Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Winning over Public Opinion in Iraq

A new poll of Iraqis states that 47% of Iraqi citizens approve of attacks against US led troops. How's that for gratitude?

Full story

I just want to know why we are risking the lives of our young men and women to turn this shit hole of a country into a theocracy similar to Iran.

Goodnight Coretta

Coretta Scott King
1927 - 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fix Our Healthcare System!

The health care system in the United States is failing. Many of those on the conservative side of the fence claim that socialized health care systems are not the solution because they do not work. That is far from true. What are some reasonable ways to measure an effective health care system? I will pick two and compare our system with the systems of other countries around the world.

Infant Mortality Rates:
The United States has a higher infant mortality rate than Cuba. Yes, Cuba! We also fall behind most of Europe as well as Canada and Aruba according to the CIA fact book.


Life Expectancy:
The United States ranks 41st in the world in the area of life expectancy. Once again, we trail behind nearly every country in Europe, several Asian countries, and a few Middle Eastern countries including Jordan and Israel.


Just by analyzing the data provided by the two links above, you can easily see that our healthcare system is not adequate. The argument that socialized healthcare do not work, simply does not hold water. The main reason our healthcare system is in the condition it is currently in is because it is not designed to cure people, but designed to make money. I understand that we live in a capitalistic country, but caring for our citizens should be much more important than making money. Pharmaceutical companies are no longer seeking cures for diseases, but they are only developing medicine to make medical conditions tolerable.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

An Interesting article that was forwarded to me

This is a very thought compeling article I read earlier today. It comes to us from TCS Daily

A Truce, But Why?
By Lee Harris

History is what no one ever expects to happen, and last week it happened
again. A tape was released, purportedly from Osama bin Laden, in which he
offered a truce “under fair conditions” with the United States, in order to
rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the sake of argument, I am going to assume that the tape from Bin
Laden is authentic, and that he is sincere in offering a truce. I am aware that
these are both bold assumptions, but neither of them affects the question that I
want to address, which is, even if it is a ploy, why would bin Laden permit
himself to be cast in the light of a suppliant offering a truce? The mere offer
of a truce, after all, is an admission of weakness, if not defeat. So, if the
tape is authentic, we have to ask the question, Why would bin Laden risk
appearing either weak or, worse, defeated, in the eyes of his many followers and
admirers in the Muslim world?

It is true that he also threatened more attacks on America, and that he
even offered an explanation for why there have been none since 9/11, namely,
that he has chosen not to attack us. Of course, this bluster could be simply a
way of saving face, of looking tough at a moment of weakness; but, again, we
have to ask, Why would Osama bin Laden decide to show such a moment of weakness
in the first place?

To see what I mean, imagine the public response if George Bush had made
a similar appeal for a truce with al-Qaeda. How would this go over with the
American public, and the rest of the world? Wouldn’t such an offer, however
sincerely intended, be treated as a sign of exhaustion or even appeasement --
evidence that the United States had grown weary of its struggle against
terrorism, and was desperately looking for a way out? Certainly, that is exactly
how our enemies would look upon it.

The above argument may, of course, be offered as evidence for rejecting
the authenticity of the tape itself, but I want to go out on a limb (quite far
out on a limb) and to suggest another possibility, speculative though it may be:
Bin Laden is scared, but he is not afraid of our drones hovering perilously
close above his head. I want to suggest that bin Laden may be scared of what is
currently unfolding in the Muslim world -- not afraid of the march of democracy
in the Middle East, but afraid that the Muslim world may be on the brink of
tearing itself apart, of plunging back into the feud-blood between Sunnis and
Shi’ites that has been the theme-with-variations of all Islamic history; and
worse, a blood-feud that might be won not by the Sunni Arabs, who have won
virtually all such feuds in the past, but by the Shi’ite Persians, whose history
has hitherto been that of the perennial loser.

