Friday, April 28, 2006

Scrapping FEMA

This fits in quite well with Republican efforts to destroy the government (our ability to control our own destiny). Calls to scrap FEMA are really about the radical republican agenda of governmental destruction coupled with a desire to recreate a buraucracy that looks, on the surface, as a new agency to help people. In reality any new agency will be designed to funnel US tax payer dollars into the hands of corporations or NGO's answerable to no one. That is what will happen if FEMA goes away. They will attempt to subcontract it out (money launder) to the point where it will be impossible to know where all the money went. Just look at Iraq.

All that is needed for FEMA is to restore it to a cabinet level position and staff it with people who know what they are doing instead of political cronies.

I wish this were simply a conspiracy theory and nonsense. But saddly it is par for the course. Here is what Grover Norquist had to say about the American peoples ability to control their own destiny...

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Again who is he talking about? Well in the United States of America the Government is We The People. So when men like Norquist talk about making us less dependant on ourselves who are we being dependant on? Hmmm? Norquist, like most neo-cons, or simply cons, is basically an anarchist. He believes in the principle that he and his freinds should be left alone to do as they please. This is conservatism distilled down to its simplest form. His way of thinking is objectivist in the extreme and is unworkable in the real world. Like the lunatic Ayn Rand, in Norquists world, everyone is a worker or captain of industry. This is not the real word. There will always be millions of people either unable to be captains of industry or unable to work. Societies that ignore the millions that fall through the craks make the cracks bigger and bigger until you end up with a society akin to Somolia. The rich a terrified and armed to the teeth, the poor or terrified and armed to the teeth. There is no structure left to govern the baser nature of man, so the anarchic state devolves into a failed state. This is the end game for Norquist and the neocons. It is plain to see if you simply take their stated goals and think far enough down the line. Norquist and his ilk are an ill wind blowing up from a damned future.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Global Warming and how NOT to solve it

There are many issues in America and the world that need addressing. Global Warming being one of them. Like most issues it has become a political football. It has been mischaracterized by industry as a leftist agenda issue and it has been mishandled by the left as a political sledge hammer to hammer home the idea that the Republicans are evil. This is missing the point.

We are really screwing up a world where life is already pretty tough for humans. We live on a planet where 99% of the water is poison and where 80% of the atmosphere is unbreathable. 3/4's of the planet is unihabitable by humanity. So we are in a precarious position.

But instead of coming up with ways and arguments to sway industry and charm politicians, the issue is only a ball to be tossed about in the hands of right and left leaning political organizations. Instead of saying that the concerns of business over Kyoto are legitimate, the left argues that there is a conspiracy against the Earth. This is not helpful. The concerns over Kyoto are legit. However the arguments that need to be crafted go something like this:

In 1787 the US crafted a document that was far from perfect, as a Constitution. There was no Bill of Rights. There was no freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, to bear arms, to keep troops from being quartered in your home, to have your property siezed, ban against cruel and unusual punishment, or prohibition against slavery. However it was a document that could get the votes to get ratified.

Kyoto needs to be seen in that light. It is anything but perfect. But it is a start and we have to start somewhere.

Planning the Iraq War

Captain Ahab of the elite "Dick" squad seen here, in an artists rendering, planning the early phases of his campaign.

"They think me mad--Starbuck does; but I'm demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself!" - Cpt. Ahab

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Eisenhower where are you now?

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Speaker, members of my family and friends, my countrymen, and the friends of my country, wherever they may be, we meet again, as upon a like moment four years ago, and again you have witnessed my solemn oath of service to you. I, too, am a witness, today testifying in your name to the principles and purposes to which we, as a people, are pledged.

Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God. And the hopes in our hearts fashion the deepest prayers of our whole people.

May we pursue the right—without self-righteousness.
May we know unity—without conformity.
May we grow in strength—without pride in self.
May we, in our dealings with all peoples of the earth, ever speak truth and serve justice.

And so shall America—in the sight of all men of good will—prove true to the honorable purposes that bind and rule us as a people in all this time of trial through which we pass.

Monday, April 24, 2006

More arguments between the fallen and perfect world

I know that to be a Christian many have to accept that the world is some how fallen from Gods grace and that, because of our sin in Eden, we are struggling to get back to that perfection. However this view of our world presents a problem for me. In that God, the all powerful, must then choose to accept this fallen state.

How can you square the fallen world with a perfect God? In Genisis God seems not to know what happened to Able. If you read this litterally God seems oblivious to what Cane has done. Only after Abels blood calls out to God does he realize what Cane did. I would say that this is a story and not intended as a litterally transcribed interview between God and Cane. But I digress. God must have known exactly what mankind was going to do in Eden. If this is so then He has allowed things to deteriorate in Eden. But that does not bode well for God as creator since as soon as he makes his creation a lowly man screws it up, so much so that it takes the sacrifice of God himself to redeem the world. Free will you say? Ah but that is still saying that it is Gods plan that the world should fall.

