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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck

Thanks for the flattery and kind words. I am speechless.

This site has been a labor of love, and I'm sorry to have to put it to rest. I have not given up the fight, but at this time my focus is required elsewhere. For those looking for a new blog to frequent, check out a smaller (less trafficked), but great blog: Blah 3. My all time fave though is Eschaton, not just for the posts themselves, but the comments, where a wealth of timely info and wit can be found.

Take care all...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Daily Dissent Closing Shop

Gang, I'm sorry to announce this but after discussions with Dionysus, we've decided to pull the plug on Daily Dissent. It's not because of tickets to Gitmo or Men in Black SUVs.

I finally found a job again, but it's a long drive and work plus 3 or 4 hours of road time will leave me no time to post regularly. I live alone so everything that needs to be done gets done by me. Much as I love doing this, I'm not skipping supper for it - and I have to cook, eat it and clean up - after I get home from work.

So, since Dionysus is still dealing with the issues he has, and I'm going to have no time left any more to do any regular posting on Daily Dissent, we've decided to pull the site. I'm sorry folks. I just won't have the time to do justice to the effort. I'll miss you.

The site will be closed in about a week. Comments are welcome, or you can send an e-mail to Dionysus using the link on the page. Post links to your homepages and I'll try to comment on them sometimes.

Working with Dionysus on Daily Dissent has been my honor, my privelege, and my duty. And remember, a bad week for Bush is a good week for America.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bush Sinks to New Low

Bet you're thinking he sold Jenna to a Saudi prince as a harem girl, right? Well, if he did I haven't found out about that one yet. No, this is just a new poll result.

Seems the boy-king wannabe is down to a 34% job approval rating. I just wonder, what will they pull out of Rove's ass now to bring his numbers back up? I hope it's not another terrorist attack.

And I wonder too, just how low he has to go before his own party starts to mumble the I-word? At this rate, there will be Republicans leaving Washington next fall faster than poor folk were leaving New Orleans.

And They're Off and Running!

Only one day into the week, and by last evening it looked like a bad week brewing for Bushie again. You know, when you screw up as constantly as he does, it's only a matter of time until the peasants turn on you with torches and pitchforks. So here's the Monday evening run-down.

After playing tough with the democratically elected Hamas government of Palestine and cutting off funding, the EU is stepping in to provide money to close that gap and keep the Palestinian people from starvation - and the total is 150% of what we've been giving. Guess he lost on THAT gunslinger stance. So now he's stuck with having pushed for Democratic elections, and then trying to punish the Palestinians for electing a government Bush didn't want. But the punishment failed because the EU stepped in. Looking kind of stupid, huh? No duh.

Democrats are still after the illegal domestic spying issue. They just aren't giving up. This thing is apparently getting way more traction than the stonewalling efforts of the administration anticipated. And that is a good thing. Spying on citzens without probable cause is NOT OK in a democratic society.
The lawmakers said the surveillance of terrorists must be done within the bounds of U.S. law, but complained that their efforts to get answers to legal and factual questions about the program have been stymied — "generally based on the feeblest of excuses."

"If the effort to prevent vigorous and appropriate investigation succeeds, we fear the inexorable conclusion will be that these executive branch agencies hold themselves above the law and accountable to no one," wrote the lawmakers"

And the governors of ALL 50 states are jumping on Georgie about his plans to cut the funds for the National Guard. Maybe he's afraid the governors might use a strong Guard to resist martial law?
"We're getting ready for tsunamis. We're getting ready for earthquakes. We're getting ready for forest fires," said Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington state. "Cut all that back and I think you're left with a really troublesome situation."

And speaking of governors, they're also busting King George's chops on the issue of illegal imigration. But let's face it - illegal immigration is merely a symptom of a much more serious issue - LACK OF BORDER SECURITY. If an uneducated Mexican farmer can manage to sneak in, how many educated terrorists with a support network can get in?

And, the governors are telling the MSM that Bush's cock-ups are hurting the party at home. Everybody's home. Funny, either they aren't telling Bush directly, or they did and got no response, so they're now going public. But it was only a matter of time until Bush hurt the GOP - or should I say until the GOP realized Bush was hurting it.

So it looks like Bush is set to have another 'triple Tanquery straight up' week. And that is a good week in the making for us, my friends.

Drug and Insurance Industries in Trouble?

You would think the drug and insurance businesses were in deep doo-doo lately if you pay attention to everything going on to help them rape America. The new Medicare program is one of those things. But here's one you might have missed.

There has been a rush lately of government-funded studies trashing vitamins and supplements. Why? Well, as more and more Americans lose their health insurance or are forced to drop it due to the skyrocketing costs, more and more of us turn to 'alternative' health methods and means. Like vitamins and supplements, like alternative medicine, holistic living, etc. It's costing the drug business and the insurance business billions.

So, as a service to our readers, I'm writing this post to tell you that there are information sources out there that are good places to find out whether or not these studies the feds are funding are worth paying attention to or not. As it turns out, most are actually constructed to provide negative data on the supplement studied - such as doses way to small to have any measurable effect.

