Friday, October 20, 2006

The Catholic Church, Mark Foley and praying on young boys:

Well, we should have all known that the Catholic Church would eventually make its way into the Mark Foley scandal, sooner or later. When you're talking about older men preying (and praying) on young boys, you're talking the Catholic Church. The Herald-Tribune in Sarasota FL. has dug up a priest who is suspected of being the same person who Foley says he was molested by. Rev. Anthony Merieca, who now lives in Malta, says this whole thing is all a misunderstanding and that what he did with Foley was all perfectly innocent. The NYT reports that "Mercieca told of skinny-dipping with the young Foley, lounging naked in saunas with him, massaging him while the boy was unclothed. He said that once, while on tranquilizers, he might have done something that Foley found inappropriate, but that he could not recall the details." He told the WaPo that all these issues of sexual harrassment and molestation were "in the eye of the beholder," and anyway "it was not what you call intercourse. . . There was no rape or anything . . . . Maybe light touches here or there."

It's funny how memory can play tricks on you, isn't it? You see, he might have once done something that young Foley might have found inappropriate, but all the rest of it; the naked massaging and skinny-dipping etc., was basically SOP for priests with young boys. Nothing new there. Mercieca says Foley should just remember the good times they had together and "don't keep dwelling on this thing, you know?"

I'm sure the GOP would agree with that sentiment, but this story just won't go away. As bad as all the other Republican scandals are, 'sex with boys' really cuts right through all the back ground noise with the voters. How proud all those true-believers out there must feel to be supporting a Party that actively attempted to cover up Foley's boy hunting for all these years. I guess the old adage about the Democrats being better at sex scandals still holds true. (Geez, at least Bubba was screwing around with a woman who was of-age.)

So, it looks like the GOP really is the Party of moral values, right? No? The NYT reports that according to a new book written by David Kuo, the former deputy-director of W.'s office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Rove & Co. might have talked a good game about their love of evangelicals, but behind their backs they were called 'ridiculous,' 'out of control,' and just plain 'goofy.'

NYT: "While many conservative Christians considered President Bush 'a brother in Christ,' Mr. Kou writes, 'for most of the rest of the While House staff, evangelical leaders were people to be tolerated, not people who were truly welcomed.' He also writes that WH staffers "knew 'the nuts' were politically invaluable, but that was the extent of their usefulness."

Why am I strangely reassured by that knowledge? I guess it's good to know most of the bigshots in the president's Brains Trust aren't religious whackos bent on bringing forth the Rapture. Of course, our "brother in Christ" president is, that's the problem.

Anyway, it really should be no big surprise that Rove is a cold-blooded political opportunist who would sell his own grandmother to white slave dealers if it would win him some votes. A perfect example of this is lust for power is the story about Rove going to see his gay step-father on his death bed, even as he was twisting arms to get the gay marriage ban on the ballot in Ohio.

Most folks might think that these right wing evangelicals, if they had half a brain, would now come to the conclusion -- especially after this whole Mark Foley thing -- that they'd been bamboozled by the Republican Party, but you would be wrong. What Rove and his evil minions -- and the Catholic Church for that matter -- know about people who believe in a vengeful God sitting on a golden throne above the clouds, is that they're incredibly gullible. Rove is kind of like the Jim Jones in that he's suckering evangelicals into drinking the Kool-Aid for the sole benefit of keeping his client -- W. -- in power. The only winner here is Rove, the evangelical leaders can have their telethons and drive around in their gold-plated Cadillac’s, but they're not getting anything they want in terms of politics if it contradicts Rove's master plan.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dolphins deliver their own bomb in Miami this Sunday.

AP reports:

"Internet threats of 'dirty bomb' attacks at NFL stadiums this weekend were a hoax, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security said Thursday. The threat, dated Oct. 12, appeared on a Web site, The Friend Society, that links to various online forums and off-color cartoons. Its author, identified in the message as 'javness,' said trucks would deliver radiological bombs Sunday to stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland and Oakland, Calif., and that Osama bin Laden would claim responsibility."

Well, that's a relief. I was going to advise the bomber that he could save himself the trouble of attacking Miami because the Dolphins are perfectly capable of delivering their own bomb on the field against Green Bay this Sunday.

I hear Dante might be starting, Mike Mularkey still has his job and Sabin has got his hands on the red flag; so countdown to NFL draft 2007 has already begun!

We can be arrogant in space too.

The WaPo reported yesterday that:

"President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone 'hostile to U.S. interests.'"

Naturally, any interests other than US interests are potentially hostile, so why should outer space be any different? The NYT reported last year that the Air Force was mainly behind this new space war doctrine and asked the White House for an updated national-security directive to be able to defend the US in space.

But this is all about just protecting satellites and stuff, there's no plan to militarily conquer space, right? There is?

The Times quotes Pete Teets (very unfortunate name) the former acting secretary of the AF speaking at a warfare symposium two years ago saying, "We haven't reached the point of strafing and bombing from space (whew). Nonetheless, we are thinking about those possibilities."

General Lance Lord of the AF Space Command told Congress that "we must establish and maintain space superiority. . . Simply put, it's the American way of fighting." (Boy, you got that right general.) Lord says that the Air Force defines space doctrine as the "freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack" in space.

[Since when did the Air Force get so militant? I guess, they're sick of being the bitch of every other branch of the armed services. This new space thing gives them a leg up on the Marines and the Army. Let's see a Marine fight aliens in zero Gs!]

