- Peace Garden: 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006

Next generation nuclear reactor...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Found this article fascinating. It relates to Iran and how to escape our boot. The interesting note is about "new" nuclear plants.

China will actually begin construction of such a revolutionary nuclear reactor this year near Weihai, in eastern China's Shandong province. The 190-megawatt prototype "pebble-bed" nuclear reactor is expected to be generating electricity in 2010.
A pebble-bed reactor is like a giant, radiation-shielded, self-contained gumball machine, containing hundreds of thousands of billiard-ball-sized fuel elements, together with hundreds of thousands of billiard-ball-sized carbon moderators.
In operation, hundreds of the balls are continually removed (robotically) from the bottom of the gumball machine, checked (robotically) for remaining fissile-material content, logged, and reintroduced (robotically) into the top of the machine.
Once the gumball machine begins operation, it never again needs external refueling throughout its 50-plus-year continuous operating life.
The coolant, helium gas, which is chemically and physically inert, is forced down through the pebble-bed from top to bottom. Exiting through a closed loop, the hot helium gas drives electric generators before being cooled and reintroduced to the top of the machine.
The proliferation-proof, meltdown-proof pebble-bed technology development began in Germany more than 30 years ago and was continued in South Africa, but has apparently now been perfected in China.
If, as planned, similar units are produced modularly in factories in China, by 2020 China will be the world's only supplier of first-rate nuclear power plants.
James Lovelock (Gaia theory) has stated:
Large-scale nuclear power is the only practical way that we have to solve the greenhouse gas problem
Is this the "safe" nuclear plant that I can support?

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Walk away...

Zogby poll numbers are showing that the troops are not too happy.

Seventy-two per cent of troops said the US should withdraw within 12 months; 29 per cent said they should pull out immediately.

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These are two of my favorite things...

Thanks to Hang Left:Progressive Gear for a great idea. Everyone loves pizza - everyone should love peace.

Wear a button when eating that slice - veggie slice please!

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bin Laden supports Bush

Bush says bin Laden helped in election.

President Bush said he believes his 2004 re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry was inadvertently aided by Osama bin Laden, who issued a taped diatribe against him the Friday before Americans went to the polls, The Examiner newspaper reported on Tuesday. Bush said there were “enormous amounts of discussion” inside his campaign about the 15-minute tape, which he called “an interesting entry by our enemy” into the presidential race. “I thought it was going to help,” Bush said. “I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”
It begs the questions:
  1. Does W know the definition of the word "inadvertently"?
  2. Was it really Osama or Karl Rove in disguise?
  3. Who did the translations?
  4. Did Osama have a good time golfing with Abramoff?

Inquiring minds want to know. We deserve answers.

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Whose nation?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Let's help this young man living in a dangerous nation.

This is one time I agree with W. We must bring freedom and democracy to this guy's nation.

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What have we wrought

Sunday, February 26, 2006

An excellent article and graphic from the New York Times Week in Review section. Important to read. We didn't take note of this before we lit the fuse. Now we have to pay the price.

Take a gander at the three parties vying for control (Sunnis, Kurds, Shiites). Many foresaw this result - few listened.

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The Eagles Have Landed

The Eagles Have Landed concerns bald eagles and their removal from the endangered species list.

Not long ago, bald eagles in the contiguous 48 states had dwindled to a relative handful. They'd become victims of habitat lost to agriculture and development, lead poisoning from buckshot and fishing sinkers ingested through the birds and fish they ate, and the chemicals of modern life - mercury, PCBs, dioxin, and especially DDT, which made eggshells thin and weak. Their numbers had plummeted from an estimated 100,000 during the American Revolution to fewer than 1,000.
But over the past 40 years landmark legislation and treaties, a captive breeding program, and habitat conservation have brought the bald eagle back from the brink. As a result, this year will see its removal from the official endangered species list. "The population has grown astronomically," says Cindy Hoffman of Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental group.
I think this story is a perfect example of why environmental protection laws must have teeth and must not be bowled over for the good of corporate wallets.

In the end, that local forest, that eagle, that toad, that wetland, that one oak tree are a part of nature that we are also a part of. Go out today for a hike at a local nature center, or to listen to a bird call.

"There's always something going on that's exciting to a naturalist," says Frank Lang, a retired Southern Oregon University biology professor. He comes back again and again - to take in the waterfowl and songbirds that pass through every year, to hear the hawk's whistle and the coyote's yip, to stand in the shifting light of the high desert.
What it comes down to, says Dave Eshbaugh, executive director of Audubon Oregon, is "something that connects people to a feeling they have deep inside themselves, a feeling of connection with wildlife and nature."
Maybe we can get our leaders out for a hike so they realize how we and all nature are connected together. Wouldn't that be great.

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Poll results

The results of the poll : END WAR?

  • 73% said "YES, Return to sanity"
  • 27% voted "No, I like death and killing!"

Sure the answers provided were tongue in cheek, so what about those NO votes? So for those who voted NO, tell me:

  • "I really was kidding, I want peace"
  • "I want us to stay in Iraq but I didn't read the I like death and killing part"
  • "I voted NO and I like killing and blood, you pink- radical- enemy loving terrorist"

Not that I am questioning anyone's vote but I think your neighbors need some clarification (and warning!).

