SHOW/HIDE BANNER MATERIAL OPEN OFFSITE LINKS IN A NEW WINDOW  
| WEATHER FORECAST | TEXAS AIR QUALITY |
ALTERNATE COMMENT LINK FOR THIS PAGE
I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat! Steve Bates,
The Yellow Doggerel Something
POLITICAL GRAVITY -- POLITICAL LEVITY -- VERSE AND WORSE
I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat!
COMMENTS MAY BE MODERATED

DogBloggerel
for June 2008 (cont'd)

 



BLOGS + MISC LINKS



RECENT COMMENTS

   

Citing Doggerel, Court Rejects Bush Case

Really. Quoting Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark," a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled against the government's claim that a detainee was an "enemy combatant." The government's case was based on the appearance of a "fact" that was repeated in three government documents. Judge Merrick Garland ruled as follows:

We are not persuaded. Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact the government has 'said it thrice' does not make the allegation true. In fact we have no basis for concluding that there are independent sources for the documents' thrice-made assertions.

Judge Garland referred, of course, to this passage from Carroll's famous poem:

     ...

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."

     ...

Regrettably, this is the nature of much of the "evidence" offered by the Bush administration for literally anything in pursuit of their "war on terror": if they say it enough times, we are expected to believe it.

So... how do I know about this ruling? I read about it here, here and here. What I tell you three times...

Steve
   PermaLink     

Faith-Based Campaigning

Attempting to improve his cred with Christian fundamentalists, McCain visited Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham. Meanwhile, a few days ago, James Dobson said Obama is distorting the Bible and has a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

Well, why not. If anyone should know fruitcakes, it is James Dobson. And the Grahams are not noted for their broadmindedness.

If McCain wants to associate himself in the public mind with that sort of religious figure, I encourage him to do so. America is a nation of religious, areligious, irreligious and antireligious people, but it is not a nation of fundamentalist Christian zealots. And as far as I'm concerned, Obama can wear Dobson's disapproval as a badge of honor.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Another Day, Another Toxin

Kirk James Murphy, MD of Firedoglake informs us and asks us, Persistent Herbicide In Compost Destroys UK Gardens - Can It Happen Here? (See Kirk's original for links.)

In today's Observer, Caroline Davies describes how this year British gardeners find their fruits and veggies are stunted, deformed, and dying. The culprit: Dow Chemical's persistent herbicide aminopyralid sprayed on grazing land or fodder. The herbicide stayed in the plants the cattle ate, stayed in the cattle (and horse) poop, stayed in the compost produced from the poop, and came out the other end of the process all ready to kill food crops and home gardens.

Problems with the herbicide emerged late last year, when some commercial potato growers reported damaged crops.

[snip]

[T]he herbicide has now entered the food chain. Those affected are demanding an investigation and a ban on the product. They say they have been given no definitive answer as to whether other produce on their gardens and allotments is safe to eat.

It appears that the contamination came from grass treated 12 months ago. Experts say the grass was probably made into silage, then fed to cattle during the winter months. The herbicide remained present in the silage, passed through the animal and into manure that was later sold. Horses fed on hay that had been treated could also be a channel.

It can't happen here?

Well, the EPA has licensed aminopyralid in several products used in the US: Cleanwave, Milestone vm, Forefront r&p, and Milestone.

[Gotta love these names. Imagine being paid to come up with 'em. "What do you do?" "Well, I sit around and think up cute names for toxic molecules." ]

Anyway, Cleanwave is registered (approved) for use on wheat. Forefront is approved for use on rangeland (land where cattle graze). Milestone and Forefront are approved for use on -- yep, you guessed it -- pastures.

The same use that apparently blasted gardens all over Britain.

     ...

Quite literally, that's some serious shit!

Steve
   PermaLink     

The McCain/Bush Supreme Court

Robert Barnes of the WaPo examines the prospects for a radical rightist Supreme Court if McCain becomes president in the article, A Win by McCain Could Push a Split Court to Right. Notice I didn't describe the nominees as "conservative": there is no valid sense of that term which could be used to describe Bush's appointees to the Court. McCain has expressed his admiration for Roberts and Alito as models for Justices he would appoint. And the Court is on the edge of right-wing radicalism right now, with Kennedy typically swinging the 5-4 majority cases one way or the other.

