Liberal Grace

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dang commie-lib witches and bunnies! Get off my lawn!

Conservatives significantly less likely to give the kids treats.

Check out this AP poll:
Nearly two-thirds of the people in the survey said their households will distribute Halloween treats to children who come to call; the likeliest to pass out goodies include younger and higher-earning people.

Seventy percent of people in the poll who consider themselves liberals and 67% of the moderates questioned said they would hand out treats, compared with 55% of conservatives.
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This is a revealing statistic but I'm not sure what it reveals.

* Maybe conservatives are just too stingy to spend money on kids.

* Maybe they think trick-or-treating encourages liberal welfare culture.

* Or, maybe conservatives just don't like kids -- "No health care or treats for you punks this year! Get off my lawn or I'll set the hose on you!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bill Kristol: The worst pundit in America today

Yet again, Bill Kristol is completely confident and stunningly wrong.

Who can forget that Bill Kristol gave the single worst piece of political punditry in the ramp up of the Iraq war:

"... there has been a kind of pop sociology in America that somehow the Shi’a can't get along with the Sunni ...there is almost no evidence of that at all" external link

No evidence of sectarianism in Iraq

Well he's at it again! Listen to what Kristol said this week on Fox:

Iran is the only real threat to success in Iraq

You and I may not be as smart as Bill Kristol but think about this quote for one moment.

Is there any possibility that it might be true?

Without even thinking very hard you could come up with a list of non-Iranian hindrances to peace and stability in Iraq: An invasion by Turkey comes to mind; Syrian meddling, too; Saudi insurgents fueling the Sunni resistance; and, of course, the presence of American troops and mercenaries.

Then ask yourself -- why in the world does anyone let Bill Kristol talk on TV anymore? They should pay you to give your opinions instead of him. You'd certainly be more correct than Kristol.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ann Coulter's Heavenly America

Ann Coulter's dream America is a police state, locked-down to serve a political party.

Lot's of people are talking about Coulter's "perfected Jews" comment but another surprising think pops out of that transcript:

During the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea, host Donny Deutsch asked right-wing pundit Ann Coulter: "If you had your way ... and your dreams, which are genuine, came true ... what would this country look like?" Coulter responded, "It would look like New York City during the [2004] Republican National Convention. external link

Do you remember New York during the RNC convention?

City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention

For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention, teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police records and interviews.external link

264 arrested in NYC bicycle protest

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In the first major clampdown on protesters before the Republican National Convention, New York police arrested 264 people Friday night during a mass demonstration.

About 5,000 cyclists gathered in Union Square Park at 6 p.m. for "Critical Mass," a monthly bike ride around Manhattan, sponsored by environmental group "Times Up!"

Police started making arrests at around 8:30 p.m. in several locations along the bike route, including Madison Square Garden -- the venue for the Republican National Convention.
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Suit Filed in GOP Convention Arrests

N.Y. Police Accused of Overstepping Bounds, Detaining Bystanders

NEW YORK, Nov. 22 -- Twenty-three people filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court here, saying New York city officials violated their constitutional rights by orchestrating massive arrests and detentions to sweep up political dissenters during the Republican National Convention in August.

The lawsuit seeks to represent all of the nearly 2,000 people arrested during the convention
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That's just the three articles that come at the top of the Google pile.

The mass arrests -- often for nothing more than free speech or just freely standing around -- is what allowed Ann Coulter to have her little vision of heaven here on earth: a bunch of rich whites, wrapping themselves in the flag as they joyously tried to destroy a liberal veteran.

The police had to spy-on, threaten, cordon-off and arrest thousands of people for the GOP to make Ann Coulters fantasy world a reality.

God help all us Christians if our heaven is like that!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How will Iran hit us back?

The Bush administration isn't going to ask the hard questions, so we adults must.

One thing we've learned for sure: the Bush administration doesn't think issues through.

Their lack of planning for the invasion of Iraq is certainly one of America's biggest bungles of all time.

So: How is Iraq going to hit us back after Bush insanely bombs them?

Of course, anticipating Iran is not easy but I can think of several likely scenarios:
1) Collapse the Iraq central government.

2) Disrupt oil flow out of the gulf.