Since 9/11, the events of the world have not followed Osama bin Laden’s
original game plan. 9/11 was designed to unite the Arab world behind bin Laden,
to anoint him as its supreme leader and spokesman. It was intended to be a
glorious rebirth of the Arab Golden Age. Instead, four years after 9/11, seldom
a day goes by in which Muslims are not blowing up, torturing, or beheading their
fellow Muslims. In Palestine, Hamas and Fatah are at each other’s throats; in
Iraq, it is the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, and the Shi’ites seem to have the upper
hand. Surely, that was not part of bin Laden’s grandiose fantasy.

And then there is Shi’ite Iran.

Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is looming larger and larger
on the world’s stage, and he has behind him an enormous nation of over sixty
million people, a large chuck of the world’s oil supply, and an army of 350,000
men. Furthermore, Ahmadinejad appears intent on treading the same path as
Pakistan, India, and North Korea in disguising his ambition to make his nation a
nuclear power behind a very thin veil -- an astonishingly thin veil -- of
developing “atoms for peace.”

Bin Laden had not been heard from in a year. Ahmadinejad seems to be
making news every week. When bin Laden speaks, it is on tapes smuggled to
al-Jazeera; when Ahmadinejad speaks, it is in front of the cameras of the world.
As bin Laden becomes more and more eclipsed, the focus of the world’s attention
has turned, with increasingly dismay and alarm, to the histrionics of
Ahmadinejad. What will he say next? What will he do next? He has threatened to
cut off Iran’s supply of oil to the world, and it seems almost as if he has us
over a barrel -- actually, over several millions barrels. And would a man who is
willing to use oil as blackmail refrain from using nuclear weapons for the same
purpose? What can the beleaguered bin Laden do to top that?

Hitler, in his final days in the bunker, was convinced that the West
would realize the danger posed by the Soviet Union and would act to keep Stalin
from taking over half of Europe by offering an alliance with Germany to fight
against the Bolshevik threat. It was a fantasy, of course -- but, as we all
know, Hitler’s fantasy did not make the Soviets less menacing. Is it possible
that bin Laden, holed up in a far more primitive bunker, may be entertaining a
similar fantasy, offering us a truce, or even (gasp!) an alliance, in order to
rebuild a Sunni-dominated Iraq and Afghanistan against the threat posed by the
militant Shi’ite state of Iran -- an Iran led by its charismatic demagogue
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his pronounced gift for grabbing the world’s attention
-- a kind of Persian Hitler whose career still lies before him, unlike bin
Laden, whose glory days are all but done?

Did bin Laden ever imagine that when the Twin Towers went down that
their collapse would begin a historical process that would end by making Iraq
virtually a Shi’ite state? No -- no more than we did when we removed the
Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein in the genuine hope that out of the rubble
would emerge a modern secular state.

The Bush administration, rightly fearful of an Iraqi drift toward Iran,
is currently trying to bring the Sunni Arabs of Iraq back into the government
from which we ousted them. Bin Laden, if the tape is authentic, is strangely
reaching out to call for a truce, if not a partnership, with the nation that his
organization brutally and wantonly attacked over four years ago. Is he acting by
the maxim, The enemy of my enemy is my friend? And if so, how should we respond
to him, in a world that may soon to be menaced by an enemy, Iran, whose power to
do us ill may far transcend whatever resources are still left to Osama bin
Laden? And an enemy whose friends, ominously enough, are Russia and China?

Of course, we can no more cut a deal with al-Qaeda to fight with us
against militant Shi’a than the Allies in World War Two could cut a deal with
Hitler to fight against the Soviets. But whose fault is that? Osama bin Laden
set off a chain reaction of events that have led to the destruction of his
dream. If he is now in a bunker of delusion, it was his own actions that have
put him there.