So the next president will determine whether we have a radical judiciary into the indefinite future. Roberts is 53. Alito is 58. Do you want a radically right-wing Supreme Court for the next 20 to 30 years? That's what you'll get with McCain.

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain's Personal Finances - UPDATED

... are not in the best of order, despite his and Cindy's great wealth. See three articles on the subject at TPM: The first article is on the McCains' four-year-delinquent property taxes in California. The second is about their credit card debt, which seems large even (especially?) for very wealthy people. The third is not really about personal finances, but about McCain's economic adviser, former Senator Phil Gramm, and Gramm's ties to the subprime mortgage scandal and various questionable activities as a lobbyist for UBS.

I realize personal finances and management of public moneys are not the same thing. But I assert that when a couple as wealthy as the McCains has major credit card debt, it is indicative of something. And tax delinquency, again by a wealthy couple, speaks to much more than principled opposition to high taxes: it says their attitude is that taxes are for ordinary folk, not for the wealthy.

Combine that attitude with a modern-day hundred years' war, and what do you have? Right: a burden on the middle-income taxpayer. We already have that under Bush. You want more? Vote McCain. Under a President McCain, the only time you'll use the word "broker" is not in a reference to your investment adviser, but rather in a sentence like this: "I'm even broker than I was during Bush's second term."


UPDATE: via Mustang Bobby, here's a Newsweek article explaining that there was a problem with the address to which the tax notices were mailed. Of course, that is no excuse at all, for the McCains any more than for the rest of us: the taxpayer is always responsible for providing the taxing entity with a correct, current address.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Notice Of Intent To Steal

A TPM headline points us to a Fox News article revealing John McCain's intent to steal the election, just as Bush did:

McCain Predicts ‘Underdog’ Win in Final 48 Hours
by FOXNews.com
Friday, June 27, 2008

John McCain predicted the general election race would come down to the buzzer Friday, declaring himself the underdog but quipping that he’d ride to victory in the last “48 hours.”

The comment came as new polls show Barack Obama leading nationally and in several key swing states.

     ...

I don't know if Barack Obama will win in a landslide, as just about every poll suggests; the Democratic Party has, after all, an astonishing ability, acting without assistance, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But I do know that if McCain "wins" in the last 48 hours, it will be because the GOP has stolen the election again, as they did with certainty in 2000 and with high probability in 2004.

The leaders of the GOP, including McCain, have utter contempt for America's people and the traditions of its government. If you do not believe me, read Milbank's comments on Addington's and Yoo's "testimony." In my opinion, they should rot in jail for that contempt.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Saturday Signs

As with kitty pictures, I don't have a new sign this week, so you'll have to make do with this old one. It didn't originate with me, but I think it's pretty funny.

Steve
   PermaLink     

King In His Own Domain?

... or queen in hers? (Or queen in his? I don't want to exclude anybody.) ICANN has announced custom top-level domains on the Internet. They're being really quite broadminded about it:

     ...

The Icann board also passed another less controversial proposal that would allow these domains to be registered in scripts other than Roman characters, like Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic. Specific countries could receive the equivalent of their two-letter country code, like Bulgaria’s .bg, in their native alphabet.

“We’re expecting a broad range of applicants. Indigenous communities might come forward to protect aspects of their language and culture,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Icann’s chairman. “We may see a .smith so that all the Smiths in the world will have a place.”

     ...

Icann officials said any applications for the new domains would have to go through an independent review process. Third parties will be able to challenge applications on the grounds that a particular suffix could threaten “morality and public order.” And companies will have the first priority when it comes to claiming their brand names.

     ...

Good. Now the GOP can have the top-level domains .con, .crook, .liar, and perhaps even .dictator ...

Steve
   PermaLink     

Friday Cat Photo - Happier Days

Tabitha and Stella, in December of last year...



To my regret, Tabitha's eyes are now solid, opaque, dark red, the color of a Chinese statue. To all appearances, she is not in pain; she still eats and drinks, navigates the apartment by memory (occasionally bumping into things), sleeps with Stella, and purrs when stroked, so she has some quality of life. But we are awaiting word about additional medical problems that have turned up since the last status report, and some of the possibilities the vet has mentioned are not good. I know Tabitha doesn't care, but I shall do her the courtesy of posting earlier photos of her in good health.