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My belief system is better than your belief system

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Thanks to Top Pun for the button design.

Look around - the Armageddonists are running this regime and waging war on Iraq and soon Iran. Iraq is embroiled in a civil war - two sects of Islam on opposite sides. Then look at the Inquisition, Ireland, Salem... Violence based on man-made creeds and belief systems.

I think the famous poster has to be changed to read: War - and Religion - are not healthy for children and other living things

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Blogger bares Rumsfeld's post 9/11 orders

Rummy was looking for that excuse.

Hours after a commercial plane struck the Pentagon on September 11 2001 the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, according to notes taken by one of them.
"Hard to get good case. Need to move swiftly," the notes say. "Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not."
"The secretary said his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time, not only Bin Laden. Secretary Rumsfeld later explained that at the time he had been considering either one of them, or perhaps someone else, as the responsible party."
The actual notes suggest a focus on Saddam. "Best info fast. Judge whether good enough [to] hit SH at same time - not only UBL [Pentagon shorthand for Usama/Osama bin Laden]," the notes say. "Tasks. Jim Haynes [Pentagon lawyer] to talk with PW [probably Paul Wolfowitz, then Mr Rumsfeld's deputy] for additional support ... connection with UBL."
Mr Wolfowitz, now the head of the World Bank, advocated regime change in Iraq before 2001. But, according to an account of the days after September 11 in Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack, a decision was taken to put off consideration of an attack on Iraq until after the Taliban had been toppled in Afghanistan.
But these notes confirm that Baghdad was in the Pentagon's sights almost as soon as the hijackers struck.
Evidence? Hell we didn't need evidence to invade Iraq. Rummy was so silly. We had the lie machines pumping. Facts? What are facts?

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White House sits out Iran nuclear talks

Talks? Badges, warrants and talks - we don't need those stinking ---.

The Bush administration rejected on Thursday a suggestion by former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer that the United States join now-sidelined European negotiations designed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said American officials were in close consultation with the Europeans. "We are comfortable with the approach we have taken," he said.
Fischer, who was Germany's foreign minister from 1998 until last November, said Wednesday that Iran posed the "most important challenge" to the Europeans and the United States, and to their trans-Atlantic partnership.
"It would be really helpful if the United States could join," he said of the talks Britain, France and Germany held with Iran while the United States maintained its diplomatic boycott of Tehran.
"We have an important opportunity to solve this if we work together," Fischer said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Europe is not strong enough."
Our approach? Power and might baby ! Machismo-cowboys....

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Wanted Dead or Dead...

Friday, February 24, 2006

A former Israeli security chief announced:

Ismail Haniyah, chosen by the militant group Hamas to serve as Palestinian prime minister, could be a target for assassination if Hamas carries out suicide bombings, a former Israeli security chief said on Friday.
Dichter, the architect of Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian militants, no longer holds a policy-making position but he wields clout within the centrist Kadima party which is expected to win a March 28 general election.
"(Haniyeh) was and remains a man of terror," Dichter said. "If Haniyeh turns up at a military checkpoint I believe that he would be arrested, interrogated and put on trial for being involved in terror attacks."
Under Dichter's leadership, Israel expanded a policy of assassinating Palestinian militants as a key strategy against an uprising that erupted in September 2000 after failed peace talks.
I wonder if Dichter and Pat "I think Chavez should die" Robertson know each other?

Is this any way to go through life - and diplomacy? You bet it ain't.

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Destroyer Dick

Mark Fiore comes up with another gem. This one honors Uncle Cheney with the coveted title of the new NRA mascot. True lessons in how to handle a gun.

Charlton "Moses" Heston would be proud.

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Malkin Berates W

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The world must be ending. Even Malkin , in writing about the port/UAE deal, states:

The White House isn't merely tone-deaf on this matter. It is stone-blind.
Mid term election jitters? Running against W?

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Civil War

Ahmad Ali in Baghdad writes about the Shia shrine bombing:

But this is going to be worse, I think. This may be the start of when it all goes really wrong and the thing that we all fear - the sectarian war that will destroy my country and my children's future - may be about to begin.
Not to say we told you so but those who opposed this war from the start knew to expect this. Three groups have always been there: Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds. Too many warned about being caught in the middle of all three groups.

But being right, in this case, doesn't feel right. Bloodshed, death...not an outcome to covet.

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See you there...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

For more info go to CT United for Peace.

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Bizzaro World

The Smirking Chimp has a great piece by Ed Naha.

It was Harry Whittington's apology to Dick Cheney last week, closely akin to a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver regretting the damage done to the sot's front grille, that convinced me. BushCo. has finally transformed America into a real(?)-life version of Bizarro World.
For those of you who don't remember Bizarro, he was the distorted, dim-bulb opposite of Superman, the result of a twisted duplicating ray. He and other Bizarros lived on a square planet called Htrea (Earth spelled backwards), and swore allegiance to the Bizarro Code: "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!"
Yeah, that about sums up America circa 2006.
Some great Bizzaro quotes from W:
"I knew we're at war when they attacked us. As a matter of fact, I was down here in Florida. It didn't take long to figure out what was going on. And I vowed that day that I would not rest, so long as I was the President, in protecting the people. So a lot of my decision-making is based upon the attack. And I know we're at war, see -- I knew it then, and the enemy has, unfortunately, proved me right because they continue to attack. In order to win the war against the enemy you got to understand the nature of the enemy."
Read the article and see if you don't agree.

