Evil Bible Commandments

Here's a compilation of commands from the Bible that rival some similar commands from the Koran, with these very important differences (as best I can tell):

1. All of the evil Bible commands appear in the Old Testiment / Talmud, written a thousand or so years before Jesus, and 700 years or so more than that before Mohammad issued any commands.

2. Jesus, whose teachings form the basis of christianity, commanded no evil actions. To the contrary, of the various evil Old T commandments (killing whores and fags), Jesus either over turned them ("let he who is without sin cast the first stone") or left no surviving commentary.

3. When Mohammad came along about 700 years after Jesus, he not only advocated all the wickedness of the Old T, he added some of his own. Even the Old T didn't advocate taking hostages and stealing. Where Jesus advanced civilization, Mohammad sought to take it backwards.

I rank Mohammad along with David and many of the Old T heroes amoungst the great devils that have ever walked this earth.

Duke Rape: Wake Up Black America!

Black sports columnist and NBA retiree Stephen A. Smith elequeuntly states the obvious: The accuser is lying, the DA is trampling justice, and black activists who are backing them are wasting resources needed for real fights. Smith's list of "real fights" enjoys credability from those who agree with him about the Duke case.

A related article in Time predicts that North Carolina's Bar Association will disbar him, and force him from office. Tom Sowell adds a fresh commentary as well, and here the North Carolina Conference of DAs calls for his ouster.

I hope that now those who only care about blacks getting a fair deal from the justice system will see that these sorts of problems affect all groups; and I hope that this also opens the eyes of those who previously assumed that only truly guilty people get accused, arrested, and even convicted -- even of rape. Just imagine where these guys would be now if the accuser Magnum and / or the DA Nifong had their lies and conduct in order.


Say it Loud! We LOVE James Brown!

The Godfather

With the passing this week of Michigan son Gerald Ford there was some concern that the transition of James Brown might be overshadowed by coverage of the former president. The media lovefest and selective amnesia that we all endured after the demise of Ronald Reagan has returned for Ford, but in death as in life, Soul Brother Number One will not be denied. No disrespect to Mr. Ford, but he was president for two years. James Brown will be The Godfather forever.


Merry Christmas, Middle East! More US Troops Headed Your Way?

After weeks of expressing their skepticism at the idea of a troop surge, The New York Times reports that the head honchos on the ground in Iraq, Generals George Casey and Raymond Odierno, now are open to the idea of a troop surge there.

From the Times:
Until recently, the top ground commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has argued that sending more American forces into Baghdad and Anbar Province, the two most violent regions of Iraq, would increase the Iraqi dependency on Washington, and in the words of one senior official, “make this feel more like an occupation.”

But General Casey and Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who has day-to-day command of American forces in Iraq, indicated they were open to a troop increase when Mr. Gates met with them in Baghdad this week.

“They are open to the possibility of some increase in force,” a senior Defense Department official said. “They are supportive of taking steps to support the Iraqis in their plan, including the possible modest augmentation in U.S. combat forces.”

Why the sudden change of heart?

Democracy: "The Insolvent Phantom of Tomorrow"

Excellent post by Robert Scheer: "Ike Was Right"

The public, seeing through the tissue of Bush administration lies told to justify an invasion that never had anything to do with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 or weapons of mass destruction, now has begun a national questioning: Why are we still in Iraq? The answers posted most widely on the Internet by critics of the war suggest its continuation as a naked imperial grab for the world’s second-largest petroleum source, but that is wrong.

It’s not primarily about the oil; it’s much more about the military-industrial complex, the label employed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower 45 years ago when he warned of the dangers of “a permanent arms industry of vast proportions.”

The Cold War had provided the rationale for the first peacetime creation of a militarized economy. While the former general, Eisenhower, was well aware of the military threat posed by the Soviet Union, he chose in his farewell presidential address to the nation to warn that the war profiteers had an agenda of their own, one that was inimical to the survival of American democracy:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Some Reformed Leftists would argue that conservative Republican General Eisenhower was wrong. They will contend that the very essence of liberty is threatened by "primitive religious extremists" with $10 box cutters, and that the US should spare no expense in disposing of them even if it means the destruction of civilian populations in Iraq, Iran and whatever other nation stands in the way of America's vital national interests. They might even argue, as their friends who work at Haliburton have, that it is the Iraqis who are their own worst enemies and that they don't want to be free. Nevermind that those employees of war profiteers are lining their own pockets with the crumbs that fall from the table as their corporate bosses plunder the US Treasury.

I agree with Scheer for the most part, but would point out that Haliburton is also an oil services company. I will admit that the profits from the "liberation" of Iraqi oil fields pales in comparison to the military contracts that are being doled out with no regard to public opinion about the war or about government spending.

Surely our right-wing pundits here are offended by the obscene amount of money Bush/Cheney's "Big Guvment" is spending on an unwinnable war in Iraq and the unthinkable military buildup that foreshadows the unfathomably stupid notion of war with Iran.


Hair Extentions Ruin Hair

Since earning an understanding of health and medicine, I assumed that hair extensions constituted an assault on the human body. Now I finally uncover some support, in the form of some problems spotted on vacuous singing celebrity Beyonce. I presume she's also harming herself with fake nails. My assumption that ear-piercing also represents a health risk remains unsupported...