Please forgive me if I am not as regular these days about posting replies to your kind comments. And please send Tabitha... and the rest of us, especially Stella... your positive thoughts.

Steve
   PermaLink     

The Kiss: Not By Klimt

And we're not verklempt about it, either. Apparently, it's following the "Joe" bus around:



(From CTBob, via Firedoglake.)

Steve
   PermaLink     

Got Business Secrets? Leave 'Em Home! - UPDATED

Via War and Piece, US Customs officials are impounding Americans' laptops, without a warrant and without probable cause, as Americans re-enter the country after traveling abroad:

Returning from a brief vacation to Germany in February, Bill Hogan was selected for additional screening by customs officials at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. Agents searched Hogan's luggage and then popped an unexpected question: Was he carrying any digital media cards or drives in his pockets? "Then they told me that they were impounding my laptop," says Hogan, a freelance investigative reporter whose recent stories have ranged from the origins of the Iraq war to the impact of money in presidential politics.

Shaken by the encounter, Hogan says he left the airport and examined his bags, finding that the agents had also removed and inspected the memory card from his digital camera. "It was fortunate that I didn't use that machine for work or I would have had to call up all my sources and tell them that the government had just seized their information," he said. When customs offered to return the machine nearly two weeks later, Hogan told them to ship it to his lawyer.

The extent of the program to confiscate electronics at customs points is unclear. A hearing Wednesday before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution hopes to learn more about the extent of the program and safeguards to traveler's privacy.

     ...

The laptops are sometimes not returned for weeks or even months, and there seems to be some evidence that Customs is making copies of the hard drives. Customs is also apparently examining and perhaps copying the contents of pocket "thumb" drives and digital camera cards.

The GOP claims to be the pro-business party. Can someone explain to me how this practice is good for business? Short answer: no, they can't, because it isn't. So... why don't they put a stop to it?

If you travel internationally for business purposes, you may want to take a "clean" laptop, i.e., one that does not contain any proprietary material. If it is a company laptop that does not belong to you, so much the better. If your only option is to take your own laptop, and it contains any work for your employer or client, you may want to simply leave it home and rent a computer at your destination. To this sorry depth has our nation sunk.


UPDATE: Here is the transcript of the hearing. Expect some of the testimony to make you angry.

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain On World War III

Think Progress notes the following exchange from a "tele-townhall meeting" with McCain yesterday, as reported in USA Today's On Politics blog:

During a "telephone townhall meeting" last evening, the Associated Press reports, Republican presidential contender John McCain was asked by a mother of two sons if he believes the nation will one day re-institute the military draft. It would take an "all-out World War III" to make that happen, he said:      ...

But World War III is already underway, according to no less an authority than... John McCain, echoing Newt Gingrich. From a CNN transcript, July 16, 2007:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We're in the early stages of what I would describes as the Third World War and, frankly, our bureaucracies aren't responding fast enough. We don't have the right attitude about this. And this is the 58th year of the war to destroy Israel and frankly, the Israelis have every right to insist that every single missile that leaves south Lebanon and that the United States ought to be helping the Lebanese government have the strength to eliminate Hezbollah as a military force, not as a political force in the parliament, but as a military force in south Lebanon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is World War III.

GINGRICH: I believe, if you take all the countries I just listed that you've been covering, put them on a map, look at all the different connectivity; you'd have to say to yourself this is in fact World War III.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Senator McCain, do you agree?

MCCAIN: I do to some extent. I think it's important to recognize that we have terrorist organizations which -- who are dangerous by themselves, are now being supported by radical Islamic governments, i.e., the Iranians, which makes them incredibly more dangerous because they are trained, equipped, motivated and assisted in every way by the Iranians. So that it's the Iranians that gave them the rockets that they are reigning down on Haifa as we speak.

     ...

If McCain becomes president, young men and quite possibly young women had better start limbering up. Pretty soon, when they get that draft notice, they're going to need to be flexible enough to bend over, head-between-legs, to kiss their butts goodbye. Oh, and if the war goes on for a hundred years, as McCain has said more than once, those same young people's preschool-aged children had better start contemplating their own short, unhappy, war-ravaged futures.

Or we could simply stop McCain from becoming president. I cannot say for certain that any of McCain's presumed opponents would not take us to war, but we do know with certainty what McCain would do. If you have no other motivation to vote, think about McCain's 100 years of war.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Truth In Naming Public Works

This, from Froomkin, is too funny (scroll down in linked page):

Homage Watch

Marisa Lagos writes in the San Francisco Chronicle about the efforts of the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco to rename the "Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant" the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant."

