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Impeach Bush. Please

I’m happy to say that my senator has voted “Yeah!”, to refer the Kucinich’s articles of impeachment to the House Judiciary Committee. There is will most likely die, alas!

But maybe not; we brought impeachment charges against Clinton for having sex outside of marriage and LYING about it. Gasp! Lying about cheating on your wife; a heinous crime to be sure, but let us compare it to the charges that could be brought against GWB.
full text here:

Please do not turn off your mind while reading this brutal list. At least some of it is most certainly true, and have been commented on in this blog and in many other places. And if even some of this is true, it is certainly grounds for impeachment, if not criminal proceedings.

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of H. J. Res114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

Cracka For Barack-a

I gotta get me one of these.  My main man Obama is now the Presidential Candidate for the Democrats.  Suck it, Hillary!  Take your freakin’ earmarks and shove em.

This is a best case scenario for me.  In a blog in 2006, triumphing the rounding defeat of the 109th Congress, I rip the Democratic Party a new one, and then state:

“So, here’s what I would like Democrats to focus on in the coming years. If they do a good job, maybe we can have a liberal president (If they do a bad job, hopefully we can have an intelligent conservative like John McCain, but that’s another blog)”

Entire blog reposted here for your convenience:

So now I’ve got to chose between a savvy conservative and an inspiring liberal.  Obama is the first presidential candidate I’ve fully supported, I’ve even sent his campaign money.  Twice.  So I’m pretty stoked.  I’m also curious to see how McCain is going to place himself, with regards to his predecessor’s policies.  So far it’s not looking good.

Mr. McCain, you are the republican candidate because you are the only electable person in that godforsaken party.  Distance yourself from Bush and everything bush stood for.  Don’t stand with the war criminals.  Take this party in the direction it needs to go; because you are one of the few men who could do it.

But of course, I am rooting for Obama.

What Obama Needs to Do

[Posted Date: November 7, 2006 – Tuesday – 1:59 PM Under title: “Woot? Early Election Results.” all edits are within brackets]

Well, the early results are in, and things are looking good for the Democrats. Not suprisingly, Bush and the war in Iraq can be thanked for this, according to exit polls.

You know, if you’d told me two years ago that Democrats would win back control of the house in the next election, I would have scoffed at you. I would not have believed that the Republicans could screw things up SO BAD that people would be forced to vote for our lackluster Democratic Party.

So while I’m happy that neo-conservatives and the Religious Right are no longer in charge of the house, I’m unhappy that the Democratic Party seems incapable of making the changes that need to happen. But again, I’m happy that I can now complain about them as well as the Republicans…someone reading my blog in the past might take me for a tried and true Democrat. I’m Liberal…yes…Democrat…not really. I’m way to fiscally conservative and critical to appreciate the “circuses and peanuts” politics so favored by our supposedly liberal party.

So, here’s what I would like Democrats to focus on in the coming years. If they do a good job, maybe we can have a liberal president (If they do a bad job, hopefully we can have an intelligent conservative like John McCain, but that’s another blog):

1) The National Debt. In 2006, $400 Billion will be paid toward INTEREST on the national debt. This is not to PAY OFF our debt, mind you, it’s merely the amount needed to keep solvent. Instead of going into even greater debt, we should tighten our belts and start paying off the 7.3 TRILLION dollars we currently owe.

  • [2006] Likelihood: less than 10%
  • [2008 Likelihood: less than 5%. We are more in debt than ever]

2) Further limiting lobbying and campaign financing by special interest groups. Lobbyist and other special interest groups are buying our politicians. Anybody who is paying attention in the last decade has seen rubber stamped laws being passed that were basically (and sometimes literally) written by lobbyist. The american people are getting screwed, and it needs to stop.

  • [2006] Likelihood: less than 40% unless people stand up for this.
  • [2008 Likelihood: higher than 60%]

3) A Return to the Constitution. Recently the Republicans have violated very basic constitutional concepts, implementing mass wire-tapping, torture, denial of habeas corpus, and greatly expanding the power of the executive branch. The Constitution is in place to protect all citizens from our government, and to make our state work for us instead of the reverse. If we don’t like something in the constitution, there are proscribed methods of changing it. Public officials who violate the constitution should be tried and sentenced as criminals.

  • [2006] Likelihood: 30% or less for strong changes, 90% for weak changes.
  • [2008 Likelihood: 40% for strong changes, weak already happening]

The top three issues are directly related to our ability to function as a nation. Now for other equally important issues that are dependent on that occuring.

4) Attention to The Environment and Global Warming. Parents are naturally protective of their children, and want what is best for them. So why are we leaving them a world destroyed by uncontrolled expansion and exploitation? This is an issue of utmost importance for our generation…we have the power to change things for the better, or not. One way or another, things are going to change…the oil will run out, resources scarcer, and the earth will get warmer. But if we are forward looking we will be able to anticipate and mitigate these changes instead of just reacting to them after the fact.

  • Likelihood: 75%
  • [2008 Likelihood: It’s happening]

5) Raising the minimum wage. While inflation goes onward and upward, minimum wage has been static since Republicans took control. Currently the federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. This works out to $824 a MONTH for a full time employee. That’s $24 more than the rent on my modest one bedroom apartment in the Seattle area. We can afford to help the poorest among us, even if it means we have to pay more for the same goods.
[2006] Likelihood: 75% or higher.

[2008 Likelihood Minimum wage now at 5.85o, a 12% increase over two years. Actual inflation went up 12% LAST year. So wage went up, but cost of living went up twice as fast. Sigh.]

6) Increased Respect for Science. Bush and the Religious Right have waged a war on science that is unequaled in recent history. Any scientific results that did not support the party line were ignored and actively squashed. They actively ignored scientific consensus on issues like global warming, creating a “controversy” where there was none. This is incredibly ignorant and arrogant.

