Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crazy Preachers

It appears that the media is trying it's best to keep the Rev. Wright/Obama story on the front burner. Polls are suggesting that the Wright controversy hasn't hurt Obama but some people seem to think that if it is pushed long enough it might some traction. Interestingly, only a few blogs have tied the story to the February endorsement of McCain by Pastor John Hagee. Hagee is a fundamentalist preacher with a large church in Texas. And while Wright has definitely said some provocative things in his sermons, Hagee is part of the Doomsday Crowd that are continually pushing for an expansion of hostilities in the Middle East.

Writer Robert Weitzel has done a great job of tying Hagge, McCain, the Christian right, and the Republican party together and showing how this "end of time" crowd is helping to kill children today and possibly bring the entire world into a war not that far in the future. It is a piece that everyone should read.

I dare you to read Palestinian, Israeli kids are cannon fodder for the Rapture and not fear radical Christianity every bit as much as radical Islam.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Story

Six Iraq war protesters were arrested on Sunday after disrupting the Easter Mass of Cardinal Francis George. The protesters shouted that the Pope called for peace and squirted fake blood on themselves. One angry Mass goer yelled at the group "Are you happy with yourselves? There were little kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish acts"

Umm, small children dragged into church being told about someone being nailed to a cross by an old man wearing a dress? How could you tell what scared them?

Marking Time... Part 2

Just after passing the five year mark for this awful war (is there any other kind?) we reach another milestone: the 4000th dead serviceman. The number has been used by both sides. The anti-war people hoping that the enormity of 4000 dead might stir the seemingly complacent populace into joining the with the vocal opponents. The administration once again claiming to feel the pain of the families.

On Nov 12th Sgt. James W McDonald died. The US Military said 37 service members died in November from wounds suffered in Iraq. Sgt. McDonald was not one of the the 37. Because he was wounded in May and had returned to the US and because there was no determination of the exact cause of death, his death is not one of the 4000. His mother Joan McDonald is not so ambiguous about whether John's death was war related.
"If my son was not at the war, he would not be dead, plain and simple. He was a strong and healthy boy. Don't tell me it was unrelated to the war. I will never accept that" said Mrs. McDonald

4000. It's a good round number. It's a milepost. It helps understand the horror of war. And it's a lie. Joan McDonald and hundreds of others know it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dont Let The Door Hit You....

Getting closer and closer to the last day as a real newspaper, The Crap Times has pushed itself into over-drive to destroy what ever it has left of it's legacy as a "progressive" voice. Buried on page four of it's Thursday edition was it's only story of the day about anti-war protests in Wisconsin. At least it was above the fold. Along with the usual quotes from a few protesters and the listing of several near arrests for trying to get elected officials to actually talk to them, there was these wonderful two paragraphs:

When contacted about the demonstrations, Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, called the protesters extremists.

" If we were to cut and run at this point, we would lose a lot of credibility round the world," Jefferson said. "I think people realize that"

There are so many things wrong with this that I'm having trouble lining them up.
First, when polls consistently show that over 60% of America thinks that it was a mistake to enter this war, how the hell can war protesters be "extremist"
Secondly, we have not had any respect around the world for five years.
Finally how the fuck do you decide to ask the head of the Rethuglicans about war protests at all! This walking piece of human excrement is one of the morons responsible for the mess we're in. His hands are bloody. This is like asking a murderer why he thinks there is so much violence today.
I can only mourn the Capital Times of old when maybe there would have been someone there to point out their own foolishness.