"[T]he handful of friends who dreamed this up over beers one night say they have already collected 8,500 signatures in support of the plan - 1,300 more than the minimum needed to put the question to city voters in November. . . .

"Organizers of the petition drive believe the measure will pass, noting that 2006's Proposition J calling for the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney passed with 58 percent of the vote.

"The biggest opposition in this Democratic stronghold, McConnell said, is people who oppose naming anything after the 43rd president."

Where do I sign?

Steve
   PermaLink     

In Justice

WaPo:

Auditors Say Justice Dept. Improperly Screened for Political Ties

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 24, 2008; 11:50 AM

Justice Department officials improperly used political and ideological factors to screen applicants for the agency's prestigious honors and summer intern programs, sometimes rejecting otherwise qualified candidates because of their ties to Democrats, internal auditors said in a report issued this morning.

The long awaited review faulted Bush administration officials for violating Justice Department policy and civil service rules beginning in 2002, when they tried to fill career posts with rookie lawyers whose political affiliations mirrored their own.

     ...

So... what will happen to those internal auditors? I would not bet on a long, happy career at Justice.

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain Does Not Use Computers

This is a day full of astonishing news, and here is perhaps the second most astonishing item (see upstream for the most astonishing), via Jane Hamsher: McCain does not know how to use computers. Here's Hamsher:

I'm at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York and during the last session, Tracy Russo (formerly of the Edwards campaign, with me in the photo) got into it with Mark Soohoo of the McCain campaign. Tracy wondered how someone who doesn't use a computer can be president of the United States.

Mark said that someone doesn't have to know how to use a computer in order to understand them. Tracy said most emphatically that you do, and that someone who is going to be expected to lead the country through the social, political, economic and communication upheavals that are happening as a result of the changes in computer and online technology very much needs to be able to use one.

     ...

I agree wholeheartedly: if you cannot even use a computer in your daily life, you cannot lead a technologically advanced nation. Period. It is no longer enough simply to say, "I'll have people to use computers for me." The world moves too rapidly, and with too great a complexity, to depend on one's hirelings, helpers, advisers, etc. for anything as essential as obtaining information from the Internet and synthesizing it into cogent documents. It is a skill any leader simply must have; it is no longer optional. If McCain cannot use a computer, he cannot function as President... end of story.

There is also the question of why McCain, or anyone else, would want to avoid computer use. McCain is 71 years old. When my late father was 70, I gave him a low-end PC, a copy of MS-DOS (legit) and some freeware and shareware (registered), and a couple of hours of minimal instruction. Dad jumped in with both feet, quickly teaching himself to write and print letters (the Internet was not in widespread public use at the time). These days, my 80-year-old neighbor, whom I've mentioned before, regularly uses her computer for Web access and email. WTF is wrong with McCain? Is it possible, as I've suggested before, that he is experiencing the onset of senile dementia? Or is McCain, like Bush, completely lacking in curiosity? Is he arrogantly convinced that no one in the entire world has anything worthwhile to teach him?

If you have enthusiastically reveled in the experience of eight years of Incurious George, you're going to love President McSame... unless, of course, you manage to prevent him from becoming president. It's up to you.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Kristol, Bolton: Bomb Iran If Obama Wins?

This is obscene beyond belief: from Think Progress, we learn that two neocons are discussing whether a possible Obama win should induce Bush to attack Iran after (or just before) elections and before the Jan. 20, 2009 presidential transition. Yes, the suggestion is that Bush would attack Iran if, and only if, Obama wins, or is about to win.

First, William Kristol:

Kristol: Bush Might Bomb Iran If He ‘Thinks Senator Obama’s Going To Win’

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that President Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is going to be elected.

However, “if the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out,” Kristol said, reinforcing the fact that McCain is offering a third Bush term on Iran.

“I do wonder with Senator Obama, if President Bush thinks Senator Obama’s going to win, does he somehow think — does he worry that Obama won’t follow through on that policy,” Kristol added. Host Chris Wallace then asked if Kristol was suggesting that Bush might “launch a military strike” before or after the election:

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting that he might in fact, if Obama’s going to win the election, either before or after the election, launch a military strike?

