7/14/07

Another Soldier: I couldn’t support the war anymore

More soldiers are turning on the occupation of Iraq:
But she says she stopped believing in the war last month after a telephone conversation with him.

“He started telling me that he doesn’t want me to go and do the things he has been doing,” said Corporal Ponce De Leon, 22, speaking by telephone as she boxed up her belongings in their apartment near Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“He said that ‘we have all decided that it’s time for us to go home.’ I said, ‘You mean go home and rest?’ And he said, ‘I mean go home and not go back.’

“This is from someone who has been training for the past nine years to go to combat and who has spent his whole life wanting to be a marine,” she continued. “That’s when I realized I couldn’t support the war anymore, even though I will follow my orders.”


Earlier today I posted on a soldier challenging the pResident or any member of Congress to take a tour with him:

A soldier puts up a challenge to Congress and the pResident:
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation. They don't have to do anything, just come hang out with me and go home at the times I go home. And come stay here fifteen months with me.
Guardian has a new video linked on their front page, that covers events on and after May 19, 2007. It's a Flash 8 and takes a minute or two to load.
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

We're supposed to be on the way home right now. We were supposed to be flying home in six days. Six days. But because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a two-year old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it. I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for fifteen months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another fifteen months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for fifteen months. I'll do fifteen more months. They don't even have to pay me extra. I just want him to come out here and ride with me another fifteen months.
The politicians all sit there in their cushy offices or their comfy little places on the floor of the House, The Senate, and in the White House. They do not have a fucking clue what they are doing to the soldiers. They do not have a fucking clue how stressed out the military is. How the policies they are all pushing for are breaking the military.

YOU all say YOU support the troops. What a fucking load of crap. If YOU aren't there in Iraq along side them in this endless war that YOU support...

Don't ever fucking tell me YOU support the troops.

That goes for all of you war cheerleaders, Republican and Democratic party alike, that continue to fund this endless disaster. The same thing goes for all of you keyboard and armchair warriors that cheer on the occupation of Iraq but are too hypocritical to spill your own blood in Iraq's desert sands.

Via Lithiumcola at The Booman Tribune. Buzz it if you want to...
It is pretty plain and simple. You either support the troops by bringing them home... Or you don't support the troops at all. Cut and dry. There are no shades of gray in this.

When soldiers come right out and tell you shit like this it is a serious matter. They must have absolutely no confidence in their leadership or the mission they are being given if they are willing to risk the penalties of speaking out against their orders.

Beth Pyritz, an Army wife in Virginia,
has joined an antiwar group.


“I backed this war from the beginning, but I don’t think I can look my kids in the eyes anymore, if my husband comes home in a wooden box, and tell them he died for a good reason.”

Military Families Speak Out, one such group, which was started in the fall of 2002, now has about 3,500 member families. About 500 of them have joined since January.

Nancy Lessin, a founder of the group, said it was noteworthy that about a hundred military wives living on bases had joined in the last three months. Wives living on bases, she said, are more reluctant than parents of soldiers to speak out.

For Beth Pyritz, 27, who recently joined the group, the turning point came last month when her husband, an Army specialist, left for Iraq for his third deployment.


So it seems that it is going to be up to Congress to actually support the troops by ending the bushies' authorization to wage endless wars. bush won't do it. He never has supported the troops. It remains to be seen if Congress can finally do the right thing here.

[update]sptmck at 1%More Conscious has 100% more well chosen words concerning the soldiers that are mad about the longer deployments and the others that no longer believe in the mission in Iraq.

Soldier - I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation

A soldier puts up a challenge to Congress and the pResident:
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

I challenge anybody in Congress to do my rotation. They don't have to do anything, just come hang out with me and go home at the times I go home. And come stay here fifteen months with me.
Guardian has a new video linked on their front page, that covers events on and after May 19, 2007. It's a Flash 8 and takes a minute or two to load.
Spc. Vassell, 2nd Platoon Apache Company Strykers:

We're supposed to be on the way home right now. We were supposed to be flying home in six days. Six days. But because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a two-year old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it. I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for fifteen months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another fifteen months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for fifteen months. I'll do fifteen more months. They don't even have to pay me extra. I just want him to come out here and ride with me another fifteen months.
The politicians all sit there in their cushy offices or their comfy little places on the floor of the House, The Senate, and in the White House. They do not have a fucking clue what they are doing to the soldiers. They do not have a fucking clue how stressed out the military is. How the policies they are all pushing for are breaking the military.

YOU all say YOU support the troops. What a fucking load of crap. If YOU aren't there in Iraq along side them in this endless war that YOU support...

Don't ever fucking tell me YOU support the troops.

That goes for all of you war cheerleaders, Republican and Democratic party alike, that continue to fund this endless disaster. The same thing goes for all of you keyboard and armchair warriors that cheer on the occupation of Iraq but are too hypocritical to spill your own blood in Iraq's desert sands.

Via Lithiumcola at The Booman Tribune. Buzz it if you want to...

[update] Via the NY Times:
More soldiers and their families are speaking up against the Iraq occupation.