Again in Job, there is a bet between God and Satan about Job. This seems to be, on the surface, running counter to the monothesim of Judaism. Here two supernatural powers argue about how much Job will take before he cracks. God lets Satan have free reign over the life of Job, killing his kids, destroying his house, and basically ruining him. Not a very nice God. You could blame Satan but the entity is only able to do to Job what he does because God allows it.

I could go on like this with biblical illustrations about how much God lets happen, or inflicts vicariously through others upon his chosen people. To me this picture of God needs to be rejected. This is the theology of pre-atheism. For there is no surer path to non-belief than to try and fit this kind of Don Corleone God with the world and a desire to worship. It destroys faith on several levels. Firstly it creates a God that does not care about his people. Secondly it limits his power and creates the neccessity of a preisthood to "help" build His kingdom thus creating an aristocracy of the religious where certain brothers or sisters are higher than others. Lastly its illogic drives the unconverted away like the plague.

Only by rejecting the fallen world scenario can we begin to accept the awsome all powerful, all loving, ever living, God for what God is. For rejoicing in the life we have in this perfect world, accepting the calamity not as a devine punshiment or trial, but as aspects of cause and effect, reveling in the little aspects of iintrinsic perfection all around us. Relinguishing our hauty claim to know absolutes in right and wrong, good and evil, and humbly accepting that only God can know this. Far from banishing God to a backwater diety that simply sits and watches creation. We accept his gentle breath moving upon the wates of creation, not creating a more perfect world, but simply changing the world making it neither more or less perfect.

Suffering is real as is joy but these are only responses to situations created by cause and effect. It can take a hammer and smash my thumb. It will hurt a plenty and it is not devine punishment or anything elese but the effect brought about by the causal hammer.

This means that we have to read Bible with an even more open mind and spirit than before. The God in Gensis is now nolonger really unaware of Cane killing Able. He is listening to Cane, knowing what has happened. Understanding all the motivations and consequences, before Cane does. He understands that pain, loss, and what we call evil, is all aportioned as they are in his perfect creation. Where no evil or good really exists at all.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Flip-flopping and war crimes

I used the term War Criminal about W a couple days ago. I thought long about that afterword. Had I used it in the heat of the moment? Perhaps it was just a knee jerk response? War is of course mass murder. All war is mass murder. Each side feels like it is right in killing people on the other. So is all war a crime? It sort of depends on your point of view. Instead of arguing about what constitutes a war crime let us look at how the Bush administration has dealt with the issue:

"In 1998 the UN General Assembly voted in favor of a treaty authorizing a permanent international court for war crimes. The United States, China, and five other nations opposed the treaty, and 21 nations abstained. The treaty has been signed by more than 130 nations (including the United States), and formally came into effect in July, 2002; the judges of the court were formally sworn in in 2003. Called the International Criminal Court and located at The Hague, it may prosecute war crimes, genocide, crimes of aggression, and crimes against humanity. Under the G. W. Bush administration, the United States opposed implementation of the treaty, out of fear that American officials or military personnel might be arrested abroad on baseless charges. In May, 2002, the United States repudiated its signing of the treaty and indicated that it would refuse to cooperate with the court. The U.S. government subsequently insisted (2002, 2003) that U.S. forces used as UN peacekeepers be exempted from prosecution by the court, and in 2003 it suspended military aid to nations that did not similarly exempt U.S. citizens serving within their borders. In 2004, following the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, the United States was unable to secure a further exemption from the United Nations."

-The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05.

Over and over again the current administration claims that it is adhearing to the rules of war while at the same time arguing that it can "do whatever it takes" to win. A year ago, back when Iraq was a mess like it is today, I wrote that the ends-justifying-the-means is not ethical, moral, Christian, or Constitutional, and will not bring about victory. The ends justifying the means, when it comes to war, I would argue, is a crime in and of itself. It is the basis for crime, all crime. Retaliatoin against such decision makers is ethical. Be that from the US invading Afghanistan while going after Bin Laden, or in IED attacks against US forces in Iraq. Being the aggrieved party does not remove the party from adherence to ethical behavior.

The last statements about Afghanistan and IED's may be too broad. In certain cases IED may be ethical and in other cases not; and clearly the invasion of Iraq was in many ways ethical and in many ways not.