Thanks to Superman Through the Ages for the great picture. Resembles W a little, doesn't it?

Me am done now. Me saying hello!

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March Madness

Gordon Prather reports:

Gholamali Haddad-Adel, "speaker" of Iran's parliament – in Cuba, last week – dismissed the possibility of a U.S. preemptive attack against Iran, finding it "impossible" to believe that the U.S. would want "to repeat the experience of Iraq."
"We hope the United States is not so stupid," he said.
Presumably, Haddad-Adel meant to say, "We hope that President Bush, his vice president, his secretary of state, and his ambassador to the United Nations are not so stupid."
Prather goes on to suggest that Iran should be more concerned about their sanity (as well as Congress's sanity). For me, it is both stupidity - not learning lessons from history and personal failures - and sanity - or lack of sanity and reality.

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When is an election invalid?

Independent Online Edition reports:

The US and Britain are pressuring Iraq's dominant Shia community to relinquish two key ministries in negotiations for a new government, as the country was hit by a wave of bombings that killed at least 24 people.
The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, warned yesterday that Washington might cut aid to the Iraqis if the new government included sectarian politicians, pointing out that the US had spent "billions" in building up the police and the army.
So much for successful elections. So much for the people's voice. So long independence.

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The Huffington Post

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Mary Matalin Horror Show by Huffington had this great picture of Mary and her twin. Which one is the evil twin?

For those that did not see the show - thank your lucky stars. The best line:

Then there was Matalin's claim that the reason the local authorities were turned away from interviewing Cheney was because of "national security" considerations. Really? The Secret Service was worried that the sheriff's deputy interviewing Cheney would harm our national security?

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Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Roosevelt Raceway.

Listening to Vault Radio at Wolfgang's Vault, Young singing "Old Man", recorded at Roosevelt Raceway, came on and brought back some great and not so great memories. Great music, great fun - and the announcement, over the speakers, that President Ford pardoned Nixon. After Watergate, spying, Vietnam, plumbers... a pardon! I hoped it was only a hazy dream - but more like a nightmare.

Let's hope our next President doesn't get a notion to protect W from charges - No Pardon For George!

Thanks to www.suitelorraine.com for the tix pic and article. Wish I saved my stub.

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Bush Comedy

Bush Comedy is a short clip from Comedy Central. A great impression of W. From the look and mannersism to the thought process. Yes this is his thought process.

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Wolfgang's Vault

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Saw the article about Wolfgang's Vault on CBS Sunday Morning. This is the site of Bill Graham's great collection of posters, tees, tickets. And a great "radio" to listen to as well.

So should I buy the tie?

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A new Sunday Poll!

The results for our last poll are official. The Question:

  • Impeach Bush?
Results:
  • 100% said Yes
I am a little disappointed and saddened. Come on folks. He is our Prezident. Not one person willing to vote no! What kind of message does this send to our enemies home and abroad. A threat to our security.

Let's hope the new poll (right hand column)results about "Ending the war" sends a better message to others.

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Finding religion

U.S. Church Alliance Denounces Iraq War.

A coalition of American churches sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Saturday, accusing Washington of "raining down terror" and apologizing to other nations for "the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown."
The statement, issued at the largest gathering of Christian churches in nearly a decade, also warned the United States was pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe with a "culture of consumption" and its refusal to back international accords seeking to battle global warming.
"We lament with special anguish the war in Iraq, launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights," said the statement from representatives of the 34 U.S. members of World Council of Churches. "We mourn all who have died or been injured in this war. We acknowledge with shame abuses carried out in our name."
The World Council of Churches includes more than 350 mainstream Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches; the Roman Catholic Church is not a member. The U.S. groups in the WCC include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, several Orthodox churches and Baptist denominations, among others.
I guess God is saying one thing to W and another to his reps on Earth.

And the choir is getting larger! The choir will have to sing very loud when W attacks Iran and meddles in Syria.

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How to be green

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Radical bird feeders.

