Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And Justice For All

In Tampa, Florida, a young woman was recently arrested for failure to make restitution on a charge committed when she was a juvenile.

What makes this case so extraordinary is that the girl was arrested after being raped.

And to add insult to injury, she was denied the morning after pill in jail because it was against the jail supervisor's beliefs - even though the drug was prescribed by the hospital. Further, she was denied bond.

After she was finally released, it seems that the police department has decided they should do some mopping up of their SNAFU:


"At this point, we're very concerned about the welfare of this young woman," said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. "There's a lot of unanswered questions about exactly how this unfolded we are going to get to the bottom of it."

McElroy says there is a policy in place where anyone who is suspected of a misdemeanor is not taken to jail if they're the victim of a sex crime.


Oops. What sort of ignoramous throws a rape victim in jail without looking up the arrest warrant? Or if they did, who throws a rape victim in jail hours after the assault and then denies her the morning after pill because Jesus told you it was wrong?

One more reason not to move to Florida.

Source: www.myfoxtampabay.com

Monday, January 29, 2007

Coming Home

Unfortunately, too many Iraq War Veterans are now returning home as amputees. Figures are sketchy (just the way the White House likes it) but some reports say there is over 500 veterans who are amputees. I'm sure the figure is much higher considering a report from one doctor in Germany. He said that he was performing an average of one to two genital amputations every day at an evac hospital.

Construction is expected to begin this spring on a new amputee center in Washington, DC and another opened this month San Antonio, Texas. Both centers have been described as "state of the art" or "high tech" and will cost over $60 million. And both appear to be "hurry up" projects, the center at Walter Reed breaking ground before a contract had even been awarded.

This seems almost comical considering that in a report to the House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs, over 30% of VA Centers in the United States need more staff to deal with the volume of new veterans needing critical services. Services are being rationed, waiting lists are being utilized, and in some cases Veterans are waiting over six months to have their claims processed. This same report stated the following:

In addition to this report, the Government Accountability Office recently reported (GAO-06-1119T) that the Administration failed to fund $300 million in resources which the Administration previously touted for veterans’ mental health services in 2005 and 2006. (Link)

In 2005, there was a $2.6 billion shortfall in the Veterans Administration budget. And of all the veterans using VA inpatient services, 85% of them have incomes of $15,000 or less. Divorce, homelessness, alcoholism and suicide are all on the rise among U.S. veterans. So, what did Bush say about them in last week's SOTU address?


Perhaps they forgot to post it on the teleprompter. Maybe the speechwriter misplaced his notes and didn't put it in the final draft. Or maybe, this Administration didn't want to broach the subject, just like Bush ignored the victims of Katrina. It has been said that the Decisionmaker has a real problem dealing with death and hardship. The kid who never really faced up to the death of his sister, the airman who dodged service in Vietnam by going AWOL, the governor who made fun of a woman awaiting execution, the President who ignored those drowning in New Orleans, is now ignoring our returning war heroes.

Maybe he can give Rummy some medals or go ride his bike. Or maybe he can take another vacation in Crawford to clear some brush - that is if that awful Cindy Sheehan is around to keep reminding him about her son. Anything to take his mind off all that unpleasantness.

America's Best and Bravest. Out of sight, out of mind for the Commander in Chief.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Random Thoughts

What’s in a Name?
The chimpster-in-chief changed his title from “The Decider” to “The Decisionmaker”, this week. Yeah, that’ll give him more credibility.

Wonder if Turdblossom and the Dark Lord wishes he’d get permanent laryngitis.

Tool of the Decade

Hands down, this one goes to John McCain. Is it possible for this man to sink any lower in order to be elected President? If getting the job required McCain to suck the cock of every voting male in the United States, I’m beginning to think he’d do it.

He’s already sold his soul. What’s wrong with a little self-degradation?

Not Here, Not Now
Hillary cannot win the Presidency. Or at least she shouldn’t.

