Donald Rumsfeld was giving the president his daily
briefing. He concluded by saying: "Yesterday, 3
Brazilian soldiers were killed."
"OH NO!" the President exclaimed. "That's terrible!"
His staff sat stunned at this display of emotion,
nervously watching as the President sat, head in
Finally, the President looked up and asked,
"How many is a brazillion?"
(Kudos to my friend Judy for the joke)
Outrage Fatigue (& Posse Comitatus)
Seen this?Nation's Liberals Suffering From Outrage Fatigue
(The Onion)Portland, OR, resident Suzanne Marshal compared herself to an addict, needing increasingly large doses of perceived injustices to achieve a state of anger."Even though I know how seriously messed-up the situation is in Iraq, I've became inured to all but the most extreme levels of wrongdoing," Marshal said. "For months, no amount of civilian bombing could get me mad. Then those amazing photos of the tortured Iraqi prisoners hit the streets, and I got that old rush of overwhelming disgust with my government. Then more photos came out, and more officials were implicated, and now—I don't know. It's like a switch in my head turned off again...."
Well, if you check my profile you will see I'm no longer what you'd call young, and, yeah, I'm now what you'd call jaded by politics. But it took the last five years, two very questionable presidential election outcomes, the still-unexplained military and intelligence stand-downs where the current regime did everything it could to permit the attacks of September 11th, huge tax-breaks for the rich combined with huge deficits and cuts in basic services, the National Guard sent abroad (they're national
, remember, for defending the nation
- isn't it actually illegal to send them off to foreign lands to fight wars, whether such wars are misguided or not?), and
the Patriot Act to get me there.
I was a perfect example of outrage fatigue.
Yesterday morning, as I tuned in to NPR, I heard someone reporting on the following story:Bush looks to Pentagon to take lead in disasters
by Julie Mason (The Houston Chronicle)
Sept. 25, 2005, 11:33 PM"Part of the reason I've come down here
[to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio], and part of the reason I went to Northcom
[U.S. Northern Command in Colorado], was to better understand how the federal government can plan and surge equipment to mitigate natural disasters," Bush said.In the case of a terrorist attack, the Defense Department would automatically serve as the lead authority in overseeing a response, Bush said. But he added that the Pentagon also could take a top role in a large-scale natural disaster....Currently, state governors are responsible for disaster preparedness and response, including calling in their National Guard units.
Governors can request assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If federal armed forces are brought in to help, they do so in support of FEMA and their activities are restricted by law.Putting the planning and oversight in the Pentagon's hands would effectively federalize disaster response, possibly eroding states' legal rights....
What's being floated here is a trial balloon calling for the dismantling of the Posse Comitatus Act. The what? See below:Posse Comitatus Act of 1878
10 U.S.C. (United States Code) 375
Sec. 375. Restriction on direct participation by military personnel: The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel) under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.
18 U.S.C. 1385
Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act ofCongress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise toexecute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
This act was passed by southern lawmakers emerging from 15 years of military occupation in the defeated South after the Civil War (see the rest of the material to be found at the page linked to above). Its purpose was to safeguard the freedom of America's citizens by making military rule illegal in the United States. Freedom-loving citizens on both the right and the left have long understood the importance of preventing America's military from being used as a posse comitatus against her own people. Should this ever be allowed to happen, it would be tantamount to the institution of direct military rule in America and the total subversion of America's democracy.
Where have exemptions to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 been championed? Try not to be too surprised:U.S. Northcom Fact Sheets Posse Comitatus Act (PCA)
Remember Northcom? Bush had just come from there prior to giving his speech on dispensing with the restrictions imposed by the Posse Comitatus Act (though he never actually mentioned the act by name).
The Bush-Cheney administration ignored the imminent disaster threatening New Orleans and the Gulf Coast until well after it was too late. It requires no stretching of the imagination to understand this may well have been done deliberately. In fact, it's almost the only way the administration's complete lack of response to the enormous crisis - for days - can make any sense. By doing nothing, the administration fostered an even bigger crisis, one in which it could be claimed the usual measures had proved insufficient. The historical severity of the disaster, and the government's failure to deal with it, then becomes the justification for ceding even more power to the federal government - once again at the expense of the freedoms of Americans. Sort of like Andrews Air Force Base, charged with the air defense of our nation's capital, standing down as a plane flew toward the District of Columbia for an hour and then slammed itself into the Pentagon - AFTER two planes had deliberately been crashed into the World Trade Center. And then using the government's failure to defend its people as an excuse for the government to weaken civil liberties while at the same time claiming new and greater powers for itself.
Déjà vu all over again? Yes, and again, and yet again.