So is Bush a war criminal? In many was not and in many ways he is. In the prosecution of a war the President does have to answer for the conduct of those under his command. However he is not ethically or morally responsible. Unless he has given orders to enable such behavior to occur. We simply do not have enough information to call him a war criminal. Look at the trouble with Sadam. Look how hard it is to get him convicted of crimes against humanity. Not that I seek Bush being convicted, unless he is guilty. And he is innocent unless something comes to light. Yet there seems to be much smoke. It would serve him better to be more open about his desicions and those around him. Secrets have a way of always getting out.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

What to do about Rummy

Bush will NEVER ask the little man to leave since Rummy is part of W's vision team. It would be like asking Bush to have 1/4 of his brain removed. He simply could not function. The Bush administration is a house of carefully constructed cards that are irreplaceable. Cheny cannot leave, Rummy cannot leave, Rice cannot leave. Unfortunately for America we will have to wait to have Rumsfeld resign himself, and unlike many "resignation" it will have to be Rumsfeld that will want to do it. However I do not think this is likely to happen. The disdain that the current administration has for the press, and the general public is palpable now. They consider the 60% of America that cannot stand them as unimportant and not viral enough. They are still wishing to show the world how tough we are. Nevermind that the rest of the world is not impressed. It is good that so many generals want the guy to leave. Rumsfeld has tried to do an end around that too by appointing as many 3 -stars as he can. This way they owe him there careers instead of their peers.

I remember reading comments and letters in the Naval Institutes Proceedings Magazine back in 2004 that Rummy's vision of force transformation was outdated, would put us at a disadvantage in large-threat environments. So much for all that nonsense. Since every instance of Rumsfelds work smells like roses we all should shut up and thank the SOB. Of course all his decisions do not smell like roses. Rumsfelds decisions, coupled with the White House desire for secrecy, coupled with the White House disdain for most of America's laws, has brought about a catastrophic loss of American prestige, influence, and power. In the future it will be a question as to what hurt America more, 9/11 or Rumsfeld. He is certainly responible for a greater loss of life and treasure.

When will the tipping point come? There won't be any. The only way these people will leave is when they are forced out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Rumsfeld and Limbaugh at GOP function

The other side of the stupidity of Millenarianism

" There will be wars and rumors of wars, but that has always been the case." Jesus.

In otherwords nobody knows when the world is going to end, right? Well not exactly. Anyone who bothers to read any amount of scientific research can tell you what is the likely future of Earth. In about 900 million years the sun will have used up so much fusiable material that its chemical composition will begin to change. It will begin to sluff off its outer atmosphere. This will spell the doom for all life on Earth. At least the bits of life that cannot adapt to high temperatures. The Earth will spend another billion years getting roasted until it resembles Venus. Its mass will keep a lot of atmosphere around it but there won't be a chance in hell that anything that hasn't evolved the ability to live in extreme heat will be able to survive. Evolutin being what it is, and the long time period involved, may allow some organisms to adapt. But in the long run they will be barking up a dead tree. Since after the other billion years the sun will sputter out into a dwarf star and earth will be so cold that any decomposiiton gasses like methane will be in a liquid state.

So we have a long time to screw up the Earth. Or we have a long time to make it better. Hopefully our little spiecies will have figured out how to leave well before the day of reckoning. Since we live in the perfect universe, according to me, then even the destruction of the Earth by a giant sun will occur within the parameters of perfection. Again I hope that our survival is also within the parameters of universal perfection. Yet bodily death seems like it occurs despite all the hullabalu so I see no evidence that humanity is slated not to bite it at some point.

Of course this would not mean much to people who, like the dispensationalists of today or the millenarianists of the centeral Middle ages are followers of the cult of final destruction. This cult has been morphing from age to age and, like the ficticous Priory of Scion in the Da Vinci Code, it has kept its membership alive and well while garding the centeral theme of the cult. The centeral theme is the final Good vs. Evil battle where it all comes to a conclusion and the goodguys win and the badguys lose. This cult has continued undeterred by social, scientific, religous, and political progress. Each catastrophe that naturally befalls a society is a "sign" There is truth to this. The Tsunami that killed 200,000 people last year is a sign that we live on a thin crust of congealed lava floating on a liquid stone ocean thousands of miles deep. HIV is a sign that there are all sorts of bugs out there that can get us. Terrorism is a sign that mankind is still stupid.

The cult of destruction is a manifestation of Satan (total self absorbtioin). The idea that we are all bit players in a movie; Gods movie. How rediculous is that. This only works if we are a fallen people. If we have fallen away from perfection. If we are a manifestation of Gods perfect world than we are not fallen away from God. Our actions, even though they are to us evil, are expected and tolerated by God since they all act in accordance with the perfect creation.

Example in non-human terms:
If you accept that God made carnivors then you accept that God created an animal that survives by killing another animal. This is not done in a kind way. A pack of lions hunts down a wildabeast and rips it to pieces while it struggles to escape. This is how God made things. There is nothing in the Bible that says otherwise. So has the wildabeast been wronged by the lions? We would say no. It is the nature of lions and wildabeasts to interact in such a manner. So to, I would argue, does man have a nature and it is in his nature to lash out to survive and in so doing will perpetrate "evil" against his fellow man. However it is only evil from mans perspective. This is horribly hard for us to accept. Particularly when we are talking about things like the holocaust or a murder.