KRISTOL: I don’t know. I mean, I think he would worry about it. On the other hand, you can’t — it’s hard to make foreign policy based on guesses of election results. I think Israel is worried though. I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with an obvious reluctance to even talk about using military force.

Kristol also suggested that Obama’s election would tempt Saudi Arabia and Egypt to think, “maybe we can use nuclear weapons.”      ...

     ...

(Think Progress has video.)

Then we have former U.N. ambassador John Bolton:

Bolton: Israel Will Attack Iran After U.S. Election But Before Inauguration, Arab States Will Be ‘Delighted’

This morning on Fox News, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton continued his drumbeat for war against Iran. Adopting Bill Kristol’s argument, Bolton suggested that an attack on Iran depends on who Americans elect as the next President:

I think if they [Israel] are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President. I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor.

Bolton gamed out the fallout from an attack on Iran. He claimed that Iran’s options to retaliate after being attacked are actually “less broad than people think.” He suggested that Iran would not want to escalate a conflict because 1) it still needs to export oil, 2) it would worry about “an even greater response” from Israel, 3) and it would worry about the U.S.’s response.

Bolton then concluded that Arab states would be excited if the U.S. or Israel attacked Iran:

I don’t think you’d hear the Arab states say this publicly, but they would be delighted if the United States or Israel destroyed the Iranian nuclear weapons capability.

     ...

It's not that U.S. foreign policy has never been pursued with an element of U.S. domestic politics. But starting a major war, possibly a nuclear war, based on who wins the presidency is simply outside the pale.


(H/T Blondesense Liz.)

Steve
   PermaLink     

Life Is Worth Losing

George Carlin is dead at 71, of heart failure.

Well, @#%^. Whether or not you liked his infamous Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV routine (here is one version [NSFW]), he was IMHO a genuinely funny man, with a delivery not to be forgotten. Besides, how many entertainers can claim to have driven the course of a Supreme Court case?

R.I.P., Mr. Carlin; you will be missed by most of us... and all of those other @#$%^&*('s can just go #$%^ themselves.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Read My Words: No New Saturday Signs

Here's an old one, though, from about a year ago, that may still be amusing...



(Insert joke here. I'm fresh out of humor at the moment.)

(Changed out the pic after initial posting.)

Steve
   PermaLink     

Democrats Cave, Give Bush Everything - UPDATED

Democrats gave Bush a victory on the telecom get-out-of-jail-free bill. The total final House vote was 293-129, or, viewed another way, telecoms 1, rule of law 0.

Quoted by TPM from the WSJ WaPo WSJ [sorry; I copied the wrong quote earlier]:

The outcome was driven largely by the realities of election-year politics. Democrats, particularly more conservative ones, in vulnerable re-election races couldn't afford to appear to be dodging a big national- security issue. And many believed the law needed to be updated before surveillance orders expired in August. House Democratic leaders struggled for months to find a proposal their entire party could support but couldn't overcome splits between conservative and liberal Democrats -- some of whom are reacting angrily to the deal.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.


UPDATE: Here is the roll call vote. (H/T TPM.)


UPDATE: via Glenn Greenwald, we learn that Obama supports the "compromise." Accordingly, I am removing my Obama endorsement from this site. Strategic voter that I am, I will probably vote for him... what else can one do to stop McCain... but I cannot endorse someone willing to participate in a full-scale de facto revocation of the Fourth Amendment. Democrats deserve better than this... all Americans deserve better than this.


UPDATE: Actually, an afterthought... I just received a jury summons. In light of this legislation, will I be permitted to ignore it without penalty? If not, why not? How would my action differ from that of the telecoms?

Steve
   PermaLink     

Foot Note

Remember "Six Feet Under"? I regret to report that the sixth foot is a hoax. We should have known something was a foot. Um, not a foot. Whatever.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Friday Roll Blogging

Samantha is on a roll...



Steve
   PermaLink     

The Democratic Party Is Betraying Us - UPDATED

TPM:

"Bipartisan" Solution on Surveillance Unveiled
By Andrew Tilghman - June 19, 2008, 1:38PM

Clearly the wrangling is over regarding the surveillance compromise. A formal statement went out today that everyone agrees on this matter.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John "Jay" Rockefeller (WV), Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Kit Bond (MO), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD), and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (MO) announced today that a bipartisan compromise has been agreed to that will modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

...

