Saturday, August 18, 2007

Read this

While the quasi-religious tone of the fervor is a touch off-putting, this post accurately captures what's at stake for our country and the world. Run, Al, run!


Of hurricanes and ice floes

As TBO will attest to, I have a sick penchant for watching the weather channel during tropical storm season. I suppose it's the lack of any weather at all in SoCal that has prompted this fascination; I truly wouldn't relish living in areas annually threatened by severe weather, and I honestly empathize with those who do. Due to TBO's insistence that we watch TV that isn't talking heads describing wind, rain, and storm surges (imagine!), I've been checking out the Weather Underground website to get my fix of disasters both impending and averted. Unfortunately, we already have a candidate for the season's worst hurricane, at least as far as Jamaica is concerned. Hurricane Dean is a major Category 4 (out of 5) storm, with winds of up to 150 miles an hour (Cat 5 begins at 155), and it is headed like a bullet for Jamaica, which hasn't been threatened like this in about 100 years. After that, it is expected to lay waste to Cozumel and Cancun, although Dean has been moving so quickly it probably won't be as bad as 2005's Wilma, which stuck around the Yucatan for 3 whole days. Check out Jeff Masters' blog for details.
One of Masters' other entries, however, alerts us to a problem that faces all of us. Apparently, the Arctic polar ice cap has already set a record minimum of coverage. When one considers that we are still in the middle of August, and that summer has a full 4+ weeks to go, we are looking at an unprecedented melt. Granted, this type of measurement has only been undertaken since 1979, but the previous record was set just 2 years ago. Gee, I wonder what could be causing once-a-century hurricanes and unrecorded levels of polar ice melt . . .
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bye, Karl! Don't let the door hit you in the . . .

Yes, that's right, Karl Rove, the architect behind Smirky's rise to ultimate evil, er, power, will be resigning in a couple weeks. You would think that I might be dancing in the streets to the tune of "Ding Dong, the fat-MFer-that-has-ruined-the-country is dead", but I'm not. Why? Well, it's all too obvious that this man has never done anything without thinking through the ramifications and weighed all possible outcomes against his goals. Yes, he's been wrong before (I really think he thought the Republicans would retain the Senate in the election of 2006--remember his "I have the math" interview answer?), but he has never moved precipitously or thoughtlessly, let alone due to an emotional impulse.
So, why is he stepping down now?
Let's assume that Karl Rove has done unspeakable acts of illegality and unethics in the service of the loons in the White House--that's easy. Let's further assume that even in this era of spineless Democrats, enough people out there know enough stuff about Rove that investigations currently underway will eventually end at Rove's doorstep, even given his literal contempt of Congressional oversight. Given the first assumption, the second will result in convictions aplenty, impeachment, and who knows what all else, or the prospect of Doughy McEvil rolling over on Smirky and the gang to avoid jail time. If he were to stay employed that is. Now that he's unemployed, however, the Republicans and Smirky have their ripostes at the ready if the investigations continue: "Haven't you done enough? This partisan witch hunt needs to stop." "Rove is a private citizen who shouldn't have to endure having his name being dragged through the mud." "Impeachment is a waste of time and money; he's no longer in office." And my personal favorite, "Get over it. Let's move on."
The sick thing about this is, there are enough stupid Democrats (yes, I'm talking about you, Joe Lieberman) in Congress that will agree with this point of view to preclude the continuation of any investigations, up to and including impeachment proceedings. And we'll be right back where we were in 1974 after Watergate, or 1987 after Iran-Contra, when most of the current crop of solipsistic sociopaths were let up off the mat. By not impeaching these criminals we do two things: we let them maintain their capacity for serving in public office and we send the message that we don't care about the rule of law (or the power of Congress) any more. Each time a Republican regime has begun since Nixon resigned we've been screwed over more extensively than the previous time, by the same people in many cases. Why wouldn't they? There haven't been any repercussions for their illegal, immoral, and wanton acts of countrycide.
I don't have any illusions that this time it will be any different, but I know that I don't want to be around the next time a Republican junta takes power if it isn't. And if TBO and I get lucky enough to have a child, I will make sure s/he knows enough to hightail it to Canada as soon as those election results come in, God forbid. I sure will . . .

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Monday, August 06, 2007

For the record

I know I haven't been writing lately; the political landscape is far too depressing for me to even rant about it. The Congressional capitulation over FISA, though, goes beyond even my capacity of disgust. The original FISA regulation was embarrassingly weak already, and now our Democratic Congress has decided to weaken it further? For what? This is disgraceful, and when I saw that one of my own Senators voted in favor of this travesty, I finally had to say something. Here is what I sent Dianne Feinstein:
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I've been under the weather lately, so I didn't get the chance to see that you had voted in favor of passing the FISA retooling bill. This, of course, is sickening to anyone who cares about our country's heritage of both open government and civil liberties, and I'm simply disgusted with your support of it. There was simply nothing wrong with the original FISA operation--in fact, I believe it was too lax already in providing proper oversight of executive intrusion into private communications and lives. Broadening its scope--indeed, giving any more power to our executive branch at all at this point--is inimical to the original intent of our Founding Fathers that we should have 3 distinct and separate branches of government safeguarding our civil rights. Indeed, it is supposed to be Congress itself that provides us with security against executive overreach, but ever since 2001, that body, and every one who has served in it, has been failing us repeatedly. 9/11 did not "change everything", and I am far more scared of Republicans than I am of Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, because they have done immeasurably more damage to our nation than any other group over the past 27 years. That you would join them in decimating our Constitution on any vote, let alone one that had its genesis in violating privacy rights even further and legitimizing this Administration's wanton lawlessness in regards to its own citizens, makes me question your patriotism, and frankly, your qualifications to hold this office. What is certain is that you have lost my vote in the future, and to what extent I can, I will work as hard as I can to help any Democratic primary opponents you face.
Shame on you.
Sincerely, ******* *******, citizen of California

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