Best Viewed with IE or Opera. Sorry, Firefox works, but loses some sidebar layout,
'my profile' and other stuff... Anybody with a fix, please leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.

That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
...get the "IE Tab" extension. This allows you to view problem pages with the IE rendering engine. Very cool!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

AMERICAblog: War-dead-for-porn Web site raided - but not for the war-dead photos, just for the porn

Only in America...(sigh)

read it here:
click me

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New Scientist Breaking News - Book thrown at proponents of Intelligent Design

"Devastating" early drafts of a controversial book recommended as reading at a US high school reveal how the word �creationism� had been later swapped for �intelligent design�, a landmark US trial scrutinising the teaching of ID heard on Wednesday.

The early drafts of the book Of Pandas and People, were used as evidence to link the book to creationism, which it is illegal to teach in government-funded US schools.

�ID proponents have said for years that they are not creationists,� says Nick Matzke of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California, which is advising 11 parents who are suing the school board of Dover High School in Pennsylvania for incorporating ID into the science curriculum. �This proves beyond a doubt that this is simply a new name for creationism.�

read it all:
New Scientist Breaking News - Book thrown at proponents of Intelligent Design

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NATIONAL JOURNAL: Rove Assured Bush He Was Not Leaker (10/07/05)

excerpt:

According to outside legal experts, it is rare for prosecutors to seek to question a witness before the grand jury so late in the course of a high-profile investigation and after the witness has already testified three times, unless criminal charges are being considered.

Sources close to the Fitzgerald investigation say that Rove's personal assurances to the president and his initial interview with the FBI are central to whether the grand jury might charge Rove with making false statements to investigators or with obstruction of justice.

read the whole dang thing:
NATIONAL JOURNAL: Rove Assured Bush He Was Not Leaker (10/07/05)

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Miers and the Economy

Published on Thursday, October 6, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Miers and the Economy
by Robert B. Reich


Social values aren�t the only ones at stake when it comes to Harriet Miers� nomination to the Supreme Court. There are also economic values.

When Miers asserted last fall that the future of the American economy depends, among other things, on making the President's tax cuts permanent and getting rid of unnecessary regulations, she was setting forth a particular view of what�s best for America�s working people. You may agree or disagree, but before confirming Ms. Miers, the Senate needs to find out more.

The President says Miers will "strictly interpret" the Constitution. That tells us almost nothing. The Constitution can be strictly interpreted in all sorts of ways.

Before 1937, a majority of Justices, saying they were "strictly interpreting" the Constitution, struck down as unconstitutional laws setting minimum wages and maximum hours, and barring child labor.

The economic values of those justices favored private property over community standards of fair play. To them, due process of law was mostly about freedom to contract and liberty was the ability to accumulate personal wealth.

Then, early in 1937, one of those Justice switched sides (coincidentally, his last name was Roberts) and the Court�s new majority chose community over property. They said they were still strictly interpreting the Constitution. But suddenly due process was about making laws fairly, and liberty was about giving people opportunities to get ahead.

We no longer have a Great Depression to contend with, as we did then. But we�ve still got big questions of economic values. The U.S. economy has been growing at a healthy clip. But the typical household�s income has barely budged for years. Meanwhile, the number of poor Americans continues to grow. According to the Census Bureau, only the top 5 percent of households have been enjoying real economic gains. Almost all the economic growth has gone to the top.

This raises profound questions about American values. Not since the Gilded Age of the 1890s has this nation experienced anything like the inequality of income, wealth, and opportunity we�re now witnessing.
---------

read the rest:
Miers and the Economy

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Animals 'Hit by Global Warming'

Major Business Groups Split With Bush Administration Over Patriot Act

Waking up in America?
Huh. Funny how breaking civil rights for, like, people, is OK. But, man, don't go threatening our businesses. We gonna get all uppity and demand that the Bush admin check itself before it gets outahand. You know?

Major Business Groups Split With Bush Administration Over Patriot Act

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The Seattle Times: Local News: "Train wreck" defense rests

d r i f t g l a s s: No Coke!

Ah! Drifty knocks George Will out of the ballpark this time. It's a sight to behold.


GO!
d r i f t g l a s s: No Coke!

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

ABC News: Spy Case Suggests White House Security Problem

Y'all remember the fuss the reichwingers made about Sandy "Burglar" 'stealing' secret documents? That turned out to be a molehill of less than epic proportions. He was fined and had his security clearance revoked. But no information actually was stolen and given to anyone else. He basically mis-handled some documents that he originally wrote by making unauthorized copies and later destroying those copies improperly. No one benefitted from this activity. No one was hurt, but a few folks were mightily embarrassed.

