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"TO DESTROY THIS INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT, TO DISSOLVE THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN CORRUPT BUSINESS AND CORRUPT POLITICSIS THE FIRST TASK OF THE STATESMANSHIP OF THE DAY."-- Theodore Roosevelt--



Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:10:19 +0000

 



Sorry about that!

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 02:14:00 +0000

To anyone who is still trying to visit this site: I'm so sorry that it has been allowed to go fallow. I'm FURIOUS with the asshats at Echo for having lost all the excellent comments you've contributed. They were the best part of the blog IMHO.

 I got an email from Echo (who bought haloscan and all its accounts and promptly fucked the interface over) advising me that the interface would be shut down in October of 2012. So I went to the site to check and found that it had already been pooched. Fucquers, as we call them up here in Canada. Furthermore the interface to blogger itself has changed dramatically, so I don't even know how to revert to the old clunky default comments. I don't think Blogger even supports the old 'template' style anymore - just the 'layout' drag-and-drop that I refused to convert to because it would have destroyed a lot of my (I thought) clever customizations.

I'd delete the whole thing but I think there are some great posts here that deserve to be archived for posterity. Thanks to all participants for your creative efforts and your desire to help make this a better world by opposing the fascist takeover.

I am so very sorry that it's had to end. I would have liked to re-activate it what with the election cycle coming up again. Any little bit of counterpropaganda we can hurl from the Trebuchet of Truth is a bit of ratwanger shite that hasn't gone unchallenged.

I am QUITE active on Facebook, so please friend me or subscribe to my posts there: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000513798283
Or send me an email - unruly1 AT sympatico DOT ca

If you've been using a monicker here, please let me know what it is/was so I know who I'm talking to. A lot of you maintained your anonymity to the end.

See you on the flip side.



What caused the 2008 Economic Collapse?

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 19:58:00 +0000

And without Keynesian intervention,
how can we rationally hope to avoid a second,
much worse collapse?

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”
~ John Maynard Keynes

In this video clip Alan Greenspan pretty much admits that the cause of the financial system collapse in 2008 was his ignoring that Keynes truism. Quite a blind spot considering that the most wickedest of men were also his best friends!

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"Political economy came into being as a natural result of the expansion of trade, and with its appearance elementary, unscientific huckstering was replaced by a developed system of licensed fraud, an entire science of enrichment."
~ Engels, Outlines of Political Economy (1844)

"A developed system of fraud" -- aka banksterism.

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Solidarity Forever

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 13:11:00 +0000

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"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital.
Capital is only the fruit of labor,
and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.
Labor is the superior of capital,
and deserves much the higher consideration."

~Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America

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RIP Jack Layton

Tue, 23 Aug 2011 20:55:00 +0000

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Canadian political satire show This Hour Has 22 Minutes had Jack Layton on last spring, doing a faux cooking show. Host Geri Hall suggests an improvement to the recipe. "A little NDP magic?" No problem. The Right Honorable Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition goes into an impromptu rendition of "Legalize It."

"I don't think the Conservatives would ever put that in there."

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Happy Rapture Day

Sun, 22 May 2011 01:13:00 +0000

Man, won't it be good when all the fundies are gone? I'd be particularly happy if one of them was my landlord, so I could go without paying rent.

A little entertainment, not sure exactly of the connection but I love the way this choir imitates a storm with their hands and feet.

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Remember: On this day in 1970

Wed, 04 May 2011 18:44:00 +0000

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Those who cannot learn from history
are doomed to repeat it.

-- George Santayana --

How many more? My heart goes out to the families of the victims, and I hope that someday the truth will be revealed and America will wake up to the horrors imposed upon them by the Powers That Be and the Military Industrial Complex. Only by confronting the ugliest truths will we ever make a better society.

Please visit the Kent State Truth Tribunal, kept alive by Allison Krause's sister Laurel and others, and show your support.



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Orwellian, Kafka-esque, You Name It

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 13:22:00 +0000

(image) This one is so nuts it jolted my long-numb outrage nerve back to life.

From the New York Times: Guantanamo Detainees' Lawyers Can't Use Wikileaks Files

So here's what the government's been arguing:
-People locked up in Guantanamo, some for almost a decade now, are there because they are "the worst of the worst" Al-Qaeda terrorists.
-We could prove it, but it would risk giving away state secrets that would aid and abet the terrorist cause.
-That's why we can't have such niceties as civil trials and, you know, silly things like evidence and so on.
-But they are really, REALLY bad men. Trust us.