[update deux]sptmck at 1%More Conscious has 100% more well chosen words concerning the soldiers that are mad about the longer deployments and the others that no longer believe in the mission in Iraq.

[update trois] Veteran activist jimstaro at ePluribus Media Youtubed an ABC report covering this story:



And this one aired later in response to the original report:



Crooks and Liars has picked this story up from ABC one up. They don't have the video up (yet?) but I do. heh

7/13/07

The Real News Network



Check out The Real News...

They are producing the news you need to know. No advertising. No corporate or government underwriting. Just real News produced in the interests of the members that support them. People like YOU.

Dear members and friends,

Please visit our freshly redesigned website and watch our new video “The Promise”. It features journalists from around the world and will show you the exciting vision of The Real News taking shape.

Over the summer, The Real News Beta will test new formats and novel ways of delivering the news. We're building up to daily news coverage in the next few months and you can watch that process unfold.

They'll be new programming and new features on the site every day. Please let us know what you think and how we can do better.

www.therealnews.com

Best wishes,

Paul Jay
Senior Editor, The Real News Network

Go on over and check out the news stories and interviews they have already produced while they do their BETA test.

Trust me on this. After years of information starvation from our news networks you will find a feast of intelligent reporting in the dozen or so stories they have already put up. Poke around in the sections telling you about what the Real News is about.

I guarantee You will be pleasantly surprised.

Keep The Pressure On The FCC

Net Neutrality:


What can you do? Call these numbers and let them know you support Net Neutrality!

Most important, call TODAY!

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin: 202-418-1000

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell: 202-418-2200

FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate: 202-418-2500

Or call the FCC's main switchboard: 888-225-5322


Via Save the Internet:

You can help make the internet faster, more open and accessible to all. Tell Congress to preserve Net Neutrality and help ensure that the benefits and promise of the Internet are available to all Americans.

Tell your story to the FCC

Sign the petition and send a message to Congress

Call your members of Congress

Write a letter to your hometown newspaper

Support the SavetheInternet.com Ad Fund

Promote SavetheInternet on your blog or site

Tell five friends to join the fight for Internet freedom

Take action today!

Conservative Pundit on DC Madam's list

via ThinkProgress:
The prominent conservative pundit and lobbyist, Jack Burkman, was outed yesterday when it was revealed that his phone number “appears in the database of phone records of the ‘DC Madam.’” Previously, Wonkette reported allegations that Burkman may have solicited sex from a young woman who later blogged about it on MySpace.

But not too worry, he is a hypocritical GOP pundit and lobbyist with the money to pay for a Google Adword campaign to fight back against the truth...

Don't be evil, eh?

C&L has something up on Jack the John from 2006:
Remember June 16th, 2006? That’s when Burkman got exposed by a couple of girls on MySpace and posted Crooksandliars graphics of Jack to check him out. Her site is set to private now, but Wonkette still has some info…They called him a “CREEEEP”


Here is a money quote from Burkman on playing the victim card from Scarborough Country:
SCARBOROUGH: Jack Burkman, respond. Does the Republican National Committee have a hit list and is Mr. Clarke on the top of it?

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Not to my knowledge.

And I‘ll tell you, he‘s learned from Clinton. He‘s already making himself out to be a victim. He‘s playing all the angles.

Too funny, considering Burkman is playing the "vast liberal conspiracy victim card" right now, and is "playing all the angles" himself.

And another money quote via Blue Girl, Red State:
Jack Burkman is the right-wing nutjob who said this: "[T]his issue [gay marriage] and the moral fabric of the country is five times as important as the war on terror and the war in Iraq combined... I mean, if Osama bin Laden thinks he can defeat the United States by knocking over buildings, he's crazy. But where we will fall and where we are falling as a civilization is from within."
Jack Burkman thinks he is the cause of the "falling as a civilization" since he does not respect the institution of marriage. We'll take his word on that one... And just remember who Jack Burkman worked for as a lobbyist:

Family Research Council Personnel:
  • Tony Perkins - President
  • Chuck Donovan - Executive Vice President
  • Tom McClusky - Vice President for Government Affairs
  • Paul Tripodi - Vice President for Administration
  • Charmaine Yoest - Vice President for Communications
  • Robert Morrison - Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Jack Burkman - former Family Research Council lobbyist
  • Robert Maginnis-former Vice President for Policy[30]
And yes... That would be the Dobson group associated with our own local hypocrites, the Family Institute of Connecticut. You know... The FIC Blog with the bloviating hypocrites and Liars that have, to this day, still refused to actually retract and amend their falsehoods. But what can you expect from those that claim religious persecution on many political arguments, but attempt to persecute those with different religious beliefs than theirs in their politics.

How many sex scandals are going to break this week?


Via BooMan:
Sexual Deviant Week Continues

  They haven't publicly announced exactly why State Rep. David Almond (R-NC) resigned his office yet.  But I hear it was because he broke it out and asked a legislative aide to service it.

The 63-year-old woman was reassigned Monday as a "floater," meaning she is no longer assigned to a specific office...

..."It's disheartening, but if the allegations made by the complainant are correct, then the resignation is certainly appropriate," [House Speaker Joe] Hackney said.

