Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Joe Scarborough: Only stupid people didn't want to hear about Wright

I was just about to leave for work, and then I heard this. I kept backing up to get the transcript down, because I don't want to misquote him.

Joe Scarborough: The thing is, we told the truth yesterday. And it enraged a lot of people, we got emails that [unknown] "why are you focusing so much on Reverend Wright" - you know, we were focusing so much on Reverend Wright because Reverend Wright made news. And stupid people don't like that fact. If stupid people like a candidate, and news comes up that they like, then stupid people like to attack the people that are bringing them the news. Stupid people like shooting the messengers. Well stupid people are happy today because Barack Obama stopped acting stupid. He distanced himself from Reverend Wright. He did what he should have done months ago back in Philadelphia, and I think he hit all the right notes. Because of it, this issue is behind Barack Obama. Hilary Clinton and John McCain - they can't attack him any more.

What. A. Line. Of. Bullshit.

Evidently, I'm a stupid person. Because I wanted to hear about if the "gas tax vacation" that Senator Clinton and Senator McCain proposed is a good idea, or one that will leave 300,000 construction workers out of work. I must be a stupid person, because I wanted to hear how the John McCain health care plan will compare to the Obama/Clinton health care plans.

I must be a really stupid person, because I'm more interested in Pentagon employees and contractors being used as fake independent mouthpieces on news channels, giving a biased view of the news that helped to propel the Iraq War. I must be incredibly stupid, because I want to hear about how McCain is holding back the new GI Bill, and if his reasons make sense, or if they're just partisan crap.

I must be the dumbest person alive, because I want to hear about what's going to be done about house foreclosures, about whether capital gains taxes kicks in for those who make more then $200,000 or above, and whether student loans are going to be there for my children, or will only the rich get to send their kids to college. Or how Bush is trying to blame Democrats who have been in office for 18 months and who's children's health care initiatives he vetoes are to blame for the deregulation that caused our financial markets to act like a train running off the rails.

So thanks, Joe - I never knew how stupid I was because I didn't want to hear 4 straight hours of Reverend Wright, and wanted to hear about the issues.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Why doesn't he just go away?

This is what I'm hearing this morning. "Reverend Wright is going to speak soon. Why won't he go away? Doesn't he realize he's hurting Obama? He's mocking former Presidents by pointing how how they can speak with different dialects, but only black people are told they are speaking badly. Why does he keep speaking?"

Then - the killer. "We've been getting lots of emails saying we're talking Wrights words out of context - but irregardless, what do you think this is going to do to Obama's presidential aspirations?"

That's what it's come down to. "Sure, maybe we're taking his words out of context. I mean, he's not mocking former Presidents, he's pointing out the culture divide that one group of people get to speak in an 'improper' way while another group are told they speak bad English - and the only difference is the color of their skin. But still, we're only talking about how he's mocking former Presidents, because that's controversial. And yes, we pretty much just admitted we take his comments out of context - but who cares? I mean - look, angry black man speaking? Why doesn't he just speak like us and then sit down and be quiet like us? How dare his church has its own way of communicating and culture! OMG - doesn't he realize that racism ended that second the Civil Rights bill passed!"

Wright is a man who helped operate on a President of the United States (Johnson's heart surgery). He served his country in war. He preached a gospel that told Black people they had a role in the Christian gospel, that as former slave people and an oppressed people, they could understand the Good News of Liberation from Sin in a way that other people could not. That the black community had to stand on their own two feet. That there is injustice still in the world, and he must speak out on it.

And for that- he's told he should go away. Told "Why now? Why are you speaking on race relations now? Didn't you hear Obama's speech that we should all just sit down and get along?"

Only - that wasn't Obama's speech on race. He said we should talk about our differences. That we should have a dialog about what has gone right and wrong in America. That we shouldn't just sit down and shut up about our anger, but really talk about it. See why we are so angry, and what can be done to fix it.