However, the files that have been leaked reveal that the government long ago determined that:
-The majority of detainees were sent to Guantanamo for no reason at all.
-Many were innocents rounded up in Afghanistan because the US offered large rewards.
-Some were mere children, others senile old men.

Now they're saying that the detainees' lawyers can't even look at the leaked documents because they remain classified.
They're public knowledge now, but they're still, you know, top secret. Hush hush. Loose lips and all that.

So even if a document is out there that shows that US military "intelligence" (*snort*) found out 8 years ago that your client is completely innocent of whatever he's been accused of, (if they've even bothered accusing him of anything) you can't use that document to have him released.

If you think this kind of government over-reach will never be applied to you because you're an American citizen or not brown, could I just drop a couple of names? Jose Padilla. Bradley Manning.

I could comment at length on how batshit crazy this really is, and how much of a threat to democracy and human rights, but I think in this case the facts speak for themselves. I will however award this story the coveted Les Enragés Maximum Bullshit Award.

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Slow Reactor Reactions

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 17:25:00 +0000

Sometimes a headline says it all, like this one from the BBC.


(image) OK, it's been nearly 3 weeks since the Fuckyoushima power plant was damaged by the earthquake and tidal wave. Every day has brought worse news of loss of cooling, explosions, reactor vessel breaches, workers fleeing the site, workers being brought back to a control room that doesn't seem to be in control of anything, workers being sent to hospital, environmental contamination.. .. ...

So NOW they announce that they're going to decommission 4 of the 6 reactors at the Fuckyoushima site?!? What this says is that up until now the effort has been to save the plant, not the people or the environment around it. Sure, it's worth $BILLIONS, but hasn't it been evident almost from the start that things were not recoverable? And that's using information that the company TEPCO that runs it has deemed to release - all of it as seen through rose-coloured glasses.

Some day in the future it's going to come to light that the environmental impact of this disaster was made many times worse by TEPCO's lying and managing things as if their efforts could miraculously save their investment. I guess they have to say that to appease the stockholders. But when that information does become available, the lawsuits are going to sink the power corporation. Anybody want to hazard a guess as to how much a twenty mile exclusion zone is worth? Over 600 sq. mi. of real estate in Japan? Holy shit!! I imagine it's way more than even a nuclear power plant is worth. (though with most of the buildings already flattened it's worth a lot less than it was before the tsunami. still..)

I imagine there are executives at TEPCO right now ruing the Japanese tradition of Seppuku - ritual self-disembowelment. If anyone in the history of that nation ever deserved such a punishment, it would be them. You can almost hear the snick snick of little knives being sharpened.

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Practical Suggestions

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:00:00 +0000

..For Reducing Federal Spending

Rachel Maddow opened tonight's show with a piece on Republicans' eagerness to reduce the number of federal employees.

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Fair enough, tough times require tough measures.

Let's start with this: Maybe 20 or 30 Republican Senators could relinquish their high-paying jobs, along with 40 or 50 in the House of Representatives. Not only would a heap of money be saved, but things would start getting done. They're all for efficiency, right? This move would free up more money than laying of hundreds of mid-level workers.

Better yet, it has been proposed that PrezBO increase the number of Supreme Court Justices to eleven to help balance the court. What he should do instead is ask for the resignations of some of them. I nominate Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts to return to the private sector they love so much. I'm pretty sure that 5 justices could do just as good a job or better than the current 9.

Then fire all the grads from the Regent so-called "university" who were hired illegally anyway by Monica Goodling a few years ago. I haven't noticed any increase in the amount of justice that's been produced in that department since they were put on the payroll, so they can't be adding much value.

Finally, if there are still Secret Service personnel on the payroll protecting Bush, Cheney, Rummy or any of those criminal conspirators, for gawdsake lay them off!




Obama Demands Egypt Respect Human Rights

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 02:03:00 +0000

...That the USA Totally Disrespects


Hypocrite much?

U.S. demands immediate end to Egypt's emergency law
"The United States on Tuesday set out four steps Cairo must take to end Egypt's crisis, telling its ally to stop harassing protesters and immediately repeal an emergency law allowing detention without charge."

This news story comes on a day that a vote was held to extend the USA PATRIOT Act. Among other things the Act has allowed detention without charge. Some inmates at Guantanamo are still being detained even though it is acknowledged that they are never going to be charged and that there is no credible evidence upon which to base a charge. AND the US government has said that they will continue to hold some detainees even if they are cleared of all charges in a court of law. So how could it get any worse than that?

