Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary should run as a Republicain

She wants to change the rules because she's behind. She hurls false accusations left and right. She praises warmonger and right-wing suck-up McCain. And now she's lying outright about her experience.

Why doesn't she just follow Lieberman and switch parties? Whats the difference?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10))

Murphy's Law can now be written as

((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10))

where U=urgency, C=complexity, I=importance, S=skill, A=aggravation and F=frequency.

From http://www.gizmag.com/go/3292/. See also http://www.murphys-laws.com

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daily Kos bloggers whine about Clinton, form union

Blogging is the ultimate in free speech, unfiltered and uncensored. It allows the marketplace of free ideas to compete. And like any free market, there is lots of pollution such as spam and misinformation. And despite its drawbacks, its as close to the real world democracy as you can get.

Which is why when I read that some bloggers at the DailyKos website went on strike and are trying to form a union because they thought that DailyKos was unfair because they allowed readers to respond negatively to the Clinton cheer leading that these bloggers engaged in, I almost choked laughing. There are so many things wrong here.

First off, they are playing the victim card. Life is unfair because people are allowed to respond freely to the bloggers opinion. Basically, they want censorship for the criticism of their ideas.

Second, like Clinton, they don't like the outcome and want to change the rules. Remember folks, its a fair contest only if one side wins because the game is rigged. Republicans much better at rigging games (see all the gerrymandering that has been done in Texas, Virginia, and other red states, the K street project, etc.). Clinton admires McCain and the Republicans she wants to emulate them?

Finally, like most Democrats, they made the stupid choice. They could have easily started their own site and made their own rules, or gone to work for Fox News where one-sided reporting is the standard, but instead they whine that if the rules aren't changed to support them, they are going to form a union. Really? And what exactly does that do for you? Other than clearly identify you as a group of whiners.

DailyKos should do us and this group a big favor. Revoke their access and kick their dumb arses to the electronic curb. Let them blog in the real world. If they can't swim with the sharks in the free market of ideas, they deserve to sink.

And take a moment to reflect that this is the type of people that Hillary is attracting to her campaign, and that this is the type of leadership she is projecting. Ask yourself if this is any better than the scum that are currently in office (yes, I'm suggesting that Hillary is just as bad as Bush as a leader if she can't play by the rules and the end justifies the means)?

As I've stated before, it wasn't Obama that convinced me that I should vote for him, it was Hillary. And every day my choice seems more and more to be the correct one. Because I don't want another four years of whiners and rule breakers to be in charge.

Victory in Iraq: What EXACTLY is it?

Bush and his lap dogs attack the patriotism of their critics and declare this war a success, but ask yourself a very important question: What exactly are we winning?

Because it costs us more than $12B each month. And 4,000 American lives. And 100,000 American casualties. (note these figures do not include contractors, only military).

Our soldiers have won the war. And 140,000 of them are winning the peace. Our military has heroically done what has been asked of them and done so despite being treated deplorably, with a lack of armor, 15 month deployments, stop-loss orders, and despicable tactics used to not pay them after they are injured and discharged. They have won, at least tactically.

In support of what, EXACTLY?

There is no strategic goal for America in Iraq. Lets say that Iraq starts actually functioning. So what? Once we leave, they have the same problems as the rest of the Mideast. Or does Bush thing it will be like Disneyland when this debacle is over?

If its a democracy, they are going to vote for the type of government they want. And if you haven't noticed, they don't want anything like what we call democracy. And its unlikely to be sympathetic to America after 5 years of occupation (or 100 more)

And in Bush's world, democracy includes torture, revoking the right to a lawyer and to be brought before a judge and told the charges against you (habeous corpus), the ability of the President to ignore the laws, the right to prevent free speech, and more. Obviously, Bush doesn't know what a democracy is either, although he is damn good at destroying one.

By the time this war ends, it will cost every American taxpayer $1 million dollars. And that debt will be payed for by generations of Americans, who will have to pay off this debt at the expense of choices they might want to make for themselves. And they will have nothing to show for it. The world around them, unburdened by this crushing debt, will have more options and become more competitive as America falls behind on paying the bill for this war.