Once In Lifetime

For the first, and I suspect the only, time I beat an A list Blogger to the punch. Atrios this morning posted about Patricia Kelly's letter to the New York Times. I guess getting the Times for the Wednesday food section has finally paid off.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dancing With The Stars

A couple of days ago Maureen Dowd wrote in her column that GW "has turned into Gene Kelly" referring of course to the pres's little soft-shoe in front of the press while waiting for Uncle Fester to show up and be anointed as his successor. Little did MoDo realize that this seemingly innocuous turn of words would elicit a response from none other than Gene's widow.
It seems that the Widow Kelly does not believe that her esteemed late husband would be a fan of the doofus-in-chief. In fact it appears that the late hoofer would be aghast at the very idea. Patricia Ward Kelly writes:

When Gene was compared to the grace and agility of Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays, he was delighted. But to be linked with a clunker — particularly one he would consider inept and demoralizing — would have sent him reeling.
Graduated with a degree in economics from Pitt, Gene was not only a gifted dancer, director and choreographer, he was also a most civilized man. He spoke multiple languages; wrote poetry; studied history; understood the projections of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. He did the Sunday Times crossword in ink. Exceedingly articulate, Gene often conveyed more through movement than others manage with words.
Sadly, President Bush fails to communicate meaningfully with either. For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility.

I can only add to this the comment that in more ways than one Bush is truly a lame duck.

Marking Time

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and today marks the end of the fifth year of this horrendous war. Spring, of course, is the season of new beginnings and war, of course, is the season of endings.

First and foremost it is the ending of life. Four thousand of our best and brightest cut down in their prime. Wives and husbands, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers gone, not in some glorious crusade, but in an increasingly ignored and ever more expensive and worthless quest for goals never truly spoken by those that would have us continue down this road that has no apparent end.

War is also the ending of innocence. Nineteen year old boys who should be deciding between careers or schools or between girls are forced to decide between life or death. For themselves, or their comrades, or for people living thousands of miles away from their homes and families. Choices which may well haunt them until the end of their days. It is also the end of the innocence of the nation. The exuberant Nineties gives way to the grim and foreboding 21st century where the America of economic and moral leadership has become a tired and fearful place. Where outsiders are to be distrusted and the idea that we can do anything is replaced by arguments about whether we should do anything at all.

It's been a long Winter. I can't remember a harder one and I've seen plenty. But with Spring comes the hope, no, the knowledge, that longer, sunnier, warmer days are ahead. I also have some hope that this country is ready for a change in direction. The political season has not brought the public scrutiny of our policies, both home and abroad, that I might have hoped for, but there is still time for America to examine what needs to change. And to select the people who might actually effect that change. As I said, with Spring comes hope.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Who Are The Terrorists?

Often when I go to post, either here or other sites, I find that I ask myself whether my comments may go too far. Even though I may want to say that certain members of the administration are on track for capitol punishment, I usually temper my attack.
The Flyover Journal today has an article which suggests that I may be right if I want to avoid the interests of the long arm of homeland security wannabees.

A Blogger who goes by the name of John Adams has come under the scrutiny of his home town police chief. Chief James Coan of Whitewater WI has initiated an investigation of Adams in order to determine who he is. Adams has been critical of the police department's attitude towards the UW Students and personal and the growing Hispanic population. The WSJ article says: According to Whitewater Police Department e-mails obtained by Adams under the state's open records law, Coan involved at least two detectives, the city's director of public works, its information technology officer and the city clerk — all working on city time and using taxpayer-funded resources — to find the identity of a man described as a "suspect" but who had not committed a crime.
Another individual, who had been incorrectly identified as the blogger, was visited in his home by police and warned against voicing anti-government opinions. You can read this dangerous screed at

I grew up in small town America and often witnessed the administrations of local-yokel police departments, but Whitewater isn't rural Wisconsin. It's a University town with over 12000 well educated students and faculty. When you see this sort of vicious attack on free speech, I can only believe the current governmental disregard of our 1st amendment rights is dripping down to the local level.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Back in December I posted about the legislature (and even some republicans) getting their act together and passing the Compassionate Care Bill. The legislation requires hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. It seems to be a no brainer, but that is never a phrase that should be used about the state lege.
Well Thursday, almost 3 months to the day after I wrote about it, Gov. Doyle signed the bill into law. I would love to look back and say that this was the day that Wisconsin started to bring public discourse about sex, women's' rights, and reproduction into the 21st Century but I suspect that the troglodytes are merely regrouping for the next moronic outburst.