I have nothing against Hill personally. I have voted for her, once. Yes, I think she is capable and would do an admirable job. And we would get Bill as part of the package. But here’s the problem: the “vast right wing conspiracy” group, that made us all miserable for eight years, are already firing up their engines. Think how little she will be able to accomplish if there is a republican majority in the House and Senate. It's like the song, Every breath you take, every move you make... I'll be watching you. She won't be able to go to the bathroom without someone reporting on it.

Yes, a woman can and eventually will be elected to the highest office in our country. Just not Hillary.

Enough with Obama Already
I like Barack Obama. I really like him. He is a wonderful orator, thoughtful, insightful and has the makings of a Jack Kennedy. Someday he will make a wonderful President.

But not now. As the daughter of a Virginian, I know that the South will not elect a black man for President. At least not at this point in time.

Don’t believe me. Ask Harold Ford.

Emboldening Our Enemies
According to the White House and conservative talk media, just about everything we do emboldens our enemies.
  • If we leave Iraq.
  • If we don’t send in more troops.
  • If we don’t stand behind the President.
  • If we send the enemy a mixed message.
  • If we protest against the war.
I have a different school of thought.

We embolden our enemies by slaughtering their men, women, children.

We embolden our enemies by destroying their infrastructure and stealing their oil.

We embolden our enemies by spitting on their religion and demanding that they conform to American standards.

We embolden our enemy by staying in Iraq.

But since when has Bush listened to anything the American people have to say?

Monday, January 22, 2007

I was having a perfectly awful day at work when a friend put everything in perspective for me.

Hey Girlfriend,

I just need to vent right now and I know you will listen. I am PISSED at George Bush!!!! My daughter's boyfriend was killed in Iraq over the weekend. What the hell are we doing over there anyway? I cant make any sense of this. His name was Shawn #####, 23 years old, his whole life ahead of him. He was in the Army. I know it was his choice to join but it wasnt his choice to die. I am sorry for my rambling. Will write more when I can stop crying. Thanks for listening.


Kim and I have been friends since elementary school. We have shared everything in the past 25+ years and yet I am totally at a loss for words. I would like to tell her that the Democrats in office are going to investigate the actions of this White House Administration. That Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will lead the Congress in impeaching this son of a bitch for crimes against humanity and that he will spend the next 10 years defending himself in courts around the world.

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.

Even if impeached, Bush will never face a jury of his peers (so to speak). He will never be put on trial in the World Court. And the chances are great that he will live out the rest of his natural life in relative comfort down in Paraguay, far away from his political enemies. And we will continue to pay for his greed and corruption.

And the family members of kids like Shawn will spend the rest of their lives wondering why.

Today is the 34th anniversary of the landmark supreme court ruling, Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortionists like to make the claim that the ruling was based on a lie. (Norma McCorvey, the complainant in the case (a/k/a Jane Roe), has since recanted her original claim that she was pregnant as a result of rape.)

The decider-in-chief, who has never done anything to promote the repeal of Roe, will speak to the March for Life protestors at their annual gathering today in D.C., undoubtedly by videotape since he has already released portions of his speech to the press.

Since "The Decider" is so adamantly pro-life, I wonder if he will include an announcement that he will be pulling our troops out of Iraq....

or that he will be calling for a ban on capital punishment;

that he will step up the U.S. government's efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur;

find new ways to prevent infant mortality in our own country;

and provide more money to African nations to combat the AIDS epidemic.

I guess, with his elevated god-like abilities, he can decide which lives are precious and which ones are not.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

cold as a monkey's

one of my best friends is a guy named dave out of canada. aside from being a fan of the maple leafs, he's a pretty decent guy and we share many political viewpoints, the most significant is our contempt for dubya.

dave has been instrumental in getting his american-born, republican wife to rethink her opinion of dubya, never failing to point out the serious lack of critical thinking skills on the part of the white house. and we often share serious political discussions on congress and america's standing in the world since 9/11. however, aside from hockey, there is one major issue that dave and i disagree upon - global warming. or as he refers to it, climate change.

for some odd reason, with all the bullshit that he has been able to sift through, dave doesn't believe that global warming is a fact. forget the fact that over 160 countries, including canada, are part of the Kyoto Protocol calling for a reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. ignore the following information:

  • The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
  • Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Columbian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level.
  • The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
  • At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.

