The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hillary Hate

Now that campaign '08 has officially started the knee jerk reactions of Hillary Clinton haters is also in full swing. That Hillary Clinton who is so evil she tried to start universal health care in this country. Sham, shame, shame! The blogospere is already filling up with posts littered with dusted off insults and stereotypes from the early 90's. It makes me nostalgic for those Grandville Michigan, Christian right, anti-Clinton hate orgies that I used to witness on a daily basis. I do not think Hillary Clinton is a saint, or the best choice for '08. It is too early to make any conclusions about her as the next president. However, an honest look at Hillary Clinton does not reveal a 'Radical Leftist', She is a moderate Democrat, just like her husband. The most primitive and predictable smear being tossed around is that Hillary Clinton is a Femi-Nazi; a term that trivializes the Holocaust and demeans women at the same time. 'Femi-Nazi' is a regurgitated Rush Limbaugh device, most recently Rush has been busy minimizing Parkinson's' disease and calling people 'Halfricans', but I am sure he will come up with some new low-brow words for Hillary. It will be entertaining to watch the haters foam at the mouth.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Guantanamo Bay

I have taken an excerpt from a report competed by a professor and students from Seton Hall University School of Law* regareding the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The report uses data released from the United Sates government and military. These five facts below should alarm and appall anyone who believes habeas-corpus and human rights protection are two things the United States should engage in and support. I do not know if any of the 500+ detainees are guilty or innocent. However, all people deserve to know what they are being charged with and the right to have legal representation. There is no justice in imprisoning people indefinitely, without any evidence or legal recourse. Unfortunately this has been going on in Guantanamo for five years.

Here are five points from the report summary, you can read the whole report here. Also, please visit Project Hamad

* The authors are counsel for two detainees in Guantanamo.
See, Combatant Status Review Board Letters, Release date January 2005, February 2005, March 2005,
April 2005 and the Final Release available at the Seton Hall Law School library, Newark, NJ.
This 86% of the detainees captured by Pakistan or the Northern Alliance were handed over to the
United States at a time in which the United States offered large bounties for capture of suspected

Friday, January 19, 2007

More on Gonzales' Testimony.

from Crooks and Liars

A reader transcribed this exchange concerning habeas corpus from today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (no official transcript yet):

Specter: Now wait a minute, wait a minute. The Constitution says you can't take it away except in the case of invasion or rebellion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus?

Gonzales: I meant by that comment that the Constitution doesn't say that every individual in the United States or every citizen has or is assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says that the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

Article I, Section 9:

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Alberto Gonzales should not only be impeached for his willfully obtuse interpretations of the Constitution, he should be disbarred.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Attorney General Gonzalez

From Crooks and Liars

Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was a busy man today. First, he delivered a speech before the American Enterprise Institute explaining why he believes the judiciary is unfit to rule on anti-terrorism policies, then he sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee outlining how the controversial domestic spying program will now be overseen exclusively by the secret FISA court, and then we learn the White House and DoJ are using a using a shady provision of the Patriot Act to remove ten Senate-confirmed US attorneys they fear may prosecute overzealously.

....More evidence that the Bush administration does not believe in the separation of powers, or respects the establishment of our three branches of our government. He was also unable to address clearly why and how (legally) the U.S. should be using the CIA to investigate domestic affairs and why did the administration suddenly change their five year long illegal wiretapping program.

The hearing got little to no television coverage.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sick of Bush and His Blood Thirsty Supporters.

Today over 100 Iraqi civilians were killed in two separate bombings. Over 34,000 died from sectarian violence in 2006. The monthly average for Iraqi deaths is now 3000, as many U.S. Troops have died since the beginning of this misbegotten invasion and dysfunctional occupation. Last Thursday Glen Beck was whining to Tony Snow (on CNN Headline News) about the fact that Bush has not yet invaded Iran. The two of them seemed as giddy as school boys at the prospect of another war. Worse the GOP and the corporate media puppets continue to push the line that 'failure is not an option' and wag their finders at the Democratic party and other critics of the occupation.
Failure is not an option? The fact is we failed along time ago. Prompt withdrawal is our only option because our President is out of control, insane and his Iraq fiasco is far beyond disrepair.