Now let's look at the current White House. We have the most recent revelation of actual espionage from a high level White House staffer in the Aragoncillo case. We have the investigation into AIPAC implicating yet more spying by GOP operatives. And let us not forget the admittance of a professional male prostitute with bogus press credentials into many White House briefings. Oh yeah, there's one more. Katrina Leung's (a GOP fundraiser in California who spied on the Chinese for us and may have been a double agent) espionage case was dismissed because the FBI bungled it. No real determination of her guilt or innocence has been established. It's one of those "let off on a technicality" cases that the right hate so much. Do we see some REAL problems in this administration?

read about Aragoncillo here:
ABC News: Spy Case Suggests White House Security Problem

read about AIPAC story here:
click here

and more about Leung here:
click here

and the dismissal here:
click here

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Yep, another Goddamned blog: The Swift-Boating of Tibor Rubin

Day-yum! Read this story, but be sure you have a box of Kleenex and a big pillow, because you will alternately want to cry and want to punch something. --pseudolus

Go! Just go.
Yep, another Goddamned blog: The Swift-Boating of Tibor Rubin

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GOP yahoos


If only these yahoos who draw editorial cartoons knew their history or, if they know, were honest.

The fact is that the GOP was the pacifist party at the time. They were the folks who wanted an "Isolationist America", who thought Adolph and Benito were the doing the right thing in taking over their countries and implementing fascism. Wankers!




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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Gulf Firms Losing Cleanup Contracts

feh! Should we expect anything less from this croney-administration? Line your contributors pocketbooks first and to hell with the little people! --pseudolus
--------------

washingtonpost.com
Gulf Firms Losing Cleanup Contracts
Most Money Going Outside Storm's Path

By Griff Witte, Renae Merle and Derek Willis
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 4, 2005; D01

Companies outside the three states most affected by Hurricane Katrina have received more than 90 percent of the money from prime federal contracts for recovery and reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, according to an analysis of available government data.

The analysis by The Washington Post takes into account only the first wave of federal contracts, those that had been entered in detail into government databases as of yesterday. Together they are valued at more than $2 billion. Congress has allocated more than $60 billion for the recovery effort, and the ultimate total is expected to rise far higher.

But already the trend toward out-of-state firms is clear, despite pledges by administration officials that federal funds for Katrina relief will become an engine of local economic redevelopment. Among the contracts analyzed, 3.8 percent of the money went to companies that listed an Alabama address, 2.8 percent to firms in Louisiana and just 1.8 percent went for Mississippi contractors. Taken together, that amounts to less than $200 million.
----------
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Gulf Firms Losing Cleanup Contracts

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DeLay's Influence Transcends His Title

washingtonpost.com
DeLay's Influence Transcends His Title

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, October 3, 2005; A01

For the indefinite future, Washington will remain Tom DeLay's capital. Dislodged by a criminal indictment last week from his post as House majority leader, DeLay in his decade of steering the Republican caucus dramatically -- and in many cases inalterably -- changed how power is amassed and used on Capitol Hill and well beyond.

Proteges of the wounded Texan still hold virtually every position of influence in the House, including the office of speaker. DeLay's former staff members are securely in the lobbying offices for many of the largest corporations and business advocacy groups.

But even more than people, DeLay's lasting influence is an ethos. He stood for a view of Washington as a battlefield on which two sides struggle relentlessly, moderates and voices of compromise are pushed to the margins, and the winners presume they have earned the right to punish dissenters and reward their own side with financial and policy favors
----------

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DeLay's Influence Transcends His Title

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Role of Rove, Libby in CIA Leak Case Clearer

washingtonpost.com
Role of Rove, Libby in CIA Leak Case Clearer
Bush and Cheney Aides' Testimony Contradicts Earlier White House Statement

By Jim VandeHei and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 2, 2005; A05

As the CIA leak investigation heads toward its expected conclusion this month, it has become increasingly clear that two of the most powerful men in the Bush administration were more involved in the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame than the White House originally indicated.
-------

read it here:
Role of Rove, Libby in CIA Leak Case Clearer

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

US car theft rings probed for ties to Iraq bombings - The Boston Globe

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | October 2, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials.

Inspector John E. Lewis, deputy assistant director of the FBI for counterterrorism, told the Globe that the investigation hasn't yielded any evidence that the vehicles were stolen specifically for car bombings. But there is evidence, he said, that the cars were smuggled from the United States as part of a widespread criminal network that includes terrorists and insurgents.

