Thursday, May 20, 2004

The First Post...

I stopped by Any Which Way this morning to see what was going on over there and hit on two posts that really struck me. The first is a post by scroff of an article written by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski entitled, "The New Pentagon Papers". This was written by a woman who worked on the "inside" of our intelligence gathering aparatus and is a real eye-opener. Here's a brief excerpt:

"In December 2002, I requested an acceleration of my retirement to the following July. By now, the military was anxiously waiting under the bed for the other shoe to drop amid concerns over troop availability, readiness for an ill-defined mission, and lack of day-after clarity. The neocons were anxiously struggling to get that damn shoe off. That other shoe fell with a thump, as did the regard many of us had held for Colin Powell, on Feb. 5 as the secretary of state capitulated to the neoconservative line in his speech at the United Nations -- a speech not only filled with falsehoods pushed by the neoconservatives but also containing many statements already debunked by intelligence."

I can hear the cries from the "Right" now..."Traitorous Bitch!" Read the article before you jump to conclusions. Why would someone with a successful military career behind her put her ass on the line now unless she truly believed that the very Republic she swore to defend was in serious jeopardy from a handful of self-serving, powerfull miscreants promoting their own agenda?

In my eyes, Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski ranks right up there with Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, a true American Patriot.


The Second Post

The Second post at Any Which Way that caught my eye was posted by scroff in the Forums, under "More Of What Pisses Me Off". In the Comments under the original post, scroff and Mad Mikey were in the beginnings of a "spirited" discussion when I threw my "two cents" in.

The simple fact is, I liked my response so much I decided to be lazy and copy it here, with a little tailoring so it would "stand alone". So, here it is.
To read the original post by scroff, the ensuing debate and my untailored reply go here.

Bush 9/11 Ads Under Fire

There has been much heated debate recently concerning the use of 9/11 images by the Bush Re-election Campaign. Whether or not the ads are appropriate, they may come back and bite Bush in the ass for they serve to remind us of the greatest intelligence failure in our history.

Two recent polls have shown Bush losing ground on Kerry. From the Houston Chronicle: GOP Learns Bush, Gasp, Is The Problem :

"Perhaps the worst news for Bush and the Republicans was a question in the Washington Post-ABC survey (1,202 adults, Thursday-Sunday) that asked: "Which of these two statements comes closest to your own views: A. After four years of George W. Bush, we need to elect a president who can set the nation in a new direction. B. We need to keep the country moving in the direction Bush has taken us." Same direction got 41 percent, new direction 57 percent. Two percent, bless their indecisive hearts, expressed no opinion.

That is the type of Bush-specific finding that defies malinterpretation by the wiliest of White House spinmeisters. A clear majority of Americans say (at least at the moment) that they are looking for something different. It is one growing deficit the administration will kiss off at its peril. It is a finding that does not meld well with the overarching Bush campaign themes of steadiness and staying the course. What if the course is one on which Americans do not wish to stay?

The exact same split showed up when the ABC-Washington Post respondents were asked: "Please tell me whether the following statement applies to George W. Bush or not: He understands the problems of people like you." Yes, 41 percent. No, 57 percent."

Another poll supports my contention that the 9/11 ads will do more damage to the Bush camp than good. (From the same article)

"...Bush's exploitive use of scenes from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in his campaign-opening television ads was seen as inappropriate by a majority (54 percent) of the USA Today-CNN-Gallup respondents."

While the article I quote is decidedly anti-Bush, the polls are not, and even Republican Insiders are beginning to question the decision to use the 9/11 images in a campaign ad. From Reuters: Bush To Do 9/11 Remembrance, Fundraising :

"Some Republicans are concerned about the appearance Bush is leaving -- attending a 9/11 event then a fund-raiser -- particularly in light of last week's flap over the ads.

"It is politically awkward -- and quite surprising," said one Republican strategist with close ties to the White House.

This Republican and others, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is a broad sense among Republican circles in Washington that the campaign ad controversy was a debacle that served to create a controversy while consuming several million dollars of badly needed campaign funds.

