Friday, August 10, 2007

Other Items

Reuters reports a Kirkuk car bombing that's claimed 11 lilves, 3 corpses discovered in Rutba and Wisam al-Maliliki ("son of the sheikh of the Bani Malik tribe of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki") shot dead in Garna.

Charlie notes Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun Times) is pimping for the war mongering No End In Sight. Ebert's third sentence is: " I would like them to see "No End in Sight," the story of how we were led into that war, and more than 3,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of other lives were destroyed." No Big Squish, it is not "the story of how we were led into that war" and, in fact, it avoids that issue. It exists to sell illegal war by arguing it only needs fine tuning.

Ebert's a TV face and people wrongly give him too much credit. Here's what he deserves credit for: Destroying film criticism. His 'books' with paragraph synopsis of films did more damage than anything else (although his observations truly can be boiled down to one paragraph -- in fact, they'd probably lose nothing if the 'books' just featured the film title and a diagram of a thumbs up or a thumbs down). Ebert's a squishy critic and a squishy lefty.

With his original TV chat head, he embarrassed himself in a way that should have led to strong calling out but no one noticed. No, it wasn't when the original partner decided he knew more than Jodie Foster (who had just won her second Oscar for Best Actress) about acting jobs for women in the film industry. It was when he and Ebert decided to 'review' Point of No Return in dirty locker room style (a place you'd assume the two avoided like crazy during the school years) by lamenting that Bridget Fonda didn't fondle and stroke the guns in the film. If only, they whined, the violence could have been sexualized (by a woman), that would have been something to see. Well, possibly, to the perverts 'in the balconey'.

Ebert, as usual, sat through a film and responded to the rush but failed to have a single clue about what passed before his eyes. And, no surprise, I don't believe Ebert has bothered to review War Made Easy. Equally amazing in these alleged journalistic reviews is that they never bother to tell you that the director of No End In Sight not only supported the illegal war before it began he also believes that US troops need to remain in Iraq for years to come. It's as though Hillary Clinton made a documentary and supposed voices calling for Troops Home Now! rushed in to marvel over her well funded documentary without ever noting the actual message of the film.

Zach notes Francis A. Boyle's "Fighting the Democrats’ Complicity with Bush" (Dissident Voice):

Despite the massive, overwhelming repudiation of the Iraq war and the Bush Jr. administration by the American people in the November 2006 national elections conjoined with their consequent installation of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party with a mandate to terminate the Iraq war, since its ascent to power in January 2007 the Democrats in Congress have taken no effective steps to stop, impede, or thwart the Bush Jr. administration's wars of aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, or anywhere else, including their long-standing threatened war against Iran. To the contrary, the new Democrat-controlled Congress decisively facilitated these serial Nuremberg crimes against peace on May 24, 2007 by enacting a $95 billion supplemental appropriation to fund war operations through September 30, 2007.
In the spring of 2007 all the Congressional Democrats had to do was nothing. They could have sat upon the supplemental appropriation request for war operations by the Bush Jr. administration and thus failed to enact it into law. At that point, the money for war operations would have gradually run out, and the Bush Jr. administration would have been forced to have gradually withdrawn U.S. armed forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of so doing, the Congressional Democrats knowingly prolonged these wars of aggression and thus in the process became aiders and abettors to these Nuremberg crimes against peace.
Under the terms of the United States Constitution, the President cannot spend a dime unless the money has somehow been appropriated by the United States Congress. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution expressly provides: "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law..." Furthermore, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 of the Constitution also provides that "Congress shall have power . . . To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years . . . "
America's Founders and Framers deliberately strove to keep America's prospective military establishment on a financial short-leash tightly held by the hands of Congress precisely because of their well-founded fear that a standing army would constitute a dire threat to the continued existence of the Republic based upon their recent experience confronting and defeating King George III’s standing army. As the American July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence stated their objections in part: "[H]e has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power . . . For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us..."
Congress must use its constitutional power of the purse to terminate the Bush Jr. administration's wars of aggression immediately. Those Congressional incumbents of either political party who refuse to do so must be replaced by men and women of good faith and good will of any or no political party who will do their constitutional duty to terminate ongoing Nuremberg crimes against peace. To the contrary, the current leadership of the Democratic Party (though, to be sure, not all Democrats), let alone most of the Republicans, have been complicit with all the atrocities that the Bush Jr. administration has inflicted upon international law, international organizations, human rights, the United States Constitution, civil rights, civil liberties, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere since September 11, 2001.