Cracking the car theft rings and tracing the cars could help identify the leaders of insurgent forces in Iraq and shut down at least one of the means they use to attack the US-led coalition and the Iraqi government, the officials said.

The inquiry began after coalition troops raided a bomb-making factory in Fallujah last November and found a sport utility vehicle registered in Texas that was being prepared for a bombing mission.

Investigators said they are comparing several other cases where vehicles evidently stolen in the United States wound up in Syria or other Middle East countries and ultimately into the hands of Iraqi insurgent groups -- including Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

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click here

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The Emperor's New Consensus

A few words of wisdom from our true conservative brethren. Don't make that face! It pays to read views from the other side of the aisle, especially when they make sense. We all have a stake in deposing this neocon regime. --pseudolus
---------
From the Persian Gulf to the Gulf Coast, the tide has turned against Bush.

By Scott McConnell
October 10, 2005 Issue
Copyright � 2005 The American Conservative

Like individuals, countries can benefit from seeing themselves through the eyes of others. Many Americans would ignore a European view; the supposed jealousy of �Old Europe � for our dynamism has been baked into a national clich� and digested. Views from the Middle East, in light of current military deployments, would not be objective either. But what of South Asia, itself hit by a catastrophic natural disaster this year, a region where gratitude for Washington�s tsunami assistance remains very much alive?

Early this month, the International Herald Tribune published a story based on attitudes in that region at the time of Katrina, views jolted by the gap between the image of America that locals had in their minds and what Katrina presented on their TV screens. �How is it possible?� asked one Indonesian journalist. �How is it possible that in an advanced society like the United States it is so difficult to provide help or rescue people? How is it possible this breakdown in law and order could happen? Let�s just say that it is noted that America sends troops to try to maintain order in distant places, but it seems to have difficulty to do it in their own back yard.� Or as a Philippine government official put it, �It�s so heartbreaking to see how helpless America has become. You�re not strong any more. You can�t even save your own countrymen and there you are, out there trying to control the world.�

Such statements don�t come configured with neo-Marxian accoutrements about hegemony and imperialism�they are, rather like the child�s response to the emperor�s new clothes, a conclusion drawn from obvious visual evidence. Variations of this reaction swept the globe in the early days of September, at the beginning of Osama bin Laden�s second term.

The underlying cause of this turnabout in world thinking was America�s inability to tame the Iraq insurgency, two and half years after George W. Bush initiated a war of choice against Saddam. That war is not yet over for American troops or the Iraqis, but its basic strategic outcome is clear: as a vehicle for transforming the political culture of the Arab world in a pro-American direction, it is an utter failure.

The open question is whether America, as a society and as a government, is capable of recognizing this and making the necessary adjustments. That was the implicit subject of an important conference held in Washington on Week Two of Katrina�scheduled months before to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11. The event brought together much of the county�s national-security elite�academics and policymakers (though few from the current Bush administration), politicians from both parties, figures as disparate as George Soros and Grover Norquist. The politically eclectic New America Foundation served as main sponsor.
---------

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Mirror.co.uk - News - KEEP IT SEALED KEEP IT SECRET

Corrupt GOP tentacles even reach across the pond.

read the rest...
CLICK HERE

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t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich | In the Beginning, There Was Abramoff

Grand Jury Re-Indicts DeLay on New Charge - Yahoo! News

Oh, I am shocked! heh
-------


By APRIL CASTRO, Associated Press Writer Tue Oct 4,12:04 AM ET

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas grand jury on Monday re-indicted Rep.
Tom DeLay on charges of conspiring to launder money and money laundering after the former majority leader attacked last week's indictment on technical grounds.

The new indictment, handed up by a grand jury seated Monday, contained two counts. The money laundering charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison. The charge of conspiracy to launder money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Last week, DeLay was charged with conspiracy to violate campaign-finance laws, forcing him to leave his leadership position.

Defense lawyers asked a judge Monday to throw out the first indictment, arguing that the charge of conspiring to violate campaign finance laws was based on a statute that did not take effect until 2003 � a year after the alleged acts.

The new indictment from District Attorney Ronnie Earle, coming just hours after the new grand jurors were sworn in, outraged DeLay.

"Ronnie Earle has stooped to a new low with his brand of prosecutorial abuse," DeLay said in a statement. "He is trying to pull the legal equivalent of a 'do-over' since he knows very well that the charges he brought against me last week are totally manufactured and illegitimate. This is an abomination of justice."
---------
read the rest:
Grand Jury Re-Indicts DeLay on New Charge - Yahoo! News

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Devil & Dick Cheney



read the rest...
CLICK HERE

(Go to Oct 3 if you are late viewing.)