Wisconsin Governor Boycotts Festivus; Misses True Meaning of Season

"Governor Jim Doyle doesn’t love Festivus this year. While Wisconsin’s governor used to love the holiday so much that he distributed a picture of himself standing by the Festivus Pole, the racist antics of one-time Seinfeld star what’s-his-name, Kramer, has spoiled the joyful season."

Last week we celebrated Festivus in Westland, Michigan (coincidentally home of The American Nazi Party) with a multicultural, multipolitically oriented throwdown at blogger Paul Hue's house.

We dined on homemade Indian dishes (prepared by real Indians), downhome collard greens (stir-fried by a Southern bred-dreadlock), Chinese fried rice (fried up by a lovely Chinese lady) and vegetarian Texas-style chili (cooked up by a right-wing libertarian).

Live musicians played live music, poets slammed, rappers freestyled and there were readings of Twas the Night Before Christmas and the biography of Lucy Parsons.

Card sharks infested the table at the non-stop Uno game (first kids then adult sharks swam there).

A highlight of the evening for me was listening to a female communist and a gangsta rapper conduct a 3AM debate about competing gender roles and what it means to be a man/woman/human in the 21st century.

This is how you combat racism and solve the problems of the world. Get all different types of people together, put them in a warm home, ply them with good food, wine, beer and booze then force them to interact with each other.

I don't recall anyone mentioning Seinfeld or Kramer one time. This was a Festivus for the rest of us.

"Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me."


DA Drops Duke Rape Charges, as Accuser Changes Story Again

The DA Nifong now admits in his court filing that: "there is no scientific or other evidence independent of the victim's testimony that would corroborate specifically (a rape charge), the state is unable to meet its burden of proof with respect to this offense." But he's keeping charges of "kidnapping" and "sexual offense" even as the accuser Magnum has changed her story once again: "In dropping the rape charges, Nifong filed court papers that said the accuser told an investigator Thursday that she is no longer certain whether she was penetrated vaginally with the men's penises, as she had claimed earlier."

Magnum originally "said three men raped her _ vaginally, anally and orally _ while holding her against her will in a bathroom... The men are still charged with kidnapping, for allegedly holding the woman against her will, and sexual offense. Under state law, a rape charge requires vaginal intercourse, while sexual offense covers any sexual act. In dropping the rape charges, Nifong did not specify what sex acts prosecutors now believe occurred."

Recall that his original filing, demanding DNA tests from all the players, would "identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent." Even after the testing found zero matches for any of the players, but did find matches for "several" other men, he proceeded, despite the accuser Magnum claiming that three of the players brutally raped her without a condom and ejaculated.

What has made Nifong finally reach this obvious conclusion after all this time? Though new evidence against Magnum's claims have never stopped trickling out, enough already existed at the time of the charge for any sensible DA to drop the case, if not initiate a new one against Magnum, for filing a false police report.

Incredibly, but not surprisingly given , Nifong has decided to keep the charges of "kidnapping" and "sexual offense." Why? Presumably because such charges can't be contradicted by evidence, and Nifong his hellbent on upholding his original, pre-evidence assertion that these guys raped Magnum. Yet whereas claiming you got brutally gang-raped by three condomless, ejaculating men *must* leave DNA traces -- especially if you host semen DNA from "several" other men with whom you had consensual sex at times more distant from the testing than your contact with the accused -- charges of "kidnapping" and "sexual offense" as alleged here necessarily implies no concrete proof that can test the charge.

But there remains unambiguous proof that Magnum has lied about several linchpin aspects of her allegation, the DNA exoneration falsifying her claim of rape standing paramount. When defense attorneys demonstrate beyond doubt that she lied about getting raped, what sensible person will believe that she did tell the truth about "kidnapping" and "sexual offense"?

I do shudder to think how Magnum could have gotten away with this if she had just constructed consistent, untestable lies. And if she can get away with it, anybody else can. But maybe we gain from this the deserved shattering of the myth that "women don't lie about rape."


Tolerating the Intolerant: Murder Suspect Takes Advantage of UK Dhimmitude

Murder Suspect Takes Advantage of UK Dhimmitude

What else did British authorities expect to happen, when they decided to allow people wearing full body masks to go through airport security unchecked?

Police killer suspect fled Britain in a veil.

A man who was being hunted for the murder of a policewoman is understood to have escaped from Britain by disguising himself as a veiled Muslim woman.

Mustaf Jama, a prime suspect in the fatal shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, assumed his sister’s identity — wearing the niqab and using her passport — to evade supposedly stringent checks at Heathrow, according to police sources.

The use of the niqab, which leaves only a narrow slit for the eyes, highlights flaws in British airport security. At the time, Jama was Britain’s most wanted man, while Heathrow was on a heightened state of alert after the 7/7 terrorist atrocities in London five months previously. The Times has learnt that British immigration officers rarely carry out a visual check to match a passport photograph with a departing female passenger’s veiled face.

Details of Jama’s disguise emerged yesterday as his younger brother, Yusuf, awaited a life sentence for the murder of the police officer, who died during an armed robbery at a Bradford travel agency in November last year.

Detectives believe that Jama, 26, was allowed to board an international flight from Heathrow because no attempt was made to uncover his face.

Hitchy: Stay the Course in Iraq

As always, reformed leftist hero and libertarian-republican Christopher Hitchens offers fascinating and useful facts and logic pertaining to the Iraq situation. He predicts that the Shia-Sunni factional explosion would have happened eventually anyway, probably after the handoff from Hussein to either of his psychotic sons. And he wonders: Was it really preferable to hold these factions apart via a hellish dictatorship? At least under the present situation a free, liberal, prosperous democracy -- or at least the seed of one (see: South Korea and Taiwan 25 years ago) -- represents an option under consideration.

