Tutor Turtle Calls for Help

“Save me Mr. Wizard! Save me!

I know this has been around for a couple of weeks now … but I tried to ignore it at first. Today, it poked a sore spot in my mind, and so here at ASZ you get the aftermath. The Goddess loves blogging.

It seems the ShrubCo faux religious blitzkrieg has officially endorsed the creationist book being distributed at the Grand Canyon… Yes, friends… the Grand Canyon was created by the Old Testament recorded flood that little children learn about in the biblical story of Noah and the Ark. (Bill Cosby’s version leaps to mind now. Voice of God: “NOAH… I want you to build… an ark — Noah: RIGHT!”) Think: all the animal species on the Happy Planet, two-by-two, squabbling adult children and a real pooper-scooper problem. But don’t take my word for it. Read the theo-con, theo-crat bullshit in all it’s “glory” here…

PARK SERVICE STICKS WITH BIBLICAL EXPLANATION FOR GRAND CANYON (press release)

“Washington, DC — The Bush Administration has decided that it will stand by its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, according to internal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)”

I’ve started to think the crew of the Mothership has forsaken me for good and for all.

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

Three

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Nothin’ but Sunshine

Listen, at this point in the game, Monkey Boyâ„¢ could produce Osama’s head on a stick, and it wouldn’t matter.

Ruy Teixeira concurs.

In the horse race homestretch, Kerry is pulling away like a thoroughbred. Fast. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to work 24 X 7 in the next four days. It just means the job is a bit easier. And you should have a little more spring in your step as you canvas door-to-door.

So don’t be worrying about a little video tape. Hell, by the end of the weekend, OBL’s going to be painted as the Boy King’s most vocal supporter. Just the fact that OBL’s still around and able to put out a vid four days before the election is a major black eye for Bush. And that on top of the other severe beatings that the Bushbot’s have been taking this week.

It’s all good.

;-)

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Who is this little girl?


She is the face of the future concerning the gay and lesbian partnership/marriage issue. Her mothers are lesbians. One of her mothers is my sister.

This issue has not been front and center for lots of reasons this year. Sure Bush pushed for a Marriage Amendment that would deny rights to gays and lesbians. And sure there are eleven states that are voting for similar issues. But the issue hasn’t caught on and it should. We should plaster little Jillian’s picture all over as an example of why we should fight for this issue, because it is all about getting children good and caring parents who have the state behind the durable relationships they fight for.

Unfortunately, defending that viewpoint can get a boy in trouble, at least in Missouri it can. Even though all other students are allowed to advertise their support of the ballot amendmant that is palpably against gays, young Brad Matthewson has been censored:

Mathewson was sent to the principal’s office by his homeroom teacher on October 20 after she spotted his t-shirt. The shirt bears the name of the Gay-Straight Alliance at his old high school in Fayetteville, Arkansas (FHS Gay-Straight Alliance), a pink triangle, and the words, “Make a Difference!” When an assistant principal saw it, he told Mathewson to go home and change shirts because someone might be offended by it. Although Mathewson pointed out the anti-gay marriage stickers seen throughout the school, his concerns were ignored. Mathewson was again disciplined when he came to school on October 27 wearing a t-shirt featuring a rainbow and the phrase, “I’m gay and I’m proud.”

“Even though nobody complained about my t-shirts, my school told me I couldn’t wear them just because someone might get offended,” said Mathewson, a junior at Webb City High School. “But every day I see students at my school with anti-gay stickers on their notebooks and sometimes on their shirts, and I find that offensive. I understand that they have a right to express what they think, but I have a right to do the same thing.”

What a bright kid. I’d like to invite him to write here on ASZ, because this kid can definitely detect hypocrisy and put it back in their faces.

We’ve got a long way to work even after this election, folks.

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

One Thousand, One Hundred and Forty Four Days

September 11, 2001 was that long ago.

And one man still survives; the poster child of the 2004 presidential election and alleged perpetrator of the attack.

1,144 days.

Not one person sits in a jail cell anywhere in the world convicted of direct involvement or complicity in the events of 9/11/2001.

Not one.

Not a single person in the Bush administration was fired for letting it happen.

Not one.

3000 Americans dead. Not one person held accountable, anywhere in the world.

Not one.

Think about it.

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Speaking Truth to Power

A Friday Afternoon Picker-Upper

The first is from Ernest Partridge, co-editor of the Crisis PapersAn Open Letter to Colin Powell and John McCain:

Excerpt: “Gentlemen,

Rarely in the course of human events, does an opportunity fall upon a single individual to dramatically and favorably alter the course of history.

Each of you stands at that crossroad of history and each of you, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “hold the power and bear the responsibility.â€

Along with millions of our countrymen, I implore you to pause, to reflect, and then to follow the demands of your duty to your country and to its enduring principles: renounce your support of George Bush and his corrupt and incompetent administration, and join us in our determination to cleanse our body politic of greed and deliberate ignorance, and to restore the good name of the United States among the community of nations.”

The next is from Citizens for Legitimate Government: It’s Satyagraha Time: A Manifesto by Thomas I. Ellis, Ph.D.