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If You Can't Take the Heat Get Out of the West Wing - New York Times

The GOP and its freeper minions are constantly vilifying Jimmy Carter for his conservation strategies. His energy policy was reversed as soon as St. Ronnie the Amnesiac took over the White House. All the solar panels were ripped off the roof and energy consumption was encouraged with tax breaks. If Carter's energy policy had been kept and folowed, we would no doubt have 60 MPG passenger cars and solar panels on a majority of homes. Our dependance on foreign oil would be considerably less tahn it is now, thirty years later.

So, now, we have the Bush admin slyly trying to return to the past, without actually making a big deal out of it, because he knows it won't play to his freeper base. The Preznit is hurting and it shows. This winter promises 50-100% increases in home heating costs. The base, she will not be happy. --pseudolus
---------------
By ELISABETH BUMILLER
Published: October 3, 2005

WASHINGTON

The thermostats were turned up two degrees throughout the West Wing last week, and staff members willing to relinquish their coveted White House parking passes were promised free fare on the Metro subway system.

Over in the White House residence, the lights went off earlier at night and were turned on later in the morning, at least in the rooms that no one was using.

Next door at the Department of the Treasury, the secretary, John W. Snow, decided to take the Amtrak Acela to New York on Wednesday, not the Delta or U. S. Airways shuttle. "We said, 'If there's a good time to take the train, this is it,' " said Tony Fratto, Mr. Snow's spokesman, who acknowledged that Mr. Snow, a former railroad executive, had also taken the train in the past because he liked it.

President Bush has not yet been spotted in a Jimmy Carter-like gray cardigan, but otherwise his call to Americans last week to conserve gasoline by driving less had a strangely familiar ring.

"I have to say, with a slight smile, that I wondered if this was Jimmy Carter incarnate speaking about conservation," said Stuart Eisenstat, a lawyer in Washington who was Mr. Carter's domestic policy adviser during the energy crisis of the 1970's.

Mr. Bush was even more Carteresque with his own administration. He sent out orders directing all federal employees to cut back on nonessential travel and also encouraged them to car pool, telecommute and use public transportation.

In the normally cool West Wing, the thermostats were up to an average of 72 degrees by Friday, and the staff was under orders to turn off copiers and computers at night. Discussions were under way about making space for bicycle and motorcycle racks.

Mr. Bush wants all federal agencies to report back within 30 days on the actions they have taken. "It is important that the federal government lead by example," he said in his memorandum.

So far, there are no plans for Mr. Bush to give an energy-conservation fireside chat, like Mr. Carter did in his sweater, but it is not clear when things will change.
-------

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If You Can't Take the Heat Get Out of the West Wing - New York Times

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Hybrid Nation? Nope. - Newsweek Business - MSNBC.com

By Keith Naughton
Newsweek

Oct. 10, 2005 issue - To Cleveland real-estate agent Kim Bittner, the incredible bulk of a Hummer H2 was always oddly alluring, but just too over the top. For one thing, it wouldn't fit in her garage. And with runaway gas prices, owning a 12mpg H2 just wasn't an option. But then General Motors came out this summer with the slightly smaller Hummer H3, which gets 20mpg on the highway. Now Bittner's $36,000 "mini-tank" is turning heads wherever she goes. "The first thing people ask is 'How is it on gas?' " she says. "When I tell them it gets 20 miles to a gallon, they just grin and say, 'I want one, too'."
----------

read the rest:
Hybrid Nation? Nope. - Newsweek Business - MSNBC.com

----------

And now I see some reality coming to light. Eschaton had this post today:

Two Stories


Story one:


NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Sales tumbled at General Motors and Ford last month as record high gas prices and the automakers' own summer promotions finally took their toll.

Tough comparisons with strong results a year ago were also a factor, industry executives said.

GM, the world's biggest automaker, said U.S. sales overall sank 24 percent to 344,797 vehicles in September.

Sales of light trucks, which include pickups, sport/utility vehicles and vans, plummeted even more, off 30 percent from a year earlier, while car sales declined 14.5 percent.

Ford, the nation's No. 2 automaker, said September sales overall sank 19 percent to 228,157 vehicles.

Ford's sales of light trucks fell even more sharply, sinking 27 percent to 155,167.


Story two:


Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that its U.S. vehicle sales jumped 10.3 percent in September as climbing car sales offset a slight decline in trucks.