THIS JUST IN: The vote, which required a 2/3 majority under a special house rule, FAILED, with a 277-148 result. You can bet it will pass when voted on again using the usual process.

Sic semper tyranni.



Here's a New Meme

Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:51:00 +0000

Here's a meme that progressives should make use of. It just occurred to me, and I'd like to pass it on.Being born rich has no intrinsic value; it is in no way productive, useful or desirable. Most rich people contribute far less to society than do ordinary factory workers, bus drivers and janitors. Therefore, living off of ancestral wealth made by Daddy, Grand-dad, or Great-great-great to the nth degree going back to pre-Civil War plantation days is no more ethical than living off of welfare. In many cases it's far less ethical. So here's the meme:Let's start calling that condition Ancestral Welfare, and bring up the term every time people who were actually brought up by nannies complain about "The Nanny State." The term goes hand-in-hand with the already familiar terms Class Warfare and Corporate Welfare, and is intimately connected to both. Class warfare couldn't exist if it weren't for the scions of the last generation living off of the avails of their parents. And most of those inheritances are in trust funds tied into holdings of corporate stock.Nobody with an ounce of sense believes that prominent heirs like Rush Limbaugh or Charles Krauthammer's points of view are anything but self-serving. The idol bloated bloviaters have not only stolen America's wealth, they've also dominated any conversation concerning wealth. So whether you're talking about social benefits, education, health care, or the structure of the tax system, you'll always get only the opinions of those who can well afford those things without any help from government.What is the solution? Start taxing capital gains at a rate at least as high as that levied against money that is actually earned. And set the estate tax to something that promotes the American ideal of all men being created equal instead of eroding it.The estate tax should be 0% for the 1st $1 million, and 99% for anything above that. If you are survived by a wife and six kids you'd be allowed to leave a legacy worth $7,000,000. That's not too shabby when you think about it.Anybody who can't turn a million dollar inheritance into a pretty comfortable life has demonstrated an inability to compete in any kind of economy, especially a capitalist one. With $1 million you could buy a nice house or a platinum education or you could open a small business. In fact you could probably do any two of those things with $1 million and have considerable change left over. So anyone who says their children can't make it unless they get a billion dumped in their lap is really implying that their children are drooling idiots, fit only for wasting away in a hammock.~~~~~~~~On a more general note, it is lamentable that the so-called 'left' in America can't come up with counters to the memes put out by The Powers That Be, even when they're staring them in the face. If you're going to change the way things are going, or even halt the slide into modern feudalism the first step is going to be to change the tenor of the conversation. If you fight the battle on the other side's terms you don't have a chance.TAGS: Capitalism, Leads to, Oligarchy, Every. Bloody. Time.[...]



A few words for Sarah Palin

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 04:00:00 +0000

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Honey, if you insist on thinking that Jesus is talking to you, could you please just listen when he tells you to STFU?



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TGIF is another way to spell GIFT

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 18:16:00 +0000


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A favorite song from a gifted group.
Enjoy the weekend folks, and don't forget:
Don't get too drunk until AFTER you leave work.



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GOP Platform in Song and Dance

Sat, 02 Oct 2010 18:21:00 +0000

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OK, so there wasn't really any dancing. Disappointed? Not nearly as much as you will be if the GOP keep their promises.

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How much is too much?

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 21:00:00 +0000

For Gawd's sake, this kind of thing pisses me off, and if it doesn't piss you off I submit that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

A little tidbit from Robert Reich at the Huffington Post: The Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, and the Democrats Punt

"Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion."
Let me put that in perspective for those of you who aren't already pissed off enough just by that blunt factoid. $21.5 BILLION is a shitload of money. More than you'll see in your lifetime, I would wager. I'll even give you odds.

The median American household earns something just above $50,000 per year. That's HOUSEHOLD, not person. Nowadays most families can't get by without two wage earners, and unless they're both lucky enough to have full-time jobs with benefits, this could actually mean the earnings from 3 or even 4 part-time "McJobs."

So sticking with that number, how many households does it take to earn 21.5 BILLION in a year? That would be 2.15 X10^10 divided by 5X10^4, which works out to an astonishing 430,000 households. Almost half a million FAMILIES!!

Let's take into account now that the average household is just above 3.1 persons (Astonishingly low! Back in the '70s it was around 4.5. I guess people simply can't afford to have 4 or 5 kids anymore.) You're now talking about the money that 1,333,000 people of median income live on, enough people to populate a city the size of Dallas, Texas. Which by the way is ninth on the list of largest cities in the US. If you take the worth of both Koch brothers as your starting point, you're somewhere between the size of Chicago and Houston, which are 3rd and 4th respectively.

