Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Friday, May 22, 2009

In Case the Media is Interested

Let me go on record -- I don't give a rat's ass what Cheney, his daughter, or Newt have to say. They are not in office and hold no position in government -- their opinions of what documents should be released or what the behavior of those IN government are is completely irrelevant. You are wasting my time and paper and ink by covering them 24/7.

Cheney is not equivalent to Obama. His speeches are a waste of breath and I have no interest in seeing them. To present his opinion as somehow relevant in any discussion on how this President, we voted for, is doing means less to me than if you interviewed my dog.

You are NOT covering these has beens because that's what the public wants or is interested in. Obama is the President. Cheney and Newt are has beens. Dick's daughter is irrelevant.

"Liberal" media, my ass!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We'll Never Be Accused of Being a Greatest Generation

From 1942 to 1946 more than 400,000 German, Italian and Austrian Nazi prisoners were housed in over five hundred major camps and several satellite camps in many U.S. states, including Ohio, California, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oregon, Georgia, Texas and Nebraska. 150,000 prisoners came after the Allies captured the complete Afrika Korps in 1943. Another huge influx of prisoners came after D-Day in 1944, through December of that year, when 30,000 POWs arrived monthly. Laurie McLaughlin has a brief article on this at Suite 101. The History Channel covered this. There are several books on Nazi POWs in America.

400,000!! So why are FBI Director Robert Mueller and 90 Senators, including Cantwell and Murray, such wimps over 240 detainees at Gitmo?

How can we somehow manage to hold hardened criminals, serial killers, terrorists like Charlie Manson, David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Richard Speck, Aileen Wuornos, the Blind Sheik and so on . . . but somehow we are incapable to hold on American soil Osama's driver??

The Senate needs to grow a set and grow up.


All Politics is Local -- Very Local

This isn't political on a big scale -- this is real local politics: homeowners association. I have a neighbor who has been harassing me for 9 years. I don't know what his problem is and I don't care. Maybe I belong to the wrong church. Maybe he doesn't like my friends. Maybe he's a republithug and he knows I'm a Democrat. Maybe my presence makes his stay at home wife jealous and he wants to take it out on me. I don't know and I have a feeling there's nothing I could do to correct it. Three years ago, his harassment got to a stage where I had to call the sheriff and file a complaint against him. He stopped coming on my property and damaging my house but he's changed tactics. He has found a powerful ally -- the homeowners association.

He complains, they harass me. It has cost me and the homeowners association thousands of dollars in legal fees. We spend hours negotiating. I won and was able to keep my roommate (he claimed all tenants had to be related by blood or marriage). But I lost on the fence. Despite many variations of fencing in the neighborhood, mine didn't exactly match the specs in the Architectural Standards. I've had to spend thousands to modify my fence. One of the Board members is quitting because the stress of dealing with these complaints is getting to be too much for him. I've changed from a basically happy person to someone who is suspicious and stays in the house to avoid him.

His latest complaint was that my 2 hens -- Lucy and Ethel, kept in a coop in my backyard, out of sight of everyone, was in violation of the covenants that says homeowners in the subdivision can only have "dogs, cats, and 2 caged birds in the dwelling". Well he's got me there. I don't keep the chickens in my home. The Association inspected and informed me that I was in violation and said I have to get rid of my pets. So last night I went to the annual homeowners association meeting to try to appeal or change the covenant to allow for caged birds to be in the yard. I was ridiculed and marginalized. He and the Board had enough proxies to block my attempt to change the covenant. I brought up that other homeowners had fish tanks (visible from the street), hamsters, a snake, and other unallowed pets. They informed me that since there were no complaints about the other homeowners, they had no intention of taking any action on them but since there was a complaint about me they "had" to take action. I have to get rid of my chickens immediately.

The harasser wins. He has succeeded in using the power of the homeowners association to exert control and mess with me.

I don't like what I'm changing into. I used to be a neighborly person -- for GAWD sakes I'm a PCO. But now I am afraid and uncomfortable. I don't door bell or do political meetings in my home.

The market sucks but I'm determined that I'm going to spend the next 12 months getting my house into pristine saleable condition and put it on the market next Spring. He has succeeded in chasing me out of the neighborhood. I found a wonderful home for my chickens but I really miss their chatter, antics, and especially their eggs.

Anyone out there interested in living in a Stepford neighborhood next to a harasser?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Torture is Wrong -- ALWAYS

Some idiot Republithug was trying to justify torture today on MSNBC when Ari Melber gave the perfect response:

Idiot: And yet there are others who would say that the waterboarding helped. It helped provide information...

Melber: But Joe, even if we put that aside and say that might be possible, there are leaders throughout the world who would say that genocide helps security, that cancelling elections helps security, that fascism helps security. At some point here the whole issue is that we have to move beyond the framework of just saying torturing someone or killing someone worked, and be bound by the rule of law.



Thursday, May 07, 2009

It's About Time!

h/t Souza/White House

Monday, May 04, 2009


It should be interesting to see how many Republithugs resurrect the 'respect for the Constitution' as a rationale to oppose any pick Obama will make for the Supreme Court. Will any reporter ask them when they start spouting this stuff where they were when the First Amendment was being violated when Amy Goodman, a credentialed reporter, got roughed up and arrested at the Republithug Convention? Will any news person ask them where were their objections when the warrantless wiretapping became known? Or when CIA Director denied that the 4th Amendment included a requirement for a warrant? Or the 6th and 8th Amendments when Padilla was thrown in jail and in isolation without trial? Habeas Corpus when they talked about government databases of prescription use?

I could go on and on . . .


Good Take on Why Should Never Torture

Kevin Drum has an excellent post on why we should NEVER torture.
I don't care about the Geneva Conventions or U.S. law. I don't care about the difference between torture and "harsh treatment." I don't care about the difference between uniformed combatants and terrorists. I don't care whether it "works." I oppose torture regardless of the current state of the law; I oppose even moderate abuse of helpless detainees; I oppose abuse of criminal suspects and religious heretics as much as I oppose it during wartime; and I oppose it even if it produces useful information.

The whole point of civilization is as much moral advancement as it is physical and technological advancement. But that moral progress comes slowly and very, very tenuously. In the United States alone, it took centuries to decide that slavery was evil, that children shouldn't be allowed to work 12-hour days on power looms, and that police shouldn't be allowed to beat confessions out of suspects.


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