But its not just a future problem. The dollar is collapsing, driving up the cost of fuel, food, and everything else. The interest rate is falling, trying to prevent the economy from collapsing. This increases inflation, driving up costs and the value of the dollar down. All of which makes America a bad place to invest, so no one will invest or buy our debt because they can get a better return elsewhere, forcing interest rates up.

Its the perfect storm, created by the perfect idiot.

There is no victory in Iraq, now or in the future. And its not the fault of our military. Its Bush's fault. In practical terms, America has already been defeated by Al Qeida. Because this is exactly what guerrilla (asymmetric) warfare is. You get the larger opponent to stay in the field where you can bleed him slowly, driving up his costs, weakening him over time. Its just a bonus that our idiot president likes torture, is criminal in is actions, is blind to realities, and has done more harm to America than Al Qeida ever dreamed. And Osama Bin Ladin is alive to savor his victory because Bush sent the Military to attach Iraq to prove to his daddy who has the bigger Dick Cheney.

And that's what victory is. It just isn't our victory.

Obama, the War and the economy

This important Obama speach seems to not only not be reported in the news, but isn't posted on his web site yet either. Still, it is an important speach, one that I've been waiting for someone to make for quite some time.

Via the only place I've found it: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/20/115717/730/296/480755

The Cost of War University of Charleston Charleston, West Virginia Thursday, March 20, 2008
Five years ago, the war in Iraq began. And on this fifth anniversary, we honor the brave men and women who are serving this nation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. We pay tribute to the sacrifices of their families back home. And a grateful nation mourns the loss of our fallen heroes.
I understand that the first serviceman killed in Iraq was a native West Virginian, Marine 1st Lieutenant Shane Childers, who died five years ago tomorrow. And so on this anniversary, my thoughts and prayers go out to Lieutenant Childers' family, and to all who've lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The costs of war are greatest for the troops and those who love them, but we know that war has other costs as well. Yesterday, I addressed some of these other costs in a speech on the strategic consequences of the Iraq war. I spoke about how this war has diverted us from fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and from addressing the other challenges of the 21st Century: violent extremism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.
And today, I want to talk about another cost of this war – the toll it has taken on our economy. Because at a time when we're on the brink of recession – when neighborhoods have For Sale signs outside every home, and working families are struggling to keep up with rising costs – ordinary Americans are paying a price for this war.
When you're spending over $50 to fill up your car because the price of oil is four times what it was before Iraq, you're paying a price for this war.
When Iraq is costing each household about $100 a month, you're paying a price for this war.
When a National Guard unit is over in Iraq and can't help out during a hurricane in Louisiana or with floods here in West Virginia, our communities are paying a price for this war.
And the price our families and communities are paying reflects the price America is paying. The most conservative estimates say that Iraq has now cost more than half a trillion dollars, more than any other war in our history besides World War II. Some say the true cost is even higher and that by the time it's over, this could be a $3 trillion war.
But what no one disputes is that the cost of this war is far higher than what we were told it would be. We were told this war would cost $50 to $60 billion, and that reconstruction would pay for itself out of Iraqi oil profits. We were told higher estimates were nothing but "baloney." Like so much else about this war, we were not told the truth.
What no one disputes is that the costs of this war have been compounded by its careless and incompetent execution – from the billions that have vanished in Iraq to the billions more in no-bid contracts for reckless contractors like Halliburton.
What no one disputes is that five years into this war, soldiers up at Fort Drum are having to wait more than a month to get their first mental health screening – even though we know that incidences of PTSD skyrocket between the second, third, and fourth tours of duty. We have a sacred trust to our troops and our veterans, and we have to live up to it.
What no one disputes is that President Bush has done what no other President has ever done, and given tax cuts to the rich in a time of war. John McCain once opposed these tax cuts – he rightly called them unfair and fiscally irresponsible. But now he has done an about face and wants to make them permanent, just like he wants a permanent occupation in Iraq. No matter what the costs, no matter what the consequences, John McCain seems determined to carry out a third Bush-term.
That's an outcome America can't afford. Because of the Bush-McCain policies, our debt has ballooned. This is creating problems in our fragile economy. And that kind of debt also places an unfair burden on our children and grandchildren, who will have to repay it.
It also means we're having to pay for this war with loans from China. Having China as our banker isn't good for our economy, it isn't good for our global leadership, and it isn't good for our national security. History teaches us that for a nation to remain a preeminent military power, it must remain a preeminent economic power. That is why it is so important to manage the costs of war wisely.
This is a lesson that the first President Bush understood. The conduct of the Gulf War cost America less than $20 billion – what we pay in two months in Iraq today. That's because that war was prosecuted on solid grounds, and in a responsible way, and with the support of allies, who paid most of the costs. None of this has been the case in the way George W. Bush and John McCain have waged the current Iraq war.
Now, at that debate in Texas several weeks ago, Senator Clinton attacked John McCain for supporting the policies that have led to our enormous war costs. But her point would have been more compelling had she not joined Senator McCain in making the tragically ill-considered decision to vote for the Iraq war in the first place.
The truth is, this is all part of the reason I opposed this war from the start. It's why I said back in 2002 that it could lead to an occupation not just of undetermined length or undetermined consequences, but of undetermined costs. It's why I've said this war should have never been authorized and never been waged.