Hitchy informs us that prior to US voters registering their decision for a US pull-out, the various waring factions had been employing politics as a fall-back tactic when violence failed to produce their outcome... and indeed these two years or so sometimes the leaders of one faction or another would conclude just that. But until now, the violent nihilists in Iraq assumed that the US military would not leave. Thanks to the political success of Naidir, Tom, and other unreformed leftists, a new assumption has ascended: the yanks are leaving. Hitchy says that this now creates an incentive among the various competing tyrants stick with violence, and strengthen ties with the outside governments who are arming and financing their bloody destruction.

I remain uncertain of the best path, and hopeful that Bush picked a winning one.


U.S. vs. Iran: Don’t Be Fooled, It’s About the $$$

Dollars and EurosRumor has it that the US Navy is considering a buildup of forces in the Persian Gulf in anticipation of a strike against Iran.

The AP reports it like this: “Speaking on condition of anonymity because the idea has not been approved, [a Defense Department] official said one proposal is to send a second aircraft carrier to the region amid increasing tensions with Iran, blamed for encouraging sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq as well as allegedly pursuing a nuclear weapons program.”

Yeah, right. Don’t be fooled. Iran’s nuclear program is not a threat to the United States. Iran says their uranium enrichment is for peaceful purposes. Even if they are lying, US intelligence agencies admit that Iran won’t be capable of making a bomb for another 5-10 years.

“Encouraging sectarian violence in Iraq”? According to Bush’s own Iraq study group the majority of the violence in Iraq is being caused by Iraqis, not by foreign fighters.

So what is the real deal? Check out this headline that is running in the foreign press, and a couple of US financial outlets, but is so far being ignored by America’s mainstream media:

Iran to replace dollar with euro: “The Iranian central bank is to convert the state’s foreign dollar assets into euros and use the euro for foreign transactions.”


Rejuvenate American Agriculture: Legalize It

The legalization of marijuana and industrial grade hemp could rejuvenate the American agricultural industry and small farmers across the country. According to the LA Times:
A report released today by a marijuana public policy analyst contends that the market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion — far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops.
Despite the potential profits, the war on drugs and the war on small farmers continues in America. Why are US interests so opposed to a crop that would be such an obvious stimulant (pun intended) to the economy?

Take a hit of the Blues Talkin' post linked HERE and above for more.


Forced Busing Harms Rather Than Helps Students

"Hard evidence shows that students of all races can succeed or fail in schools that are racially mixed or racially unmixed." But sending kids across town in buses that pass nearby schools in order to achieve "racial balance" can only produce hardships and disrupt scholarly efforts. No evidence shows that "integrated" schools produce better scholarship. To the contrary, many all-black, all-white, all-Asian, and all-Indian schools produce the world's best average test scores. But so do many integrated schools. Instead of focusing on forcing integration, let's focus on forcing serious academic efforts. Let integration take care of itself, except in cases where discrimination occurs.

Iraq Economy Booming

"The withdrawal of a certain great power could drastically reduce the foreign money flow, and knock the crippled economy flat."


DNA Rape Hoax Update

1. The rape samples taken from her contained the semen from "multiple men", but none that matched any of the Duke players, including the three accused, nor did any of it match her official "boyfriend." This evidence adds to the contradictions to her claims to police that she had no sex with anybody in the days prior to her rape allegation. Previously other men had testified to having had sex with her in the days prior to the famous night, and she eventually admitted to performing dildo sex for a couple hours before the Duke lacross party. And yes, in statements to police she claimed that the Duke rapists used no condoms and ejaculated.

2. This DNA data got withheld from the defense... at the DA's request! This was the "second, more accurate" testing ordered by the DA after the first round contradicted his pre-testing insistence that it would "identify the culprits and exonerate the innocent."

3. She's pregnant! About two weeks after supposedly getting gang-raped and being desperately distraught, she became pregnant. Previously we learned that during this supposed "post-rape" time she resumed stripper work and her workmates reported no change in her conduct, or any indication from her that she had suffered a rape.

Consider: Semen from "several men" who did not brutally rape her at some unknown times in the past, but *none* from the men who supposedly did just hours before tissue sampling. Imagine how screwed these guys would be if the accuser had her lies together, or if the DA had his own vendetta in order.

Signs of a Primitive, Uncivilized Society

All industrialized nations have instituted socialized medicine except the United States.

The United States holds more people in prison and in its criminal justice system than any other industrialized nation.

The United States is the largest dealer of weapons on the planet and is the only nation that has used a nuclear weapon on other human beings.

The United States congress refuses to hold its presidential administration accountable for illegally spying on its citizens, for war crimes and for torture. In fact, Congress passed a law legalizing torture and suspending habeas corpus for some individuals.

The United States and Japan are the only industrialized nations that still use the death penalty.

It is unthinkable that a nation can be so advanced technologically, can have such strong ideals about democracy, can have such a strong economy, but can be so primative and backward in so many ways.

Paul Hue will note that people still want to come to the US even though they will be subjected to racism, forced to work for less than a living wage, schooled by a substandard educational system. Why?