Doest accepting that Gods view of good and evil is not ours cloud our ability to worship? Well it verywell might depending on our view of God. If God is an avenging God then yes it would really shake our faith since He would be letting all sorts of stuff happen before he comes in and saves the day. To explain this laziness you have to accept that God is using the evil for his own hidden purposes. Clearly if there is a God behind the scenes then free will does not exist and we are either puppets or potential puppets. Eiteher way what kind of entity would wished to be worshipped by action-figures or dolls? No if we have free will then it is total. And if all of us have total free will, within the physical parameters of creation, then all the things that we consider good or bad are our own doing and the doings of other people but not God.

I do not think that there is going to be any end times non-sense. At least nothing done by God. We may end our existance on the planet Earth but it will be our own stupid affair and God will let it happen since we have he free will to do it and it too would be part of the perfect universe.

Oh yes. How can I prove that the universe is perfect? Is this a literary contrivance? Not to me. To me it is logical. Compare the universe, creatioin, the cosmos, whatever you want to call it, to anything. Can you? Compare it to another universe. You can't there is nothing to copare it to. There may be dimensions in this universe we cannot percieve but there is still only one. So I dare you to compare it to another. You cannot say it is imperfect since to do so you would have to show it next to another univrese and show the differences and why ours is flawed. You can't do it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Heinrich Himmler found Guilty...again

It was a hard faught case. My daughter was the lead defense attorney for Mr. Himmler. However after long trial, the Reichsfurher SS was found guilty of genocide and scentenced to death by fireing squad.

I was eating lunch a couple weeks ago and out of the blue my daughter asked me about what I thought about an insanity defense for Heinrich Himmler. After further prodding she told me that her history class was doing a mock trial of the war criminal and she had to defend him. I told her that if she could get Heinrich off she should go to law school. Her argument was that Himmler suffered from a personality disorder and also that he was under tremendous strain being the Reichsfurher SS and was woried about being killed himself by Hitler. I told her that the "I was just following orders" defense didn't fly at Nuremburg.

The defense team went with the insanity defense. That didn't work either. On the good side my daughter learned a lot about a scummy person she had never even heard of.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April Poll Crunch

Hurray for Bush! 100% of the Bushleague loves him!!!! Hurray for ol W. However that translates into the following:

The Bushleague Supporters 37%
Can't Stand the SOB 57%
Are too stupid to know who Bush is 6%

Ivey 2ndShift support for bush: 0%

Will the President fire those responsible?

According to recently released court documents, Scooter Libby has fingered VP Cheney as ordering him to leak intel to the press. According to Libby Cheney told him that he had the Presidents approval. This is not to say that the VP or the big P ordered the leaking of Plame's name. However it did come out with the other intel.

So my question is simple. Will Bush do what he said he was going to do last year and fire those responsible for leaking classified info? Lets see who would end up being President? The Speaker of the House, Denis Hastert, would be incharge.

So is this all another liberal attempt to melt Bush with water like Dorothy did to the Wicked witch of the west? Well I have downloaded and read a bunch of court docs. Specifically: page 19-20 from Document 80 from Case NO05-394(RBW) United States of America vs. Lewis Libby Here is what is said. It starts near the bottom of page 19 and runs on into the middle of page 20.

"Defendants's participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8, (discussed further below) occured only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate ( added by me)) Defendant testified that the circumstances for his conversation with reporter Miller -getting approval fro mthe President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but the that approval - were unique in his recollection. Defendant further testified that on July 12,2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding the NIE and Wilson."

It goes on to say that Cheney told Libby to go "on the record" and provide "deep background" regarding Wilson's Niger. This is as close to a smoking gun as you can get without getting powder burns from the muzzle flash.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Angry Left?

I hear, in many conservative circles, the term angry left. Huh? If anything the left in America is bemused, sick of the self righteous failure of Washington, and in some states giddy with delight in the downfall of self-serving conservative hypocrites. Angry is not in the leftist lexicon. The people who are angry are as much republican as democrat. The people who are pissed off are all the people who put their faith in Bush only to have the rug pulled out from underneath them. Leftists put no faith in the little SOB so ergo we are not angry with him. We are sick of him, disgusted by him, but not angry. We feel vindicated. We told you so. The middle-of-the-roader's should have listened to us a bit more. Leftists do not have all the answers. Lefty's have always said that Bush is a hopeless case. His team is out to serve themselves and their buddies and not you. So be angry if you must. Just don't talk about the angry left. The left isn't angry its right.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dear Tom Delay,

So long you worthless, carpet bagging, wolf-in-sheeps-clothing-we'll-know-you-by-your-deeds, crook. We're all better off without you. Don't let the door to DC hit your fat ass on the way out!

A Citizen