SINCE YOU’RE reading this supplement, I strongly suspect you of being a political radical. Because it is highly possible that you put peanuts out for the blue tits. There can be no more glaring sign of daring political unorthodoxy.
Any one who feeds the birds is expressing a desire to subvert the political thinking of the country and the world.
Feeding the blue tits is a clear signal that you have a concern for wildlife. That you think wildlife is a good thing; that you think wildlife should be conserved at the expense of other matters more obviously beneficial to yourself and to humankind.
And that is radical. It is not unusual, certainly not. There are vast numbers of people who feed blue tits and/or believe that wildlife matters, that non-human life is important and that conservation is a good thing.
For the feeding of the birds implies, inexorably, a wish for a change in political thinking. Every peanut says that we think conservation is important and therefore, conservation should rise up the political agenda.
Each peanut implies that we are interested in the world that we will leave to our grandchildren. Each peanut implies that, like all living things, we have a vested interest in the survival of our genes, and that means an interest in a place suitable for their survival. Four years, five years, we instinctively reach beyond that. We are wiser than politicians, for we lack their specialist viewpoint.
The urge for conservation comes from three very powerful impulses. There is the feeling that conservation is our duty and one of stewardship. Then there is a feeling that conservation is a matter of self-interest. If we don’t look after our world, we will have nowhere decent to live, and nor will our descendants. And finally we feel that conservation should be carried out because we deeply wish to share our planet with non-human life.
What the bird-feeding radicals want is new priorities and a new political vision that looks at generations rather than electoral terms. And we want it quickly. We are running out of time.
We may end up being the cursed generation — the last generation that had a chance to do something, and failed. But that will not happen if the radicals get their way. So hang our your peanuts and remember that it is a revolutionary act.
Love this article.

Just came back in from filling my feeders before the temperature drops - a revolutionary act? - I love the thought.

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Climate Change

Friday, February 17, 2006

On the Edge concerns the state of Mother Earth.

A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared - twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels - and climate change - could be dramatic.
Yet, a few weeks ago, when I - a NASA climate scientist - tried to talk to the media about these issues following a lecture I had given calling for prompt reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases, the NASA public affairs team - staffed by political appointees from the Bush administration - tried to stop me doing so. I was not happy with that, and I ignored the restrictions. The first line of NASA 's mission is to understand and protect the planet.
This new satellite data is a remarkable advance. We are seeing for the first time the detailed behavior of the ice streams that are draining the Greenland ice sheet. They show that Greenland seems to be losing at least 200 cubic kilometers of ice a year. It is different from even two years ago, when people still said the ice sheet was in balance.
Hundreds of cubic kilometers sounds like a lot of ice. But this is just the beginning. Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid. The issue is how close we are getting to that tipping point. The summer of 2005 broke all records for melting in Greenland. So we may be on the edge.
They tried to stop him. Thank goodness Independent/UK and Common Dreams picked up the story.
How long have we got? We have to stabilize emissions of carbon dioxide within a decade, or temperatures will warm by more than one degree. That will be warmer than it has been for half a million years, and many things could become unstoppable. If we are to stop that, we cannot wait for new technologies like capturing emissions from burning coal. We have to act with what we have. This decade, that means focusing on energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy that do not burn carbon. We don't have much time left.
Conservation? That was one word not in the State of the Union. A powerful word and a powerful concept - but ignored by our Prezident. Why can't he talk about increasing gas mileage, calling for cleaner air, calling for conservation...?

Oh yeah. These concepts don't put money into the pockets of his friends.

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Any way to promote democracy?

I guess our regime thinks this works.

Very graphic photos here.

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Thank you Kucinich

At least some are trying to bring some sanity to the discussions. Common Dreams reports:

Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, issued the following statement today on H. Con. Res. 341:
"This bill undermines efforts towards a peaceful resolution of Iran's nuclear ambitions, and puts the United States on a dangerous path that could lead to war. This bill, and the debate in the House, have an eerie resemblance to similar debate and resolutions that led to the misguided and ill advised war in Iraq.
"This bill scuttles the only possibility for a peaceful resolution of this crisis. Namely, the offer, by Russia, to enrich uranium for Iran to use in its nuclear power plants. Iran would not operate any enrichment processing facilities of its own, and therefore would not have the ability to make isotopes of uranium suitable for weapons. This is the essence of a resolution offered by Russia to avert the crisis. This is the only diplomatic option available to us today.
"Moreover, there is no imminent threat of Iran building a nuclear weapon. This past summer, a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear capabilities was released showing that Iran was 10 years away from building a nuclear weapon. This estimate represents a consensus among the U.S. intelligence agencies.
"The Security Council option, favored heavily by the bill, thinly veils the route to a military confrontation with Iran.
"The Administration, covered by this bill, is leading this country to take military action against Iran. Make no mistake, that is the US program at the UN, just as it was prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"If you think Muslim reaction to a political cartoon is bad, what do you think reaction will be when the US is attack Iran while it occupies Iraq?
"This is a dangerous and deadly course the United States should not embark upon."
DEJA VU - Iraq redux (only worse)!

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Another Reason?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Iran News Daily via Watching America reports:

A large natural gas field has been discovered on the Persian Gulf island of Kish which could have similar output to two phases of the giant South Pars, Minister of Petroleum Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh has said.
Iran expects output of 25 million cubic meters of gas per day from each phase of the giant South Pars Gas Field, part of the world's largest reservoir of natural gas.
Despite holding the world's second largest reserves of natural gas after Russia, Iran has been slow to develop its reserves for export.
Great, just shut up Iran. W already has his targets set. He doesn't need another reason -especially an economic one - to attack. This one may just push the timetable up sooner. GREAT!

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Scooter, wanna go hunting?

Boston Globe via Smirking Chimp.