The point of which was missed by so many. All they heard was "Oh, we should all hold hands and get along." No! No, we need to say things like "Hey, I get that you're pissed off, but it's not my fault - my parents were immigrants." Or "Look, maybe I wasn't a slave, but that's why my grandparents couldn't own land, so while your forefathers got rich, mine got squat. And yeah, its rather unfair."

Wright is actually doing what Obama talked about - speak out about his feelings, and hopes, and dreams, and frustrations. Instead, the media is bogging down into "Why doesn't he go away? Just shut up, put up with your anger, and we'll all get along!"

I'd say Wright should be out everywhere, speaking as much as he likes. Why now? Why not a year when Obama has the presidency than come out and talk about race?

Because then it's going to be "Why now? I mean, Obama just took office. How about next year? Or the year after that? Or the year after that - no, wait, it's an election year - go back into hiding, Wright!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My wife says I can buy an Xbox 360

I just have to come up with the $150 for it, she'll kick in the other $300.


Tempting. Actually, it would cost just a little more, since I'd want to buy 4 controllers for it (so I could play Rez with total massage mode), and play "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" with my kids.

That's right - I want to buy a 360 mainly for downloadable games. Well, and "Culdcept Saga", just because I love those weird card games like that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The result of 8 years of Bush

All laid out in black and white.

Does there need to be any more indictment than this? Torture memos, inept wars, bad economy - what more do we need? Seriously - what good can be said about this President - save by a fellow church member who told me "Well, he said what he was going to do, and then he did it. He said he was going to invade Iraq, and he did."

Yeah. I guess he did. Heck of a job there.

Questions we won't see asked of McCain

Sure, during a Democratic debate it's perfectly reasonable to bring up every Republican talking point - at least if you ask ABC.

But I'm going to bet McCain won't be asked any of these questions live on air.

Just a guess.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Iraqi, al Qaeda - it's all the same, right?

Well, if you're John McCain you think so.

The difference between "Tough" and "Stupid"

I caught a little Tim Russert today, and heard this gem from one of the guests David Gregory. His theory was that ABC, before the Worst Debate Evah, decided that the Super Delegates would want to hear the kind of crap that the Republicans would dish out, so they thought it was a good idea to ask about Wright and Ayers and flag pins and stuff like that.

Then he tells Mr. Russert that hey, they were just asking tough questions, and every politician should expect that. What's the problem?

I don't mind tough questions - I mind dumb ones. "Hey, this guy in your neighborhood and works on a charity board by you who gave you $200 for your campaign - did you know he was tied to a terrorist group 40 years ago?" That's - a dumb question. May as well say "Hey, we noticed that there's a pedophile warning list about these two guys in your neighborhood. Why haven't you shown up to drive them out of town?"

Flag pin? Seriously? When McCain, Clinton, both of the moderators, and 99.9% of the country doesn't wear a flag pin - you're going to ask why don't you wear a flag pin? Or if your paster - a Vietnam war *volunteer* soldier - in a time when black men couldn't fucking eat at certain restaurants or use the same toilet as a white man - loves his country?

These are not tough questions. Tough questions are "Explain exactly what your beef is with NAFTA and how you're going to fix it." "What will you do to get the Isreal/Palestinian on track, and how will you deal with Jewish voters who think you may be too critical of Isreal?"

So on and so forth. But "Why don't you wear a flag pin made in China to show that you really, really, really love our country - instead of working in the poorest neighborhoods of Chicago instead of getting rich?" - that's a stupid question. And Gregory is stupid for suggesting it's anything but.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The best video today

A Catholic priest versus a Fox news reporter on Reverend Wright.

Hot diggity damn on a stick - this is the best thing I have seen today. Big thanks to Mr. Gallant for the info.


I thought this was cute. Silly, but cute.