SlowNewsDay's Links of the day

Hiccups lead to two shooting deaths in Colombia

Activists to provide migrants Ariz. maps

In radioland, it's the sour grapes of Roth

Miffed Wife Reportedly Snips Hubby's Penis

Fascist bans opposition

All links are from articles first discovered and posted on Fark. Someone wake me up when something happens.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Rare Pantera Videos

I saw a post on Blabbermouth that had a link to several Pantera videos taped back in '86. I searched around the website, and found this. Pretty damn cool! Brings back some cool memories of being a teenager and hanging out at Rascals or Metal Works in Arlington. I could not stand Pantera back then. I was in to Slayer, Exodus, and other kick ass thrash metal shit. Pantera was not metal. Some called them glam metal, but I think glam rock would be a better term used to describe them. When Phil joined in '86, they began to evolve into the Pantera that became the powerhouse band that we admired. But these videos are still pretty cool. That hair still trips me out.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Stupid People Shouldn't Blog, Part 2

Update to the below post: I would generally place updates at the bottom of the post, but I want this read before you read the rest of the post. As far as I'm concerned, this issue has been resolved. Pat Conlon issued an apology to Bryon Rogers which can be read in the comments section of this post. I will leave this post on here because I think it is classic. Pat, I'm sorry for some of the harsh language in this post, but I harbor no more ill feelings towards you.

This morning, I was made aware of what I find to be a very disturbing incident. Our good Friend Bryon had all of his blogs deleted by Blogger because someone filed a complaint about Bryon posting on their blog. Those of you who have read any of Bryon's posts or comments on other posts, know that his posting and comments are always respectful. Even if he may disagree with someone, he will debate that person in a respectful and courteous manner.

You can view the conversation that got Bryon booted over here on the left. I would go to this web site, and leave a comment about the situation, but I would probably have my blogs deleted as well.

I understand some people have blogs for the sole purpose of complaining about "the other side" which is fine, but to have someone else's blogs deleted because you don't agree with their opinion is just wrong. I can't beleive that Blogger would even do this. Well, Bryon is starting over with his new blog, so everyone show your support.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rebel Meets Rebel

With the untimely death of his brother "Dimebag" Darrell, Vinny Paul decided to release their collaberation with outlaw country singer David Allan Coe. The record, titled "Rebel Meets Rebel" couldn't be more aptly titled. It's set for an April 4, 2006 release date on Big Vin Records, Vince's new label.

New sound clips are available on the webpage, and I encourage everybody to check it out. To hear the mighty Dimebag's legendary Dean guitar wailing again nearly brought tears to my eyes, and compelled me to bang my head violently.

It's not metal, it's not country, it's just balls-out rock and roll created by some of the best rule breakers ever to record a song.

All hail the mighty RIFF!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hurting National Security for the sake of National Security?

Cross-posted on Deus Avertat.A NY Times article suggests that the controversial data mining opperations conducted by the NSA without warrants under executive order of President Bush may have sent FBI agents on numerous wild goose chases. The NY Times:
In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.

But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.

F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. The spy agency was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of foreign-related phone and Internet traffic. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.

As the bureau was running down those leads, its director, Robert S. Meuller III, raised concerns about the legal rationale for the eavesdropping program, which did not seek court warrants, one government official said. Mr. Mueller asked senior administration officials about "whether the program had a proper legal foundation," but deferred to Justice Department legal opinions, the official said.

Even as we are seeing more and more implications of little or no legal basis for warrantless spying on Americans, it is difficult to tell if Congress will put its partisan duties aside and take up its constitutional duty to check the executive. Let's hope they will.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Blog to Check Out

Here is a great blog that I found while trolling through Blabbermouth earlier this week. It was assembled by a dude named Tony and offers numerous downloads and reviews. I will be adding this to my links section under the Allies category. If you like Alice in Chains, he has the material from their recent reunion show for the tsunami, along with a Black Sabbath concert from '74 and tons of other shit. Check it out!

All Things Metal

Friday, January 13, 2006

BigNewsDay's Links of the Day - Friday the 13th Edition

Stem cell experts seek rabbit-human embryo - I want a Hubbit

Grave angst in 6-ft. blunder - Now that's freaky

Errant e-mail confuses students - A student's worse nightmare

This Pogo Stick's for Adults Only - Ouch!