The promise of America is greater than its many contradictions. The appeal of the American dream is stronger than the deterance of its harsh, nightmarish realities. The freedoms it offers, though under threat, are greater than those offered in many other nations.

When will this great land live up to its potential? When will we begin to have more regard for human life than we do for property, money and power? When will our people leave their primitive, oppressive ways behind and embrace humanity?

When will we really become Pro-Life?

The Fed Bans the Melting of Coins

"Given rising metal prices, the pennies and nickels in your pocket are worth more melted down than their face value -- and that has the government worried."

US coins aren't worth the metal they are minted with and for the most part, the dollar isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Time to start converting those digital assets (the numbers on your financial statement) into cold, hard cash (gold, silver and euros).

Killer Iceberg Lettuce

When wondrous, nourishing baby spinach got contaminated with ecoli, US consumers went nuts, and began to fear this manna. What now that lifeless, flavorless, nutrientless iceberg lettuce now appears as the culprit at Taco Bell?

Get Carter

Jimmy Carter dared write a book tagging Israeli intransigence on settlements as a key detriment to a land settlement in Palestine. Moreover, he likened a rump Palestinian state -- rife with road blocks, checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians, and bounded by a fence -- to apartheid. Both of these positions are common enough in the rough-and-tumble world of Israeli politics. Either would be hard to refute.

Here in the U.S., though, they're beyond the pale and tantamount to anti-semitism. That's insane -- and it doesn't serve the long-term interests of Israel one whit.

Israel's friends are managing to cause it more damage than its foes, I fear -- a tendency I witnessed here when Paul Hue insensibly praised Ariel Sharon's visit to Temple Mount with a a bunch of armed thugs as an act of tolerance. Sharon is a war criminal; Israel's friends do themselves and their cause no credit by throwing their lot with him. Americans would likely react with rage if Osama bin Laden showed up at Ground Zero with a crew of armed henchmen, would they not?

The way of Sharon is the way of the assassins; His activities only pleased and energized the hardline enemies of Israel who want to push it into the sea, and demoralized and marginalized those who want peaceful coexistence. This sad pattern is now playing out in Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands are massed in the streets in support of Hezbolla, enraged by Israel's ham-fisted attempt to demolish Hezbolla by force. (Urged on, we now know, by that great statesperson Condoleeza Rice.)

"Now is the time of the assassins." --Rimbaud

But it doesn't have to be that way. Everyone who supports Israel should support Carter.


Cops keep killing unarmed people

So its not just a Black thing, the police are killing everybody.

A white community college student who alledgely beat up another white college kid and stole two Playstaion 3 consoles was shot by a white police officer in his apartment.

He was unarmed but the officer thought he heard shots, which other officers present didn’t hear.
What's up with the pigs?

The deluded emporer

From Patrick cockburn, who's been reporting from Iraq since the war started:

During the Opium Wars between Britain and China in the 19th century, eunuchs at the court of the Chinese emperor had the problem of informing him of the repeated and humiliating defeat of his armies. They dealt with their delicate task by simply telling the emperor that his forces had already won or were about to win victories on all fronts.

For three and a half years White House officials have dealt with bad news from Iraq in similar fashion. Journalists were repeatedly accused by the US administration of not reporting political and military progress on the ground. Information about the failure of the US venture was ignored or suppressed.

Manipulation of facts was often very crude. As an example of the systematic distortion, the Iraq Study Group revealed last week that on one day last July US officials reported 93 attacks or significant acts of violence. In reality, it added, "a careful review of the reports ... brought to light 1,100 acts of violence".

The 10-fold reduction in the number of acts of violence officially noted was achieved by not reporting the murder of an Iraqi, or roadside bomb, rocket or mortar attacks aimed at US troops that failed to inflict casualties. I remember visiting a unit of US combat engineers camped outside Fallujah in January 2004 who told me that they had stopped reporting insurgent attacks on themselves unless they suffered losses as commanders wanted to hear only that the number of attacks was going down. As I was drove away, a sergeant begged us not to attribute what he had said: "If you do I am in real trouble."

Few Chinese emperors can have been as impervious to bad news from the front as President George W Bush. His officials were as assiduous as those eunuchs in Beijing 170 years ago in shielding him from bad news. But even when officials familiar with the real situation in Iraq did break through the bureaucratic cordon sanitaire around the Oval Office they got short shrift from Mr Bush. In December 2004 the CIA station chief in Baghdad said that the insurgency was expanding and was "largely unchallenged" in Sunni provinces. Mr Bush's response was: "What is he, some kind of a defeatist?" A week later the station chief was reassigned.

The only response to that last bit is a bitter horse laugh.


Iraq Study Group: Get the oil

This will inspire rage in certain quarters of Reformed Leftist, where the the sanctity of US motives in Iraq draws quasi-religious devotion. But in an above-linked article in the LA Times, a writer makes the following case:

All told, the Iraq Study Group has simply made the case for extending the war until foreign oil companies — presumably American ones — have guaranteed legal access to all of Iraq's oil fields and until they are assured the best legal and financial terms possible.


US Military Liberates Afgahn Treasure

In Iraq, many horrible people used liberation to loot their national museums, naturally causing devoted peaceniks to blame Bush for not predicting and protecting against this behavior. Meanwhile in Afghanistan, some people who risked their lives to hide similar treasures from tyrants bearing first USSR then taliban insignias, no longer feel that they need to hide anything.

Why No US Rail System?