I'll say. What is it with these GOoPers?

This has to be the worst week for political sex scandals in the history of the GOP... And that is saying a lot.

7/12/07

Florida State Rep AND Prostitute

Ok... Another Republican Prostitution scandal... Only this time the GOP politician and co-chairman of McCain's Florida campaign would be on the receiving end of the money (AND other things... Enough said):
State Rep. Bob Allen was arrested Wednesday afternoon at a local park after offering to perform a sex act on an undercover officer in exchange for $20, police said.

Allen, R-Merritt Island, was booked into the Brevard County jail in Sharpes on a charge of solicitation to commit prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a $500 fine.

snip

An undercover officer decided to go into one of the bathroom stalls, Hutchinson said. Moments later, Allen knocked on the stall door and offered to perform oral sex on the officer for $20, according to the police spokesman.


edited update: The original news story that broke on this apparently had it backwards. I am updating this with an explanation via TPM's Josh Marshall:

Okay, finally the definitive story. Last night we were bringing you the latest on the proxy fight between the Giuliani and McCain campaigns over who could have the most prominent or outrageous campaign official involved in a prostitution scandal. Where we left things was whether Florida state Rep. Bob Allen (R), Florida co-chair of the McCain campaign, had offered to pay a Titusville plain clothes police officer for oral sex or whether he had asked to be paid for oral sex. The price, in either case, you'll remember was to be $20.



Well, mystery solved. Courtesy of TPM Reader VS we were able to track down the arrest report. As officer Kavanaugh explains in the arrest report "Allen engaged me in a conversation in which it was agreed that he would pay me $20.00 in order to perform a 'blow job' on me."



So, advantage Rudy.



Too bad that the newspapers do not correct their mistakes so easily, or willingly... But I apologize for the misinformation and the use of a news paper that turned out to be a poor source. (End of edited update except for a minor tweak at the end.)

Now... I figured I would try and find out if this guy had any of those "Family values" issues out there to hang around his neck, much like Vitter, but I figure it has to be worse than that considering the Florida Rainbow Democratic Club rates him as a "Wicked Witch", the worst rating they give ("Reserved for the absolute worst of the worst") for candidates considering support of their issues on their "Friend or Foe" page:

State House District 32 Next election: Primary 2008

Bob Allen (R) RDC Rating:


If anyone has any ideas on just what he did to get a rating that low from a gay and lesbian group in Florida please chime up, cause I am guessing it will probably be another example of just how hypocritical republicans always are. He must of pissed off them off to get that rating.

If you go to his Government homepage you can check out his bio:

Biographical Information
City of Residence:
Merritt Island
Occupation:
Economic Development/Education
Spouse:
Beth Elaine Allen
Child(ren):
Tia
Education:
Valencia Community College, A.A.


Religious Affiliation:
Protestant
Recreational Interest:
water sports
It is unclear if BJs in a bathroom stall qualify as his recreational interest? when he charges $20 a pop.

7/11/07

The 911 Failures of Giuliani

Via C&L:
This powerful video made by firefighters and the IAFF is their effort to begin to educate the rest of America about the fallacy that both Giuliani and the media has created known as “America’s Mayor.” This is just the beginning….AFLCIO

Check out the video:
Critical failures by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani before, during and after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, raise serious questions about his ability to be commander-in-chief.


7/10/07

Lieberman Launches Another Attack on Reid And America

Joe neocon Lieberman launches another unprovoked attack on Harry Reid, and the rest of Americans that have their eyes wide open, on Bill Bennet's radio show:


"You know, Harry Reid said a while ago that the war in Iraq is lost. It's wrong. It's not lost. In fact, I would say we're beginning to win it. We've turned the tide with the new strategy. And in fact, I cannot conceive of a circumstance in which American forces would lose the war in Iraq, on the ground in Iraq. If we lose it, it's gonna be lost here at home, in a different kind of war for public opinion and political support."


Nevermind the fact that Harry Reid and the Democratic party have treated this spoiled neocon child with kid gloves for far too long. BUT, yet again, LIEberman is blaming America for JOE'S OWN CATASTROPHIC FAILURES. Just shut the fuck up LIEberman! You lying, incompetent, irresponsible, warmongering, sack of neoconservative shit.

Here is some death and destruction for you to jack off to, Joe:
The death toll from the weekend truck bomb in Northern Iraq has been revised and now stands at a staggering 170.

According to US media, that makes it the worst civilian death toll since the US-led invasion began.

One estimate puts the civilian death toll of the Iraq War at 655,000 - more than the amount killed in the last 8 years of the Vietnam War.

Not enough death for you to defile Joe? Have some more:
Just thought I would bring to your attention that we have surpassed another bloody milestone in that senseless war in Iraq: total casualties have now surpassed 30,000. That includes 3,598 young Americans killed, and 27,457 wounded.

Special thanks for the war's dead and wounded go to avowed pacifist war-mongerer Chris Shays and his sidekick joe Lieberman.