A picture of Satan - He's even more scary looking than I could have possibly imagined

Please feel free to add more freaky links that you may come across

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Top Albums of 2005

I'll go ahead and disclose that I'm a heavily biased metalhead, therefore metal albums have a distinct advantage in my enumeration. Without further delay, my top albums of 2005:

1) Clutch, "Robot Hive/Exodus". Musically expanding on 2004's "Blast Tyrant" with addition of a keyboard player, Neil Fallon and Co. have taken their hilariously mind-blowing lyrics and matched it to some of their wildest songs to date. If you ever had a doubt that Clutch are the real deal, just check out their webpage at www.pro-rock.com. The lyrics page is the greatest, backing up all their ridiculous mystical creature references with Wikipedia links. If Black Sabbath was from Maryland, they would be called Clutch.

2) Opeth, "Ghost Reveries". The level of creativity required to make this album never fails to amaze me, and in fact my admiration for Mikael Ã…kerfeldt grows with each repeated spin. The songs are slightly more accessible to fans of progressive music than newcomers used to normal radio song format. Many of the tracks exceed 10 minutes in length, taking you on a musical journey that traverses so many genres that it makes labeling their sound impossible, all the while retaining a chemistry that is unmistakably Opeth's. If you have an appreciation for well-composed music, you must give this disc a try.

3) Bruce Dickinson, "Tyranny of Souls". I've got to warn you all, "never question Bruce Dickinson". Iron Maiden fans finally have something memorable to listen to, because Bruce and guitarist/producer Roy Z pick up the creative slack that Maiden seem to have left behind in this decade. Some tracks feature brutally metal riffage, and some feature textured, layered ballads painted by Bruce's excellent vocals. The end product is not so much progressive, but it is a rock and roll album that fans of classic Maiden cannot afford to ignore. It just needs more cowbell.

4) Corrosion of Conformity, "In the Arms of God". Corrosion comes back with another excellent release, this one featuring jazz drummer extraordinaire Stanton Moore, of Galactic fame, on the skins. I can't be very objective about this, because CoC is one of my favorite bands of all time, so I'll just say that if you love rock, metal, and the blues, then you'll really dig this big 'ol melting pot that Pepper Keenan cooked up in his Nola studio.

5) Nine Inch Nails, "With Teeth". Trent Reznor is one of the best musicians, composers, and producers in music today. "With Teeth" has a notably distinct sound, and I actually like it even more than his older records. Most everybody has heard the radio singles, which by themselves are almost excellent enough to earn this very high ranking even without the support of the rest of the album.

6) Soulfly, "Dark Ages". All hail the return of Max Cavelera. Mark Rizzo's brilliant lead guitar work adds texture to Max's thrashy riff in a fashion reminiscent of Sepultura's Max/Andreas combo that we all practically worship. The overall production sounds somewhere in between Sepultura's "Arise" and "Chaos AD" thanks to the mixing of Terry Date. This marks a distinct break back towards the thrash metal that made Max so famous, leaving the nu-metal influences behind to rot. Anybody that's ever made fun of Soulfly before by saying they're no longer metal will be officially rocked by the time the riff to "Babylon" hits them.

7) Exodus, "Shovel Headed Kill Machine". Thanks in part to Gary Holt's "gift of riff", Paul Bostaph's lightning footwork, and partly thanks to the mastermind Andy Sneap, the new Exodus album is one of the most brutal, abrasive records ever released. Make sure you know what you're getting in to before you pick this one up, you might throw your back out because it's so heavy. This is pure musical violence, like Slayer, except on steroids and twice as pissed off.

8) Nevermore, "This Godless Endeavor". Jeff Loomis is perhaps one of the greatest shredders of our time, and Nevermore's power-metal sound is the perfect showcase for his untouchable axework. Several of the songs on "This Godless Endeavor" stand out as some of the best in Nevermore's most impressive catalogue of music, but as an album it lacks the cohesiveness of previous masterpieces, such as "Dreaming Neon Black", or "Dead Heart in a Dead World". I really cringe to say anything negative about this band, because they are an amazing group of musicians who together create the most "metal" sound on the planet (this is another one of Andy Sneap's creations), because song by song it is nearly flawless. Many of the most respected metal webpages on planet earth gave it an honest 10/10. Maybe I'm used to the concept album flow, but Loomis' solo on "The Final Product" is easily the best solo of the year. Think differently? Try to play it.