"It's hard to say there is anything other than fund-raising that they're doing well," said one Republican.

The Republicans said there is unease in the White House about the direction of the campaign, with Bush down in the polls to Kerry and seemingly on the defensive at every turn, and suggested that changes could be in the offing."

As for the tastefulness of using the 9/11 images in a political campaign ad, one of the victim's fathers stated that he was upset by the ad and would be just as upset if the Democrats used images of Flag-draped coffins of American dead coming off the planes at Dover AFB in an ad.

Only time will tell, but right now, Bush is on the run. Unless Kerry really drops the ball in the next few months, the reign of the neo-cons will be over, or at the very least, interrupted for a while.

And that is just fine with me.


Al is gone...

Al is gone...
I know. I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from here. I just couldn't put up with his bullshit anymore. Didn't take long, did it? (I hear ya laffin', Mikey!) Thanks to the Mad One I think I managed to ban all of his current IP addresses. And thanks to Bravenet, the people who provide my free counter, not only was I able to ban him from posting, but from the SITE as well!

I have also deleted all of his comments and, unfortunately, other comments relating to him, my own included, so please forgive me scroff and mikey, but none of our comments to him or about him worked as "stand-alones" I'm applying a scorched earth policy to Al KenEdChud. I'm sure that somehow, someway, he will weasel his way back, but until he does, this is the last post I'll make on him.

I do have a theory about him, though, which you are welcome to comment on. Three of his IP's traced to the Cleveland Public Library System, (we all knew that), but three of them traced to Ameritech, which is a new one to me. I wonder if Al is a "hacker" who is using a "worm" to conceal his actual IP by routing his posts through infected machines? Mikey mentioned something about another company as well. If that's the case, well... what do you think? Is Al sitting at home smirking to himself because he thinks we think he is running all over to get access to computer's we haven't banned yet, or...?

Weigh in on this. I'd like to hear what you have to say. After this, I promise, no more Al!

( least until the next time he pops up...)


Site Update

I've upgraded the HaloScan Comments Section. Sure it cost a few measly sheckels, but, hey, it's worth it. Under the Basic Account, comments were limited to 1,000 characters per comment. This has been increased to 3,000. This should allow posters to express themselves without having to worry about rewriting part of their post because they hit the 1,000 character limit.

I've also discovered that if you click the little blue "?" next to the word "comments", it will open a little window with a few smilies and some basic code, ie: bold, italicize, etc. I believe this feature is available in HaloScan's Basic accounts as well.

The best feature of the Upgrade is for me though. It enables me to edit or delete a post right from the comments box! I don't expect to have to use this too much, but...Al, are you listening?

Comments are very important to me. I view them as an ongoing dialogue, as if we were all sitting around my living room, enjoying refreshments and good conversation. That's not to say I expect everyone to agree with me, I don't. But if you don't agree with me, please tell me why. You may have a point that hadn't occurred to me or someone-else. If you do agree with me, well, hell, I'll take all the "attaboys" I can get.

Other upgrades are being considered. At the moment, Blogger is revamping their system so my hands are tied. As soon as the new upgrades are available, (such as photo and image publishing), I'll implement them.



Bush Escalates Assault on Overtime Pay

Okay, folks, I guess this is where the Leftie in me comes out, and with damn good reason. This is one of the main things that took me out of the Bush camp, his total disregard for Working Families! So although I try to post only original material, I'm posting this because it is important to me and milllions of other working Americans. If you support it, please follow the links and make your voice heard!

Thank you,

Local #52, NY City.


Dear Working Families e-Activist:

Last week we reported to you that the Bush overtime pay take-away is likely to be finalized by President Bush and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao before the end of March. An announcement could come as soon as this Friday.

Now, President Bush's top political allies are attacking efforts to protect overtime pay. They're pressuring television stations not to run TV ads paid for by the Voter Fund that are critical of Bush's overtime pay take-away. They don't want you to hear what's about to happen to the paychecks of millions of America's workers.