3) Trigger an invasion of Kurdistan by Turkey.
One or all of these things would be a serious headache for America and cost us even more billions of dollars -- yet this could be done asymmetrically avoiding a direct confrontation with America.

One thing we can know for sure: Iran is going to respond. (or do these things preemptively to a bombing)

Another thing we can know for sure: The Bush administration will claim, "This could not have been anticipated."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The New Face of Treason

Modern treason puts political party and ideology above country.

I grew up as a spy fan during the cold war, where traitors betrayed their own country to an enemy country. But these days, modern American treason betrays country to a political party or ideology.

This is exactly what happened with the Plame betrayal; the Bush administration (Dick Cheney's wing, most likely) outed a CIA agent to further the neo-con agenda of invading Iraq.

Well, it looks like it happened again:

Bush administration denies leaking al Qaeda video

WASHINGTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Tuesday denied leaking an Osama bin Laden video obtained by a private terrorism monitoring group which said the leak had exposed its surveillance methods and potentially closed a window on al Qaeda.

Private monitoring firm SITE Institute said in a Washington Post article that its years-long efforts to monitor al Qaeda communications had been set back after government agencies prematurely leaked to the media a pre-release video of bin Laden last month.

"Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless," SITE founder Rita Katz told the Post.

The White House denied it had leaked the video but said the issue was a cause for concern and an investigation would be needed to determine what happened. The office of the Director of National Intelligence said U.S. intelligence agencies were not involved.
Of course the Bush administration is pledging to investigate and find the leaker.

Don't hold your breath.

You can bet they are going to lower the cone of silence and the full truth of this will never come to light.

But we can make a pretty good speculation since this totally fits the pattern of the Bush administration that we've become familiar with: they released a piece of intelligence, timed to help their cause. In this case, it was the Petraeus report timed with the anniversary of 911 to get the maximum boost of fear.

It's time for Americans to change their stereotype of traitors -- they are no longer secret commies or money grubbing secret leakers. The modern American traitor is a political operative within our own government.

The producers of "24" need to get up-to-speed and do a season about modern treason.

Wouldn't it be satisfying to see Jack Bauer slapping around a spoiled, self-serving Karl Rove-like character?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Is Blackwater just another Militia in Iraq?

Americans having their own private army in Iraq is a horrible way to start a democracy.

The details of the murky Blackwater are finally emerging and they seem sordid and horrible.

Here is a snippet form the Washington Post about an incident last week... pay special attention to the last paragraph.

U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire in Baghdad

Blackwater Employees Were Involved in Two Shooting Incidents in Past Week

A Blackwater guard shot and killed an Iraqi driver Thursday near the Interior Ministry, according to three U.S. officials and one Iraqi official who were briefed on the incident but spoke on condition of anonymity because of a pending investigation. On Wednesday, a Blackwater-protected convoy was ambushed in downtown Baghdad, triggering a furious battle in which the security contractors, U.S. and Iraqi troops and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters were firing in a congested area.

Blackwater confirmed that its employees were involved in two shootings but could neither confirm nor deny that there had been any casualties, according to a company official who declined to be identified because of the firm's policy of not addressing incidents publicly.

The Iraqi official said the driver encountered the Blackwater convoy after leaving a gas station just outside the Interior Ministry. Some witnesses said the shooting was unprovoked, the official said. He said the driver had wounds in his shoulder, chest and head.

The Blackwater employees refused to divulge their names or details of the incident to Iraqi authorities, according to two of the U.S. officials and the Iraqi official. The officials described a tense standoff that ensued between the Blackwater guards and Interior Ministry forces -- both sides armed with assault rifles -- until a passing U.S. military convoy intervened.
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First of all... why are the US Military having to rescue Blackwater when they should be fighting Al Qaeda? Aren't we paying Blackwater to increase security -- not to be rescued from Mexican standoffs with the local police.

But here's what really stands out to me: The Blackwater employees refused to divulge their names or details of the incident to Iraqi authorities

What right do Blackwater employees have to "refuse to divulge" anything to the authorities? Doesn't refusal to cooperate make them outlaws?

"Private armies" are the scourge of the region. Local strong men with their private armies have a made a mockery of local police and the rule of law.

I can't imagine a democracy breaking out in a country dominated by private armies.

If America is democracy building in Iraq, it's a horrible precedent for America has it's own private army going around shooting people with impunity.