Richard Branson of Britain has apparently merged his Virgin Airlines with rail travel in Britain. Why don't the failing US airlines do the same thing in the US? People have often told me that airline companies have blocked the development of a national rail system. Branson shows that airlines can better profit by adopting raillines into their businesses.

How much of US air travel would work better if either replaced by rail travel, or coordinated with it? Why don't all US airports connect with a regional railline, that in turn connects with a national railline? If I want to travel from Detroit to Paris, why must my trip begin with a one-hour flight from Detroit to a hub in Chicago? Why instead doesn't it begin with a two-hour train ride from Detoit's airport to Chicago's? Can't trains better provide comfortable passage than airlines? Can't these hypothetical raillines spread out the preposterous concentration of airport drop-off, pick-up, and parking that now focuses at the airport? Why does my travel options between Detroit and Chicago amount to a four-hour drive versus a one-hour flight... plus all the parking and delay and checking hassles at both ends of the flight, which both occur at least 30 minutes away from my actual origination and termination points?

The Latest Job Report: A glass half full, half empty or leaking?

This September at Camp Democracy in Washington DC, I heard a lecture by author Larry Beinhart, whose novel American Hero was turned into the film Wag the Dog. Beinhart asserted that the terms “liberal” and “conservative” are dead. What generally exists now are “realists,” those who examine the world as it really is, and “true believers,” those who follow a dogmatic ideology that they believe is true even though reality is often quite different.

The differing reactions to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' November Report offer an interesting case study on this concept. "Conservative" commentators or "the true believers" are thrilled with the numbers, while the "liberals" or "realists" believe they offer a grim harbinger of a bad economy headed south.

The Heritage Foundation says:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics's November employment report makes for some Christmas cheer. The report's good news is that the unemployment rate increased only slightly, to 4.5 percent, despite that nearly 400,000 people entered the job market. The number of payroll jobs increased by 132,000, slightly below the average monthly average of 149,000 for 2006. While these preliminary numbers are certain to change, they should diminish fears of a soft economy.
The job picture remains bright even as the construction industry softens along with the housing market. For the third month in a row, construction has shed jobs. But overall, employment in construction fell by just 2,000 jobs over the course of the year, alleviating concerns of a hard landing due to the housing market slump.
Heritage even takes a jab at left-wing pundits who have taken a "glass half empty" view of the bright economic numbers:
The employment report also challenges another myth about the economy. Liberal commentators complain that despite signs of outward strength, the economy is shortchanging workers. Specifically, they argue that workers' pay has not kept pace with increases in workers’ productivity, as it has historically. The economy is growing and businesses' profits are rising, liberals argue, but only the wealthiest Americans are seeing their incomes grow.
Heritage argues that differences between earnings and productivity are not uncommon, "and they are not evidence that workers are getting shortchanged." They cite the years following the 1991 recession as a time when productivity rose 9.7% while wages only rose 6.1%. But by the end of the 90's low unemployment numbers meant companies were competing for workers.

The implication, if one takes the Heritage Foundation at their word, is that good times are not only lurking around the corner, they are here!
The U.S. economy may be at that point now. Employees are enjoying substantial raises. Even as productivity growth has slowed, workers' wages have risen rapidly. Over the past 12 months, average hourly wages have increased by 4.1 percent. Earnings have not risen this quickly since February 2001, right before the collapse of the tech bubble.
Wait. Isn't that the same tech bubble that was the reason for the wage increase and the "low unemployment numbers" you were just talking about? Wasn't the bursting of said bubble (and the horrific economic and foreign policies of a certain president that will go nameless) the reason for the "economic slowdown" the nation has experienced over the last five years?

Heritage's outlook and other similar analyses are hogwash according to the liberal - scratch that - socialist commentators at the World Socialist Website linked here and above.
...the details of the report confirm several trends pointing to basic structural problems in the US economy, particularly the decline of the housing market and the continued deterioration of the manufacturing sector.

Construction employment declined by 29,000 jobs in November, due in large part to a sharp slowdown in new home building. According to the Labor Department report, “Since peaking in February of this year, employment in residential specialty trades was down by 109,000.”

The continued decline of the housing market will have a major impact on consumer spending, since many Americans have sustained spending by borrowing against their rising home prices. As the value of property begins to decline, homeowners will be faced with mortgages that exceed their underlying assets...
The socialists quote heretical employment consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas who blasphemously state, “There is no question that the economy is slowing. Weakness in the housing market is expected to continue and higher-paying jobs in manufacturing and construction continue to shrink.” They offer "76,773 announced layoffs in November, up 11 percent from October" as evidence.

Additionally the decline in manufacturing is having the greatest impact on Michigan's number one economic engine, the automotive industry, which we follow here because our livelyhoods depend on that sector.
The destruction of jobs in the auto industry is particularly pronounced. So far this year, the auto industry has announced planned job losses of 151,457, surpassing the previous record of 133,686 set in 2001.
Those high productivity numbers with low wage growth coupled with slides in the housing an manufacturing sectors look like bad news to a realist like me. Americans are working harder for fewer gains. We're watching high paying jobs go to India and not enough of them are being created here. Losses in the housing sector affect many aspects of the economy from construction to retail to food and agriculture to entertainment.

The Democrats want such a modest increase in the minimum wage that it could very well have a negative effect on low wage workers who will see prices increase beyond the means of the $2.00 per hour raise they will see. True believers in both parties will continue to fund a war that is hemorrhaging funds from the federal coffers.