Distractions about - distractions

Last night I stayed up late and caught "The Colbert Report". Obama was on, and he and Colbert put "Political Distractions" on the "On Notice" board. Since the debate on Wednesday, we've heard a lot of talk about how awful the debate was, how stupid the questions were, how horrible the moderators were.

This morning on Morning Joe, the topics of discussion:

"Obama literally brushes off his shoulder after the debate - does that make him look elitist?"
"Bill Clinton says that Obama should stop whining about the debate, since Hilary Clinton never whined about how she was treated by the press (only she did)"
"How the debate was actually a good one for the candidates"
"Funny speeches on the Congressional floor"
"Why don't we ever talk about the issues?"

And - we have our problem solved. Why don't "the issues" get covered? Because, well, issues are hard. We could talk about the huge losses being posted *today* on Wall Street. Or how Republicans may be pulling back on needing immunity for telecoms in the FISA bill. Or the recently released choreographed torture information from the White House. Or anything fucking else other than whether or not distractions in a political debate are a big deal.

Nope - time to circle the wagons - or, in my case, turn off the TV.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where is al Qaeda again?

So, we're pretty sure that al Qaeda is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And where *aren't* we putting in funds to pursue al Qaeda? Uh - Pakistan.

Ever think the Bush administration just *doesn't* want to catch this guy?

You asking questions - why do you hate America?

Once again, the question of are you patriotic enough has raised its head. This time, Obama was asked if Reverend Wright "loves America".

A man who *volunteered* to serve in Vietnam, and somehow, he "doesn't love America" because he said something you like.


McCain's economic campain laid out

Long story short: McCain's economic plan sucks.

Even worse, this "remove the Gas Tax during the summer" is a great way to make people burn *more* gas - and make oil companies richer, instead of investing in roads, public transportation, etc.

Debate comments with coworkers

Me: Did you see the debate last night?

Coworker: Yeah - man, they were really dumping crap on Obama, weren't they?

Me: I kind of thought so, but hey - I'm biased.

Coworker: Nah - you're not that biased. They pretty clearly didn't like him or something. But I liked how he turned it around with that "Well, your husband pardoned him, so you have a closer relationship with him than I do" comment.

Me: What killed me is how he kept offering her an olive branch - trying to say that her comments on Bosnia don't matter, that her cookie comments in the 90's are being used as "elitism" just like his "bitter" comments are now.

Coworker: I noticed that. I thought it was nice of him.

Me: Then Senator Clinton tried to jab it up his ass and twist it sideways with the "Oh, you don't pick your uncle, but you do pick your pastors.", and "I think we need *more* vetting of Obama - especially over the next 5 days before the PA election!". Nice of her.

Coworker: And - that's a mental image I won't get rid of all day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Bullshit debate

Tonight on ABC - there wasn't a debate.

It was a roast. It was two moderators asking about pastors, flag pins (and why aren't you wearing one?), Weather Underground members (did you know a person convicted of bombings 40 years ago supports you?) - 60 straight minutes of attacks on two candidates.

ABC spewed more conservative talking points and horse shit than I've ever seen a so-called news program do. I felt more like I was watching a Jerry Springer rerun - I kept waiting for them to hand chairs to the candidates and ask them to "go at it".

And when they finally got to the real questions about policy, they had to rush through them because they had wasted so much time on the pointless crap of the first hour.

This will likely go down as one of the worst debates ever, and a reason why the Women League of Voters should get control of the debates back (like they had back in 1992, and committed the unpardonable sin of allowing a third party candidate onto the stage with the Democrat and Republican nominee).

If journalists want to act like biased hacks, it would have been better to have had no debate at all, instead of this complete and utter horse shit.

Persona 4 pictures

Did I ever mention I love games with cute girls in classes? Well, looks like Persona 4 is going to deliver.

Jed Report "Bosnia and Back Again"


New housing bill with - tax cuts for corporations?

While people are starting to have problems paying their mortgages as the short term "teaser" interest rates vanish, turns out the bill is full of "billions of dollars in tax breaks — for automakers, airlines, alternative energy producers and other struggling industries, as well as home builders".