9) Auidoslave, "Out of Exile". Tom Morello is one of the most innovative special effects guitar players out there. I can even enjoy the songs that the radio has beaten to death with repeated airplay by admiring the brilliant solos, and then thinking about how I just heard a guitar solo on FM radio. Audioslave seems to have left behind the high expectations and pressure of former bands to just write music and kick back. I can put down my metallic war-hammer with comfort and listen as classic rock and roll is still being released under the name of "Audioslave".

10) Dream Theater, "Octavarium". The torch-bearers of progressive rock and metal put out an extremely mellow, keyboard-driven record that without the reputation earned by their previous releases, would go completely unnoticed by any except the "prog-rock" community. I can't put it down any further, because Mike Portnoy's drum fills literally propel some of these tear-jerkers over the top, and some of the Petrucci (guitar)/Rudess (keyboards) wankery is at least amusing.

11) Brand New Sin, "Recipe for Disaster". This band really caught me by suprise. I was expecting them to be a one hit wonder from KNAC.com's repeated spins of "Black and Blue", but the New York State biker band really created a good collection of unapologetic hard rock songs. If I had to compare to others, I'd say it's like the rhythm hooks from the Black Label Society, without Zakk's solos, and better vocals. I bought this album while shopping on a discount spree late in the year, and now I wish I'd gotten to the Corrosion of Conformity show a little earlier to see them open up. Check it out if you're into that American brand of whiskey-soaked rock and roll.

12) Shinedown, "Us and Them". Shinedown have officially staked their territory by creating their own sound and ditching all the nu-metal from the previous album. It's more mellow, and more rock than metal, but it shows a great talent for songwriting that will ensure that this band is not just another ship floating around on the trends of the time. Another great thing about this album is it has "relevancy" to today's masses, and it fits right in on an FM playlist. it's quite rare to find music of this quality that's compatible with the short attention span of FM radio.

13) Nile, "Annihilation of the Wicked". That's right, a death metal album that's actually worth listening to. The dual guitar attack from Karl Sanders' Nile is quite amazing, but the production sends clarity to the backseat enough to allow some of the pure speed of the fretwork to be lost in the sea of music that the band creates. To summarize Nile's music, if you were robbing the tomb of a Pharoe, and the eye of Horus fell upon you as your soul was being devoured by the minions of the gods, this would be the soundtrack to your sentencing and ultimate torture. It's completely brilliant in its historical accurcy, and it even has what one could almost call a "hook" in some songs, albeit played at lightning speeds with machine-like precision. If you're not afraid of the dark, you might give it a shot.

14) The Darkness, "One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back!" Here’s more classic rock from the masters of retro/cock/poser rock. I've given them enough attention by myself, unfortunately it doesn't seem to be catching on with the masses. Read my review of this record at www.treehouseofdeath.com if you're interested.

15) Judas Priest, "Angel of Retribution". Coming from someone blasphemous enough to have never really been hooked by Judas Priest, this record really punched me in the face. Produced by Bruce Dickinson producer/guitarist Roy Z, this is a record with all the legendary quality of classic Priest, with a modern relevance that even younger metalheads like myself can appreciate.

16) Black Label Society, "Mafia". Freaking Zakk. This record proves what I'd suspected immediately after I opened my brand new copy of "The Blessed Hellride" in 2003: he needs to lay off the booze and take a vacation from music for a while. There are some tracks on this CD that are simply awesome, but most of them are the same forgettable filler that scarred the last three albums. Please, Zakk, get help for your drinking problem, and take the time to get your head right instead of bombarding your fans with watered-down records every single year. I'd gladly trade in the last three BLS albums for one more Pride & Glory, or "Sonic Brew", or "Stronger Than Death". I credit Zakk for being my gateway into the metal community, but I really wish he'd get back to what he does best instead of constantly making an ass of himself in the public spotlight with drunken ramblings and mediocre concerts.