What a fucking sick, twisted and perverted mind you have, Joe neocon Lieberman. You know you love it Joe. You even want some more of it with Iran. You have an addiction to the death and destruction you create. And you will lie to feed your addiction.

And like every other addict... You blame everyone BUT yourself.

[update] John Amato at Crooks and Liars:
Bill Bennett is closer to home for Joe Lieberman than anyone else outside of Sean Hannity. Wake up CT! Time for a few protests outside his office.

David Vitter Family Jewels Edition

TPM Muckraker gives a few good gems in their round up on David Vitter's Family Values:

As for now, the race is on for who can pile up the most vividly hypocritical quote from the family values (or as he put it, "Louisiana values") conservative. In the running: Sen. Vitter maligning the "Hollywood left" for violating the "sanctity of marriage," and Vitter arguing that President Clinton should step down for his extramarital affair (Vitter, by the by, replaced Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) after the speaker was forced to step down because of an affair). There are, you can be sure, many more. Glenn Greenwald has a rundown here.

Update: The prevailing quote of the day seems to be this one:

In 2000, Vitter was included in a Newhouse News Service story about the strain of congressional careers on families.

His wife, Wendy, was asked by the Newhouse reporter: If her husband were as unfaithful as Livingston or former President Bill Clinton, would she be as forgiving as Hillary Rodham Clinton?

“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary,” Wendy Vitter told Newhouse News. “If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

“I think fear is a very good motivating factor in a marriage,” she added. “Don’t put fear down.

TPM Muckraker



Have you seen
David Vitter's Bitter Penis:

If you see this lost member of the Lorena Bobbit Club in your community, please return it to its owner!

Come to think of it, might be better off to leave him alone?

He looks much happier not having to hang around with Vitter anymore.


[update] Integrative Media wonders just how much of a PR media nightmare this may be.

It is the DC Madam's kiss of death, IMHO.

CNN Needs to Set The Record Straight on Sicko

Michaeal Moore tears Wolf AIPAC Blitzer a new one for the crap their medical reporter spewed, and for the GOP propaganda trash they disseminated on the Iraq war:



"Why Don't You Tell the American People the Truth"


The following information is from
Michael Moore's Sicko website.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN: "(Moore says) the United States slipped to number 37 in the world's health care systems. It's true. ... Moore brings a group of patients, including 9/11 workers, to Cuba and marvels at their free treatment and quality of care. But hold on - that WHO list puts Cuba's health care system even lower than the United States, coming in at #39."


THE TRUTH:



  • "But hold on?" 'SiCKO' clearly shows the WHO list, with the United States at number #37, and Cuba at #39. Right up on the screen in big five-foot letters. It's even in the trailer! CNN should have its reporter see his eye doctor. The movie isn't hiding from this fact. Just the opposite.


  • The fact that the healthcare system in an impoverished nation crippled by our decades-old blockade (including medical supplies and drugs) ranks so closely to ours is more an indictment of the American system than the Cuban system.

  • Although Cuba ranks lower overall than the United States, it still has a lower infant mortality rate and longer life span. (see below)

  • And unlike the United States, Cuba offers healthcare to absolutely everyone. In an independent Gallup poll conducted in Cuba, "a near unanimous 96 percent of respondents say that health care in Cuba is accessible to everyone." ("Cubans Show Little Satisfaction with Opportunities and Individual Freedom Rare Independent Survey Finds Large Majorities Are Still Proud of Island's Health Care and Education," January 10, 2007.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brlatinamericara/

    300.php?nid=&id=&pnt=300&lb=brla
    )




CNN: "Moore asserts that the American health care system spends $7,000 per person on health. Cuba spends $25 dollars per person. Not true. But not too far off. The United States spends $6,096 per person, versus $229 per person in Cuba."


THE TRUTH:



  • According to our own government – the Department of Health and Human Services' National Health Expenditures Projections – the United States will spend $7,092 per capita on health in 2006 and $7,498 in 2007. (Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures, National Health Expenditures Projections 2006-2016. http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/downloads/proj2006.pdf)

  • As for Cuba – Dr. Gupta and CNN need to watch 'SiCKO' first before commenting on it. 'SiCKO' says Cuba spends $251 per person on health care, not $25, as Gupta reports. And the BBC reports that Cuba's per capita health expenditure is… $251! (Keeping Cuba Healthy, BBC, Aug. 1 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/5232628.stm )


  • As Gupta points out, the World Health Organization does calculate Cuba's per capita health expenditure at $229 per person – a lot closer to $251 than $25.



CNN: In fact, Americans live just a little bit longer than Cubans on average.


THE TRUTH:



  • Just the opposite. The 2006 United Nations Human Development Report's human development index states the life expectancy in the United States is 77.5 years. It is 77.6 years in Cuba. (Human Development Report 2006, United Nations Development Programme, 2006 at 283. http://hdr.undp.org/hdr2006/pdfs/report/HDR06-complete.pdf)




CNN: The United States ranks highest in patient satisfaction.


THE TRUTH:



  • True, but even when the WHO took patient satisfaction into account in its comprehensive review of the world's health systems, we still came in at #37. ("World Health Organization Assesses The World's Health Systems," Press Release, WHO/44, June 21, 2000. http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html ).