If Congress fails to grow a pair and stand up to the neoconservatives, and thereby allows more steps toward military rule to be taken - such as, in this case, the abrogation of the prohibition on posse comitatus - I will take steps of my own. To leave this country. If America goes away from me, I will have no choice but to go away from America. If freedom can no longer be found here, then we must look for it elsewhere.
Hey, Junior, thanks for curing me of a very serious case of outrage fatigue. And you thought the Onion was only joking.
Why the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 is so vital to a functional American democracy:
From the right:Posse Comitatus - Do You Think You're Safe?
by Ed Henry (Western Missouri Shooters Alliance)
From the left:Predators, Snipers and the Posse Comitatus Act
by Kurt Nimmo (CounterPunch)
Bush-times = End-times?
Returning to the idea of my original post:Hey, are we in the End-Times?Though I was raised a Christian, and still have my Christian values (remember those - help and protect the poor and the weak, love thy neighbor, blessed are the peacemakers?), the Christian mythology is just too full of holes. The Ragnarok end-of-the-world script is much more honest and makes a lot more sense. Loki (science/technology) is set loose and willingly serves all sides - those working toward evil ends, those working for good. In the West, Odin's elite spears, Thor's armies, Njord's navies, and Vali's covert operatives relentlessly battle for one order, one law, one rule - theirs. To the East, the forces of chaos cannot prevail in a conventional conflict, but chaos itself is their greatest asset. There is no central command. The responses to the West's military operations are random, often suicidal, annexing no new territory, making no strategic gains - yet persistently gnawing at the enemy's flank. Victory for either side is a defeat for all and could well mean the end of the world. A far better model for what we see today than the phantasmagoric mess in Revelations. Making me wonder: How far ahead were the ancient skalds able to see?But if we go by Revelations, does anybody recall this?Bush's "Christian" Blood Cult by Wayne Madsen (CounterPunch)
April 22, 2003Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs, and his constant references to "evil doers," in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations - the anti-Christ. People close to the Pope claim that amid these concerns, the Pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations.... "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel." The Pope, who grew up facing the evils of Hitler and Stalin, knows evil when he sees it. Although we can all endlessly argue over the Pope's effectiveness in curtailing abuses within his Church, his accomplishments external to Catholicism are impressive.
According to journalists close to the Vatican, the Pope and his closest advisers are also concerned that the ultimate acts of evil - the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - were known in advance by senior Bush administration officials. By permitting the attacks to take their course, there is a perception within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that a coup d'etat was implemented, one that gave Bush and his leadership near-dictatorial powers to carry out their agenda.
The Pope worked tirelessly to convince leaders of nations on the UN Security Council to oppose Bush's war resolution on Iraq. Vatican sources claim they had not seen the Pope more animated and determined since he fell ill to Parkinson's Disease.... Whether Bush represents a dangerous right-wing ideologue who couples his political fanaticism with a neo-Christian blood cult (as I believe) or he is either the anti-Christ or heralds one, the Pope should know he has fought the good battle...To carry this analogy just a step or two further, the year 2004 was a record year for natural disasters. Check out Discover magazine's "2004: Year of Calamity" by John Grimwade (vol. 26, no. 1, Jan 2005). Some of the highlights: In January of last year, Antarctica unleashed formerly landlocked glaciers upon the world's oceans and sea-levels rose, while South Africa and Eritrea wasted away in droughts threatening a collective population of 5.9 million; in August and September, Florida and the Caribbean felt the wrath of 4 major hurricanes in just 6 weeks, leaving at least 2,000 dead; flash-floods and landslides in China on September 10th wrecked 300,000 homes; Mount St. Helens shook itself awake with a 10,000-foot column of steam and ash, the eruption of Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano required a rerouting of air-traffic, Mount Egon's four eruptions forced the evacuation of 2,000 Indonesians, and Mount Aetna erupted for the first time in 7 years; and then there were the locusts - plagues of them in Africa and Australia, destroying millions of acres of cropland. Honestly, that's the short version. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, volcanoes and did I forget to mention the plagues of locusts? Maybe you were watching The Daily Show last year during the hurricanes, which presaged the other disaster known as the 2004 election? John Stewart took a look at the hurricane barrage hitting Florida, took note of the vote-counting fiasco in Florida four years earlier, and then noticed that another election was fast approaching on the calendar. He asked in a small scared voice, "Maybe God is angry with us?"
(See Bob Morris' Any Questions?
for further details.)And now the Katrina-Rita one-two punch delivered to the Gulf and especially to New Orleans.Now guess what was going on while Rita claimed the media's attention?Anti-war rally held in Washington
(BBC) 24 September 2005
The world is not a happy place these days. The people are trying to tell their leaders something. Maybe the gods are, too?New Orleans/2005 Hurricane Katrina
If I knew you were coming, I'da baked a cake
Image via Screaming Points
I was looking at the site meter and I saw a visit from Halliburton....really! Usually it's just me, Maurinsky and an occasional "next blog" visitor, so I was quite pleased.
