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Posts from — May 2009

Reaction To The Nomination

If I had spent 8 years at 4 different universities and still couldn’t come up with a degree, Karl, I wouldn’t comment on the intelligence of a summa cum laude graduate from Princeton. It’s just tacky.

I understand why she makes Newt and Rush nervous. If I had had as many divorces as either of those guys, a woman judge would probably make me nervous. I have to say that a guy whose television career was measured in nanoseconds because he couldn’t stop himself from making affirmative action comments about a black NFL quarterback, should probably avoid the racism issue.

Via Keith Olbermann, who got it from Glenn Greenwald, these comments by Samuel Alito in response to questioning by Senator Coburn [R-Oklahoma]:

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May 27, 2009   6 Comments

News Flash!!!!!

For Immediate Distribution:

Puerto Rico is a United States Territory

Puerto Ricans do not immigrate to the United States; they are citizens of the United States.

Being a Puerto Rican is the same as being a New Yorker, or a Floridian, even if you don’t speak English.

It is unbelievable that a territory that is featured on the new US quarters for 2009, and whose people have been citizens of the US since 1917, still has to be identified as being part of the country. They had a Presidential primary last year, for crying out loud.

Update: That wingnuts in Tennessee don’t know about the status of Puerto Ricans is sad, but that the Washington Post has to issue a correction for an editorial shows the level of ignorance in the “Village”.

May 27, 2009   10 Comments

Whining Even Louder

The Pensacola News Journal reports on the “crusaders”: Pace principal: We won’t back down

It may cost him his job, but Pace High School Principal Frank Lay says he won’t sit back and watch student leaders be denied a chance to speak at their own graduation — despite worries they may violate a federal consent decree.

“No way are we going to back down, back off, lay down or roll over,” he said to the applause of more than 700 people who attended a Students’ Rights Rally at Pace Assembly of God on Tuesday night.

Lay said it is time the community takes responsibility.

“The blame game is the devil’s game,” he said. “It is the devil’s distraction for what we need to do, and we need to get busy as Christian people.”

In other words, the consent decree, which saved Frank Lay’s job, is too restrictive because it prevents Frank Lay from indoctrinating students into his personal creed. People shouldn’t look too closely at who is to blame for the existence of the consent decree, because it turns out, it is Frank Lay.

Two students at Frank Lay’s high school complained that their civil rights were being abrogated by the way that Frank Lay included proselytizing into every event at the school, and rather than firing Frank Lay and telling the teachers to stop it, the board signed a consent decree and told Lay to cut it out.

Frank Lay needs to start his own church or get a job at one of the “Christian” high schools in the area, not expect the public to provide him with a salary, a staff, a facility, and a captive congregation.

May 27, 2009   2 Comments

More Neocon Agitprop – The Son Of Yellowcake

CBS carries this fairy tale about an intelligence report that says: Israel: Venezuela Supplying Iran Nukes. This is supposed to be an Israeli intelligence report that claims that Iran is receiving uranium from Venezuela and Bolivia.

With a little checking you find out that there are geology reports that indicate there might actually be uranium deposits in Venezuela and Bolivia, but no one is sure because it isn’t being mined, much less being refined into yellowcake and exported anywhere. Apparently it is hoped that bringing in Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, who are despised by neocons, will help convince the powers that be to bomb Iran, or some other simple-minded garbage.

Iran wants nuclear power because it has its own uranium deposits. Iran has to import refined petroleum products because the companies that began pumping out their oil fields never built any local refineries. Iran wants to be energy self-sufficient because they know the oil will run out. They want to mine their own uranium and do all of the processing in the country because of the way they have been screwed over by Big Oil, and the West.

Back in January The Times was reporting that Iran in scramble for fresh uranium supplies, which might be somewhat true, as the IAEA has reported a drop off in concentrated uranium production. Iran might be having problems in its mining and initial processing operations. If true, any possibility of getting enough highly concentrated uranium for a weapon is kicked further down the road than ever before.