Now, let me be clear: when I am President, I will spare no expense to ensure that our troops have the equipment and support they need. There is no higher obligation for a Commander-in-Chief. But we also have to understand that the more than $10 billion we're spending each month in Iraq is money we could be investing here at home. Just think about what battles we could be fighting instead of fighting this misguided war.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and who are plotting against us in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We could be securing our homeland and stopping the world's most dangerous weapons from falling into terrorist hands.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting for the people of West Virginia. For what folks in this state have been spending on the Iraq war, we could be giving health care to nearly 450,000 of your neighbors, hiring nearly 30,000 new elementary school teachers, and making college more affordable for over 300,000 students.
We could be fighting to put the American dream within reach for every American – by giving tax breaks to working families, offering relief to struggling homeowners, reversing President Bush's cuts to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and protecting Social Security today, tomorrow, and forever. That's what we could be doing instead of fighting this war.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting to make universal health care a reality in this country. We could be fighting for the young woman who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can't afford medicine for a sister who's ill. For what we spend in several months in Iraq, we could be providing them with the quality, affordable health care that every American deserves.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting to give every American a quality education. We could be fighting for the young men and women all across this country who dream big dreams but aren't getting the kind of education they need to reach for those dreams. For a fraction of what we're spending each year in Iraq, we could be giving our teachers more pay and more support, rebuilding our crumbling schools, and offering a tax credit to put a college degree within reach for anyone who wants one.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be fighting to rebuild our roads and bridges. I've proposed a fund that would do just that and generate nearly two million new jobs – many in the construction industry that's been hard hit by our housing crisis. And it would cost just six percent of what we spend each year in Iraq.
Instead of fighting this war, we could be freeing ourselves from the tyranny of oil, and saving this planet for our children. We could be investing in renewable sources of energy, and in clean coal technology, and creating up to 5 million new green jobs in the bargain, including new clean coal jobs. And we could be doing it all for the cost of less than a year and a half in Iraq.
These are the investments we could be making, all within the parameters of a more responsible and disciplined budget. This is the future we could be building. And that is why I will bring this war to an end when I'm President of the United States of America.
But we also know that even after this war comes to an end, the costs of this war will not. We'll have to keep our sacred trust with our veterans and fully fund the VA. We'll have to look after our wounded warriors – whether they're suffering from wounds seen or unseen. That must include the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – not just PTSD, but Traumatic Brain Injury. We'll have to give veterans the health care and disability benefits they deserve, the support they need, and the respect they've earned. This is an obligation I have fought to uphold on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee by joining Jay Rockefeller to expand educational opportunities for our veterans. It's an obligation I will uphold as President, and it's an obligation that will endure long after this war is over.
And our obligation to rebuild our military will endure as well. This war has stretched our military to its limits, wearing down troops and equipment as a result of tour after tour after tour of duty. The Army has said it will need $13 billion a year just to replace and repair all the equipment that's been broken or lost. So in the coming years we won't just have to restore our military to its peak level of readiness, and we won't just have to make sure our National Guard is back to being fully prepared to handle a domestic crisis, we'll also have to ensure that our soldiers are trained and equipped to confront the new threats of the 21 century and that our military can meet any challenge around the world. And that is a responsibility I intend to meet as Commander-in-Chief.
So we know what this war has cost us – in blood and in treasure. But in the words of Robert Kennedy, "past error is no excuse for its own perpetuation." And yet, John McCain refuses to learn from the failures of the Bush years. Instead of offering an exit strategy for Iraq, he's offering us a 100-year occupation. Instead of offering an economic plan that works for working Americans, he's supporting tax cuts for the wealthiest among us who don't need them and aren't asking for them. Senator McCain is embracing the failed policies of the past, but America is ready to embrace the future.
When I am your nominee, the American people will have a real choice in November – between change and more of the same, between giving the Bush policies another four years, or bringing them to an end. And that is the choice the American people deserve.
Somewhere in Baghdad today, a soldier is stepping into his Humvee and heading out on a patrol. That soldier knows the cost of war. He's been bearing it for five years. It's the cost of being kept awake at night by the whistle of falling mortars. It's the cost of a heart that aches for a loved one back home, and a family that's counting the days until the next R&R. It's the cost of losing a friend, who asked for nothing but to serve his country.
How much longer are we going to ask our troops to bear the cost of this war?
How much longer are we going to ask our families and our communities to bear the cost of this war?
When are we going to stop mortgaging our children's future for Washington's mistake?
This election is our chance to reclaim our future – to end the fight in Iraq and take up the fight for good jobs and universal health care. To end the fight in Iraq and take up the fight for a world-class education and retirement security. To end the fight in Iraq and take up the fight for opportunity, and equality, and prosperity here at home.
Those are the battles we need to fight. That is the leadership I want to offer. And that is the future we can build together when I'm President of the United States. Thank you.