The Republican party and a significant number of Democrats, Blue Dog and otherwise, don't want the Bush tax cuts to expire. Obama wants to extend them only for people who make less than $250,000 per annum. That's fewer than 2% of the population. Putting that into perspective, someone making a cool quarter of a million a year gets a paycheck of nearly $10,000 every two weeks -- which is about equal to someone working for $10/hr makes in 6 months at 40hrs/wk.

One comment at the HuffPo post asked a simple, pointed question; "How much inequality in wealth can a democracy tolerate?" I of course can't quantify that as easily as I can compare the Koch's wealth to the rest of the country. But I do know this -- the tolerable level has long been passed. America's system of government is a sham, a democracy in name only -- a demock-racy. It should be revolting enough to cause a revolution. The fact that it hasn't is cause for concern.





Mercenaries Afraid of Disclosure Laws

Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:00:00 +0000

Billion-dollar Whiny Ass Titty Babies!Defense companies and other major industries are hoping to block disclosure of their own fraudulent or substandard performance in federal contracts, despite a mandate this year by Congress that such potentially embarrassing information be released to the public. Sensitive to concerns raised by the companies, the White House has delayed enacting the little-known disclosure provision while it studies the issue, officials said.When, if ever, is the White House going to be sensitive to the concerns of the taxpaying public? And do you suppose that studying the issue is going to take...oh, I don't know...maybe into and beyond their second term? The good news: PresBO has himself become an expert on Fraudulent or Substandard Performance issues. So much so that he could create a cabinet-level position out of it.The thing is, when people wearing body armor and brandishing automatic weapons perform in any the consequences usually result in a bunch of innocent people being killed, America's reputation being even further ravaged, and stated* policy objectives being moved even further away from any chance of completion.(* - as opposed to the real clandestine objectives of world domination and endless war, perpetuating the profits of the mercenaries)Just one example of how the Blackwater/Xe thugs-r-us boys spread cheer and the Good Will of the American People is seen in this recent story from Peshawar, Pakistan. This brings the meaning of fraudulent and substandard to a new level.The residents are mainly concerned about Blackwater's reputation as a ruthless, unbridled private army whose employees face multiple charges of murder, child prostitution and weapons smuggling in Iraq.'Sometimes, these guys stand in the streets and behave rudely with the passers-by, sometimes they point guns at people without provocation' said Imtiaz Gul, an engineer, whose home is a few hundred metres from the US contractor's base on Chanar Road in University Town.'Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans? They have created a state within the state.'Receiving tens of BILLIONS of fiat dollars from Chinese lenders the federal government, you would think that these civilization-destroying savages would feel some obligation to at least pretend to do the job that they were payed to do. You would be wrong. They are in a class with the Mongol hordes of Atilla the Hun, blithely unconcerned with the devastation they bring with them everywhere they operate. And as I recall about the Huns, they seem to have done sufficient damage to bring Europe into the Dark Ages -- from which it took over a thousand years to recover.[...]



Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 20:49:00 +0000

Wow, so much good news lately that I may have to put my cynicism on a shelf for a while - where it can keep company with my now-out-of-date pessimism. First of all the gulf is pretty much cleaned up now according to BP and the US government. Even PresBO himself agrees. Sure they've lied to us about this from the get-go, but I'm sure we can trust them this time.

PresBO also announced that troop withdrawal from Iraq was going to be on schedule, exactly as promised. Except that 50,000 troops will still be there, but thats OK! They're 'transitional!!' Please ignore the Blackwater/Xe mercenaries who will also remain behind sucking up US tax dollars to enrich the old Cheney cabal. Anyway the country has been turned into a stable and prosperous bastion of democracy, so mission accomplished there too. I haven't felt this good since I found out that waterboarding wasn't really torture, just a 'little splash of water.'

So come on join in everybody, "Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.."

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Open Thread for Jenn

Fri, 25 Jun 2010 02:10:00 +0000

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See? We do respond when a request is made.



RIP Dennis Hopper

Sun, 30 May 2010 00:50:00 +0000

(image) I'm just now hearing that actor Dennis Hopper has died. The first time I remember seeing him was as Billy in Easy Rider. Brilliant!

According to his IMDB entry he had at that point done dozens of appearances on film and TV including guest appearances on such outstanding shows as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Zane Grey Theater, and The Big Valley. He was also on some less outstanding fare like Petticoat Junction and The Time Tunnel. Oh well, a guy's gotta earn a living.