This penchant for "true believers" to paint a rosy picture of the economy and spread it's news as "Christmas cheer" denies the "reality" as viewed by those who see and feel what's really happening on the ground. To paraphrase my buddy Ike's economic analysis, the writers at the Heritage Foundation have a "ve$ted intere$t" in you believing their half full analogies.

Britain Says No More 'War on Terror'

"Many senior British politicians and counter-terrorism specialists have always been uneasy with the term 'the war on terror', coined by the White House in the week following the 9/11 attacks, arguing that the term risked inflaming opinions worldwide. Other critics said that it was too 'military' and did not adequately describe the nature of the diverse efforts made to counter the new threat."


Cynthia McKinney - Patriot

I come before this body today as a proud American and as a servant of the American people, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Throughout my tenure, I’ve always tried to speak the truth. It’s that commitment that brings me here today.

We have a President who has misgoverned and a Congress that has refused to hold him accountable. It is a grave situation and I believe the stakes for our country are high.

No American is above the law, and if we allow a President to violate, at the most basic and fundamental level, the trust of the people and then continue to govern, without a process for holding him accountable—what does that say about our commitment to the truth? To the Constitution? To our democracy?

The trust of the American people has been broken. And a process must be undertaken to repair this trust. This process must begin with honesty and accountability.

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Atlanta) has led the progressive vanguard of American politics and has out paced most of her colleagues in the US House of Representatives for a long time. She has been uncompromising in her determination to speak the truth despite vicious attacks from the right and even from her own party.

Cynthia McKinney is the living embodiment of the word "patriot" - not in the "my country right or wrong" sense, but in the original Patrick Henry "Give me liberty or give me death" sense.

According to a Newsweek poll 51% of Americans believe George W. Bush should be impeached. By drawing up Articles of Impeachment, McKinney is doing what no one else in the House of Representatives has the balls to do - stand up for the United States Constitution, stand up for the American people and stand up for the rule of law.


Holiday wishes for democrats and republicans

For My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for thereligious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply of course that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting these greetings, you are accepting the aforementioned terms as stated. This greeting is not subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself/himself/others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wish

For My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Terror threat shuts down Asian summit

(Sigh) If only Israel would leave the West bank...

The Poetry of War

Linked above is an excerpt from the Sol Feinstone Lecture on The Meaning of Freedom delivered by Bill Moyers at the United States Military Academy on November 15, 2006.

People in power should be required to take classes in the poetry of war. As a presidential assistant during the early escalation of the war in Vietnam, I remember how the President blanched when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it would take one million fighting men and 10 years really to win in Vietnam, but even then the talk of war was about policy, strategy, numbers and budgets, not severed limbs and eviscerated bodies.

That experience, and the experience 40 years later of watching another White House go to war, also relying on inadequate intelligence, exaggerated claims and premature judgments, keeping Congress in the dark while wooing a gullible press, cheered on by partisans, pundits, and editorial writers safely divorced from realities on the ground, ended any tolerance I might have had for those who advocate war from the loftiness of the pulpit, the safety of a laptop, the comfort of a think tank, or the glamour of a television studio.

Watching one day on C-Span as one member of Congress after another took to the floor to praise our troops in Iraq, I was reminded that I could only name three members of Congress who have a son or daughter in the military. How often we hear the most vigorous argument for war from those who count on others of valor to fight it. As General William Tecumseh Sherman said after the Civil War: “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.”

Re-Reformed Leftist? The Liberaltarian Manifesto

According to this article, professed Reformed Leftist and Libertarian Paul Hue has as much reason to align himself with the lefty political thought he now despises as with the right-wing rhetoric he embraces.

The conservative movement--and, with it, the GOP--is in disarray. Specifically, the movement's "fusionist" alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart.

Libertarian disaffection should come as no surprise. Despite the GOP's rhetorical commitment to limited government, the actual record of unified Republican rule in Washington has been an unmitigated disaster from a libertarian perspective: runaway federal spending at a clip unmatched since Lyndon Johnson; the creation of a massive new prescription-drug entitlement with hardly any thought as to how to pay for it; expansion of federal control over education through the No Child Left Behind Act; a big run-up in farm subsidies; extremist assertions of executive power under cover of fighting terrorism; and, to top it all off, an atrociously bungled war in Iraq.

What about it, Paul? Any chance you'll be renaming the blog anytime soon??


LA Times: Islam gets concessions; infidels get conquered

Amazing article. How it got past the PC editors at the LAT though is beyond me. But I'm certainly glad it did.

Conquering, enslaving, brutal... Mayans?

"Until the 1950s, academics often depicted the ancient Mayas as an idyllic, peaceful culture devoted to astronomy and mathematics. Evidence has since emerged that, even at their height, the Mayas fought bloody and sometimes apocalyptic wars among themselves."

I thought only white people committed such acts.

Healthful School Lunches Curbs McDonald's Cravings

In this British town, the schools started serving healthful food (which means *NATURAL*, not low fat, low salt, etc.). This seems to have altered the eating habits of the kids so much that the local McDonald's closed down. How any thoughtful parents could permit their kids to defile themselves with such, I will never understand.


Libs vs. Righties: Who gives, cares, shares, earns more?