"This bipartisan bill balances the needs of our intelligence community with Americans' civil liberties, and provides critical new oversight and accountability requirements," said Hoyer. "It is the result of compromise, and like any compromise is not perfect, but I believe it strikes a sound balance. Furthermore, we have ensured that Congress can revisit these issues because the legislation will sunset at the end of 2012."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a copy of the new legislation here.

     ...

Clearly, there is no longer any need for corporations to obey the law. All they need is a "get out of jail free" card from the Executive branch, and... unlike the rest of us poor schmucks... they can do anything they please.

Presuming this bill passes, which may happen as soon as Friday, the largest private entities in America will have no firm obligations under the law. None. Meanwhile, we individuals may assume that any and all of our communications... all of 'em... will be recorded without a warrant by the telecoms and delivered on demand to the Executive branch... legally. As I've noted before, there's a name for the kind of government that operates that way, and it's not a name or a government our nation's founders would have approved of.

Note that this agreement is being brokered by Democratic party leadership despite a clear vote a few weeks ago in the House against this very sort of arrangement, not to mention overwhelming disapproval by the party rank and file. Our leadership no longer gives a good damn what we think.

From Nader forward, many have said that there is no substantive difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Nader was lying when he said that, because he knew it wasn't true when he said it. Now we find that the Democratic Party leadership has completely, totally caved... this is no compromise; this is a capitulation... on an issue of constitutional significance. In other words, the Democratic leadership has betrayed the Democratic rank and file. Some of you will call me foolish, but I never believed it would come to this, because there were, and are, enough forces in the Democratic Party as a whole to put a stop to it. But they... we... didn't succeed in doing so.

I'm going to start by saying that the Democratic Party needs a complete change in leadership. Failing that, I'll have to think long and hard whether I can support a party that has betrayed us even once on such a fundamental issue as warrantless surveillance. All those times in my life that I have voted the straight Democratic ticket, I had no intention of allowing unlimited corporate criminality. I cannot stop the party from doing this, but I can sure as hell stop voting the ticket.


UPDATE: ACLU Condemns FISA Deal, Declares Surveillance Bill Unconstitutional

UPDATE: Strange Bedfellows Unite to Fight FISA Deal - Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU and liberal blogs are uniting

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald informs us that the legislation is worse even than we imagined... much, much worse (emphasis mine):

     ...

Perhaps the most repellent part of this bill (though that's obviously a close competition) is 802(c) of the telecom amnesty section. That says that the Attorney General can declare that the documents he submits to the court in order to get these lawsuits dismissed are secret, and once he declares that, then: (a) the plaintiffs and their lawyers won't ever see the documents and (b) the court is barred from referencing them in any way when it dismisses the lawsuit. All the court can do is issue an order saying that the lawsuits are dismissed, but it is barred from saying why they're being dismissed or what the basis is for the dismissal.

So basically, one day in the near future, we're all going to learn that one of our federal courts dismissed all of the lawsuits against the telecoms. But we're never going to be able to know why the lawsuits were dismissed or what documents were given by the Government to force the court to dismiss the lawsuits. Not only won't we, the public, know that, neither will the plaintiffs' lawyers. Nobody will know except the Judge and the Government because it will all be shrouded in compelled secrecy, and the Judge will be barred by this law from describing or even referencing the grounds for dismissal in any way. Freedom is on the march.

     ...

Unbelievable. Not only may the AG order the courts to dismiss lawsuits against the telecoms, he may also order that the whole matter be kept secret. Ordinarily, I'd say that the faux Democrats who perpetrate this atrocity must be punished at the polls. But I have to wonder how much longer there will be such things as Democrats, elections or voters in America.

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain Roundup

A couple of must-read articles about McCain:

  • McCain has ties to PNAC.

    The Project for the New American Century is the hardcore radical neocon organization, founded by William Kristol, funded by the Scaifes and participated in by... well, by half the officials at the top of the Bush administration, including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others. PNAC's document Rebuilding America's Defenses (.pdf, 852kb) is the signature document of neocon policy. It advocates assertion of American hegemony by active use of military force, destabilizing of foreign governments, etc., whether the American people want it or not. It speaks of leveraging a Pearl-Harbor-like event to seize power. It is not unreasonable to call it a radical document. And McCain is associated with PNAC... firmly, unequivocally and actively.