I am broker than broke after another
thousand dollars sunk into my vehicle. a trombone deposit, fiddle lessons, school pictures and team photos...but I am going to roll pennies to see this movie! Counting the minutes...
| You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.|
What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com
U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14
from the ever faboo J-Walk
The story is faux serious (IOW, it would be serious if it wasn't an act), but the URL is pure hilarity.
You can get yours here
. (All proceeds for Katrina victims)
My commercial pet peeve of the day
Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
It's not just Dr. Pepper, it's not just Vanilla Dr. Pepper, it's not even merely Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. No, it's DIET Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. I think that is too many things for one soda to be.
A Tribute in Light 2002 by Jook Leung
If we took one day to memorialize each victim of the attacks on September 11, 2001, it would take about 16 years to go thru the list.
I thought about that yesterday. I still find it difficult to comprehend.
Break it down for me
Well, I am totally over my baddayedness, and I am posting this timeline
I'm having the crappiest day
I am having a no good, very bad day. I constantly lecture my kids about how, when something bad happens in the morning, like you spilled your cereal, that you should not write off the rest of the day. I try to practice that, I reallyreally do. Today though, all bets are off. I was running late for work this morning and I was passed on the right by some lady, who was kind enough to wave at me with her middle finger (I do not know what I did to deserve that). I had a rough-ish work day. I had a chat with my son's teacher who told all his friends that. "My Mom says Ms, L (a teacher at school) is a big, fat Pig" )(Maurinsky is laughing at that)I stopped at THE SAME bank I stop at EVERY TWO WEEKS to cash my check and the teller would not cash it without a second form of id. They always cash my check...I gave her a Home Depot Credit Card, which she said is not id, it has to be a non-store credit card.
*Sigh* I came home and called up a friend to vent and she said, "Can I call you later? I'm watching "Judging Amy""
I just burst into tears! I totally took that as "a tv show, a repeat for godssakes, is more important than me". to put the icing on the proverbial cake, I am hosting a sleepover party for eight 13 year old girls tonite
I guess some days are just like that.
A to do list?
from The Daily Show
via the crew at ONTD!
I am at a loss for words...
"In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I’ve talked to wants to move to Houston."
Then she added: "What I’m hearing is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed with the hospitality.
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (she chuckled)–this is working very well for them."
found over at The Republic of T
You have to read this story
"BATON ROUGE, La. — In the chaos that was Causeway Boulevard, this group of refugees stood out: a 6-year-old boy walking down the road, holding a 5-month-old, surrounded by five toddlers who followed him around as if he were their leader.
They were holding hands. Three of the children were about 2 years old. A 3-year-old girl, who wore colorful barrettes on the ends of her braids, had her 14-month-old brother in tow. The 6-year-old spoke for all of them, and he told rescuers his name was Deamonte Love"
read further here
Words from Viggo Mortensen
In the often and rightly quoted words of Bill Clinton, "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." We see now how individuals and groups around the country are acting in any way they can to help their fellow citizens in Louisiana, Mississippi and other devastated places near the Gulf of Mexico. They refuse to stand idly by and wait for President Bush and his morally-bankrupt, pirate administration to respond in an appropriately urgent and compassionate manner to the escalating agony and desperation of our fellow citizens. This agony and desperation was caused in large part by a near complete absence of adequate federal government funding, preparedness, and leadership. We the people will continue to help Americans and non-Americans alike, with or without the participation or approval of George W. Bush and his Neo-Conservative cohorts. While it is true that what is most important right now is to rescue, feed, house, and in any way possible care for those immediately affected by the disaster, it is equally true that in the long run those directly responsible for aggravating the tragic situation must be held accountable. The mounting evidence of the Bush administration's criminal mismanagement of the nation, as well as its consistently arrogant disregard for our planet's people and natural environments must be confronted immediately. Those who voted for Bush last year, or who have continually supported his outlaw administration in its destructively dishonest conduct, including not only extremist conservatives but also politically-calculating democrats, need not hang their heads or avert their eyes now. What they can and ought to do is join the increasing numbers of Americans who are demanding that presidential impeachment proceedings be initiated as soon as possible. Members of the Bush Administration responsible for the blatant lies and self-serving manipulations that have fanned the flames of disaster from Iraq to New Orleans must be prosecuted as our laws require. We must insist on this. Furthermore, we must not allow these disgracefully unpatriotic public servants to be pardoned by any future president as Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon. Please call or write your government representatives and help get the scoundrels out of government and in prison where they belong. Do not allow the subject to be changed, do not be distracted. The time to act is now. Take back your country.
- Viggo Mortensen, 1 Sept., 2005. here
found at Aimee's
courtesy Java Diva