  • Patients may be satisfied in America, but not everyone gets to be a patient. 47 million are uninsured and are rarely patients - until it's too late. In the rest of the Western world, everyone and anyone can be a patient because everyone is covered. (And don't face exclusions for pre-existing conditions, co-pays, deductibles, and costly monthly premiums).

  • It's not that other countries are unhappy with their health care – for example, "70 to 80 percent of Canadians find their waiting times acceptable." ("Access to health care services in Canada, Waiting times for specialized services (January to December 2005)," Statistics Canada, http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/82-575-XIE/82-575-XIE2006002.htm )



CNN: Americans have shorter wait times than everyone but Germans when seeking non-emergency elective procedures, like hip replacement, cataract surgery, or knee repair.



THE TRUTH:



  • This isn't the whole truth. CNN pulled out a statistic about elective procedures. Of the six countries surveyed in that study (United States, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Australia) only Canada had longer waiting times than America for sick adults waiting to schedule a doctor's appointment for a medical problem. 81% of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a non-routine visit, 71% in Britain, 69% in Germany, 66% in Australia, 47% in the U.S., and 36% in Canada. (The Doc's in, but It'll be AWhile. Catherine Arnst, Business Week. June 22, 2007 http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jun2007/

    tc20070621_716260_page_2.htm
    )

  • "Gerard Anderson, a Johns Hopkins health policy professor who has spent his career examining the world's healthcare, said there are delays, but not as many as conservatives state. In Canada, the United Kingdom and France, 'three percent of hospital discharges had delays in treatment,' Anderson told The Miami Herald. 'That's a relatively small number, and they're all elective surgeries, such as hip and knee replacement.' (John Dorschner, "'SiCKO' film is set to spark debate; Reformers are gearing up for 'Sicko,' the first major movie to examine America's often maligned healthcare system," Miami Herald, June 29, 2007.)


  • One way America is able to achieve decent waiting times is that it leaves 47 million people out of the health care system entirely, unlike any other Western country. When you remove 47 million people from the line, your wait should be shorter. So why is the U.S. second to last in wait times?

  • And there are even more Americans who keep themselves out of the system because of cost - in the United States, 24 percent of the population did not get medical care due to cost. That number is 5 percent in Canada, and 3 percent in the UK. (Inequities in Health Care: A Five-Country Survey. Robert Blendon et al, Health Affairs. Exhibit 5. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/21/3/182)



CNN: (PAUL KECKLEY-Deloitte Health Care Analyst): "The concept that care is free in France, in Canada, in Cuba - and it's not. Those citizens pay for health services out of taxes. As a proportion of their household income, it's a significant number … (GUPTA): It's true that the French pay higher taxes, and so does nearly every country ahead of the United States on that list."


THE TRUTH:




  • 'SiCKO' never claims that health care is provided absolutely for free in other countries, without tax contributions from citizens. Former MP Tony Benn reads from the NHS founding pamphlet, which explicitly states that "this is not a charity. You are paying for it mainly as taxpayers." 'SiCKO' also acknowledges that the French are "drowning in taxes." Comparatively, many Americans are drowning in insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and medical debt and the resulting threat of bankruptcy – half of all bankruptcies in the United States are triggered by medical bills. (Medical Bills Make up Half of Bankruptcies. Feb. 2005, MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6895896/)



CNN: "But even higher taxes don't guarantee the coverage everyone wants … (KECKLEY): 15 to 20 percent of the population will purchase services outside the system of care run by the government."


THE TRUTH:




  • It's not clear what country Keckley is referring to. In the United Kingdom, only 11.5 percent of the population has supplementary insurance, but it doesn't take the place of NHS insurance. Nobody in France buys insurance that replaces government insurance either, although a substantial amount buys some form of complimentary insurance. ( Private health insurance and access to health care in the European Union. Spring 2004. http://www.euro.who.int/document/Obs/EuroObserver6_1.pdf)



CNN: "But no matter how much Moore fudged the facts, and he did fudge some facts…"



  • This is libel. There is not a single fact that is "fudged" in the film. No one has proven a single fact in the film wrong. We expect CNN to correct their mistakes on the air and to apologize to their viewers.




Republican Caught in The DC Madam's Sheets



Another Republican gets caught up in the DC Madam's sheets as he turns up on her sheets of papers with all of those phone numbers, according to cookie jill at skippy's Blog:
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., apologized Monday night for "a very serious sin in my past" after his telephone number appeared among those associated with an escort service operated by the so-called "D.C. Madam."

..."several years ago, i asked for and received forgiveness from god and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. out of respect for my family, i will keep my discussion of the matter there — with god and them."

I am guessing that his time with any escorts was billed as a religious experience?

TPM has updates on this:
Late Update: Headlines that suddenly might be seen in a different light. From 2004: "Congressman Denies Affair With Prostitute, Says Charges Are Politically Motivated" I'll bet.

Later Update
: Talked a big game on defending the sanctity of 'traditional' marriage.