Er - huh?

Fingerprints are not personal data?

US Attorney General Chertoff doesn't think that fingerprints are personal data.

After all, you leave fingerprints on everything they touch - so its perfectly reasonable that the government can share your fingerprints with whomever it wants! While we're at it, why not sharing your DNA with anyone who thinks they should have access as well - I mean, you leave DNA *everywhere*, so why make that personal?

And when you have a conversation with someone you think is a private discussion in your home - that can't be personal because those sound waves are out for anyone to hear! If you didn't want people to know what you were saying in the privacy of your home, you should have done it telepathically!

Best. Olympics. Ever.

Or - just the opposite. What does it say when the Olympic torch has to be relayed without the public being allowed to even witness it?

Damn it, Bush is not changing his position on climate change

CNN is breathlessly reporting that Bush is having a change of heart on carbon emissions.

No. He's not. This is the same bullshit we've seen before. Remember 2000, and how concerned he was with global warming? And then as soon as he got into office, he tossed out the Kyoto treaty and suddenly decided (as the Decider) that the science was still out on the topic?

Or how in pretty much every State of the Union address he goes on about how he wants to start using switchblade to make ethanol, or have fleets of hydrogen run cars? And then - nothing.

Now, he wants to deal with emissions - in 2025. Sure - plenty of time after he's long left office. Then again, perhaps the smoldering ruins of Iraq won't be burning anymore by 2025, so that's one source of emissions we can cross off.

This is how bad things are in Iraq

People are joining militias in Iraq because they offer to feed them.

Wait - you mean that starving people whose once constant electricity and financial system has been destroyed get bitter and take up arms against the country they consider to be their occupiers? And all we'd have to do to make them happy would be to get their shit working so they could have a life again?

No way!

Fetch the white hanky - Dr. Rice is *offended* that people don't want to work in a war zone!

Evidently, Dr. Rice is offended at diplomats who don't want to be forced to work in a war zone. You know - Iraq, the place where American contractors and workers get kidnapped and killed. Someone fetch her the smelling salts - she is shocked - shocked! - to see such traitors in government! My goodness - I think she may faint as the offense.

Hey - what's wrong with that? I mean, it's to support the people of Iraq! Who show their thanks and love by killing you! What's wrong with a little blood letting between such close allies?

So with me trying to get a mortgage, is the housing meltdown good or bad for me?

Evidently, the worst of the sub-prime meltdown is about to start, and prime loan holders will start going next.

Homes in California going for 50% of the price they recently sold for. I can't help but think this is going to be bad for everybody - and now I'm looking at my own mortgage not sure if they're going to approve me.

Deep breathes.

I'm an elitist too

What's wrong with having citizens pick out the smartest and wisest among us to be our leaders?

Oh, and I love the "Beavus and Butthead" presidency comment. Total snark, hurts more just because it's true.

Public domain? Just sell it away!

Legislative records are suppose to be public domain. Unless - those rights are sold off to a digital imaging company who can then charge people to look at the records - and charge the government to look at those same records that they originally owned.

Seriously - what in the holy hell were they thinking?

"Gee, I bet you'd love to see the text of that law, huh? Costs you $5."

"But I'm the Senator who wrote it!"

"Yeah, sucks to be you."

You know what works in a political ad?

Showing people booing your opponent when they attack you.

Yay! You are not guilty of raping that guy, yet another Republican politician caught in a male sex scandal!

But your collection of videotapes of secret video you took of yourself having sex with other guys is going to cause you to lose your job anyway.


Why would you videotape yourself having sex? I mean - I may have the body of an Adonis, but I don't want to check out my butt that much.

So, uh, things are getting better, right?

