Saturday, September 30, 2006

The (Un)Democratic List of Shame

These so-called Democrats voted to turn America into the Soviet Union 2.0 by voting for the Torture Bill:
Thomas Carper (DE)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Joe Lieberman (CT)
Robert Menendez (NJ)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Ken Salazar (CO)
Debbie Stabenow (MO)
And just in case voting for torture was not enough, these stalwarts gave the Torturer in Chief a get out of jail free card by exonerating him and his minions for any war crimes they have committed since the beginning of time, aka 9/11. Just to put this insanity into perspective, the Russians lost an estimated 20 million people in WWII and the French some 200,000 in the single WWI battle for Verdun. "Land of the Free, home of the Brave", I wonder.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nucler--Not So Much

While The Decider squanders our nation's wealth in a foreign debacle of epic proportions, our infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Almost a third of our licensed nuclear power plants have been shut down for a year or more due to severe safety problems. These year long plus shut downs have occurred 51 times since nuclear operations began. The Union of Concerned Scientists detailed case studies of the forty one plants in their report, "Walking a Nuclear Tightrope". You may remember The Decider touting nuclear power as an alternative fuel solution. Of course he doesn't bother to address the needed improvements in government regulation and oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Because after all, he's a "free market" kind of guy.
The respected scientific advocacy group has also studied the obvious vulnerablity of nuclear plants to terrorist attack. This vulnerability was recently mentioned in Al Gore's speech at NYU on beginning carbon reductions now. Six of the last 11 test evaluations reluctantly conducted by the NRC resulted in successful penetration of plant security. In previous discontinued tests, the NRC concluded that at 27 out of 57 sites tested, "a real attack would have put the plant in jeopardy". Current regulations do not require plant protections against aircraft, boats or trucks. DUH? And the party of stay and die just keeps playing Hail to the Chief.

Its Friday, Cat Blogging!

In compliance with tradition, here is a link to my favorite cat blogging site: Cats Me If you Can (It would be nice if blogspot allowed me to put Links in my sidebar.)

Liar, Liar Iraq on Fire

Its as official as its going to get: The April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate has concluded that The Decider's favorite argument for invading Iraq--the war is making us safer--is hogwash. The occupation of Iraq is clearly motivating the existing jihadist movement and enlarging it. The 16 intelligence agencies making the report concluded:

"..activists defining themselves a jihadists...are increasing in both number
and geographic dispersion...The increased role of Iraqis managing the activities
of al-Qa'ida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their
efforts on external operations....We also assess that the global jihadist movement is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts."

So what have we got for our $500 billion kulge in the sandbox? More experienced, dispersed, and motivated extremists with even more reasons to attack the United States. You are doing a hell of a job, Georgie!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Juries, who needs them?

A recent case from the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals caught my attention because it demonstrates a dangerous political trend in the supposedly apolitical judicial system. A Hispanic employee was fired by a company after he agreed to a managerial promotion provided he could return to his old job if his 90 day trial was not satisfactory. The company eliminated his position in a reorganization during the period. All other supervisors were white. The company refused to allow the Hispanic to go back to his old job as agreed on grounds that his performance as a supervisor was not satisfactory despite the fact he received a promotion during the trial period. The employee sued the company for discriminating against him because of race.
Summary judgment is a procedure designed to remove cases from the docket that do not have legal merit. Generally, obtaining summary judgment against a case means that there are no factual issues in dispute and that the case can be decided as a matter of law. Even a lay person can see that in this case there were unresolved factual issues that should have been resolved by a jury as the trier of fact. To mention a few as examples: was the employer's claim of substandard performance as cause for termination just a pretext for discrimination?; was there an actual agreement to allow the employee to return to his old job?; was the agreement violated by the employer?
The majority granting summary judgment in the were all Bush or Regan appointees. The chief judge of the circuit said in dissent, "too many courts in this circuit ...are utilizing summary judgment...where issues of fact remain".
The same proclivity to deny access to justice by political conservatives can also be seen at the international level. Despite guarantees in the Third Geneva Convention that detainees are entitled to fair trials, the Bush regime is seeking to deny "enemy combatants" access to civilian courts through habeas proceedings. Not all persons incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay are bona fide jihadists bent on the destruction of the "Great Satan". Military commissions, in the their zeal to protect the homeland, will make gross errors amounting to injustice. There should be an appeal procedure to civilian courts available to those incarcerated in a land of legal limbo.

Kilroy is not yet here...

This site is under construction. Be patient as my blogging skills develop. I hope to soon provide you with thought provoking observation, and perhaps even inflamatory opinions on America and the world at large. You may have appreciated my comments on Huff Post, Raw Story, Atrios, or AmericaBlog. Now you can find some of my brain content in one place without having to scroll through a hundred other commments on my blog: PERSONA NON GRATA.

Until I have something to say that just has to be put into the blogosphere for consideration I leave you with this interesting quote from the Book of Numbers:
'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp', said Joshua, son of Nun. 'Moses, my Lord, stop them' But Moses answered, 'Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all of the people of the Lord were prophets!'