If Iran were looking for more yellowcake, Kazakhstan is the most logical source as it could come in by ship on the Caspian Sea, not from the other side of the world. It would be even more logical to simply wait until their own mines catch up, because the neocons seem to be the only ones in a hurry for Iran to start a nuclear reactor.

May 26, 2009   15 Comments


The Local Puppy Trainer covers another Memorial Day event in Santa Rosa county: Students, parents protest ACLU restrictions

PACE — Frustrated by restrictions stemming from an ACLU lawsuit, about 200 students and parents gathered to pray and protest outside Pace High School on Monday.

None would talk on the record about their concerns, but their presence was clearly a reaction to a court-approved consent decree that limits who can speak at graduation ceremonies.

Now, only the valedictorian and salutatorian can speak – but not the class president or any other student body representative.

In May, after months of negotiating through the courts, the American Civil Liberties Union won the final chapter of a lawsuit filed against the Santa Rosa County School District last August.

The suit was filed on behalf of two Pace High School students who alleged that school officials regularly promoted religion and offered prayers at school events in violation of their First Amendment rights.

This was a consent decree. This is what the school board agreed to do to comply with the US Constitution. The government is not supposed to impose a religion on people, but that’s what the Santa Rosa County School Board had been doing for years.

Memorial Day is about paying our respects to those who paid with their lives to support the Constitution, not a day to advocate ignoring it. The ACLU isn’t restricting anything, the restriction is in the Constitution. If you can’t live with it, you are free to emigrate, because frankly, you want to act just like the Taliban.

May 26, 2009   2 Comments


The Pensacola News Journal reports on a Memorial Day event: Protesters steamed over government

About 60 people gathered on a north Pensacola roadside Memorial Day afternoon to speak out against a wide variety of government policies.

The “tea party”-style event went on near the intersection of Creighton Road and North Ninth Avenue from noon to 2 p.m.

Demonstrators’ emotions ranged from patriotism to outrage as they displayed protest signs and waved to passing cars.

Complaining about the taxes you pay on a day dedicated to people who have paid the ultimate price is not patriotic, but it is an outrage.

May 26, 2009   6 Comments

Democracy In The Middle East?

The BBC tells us about the Anger over Palestinian Nakba ban proposal

Israeli campaigners and left-wing lawmakers have condemned moves to ban Israeli Arabs from marking the Nakba – the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.

On Sunday a government panel backed putting the bill, proposed by the party of far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, before the Israeli Knesset.

A Labour minister opposed it; Hadash, a mainly Arab party, called it “racist”.

Under the proposed legislation, people caught marking the Nakba could be jailed for up to three years.

Lieberman was one of the people behind the action that excluded Hadash from the recent election, something that had to be overturned by the Israeli supreme court. Waiting in the wings is his requirement that everyone in Israel take a loyalty oath.

Lieberman is a recent immigrant with an interesting CV for a foreign minister – working as a bouncer in bars in Romania. But I shouldn’t be too hard on Lieberman, because he and his party aren’t the worst in Netanyahu’s coalition. His party only advocates apartheid, not ethnic cleansing.

May 25, 2009   Comments Off on Democracy In The Middle East?

Kim May Have Stepped In The Kimchi

The ABC reports that China condemns N Korean nuclear test

China has condemned North Korea’s nuclear test and called on Pyongyang not to worsen the situation.

North Korea reportedly test-fired three short range missiles, just hours after detonating a nuclear device.

It is believed the nuclear blast detonated deep underground was at least four times more powerful than North Korea’s first test nearly three years ago.

While the Stalinist state hailed the test as a cause for national celebration, it has been condemned around the world.

“The Chinese Government expresses its resolute opposition,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.

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May 25, 2009   8 Comments

Keeping Us Safe?