That impending financial crisis? Stop worrying about it - the Dow is going back up again. The last major companies to go bankrupt have, and now we can -

Aw, poop cakes - there are more companies about to post major losses and declare bankruptcy:

Similarly, despite assurances that US companies are holding boatloads of cash, what is true in aggregate is not necessarily true on an individual basis. With roughly half the corporate bonds rated at the junk level, it doesn't take much to push them into distress. This Bloomberg article also suggests that many companies facing bankruptcy aren't merely otherwise solid operations struggling with too much leverage, but include businesses that are weak as well as highly geared

The funny thing is, I had a guy tell me *not* to get a 15 year mortgage, to put that money in a corporate bond instead, and I just kind of shrugged at him and said "Nah. I'd rather have my house paid off by the time my kids go to college." Looks like I may be right.

I must hate America too

This post from Populist America is everything I've said to people who say you shouldn't speak out when your country does something wrong.

I want it in bronze, mounted outside my house.

$0.02 on Expelled

There are plenty of people out there observing that the Intelligent Design supporting "documentary" "Expelled" is full of crap.

I won't do that. But I will talk about the commercial.

In the commercial, we see a wizened old scientist up in the front of a classroom, talking about evolution. When Bill Stein, in high water pants (I'm guessing he's suppose to be dressed like he's at a private school?) asks "Hey, Mr. Scientist - what caused the origin of life?"

Stein is then "sent to the Principal's office" for having made a movie. Hahaha.

One issue:

The Theory of Evolution, based and refined off of Darwin's theories of natural selection, does not explain the origin of life. Never has. Has no intention to do so. The Theory of Evolution based on Natural Selection seeks to describe how species have evolved over time. That's it. It takes as a premise that evolution exists (something we all know happens, or else we wouldn't have to get flu vaccines every year), and states *why* evolution happens and what the mechanism is for the creation and adaptation of new species into their environment. Hence why Darwin's book was "On the Origin of Species", not "On the Origin of Life".

The actual *origin* of life? No idea. There are guesses and hypothesis that they're working out in labs and chalkboards, but no science claims to have a good working theory on that one yet. They *do*, however, have a very useful and tested and working theory on how species evolve over time.

So sorry, Stein, but when you get a 30 second commercial wrong on the basic science - you fail.

Samba de Amigo for the Wii is almost ready!

I am a huge sucker for rhythm games - and while I don't have Rock Band (I'm still holding out to see if the Guitar Hero guitars are compatible with it on the Wii version), I am stoked for Samba de Amigo on the Wii.

Yeah - that'll be me in my living room shaking my wiimotes while I dance. I so rock.

Who's the biggest supplier of the Iraqi Insurgency?

If you said Iran - well, turns out maybe not.

It's more than likely the United States. See, all of those billions in cash we keep losing in Iraq? Turns out the insurgents keep finding it. And the weapons we supply to train Iraqi troops? Uh - yeah, insurgents get that too (I wonder how they're paying for those arms? Oh, yeah - the money the US keeps losing in crates in Iraq).

If I was a tin foil hat kind of guy, I'd say something like "Well, the US government is losing these arms and money in Iraq for the insurgents to find on purpose so the war can continue, because as long as the war continues, then companies like Halliburton and Blackwater and KBR and the like make a lot of money - so they have a vested interest in making sure the war never ends, and that war with Iran breaks out so they can make more money."

But - that would be insane.

Lou Dobbs is hurting my brain

I happened to notice this poll up right now on the Lou Dobbs web site:

Which of these best describes your attitude as an American citizen?
Partisan & pitiful
Bitter & angry
Independent & proud

I should mention that so far, "Bitter & Angry" is winning by a landslide. OK - seriously - the choices of:

Partisan and Pitiful
Bitter and Angry
Independent and Proud

Seriously? While we're at it, why didn't he put down:

Whiny and Sniveling
Surrender Monkey Loving
Looking for Daddy Figure to Tuck Me In at night

Of course, I'm still trying to figure out just what's wrong with "Partisan" - the partisans were Jewish resistance fighters during WWII, hiding in the woods and killing Nazi's as they came by. They formed squads that resisted the enemy for as long as they could.