I like the Life Extension Foundation as one of my primary sources of health information. Not only do they profile their board (doctors, biologists, bio-chemists, etc.) in every issue of their monthly magazine, but the information they provide is detailed and quite specific. If they have an issue with the results of a study, they tell you why. If they like the results, they tell you why. Check it out. Don't let your health decisions be led by Bush's efforts to use our government to help his funding sources make even more money - at the expense of your health.

Ducking a Bitch Slap

Our boy Chimpy Bush has agreed to a second review of the inane Ports deal- after saying just last week that he would NOT reconsider the deal.
Schumer said Monday he is skeptical of the review panel's ability to evaluate the deal, saying the panel has been more focused on economic development rather than national security.

Now, while the AP thinks it's an opportunity to "sidestep a battle with members of his own party and to tone down bipartisan criticism of the deal", I have a different view of the reason behind the second review. My thinking is that Bush was about to be bitch slapped by a bi-partisan Congress on this one. He'd offered to veto legislation, and they essentially said 'bring that weak shit on'. And of course, if they dig into the deal (which may now happen), it could look even worse for our Chimperor, so he's trying to avoid any serious problems by buying time.

And it does already. The Coast Guard weighed in on this one yesterday, saying that they had issues.
"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment" of the potential merger, the unclassified Coast Guard intelligence assessment said.

"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the assessment said.

Of course, they were told 'trust me' by the administration so they shut up. But that admission that they were unable to do a full threat analysis has only poured gasoline on the fire in Congress.
Under the agreement congressional GOP leaders negotiated over the weekend, the Bush administration agreed to the company's request for a highly unusual 45-day national security review of its business deal.

But a bipartisan group of senators on Monday introduced a bill anyway that would delay the deal and give Congress an opportunity to block the takeover. Separately, Democrats introduced legislation that would prohibit companies owned by foreign governments from controlling operations at U.S. ports.

Not looking good for King George IV... but it could get worse. A lawsuit filed in Britain could kill the deal too - remember that the company selling the operations is British. This whole thing could be outside of Bush's ability to control it at all. Something he can't control or buy - what a shock that will be to him.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bush Giving Aid to the Enemy

Who said six? All week long the news is that the Dubai company buying management of our ports was buying into only six of them. It's really 21.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

Also, I've been trying to confirm my own belief that we move military equipment and personnel thru these ports. I found this:
Few Americans are aware of the volume of cargo that is shipped from ports located along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Brownsville, Texas, to Cape Sable, Florida. Some of these ports serve as major Department of Defense transportation nodes for overseas deployment of Army cargo. Two of these nodes are strategic ports located in Texas--the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi. (Designation as a strategic port means that the port management will give priority to military cargo during a contingency.) Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports.

Although both the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi are container capable, petroleum and break-bulk products constitute most of the cargo shipped from those locations. The Port of Beaumont is home to one of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC's) port-handling battalions, the 842d Transportation Battalion.

And then there is this, from the American Association of Port Authorities.
In addition to moving cargo that enhances our daily lives, public ports serve another critical function during wartime. The Department of Defense designates two dozen ports to support the mobilization, deployment and resupply of U.S. forces during major conflicts. Commercial port facilities routinely ship military cargo and many U.S. ports host major naval installations.

For example, U.S. public ports and their commercial partners have been instrumental in assisting the deployment of troops and material for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since the conflicts began there in early 2003. The Military Sealift Command (MSC) and the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) use public ports to preposition mobility forces and assets and provide global surface deployment command, together with control and distribution operations, to meet national security objectives in peace and war.

According to the 2003 annual report of the U.S. Transportation Command, in the two years after Operation Enduring Freedom began, the MSC team provided vital ocean survey and instrumentation information to war fighters, in addition to sending more than 261 million gallons of fuel and delivering 95,000 tons of ammunition and 23 million square feet of vehicles, aircraft and rolling stock to U.S. forces in ports throughout the Middle East and the world.

Can we really afford to let a company, located in the heart of 'The War Against Terror', have access to the information about how and when we move our military and it's supplies, and where it's going? Can we really afford to have a troop ship blown out of the water? Is Bush working for Zarqawi now?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Who Runs Port Security?

pResident Bush spent three days this week trying to tell the nation that the ports deal with the UAE was not to be worried about because they don't handle security. But a writer for the Associated Press disagrees.
The terminal operator is responsible for security at its own terminal and the area within the port where cargo is loaded, unloaded or transferred, according to the Homeland Security Department.

UAE-based Dubai Ports World would operate some of the terminals at a half-dozen of the nation's largest seaports: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, and Newark, N.J.

So, seems like Bush lied - again.

Did Wolfowitz Approve Torture Methods?

Without the allegation ever making headlines, the Pentagon has decided to publicly deny that Paul Wolfowitz had anything to do with approving the torture techniques used at GITMO. That seems suspiciously strange in and of itself - denying allegations before they're news, and thereby making them into news.
In one email, an FBI official whose name was blacked out suggested talking to the bureau's Behavioral Assessment Unit about what he indicated were two specific examples of abuse.