[update] This may give some of Louisiana's left a little more breathing room:

Exit Tom DeLay & ARMPAC and TRMPAC,
Enter David Vitter & LCRMPAC


Tom DeLay's corrupt ARM-PAC donated $5,000 to Rodney Alexander, $15,000 to Charles Boustany, $5,000 to "Bobby" Jindal, $10,000 to Billy Tauzin III and $10,000 to David Vitter. Louisiana Republicans and Tom DeLay are old and very close friends.

The Washington Post published a requiem to Tom Delay and his corrupt PACs (Political Action Committees) today, and anyone who is interested in the structure, goals and foundation of Vitter's PAC, which will donate at least $2.5 million to Republicans running for state legislative seats, should read it in full. For the parallels are eery and telling. And if Vitter and his PAC attain their goal of stacking the state legislative bodies with radical conservatives who will impose destructive, extremist agendas and an unfair redistricting plan on the people of Louisiana, just as Tom DeLay's appointed thugs did in Texas, only to have the courts rule their actions unconstitutional, we can expect at least four years of overly partisan and shamelessly corrupt DC and Texas style politics in Baton Rouge.

Looks like Vitter won't be in a position to do much of anything other than try and save his own political hide for now...

[update deux] I tried accessing the list last night to search it, but the servers that had it were crashing from traffic 'cause I was getting error messages and weird stuff.


Here's the link to the site that had it. It is still showing errors now.

As a side note: Skippy is 5 Years old today? That kind of means your links are greying a bit in Bloggers years... Geting better with age, for certain! But don't ya think 2 million hits is aiming low for a Blog like yours? :)

7/9/07

Save Your Internet Before July 16th



Via The Crone Speaks, the FTC is about to kick us to the curb:

I don’t know how I missed this yesterday, but thankfully Kevin didn’t.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to abandon net neutrality and allow telecoms companies to charge websites for access.

The FTC said in a report that, despite popular support for net neutrality, it was minded to let the market sort out the issue.

This means that the organisation will not stand in the way of companies using differential pricing to make sure that some websites can be viewed more quickly than others. The report also counsels against net neutrality legislation.

“This report recommends that policy makers proceed with caution in the evolving dynamic industry of broadband internet access, which is generally moving towards more, not less, competition,” FTC chairman Deborah Platt Majoras wrote.

Who the fuck are these people to tell congress not to enact legislation to do they job they were supposed to do?


They are the same fuckers that we have to beat back off of our internet day after day, month after month, and year after year. They will do everything they can to stifle our free speech. They are as UN-American as you can get. They are corporatist bastards that live to steal things from US citizens and give them to the HUGE CORPs that get fat on what should belong to all us.



Via Save the Internet:

You can help make the internet faster, more open and accessible to all. Tell Congress to preserve Net Neutrality and help ensure that the benefits and promise of the Internet are available to all Americans.

Tell your story to the FCC

Sign the petition and send a message to Congress

Call your members of Congress

Write a letter to your hometown newspaper

Support the SavetheInternet.com Ad Fund

Promote SavetheInternet on your blog or site

Tell five friends to join the fight for Internet freedom

Take action today!



Every Blogger in the nation will not be safe until this constant effort to steal our internet is stopped. This has to do with the BIG Corporations trying to stifle every thing we have built in the Blogosphere, even here in our little Connecticut Blogosphere. But this is bigger than just Blogging. It is the biggest FREE SPEECH issue facing us today.

Do not adjust your browser!

I put up a few hasty posts last night and they are below. I am currently cleaning up the computer and installing new software, updating, etc... So I may not put up much more today. I am pretty sure everyone knows what this is like! :)

Be back on ... LATER!


Before you even brush your teeth this morning!


Don't touch that Colgate!

Via the Hartford Courant:
Connecticut inspectors have pulled more than 700 tubes of toothpaste off store shelves this week as part of a nationwide crackdown on counterfeit and Chinese-made toothpaste containing a toxic substance commonly used as an ingredient in antifreeze, officials said Friday.

The Connecticut move follows a similar investigation in Massachusetts that led to the seizure of about 160 toothpaste tubes because of concerns over the use of diethylene glycol, a syrupy, sweetener-like chemical that can cause liver and kidney problems. The chemical is used in China in small amounts as a substitute for glycerin, a more expensive sweetener, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month advised consumers to toss out all Chinese-produced toothpastes.

snip

"We don't want to unduly panic the people of the state of Connecticut," said Francis Greene, the director of the consumer protection department's division of food and standards.

Officials declined Friday to reveal the towns where the toothpaste was confiscated, but that will be revealed next week.
So let's see... We have contaminated toothpaste seized in the state of Connecticut, BUT they won't tell us where? That sure is a great way to calm the public.

Oh yeah... And some of it is counterfeit and some of it is from China:
The contaminated toothpaste comes from China, while the counterfeit brands are made in South Africa. Colgate-Palmolive Co., which has been the subject of the counterfeiting, says the counterfeit brands could also contain diethylene glycol.
What does Colgate say about it?
Colgate Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Reuben Mark, a longtime Greenwich resident, said in a statement that "we will spare no effort to help consumers avoid counterfeits and support regulators in their efforts to remove these products from the marketplace."
That's nice... But what about the fact that some of the toothpaste from China is tainted and isn't counterfeit? Nice spin campaign. Colgate had nothing to say about the Chinese made toothpaste that appears to be the real thing AND tainted?