So sorry, but I'm partisan about some really horrible people who got control of our country, after lying and passing themselves off as aw shucks moderates who believed that global warming was a big deal, that they didn't have an opinion on evolution, and they were a uniter not a divider - then as soon as they took office they turned around, peed on the Constitution with a hang loose sign while pointing at a torture victims genitals, and said "Psyche!" Then, as a crowning achievement of non-elitist thinking, decided to put in the dumbest people they could with no experience at all in their jobs (like Michael Brown for FEMA, Alphonso Jackson of Housing and Urban Development , Harriett Miers, and who could forget Alberto Gonzales, who now can't find a job because he was so bad at his last one).

I've decided that I'm an angry, bitter, elitist partisan who wants only smart, wise, intelligent people in government who will do what they say - not spend decades doing one thing, then turn around at election time and try to tell me they are *totally* different. Like on NAFTA. Like voting on a bankruptcy bill that hurts the middle class while profiting big business. Or dodging sniper fire. Or being *against* the Bush tax cuts during war until they were *for* it. Like being against torture before they were for it. Or being for the troops until they decided they didn't want to give them a better GI college bill because then the troops might decide they didn't want to reenlist.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Am I a good Mormon?

I had a funny, but odd experience today.

My daughter was having a birthday party, and one of her guests was
late. They finally arrived, the father of my daughter's friend
offering his apologies.

"I saw your house when I first drove by. I figured it had to be yours
- it had a typical Mormon required mini-van. "

"Yup - that's about right," I chuckled. That wasn't far off - nearly
every Mormon family I know has either a SUV or mini-van. I only have
three children, but a mini-van is still the way to go.

"Yeah, but then I saw your Obama poster in the windoe and figured that
it couldn't be the right place - no good Mormon would have that up. I
had to call someone else in church to make sure I had the right place."

"Well, you know, I can see where you'd be confused whow I could be a
good Mormon with me being an obvious communist who supports an
undercover Muslim bent on being a Manchurian candidate bent on
destroying the US with upon taking office. " I smiled sweetly as I
said this.

We talked politics - he's certain that Bush us a great guy since he
said he was going to Iraq and he did, and that we need to take on Iran
since they want the nuke so bad.

I'm still hung up on the "good Mormon" part. I know that usually
Mormons are conservatives - but I don't see why supporting the poor,
wanting the sick to be tended to, wanting to have a strong defense but
not at the sacrifice of our civil rights, or wanting to have good
environmental practices makes me not a good Mormon?

Or am I just reading to much into it? I usually feel like the lone
Democrat at church functions, but I've grown used to it by now.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Shhh - don't tell Colbert!

There's been a little bit of a funny rivalry between Stephen Colbert and Korean singer Rain - even though Korean media didn't seem to get the joke.

Whatever you do - don't tell Colbert that Time ranked the most influential people - and so far, Rain is winning, and Colbert is 4.

Rain even beat out Obama. I guess Obama could make him a VP running mate - so far, the two of them are getting way more votes than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain.

Foreclose and - dump the property?

This is a rather interesting idea - banks forclosing on homes, but then they don't want the property.

Evidently, after awhile, the house/building/property just reverts back to the ownership of the county, who can do whatever they want with it. Tear it down, build a low income place, sell it off - whatever.

In a way, this isn't entirely a bad thing - it gives a new chance for houses to be sold to people who otherwise wouldn't afford them, or for counties to make some money. At the same time, this is a bad thing to all of the other properties - imagine the value of your property falling as all of the houses around you are owned by - nobody. Who wants to buy your house when they can get one of these practically free ones?

A sign of wore things to come - or just things working as they should? I really can't say with any degree of knowledge one way or the other. But it is - interesting.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Strip search students? Oh, why not? Oh, yeah. It's creepy

Long story short: Honors student stripped searched at school because they thought she might have drugs on her.