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He was in a lot of westerns, befitting his birth in Dodge City, Kansas. He didn't have to work too hard to come across as an authentic cowboy. Starting with Giant in 1956 (when I was frickin' three years old!) he was in classics such as:
Cheyenne; Gunfight at the OK Corral (as Billy Clanton); Sugarfoot (as Billy the Kid); From Hell to Texas; The Sons of Katie Elder; The Legend of Jessie James; True Grit -- you get the idea. The list goes on, showing that he did as much to form the public idea of what a cowboy is as John Wayne or Slim Pickens.

A great career spanning over half a century, hopefully a life that was just as great for him as it was for his fans, he'll be missed.

So long, pardner.

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Human Arrogance Examined

Sat, 08 May 2010 01:23:00 +0000

TAGS: Science, Evolution, Life, Human Race, Arrogance, ReligionI want to discuss science if I may. Specifically in an area that really arouses my passions: That is the ridiculous and arrogant assumption that the universe and everything in it was created with it's future inhabiting by mankind in mind. We've all heard the arguments about irreducible complexity and so forth. It's the basis of the idea of intelligent design. I say "idea" because "theory" isn't apt in this case. Theory is the analysis of facts and how they relate to one another while intelligent design takes facts and assumptions and even made up notions and preconceptions and compares them. I'm not here to discuss intelligent design though. I want to address the over arching concept that without a whole lot of very specific events occurring, humanity wouldn't be here. That is absolutely true, without a doubt. If Theia hadn't smacked the Earth hard almost four and a half billion years ago, the moon wouldn't exist and our rotation and axis wouldn't be as stable as it is. There is a theory that if the Snowball Earth Era hadn't happened, life would have never been under so much pressure to adapt and to then be poised for the Cambrian Explosion when the planet finally thawed, ushering in the Phanerozoic Eon. If the Permian extinction hadn't occurred, maybe creatures related to Dimetrodon would rule the Earth and if not for a huge impact at the end of the Cretaceous, sentient dinosaurs may be quarreling about science versus religion. We can argue and speculate about the details but it is certain that had some or all of these events not happened, the human race would not exist. We can go back even further and imagine that gravity never separated out of the electromagnetic, strong and weak forces at the very beginning of the creation of the universe with the Big Bang, leading to an endless ocean of subatomic particles that may have formed atoms but never bunched together to form anything more massive or complex than hydrogen or helium. No gravity = no stars = no people. Anywhere. There is also growing evidence that a gamma ray burst in our distant past may have also contributed to genetic modification of ancient and primitive life on Earth. What if the poles of that star had been pointed a few degrees away from us? Would I be sitting here typing this? Chances are I wouldn't be. So yes. Except for a very specific grouping of some very unlikely events, the human race would not exist. Period. But does that then prove some divine guidance? Does that support the idea of an omnipotent sky daddy manipulating events and conditions to bring about the human race? I don't believe it does. The fact is that the universe doesn't have the properties it does for the benefit of mankind, rather WE have the properties we do because of the universe we evolved in. We owe our form, our method of reproduction, the mixture of gases we require, the temperature ranges we need, our nutritional requirements and etc because we evolved within this universe and on this planet. Conditions on Earth aren't perfect for us. We are perfect for the conditions on Earth. Assuming that life couldn't exist without those very specific circumstances and that intelligent life wouldn't be on the Earth at all if not for an accidental series of events is the very pinnacle of human arrogance. WE almost certainly wouldn't be here but I believe that life would go merrily on without us. Imagine that.[...]