It failed when Bush used lies and deceptive reports to build his case against Saddam.

It failed when Bush kicked out the weapon inspectors.

It failed when the corporate media rolled on its back and did ask any hard questions. (If the media had put as much effort investigating the reasons Bush gave for going to war with Iraq as they did investigating a blow job in the late 1990's we may have avoided this altogether.)

It failed when Bush/Cheny/Rumsfeld refused to listen to Generals and other experts who told them that more troops would be needed for the occupation.

It failed when Bush/Cheny/Rumsfeld refused to listen to every right minded person who could foresee this was going to be a titanic mistake.

It failed when we did not guard the real weapons caches that the Bush Administration was warned 'would supply an insurgency for a decade'.

It failed when the Iraqi government and army were prematurely dissolved.

It failed when the looting was allowed.

It failed when we employed Halliburton and Black Water mercenaries to do the work of the military and the Iraqi people.

It failed when torture was used on detainees

It failed when the execution of Saddam turned into a revenge killing.

It succeeded in diverting the U.S. from finding Osama Bin Laden.

It succeeded in destroying the image and reputation of the U.S.

I hate it when Bush keeps repeating his mantra that it will be a disaster if we leave. How arrogant.
Bush needs to leave. It is time to call for Impeachment. The Democratic party needs to begin investigating each and every failure and unwarranted action of the Bush Administration. I believe if this is done enough will come to light for these criminals to be removed. Even if Impeachment is not possible, procedures need to begin in order to restore our country and begin protecting our future. If this is not done, I fear Bush will soon engage in another ill planned war.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK: Liberal Christian

From the SF Chronicle

Many of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most formative writings and sermons -- some dating to when King was a precocious 19-year-old seminary student in 1948 -- languished for decades in a battered cardboard box.
A decade before her death in 2006, King's widow, Coretta Scott King, flew to San Francisco to ask Stanford Professor Clayborne Carson to examine and write about the box's contents.

The texts, which illuminate the theological foundations that America's most celebrated social activist would repeatedly return to, are revealed in a book to be released today -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- by Stanford University's King Papers Project.

The collection includes documents from 1948 to 1963 -- the years covered by the book -- and "gets us closer to King's true identity" because they shed new light on how he viewed the Bible, Carson said.

"King used to say, 'People think of me as a civil rights leader, but fundamentally, I'm a Baptist preacher,' " said Carson, editor of "Advocate of the Social Gospel," which is based on the newly disclosed writings and is the sixth book produced by the King Papers Project. READ IT ALL

"Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and not concerned about the city government that damns the soul, the economic conditions that corrupt the soul, the slum conditions, the social evils that cripple the soul, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion in need of new blood," -MLK 1962

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush Meets Monty Python!

Swing Voter: I wish to register a complaint. I wish to complain about this policy what I bought into just two years ago from your political party.

George W. Bush: Oh yes - the Iraqi Mission... What's wrong with it?

Swing Voter: I'll tell you what's wrong with it. It's dead. That's what's wrong with it!

George W. Bush: No, no it's not dead. It's being re-purposed.

Swing Voter: Look - I know a dead policy when I see one. And I'm looking at one right now.

George W. Bush: No... no! It's not dead. It's being re-thought. Remarkable military we have don't we? Wonderful courage!

Swing Voter: Their courage don't enter into it. The policy is stone dead.

George W. Bush: No, no, no! It's being re-modeled!

Swing Voter: Alright - if it's being re-modeled let's see if it works now. HELLO POLICY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!

(Bush makes appeal for Sunnis and Shiites to get along - they respond by killing even more Americans.)

Swing Voter: Now that's what I call a dead policy.

George W. Bush: No, no.... No, it's just stalled!

Swing Voter: STALLED?!?

George W. Bush: Yeah! It stalled just as it was about to kick in. Iraqi Missions stall easily.