(Source: An Inconvenient Truth)

i get angry at my friend when he ignores the findings of hundreds of scientists and repeats the garbage spewed by the current administration that "the jury is still out on global warming". for someone so smart and politically savvy, he refuses to look at the data.

in the meantime, those of us are having the weirdest winter on record - and for folks in middle america, it's colder than a monkey's

Friday, January 19, 2007

congress to america: bend over and take it like a man

just when it appeared that some sanity and credibility was returning to the senate and house of representatives, the republicans have thrown a monkey wrench into the wheels of progress...

and the democrats are going to let them get away with it.

senator robert byrd stopped an attempt by senator judd gregg to add an amendment allowing line item vetos to the ethics bill on thursday night. a compromise so that amendment would be added to a bill on Monday. apparently, it was agreed upon and the ethics bill was approved 96 - 2.

now here comes the bad news. it was decided that the line item veto amendment would be added to the senate bill on minimum wage increases.

what's the punchline to this joke?

there is absolutely no way that any bill containing a line item veto amendment is ever going to be passed. ever. dare we even imagine how much damage the chimpster could do if he had this power?

so who pays the price for this compromise? the same people who have been paying the last ten years. the poverty line is now $9,570 per year for a single person, $12,830 for a two person family (according to the dept. of health & human services). a person working at the minimum wage rate of $5.15 per hour earns $10,712 before taxes and social security - and yet the conservatives in this country say there shouldn't even be a minimum wage. just let the marketplace control set wage levels according to demand, so their argument goes.

as one wise economist pointed out, if the minimum wage goes up in new york, mcdonalds and wal-mart don't pack up and move across the state line to pennsylvania. currently there are thirty states (according to the dept. of labor) that have higher standard rates for wages than the feds - and i'm sure there is no shortage of fast food restaurants and big box stores in those states. a stagnant minimum wage will ensure more credit card companies higher profits as individuals and families continue to use the plastic to make ends meet, and more families will be unable to afford basic necessities like purchasing a home. the economy will in all likelihood continue towards a recession while big corporations rake in big profits from shipping jobs overseas.

no one complains about corporate welfare. you know, the subsidies handed out in the form of tax breaks and government loans that never seem to be repaid. but god forbid the working class catches a break in the form of a raise.

if our newly elected senate is going to make a compromise, why does it have to come at the expense of the minimum wage increase? last time i checked, they never seem to have a problem voting themselves a pay increase.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

springtime for hitler

it's been a while since my last post. a long while.

many things have happened in the wake of november's elections - some level of sanity has been restored to our nation's capital. and there (finally) appears to be some level of apprehension in the hearts of our fearless leader and his minion. better still, the republican party is no longer able to rubberstamp the great divider's battleplan for destroying the Constitution, all the while wasting taxpayers' time and dollars on such lofty ideals as amendments against gay marriage and flag burning.

quite a legacy the 109th congress made for itself. less days spent working than the do-nothing congress of Harry Truman, and the bulk of their legislation aimed at renaming federal buildings. our founding fathers would be proud. (just a reminder, they are the party of Abraham Lincoln, although i'm not so sure that he would admit it.)

unfortunately, the vast right wing conspiracy machine rolls on. the decider is asking for 22,000+ more troops for his glorious revolutionary war in iraq - and enough money to fund total armageddon in iran and syria. perhaps he is hoping that if he brings on the prophesies in the Bible that the lord almighty will glorify him in the kingdom of heaven. and while bush practices his slight of hand, fox news, rush limbaugh, sean hannity, bill o'reilly and others try to convince the voters that a vote for Barack (Hussein) Obama is a vote for the terrorists.

now let us return to reality, shall we?

it is time for this congress to say no to the fuehrer’s plans for global thermal nuclear war - and to shut down the industrial war machine who is getting wealthier every day off the blood of america's best and brightest. fire up the senate subcommittee that will demand some oversight on the war contractors. find the wasted billions in taxpayer dollars and prosecute the twenty-seven individuals who have made billions during this senseless and illegal war.

nothing less is a slap in the face of the voters who wanted an end to the war - and another nail in the casket of america's military.