Dick “Dick” Cheney keeps saying that the Hedgemony and its illegal activities kept us safe, but they ignore the Anthrax cases that were never really solved, and the ongoing series of bombings in New York: Explosion rocks Upper East Side in New York

The explosion blew out the windows of a Starbucks coffeehouse at East 92nd Street and Third Avenue at 3:25 a.m., according to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

A “low-order improvised explosive device” exploded after being left on a wooden bench in front of the coffeehouse, Kelly said. The blast could be heard many blocks away, according to CNN affiliate WABC-TV of New York.

Seven people were briefly evacuated from the building above the Starbucks, Kelly said, but no one was injured. The interior of the Starbucks sustained no damage.

It’s too early to tell whether Monday’s incident is connected to other minor explosions in New York City in recent years, including ones at the British and Mexican consulates and another in Times Square, Kelly said.

This is a rather classic form of terrorism, but the wars and violations of civil liberties don’t seem to be very successful in solving it. It probably requires that “quaint” institution – police work.

May 25, 2009   2 Comments


May 25, 2009   18 Comments

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial DayThis is a picture from one of the columbariums at the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many of those who served the United States since the middle of the 19th century.

That is my Father’s marker. He didn’t know those located around his marker, but they all shared service to their country as part of their life.

Last year on May 30th my uncle, Maynard Emhof, passed away. He was the last of my close family members who fought in World War II.

I have just learned that a first cousin, twice removed, [the grandchild of a first cousin], is in training for deployment to Afghanistan in the Fall.

The country continues to ask for service and people still respond to that call. As you think about the sacrifices represented by Arlington and other cemeteries, ask yourself if you have done what you could to prevent misuse of the willingness of some to serve.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

May 25, 2009   7 Comments

The Party Of Wealthy White Guys

The Miami Herald thinks the Florida GOP may have a problem: All-white slate may be liability

At a time when the Florida electorate is growing increasingly diverse, the Republican party is gearing up to field an all-male, all-white slate in 2010.

There are a lot of Cuban-American Republicans in this state, but the state and national party don’t seem to recognize their existence. The instant backing of Charlies Crist, which put Marco Rubio at a distinct disadvantage, is not the way to “win hearts and minds”, but the GOP can’t figure that out.

May 24, 2009   Comments Off on The Party Of Wealthy White Guys

North Korea Has A Tantrum

The ABC reports that North Korea detonates nuclear bomb

North Korea has staged a “successful” underground nuclear test, the communist state’s official media said.

The North “successfully conducted another underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of its measures aimed at strengthening its self-defence nuclear deterrent in every way,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

CNN is reporting that the US Geological Survey has detected a 4.7-magnitude earthquake in North Korea, 375kms north-east of the capital Pyongyang.

This is the same area where they set off the first test. They said they would do it after the UN chastised them for their long range missile test, and they feel like they are being ignored again.

They are probably annoyed by all of the coverage of the non-existent Iranian program, while they actually have nuclear capabilities. It is past time to look at the real threats in the world and deal with them.

May 24, 2009   4 Comments

No Money For Bargains

Fred Grimm at the Miami Herald reports on failed attempt to sell Florida assets: No bids found for highway robbery deal

If only I had known that all those well-connected foreign conglomerates were gonna chicken out I’d have bid on Alligator Alley myself.

Heck. I’d have offered the entirety of what’s left of my 401(k). I figure if I’m ever jettisoned from the newspaper writing business, my unique skill sets correspond nicely with the necessary attributes of highway toll collector. I already own plenty of cheesy Florida shirts. All I’d need, to complete my resumé, is a long-term lease on a busy 78-mile ready-built, well-maintained, high-profit toll road.

Who could’ve guessed that none of the expected bidders would bother, despite the state spending $3 million on the prep work to unload a public asset the public would rather keep?

Selling assets to cover budget problems was a prominent feature of the Reagan Administration. Rather than admit that the big tax cuts for the wealthy did nothing but generate huge deficits, Reagan and Congress started selling the property of the taxpayers to cover the real cost of their mess.

Fortunately this sale failed, but the practice is a long time responsibility dodge by politicians – short term cash infusions to cover this year’s problems that make matters worse in the future.

May 24, 2009   2 Comments