The Republican party is the "party of and for the rich": people who vote repo have higher average incomes and wealth. Surely no non-wealthy people would support and benefit from "tax cuts for the wealthy." Liberals care more: they give more of their money -- absolutely, and as fractions of their wealth and income -- and of their volunteer time. Surely people who oppose privatized social security and advocate mandatory "minimum wages" and "price ceilings" during natural disasters would donate more of their time and money to charity, because these views indicate "caring" more for others.

Are any of these statements true?

Stanley Crouch On Cops, Race, & Brooklyn Bridegroom Death

I think that Crouch gets this right: cops in general provide a net good to black folks, but in this case created a non-racial mistake warranting prosecution, and an assessment of policies.

A Bit Of Sophomoric Levity

Some hilarious potty humor to help you forget about the all too often ugly world in which we live.


Australia: Muslim boys urinate on Bible

So far, no reports of worldwide rioting by Christians.

'Your new-caught, sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child'

Now that the Iraq War has lapsed into full-on debacle and even the cocksure Rumsfeld is throwing his hands up in befuddlement, one popular apology -- which has resounded through this forum -- is "hey, we tried to liberate them and they behaved badly. Not our fault!"

That's a particularly ripe load of bollocks, though. It's a feeble echo of Kipling's "white man's burden" -- itself a craven apology for empire. Here is Sharon Smith on counterpunch, full text linked above.

For more than a century, the U.S. has claimed each time it invaded another sovereign nation that it did so selflessly, shouldering the moral responsibility of "civilizing" a backward population. This process became widely known as "the white man's burden," after Rudyard Kipling's 1899 poem of the same name, which described the conquered populations as "your new-caught, sullen peoples, half-devil and half-child."

Kipling's poem was written to celebrate the 1898 U.S. invasion and occupation of the Philippines, which killed well over a half a million civilians during the next several years. The U.S. government crushed the Filipino insurgency--and refused to grant independence to the Philippines until 1946.

In Iraq, the U.S. has managed to kill a similar number of Iraqis, but failed to crush the resistance. The Washington establishment (minus the increasingly isolated and delusional Bush and Cheney) has finally concluded that the Iraq war is "unwinnable," and the imperial endgame is beginning. Commitments to "bipartisanship" and "compromise" are already echoing through the halls of Congress, as Democrats and Republicans unite to avoid further humiliation and to salvage what remains of U.S. imperialism's long-standing aims in the Middle East.

Democrats and Republicans have joined together to take aim at the ungrateful Iraqi population, who apparently fail to appreciate the U.S.' selfless efforts to impose "democracy" through military occupation. On this point, the two parties are indistinguishable.

Chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan

Actually, chaos in Iraq has devolved into chaos on Iraq--within the administration. Bush fires Rumsfeld and chooses a creepy CIA guy who spent the '80s helping Rumsfeld arm Saddam Hussein (when he wasn't cutting deals with the Iranians to illegally fund the contras). This guy is serving on the Baker Commission, whose report (due out tomorrow, but widely leaked in advance) calls for a troop pullback. Before it can even be released, Bush rejects it (just after Cheney had been "summoned"(!) to Saudi Arabia.) Meanwhile, it turns out, days before being fired, Rumsfeld wrote a secret memo--since leaked--contradicting his own ad nauseum public statements and revealing that the Iraq policies, well, aren't working. Many of his proposals jibe with the Baker Commission. At one point, he even waxes nostalgic over his old business partner, Saddam Hussein, suggesting that the US adopt the old Hussein tactic of bribing certain groups to gain their support. Just as Bush goes to have a much-publicized "summit" with the Iraqi PM, someone leaks a document from the NSA chief expressing no confidence in the Iraqi PM, who, if he has studied his Vietnam history, is now watching his back for a coup. No one batted an eye when Maliki canceled the summit.

Need I emphasize that the bill for this unmitigated disaster is now expected to top $2 trillion?

Meanwhile, after goading Israel into its brutal invasion of Lebanon, designed to destroy support for Hezbolla, the Bushies are gaping stunned as hundreds of thousands turn out in the streets of Beirut--in support of Hezbolla and against the PM they see as a puppet of the US and Israel.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is in shambles.

Bush may or may not be a hardcore Christian; but as a steward of empire, he has displayed a Nero-like profligacy and mendacity. Can the Pax Americana survive his embrace?


Cops Kill Unamred Playstation-Stealing Student

Will this get as much publicity as the unarmed Brooklyn bridegroom shot leaving the strip club? Will Jesse, Al, etc. rally for the victim?


"Tolerant" Americans Suggest Tattoos and Armbands for Muslims

When radio host Jerry Klein suggested that all Muslims in the United States should be identified with a crescent-shape tattoo or a distinctive arm band, the phone lines jammed instantly.

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country... they are here to kill us."

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough.

"What good is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."

Paul says Americans are mostly tolerant. Really?

Christian Intolerance and Lack of Support for Troops Continues

A church group that protests at military funerals around the country will be barred from services for an American Indian soldier on a reservation, tribal officials say.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., planned to demonstrate at National Guard Cpl. Nathan Goodiron's funeral on Saturday at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Church members say the deaths of soldiers are punishment from God for the country's tolerance of homosexuals.

Yes, Virginia. God is often used by narrow-minded individuals of many faiths to spread messages of hate.

However, the Bible (even the New Testament) condemns homosexuality. Certainly the actions of this group are in poor taste, are insensitive, and may even be un-American...

But are they un-Christian?


Flying While Muslim... & Implimenting Terror?

