my opponent.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


The More Things Change...

The blogosphere has been on fire this week over CBS' and NBC's refusal to air an advertisement for the United Church of Christ in which they are promoting their open-door policy to people of all walks of life. The network's reasoning for refusing to run the ad appears to center around the inclusion of a gay couple being denied entry into a church. According to CBS, the ad is too controversial because it "implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies..." Now, if I'm reading this correctly, CBS is saying that acceptance of minorities is a bad thing. Funny, I thought this country was built on acceptance. What about "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; send these, the homeless tempest-tossed, to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door?" Sure sounds pretty accepting to me.

CBS went on to say "the fact that the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] Networks." Silly me, I didn't realize that George W. Bush's personal beliefs were a determining factor in CBS' broadcast policies. I guess you can call me naive.

In their response to the networks' rejection, the UCC makes a pretty solid case for themselves.

I couldn't agree more.

This situation raises so many questions that it's hard to know where to begin. First of all, I think it brings into question the notion of a liberal media. Wouldn't it stand to reason that a liberal media would want to run ads promoting the acceptance of gays and minorities? Wouldn't a liberal media want to run ads critical of George W. Bush's policies? Of course I've never bought into the whole liberal media theory, but I would think that this would poke a major hole in it.

Secondly, why is it that networks like NBC have no problem promoting shows such as Will & Grace, which features openly gay characters, but finds this ad "too controversial?" I guess it's because the homosexuals on Will & Grace are funny while the reality of homosexual relationships is not. Sort of reminds me of the black-face minstrel shows of the 1800s. It was okay to ridicule and laugh at African-Americans and their stereotypes, but in reality they were just viewed as second class citizens.

Really, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised by the networks', especially CBS', refusal to run this ad. Remember the controversy over's "Bush in 30 Seconds" ad that was to run during the Super Bowl? In both instances, CBS claimed that it "does not run issue ads." However, I could swear that I've seen anti-smoking and anti-drug ads on CBS. Maybe what they really meant to say is that they don't run issue ads that George W. Bush doesn't believe in. I guess the joke about CBS standing for the Conservative Broadcasting System isn't really that much of a joke. So what does that mean for NBC? Possibly the Neo-Con Broadcasting System?

Seems so long ago that I was led to believe that the media was on our side. Stupid history books!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Jesus - The Liberal Years (Part 2 of a Series)

As I attempt to prove that Jesus was indeed the first liberal, I will quote from the book of Matthew 6:5-8.

This is a common theme throughout the teachings of Jesus. He's saying those who flaunt their faith do so for their own gain. Those who are humble in their faith are the ones who will be rewarded. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me it looks as though it's the conservatives who are flaunting these days. They are the ones trumpeting their faith so as "to be seen by men." It's almost as if they feel insecure about themselves.

So what does this say about us blue-staters that aren't shouting our faith from every rooftop? Could it be that we are actually more Christ-like than the ones who claim to be so devout?

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