17) Sevendust, "Next". I really thought they were going to break the chains of monotony by being free of TVT records, and they did to some extend, but "Next" sounds like the b-sides from "Home" more than their career re-defining opus that we had been told of. Clint Lowery replacement Sonny Mayo is an average guitarist at best, so he doesn't add much to the Sevendust sound. Their self-titled album remains one of my all-time favorite records, and they still haven't done anything after "Animosity" that even comes close to it. I'm not going to lie though, I'll still gladly go see them in concert anytime.

18) Arch Enemy, "Doomsday Machine". Great guitar chops, but Angela's multi-layered, hoarse screaming really gets on my nerves. I can't say enough about the music that Michael Amott (guitarist) plays, but I'd credit the great sound of the record to mixer Andy Sneap, and take away as many points as possible for vocalist Angela Gossow's contribution. It sounds a lot like Metallica's guitar chops, with a terrible female vocalist.

19) Megadeth, "The System has Failed". Dave is back, and he really has some killer riffage on this new record. It's nothing on the order of "Countdown to Extinction", but it'll remind you of all the great things Megadeth used to do.

20) Disturbed, "Ten Thousand Fists". I heard this best described as "video game rock". Its nu-metal for sure, but it's not too bad. The radio singles are obvious highlights, as is the surprisingly great cover of Genesis' "Land of Confusion". Nomatter how lean this record is, it's still great to see even a pseudo-metal record top the billboard chart.

21) Iommi, "Fused". This is very cool stuff for fans of classic Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Glenn Hughes sings very well on this one, and what else could I possibly say about the guitar work? It's IOMMI for God's sake, the godfather of the riff!

22) Mudvayne, "The End of All Things to Come". Somewhere in between Slipknot and Disturbed we have Mudvayne, who sacrifice not too much quality to gain mainstream popularity. All the highlights come early on this record, so after about track 4 it really gets boring quickly. As an album, it's hard to listen to the whole thing, but the songs fit in nicely on a radio playlist.

23) Crowbar, "Lifesblood for the Downtrodden". I really dig guitarist Kirk Windstein's riffage on his side-project Down, but Crowbar really hasn't ever spoken to me. Thanks to former Pantera bassist Rex Brown's contribution, this new record has an awesome new edge that Crowbar hasn't ever had. Kirk's vocals annoy me to no end, but I put up with it because it's southern sludge metal, which has a very special place in my heart always.

24) Nickelback, "All the Right Reasons". Chad Kroeger's lyrics are so cheesy that I can't take them to heart, and you almost feel embarrassed for even listening. The highlight of the entire record is the Dimebag Darrell solo donated by Dime's brother Vince on the song "Side of a Bullet", which is about the death of the great Pantera axeman. The Canadian rockers almost have a good hard rock album here, they just need to stop writing lyrics as if this is a country record.

25) Bongzilla, "Amerijuanican". This is stoner sludge metal, which is very repetitive and heavy for those who aren't familiar. I happen to dig it, even though I don't smoke. The only reason I rated this one so low is because it's so fuzzy, smokey, and loud that I can't listen to it regularly. It's perfect background music for wrenching in the garage, just don't spend more than $6 on it.

26) Behemoth, "Demigod". This record is the only one of the bunch that I consider unlistenable. Nergal's vocals sound like he's drowning in a vat of molasses, and the whole thing sounds blurry. It didn't grow on me, which isn't so much of a surprise since I don't have a big appreciation for extreme death metal.

I'm certainly looking forward to 2006. We'll have a new Tool album this year, and most likely a new Metallica album (which is going to blow hard if they get Bob Rock to produce again-mark my words). Of course I've missed a lot of great ones, so let me know what your favorites are!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Another view at the Abramoff scandal

Say what you will about Howard Dean, but in this transcript from an interview with Wolf Blitzer posted on CNN's website, he really sheds some light ino he whole Abramoff fiasco.

BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack
Abramoff, who has now
pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other
charges, a Republican
lobbyist in
Washington, should the Democrat who
took money from him give
that money to
charity or give it back?

DEAN: There are no
Democrats who took money from Jack
Abramoff, not one,
not one single
Democrat. Every person named in this
scandal is a Republican.
Every person
under investigation is a
Republican. Every person indicted is a
This is a Republican
finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack
Abramoff ever gave any
Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of
FEC reports to
make sure that's true.

through various
Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a
bunch of
Democrats did
take money that presumably originated with Jack

That's not true either. There's no evidence for
that either. There is

BLITZER: What about
Senator Byron

DEAN: Senator Byron Dorgan and some others
took money
from Indian tribes.
They're not agents of Jack Abramoff. There's
evidence that I've seen that
Jack Abramoff directed any contributions to
Democrats. I know the Republican
National Committee would like to get
Democrats involved in this. They're
scared. They should be scared.
haven't told the truth. They have misled the
American people. And
now it
appears they're stealing from Indian tribes. The
Democrats are
not involved
in this.

BLITZER: Unfortunately Mr. Chairman, we
got to leave it
right there.

It is now illegal to annoy people on the Internet

I was goofing around in Blabbermouth earlier and some one posted this link wih the comment "you are all criminals" or something like that. For some reason the BBMouth site seems to be down now. Go figure! Leave it to Bush and the jackasses in Congress to pass this stupid shit cloaked in a law set up to proect women.

Full text of this legislation.

Thoughts on Scalito

Cross-Posted on The Metal Pundit

Samuel "Scalito" Alito's Senate Confirmation Hearings began today in a predictable fashion. Both Donkeys and Elephants unleashed their talking points almost flawlessly. Let us look at both:

Alito has exceptional record of serving the public.
Alito is qualified for the position.
Alito has an unquestioned character and integrity.
Alito is a FAIR and IMPARTIAL judge.

Ok, Alito has a nice resume, but why don't Republicans talk about his judicial philosophy? Why don't they mention his view on the issues most important to Americans?

Perhaps the left has some answers. Michael at AmericaBlog has some interesting thoughts, which mirror what I was going to say. Since he beat me to it, he gets the credit for writing this insightful piece:

The far right wants us to believe that Supreme Court nominee Alito is similar to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even though everyone knew Ginsburg was a liberal, she was passed by a vast majority in the Senate. They are both in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, the far right says. So Alito deserves the same treatment because he's "qualified."

The wingnuts must be crazy to make a comparison like this! As for Ginsburg:

Ginsburg IS in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, even though she's clearly a strong liberal. But she never pretended to be anything else. And everything on Ginsburg's resume was something she was proud of. Every group she belonged to, every organization she worked for, every position she staked out on the issues of the day and every promise she made reflected who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, what she stood for and what she believed in.

Great, but what really separates Ginsburg from Scalito is this:

"Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her work for the ACLU? Of course not; she was proud of that work. Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her activism over the years, her push for equality among the sexes? Don't be absurd. Did she break her word on solemn pledges made before the Senate? Never."

Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Scalito:

Nothing could be further from the truth for Alito. He is apparently ashamed of everything he's ever done. Alito boasted on an application for promotion in the Reagan administration about belonging to the racist, Neanderthal-ish Concerned Alumni For Princeton. Now he pretends he can't remember ever belonging to them at all.

Alito said he wanted to become a lawyer because he was so distraught about Supreme Court rulings that led to "one person, one vote," a cornerstone of our modern democracy. Now, he says we should ignore his consistent, persistent attacks on affirmative action.

Alito also cannily helped to devise the incremental approach to dismantling Roe v Wade that has been the very tactic the far right has used. Now Alito says to ignore all that.

Alito has repeatedly proven he believes the president is more like an emperor -- someone who deserves almost unlimited deference from the Supreme Court, especially during a time of war.

