Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hitler Was a Funny Guy

Noted without comment:

The Fuhrer's sense of humour, which included disturbing jokes about concentration camp victims, has been revealed in a book called The Last Witness, to be published in Britain later this year.


Christianist Dobson Calls Obama a Fag


As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

When Dobson admits that he covets little boys and goes away, the world will be a better place.


Heinz is for Homophobes


Look! Theers queers on my TV!


3,000 in Food Lines in Milwaukee

The lede gets it right:

The chaos that erupted outside Milwaukee County's main welfare office Monday over disaster-related food aid had more to do with a weak economy and crushing poverty in parts of this community than the devastating floods that swept through the state earlier this month, local government and food relief officials said.



Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've edited the title to this post. You don't need to know what it said before.

This is a Newsweek article. It's an extremely depressing read.

Pvt. David Dietrich had a history of cognitive problems. He struggled in boot camp at Fort Knox, Ky., striking at least one of his superiors as unfit for the military. Dietrich was so slow at processing new things, some fellow soldiers called him Forrest Gump. His squad leader, Pfc. Matthew Berg, says Dietrich couldn't hit targets on the rifle range and had trouble retaining information. "He was very strong physically, but mentally he wasn't really all there," Berg says.

He lasted eight weeks in Iraq. Then he was shot and killed.

And this line:

He also said that in Germany, doctors had given him antidepressants and medication for attention-deficit disorder.



Monday, June 16, 2008

Cousin of Taser'd Seizure Victim in Comments

I've gotten a response this morning to a link I posted on Saturday about a 30-year-old doctor who had a seizure while driving in Palm Beach County, crashed his car - and was taser'd when he confusedly fought with paramedics.

The response is from his cousin:

Mark is my very dear cousin. He is a compassionate and loving young doctor who puts everyone's need before his own. The idea that after suffering from a seizure and being involved in an serious car accident and showing visible signs of injury and distress, the very people who were supposed to be saving his life and removing him from danger instead tased him 11 times. Thank god he is now out of his coma but is still in critical condition. I am utterly disgusted and of course my main concern is his full recovery but what in such a case of police brutallity I can't rest until justice is served. Please pray for him.

They tased him 11 freaking times. And he showed visible injury, the cousin says, and the ordeal put him in a coma. Just impossible to understand. Absolutely deserving of a police brutality investigation and lawsuit and possibly criminal charges.

My best wishes for your cousin.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

John McCain: Imprison and Torture the Innocent

John McCain called the recent Supreme Court decision to grant detainees in Guantanamo the right to habeas corpus "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country". They're "not citizens of this country," he said, and they're "bad people."

McClatchy news reports today that many of the men imprisoned in Guantanamo were innocent:

"He was not an enemy of the government, he was a friend of the government," a senior Afghan intelligence officer told McClatchy. Akhtiar was imprisoned at Guantanamo on the basis of false information that local anti-government insurgents fed to U.S. troops, he said.

An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men — and, according to several officials, perhaps hundredswhom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.

Innocent men pulled from their homes and families by American troops and held in prison for years - and likely tortured. They are finally granted the smallest possibility that their nightmares might finally end - and McCain calls it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country."

What exactly are John McCain's beliefs regarding good government? Do they somehow include stealing innocent people from their homes and imprisoning them thousands of miles from those homes simply because they're "not citizens of this country" and because someone in the military told us they were "bad people"? Is habeas corpus, a bedrock of modern understandings of liberty and freedom and good government, a decoration, a table piece, something to be tossed aside in difficult times and put back only when everything's nice and easy again? Is that good government to him? is that good anything to him?

President McCain. Think of that. Think of the justices he'd appoint to the nation's highest courts.

Here's the story of 17 innocent men who have been in Guantanamo for more than six years. The U.S. military admits that they are innocent, that they were wrongly imprisoned - but John McCain would be perfectly happy to keep these innocent men in prison.

President McCain. We really, really, need to think about that.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Sonata VI: A Father's Day Song

My sixth Saturday Sonata has just gone up over at the Peace Tree. I'm doubling the post up here.

* * *

A very simple one today. I wrote this song in around 1995 on a picnic table on the deck of a bar in Austin, Texas. It had been growing in my head as I drove and drove and drove through the heat of I10 from LA, and it poured all out pretty straight away in probably an hour or so. Later that day I realized it was Father's Day.