-Barak Obama. Posted without permission.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Goodbye to my old friend, Buddy.

As bad as the economy and state of the nation is, today I just can't write about it. Today I lost a good friend and one of my best friends lost his best friend.

My best friend K. rescued Buddy, a gaunt Great Dane over 10 years ago. He was so thin it was touch and go at first. But as he gained weight, the show dog physique and regal personality came to life. Buddy had an impish sense of humor - one day snagging the potato off my plate as I walked by and walking off as if nothing had happened. But he also had a great big heart, taking care of K and his family like they were his pack. And they were. And so was I, even though I only visited once or twice a week.

Buddy and our dog, Ellie, used to play from morning to night. Ellie was a pup, a Shar Pei mix, with boundless energy and sprit. Buddy played with her like she was his pup, teaching her but never dominating. Ellie looked forward to playdates with Buddy from the moment she started heading to the car. They would run and jump and race all day. She'd be so tired the next day from playing that her legs trembled as she walked, but she never let it show in front of him. But mention his name and she would perk up, trembling legs and all, and be game for a rematch.

Buddy lived a full life for a Dane. He was 12 years old and only started slowing down about 6 months ago. His Dane sister Mattie, and the new puppy Tyson, and even the cat Xeno looked out for him as his body gave out, such was the respect that they had for Buddy. His people did every thing they could to make him comfortable in his last days. He passed on peacefully.

I'm not a religious person, but the closest I get is believing that if their is an afterlife, our pets show up and testify about the person we were when we die. Buddy will have many good things to say about his family, who rescued him and the rest of his pack. And he rescued us with his love and friendship and loyalty in return.

Thank you, Buddy for being a good friend and taking care of my friends and your family. We will all remember you fondly and with love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The vast Clinton right wing conspiricy

I'm voting for Obama. And I'm going to keep sending him money until he get the nomination. Why? Its not like I think the guy is going to be able to deliver on all his promises. I think he's well-intentioned, well-principled, and erudite, but what really sold me on Obama was Hillary and Bill.

I didn't like the tactics the Republicans used on the Clintons and each other in the last few races. I generally think if you have to lie and smear your opponent, you have a really weak position and probably shouldn't win.

And as much as she whined (often and loudly) about the VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY (VRWC) and their tactics, you think she'd be the last one to use those tactics.

And yet she has, using her henchmen, including Bill, as attack dogs. And then on top of it all, she plays the victim and blames the media and Obama for attacking her. Hell, if anything, he hasn't attacked her enough because of his "good guy" positioning. And Bill, an elder statesman, is paying the attack dog with great relish - much to her and the party's detriment.