    We've had eight years of this from Cheney and Bush... do we need more?

  • Why won't McCain release his complete Navy records?

    Put aside McCain's youthful heroism for a bit: we already know he graduated nearly last in his class (894/899) at the Naval Academy. We already know that as a pilot he lost five aircraft. (OK, the last two were not his fault. But really... five aircraft? How many pilots lose even one?) Why is he not authorizing release of his record? What dark secret in it could be worse than what is already known?

    UPDATE: from Huffington Post's Jeffrey Klein, McCain's Secret, Questionable Record.

And if you haven't watched the videos over at The Real McCain, you really should.

Steve
   PermaLink     

The Web's Oldest Direct Ancestor?

Tim Berners-Lee... excuse me, Sir Tim Berners-Lee... is acknowledged as the inventor of the Web, and Vannevar Bush (please set aside your political distaste for Mr. Military-Industrial Complex for the moment) certainly deserves credit for some of the conceptual underpinnings in a paper written in 1936 but not published until 1945 because of W.W. II. But what about Paul Otlet? Acknowledged as the founder of what we now call information science, Otlet may well have also originated an ancestor of the World Wide Web which he referred to as "electric telescopes." Read the article and see what you think. Here's an excerpt:

     ...

Otlet and La Fontaine eventually persuaded the Belgian government to support their project, proposing to build a "city of knowledge" that would bolster the government's bid to become host of the League of Nations. The government granted them space in a government building, where Otlet expanded the operation. He hired more staff, and established a fee-based research service that allowed anyone in the world to submit a query via mail or telegraph - a kind of analog search engine. Inquiries poured in from all over the world, more than 1,500 a year, on topics as diverse as boomerangs and Bulgarian finance.

As the Mundaneum evolved, it began to choke on the sheer volume of paper. Otlet started sketching ideas for new technologies to manage the information overload. At one point he posited a kind of paper-based computer, rigged with wheels and spokes that would move documents around on the surface of a desk. Eventually, however, Otlet realized the ultimate answer involved scrapping paper altogether.

Since there was no such thing as electronic data storage in the 1920s, Otlet had to invent it. He started writing at length about the possibility of electronic media storage, culminating in a 1934 book, "Monde," where he laid out his vision of a "mechanical, collective brain" that would house all the world's information, made readily accessible over a global telecommunications network.

Tragically, just as Otlet's vision began to crystallize, the Mundaneum fell on hard times. In 1934, the Belgian government lost interest in the project after losing its bid for the League of Nations headquarters. Otlet moved it to a smaller space, and after financial struggles had to close it to the public.

     ...

A pretty ambitious undertaking for its era, wasn't it?

(H/T Avedon.)


Afterthought: please visit the IHT article to view the photo of the original "telegraph room" of Otlet's system. If you are at all technologically inclined, I promise you, you'll be impressed.

Steve
   PermaLink     

Simplify Your Hed



Why not simply... "Six Feet Under"?

Steve
   PermaLink     

Tabitha's Status

Tabitha (Stella's nearly 20-year-old cat) made a visit to the vet around noon today, during which we were informed that Tabitha is very likely blind. The most probable cause: hypertension. A mere few days ago, going back for some time, her blood pressure was normal. Today... well, all this time, Tabitha has had other life-threatening problems which everyone assumed should be the focus of her treatment; meanwhile, her blood pressure rose suddenly, and with devastating effect.

Stella is crestfallen. Tabitha is handling it better than one might expect: she eats and drinks when pointed to food and water, purrs when stroked gently, and complains as loudly as ever when picked up. She is not in pain, as far as we can tell. Her other treatments have returned her to normal weight and adequate strength for a cat her age. The trick now is to keep her out of harm's way around the home. Tabitha fans, keep your fingers crossed...

Steve
   PermaLink     

At The Texas GOP Convention

To the bottom of my heart, I loathe and detest the fucking racist bastards...

For the record, according to TPM, the state GOP disclaims all knowledge of the matter. Yeah, right.

(H/T Mustang Bobby.)

Steve
   PermaLink     

"I'm Voting Republican"

And here's why:

(H/T Badtux.)

Steve
   PermaLink     

AP Sues Bloggers - UPDATED

UPDATE: AP backs down. Original post follows.

