Archive for January 2008

Ron Paul Is Too Nerdy To Be President

Watch these Brownshirts Harrass and chase Sean Hannity.  That, my friends, is a cult of personality.  And Ron Paul is too nerdy to use it.

Look, it’s a basic part of the phenomenon.  You start a cult, you get some strange from the cult.  That is how it works.  From Georgetown to David Koresh to Ayn Rand to… hell, to Kucinich, when you start a cult you fuck one of the hotter cultists.

If Ron Paul wants to have any chance of a successful cult, there better be some rumors of an affair with a butterface in his campaign somewhere, or he is flat incompetent.

McGovern Needs to Move On

“Why I Believe Bush Must Go” is a fuggin riot.

As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.

After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me.

Even though, as Johnathan Adler points out, he actually did call for Nixon’s impeachment. Repeatedly.

Of course, there seems to be little bipartisan support for impeachment. The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians. So the chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising.

Actually, there is plenty of bipartisanship. Other than the extreme left leadership of the Democrat Party, no one wants to try too impeach Bush. He can attribute whatever motives and call whoever he wants cowards, but the fact is that there is bipartisan support for avoiding this plan of action.

Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly “high crimes and misdemeanors,” to use the constitutional standard.

No, George, bad political choices are specifically what the Founders chose not to make grounds for impeachment, and that is what you are citing. If you think that a specific crime has occurred (like, say, perjury) then cite it.

From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team’s assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged — perhaps even by a congressional investigation.

Or, even more appropriately, it could be reviewed by the courts and get appealed to the highest court in the land, since both the Executive and the Legislature have conflicts of interest (both being involved in the process.) Which is exactly what happened.

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion — by far the highest in our national history.

Congress gave Bush the authority to use the military in Iraq. Congress has approved every dollar spent. Everything the constitution called for has been done, which means it wasn’t illegal. If you don’t like it, impeach the Constitution.

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

You are too stupid to lead.

I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?

Yes.

It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an “imminent threat” to the United States. The administration also led the public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks — another blatant falsehood. Many times in recent years, I have recalled Jefferson’s observation: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

The blatent falsehoods are that Bush-Cheney deceived Congress (who had been declaring that Iraq was seeking nuclear weapons for the last 20 years), that Bush called it an imminent threat (he said that if you wait until it is imminent, it is too late), and that the administration said that Iraq carried out the 9/11 attacks.

The basic strategy of the administration has been to encourage a climate of fear, letting it exploit the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks not only to justify the invasion of Iraq but also to excuse such dangerous misbehavior as the illegal tapping of our telephones by government agents. The same fear-mongering has led government spokesmen and cooperative members of the press to imply that we are at war with the entire Arab and Muslim world — more than a billion people.

The basic strategy of the administration’s opponents has been to encourage a climate of fear, exploiting latent anger over the dishonestly surrounding Gore’s challenge to Bush’s election not only to justify opposition to liberating Iraq, but to also excuse blatant bribery and ginourmous national security sabotage. This same fearmongering has led ex-presidents and cooperative members of the press to imply that Bush lied to get us into the war with Iraq.

Another shocking perversion has been the shipping of prisoners scooped off the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other countries without benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus.

Except, of course, for the Habeas case pending in the courts right now.

Although the president was advised by the intelligence agencies last August that Iran had no program to develop nuclear weapons, he continued to lie to the country and the world. This is the same strategy of deception that brought us into war in the Arabian Desert and could lead us into an unjustified invasion of Iran. I can say with some professional knowledge and experience that if Bush invades yet another Muslim oil state, it would mark the end of U.S. influence in the crucial Middle East for decades.

Although the evidence is ample to any informed person that the belief that Iraq had plans to develop nuclear weapons, and that plans to develop nuclear weapons were found after the invasion, administration opponents continue to lie to the country and the world. I can say with some professional knowledge and experience of having never been elected president (just like McGovern) that McGovern is an idiot when it comes to foreign policy.

Ironically, while Bush and Cheney made counterterrorism the battle cry of their administration, their policies — especially the war in Iraq — have increased the terrorist threat and reduced the security of the United States. Consider the difference between the policies of the first President Bush and those of his son. When the Iraqi army marched into Kuwait in August 1990, President George H.W. Bush gathered the support of the entire world, including the United Nations, the European Union and most of the Arab League, to quickly expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Please ignore the fact that the 2003 coalition consisted of more countries than the 1991 coalition.

The Saudis and Japanese paid most of the cost. Instead of getting bogged down in a costly occupation, the administration established a policy of containing the Baathist regime with international arms inspectors, no-fly zones and economic sanctions. Iraq was left as a stable country with little or no capacity to threaten others.

When you go the polls in 2008, remember that McGovern and his ilk (like Clinton and Obama) think that pre-invasion Iraq was a “stable country”.

In addition to the shocking breakdown of presidential legal and moral responsibility, there is the scandalous neglect and mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The veteran CNN commentator Jack Cafferty condenses it to a sentence: “I have never ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans.” Any impeachment proceeding must include a careful and critical look at the collapse of presidential leadership in response to perhaps the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

McGovern apparently thinks that the president controls nature. I am so glad this asshat wasn’t elected president. And calling it the worst national disaster in US history is a slap in the face to generations of survivors and victims, from the Mississippi flood of 1927 to the Mississippi flood of 1993 to the Mt. St. Helens survivors to the millions of wildfire survivors all over the Southwest. You have no. Sense. Of. Perspective. Asshat. Katrina was a middling hurricane that turned into a massive debacle because the people of New Orleans, from the mayor down to people walking the streets, are generally fucking stupid and shiftless.

Impeachment is unlikely, of course. But we must still urge Congress to act. Impeachment, quite simply, is the procedure written into the Constitution to deal with presidents who violate the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is also a way to signal to the American people and the world that some of us feel strongly enough about the present drift of our country to support the impeachment of the false prophets who have led us astray. This, I believe, is the rightful course for an American patriot.

Ahh, yes, the Bluto Plan.

I believe we have a chance to heal the wounds the nation has suffered in the opening decade of the 21st century.

By creating new divisions…

This recovery may take a generation and will depend on the election of a series of rational presidents and Congresses.

Fat chance, asshat.

At age 85, I won’t be around to witness the completion of the difficult rebuilding of our sorely damaged country, but I’d like to hold on long enough to see the healing begin.

You might want to start supporting the healing if you want to see it happen.

Ron Paul for President of Azeroth

This post — well, the title, actually, got me thinking about Ron Paul for president of Azeroth.  I could actually vote for him there.  All of the reasons I wouldn’t vote for him here don’t matter there.

Security is a non-issue.  Azeroth still uses the militia for its primary security, and isolationism is a perfectly viable plan there.  In fact, Azerothian citizens generally go out looking for a fight.

The realm is already on the gold standard, and just like everywhere that is, the economy is mostly run by miners.

No one uses the voice chat on WoW, so we don’t have to hear him, and we are used to seeing bombast and bluster in chat channels.

Azeroth has no restrictions on the right to bear arms (or explosives, either.)

So Ron Paul really is the perfect man for president… of Azeroth.

Britain is Being Lost

The British police are apparenty ready to act as agents of tyranny.  This is really depressing. I suppose they could go all the way and put him in the Tower.  March him in through Traitor’s Gate and lock him up.  Resurrect the  Star Chamber and put on a show trial.  The country that gave us Orwell and Locke is now reminding us that they also gave us Cromwell and Charles I.

Dallas Frees Innocent Man

The New York Sun is reporting on one of the recent overturned convictions in Dallas. And getting the most important thing wrong. Of course.

Three times during his nearly 27 years in prison, Charles Chatman went before a parole board and refused to acknowledge he was a rapist. His steadfastness was vindicated yesterday, when a judge released him because of new DNA evidence showing he indeed wasn’t. The release of Mr. Chatman, 47, added to Dallas County’s nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.

No. The release added to Dallas County’s unmatched willingness to admit to having wrongfully convicted people. Face it. Prosecutors, over the last 20-50 years, have shown a despicable willingness to push through a conviction whether they have the right guy or not, and the darker the guy’s skin, the less willing they are to admit pursuing the wrong man. Prosecutors everywhere convict innocent men. Dallas just finally has a DA that is willing to do something about it.

Before the crime is officially cleared from Mr. Chatman’s record, the appeals court must accept the recommendation or the governor must grant a pardon. Either step is considered a formality after Mr. Creuzot’s ruling.

One thing that I will give to Rick Perry is that he has been pretty good about granting clemency where it is deserved and abiding the recommendations of judges and parole boards.

Dallas has freed more inmates after DNA testing than any other county nationwide, Natalie Roetzel of the Innocence Project of Texas said. Texas leads the country in prisoners freed by DNA testing, releasing at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001, according to the Innocence Project.

One of the biggest reasons for the large number of exonerations is the crime lab used by Dallas County, which accounts for about half the state’s DNA cases. Unlike many jurisdictions, the lab used by police and prosecutors retains biological evidence, meaning DNA testing is a viable option for decades-old crimes.

This is the real issue. Most places, especially if they do their own testing, destroy the evidence as soon as they have a conviction. It isn’t illegal, but that doesn’t make it right. Dallas sent its evidence out to non-government labs, and those labs didn’t destroy the evidence as soon as they were convicted. Innocent people are getting out of Dallas County convictions because the evidence still exists to test, not because Dallas is worse that other places.

District Attorney Craig Watkins also attributes the exonerations to a past culture of overly aggressive prosecutors seeking convictions at any cost.

Mr. Watkins has started a program in which law students, supervised by the Innocence Project of Texas, are reviewing about 450 cases in which convicts have requested DNA testing to prove their innocence.

“It is time we stop kidding ourselves in believing that what happened in Dallas is somehow unique,” the founder of the Innocence Project of Texas, Jeff Blackburn, said. “What happened in Dallas is common. This is Texas.”

I would go further than that.  This is the American Legal System.  The Innocence Project is important work, and it needs to be replicated in other places, whether the local DA is cooperative (like Watkins) or not.

Prosecutors are supposed to exercise prosecutoral discretion.  That means discretion as to whether or not it is in the public’s interest to prosecute someone who is guilty, not the discretion to prosecute whoever is available and convictable.  And they have a duty to do something about it when they think there may be evidence of innocence, something Watkins has been refreshingly willing to do.

Have you Ever?

Have you ever stared at a woman and tried to will her clothes off so hard that you were afraid you were going to hurt your brain?

Just a few bad apples, right?

So now we have a story of the cops not just lying, but other cops punishing the one who didn’t lie.

It’s pervasive.  It’s ubiquitous.  It’s systemic.