The problem with the Bush administration and the current Republican party- is its lying to start a war, its advocating of torture, its stacking the judiciary with dumb-ass religious zealots, its rape of NASA, FDA, CNC, and other agencies that protect the public, it lack of oversight of our money, and its total criminal disregard for the laws and Constitution of this country, is, fundamentally, that it believes THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS.

And Hillary is willing to become her own VRWC just to win an election. On top of which her advisers are complete and total idiots incapable of forming a logically consistent argument for why she's the better candidate. (said best by Keith Olbermann: Clinton's tepid response to Ferraro is shameful). She is willing to win a pyrrhic "victory" at the ruination of principle, party, and the votes of the American people.

I admit it. I have the audacity to hope that Obama wins. Because I can't take any more of the Republican destruction of the American ideals. Even if its done by a Democrat.

Spitzer is sezy, but Fallon is more interesting

Everyone is following Elliot Spitzer's fall from grace ( or whatever her name was) and missing the fact that an Admiral, Commander of Centcom, one of our military's highest leaders, just resigned effective immediately because of "a loss of confidence by the President." That would be the President that has gotten EVERY POINT ON THIS WAR WRONG AND WANT TO START ANOTHER WAR WITH IRAN.

Shivers run up and down my spine thinking about it. That moronic idiot that is in charge of our military either wants to overrule the professionals and either keep our soldiers in harms way indefinitely or wants to overrule the professionals and start yet another war or two.

I have respect for the military; I don't know if I could allow this madman idiot to send me to my death for no good reason other than his paranoia and delusions about the countries he thinks he can conquer. It obvious Bush and his minions don't have any respect for our military to continue to squander them like toy soldiers under a petulant child's magnifying glass. Admiral Fallon did the only thing a professional soldier and patriot can do - he resigned and made it public.

Its a warning flare, a salvo in the fight for America that we all should heed. This man fell on his sword so that we might take notice and demand accountability before more of our brave men and women die following the orders of a damn fool.

Spitzer is damned and by his own hand. His story is over. Let's pay attention to the real terrorists that have infiltrated our government. Lets remind Bush that he is accountable to the people.

The Fed rewards companies that created mortage mess by sticking taxpayers with bill for the party.

CNN: The Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced a program that will lend up to $200 billion to a group of 20 big investment firms, for a 28-day term. The firms can put up as collateral mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which generally are seen as safe because of an implicit government guarantee.

In other words, your government is dumping $200 billion into the economy by giving it to the companies that own all that mortgage debt. They are going to take that money and give it to their shareholders and executives. Then they are going to default on much of it, and the government insurance will step in and pay the bill - effectively gouging the taxpayers twice. Better yet, all Americans are getting screwed in this deal, because it is likely (like gravity is likely) to increase inflation and cause the dollar (that's the thing you don't have) to drop even further.

This is what an economic collapse looks like. It starts with a looting of the Treasury. Have you noticed the deficit lately? And the $12B in war costs each month? (and lets not forget we have to replace all that worn out equipment if we want to keep defending this country).

Is it insurrection to wonder where the citizens are and why they aren't burning the institutions and people responsible for this mess to the ground?

Studies: Iraq Costs US $12B Per Month

In case you are wondering, that’s $1M in war debt for every person in America and just over $2M for every taxpayer ASSUMING IT ENDS THIS YEAR. Don’t forget to add generations of additional debt in interest payments – mostly due (payable) to China. So while you pay attention to sex scandals, false economic accusations about immigrants, amendments against flag burning,and for displays of religion in public buildings, have some sympathy for Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned. Just as surely, our economy under the weight of this deficit and will collapse along with an aging and ill-maintained transportation system, an aging population, and a health system that will be second to none right up until the moment it collapses too. And when our children and grand children throw us out into the streets and pull the plugs that keep us alive, know that the ones who really deserve it, the ones that have looted our treasury, sent our kids to a senseless death, taken our civil liberties and ignored our Constitution are likely to be mercifully dead. And know that we deserve our fate for the sheep we have been.

Studies: Iraq Costs US $12B Per Month