Don't Ask, Don't Tell Before and After

Fri, 26 Mar 2010 15:54:00 +0000

TAGS: DA,DT LGBT Navy DouchehatterySome of the readers here are familiar with the general parameters of my story so I won't get too specific. I used to be an airframe technician for F-14A aircraft during the last half of the 1980s until early 1991. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the United States Navy, I enjoyed my job and I was good at it. VERY good. In fact I was so good that after I had been outed as transgendered, (by a "friend" who used his knowledge to distract from his second DUI offense), and after I had gone to Captain's Mast and after I had been told they were going to strip me of rank, benefits I'd earned and half of my pay, I was actually involuntarily EXTENDED to serve in the first Persian Gulf War. You see, though I had been deemed "unfit" to serve, I was the only person qualified to troubleshoot launches for the airframes shop and to act as flight deck safety at the same time. They told me I was being unceremoniously discharged but had to stay long enough to qualify people to replace me.Before the hostilities were ended, I was on my way back to the states. Within 24 hours of landing, I had been reduced two pay grades, stripped of the benefits I'd earned and given an "Other Than Honorable" discharge. I say this not because I'm still wallowing in self pity after all of these years but to point out that, abominable as it is, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is a relative newcomer and much, MUCH better than the previous patchwork of regulations regarding LGBT service people. Then, it was largely up to the unit commander what happened to an outed person. In my own case, the unit commander had no problem with it because he knew me and what I was capable of. I was told nothing was going to happen. That was before the change of command. The new skipper DID have a problem with it, a huge one. As I hadn't even violated the UCMJ, charges were trumped up to get rid of me. I fought for a while but it was clear from the beginning that they would wear me down eventually. If they want you gone, gone you will be.Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a compromise, (or capitulation), made by President Clinton and was codified into law on December 21, 1993 when Clinton issued Department of Defense Directive 1304.26, requiring the DOD to stop asking applicants and active duty service members to disclose their sexual orientation. It not only supposedly put a stop to that, it also homogenized the penalties and in most cases softened them, for violators of the policy against LGBT persons. For example, it was no longer solely up to the unit commanding officer what penalty violators would pay, they would all be given administrative discharges under honorable conditions, allowing them to keep their rank, pay and benefits. It didn't stop the harassment or the witch hunts though.Though I detest the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, it is leaps and bounds better than what used to happen prior to it coming into effect. Randy Shilts wrote an excellent book called "Conduct Unbecoming" about lesbians and Gays in the military and I recommend it to people who harbor illusions about what the policy used to be and what it is today. As much as I would like to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", I have never heard of the policy being repealed for transgendered people, just for lesbians and gays. Presumably transgendered Americans will still be sexually assaulted, harassed and hounded out of the service on trumped up charges. That doesn't seem to bother gay leaders much, most of whom have never served.I'll close by dispelling[...]



Open Thread

Fri, 05 Mar 2010 00:09:00 +0000

Because we need one, as usual. And as usual, I'm too damned lazy to put up anything of substance.

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The Tea Bagger Airforce

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 23:50:00 +0000

There's an old joke that's so lame that it's reserved for those occasions when someone you know gets 'decorated' by a pigeon or seagull. "Aren't you glad that cows don't fly?"
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Well, I guess if one had said that about the anti-government Teabagger crowd any time before today, it wouldn't have been much of a joke.

Sadly, that's all changed with the latest incident: a pilot named Joseph Andrew Stark flew his small plane into an IRS office today. It wasn't long before it was revealed that he had written a rat-wanger 'manifesto' -- boilerplate screed indicting Big Government and taxation in general.

Of course the mainstream media will avoid tying this in to the identical boilerplate screed that is voiced at any teabagger rally. They will also do their damnedest to pretend that an obvious act of domestic terrorism is nothing of the sort because it comes from someone on the right who is whiter than rice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE: OK, I'm going to have to deliver a full-bore mea culpa on some of the above. No excuses, I was simply mislead by some descriptions of Mr. Stark's 'manifesto' (which is also misleading - it's nothing of the sort.) and speculation that he was a member of the 'tea party.' Here's the text of his swan song, preserved at The Smoking Gun. Stark's original website was understandably shut down by the hosting server.

It doesn't strike me as being overtly political, save for the fact that he obviously wanted his last act to be a wake up call to the rest of the country. It does sound desperate, but what would you expect from a suicide note, however lengthy? And a lot of his complaints are exactly those that have been voice here for quite some time - not against big government per se, but against a corrupt system that no longer responds to the people, because it no longer has to.

I'm going to wait this one out before I offer any further opinions. Jumping into a story with both feet before all the facts are in is not something I'm any damned good at.

I 'spoke' in haste. My bad.


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FBI Wants ISPs to Spy on You

Sun, 07 Feb 2010 00:20:00 +0000

Fourth Amendment Goes the Way of Habeas Corpus

(image) From Cnet News:

WASHINGTON--The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.

FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.

As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.

The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.

Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."

But the good news is that if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Frankly I'd describe this as universal warrantless wiretapping. If this is allowed the government would essentially have the 'right' to enter your home without a warrant and gather evidence against you for a crime that you have not yet formed any intention of committing. Shades of 'Minority Report.'

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Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:45:00 +0000

AKA: "PresBO's State of the Union Address."

(It'll be interesting to see how he tries to talk himself out of the mess he's gotten into after a full year of kow-towing to the Republican obstructionists, with nothing to show for it.)

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