In a reply the following day, a second unidentified FBI official cautioned that there was a distinction between "allegations of abuse and the use of techniques which fall outside of FBI/DOJ training and policy."

"As it relates to (redacted) and (redacted) the techniques employed against them in the interrogation process were, based on numerous inquiries I made, in addition to my personal review of the DoD interrogation plans, approved by the Deputy Secretary of Defense."

So, the questions remain - in spite of denials, is Wolfowitz the demon behind the torture directives? If the denial is in fact true, why are the FBI officials who wrote these memos not identified? Is it to avoid them being served with subpoenas over the issue? Why hide their identities if there is nothing here?

Even Homeland Security Opposed Ports Deal

Amazing isn't it? DHS, run by Bush pocket puppet Chertoff, actually opposed this deal made by the Bushies to hand over our ports operations to the UAE. I didn't think Chertoff would oppose anything Bush wanted to do - but then the fact that DHS rolled over on this one sort of proves I'm right about that.
The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. It was the lone protest among members of the government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent.

The department's early objections were settled later in the government's review of the $6.8 billion deal after Dubai-owned DP World agreed to a series of security restrictions.
The administration approved the ports deal on Jan. 17 after DP World agreed during secret negotiations to cooperate with law enforcement investigations in the future and make other concessions.

Some lawmakers have challenged the adequacy of a classified intelligence assessment crucial to assuring the administration that the deal was proper. The report was assembled during four weeks in November by analysts working for the director of national intelligence.

The report concluded that U.S. spy agencies were "unable to locate any derogatory information on the company," according to a person familiar with the document. This person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the report was classified.

Secret negotiations? Of course they were secret. Bush was hoping to slide this one thru - selling our security to the enemies home team. Like everything else he wants to keep secret - it's a dirty deal for America, made by Bush, so it's "classified".

And since when is national security handed out merely because you couldn't locate any bad information about a company? Like it couldn't be a shell company? Like they would have claimed corporate responsibility for 9-11? As if they would put out an annual report with picutres of terrorists on the board? Crikey! Is anybody running this shop, or is it looters selling it all off to anybody for any price?

Ab Fab Iraq Policy

Just absolutely fabulous. That's about all you can say about Bush's handling of his ego-based Iraq war after you read this little piece by Doug Thompson.
"The civil war has started and the U.S. planners had better get used to it," says retired Marine and military affairs expert H. Thomas Hayden, now a writer for Military.Com. "Shiites have always planned to align themselves with Iran but the Pentagon dominated planners in the Administration have never understood the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite and the great religious gulf between them that has existed for almost a thousand years."
Pentagon professionals have long warned President Bush that if civil war erupts in Iraq the U.S. will have to admit failure in its efforts to create a stable, democratic government. As he has with most warnings from those who fight wars for a living, Bush ignored the advice.

What's left to say?

Ports Deal Includes Sale of Frist and Hastert?

Apparently, overnight, Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist have been bought up by the UAE as well as the shipping port operatons, and it looks like Bush negotiated the deal.

As you might recall, Frist made the headlines by opposing this deal just 3 days ago. Now he's the White House yard lamb.
A Dubai company's offer to delay taking control of terminal operations at six U.S. ports, combined with aggressive White House lobbying, has tempered a rush by congressional GOP leaders for quick action next week to blockthe $6.8 billion transaction, which has triggered a political furor.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will meet with House GOP leaders Tuesday to discuss the chamber's next move, while aides to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he will wait to be briefed by the company before taking a stand. Both Hastert and Frist had issued strong statements earlier raising concerns about national security in the wake of Dubai Ports World's acquisition of the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. and its terminal operations at six major U.S. ports, including those in New York and Baltimore.

Frankly, I think it's stupid to hand over operation of our ports to any company not entirely owned and based in the states. There's too much going in and out and too much information available about those cargoes for it to be safe to let anyone else, even an ally, control it. We move military goods and maybe even personnel thru those places.

But once again, the GOP proves by it's example that money talks, and bullshit walks.

What's Your Ground?

Last year Florida enacted a self-defense law commonly called the Stand Your Ground Law. This bill permits citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves and others in cases of clear life-endangering threats. 21 more states are now considering such legislation.
These new measures would push the boundaries beyond the self-defense measures
already on the books. Twelve states already allow citizens to shoot intruders in their homes, and 38 states permit concealed weapons in public places. The "Stand Your Ground" laws would allow people to defend themselves with deadly force even in public places when they perceive a life-threatening situation for themselves or others, and they would not be held accountable in criminal or civil court even if bystanders are injured.

Proponents say this puts the rights in the hands of the endangered citizens, not the criminals. Critics say it will lead to shoot-outs.

Nostradamnthem says if you aren't prepared and willing to defend yourself, you've chosen by default to be a victim - law or no law. But that business about no accountability for injuring bystanders will have to be re-defined, as will the legal and public understandings of when you feel threatened enough to use force.

What do you say?

Take what you want, leave what you don't.

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