And now would probably be a good time to note that Boyle and Ramsey Clark were brought in (by the Dems) for a talk about impeaching Bully Boy before the illegal war started. The talk went very well and appeared to have support until Yawn Emanuel showed up screaming that to go with impeachment would hurt Dems' election chances.

And with more on the insane, Kyle notes Matt Renner examination of the craven in "Blue Dog Democrats, Staunch Bush Allies" (Truthout):

The Blue Dogs have apparently informed the Democratic leadership in the House that they support the ongoing occupation of Iraq. According to Mahoney, he met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and told her "The president should be free to maintain troops in Iraq, if the purpose is to thwart terrorism."
Mahoney's description of the Blue Dog's hawkish stance is not officially part of their platform, according to their spokesperson and their web site. The group does not issue press releases on national defense votes, although they have played an instrumental role in passing controversial bills that have been framed by the Bush administration as legislation intended to prevent terrorism.
The Blue Dogs have provided key votes on controversial bills backed by the Bush administration. In September of 2006, 31 Democratic representatives voted with the Republican majority in the House to pass The Military Commissions Act. The controversial act empowered Bush to designate individuals as "enemy combatants," and deny them certain legal rights. Twenty-three of the Democrats who supported the bill were Blue Dogs. At 10:20 PM on Saturday, August 4, 2007, with the help of 31 Blue Dogs, the House Republicans passed the Protect America Act, a bill that altered the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and weakened safeguards against domestic warrantless wiretapping. The bill, a replica of a proposal by the Bush administration, passed with a 44 vote margin, with 227 Yeas and 183 Nays. Despite comprising 76 percent of the Democratic support for the bill, communications director for the Blue Dogs, Kristen Hawn, said that the Blue Dog Coalition took no official position on the bill.
Despite the fracture among Democrats, Pelosi allowed the Republican bill to come to the floor for a vote. After it passed, she went on record saying that the bill "does violence to the Constitution of the United States."

Billie notes this from Adam Kokesh's "Update on Marc Train and Eli Israel" (Sgt. Kokesh Goes to Washington):

I spoke to Marc recently and he told me about his situation, which I will do my best to recount here. The first action the Army took against Marc was to charge him under Article 15 of the UCMJ for being AWOL for 114 days. The punishment was 45 days of extra duty and base restriction. He is working at the First Brigade, 3rd ID Headquarters. He does normal clerical Private BS work during the day from 6am to 6pm and does janitorial work until 11pm. He is working seven days a week, but evenings and weekends they mostly just hang out because there is a whole squad of soldiers in his situation and their only task is to clean their one building. But being the Army, they sit around until 11pm anyway.
They are now in the process of kicking him out under Chapter 12-14. From a Chapter 12-14 separation counseling sheet:
Your actions constitute serious misconduct. The least favorable type of separation you can receive is an Under Other Than Honorable discharge. You would lose all accrued leave and be reduced to E-1 upon separation. Your ability to obtain decent employment in the civilian community would be extremely limited.
So a little soft time at Fort Stewart and he should be home free. Marc, if it’s any consolation, I’m sure you will have no trouble obtaining decent employment in the civilian community.

The e-mail address for this site is Apologies for the delay in this morning's entries. As noted last night, we were speaking early. The snapshot will go up today and hopefully before 6:30 pm EST. No promises. Thank you to a friend who's tagging these entries (or trying to -- it's fine if they're not tagged) this morning.