Finally, Alito pledged to the Senate that he would recuse himself under certain situations as a federal judge. He repeatedly broke that pledge. His excuses vary: he forgot, the computers shouldn't have assigned him those cases in the first place, he never HAD to recuse himself, and finally he never promised he would recuse himself forever. The reasons change, but the fact remains: Alito gave his word and then he broke it. He can't be trusted.

Why should this gentleman be a Supreme Court Justice if he hides his past. Proponents of Scalito boast about his intellectual record, citing cases in which his opinions truly stood out. Furthermore, only a brief synopsis of his work is generally given without mention of his judicial philosophy. Of course, Michael's piece aims to discredit the proposed similarities between him and Ginsburg. Nevertheless, one can conclude that Scalito may be hiding too much for him to comfortably be confirmed.

Which brings me to these questions: Why aren't conservatives open about their beliefs? Why must they hide their true feelings?

I suggest you be proud of your beliefs! If overturning Roe v. Wade is your goal, just say so. Admit that you wish to deny homosexuals their right to marriage. Admit that you would like to blur the line between church and state. Admit that you would love nothing better than to privatize everything and destroy government. Most importantly, for the time being, please admit that your beloved Sam Alito is just like you! He's a judge with an agenda. The least he could do is be honest about it!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Bush in Chicago!

Cross-posted on The Metal Pundit. Warning, this is a RANT!

Today, the City of Chicago (my home), had the complete displeasure of hosting President Bush in a luncheon hosted by the Economic Club. Dubya talked about the economy and how over a hundred thousand jobs have been created. He also took credit for the "bustling" economy! In short, this luncheon can best be described as the "Annual Wishful-Thinking Shindig".

The President was among the richest businessmen in Chicago. Why the hell didn't they include Chicago's real citizens in there? Dubya would've gotten a beatdown, courtesy of sweet-home Chicago! That fucker had the audacity to mention my beloved White Sox, although he made fun of the Cubs! Nevertheless, Mr. President, you weren't welcome in our great city. As a person, perhaps I would welcome you, but as a president, hell no! The relatively few wingnuts in Chicago were probably sopping in their trousers at the sight of their king, but the rest of us had a bad taste in our mouths.

Sorry for the lack of academic content, but studying for the LSAT has bludgeoned me! Surely I'll be back with real diaries with proper academic prose! - Lefty

Stupid people shouldn’t Blog!

I’ve been reading the slanted comments on a blog at this location and am amazed at how blind some wingnuts are. This particular wingnut had accused our friend Bryon of spreading partisan propaganda. What a freakin’ hypocrite! Every post on this blog has a comment about how ALL liberals or ALL Democrats are wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way trying to put down conservative bloggers. There are many intelligent conservative bloggers that can debate and discuss issues without using biased “research” to support their arguments or attack the credibility of someone who criticizes their point of view. I’ve had many discussions on this site and Lefty’s site with right-leaning individuals like Black Label Axe and Osgiliath who, although a may disagree with on many occasions, don’t resort to generalizations or personal attacks to make their arguments.

I’m a proud American, and one of the things I value most is my freedom to say what I feel. Freedom of Speech is one of the most important rights that we enjoy in our great country. To have that freedom violated by the risk of having my phone tapped by a run-amuck President is something I find troubling and down-right offensive. Not only does this violate our freedom of speech but also our Fourth Amendment rights as well.

I welcome all readers to post comments on this site and will even invite intelligent poster to join the blog as a contributing member. After posting a comment on the above-mentioned blog, the operator decided to block all comments and make them subject to moderation. What is he afraid of? The truth?

I wouldn’t generally attack another person’s blog, but I feel this time it is warranted because he questioned the integrity of one of our blogs. Please tell me if I’m out of line here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


200 yards rushing
267 yards passing
3 rushing touchdowns
1 two-point conversion

Congratulations to Texas for an outstanding win


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hook 'Em Horns

This should be one of the greatest college championship games of all time. My prediction is that Vince Young will tear 'em up.