While quail-hunting last weekend, the vice president accidentally shot a friend and fellow hunter, 78-year-old Harry M. Whittington. This unfortunate event came a few days after a piece of Cheney-related news that might rattle any marksman's aim.
According to a Feb. 9 report posted by the National Journal, the vice president's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, told a federal grand jury he was "authorized" by Cheney and by "superiors" to disclose classified information about Iraq's nuclear weapons capability
Haven't looked at photos of Scooter and Harry. Do they look alike? Forget the beers, mini-strokes...maybe just a case of mistaken identity.

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Yep boys...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I shot him and he went down like a sack of flour. I love this gun!

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Quickdraw talks...

Uncle Dick is coming out to talk! Who is he talking to? FOX NEWS!

Wow, taking a big chance and waiting for those hard hitting questions from Brit Hume. The Fair and Balanced network!

Yeah right.

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Cheneyhunt

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Think you're good enough to beat the game:Cheney hunt. Keep trying until you hit that poor little quail. Shoot the quail dammit!

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The real reason for the shot...

Molly Ivins writes about Cheney's target:

Not that I accuse Harry Whittington of being an actual liberal—only by Texas Republican standards, and that sets the bar about the height of a matchbook. Nevertheless, Whittington is seriously civilized, particularly on the issues of crime, punishment and prisons. He served on both the Texas Board of Corrections and on the bonding authority that builds prisons. As he has often said, prisons do not curb crime, they are hothouses for crime: “Prisons are to crime what greenhouses are to plants.”
In the day, whenever there was an especially bad case of new-ignoramus-in-the-legislature—a “lock ’em all up and throw away the key” type—the senior members used to send the prison-happy, tuff-on-crime neophyte to see Harry Whittington, a Republican after all, for a little basic education on the cost of prisons.
When Whittington was the chairman of Texas Public Finance Authority, he had a devastating set of numbers on the demand for more, more, more prison beds. As Whittington was wont to point out, the only thing prisons are good for is segregating violent people from the rest of society, and most of them belong in psychiatric hospitals to begin with. The severity of sentences has no effect on crime.
It turns out he also was on the team who successfully turned a death sentence into life in prison for a man deemed mentally retarded. Seems the lawyer also serves on the Texas Funeral service Commission (yes Texas has a commission to watch over morticians).

So - mistaken for a quail, rubbed out by the Mortician's Mob or punished for fooling with W's Texas Death Penalty quota?

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Addicted to foreign oil...

or addicted to profits. It seems W is addicted to the latter - for himself and his pals.

The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.
New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.
Based on the administration figures, the government will give up more than $7 billion in payments between now and 2011. The companies are expected to get the largess, known as royalty relief, even though the administration assumes that oil prices will remain above $50 a barrel throughout that period.

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Too Late?

Ray McGovern asks the insiders:

Anyone who has been near a TV in recent weeks has heard the drumbeat for war on Iran. The best guess for timing is next month. Let's see if we cannot do better this time than we did on Iraq. Patriotic truth-tellers, we need you! In an interview last year with U.S. News and World Report, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said that on Iraq, "The White House is completely disconnected from reality. … It's like they're just making it up as they go along."
Ditto for an adventure against Iran. But the juggernaut has begun to roll; the White House/Fox News/Washington Times spin machine is at full tilt. This is where whistleblowers come in. Some of you will have the equivalent of the Gen. Abrams cable, shedding light on what the Bush administration is up to beneath the spin. Those of you clued into Israeli plans and U.S. intelligence support for them might clue us in too. Don't bother this time with the once-independent congressional oversight committees; you will have no protection, in any case, if you choose that route – CIA Director Porter Goss's recent claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Nor should you bother with the once-independent New York Times. Find some other way; just be sure you get the truth out – information that will provide the oxygen for democracy.
Don't wait until it's too late...
But from the looks of it - too late. The machine is primed and oiled. Iran has successfully been painted as the Evil Lord. Too many political hacks are behind an invasion/assault. Too bad we have to face more death and destruction before we say STOP THE INSANITY! Like a snowball rolling down the hill, getting bigger and bigger...

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Elections are good...

if our side wins.

The US and Israel

are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.
The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.
We put so much credence into Iraqi and Afghan elections that result in officials in our favor. Otherwise, watch out. That means you Palestine, South America, Central America....

We seem to be the final word on what democracy should look like in each corner of the world. It is the American model of democracy - corporatism and all.

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Why We Fight

Monday, February 13, 2006

The trailer to this film is a must (as is the film).

WHY WE FIGHT, the new film by Eugene Jarecki which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is an unflinching look at the anatomy of the American war machine, weaving unforgettable personal stories with commentary by a “who’s who” of military and beltway insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Richard Perle and others, WHY WE FIGHT launches a bipartisan inquiry into the workings of the military industrial complex and the rise of the American Empire.
Inspired by Dwight Eisenhower’s legendary farewell speech (in which he coined the phrase “military industrial complex”), filmmaker Jarecki (THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER) surveys the scorched landscape of a half-century’s military adventures, asking how – and telling why – a nation of, by, and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a system whose survival depends on a state of constant war.
Watching the trailer watch for the use of the word "collusion." It appears it was used by a representative of a defense contract corporation. Collusion:A secret agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose.Boy, how true is that.