Maybe there's more to this story than originally reported. This website claims to present interviews with some of the passengers and crew. So far the corporate media has indeed reported that passengers and crew are reporting more than the original report, but not as much as on this website. Let's see. Americans overall are a very tolerant people, as best I can tell.


What Book Would You Take the Oath of Office On?

This issue brings up some interesting questions.

The first Muslim elected to Congress hasn't been sworn into office yet, but his act of allegiance has already been criticized by a conservative commentator.

In a column posted Tuesday on the conservative website Townhall.com, Dennis Prager blasted Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison's decision to take the oath of office Jan. 4 with his hand on a Quran, the Muslim holy book.

"He should not be allowed to do so," Prager wrote, "not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American culture."

He said Ellison, a convert from Catholicism, should swear on a Christian Bible — which "America holds as its holiest book. … If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

This is ridiculous. If the oath is to mean anything at all, it should be taken on a the book (or object?) that is most meaningful to the individual taking the oath.

In a secular and supposedly multicultural society like the United States which professes to have freedom of religion, I would imagine there are many lawmakers who are not Christian (though they may not admit it).

If you are not Christian or Muslim... if you are Buddhist or Atheist or Native American, how should you take the oath of office? Should this practice be adjusted for witnesses swearing in court as well?

Here's a hypothetical question because we know all of you either have too many skeletons in your closet to run for office or have inhaled some illegal substance at some point:

How would you heathen non-religious commentators on Reformed Leftist take the oath of office?

Like Hitler and Brezhnev, Bush is in denial

More than half a million deaths, an army trapped in the largest military debacle since Vietnam, a Middle East policy already buried in the sands of Mesopotamia - and still George W Bush is in denial.

How does he do it? How does he persuade himself - as he apparently did in Amman yesterday - that the United States will stay in Iraq "until the job is complete"?

The "job" - Washington's project to reshape the Middle East in its own and Israel's image - is long dead, its very neoconservative originators disavowing their hopeless political aims and blaming Bush, along with the Iraqis of course, for their disaster.

Stealing Elections...Democrat Style


Sore Winners

Democrats try to steal an election in Florida. Friday, December 1, 2006 12:01 a.m. Democrats whomped Republicans in last month's midterms, but oddly enough they're still calling in the legal cavalry to contest one of the few races they narrowly lost.

That would be Florida's 13th Congressional District, which runs along the Gulf Coast from just south of Tampa to just north of Fort Myers. The certified winner is Republican Vern Buchanan, who beat Democrat Christine Jennings by fewer than 400 votes out of more than 237,000 cast. Two recounts, which were demanded by Democrats and required by law, have reconfirmed Mr. Buchanan's victory and slightly increased the margin.

Unbowed, the Dems are now suggesting that defective voting machines cost them the race. They point to Sarasota County's 18,000 "undervotes," or incidences where voters cast ballots in other races but not the Buchanan-Jennings contest. Ms. Jennings--along with such liberal partisans as People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union--has filed a lawsuit contesting the results based on "statistical and eyewitness evidence of significant machine malfunctions" in Sarasota's iVotronic touch-screen system.

They want a court to declare Ms. Jennings the winner by--get this--using statistical models to extrapolate that she would have received most of the undervotes. Short of that, they'll settle for nullifying the November results and holding a new election. But among the many things that are strange here is that if anyone ought to be complaining about undervotes, it's the GOP. Sarasota is the largest and most Republican county in the district, yet the Democrat, Ms. Jennings, carried it handily. In fact, it's the only county in the district that she did carry, which makes it more likely that it was Republicans who declined to vote in the Congressional race, not Democrats.

And there are reasons so many voters might have taken a pass on this race while voting in others on the ballot. For starters, the Republican primary featured an exceptional amount of mudslinging. The primary was also a five-man race with four candidates from Sarasota County. Mr. Buchanan won the GOP nomination with just 32% of the vote, and some of his primary opponents either waited until the last minute to issue a public endorsement or never got around to it. So it's entirely possible that voters were turned off by the negative campaigning and chose neither Mr. Buchanan nor Ms. Jennings in silent protest.

By the way, undervoting isn't uncommon in the district. Two years ago, there were more than 12,000 Sarasota County undervotes in Democrat Jan Schneider's House race against Republican Representative Katherine Harris. The 2000 race for the 13th district seat, which predated the use of touch-screen voting machines, also featured a high number of undervotes.

This week, Florida election officials began auditing the voting machines, which is the very thorough and transparent process for determining whether they worked properly on Election Day. There is still no evidence that the machines malfunctioned.

But never mind. Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi allowed Ms. Jennings to vote in House leadership elections last month, and Democrats could attempt to disallow the Florida certification and vote to seat Ms. Jennings in January unless a new election is granted. Democrats did precisely that in a contested Indiana House race 20 years ago when they last held Congress.

All of this underscores how anti-Bush hatred has unhinged the political left. They still see Karl Rove lurking outside every voting booth. The Buchanan-Jennings contest has become a particular rallying point for fears about electronic voting, and liberals now want the machines to provide paper trails in the event of a recount. This might be a reasonable request if it were made in good faith. But back during the Florida debacle in 2000, before touch-screen voting was widely used, the same Democrats and liberal columnists deplored the inaccuracy of paper ballots and those "hanging chads."

All of which suggests that their real problem is the outcome of the race, not the integrity of the voting process. Some liberals are so paranoid nowadays that they aren't happy even when they win.

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