On a sad and very related note: My wife just called from Sydney, Australia. She just arrived. Her father died Thursday morning. Peace to her and her family, and to her father, Noel.

This is "Donald," from the CD Bottomfeeders. The song features the enormous talents of Bob Evoniuk on dobro, Jeff Addicott on bass, and Emy Phelps on the vocals.

Donald - Little Thom


Ovulation Filmed

Very cool photos of an ovarian follicle, structures found inside ovaries that each contain a single oocyte, or egg, expelling said egg. They've never had such clear photos, they say. And the egg is beautiful, like a drop of golden honey.

They were taken by Professor Jacques Donnez of the Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium. He was about to peform a partiel hysterectomy on a 45-year-old woman when he noticed the follicle—so he stopped and snapped come photos. Too cool.

Found at The Sideshow.


Have a Seizure: Get Tased


Update: That story gives the victim as "Mark Holder, 30; this story as Dr. Mark Holder.

Updated: here.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not Safe For Bras

McCain Girl BUSTS OUT!


LTB's Not John McCain Log #3

A Long Tough Blogs Reason #3 not to vote for John McCain:

He's a big fat pander bear:

Tuesday: "I hate the Estate Tax!"

2006: "I love the Estate Tax!"


FOX Fires Assistant For Disclosing She Supports McCain

What can you say but wow?

A 24-year-old Fox News Channel production assistant was fired this morning for something she said during the red carpet arrivals at the Time 100 Gala last night.

Insiders tell us the assistant, identified as Jennifer Locke, was on assignment with a camera crew to cover the entertainment angle of the event. When Sen. John McCain walked by, the assistant said, "I voted for you in the primary, you're going to win."


A Fox News insider called it "journalistically unacceptable." An FNC spokesperson would not comment on the personnel matter but did confirm Locke is no longer with the company, where she'd worked for a couple of years.

Video of Ms. Locke's statement to McCain can be viewed here (about 1 minute in).

And now they can fire Sean Hannity for being journalistically unacceptable.


Habeas Corpus: It's Alive! It's Alive!

And a flashback to Keith Olbermann on the Military Commissions Act from October, 2006.

First, MSNBC:

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

In its third rebuke of the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court's liberal justices were in the majority.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."

Now, Olbermann's Special Report from 10/18/06, just after the act passed Congress:

Adam B has a closer look at the decision, and says the suspension of habeas corpus actually goes back to the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh No! Bonny Doon is Burning! [Updated]

Damn, one of my old haunts is on fire. Redwoods and mountains and coastline and just as beautiful as anywhere on Earth. Go firefighters.

6/12: Not good.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hong Kong: Worst Floods in 124 years

Nasty. Great photos, though.


10 American Dead in Iraq in 8 Days in June

With all the bizarre crowing about the fact that only 19 Americans were killed in Iraq in the 31 days of May, are we going to now hear from those same cheerleaders that they were wrong, misguided, or just continuously stupid since there have been 10 Americans killed in just 8 days in June?

No. Of course not. Because more deaths is something to crow about, too.


Deepest condolences to the families and friends of the fallen.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

The "Whitey" Tape

Oh no, Michelle Obama's "shocking" and "stunning" racist ranting anti-Caucasion tape has been found! (Warning - noisy video.)


McCain On "Criminal" War


A reader sent me this link to the Cunning Realist from May 5 and I was surprised by what it contained. Were you aware that John McCain wrote the forward to an edition of The Best And the Brightest? And were you aware that it said this?

It was a shameful thing to ask men to suffer and die, to persevere through god-awful afflictions and heartache, to endure the dehumanizing experiences that are unavoidable in combat, for a cause that the country wouldn’t support over time and that our leaders so wrongly believed could be achieved at a smaller cost than our enemy was prepared to make us pay. No other national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war. If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone.

The Best and the Brightest was written in 1981, but McCain wrote that forward for the 20th anniversary edition, in 2001. And more from that forward:

And anyone who feels a need, as a confused former prisoner of war once felt the need, for insights into how a great and good nation can lose a war and see its worthy purposes and principles destroyed by self-delusion can do no better than to read and reread David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest."


Cells Phones Cook Popcorn

[Upate: This has to be fake. they probably micrwaved them for some time and they continued cooking and poppoed. I just don't buy it. [End update]

I have no idea if this is real. But let me just say: Oh shit.

These dudes point four cell phones at each other on a table with a few popcorn kernels between them. They call the phones...and the kernels pop.