The Japanese automaker - which sells car and trucks under the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands - sold 178,417 vehicles during the month, up from 161,793 last September. Car sales jumped 22.2 percent to 107,551 vehicles, more than making up for a 3.9 percent decline in truck sales to 70,866 units.

from Atrios @ Eschaton 2:47 pm 10-03-05
CLICK HERE
-----------

Looks like the Auto Industry is anxious to spin the crap out of their decisions to keep building SUVs. Of course the real story is that SUVs bring in a nice big tax break because they are classified as 'light trucks' and therefor the automakers don't have to pay as much in taxes per vehicle as regular passenger car. They 'pushed' these vehicles, created a demand with advertising campaigns. They could do the same with hybrids, easily, but they won't until Bush gives them a big tax break for them.

Remember this tale whenever a GOP 'free market' hawk tells you "demand drives supply" in a free market. Also, remember the tale of GM's EV-1. They recalled and destroyed all of them despite a HUGE demand for them.

"THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A FREE MARKET" never has been, never will be. Someone will always have an incentive to manipulate the market.

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The VA is the next target of destruction for GOP

Wonderful! Those military loving Republicans, who accuse the Left of hating soldiers and constantly undermining the military, are targeting the Veterans Administration for destruction. So, all the moaning and whining of how hateful the liberals are to our men and women in uniform is actually coming from the Right. Read on for the truly horrendous details. --pseudolus
-----------
The Senator's aide chuckled rather loudly and said, "What VA? By the time this administration is done there won't be a VA." Our conversation had begun with a discussion of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA's) healthcare budget, and quickly came down to a single, simple point. VA is being dismantled.

Three reasons why the administration would want to dismantle VA immediately come to mind:

VA is a large-scale, publicly funded healthcare system that works: VA works so well it has been used as a model to push the case for nationalized healthcare; something that strikes fear in the heart of every Republican.

Recent studies by the Rand Corporation and the University of Michigan , working with UCLA, prove the point that VA is efficient and provides healthcare that meets the highest standards. If it can work for millions of veterans, it can work for millions of Americans. That concept is antithetical to current administration thinking.

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina we learned that VA was the ONLY healthcare organization that managed to save ALL patient records. This is because VA uses a computerized system that was backed-up on a regional level and put back online in a matter of hours. Now that system is under attack by Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs . Rep. Buyer wants to eliminate regional control of the system under the guise of saving money.

VA is ripe for privatization: And that spells profits for private corporations. The latest move in this direction happened last week on Capitol Hill where the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs approved S. 1182 (see Sec. 10) which would spend money from VA's healthcare budget to study outsourcing jobs of VA healthcare workers. The study, with VA healthcare funds going to private consultants, could cost over $140 million and lead to the loss of up to 36,000 VA jobs. Democrats opposed it, but Republicans pushed it through.

VA is part of BIG government: And that's something this administration abhors. GOP strategist Grover Norquist says he wants the government shrunk down so he can �drown it in the bathtub.� The problem with this is that smaller government means fewer services as well as the much-touted lower taxes. And the jobs that are spared are outsourced and cost more to maintain because private corporations have to build in a profit margin.

So, while the concept of smaller government appeals to many, the economics fall into the �voodoo� category, and the social ramifications spell disaster for those who need the programs that are cut back or eliminated. In fact, smaller government gives less but costs more per person served. And I should remind Grover that 24.6 million veterans won't fit in a bathtub and the ones that do surely WILL drown.


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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Aeon Flux Movie - Official Site: AeonFlux.com

Apple - Trailers - V for Vendetta

I, for one, can't wait.
--pseudolus

The trailer for the latest from the Wachowski bothers:
V for Vendetta
"The people should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
Apple - Trailers - V for Vendetta

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Random Thoughts About the Right

Dr Fallon at "In the Dark" has some
Random Thoughts About the Right
Bill Bennett is not a racist.
He is also not a compulsive gambler.
Nor is he a hypocrite.

Tom DeLay is not a crook.
There is no evidence against him.
He is the victim of a partisan political "fanatic."

The Religious Right in the US are not extremists.
They are acting out Christian principles in American public life.
They really love Jesus.

The neo-GOP is not a party of fascists.
There is no perverse ideology guiding their every policy decision.
They are true to their history, their traditions, and their past leaders.

George W. Bush is not a liar.
He really does put freedom and democracy above all other values.
He is not incompetent.

And the war is going really, really well.


""...the newspeak word goodthinkful - meaning naturally orthodox, incapable of thinking a bad thought...She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her." (Orwell 1984)

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