Listen, we all have pretty little pictures we draw in our minds to describe how the world works. Why communism is bad and capitalism is good. Why conservatives are wrong and liberals are right. Why our religion is better than other religions. These ideas about the world are necessarily wrong, they are only simplified stories we tell ourselves. Science keeps us honest by requiring that we back up these stories with evidence, and maybe even tell the story BASED on the evidence. This is sorely needed in government.

  • Likelihood: 90%…it would be hard to do worse than it is right now.
  • [Likelihood: still 90%, but it’s a battle every step of the way. Those who accept their pastor words on faith ask for definitive proof of human caused climate change. Sigh.]

Answers in Genesis: Part V – Philosophy and Morality

<–Intelligent Design Landing Page

As stated in the previous blog, Intelligent Design’s primary battle is against THE PHILOSOPHY of “Naturalism” and the PHILOSOPHY of moral relativism. To support this view with their own words, The Discovery Institute’s Wedge Document is liberally quoted in this blog.

“Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment.” Discovery Institute’s Wedge Strategy

Darwinism, Marxism, and Freudism (?) are apparently sources of moral decay. It’s funny how they refer to things by their founders name, instead of referring to the thing itself.

“Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.” Discovery Institute’s Wedge Strategy

By “materialism” they appear to aggregate elements of philosophy traditionally thought of as separate:

  • Dialectical Materialism
  • Survival of the Fittest
  • Psychotherapy
  • Scientific Naturalism
  • Metaphysical Naturalism
  • Cultural or Moral Relativism
  • Reductionism
  • Socialism
  • Utopianism
  • Social Darwinism

It’s interesting to note that virtually everything on here is related to politics, morality and philosophy. Even Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” idea is protested explicitly because of its philosophical and moral ramifications, NOT because of lack of scientific evidence for it.

“Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.” Discovery Institute’s Wedge Strategy

The Wedge Strategy represents the most honest Discovery Institute document to date. Where elsewhere phrased in more politically correct terms, here it is bluntly stated. To paraphrase, the Discovery Institutes purpose is to promote evidence that supports a THEISTIC understanding of the universe. I find it funny that the Discovery Institute was able to drop almost all Christian elements of Creationism, and yet they were still not able to get away from plain old Confirmation Bias. While this is acceptable in faith based systems, it is not acceptable in Science.

And There is an important point they are making. While the philosophy that best exemplifies the scientific method is “methodological naturalism”, this does not mean that science is the ultimate form of human experience. Believing ONLY in this philosophy negates much of what gives life meaning. Spirituality is important for psychological health. Art is crucial for the human soul. Ethics should be based on the will of the governed, and on justice. Morality should be based on experience, empathy, and the equality of all men. Human emotions like love, hope, and fear are best understood in a non-reductionist light. Consciousness is a higher order phenomenon that should be treasured.

“I think it’s an interesting part of knowledge [to have] a theory of evolution and a theory of creationism. People should be exposed to different points of view.” George W. Bush

Intelligent Design advocates object to what they call scientific materialism. The funny thing is, virtually everyone on the other side of the “battle” would agree with them on this. Those who practice science do not expect it to have all the answers, because it doesn’t. They turn to other things for meaning, including religion, family, art, community, philosophy, and even sporting events. There is no demon on either side; just normal people going about their lives, it’s just that some of use are “less superstitious” or “more secular”, depending on who’s describing the situation.

But to do science without practicing methodological naturalism is simply not honest, and does not work! Regardless of your personal beliefs, science demands rigor and confirmation. But by its very definition has a limited domain of knowledge available to it. To think that “this is all there is” demands as much a leap of faith as the one made by those who would force a Creator on science! So while the moral point is valid, their attack on a scientific discipline is ignorant and unnecessary.

“You got it backwards. Creationism is based upon science, reason and tons of evidence. Evolution is based on the blind acceptance of superstitions and fairy tales.” CRASH, Theology Online

And neither should G-d exist in the “gaps” of science, as if “He did it” is a good replacement for “I don’t know”. This is something ID supporters would have you believe; that the unsolved and weak sections of the Modern Synthesis are good indicators of a Creator. They should be very careful to claim these gaps for their own, science has a history of taking apart black boxes as quickly as possible.

“I often debate with evolutionists because I believe that they are narrow mindedly and dogmatically accepting evolution without questioning it. I don’t really care how God did what He did. I know He did it.” TexasSky, Christian Forums

It is deceptive to treat Intelligent Design as if it were a secular philosophy, because by definition it is not. In my next blog I will talk about the true source of Intelligent Design Creationism, the Christian Religion.

Jericho Cancelled…Again

 jericho.jpg

I am completely bummed. Jericho, one of my favorite TV shows was canceled due to embarrassingly low ratings. More people watched a repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” than watched the season finale. That is pretty sad.

The show had some problems, but it was a gripping story. J & R, a paramilitary corporation, uses nuclear bombs and mercenaries to destroy 23 cities. The show deals with the aftermath of the attack, focusing on a rural Kansas town named Jericho. An EMP is also set of, causing frying all electronics. But it gets interesting when the start fighting with the town next door. And then J & R starts taking over, and some people start fighting back.

It’s a fairly straightforward post apocalyptic story; borrowing from “The Day After”, “The Year of the Wolf” and”Testament”. The POV stays low and personal, although there is a “big picture” subplot involving spies and conspiracies. It also addresses the privatization of our military industrial complex, and addresses issues like our now standard torture tactics, our diminishing civil rights, and the continued rise of corporate sponsored special interest groups.

Of course, who the hell is going to watch it now that it’s been canceled? What kind of world do we live in where 6 million viewers is not enough?

You will be missed, Jericho.