Swing Voter: Now look, I've had enough of this. This policy is definitely deceased. And when I bought into it in November 2004 you assured me that it's total lack of success was a misperception due to a prolonged squawk coming from the liberal media.

George W. Bush: Well, it's... it's errr... probably pining for a surge...

Swing Voter: PININ' for a SURGE?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that? Look why did it fall flat on its back the moment the 2004 election was over?

George W. Bush: Iraqi Missions tend to take their time! Remarkable military! Wonderful courage!

Swing Voter: Look, I finally took the liberty of examining this policy recently and I discovered the only reason that it had been perceived as workable in the 
first place was that you lied to us.

George W. Bush: Well, of course I lied to you! ! If I hadn't lied to you this policy would have nuzzled up to those Iraqis, sorted out them Sunnis from the Shits and 

Swing Voter: "VOOM"?!? This policy wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!

George W. Bush: No no! It's pining!

Swing Voter: It's NOT pining! It's passed on! This policy is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to your election platform it'd be pushing up the daisies! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket! It's shuffled off its mortal coil. Rung down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS.... IS AN EX-POLICY!!

....Martin Lewis produced what many people regard as the definitive live version of the "Dead Parrot" sketch in 1976 when it was performed by John Cleese and Michael Palin at "A Poke In The Eye" - the first of the legendary "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit shows for Amnesty International. Lewis has "sampled" and "re-purposed" the script above for another good cause. (Presented with apologies to its authors - John Cleese and the late, great Graham Chapman)

I stole this post from The Huffington Post

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Children of Men

You know you have seen a great movie when you can not stop thinking about it. I thought it would be a long time before I would see a movie more suspenseful than The Departed. Children of Men was so captivating we walked out of the theatre with a taste of post traumatic disorder. This film is more of a apocalyptic vision than a science fiction fairy tale. The dark future portrayed is not far from the realm of possibility.

Rotten Tomatoes has several reviews, movie currently rates at 93%.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Republican's Bigoted Spin on First Muslim Congressman

Dispatches from the Culture Wars reports...
The Republican National Committee just put out a press release with some interesting spin on Rep. Ellison's swearing in ceremony, where he intends to use Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Quran:

"Rep. Ellison (D-Karachi) has chosen to swear his oath of office on a copy of the Quran originally owned by a famous infidel who publicly supported the violent insurgency that sought to overthrow a Christian government. That well known infidel left the Quran intact yet took a razor blade to the Bible, publishing his own version which denied the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, the miracles and the resurrection. Clearly, this man's views are not consistent with our society based on Judeo-Christian values.".....

This quote is a joke from Dispatches from the Culture Wars however the two quotes below are real. I love that Republicans continue to reach out to their racist base with statements like this. The Religious Right loves the lie that our government is based on the Bible and not a secular institution. Some on the Right go as far to equate Islam with terrorism.

"I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."-Virgil Goode, Virginia congressman.

"OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I've been to mosques. I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil. I -- you know, I think it's being hijacked, quite frankly.

With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."-Glen Beck, CNN Conservative Bobble Head interviewing Ellison.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pat Robertson's 2007 Predictions

from Associated Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Robertson said God also told him that the U.S. only feigns friendship with Israel and that U.S. policies are pushing Israel toward "national suicide."

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.

The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In 2005, Robertson predicted that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term. He said Social Security reform proposals would be approved and Bush would nominate conservative judges to federal courts.

Lawmakers confirmed Bush's 2005 nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But the president's Social Security initiative was stalled.

"I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America's coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring's heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year! I love Mike Nelson!

2007 is going to be fun. I spent the final hours of '06 watching the the first X-men movie with Rifftrax commentary. What is Rifftrax? Only the greatest movie enhancement ever. Ever since Mystery Science Theater ended and ceased to be syndicated, there has been an unfilled void in my life. But now that Satellite of Love shaped hole in my heart has been filled. Behold, Rifftrax! Listen to MST3K star Michael J. Nelson, sometimes paired with Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot) or Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) mock mainstream movies like Lord of the Rings, The Phantom Menace, and Road House. It is good times!