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Quick Draw Cheney

I was not going to comment on Uncle Dick and his gun-fun. But after listening and reading about the incident - well: - He SHOT his friend. The victim was not "peppered" but shot. - He waited hours until telling the press - where were the police? The victim is in stable condition. The way the press and the landowner report it - he was peppered and oaky. Most of the shot will be removed by tweezers. - MY ASS. Again - HE WAS SHOT.

Uncle Dick was aiming at some low flying birds I guess. Didn't realize that quail in Texas sported orange feathers.

This is the man who is second in command - though I agree with many who think he is the Sith Lord. Discharges his weapon, shoots a fellow hunter then lets others tell the story hours later.

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Watching America

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Watching America: Good resource for national/international news.

Discover What the World Thinks About U.S.

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For peace and healing of the Earth...






A beautiful mandala created by Tibetan Monks at Fairfield University. Completed, blessed, "destroyed", and "packaged" for distribution to the crowds.

What about that little figure looking down on the mandala? My contribution to Army Men Project.

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Bush highlights foiled 2002 plot

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bush talked about how successful we were in stopping a planned terrorist action in 2002. Target - Los Angeles. He told the U.S. public - but I'm unclear whether LA ever heard about this -even in 2002.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday he was blindsided by Bush’s announcement and described communication with the White House as “nonexistent.”
"Nonexistent"- referring to 2002 or in regard to this being made public? Was this threat real, just in the planning stages, or created in the minds of those trying to justify wiretaps?

Inquiring minds want to know. I hope the Senate wants to know too.

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A few alterations...

Cindy Sheehan has decided to not run for office. In this article she mentions a quote from George McGovern. Reading it today, all we have to do is change or add some words (in red) and it is totally appropriate for todays House and Senate members.

"Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 ( 2,434 and counting) young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood ... It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam (Iraq), because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men (and women) and their lives and their hopes."
It's time for our elected officials to demand an end to this war. It is a time for everyone to reject the fear this regime wants us to live in. It is time for us all to find a better way. Today's way is not working!

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The man behind Bushes speeches

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Harlan McCraney is the real mind behind W's speeches. Thanks to www.youtube.com.

Had seen this before but it's still funny. It would be hysterical if it wasn't so close to the truth.

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Juggernaut Gathering Momentum: Next Stop, Iran -

Ray McGovern points out:

What President George W. Bush, Fox News, and the Washington Times were saying about Iraq three years ago they are now saying about Iran. After Saturday's vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report Iran's suspicious nuclear activities to the UN Security Council, the president wasted no time in warning, "The world will not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons."
Iran signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and insists (correctly) that the treaty assures signatories the right to pursue nuclear programs for peaceful use. And when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claims, as she did last month, "There is simply no peaceful rationale for the Iranian regime to resume uranium enrichment," she is being, well, disingenuous again.
If Dr. Rice has done her homework, she is aware that in 1975 President Gerald Ford's chief of staff, Dick Cheney, and his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, bought Iran's argument that it needed a nuclear program to meet future energy requirements. This is what Iranian officials are saying today, and they are supported by energy experts who point out that oil extraction in Iran is already at or near peak and that the country will need alternatives to oil in coming decades.
Ironically, Cheney and Rumsfeld were among those persuading the reluctant Ford in 1976 to approve offering Iran a deal for nuclear reprocessing facilities that would have brought at least $6.4 billion for U.S. corporations like Westinghouse and General Electric. The project fell through when the Shah was ousted three years later.
The "war footing" is also evident in Condi's comments about the "cartoon" anger.
“Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and to use this to their own purposes and the world ought to call them on it.."
Call them on it? Are we really ready to engage so many people, so many nations into a new war? Is this what God has said to W - bring about the End for Me?

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Alberto - the Cha-Cha king...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gonzales was sidestepping and dancing up a storm.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., asked if the authorization Bush claims to have would also enable the government to open mail — in addition to monitoring voice and electronic communications.
“There is all kinds of wild speculation out there about what the president has authorized and what we’re actually doing,” Gonzales said.
“You’re not answering my question,” Leahy retorted. “Does this law authorize the opening of first-class mail of U.S. citizens? Yes or no?”
“That’s not what’s going on,” Gonzales said. “We are only focusing on international communications, where one part of the conversation is al-Qaida.”
The strangest Yes or No I ever heard. But no problem - he is not under oath. "I'll tell you the truth - maybe."

You notice he has a smirk similar to W's and Uncle Dick's - talks out of the side of the mouth. Is that a prerequiste for working with W?

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Torturer, spy, now...

judge, jury and executioner. Newsweek reports that a:

Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.
Who makes the determination that the person is a "terrorist?" Can a blogger be a terrorist, or how about someone wearing a political t-shirt during a W speech?

What's next? Declaring oneself Prez for Life?

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Rep. Bernie Sanders collapses at funeral

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Get well Bernie . We need you.