It's more important than ever that you reach out to your friends, family and co-workers to let them know about the Bush overtime pay take-away. Please ask them to sign the Petition to Save Overtime Pay at the link below.

Save Overtime Pay

Overtime pay is critical to the well-being of millions of working families--and the Bush administration's paycheck heist must be exposed. You have done a great job of keeping this issue alive. Senators and representatives in Congress have voted right on this issue under pressure from you. Now, the goal is to get the word out to people who haven't signed the petition or haven't heard about what is going on. That is how we'll win.

Please send an e-mail to your friends, family and co-workers. Ask them to sign the Petition to Save Overtime Pay at the link below.

We also suggest you send a short note to other e-mail lists you are on. For example, there may be an e-mail list in your community that allows you to post messages. Think about e-mail lists you are on through a sports team, a hobby club—any way you have access to groups of people who need the opportunity to protect workers' paychecks. These lists are opportunities for you to spread the word. Please forward a note with a link to the petition website.

You can also download a printable petition form to circulate in your workplace, neighborhood or community. Please get as many signatures as you can.

Save Overtime Petition

The petition has been a huge success. Since last week's update, more than 50,000 new people have signed the Petition to Save Overtime Pay. That only happened because of the outreach you did to protect good jobs and good paychecks. Let's keep it going!

Thanks for all you do. Look for another update soon.

In Solidarity,

Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
March 9, 2004

P.S. Here is a news story about the Republican National Committee's attack on MoveOn's overtime pay TV ads.
Read the article

You can check out the full MoveOn Voter Fund TV ad at the link below (RealPlayer required).
View the ad

'Round da Sphere...our little circle

This is something I'd like to do every Tuesday, if possible. (Every now & then my peacefull existance is interrupted by something called "work", sigh...)
Anyway, there's a lot going on out there and while I can't cover it all, I can do what I can do...(huh?)

So, here we go...

scroff, at Any Which Way has a great piece on Howard Stern and another on Bush Campaign Fundraising.

ruthalla, at Any Which Way offers an insight into the Source of our "intelligence" on Iraq's bioweapons.

Mad Mikey at Mad Mikey's Blogspot has the latest news on the fate of John Allen Muhammad, one of the two snipers who terrorized the DC area two years ago, as well a piece on a woman who tried to cash a fake $1 million bill! Also it seems like California is striving to maintain it's title as the Most Bizarre State in the Union. Yup, seems like some folks on the "Left Coast" seem to think the voting age should be lowered to 14! Go, check it out! You can't make this shit up!

Mike The Marine at From The Halls to The Shores is out on manuevers this week. Should have some good "No shit and there I wuz..." stories for us when he gets back.

Cait, at Caiterwauling has a new family member. She also has a couple of posts about John Kerry. Warning to Lefties, they don't present Kerry in a very good light, but Cait's reasonable and if you can logically dispute her posts, you're welcome to. (I know, I'm more Left than Right, but I'm not going to live in a fantasy world where only my opinion counts. Check it out, agree or disagree, BE CIVIL!)

Chelle, at Dare My Wild Heart, has a great discussion going on about a "humanistic, spiritual community". Check Chelle out on Fridays, she previews different applications and offers expert instructions on how to get the most out of them.

Nathalie, at TurningWheels is also welcoming a new family member. Kudos to Nat for rescuing Marleau. Nat has also linked to an excellent photo essay entitled "The Human Cost of Terrorism". Want to see what it must be like to live under the threat of everyday terror in Israel? Check it out. Warning! The images are graphic and disturbing, but not as disturbing as having to actually live through them.

Well, that about does it for today. As for some of the other sites, Activist San Diego has so much going on constantly I couldn't possibly keep up with it. Same for the AFLCIO.

One other thing. As I mentioned in my first post on this blog, some of this stuff leans to the Left, some to the Right. These websites are owned by folks who have respected me and my opinions and I can only offer them the same respect. I ask the same of you. Agree or disagree, it's up to you, hey, it's a free country, but please do so in a logical, civil manner. Save the flame wars for here!