Saturday Sonata V

My fifth Saturday Sonata post is up at The Peace Tree.

Today: Tom Waits and Peter Rowan.


Friday, June 06, 2008

KBR Flag Flown at U.S. Army Base

Ho. Lee. Shit. In a post regarding the John Cusack film, War, Inc., John Amato at Crooks & Liars says:

I think the above picture says it all. Sgt. Brent Sammann took this from his overseas Army base, location not divulged, where he wrote in to congratulate Cusack and Co. about the movie. NOTICE THE KBR FLAG, just under the American flag. You gotta be kidding me. On an ARMY BASE?

Click on the image to enlarge:

I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of Kellogg, Brown, and Root.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Music on a Yoga Podcast

It was a year and a half ago, but it's still nice to see and unexpected. Thanks, Yogapeeps, I appreciate it.

This goes straight to the audio for "Sigh", which they play a fair bit of to start the show.

You can get that song or the entire CD, Bottomfeeders, at CDBaby,
Hit the baby and go get the Little Thom CD, Bottomfeeders, at the great Portland, Oregon, internet store, iTunes or PayPlay or many others up over there at the top right under Vital Links.

P.S. What the hell? I'm at Walmart.com. How did that happen?

I have some research to do. Update: Done. CDBaby gets its artists on Walmart. Good for them.


One Million Homes in Foreclosure

A Bush-sized hole that will take decades to crawl out of.


Fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias' Book Out

In Justice: Inside the Scandal That Rocked the Bush Administration.

Iglesias has long served in the Navy as part of the JAG corps. One of his earliest cases, about an assaulted Marine in Guantanamo Bay, became the basis for the movie A Few Good Men. When Bush chose him to become the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, it was a dream come true. He was a core member of Karl Rove's idealized Republican Party of the future -- handsome, Hispanic, evangelical, and a military veteran. The dream came to an abrupt end when Senator Pete Domenici improperly called Iglesias, wanting him to indict high-level Democrats before the 2006 elections. When Iglesias refused, the line went dead. Iglesias was fired just weeks later. First, he was devastated. Then, he was angry. Now, he is speaking out.

U.S. News interviews Iglesias here. and a YouTube interview:


Five Years Later: They Lied About Iraq

You don't say. And Sen. Rockefeller, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which put together the current Phase II report, preresponds to the pushback:

“There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.

The "Everybody - even the Europeans! - agreed that Iraq had WMDs!" is not going to cut it anymore.

And, without comment:

The report found that the clandestine meetings between Pentagon officials and Iranians in Rome and Paris were inappropriate and mishandled from beginning to end. Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz failed to keep the Intelligence Community and the State Department appropriately informed about the meetings. The involvement of Manucher Ghobanifer and Michael Ledeen an the meetings was inappropriate.

And: My senator hits it harder:

“This is stunning: the Secretary of Defense, testifying before Congress about whether or not ground forces would be strategically necessary in a war against Iraq, said that the Executive Branch “knew” something that it did not know.

“The intelligence available at the time made this clear, and two months later a report prepared specifically for Secretary Rumsfeld directly contradicted what he told the Committee. As far as I know, neither Rumsfeld nor anyone else from his office made any attempt to contact the Committee and correct the public record, and the result was that Congress and the American people were misled on a question of the utmost importance. I do not think that this is a matter that Congress can afford to ignore and I hope that the Armed Services Committee will take a serious look at Secretary Rumsfeld’s statements.


Monday, June 02, 2008

Perfect: They'll Leave Government and Go Into War Profiteering

It's like they planned it: Dick Cheney and cabal got themselves the reigns of the U.S. government, began a giant clusterfuck of a war, have almost completely privatized the operation of said war, and in January they'll leave their relatively low-paying government jobs and go into the war profiteering business.

The eight-year plan, almost complete.

(Cold comfort to the loved ones of 4,083 dead Americans: at least they didn't get Social Security, too.)


Only 19 Unnecessary U.S. Deaths Last Month

It's hard to know how to respond to crowing by many today about the fact that only 19 U.S. military personnel were killed in the month of May. It's definitely better than April, when 54 were killed. If it jumps back up to 54 next month, will those crowing today say they were mistaken, and that "the surge is not working"? No, because more deaths mean the surge is working, too.

We have always been at "working" with the surge.

That brings us to 4,083 dead Americans. And more Iraqis than we bother to count.


Sunday, June 01, 2008