Mainly - Ibuprofen.

Shorter story longer: We need to teach our kids this shit isn't right. I've been training my children in that - if the school authorities every accuse you of doing something, you call Mom and Dad first. Because this nonsense of having a teenage girl strip down so the school nurse can inspect her crotch and bra for drugs, without parental notification, without a warrant, without anything other than "Well, we suspected she might have some" is bullshit.

Tony Snow lies again.

Really - is anyone surprised at this point? Lied about the reasons for going into Iraq, why we had to stay, and now lying about Obama's votes in the US senate.

When is a person not a person?

Evidently, according to Bush legal team members, when they are not a US citizen:

In the March 14, 2003 memo, Yoo says the Constitution was not in play with regard to the interrogations because the Fifth Amendment (which provides for due process of law) and the Eighth Amendment (which prevents the government from employing cruel and usual punishment) does "not extend to alien enemy combatants held abroad.":

The memo goes on to explain that federal criminal statutes regarding assault and other crimes against the body don't apply to authorized military interrogations overseas and that statutes that do apply to the conduct of U.S. officials abroad pertaining to war crimes and torture establish a limited obligation on the part of interrogators to refrain from bodily harm.

Source: The Swamp

And it's a funny thought, because I'm looking at the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

No person. Not citizen, not voting member, not white or black or foreign or domestic. Person. It's clear to me that the Founders wanted it that way. Can you imagine how long it would take for something to declare "Well, you aren't a citizen - I strip you of that definition." Something that I believe was attempted in the case of John Walker (correct me if I'm wrong), but some argued that he couldn't claim to be a citizen any more. Sure, he was a douche bag - but he still had certain rights we had to follow.

Later on, the Geneva convention was created to afford similar rights to all people. Oh, but I guess if you're not a soldier for a country, we don't have to follow that, either. How do you define a real soldier? By however we say. They're in another country - that means we don't have to give them habeas corpus.

I've seen people say "Oh, well, it wasn't on US soil, so it doesn't matter." I'd argue the same thing: doesn't matter. Again, look at Amendment 5 and 8 - they don't say "US soil", or "US area". Think of the implications:

"Well, we arrested them in Berlin. So we don't have to give them a Miranda and we can hit them with a pipe, then use that evidence in trial."

Or: "We arrested them in the US, then flew them to Syria, where they were tortured and confessed. But we can use that confession since it wasn't on US soil".

The Constitution laid it very clear. The restrictions on government power aren't to be ignored when convenient. Or put aside in times of war because you're "protecting the homeland." Or ignored because you want to redefine what a person is. These are the rules. They apply to all people. At all times. In all places.

Because otherwise, they don't really apply at all.

Clinton, Zeifman, and the one thing I want to know

By now, you may have seen news on the Interwebs about Senator Clinton's former supervisor Jerry Zeifman. Long story short: he worked on the Watergate investigation, where the former Hilary Rodham worked. Zeifman's claim is that she stole documents, wrote bad briefs, lied, and was so bad when she was let go he refused to write her a letter of recommendation.

I don't know anything about Zeifman. I've heard everything from "he's a Leiberman democrat" (aka - he's really a Republican who says he's a Democrat), to good public servant. I don't know - but this one part of the interview with Zeifman where he makes these claims jumped out at me:

Of course, Nixon’s resignation rendered the entire issue moot, ending Hillary’s career on the Judiciary Committee staff in a most undistinguished manner. Zeifman says he was urged by top committee members to keep a diary of everything that was happening. He did so, and still has the diary if anyone wants to check the veracity of his story. Certainly, he could not have known in 1974 that diary entries about a young lawyer named Hillary Rodham would be of interest to anyone 34 years later.

I'd like to see this diary. And so would, I believe, the rest of the public. If true, this could show a pattern. And if not, we can go back to our lives.

But I am curious.