Rep. Bernie Sanders collapsed Sunday while attending the funeral of a Vermont National Guardsman killed last month in Iraq, but he was able to walk to an ambulance without assistance.
“I feel all right,” Sanders, 64, said as he left the building. “My wife had a flu. I’m fine.”
Let's hope it was the flu. We need Bernie's voice, ideas, mind...

I wish my Rep thought like Bernie!

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KHUZESTAN: THE FIRST FRONT IN THE WAR ON IRAN?

ZNet , in November 2005, posted the following:

But the key to the future of Iran is in its southwest, in Khuzestan--with its oil fields, its shared ethnic-religious identity with Iraq, and its proximity to U.S. and British forces eager to secure final revenge for the ouster of the Shah. The Beirut Daily Star predicts that the "first step taken by an invading force would be to occupy Iran's oil-rich Khuzestan Province, securing the sensitive Straits of Hormuz and cutting off the Iranian military's oil supply, forcing it to depend on its limited stocks."
The defense website Globalsecurity.org even names this invasion strategy the "Khuzestan Gambit," astutely observing that the province "is the one large piece of flat Iranian terrain to the west of the Zagros Mountains. American heavy forces could swiftly occupy Khuzestan, and in doing so seize control of most of Iran's oil resources, and non-trivial portions of the country's water supply and electrical generating capacity."
In a "Khuzestan Gambit" strategy, U.S. and British forces aiding an Arab uprising would turn Khuzestan into a de facto autonomous protectorate of "Arabistan" or "Ahwaz," in order to take control of the country's oil-dependent economy. By holding the region as an economic "hostage," they could then dictate their terms to Tehran. Pentagon strategists' fanciful thinking may be that, without access to the country's oil wealth, the ruling clerics would be undermined and Iranian reformers would lead a new revolution.
Yet like previous strategies in Iraq, this one will also be sure to backfire, by destroying any chance of reform in Iran, and rallying "moderate" Iranians around their government. Even a limited intervention--for example, to halt an Iranian crackdown on Arab dissidents--could inspire Arab Gulf States to militarily assert their claims to islands long disputed with Iran. If Khuzestan officially or unofficially secedes, the move could set into motion the "Balkanization" of Iran, which would inevitably tear apart neighboring countries.
On top of all that, the Americans and British may simply lose a new war against Iran, just as they are losing the war in Iraq today. Iran's Revolutionary Guards are more formidable fighters than Saddam's Republican Guard. The Iranian military could launch a counterattack or effectively melt into an Iraq-style insurgency. If Tehran feels backed into a corner, it may desperately retaliate with exactly the strategy that Bush and Blair have accused it of -- backing attacks on the West and Israel, or deploying nuclear weapons. If their land and oil is being occupied anyways, what would Iranians have to lose?
Another assinine proposition. Though all wars are that.

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Foundation for Global Community

The Wombat says "All is One." And wombats don't lie like some folks we know. Short little movie - BIG MESSAGE.

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Eighty Percent Of Al-Qaeda No. 2s Now Dead

The Pentagon announced Monday that 80 percent of Osama bin Laden's seconds-in-command have been eliminated. "Nearly 1,600 al-Qaeda leaders ranked number two have been wiped out," Lt. Col. Mark Allison said. "That leaves only 400 of Osama bin Laden's right-hand men in the organization." Following the apparent failure to kill bin Laden's No. 2 man Ayman al-Zawahri in a missile strike on a Pakistani border town on Jan. 13, American forces intensified the search for al-Qaeda second-in-command Ahmed Al-Zahnami, or, failing that, No. 2 man Amman al-Zaharani, or No. 2 man Ahmed al-Zafarani.
Thanks to The Onion - America's Finest News Source.

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25 Strippers Nabbed In Raids

The Smoking Gun has a piece on a Tampa area sting operation.

...arresting more than two dozen strippers in an undercover investigation. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the dancers were allegedly involved in a variety of criminal activities, including cocaine peddling, prostitution, lewdness, exposure of sexual organs, and the improper solicitation of alcohol sales.
Click on photo #7. The Tampa police are great at arresting the dancers but terrible at spelling. Look at the "charge" this dancer is facing. "Prostition" - the new plague facing America today.

Hey Larissa - we see that middle finger!

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Iraqi Communist Party

W's friends?
Yes, our war-lord's actions are supported by the Iraqi Communist Party. What will Hannity, Limbaugh and Robertson say about this? Are we in league with the original "Groupies for Satan" (at least that is how they are viewed by thr rightwing)?

The party's statement includes:

...we believe that calling for their immediate withdrawal does not take into consideration the sharp current polarization in our country, the existence of paramilitary organizations, and the insufficient preparedness of the Iraqi security forces. Hence we call for a timetable for withdrawal together with doubling the efforts to provide the internal political, institutional and security conditions for this withdrawal.
We hope that the anti-war forces take into consideration the complexities of the situation in Iraq. At the same time, we respect the right of all parties and organizations in the countries that have sent troops in Iraq to call for their speedy withdrawal. It is their own internal affair, while we too reserve the right to formulate our own position in accordance with what we consider to be in the interests of our country.
Okay, you caught me stretching it slightly. W wouldn't agree with them either. Timetable? Hell, the only timetables W is dealing with are the tiemtables to complete our permanent bases in Iraq- so we can deal with the next timetable: Operation Iran.