And the reporter didn't ask for a clarification???

Oh yeah... Before I forget, and before you drive to work this morning:
Nearly 80 Connecticut retailers have sold the defective tires that are now under recall, and they were purchased under the brand names of Compass, Telluride, YKS and Westlake.
Apparently they don't want you to panic about that story at all so it is buried at the bottom of the above pile of crap article.

Connecticut Librarians Under Gag Orders

Via Wired News:
Life in an FBI muzzle is no fun. Two Connecticut librarians on Sunday described what it was like to be slapped with an FBI national security letter and accompanying gag order. It sounded like a spy movie or, gulp, something that happens under a repressive foreign government. Peter Chase and Barbara Bailey, librarians in Plainville, Connecticut, received an NSL to turn over computer records in their library on July 13, 2005. Unlike a suspected thousands of other people around the country, Chase, Bailey and two of their colleagues stood up to the Man and refused to comply, convinced that the feds had no right to intrude on anyone's privacy without a court order (NSLs don't require a judge's approval). That's when things turned ugly.

The four librarians under the gag order weren't allowed to talk to each other by phone. So they e-mailed. Later, they weren't allowed to e-mail.

After the ACLU took on the case and it went to court in Bridgeport, the librarians were not allowed to attend their own hearing. Instead, they had to watch it on closed circuit TV from a locked courtroom in Hartford, 60 miles away. "Our presence in the courtroom was declared a threat to national security," Chase said.


And yes... The story gets worse as you read further into it and find that the FBI started investigating those evilly-wordy, library-card-terrorizing, fundamental-reading- bookofascist librarians because they would not comply with the "National Security Letter" demands. It got so bad the ACLU "advised Chase to move to a safehouse."

The Bridgeport courts decided the librarians were correct but get a load of this crap:

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) wrote an op-ed in USA Today that said:

"Zero. That's the number of substantiated USA Patriot Act civil liberties violations. Extensive congressional oversight found no violations. Six reports by the Justice Department's independent inspector general, who is required to solicit and investigate any allegations of abuse, found no violations."

Once President Bush reauthorized the Patriot Act, the FBI lifted the librarians' gag order.
This may be a month old story, but it bears repeating as we hear more about the further abuses of the criminal bush administration, their obstruction of justice, and their refusal to follow the basic rule of law at every turn.

There is a way to stop the lunacy, ya know?

7/8/07

Sheehan taking a swing at Pelosi

(H/T to blksista at MLW)

Cindy Sheehan says she'll run against Pelosi if she doesn't take action soon:
Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.

``Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,'' Sheehan told The Associated Press. ``We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money.''

Messages left with Pelosi's staff were not immediately returned. The White House declined to comment on Sheehan's plans.

She plans her official candidacy announcement Tuesday. Sunday wrapped up what is expected to be her final weekend at the 5-acre Crawford lot that she sold to California radio talk show host Bree Walker, who plans to keep it open to protesters.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what her actual plans are because the article doesn't say if she plans on taking her on in Dem primaries or in the elections, but if it is the elections... In the San Fran area there may be a possibility for her to win (Who knows? I don't), but even if she couldn't win I would be willing to bet -if I were a gambling man, I am not- she could get enough liberal votes to cause Pelosi to lose any race.

And don't start the "she'll be a Nader!" chants.

The Democratic party does this to themselves all by themselves.

Gravel The Rock Outtakes


A behind the scenes look at the making of Mike Gravel's The Rock:

Another Senseless Death in Iraq

Via nolopro at MLN, a Connecticut soldier has been killed by an IED:
This guy was originally from Brookfield.

A 30-year-old Navy SEAL who was a Brookfield native was killed Friday by an improvised explosive device during a combat mission in Baghdad, military officials confirmed on Saturday.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Jason D. Lewis was one of three sailors killed by the bomb. Naval officials would not release any more details on how or where Lewis was killed or what the sailors were doing when the bomb exploded, citing security concerns.

He leaves behind a wife and three children. His wife is also originally from Brookfield. I can't imagine what she and her/his family is going through right now.
Neither can I. My heart goes out to them all.

RIP


This has got to end now!

A soldier getting blown up in a Hummer. Figure the odds that it was a Hummer with insufficient protective armor, unlike the V-boat hull style vehicles that are better equipped to deflect IEDs.

A major Pentagon supplier of V-shaped vehicles is 9-year-old Force Protection of Ladson, S.C. The Pentagon says the number of the company's Buffalo and Cougar V-shaped vehicles in Iraq is classified, but public records show the military has bought almost 300. That compares with more than 35,000 Humvees, the military's main multipurpose vehicle, in Iraq. The Buffalo vehicles cost $750,000 apiece, about five times the cost of an armored Humvee, which is smaller.

Force Protection says nobody inside a Buffalo has been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan despite encountering thousands of IED blasts.

