Thursday, September 28, 2006

As you all might have heard, liberal favorite John McCain has reached a compromise with the Bush Administration on the interpretation of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. This “compromise” represents a capitulation on all fronts by Senator McCain, who is trying to maintain his viability as a Presidential hopeful amongst the far right, who are adamantly and disgustingly pro-torture.

You can read the “compromise” here. It would allow waterboarding, hypothermia treatment, and (let’s be honest) outright murder of prisoners, putting the United States in the same company as Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Soviet Russia. Worse, it gives the President power to issue “authoritative interpretations” of treaty obligations in the Federal Register. Worse still, the bill allows the president to define “enemy combatant” as anyone “who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities,” a definition vague and broad enough to include everyone you know.

Despite the disclaiming anti-war slogan “Not In Our Name,” the fact remains that every US citizen is stained by the conduct of the war on terror, and as taxpayers, share responsibility and blame. Please contact every member of the Washington State delegation to register your opposition to HR 6054, Military Commission Act of 2006, as well as torture in general (contact info can be found here). Usually, it is best to send mail, but Congress is trying to rush a vote through before Congress recesses on Friday, so this can be over and settled before the elections. So, send your emails and faxes today.

The Republicans in the House aren’t going to care, but they still need to hear from us. The Democrats need to be urged to take leadership – or even a position – on this crucial issue that affects all of us.

This is the letter I sent (I left out the second paragraph for the Senators and Jim McDermott, who is my district rep):

I am writing to strongly urge you to vote to reject the HR6054, The Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Although I am not a resident of your district, and the issue hasn't even reached the House yet, I feel this is important enough to contact you immediately, in the hope you will speak out now, and will vote against any attempt to legalize torture and secret prisons when the time comes.

Please do not allow your colleagues to rush through this ill-considered bill to allow torture and secret prisons, and please vote against any legislation that incorporates the Bush Administration proposals. Even if you feel that torture represents an American value and a necessary tool in the War on Terror, surely you would agree that the issue requires a full and sober debate, one that should not be tabled as an expedient prior to the Fall elections.

I urge you to join with the former military leaders and retired judges who are speaking out against torture and secret prisons. Congress should not undermine the internationally accepted standards for treatment of prisoners articulated in the Geneva Conventions.

The brutal, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners undermines U.S. security and violates the principles on which this country was founded. Civilized nations agree that these techniques are immoral, and, according to military leaders, do not lead to accurate intelligence information. The humane treatment of war prisoners has been a principal of the United States since the founding of our country, and remains the right, principled and Christian way.

As a constituent and an American, I would greatly appreciate if you and your fellow Democrats showed leadership on this issue above and beyond casting your dissenting votes. This is an issue too important to remain silent on. Far too many Americans appear willing to trade away our cherished rights, principles and traditions, and I feel the Americans who oppose torture are not being given a voice -- and a brave, loud voice is what is needed.

Please vote against The Military Commissions Act of 2006, and all attempts to amend our laws to allow torture.

Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Found on Andrew Sullivan's blog:From an article at CNN about Bush's decline in popularity among Southern women:

"There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe George Bush was placed where he is by the Lord," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a Republican through and through."

My immediate reaction to this was, I can't believe God would inflict a President like Bush on this country. After a moment's thought, I realized that yeah, it's totally something God would do. I've read some of the Old Testament -- Bush's presidency is just like the time The Lord slew all the Egyptian' first-born. It certainly is for the families of Iraq, and for the families of soldier here in the United States.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


A former city official who is under investigation in an FBI corruption probe was arrested for public intoxication after claiming he was robbed by naked and scantily clad attackers at a male strip club, authorities said.

Police arrested D'Angelo Lee early Sunday outside Club Knubian Fantaciez, a dance club that becomes an all-nude male revue after midnight. Police said he told them he was attacked by three men, one naked and another in only a towel.

Lee told police the men threw him out of the club, broke his glasses and stole his wallet, though he later found the wallet. Club employees told police they removed Lee, who said he was there picking up women, because he was causing a disturbance. Lee later called the incident "just stupid, just really frivolous" and said he was only trying to get his wallet back.

Lee resigned from the City Plan Commission last year after being targeted in the FBI's corruption investigation into Dallas City Hall. Lee has been accused of voting on zoning cases where he was a paid consultant and not reporting gifts.
Watch THE PRESIDENT get snippy and agressively point his finger at Matt Lauer. What a little man.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Has it been five years already? It seems like yesterday that I rudely answered my phone after getting on the bus, and struggled to hear my sister excitedly tell me that civilation was collapsing, as it became increasingly hard to hear due to the phones ringing around me. This was before incidents were fully understood as attacks, and we all thought it was an ugly future where pilots were stupidly gliding into tall buildings, and explosions just happened at the Lincoln Memorial. Oh, for those innocent days of 6:45 AM PST, 9/11/2001.

What have we learned five years later? That everyone who hates America may have a point. I am mystified by proponents of the War, who insist everything is going hunky-dory. Don't they want to win? Bush isn't even pretending to crave victory anymore. He thinks that even establishing a objectives for victory is sending the wrong message. Heck, he wants to invade Iran, which would finish the proecess of reviving the conservatives there that the invasion of Iraq began. The cultural response from the Right has been even sicker. We must sacrifice freedom. Dissent is bad. there are conservatives who actually seem to admire Muslim societies. At least that's empathy.

I honored the anniversary the usual way, by watching movies. I screened a bunch of conspiracy documentaries, which were tedious, as well as a bootleg of World Trade Center, which was boring as all shit. The high point was when I watched 11'9"01, which was not great, except for Alejandro González Iñárritu's segment, which was mostly an audio montage, with clips from the big day. There's a part when you can hear the sounds of the WTC collapsing from the inside, each floor rythmically hammering at the ones below, accompanied by screams that sounds like they're coming from a rollercoaster. It's pretty hard to handle. Someone should post that part, and nothing else from the movie, on You Tube.

After five years, I'm starting to develop a little empathy for the affected. I read an article about the September 11th widows, which I would link to, but I can't find it. Basically, it's all about how widows and lovers got fucked around by greedy family members, and the injection of sudden wealth. It's bad enough to lose a loved one, but to then suffer through an existential Dickensian lesson on thrift and spending is pretty fucked up.

Click here for my real-time, day-of emails from September 11, 2001.

Click here for my mordantly amusing one-year anniversary article.

I figure I'll tackle the subject again in ten years, if I remember.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Blue Moon" by Big Star

Let me be your one light
And if you'd like a true heart
Take the time to show youre mine
And I'll be a blue moon in the dark.

While you sleep you'll see me there
Clouds race across the sky
Close your eyes and don't ask why
And I'll be a blue moon in your eyes.

Morning comes and sleeping's done
Birds sing outside
If demons come while you're under
I'll be a blue moon in the sky

Let me be your one light
And if you'd like a true heart
Take the time to show you're mine
And I'll be a blue moon in the dark.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This is an odd bit of viral marketing, isn't it? There were a dozen or more of these scattered alongside the road by my house.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Holy. Living. Fuck. Are you fucking believing this? Over.

Holy mother of fuck. The fucking moon. Over

Sunday, September 03, 2006