(Afterthought: I still may be reluctant to reference AP articles for a while. Bad attitude begets bad attitude, y'know.)


AP has decided that bloggers' citing of headlines with short excerpts, even just ledes, is a violation of their copyright under the DMCA. The Drudge Retort (sic) is one of the sites being sued. (H/T ellroon.)

Fuck 'em. If AP's advertisers don't want free links to articles containing their ads, I'm cool with that. There are plenty of other news sources. The real irony... see the UnAssociated Press post linked above... is that some sources of AP, for example, Yahoo News, explicitly encourage citing AP from their RSS feeds. They entice you with one hand and slap you with the other. (I've had personal relationships like that in the past.)

You know, blogging isn't as much fun as it used to be. I realize this is merely a side-effect of America's increasingly litigious society, in which many large corporations would literally prefer to make money by lawyering rather than earning the same money by producing better products, but it certainly takes the pleasure out of the whole business of writing commentary if one must constantly guess what the 900-lb. gorilla thinks is a fair use violation.

So... to hell with 'em. I'm done with AP. At present, there are still plenty of other news sources whose hosts are willing to accept the page-views of my readers. If any of those, incomprehensibly, decide to follow AP in its folly, I'll cut them off, too. I have a fair-use right to use those short quotes, but no money to defend that right in court. My blog is at best a hobby. If major news sources and web sites make it legally and financially infeasible for me to pursue it, I'll give up blogging and use my time and skills to take up... oh, say, hacking major news sources and web sites.

Steve
   PermaLink     

 
Selected Links To Recent Posts

 
Click any permalink below to go to the original article on a previous page. Click a comment link below to add a comment to the original article. Your comment will be noticed, by the YDD at least: HaloScan has a page allowing me to view recent comments, no matter which post they refer to. Some very recent posts may be included in their entirety.

Saturday Signs - Long Face Edition

Steve
   PermaLink     

Comedienne v. Bush

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain To Texas GOP: STFU, Give Money

Steve
   PermaLink     

RIP Tim Russert

Steve
   PermaLink     

Friday The Thirteenth Cat Blogging

Steve
   PermaLink     

FBI Backs Down On NSL

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain Confuses Russia With Germany

Steve
   PermaLink     

McCain's Family Values

Steve
   PermaLink     

Chris Hedges Speaks Out

Steve
   PermaLink     

Strategic Voting

Steve
   PermaLink     

Saturday Signs - Cat Box Edition

Steve
   PermaLink     

Friday Cat Feeding Blogging

Steve
   PermaLink     

Google Speling (Sic)

Steve
   PermaLink     

In Iraq Indefinitely?

Steve
   PermaLink     

Bobby On Bobby

Steve
   PermaLink     

For Obama
         - Or -
  Dammit, Hillary, Go Home...

Steve
   PermaLink     

Headline Of The Hour

Steve
   PermaLink     

Tabitha's Status

Steve
   PermaLink     

Floating Prisons

Steve
   PermaLink     

Near Dictatorial Power

Steve
   PermaLink     

HaloScammed

Steve
   PermaLink     

Tabitha's Status

Steve
   PermaLink     

 

   

MY NONPOLITICAL
DOGGEREL SITE

The Yellow Doggerelist

SYNDICATE

Blog RSS 0.91

SEARCH

Search Site

LIBRARYTHING


RECENT POSTS



QUOTES

Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the constant omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
  - FDR

I belong to the Democratic Party wing of the Democratic Party.
  - Paul Wellstone

I am a Democrat without prefix, without suffix, and without apology.
  - Sam Rayburn

SERVICES

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com
Google

This Site
Web
 
DON'T LOG IN...
ID:
Password:
OUR NATIONAL FORESTS!

The pile of offal offered above is Copyright © 2008 Stephen S. Bates. Permission is granted to individuals to distribute freely, by email, fax or photocopy, to other individuals, but not for profit. All organizations, nonprofit or otherwise, please contact the author here for permission to publish. DO NOT reproduce the poems on your web site... please link to this page instead, using the individual links provided. Quoting reasonable fragments of the commentary, without any associated poem, is permitted.

Powered by me, by hand, using the TextPad editor.
Yes, I'm listed on TTLB, right here.
Click the link if you care about my ranking; the server is too blessedly slow and delays my page load.
I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat! HOME I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat!