Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin

A shining light and example for the world

From the BBC:

Outrage at Palestinian executions

The Palestinian Authority says it wants to strengthen the rule of law
Human rights bodies have urged Palestinian authorities to outlaw the death penalty after it executed four convicts in Gaza on Sunday.

A European rights watchdog said the penalty was unjust, echoing concerns voiced by Palestinian activists.

But Palestinian officials say the death penalty is needed to curb lawlessness.

The executions were the first since new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledged to end a three-year moratorium on the death penalty in February.

Four men who had confessed to murders in a Gaza court were killed on Sunday – three by hanging, one by firing squad.

“These individuals killed innocent human beings and by executing them we applied our law,” Palestinian Attorney General Hussain Abu Aasi told the AFP news agency.

“Even the most democratic state in the world, America, invokes this kind of punishment,” he said.

We may be the Great Satan, but at least we can be used as an example when they want to justify killing. I’m so proud.

My nomination for GOP Hypocrite of the Week

My Nomination for the GOP Hypocrite of the Week.

Might even make it into the finals for hypocrite of the year.

A British PM tells the Emperors of the Senate that they have no clothes

From British Member of Parliament George Galloway:

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims, did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11, 2001,” he told Coleman.

“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong. And 100,000 people have paid with their lives — 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies, 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever, on a pack of lies.”

He added: “Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported.”

Coleman, a former district attorney, told Galloway before his sworn testimony that “senior Iraqi officials have confirmed that you, in fact, received oil allocations and that the documents that identify you as an allocation recipient are valid.”

Galloway challenged that accusation in his opening statement.

“Now, I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you’re remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice,” he told Coleman.

He said he was “friendly” with former Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and met him many times but that he met with Saddam only twice — in 1994 and in 2002 — the last time to persuade Saddam to allow U.N. weapons inspectors into the country.

He said he had met with Saddam “exactly as many times as Donald Rumsfeld has met with him.”

“The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and give him maps,” Galloway said in his heated opening statement.

“I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second occasion, I met him to try and persuade him to allow Hans Blix and U.N. inspectors back into country.”

Galloway complained that the panel had determined his guilt without speaking to him.

“You have my name on lists provided to you… by the convicted bank robber and fraudster and con man Ahmed Chalabi, who many people, to their credit, in your country now realize played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq,” Galloway told the panel.

Other allegations reportedly came from Iraqi detainees.

“In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Air Base [Afghanistan], in Guantanamo Bay — including, if I may say, British citizens being held in those places — I’m not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances,” he said.

You tell’em, dude.

Suddenly, republicans question the tax-exempt status of active churches

A church in Indiana has been threatened that it might lose it’s tax exempt status if went through with a community presentation on Social Security.

Funny that the republicans find this acceptable, but were all for churches being involved in politics during the election. Why were there no calls to remove the tax exempt status of the catholic church, when bishops threatened to with hold communion from anyone who voted for the democratic candidate?

If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention

O’Neill and Clarke were right, Bush lied

We know that dictators are quick to choose aggression, while free nations strive to resolve differences in peace.

–George W. Bush

In another story pretty much ignored by the US Press, a British memo was released May 1st which shows that the US was determined to attack Iraq many months before the war, regardless of UN or Iraq actions. It is telling that Blair and the Labour Party did not even attempt to question whether this memo was authentic.

This confirms what Paul O’Neill and Richard Clarke testified to. They were telling the truth, and were not the disgruntled employees the Bush Whitehouse claimed.

For a CNN article on this (without, of course, the actual memo, that would be too damning for US journalists) see here.

The London Times has reprinted the memo, and it is in the “More Text” section of this post, in its entirety.

Bush lied about the war, and the reasons for going to war. But then, anyone who was paying attention already knew that.

If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention


Texas Politicians have their priorities

To go along with the Colorado state representative who wants to put boxing gloves on roosters, and the Alabama legislator who wants to ban books which are by, or mention, homosexuals, we now have proof that the great state of Texas has legislators of their own with a keen sense of propriety and priority.

Representative Al Edwards wants a state law to regulate the dances of cheerleaders, though he can’t actually describe what it is he is trying to ban, nor how he will regulate the local schoolboards which would be forced to implement his law.

With Texas ranking 10th in the nation for seniors living in poverty, 9th for children living in poverty, and 1st for the percentage of people without healthcare, and ranking 1st, by far, in the number of executions, it’s good to see the politicians focusing on what __really__ matters.

WMD Final Report

The Associated Press
Updated: 9:24 p.m. ET April 25, 2005

“WASHINGTON – In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found nothing, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.

In 92 pages posted online Monday evening, Duelfer provides a final look at an investigation that occupied over 1,000 military and civilian translators, weapons specialists and other experts at its peak. His latest addenda conclude a roughly 1,500-page report released last fall.

On Monday, Duelfer said there is no purpose in keeping many of the detainees who are in custody because of their knowledge on Iraq’s weapons, although he did not provide any details about the current number.

Among unanswered questions, Duelfer said a group formed to investigate whether WMD-related material was shipped out of Iraq before the invasion wasn’t able to reach firm conclusions because the security situation limited and later halted their work. Investigators were focusing on transfers from Iraq to Syria.

No information gleaned from questioning Iraqis supported the possibility, one addendum said. The Iraq Survey Group believes “it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place. However, ISG was unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited WMD-related materials.”\

WMD Found: 0
Ties to 9/11: 0
Ties to Al Qaeda: 0
American Service personnel killed: 1573 (to date)
Estimated Iraqi Deaths: 100,000+
Cost of War: $167,000,000,000 (to date)

The captain of a submarine which hits an uncharted under water mountain is relieved of duty. The commander in chief who leads his country into a war under false pretenses causing thousands of deaths and billions of dollars lost, somehow gets re-elected.

See the comment about yahoos at the end of the next article.

Yet another example of the danger of “Red State” inbreeding…

From CBS News:

\Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.

“I don’t look at it as censorship,” says State Representative Gerald Allen. “I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children.”

Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker’s novel “The Color Purple” has lesbian characters.

Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can’t define what a classic is.\

This turkey is bad enough, I worry more about the yahoos that elect people like him.

Notice a resemblance?

We know that Tony Blair is Bush’s ideological twin (or lapdog), but the resemblance is intriguing, also.

More importantly, Blair is up for reelection now, and appears headed to a victory, which will leave us wondering how so many million people in that country can be so dumb.

More Hypocrisy

More on the Frist Judicial Hypocrisy from CNN:

Frist also said that the Democrats’ filibuster against Bush’s nominees was the first time ever that “a judicial nominee with majority support had been denied an up-or-down vote.”

Republicans held a Senate majority for six of President Clinton’s eight years in office and frequently prevented votes on his court appointments by bottling them up in the committee, knowing the nominees would be confirmed if allowed to go to a vote by the full Senate.

One nominee, Richard Paez, a district court judge when he was nominated, waited more than four years before being confirmed to the appeals court.\

Frist is a liar. But apparently lying only matters if you are talking about your sex life. Then it’s an impeachable offense.

and also:

Democrats blocked 10 appointments in Bush’s first term. The president has renominated seven of the 10 since he won re-election, and Democrats have threatened to filibuster them again.

Wow, 10? Amazing. Note that in 1999 alone, of the 62 judicial nominations put up by Clinton, the Senate voted to confirm only 17, with the Republicans blocking a vote on the rest.

Frist, Delay, and the rest are not only liars and hypocrites of the worst sort, they are also ignorant of the basic constitutional rules which have governed our country for nearly 220 years.