Retired general Montgomery Meigs, head of the anti-IED organization, said the Buffalo's armor and shape make it "a lot more robust than the Humvee."

Humvees were never designed properly for battle and IEDs. They are useful for troop and supply transport at peace times and even in some policing actions, and the makers of the Humvee have tried to make them all-purpose vehicles. BUT it ain't working.

And Jason D. Lewis has payed the price of this failure with his life. Another senseless death in Iraq.

Bumping Prime Time Hate

It seems like HatCity Blog's campaign to reign in the hate filled speech of the Big Turd and his insane clown posse of xenophobes on Comcast cable is showing some positive effects:
For those who don't know, Tom Bennett is a host of one of the most disgusting shows on Comcast local public access, The BigT's Talk and Variety show. The show is a favorite among the lowest of our community in Danbury: hate-mongers, xenophobes and several elected officials who are choose to express their bigotry in private.

For some time, Bennett and co-hosts John McGowan (Vice President of Elise Marciano's local anti-immigration group) and a coward, who too afraid to rant in front of the camera, that goes by the name "Bones", have repeatedly violated the rules and regulations set forth by Comcast. Using profanity, highly sexual explicit language, and racial slurs, Bennett uses his show as an outlet to promote hate-speech and bigotry against immigrants, minorities, and homosexuals.

Most recently, besides issuing a slew of racial slurs and threats against yours truly, in what could quite possibly be a criminal act, Bennett and his co-hosts repeatedly called upon residents in Danbury to go out into the streets and to assassinate members of the immigrant community.



As outrage over Bennett's hate-filled behavior mounted, we here at HatCityBLOG and as well as members of the YouTube community who know of Bennett from his online videos, led the way in requesting Comcast to take action against Bennett's outlandish behavior and terminate his contract. Letters and calls flowed into Comcast public access coordinator Dave King's office and most recently, I made an appeal to the members of the cable advisory board to also take action and terminate Bennett's contract.

It seems like Comcast is beginning to get the message that the disgusting behavior from Bennett, McGowan, and "Bones" will not be tolerated.


After presenting my evidence of Bennett's outrageous behavior to the cable advisory board, the members of the committee ruled to label Bennett's show as an "adult program" and advised the member representing Comcast to move the show from it's current slot of 9-10 P.M. to 10-11 P.M. This is rather significant because since the employees of Comcast leave the building at 10 P.M., it would require Bennett to tape his program thus forcing him to change the format of his show, which in it's current state is a live program.

Does this mean we're going to stop in our demand that Bennett be removed from the airwaves? To put it simple...HELL NO! In fact, light of the recent events, and legal advice, we're going to continue to take the necessary steps top make sure that Bennett, McGowan, and "Bones" are held accountable for their language, disgusting behavior, and calls for violence.

Bumping these idiots to a later time slot is a pretty big move by Comcast, and as their letter states... Any further violations of Comcast's "Section E" rules and the show "will be subject to 90 days suspension."

We will all be paying attention to this matter.

Kudos to ctblogger, and the HatCity Blog readers, for fighting the good fight and getting Comcast to do something about this!

On Supporting the Troops and IMPEACHMENT

Keith Olbermann looks at more republicans cutting and running from the insane bush administration's incompetent policies on Iraq and discusses General Odom's recent essay on impeachment:



I posted on this earlier with an edited exceprt from AmericaBLOG. Here is the longer version:

General Odom was the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) under Reagan (think "Minority Report," and you have the NSA). They're the super-duper secret spy agency that's way more top secret than even the CIA. This guy's credentials are beyond stellar. Here is an excerpt of his recent essay:
If the Democrats truly want to succeed in forcing to begin withdrawing from Iraq, the first step is to redefine "supporting the troops" as withdrawing them, citing the mass of accumulating evidence of the psychological as well as the physical damage that the president is forcing them to endure because he did not raise adequate forces. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress could confirm this evidence and lay the blame for "not supporting the troops" where it really belongs – on the president. And they could rightly claim to the public that they are supporting the troops by cutting off the funds that he uses to keep U.S. forces in Iraq.

The public is ahead of the both branches of government in grasping this reality, but political leaders and opinion makers in the media must give them greater voice....

The president is strongly motivated to string out the war until he leaves office, in order to avoid taking responsibility for the defeat he has caused and persisted in making greater each year for more than three years.

To force him to begin a withdrawal before then, the first step should be to rally the public by providing an honest and candid definition of what "supporting the troops" really means and pointing out who is and who is not supporting our troops at war. The next step should be a flat refusal to appropriate money for to be used in Iraq for anything but withdrawal operations with a clear deadline for completion.

The final step should be to put that president on notice that if ignores this legislative action and tries to extort Congress into providing funds by keeping U.S. forces in peril, impeachment proceeding will proceed in the House of Representatives. Such presidential behavior surely would constitute the "high crime" of squandering the lives of soldiers and Marines for his own personal interest.


Impeachment is the strongest tool in the political toolbox that Congress has left to use against the criminal bush administration and, realistically, it is the only one left to use. It is time for Congress use all means necessary to protect the soldiers from the neocon chicken-chumps and their failed endless war strategies.