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Powell's Former Chief of Staff

Lawrence Wilkerson spills the beans.

...much of Powell's landmark speech to the United Nations laying out the Bush Administration's case for the Iraq war was false.
"I participated in a hoax on the American people, the international community, and the United Nations Security Council," says Wilkerson, who helped prepare the address.
We already knew that it was all LIES - but refreshing to hear someone admitting it.

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US Expels Venezuelan Diplomat

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A Venezuelan Diplomat was expelled in retaliation. Seems Venezuela ousted

,,,naval attaché John Correa for allegedly passing secret information from Venezuelan military officers to the Pentagon.
So we stick out our tongues and oust the chief of staff to their ambassador.
"We don't like to get into tit-for-tat games with the Venezuelan government like this, but they initiated this and we were forced to respond,"
so Nyah-Nyah-Nyah-Nyah...It's our sandbox...Expecially love Rummy's comments about Chavez:
"I mean, we've got Chavez in Venezuela with a lot of oil money," Rumsfeld added. "He's a person who was elected legally - just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally - and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others."
Let's look at the first sentence again:
"He's a person who was elected legally - just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally - and then consolidated power
Is he talking about Chavez or his own boss W?

Aaah! Foreign policy and diplomacy - our strength(?)(!).

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Mark Fiore presents

Friday, February 03, 2006

Flamey McGassy. A great "guide" to Global Warming and W's lack of response and lack of interest. It is up to us to conserve, change our patterns of consumption, change our culture and ultimately change our government.

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The real State of the Union

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I know what you are saying. We watched - we heard. But what you did not know is that there are several filters installed in U.S. televisions that block the truth. The real SOTU speech (thanks to ebaumsworld.com) is here. UNFILTERED and UNALTERED.

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Lynn Woolsey's...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

statement regarding Cindy Sheehan

"Since when is free speech conditional on whether you agree with the President? Cindy Sheehan, who gave her own flesh and blood for this disastrous war, did not violate any rules of the House of Representatives. She merely wore a shirt that highlighted the human cost of the Iraq war and expressed a view different than that of the President. Free speech and the First Amendment exist to protect dissenting statements like Ms. Sheehan's last night."
"Stifling the truth will not blind Americans to the immorality of sending young Americans to die in an unnecessary war, against a nation that posed no threat to our security. The President's speech last night was yet another attempt to distort history, as he suggested - once again - that the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq. Everyone knows this is not true. We must not be afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes. It's time to bring our troops home."
The emperor also has no brains - as evidenced at the top of this post.

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The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right's Plans for the Rest of Us

BuzzFlash in reviewing this book by Rabbi Rudin notes:

BuzzFlash has long opined on the theory that we are in a war between those who would foster the development of the United States as an evolving, embracing Constitutional democracy vs. those who would [while using propaganda to mislead the public about their intentions] restore America into a pre-Revolutionary monarchy, based on a fixed view. This fixed view is based on an extreme interpretation of Christianity and is exclusionary to other religions and individual freedoms and liberties, those which are at odds with the "frozen" static religious worldview of the "Christocrats."
Scalia, Thomas or Alito are called "Strict Constructionists" as far as the Constitution is concerned. Actually, they are activist judges who seek to remake the Constitution to reflect a literal interpretation of the Bible.
The basic conflict of the pro-democracy, pro-Constitution movement vs. the Bushevik Taliban is whether or not we are a nation based on a Constitutional guarantee of individual liberties and freedoms vs. a nation based on a pre-Revolutionary view of a fixed world order channeled through a perceived God that actually gives instructions to George W. Bush and the far right Christian mullahs, such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell -- toss in James Dobson, too -- among others.
This view holds much weight after a review of national and international policies, the demonizing of certain religions and lifestyles...

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So what did we learn...

during last night's State of the Union?

  1. W and his speechwriters love labels? Last few times it was evildoers, and axis of evil -now the buzzword is "isolationists"
  2. We'll be in Iraq as long as W is around.
  3. W is not too good with math. With the hole our economy is in, with the expense of our war machine, and with tax cuts he wants to spend more on alternative energy projects. Where will the money come from? Hey I am the first to applaud the use of solar, wind, etc. but why wait for 6 to 20 years. Why didn't he talk about raising vehicle mileage standards or promoting conservation? Two NOW plans. Also interesting that a prezident who has contributed to so many environmental blunders is trying to appear GREEN (we won't be fooled).
  4. The United States mission is to spread democracy around the world. When the USSR tried to spread Communism, we were outraged, Why is it any different when we become the proselytizer?
  5. Elections are good But only if you dip your finger in ink and we could use that image to our benefit. An election that votes in a Chavez or a Hamas government is BAD.
  6. Wearing a political statement on your sheet is considered a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Just ask Cindy Sheehan.

Speaking of Sheehan - love her comments after her arrest.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shrit that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing. It is time to take our freedoms and our country back. I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ulitmate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government. That's why I am going to take my freedoms and liberties back. That's why I am not going to let Bushco take anything else away from me...or you.

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