In 2003, after the Chinese put a man in space, Lt. Gen. Edward Anderson, deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command, said "in my view it will not be long before space becomes a battleground. Our military forces ... depend very, very heavily on space capabilities, and so that is a statement of the obvious to our potential threat, whoever that may be. I believe space is the place we will fight in the next 20 years. I think the Chinese are telling us they're there, and I think if we ever wind up in a confrontation again with any one of the major powers who has a space capability we will find space is a battleground." [omnicenter]

So, for all of those countries out there worried about the intentions of the US in space, all your fears are pretty much justified. We've got our eyes on the Chinese, but you're all under suspicion. And when a senior WH official says, "this policy is not about developing or deploying weapons in space. Period," you know that's exactly what they plan to do.

The NYT article points out that, "many of the nation's allies object to the idea that space is an American frontier," but all those objections are going to carry about as much weight as French objections to the Iraq war did. The WaPo points out that this new policy "characterizes the role of U.S. space diplomacy largely in terms of persuading other nations to support U.S. policy." (Remember the part about "strafing from space?")

Of course, all this new space technology is going to cost zillions of dollars to develop and deploy, so the good people at Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are popping the champagne bottles right about now.

The fact that this administration is the most militaristic and belligerent government since Hitler demanded the right to protect the Sudaten Germans, is no real surprise. And the dollar signs dancing in front of defence contractors when they start adding up all the decades of space boondoggles they'll be building their McMansions on, explains a lot of what this is all about, but what about W.'s plans for galactic domination?

W.s war with ET and Moon Base 2020:

You may remember the story a while back about Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67, who demanded a parliamentary inquiry into W.'s war with ET. Hellyer said "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide." [prisonplanet]

A forward operating base on the Moon? Crazy talk right? Tom Paine reports: "Our base-mad administration now wants to establish a 'research base' on the moon by 2020, or so the President proclaimed yesterday." The WaPo reported that "astronauts intend to build a permanent base and live there [on the Moon] while they prepare what may be the most ambitious undertaking in history -- putting human beings on Mars."

Naturally, W. would want to invade Mars next, it is a red planet, after all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More anals of 12-gallon hat justice:

[I spelled it that way on purpose.]

The NYT reports today that the German government has released 24-year old Murat Kurnaz, a German citizen, who was returned to Germany in August after four years of being held at Gitmo. After an investigation the Germans found no evidence of any link to terrorism. Imagine that, I'm sure he must have been the only one this ever happened to, because W. & Co. say all the detainees at Gitmo are "the worst of the worst." That's why W. needs this new Military Commissions Act of 2006 to "save American lives." Kurnaz, the Times says, was arrested in Pakistan in 2001.

You don't think this might be yet another case of the Pakistanis kidnapping random people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and turning them over to the US for a bounty, do you? I hear quite a lot of this sort of thing might have gone on after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Amnesty International claimed in a report last month that, "Pakistan illegally detained innocent people on suspicion of terrorism and transferred them to U.S. custody for money." [AP]

Amnesty: "Bounty hunters -- including police officers and local people -- have captured individuals of different nationalities, often apparently at random, and sold them into U.S. custody. . . Some [children] were arrested alongside their adult relatives, some were themselves alleged to be terror suspects and some were held as hostages to make relatives give themselves up or confess. . .The war on terror has added a new layer of human-rights violations to existing patterns of abuses [in Pakistan]. The phenomenon of enforced disappearance was virtually unknown before the war on terror."

Of course, we know about those bleeding heart appeasers at Amnesty, so who would believe them, right? But what about our good buddy and partner in the WOT Pervey Musharraf? He wrote his sizzling new book In the Line of Fire that "We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. . .Those who habitually accuse us of 'not doing enough' in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan." [AFP]

Yes, who could possibly accuse Pakistan of not doing enough in the war on terror? When Pervey isn't looking the other way while al-Qaeda and the Talibs are pouring over the border into Afghanistan to kill US troops he's letting terrorists responsible for bombings in India walk free.

NYT: "The Lahore High Court set free Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the founder of the banned Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, declaring his detention without trial since August illegal." You see, when it's his terrorists they deserve due process.

The noxious Military Commissions Act of 2006:

Yesterday, W. finally got around to signing the noxious Military Commissions Act of 2006. Oddly, this time around the bill was penned by King George sans the obligatory signing statement. I guess that's really no surprise, though, because Congress went out of its way to rubber stamp everything W. & Co. wanted. I mean, what could they possibly have to complain about? The lack of 'constitutional concerns' for this measure -- the typical WH rationale for signing statements -- is particularly ironic seeing as this law is so outrageously unconstitutional.

Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus; allowing evidence extracted from torture; giving the president the power to "interpret the meaning and application" of the Geneva Conventions; giving him the power to classify anyone he wants to as an "enemy combatant" and then detain them indefinitely without charges, has got to be the perfect early Christmas present for the dictator who has everything.

What a travesty! What a betrayal of the legacy of liberty and freedom handed down from our Founding Fathers. What a shameful miscarriage of democratic values perpetrated on the American people by these Reichstag rodents calling themselves patriots. Even more abhorrent, however, than even this sick perversion of all we hold dear and what almost 3,000 U.S. soldiers have died fighting to defend in Iraq and Afghanistan; is the president claiming that he signed the bill "in memory of the victims of 9/11."

How diabolically cynical and loathsome! If the American people don't rise up and punish the Republican majority in Congress for their craven, lily-livered, capitulation to the closest thing this country has ever had to a dictator, then we might as well just move to Russia where at least there's no pretense about the autocratic nature of the government there.
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