“Satyagraha is the word coined by Mahatma Gandhi to describe the essence of his brilliant and visionary political strategy, later adopted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It literally translates as “holding fast to truth” and—contrary to popular misconceptions, is not merely a synonym for civil disobedience. Rather, Gandhi defined it, in practice, as “nonviolent noncooperation with evil.” As such, it refers to any and all nonviolent strategies for mindfully confronting, resisting, and transforming all forms of political evil and oppression. It can range from simply speaking truth to power all the way to massive civil disobedience and to setting up a parallel alternative government. A Satyagraha campaign, Gandhi insisted, is always a last resort, after all other legally sanctioned forms of redress have been exhausted. To succeed, however, Satyagraha campaigns need strong and impeccable moral leadership, strategic intelligence, persistence, and above all, widespread grassroots support.

The time has come, I feel, to mount a nationwide Satyagraha campaign against the Bush regime. Here are three major reasons why such a campaign has become necessary:

First and foremost, they have no legitimate authority to govern …”

Gentles, if you need “inspiration”, read the rest at the links… ‘Twas good for what ailed me today.

Tomorrow does not belong to them.

note: I’m hoping to do some Friday Family Blogging later tonight LCT – Left Coast Time.

Saturday, October 30th, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

Too many strings to pull

I’ve written about Jim Bunning and his apparent failing mental health in the last couple months. It pains me to do so, as I am a Phillies fan, and he’s one of the greatest they evert had on the mound. Bunning’s various antics recently, of accusing his opponent of molesting his wife, for instance, or of ducking debates he’d already agreed to, has helped his opponent, one of the biggest underdogs in the country, into the race.

Dr. Mongiardo, the challenger, has Bunning on the ropes, and as Josh Marshall notes, Mongiardo has the Republicans so worried that they’ve resorted to calling Mongiardo gay. Yes, politics for these boys is evidently an extension of Junior High. Hopefully when Bunning loses they won’t give him a swirly.

I especially liked this line in the Lexington Herald-Leader article cited by Josh Marshall.

Bunning told reporters yesterday that President Bush might be in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati on Sunday as he campaigns for his own re-election. Plans are still tentative, but Bunning said he would want to join Bush if it happens.

Imagine, Bunning, who it is widely assumed is suffering some sort of dementia, standing tall with Dumbya, who can’t put down such scintillating fiction as “My Pet Goat.”

Alert the stand-up comics, because this will be some epic material.

To be serious, I believe Bunning to be a good man, and he should withdraw from the race and retire. I am sure his fellow Republicans will not allow that, and that is yet one more definition of “no shame.”

Friday, October 29th, 2004 by SpinDentist |
Category: Uncategorized

Ohio GOP Loses Bid to Fight Registrations

Score one for the good guys. The only question – will Blackwell make emergency appeal to SCOTUS?

Ohio GOP Loses Bid to Fight Registrations

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Republicans lost an attempt Friday to restart hearings on thousands of voter registrations the party has contested, and the court’s decision could mean the hearings will never be held.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati turned down several Republican appeals, clearing the way for a lower-court judge to decide whether to extend her temporary order stopping the hearings…

The 6th CCA is (if I remember correctly) two Republicans and one Demcrat, so this is incredibly surprising.

Score one for the good guys.

Friday, October 29th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

WAYBACK MACHINE: Richard’s Closing Argument

This ASZ blog post was originally written on 8/22/04, and was selected for inclusion in the ASZ Wayback Machine project. All text is exactly as originally posted. Formatting has been updated to fit current Blogger templates, and in many cases, original links may no longer work. This will be my last “wayback” posting prior to the election. I selected this as my “closing argument” because it is the most powerful case for a Bush defeat that I’ve encountered in the past 10 months. — Richard

This past Tuesday, August 17th, four members of the New Hampshire Air National Guard returned from deployment in Iraq. Sergeants Chris Moisan, Nancy Young, Dave Guindon, and Mike Steer left for duty on February 18th, 2004, according to an article in the NHANG newsletter, The Refueler.

In the photo to the left from Wednesday’s edition of the Manchester Union Leader, the four airmen appear pretty darn happy to be home. While six months in Iraq is not an extended tour (at least in terms of the length of time that many units are remaining in country) it’s still a long time to be away from friends and family. So, it’s not surprising that in an airport interview, Dave Guindon told a reporter:

“It feels fantastic. It’s hard to explain it, it feels so good,†Guindon said about being home, shortly after he arrived at Manchester Airport. “I’m just going to take today slow, wake up tomorrow, and see what it’s like to be back in a normal place.â€

…Sharon Guindon, Dave Guindon’s wife, said she was elated. While no definite plans for his return had been made yet, she said, the two plan to catch up on all the things that have happened during the past six months.

“I tell you, it’s such a big relief that he’s coming home,†Mrs. Guindon said, adding later, “You don’t realize what they go through until you have someone over there.â€

On Wednesday, not 24 hours after saying those words, Dave Guindon put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

TSgt Dave Guindon was 48 years old, and left behind his wife and daughter.


At the risk of seeming like I’m profiling, it’s almost axiomatic to conclude that Dave Guindon was very much a supporter of the war in Iraq, and by extension, the Bush administration. It’s not rocket science. He worked for Raytheon (a major defense contractor), and in the past served a hitch in the regular Army, then the Army Reserve, prior to joining the NH Air National Guard. By all accounts, he was a gung-ho guy who believed in the selling points of this lousy war.

So, what the hell happened that would drive a middle-aged man to a) play GI Joe at a time when most in Guindon’s demographic are more tuned into annual colon polyp screenings and worrying about paying the kid’s college tuition, and b) take his own life less than 24 hours after a reunion with his family? We might never know the answer to either of these questions, but perhaps the article in The Refueler gives us a clue:

…We started off with a couple of days lugging baggage at Fort Benning Ga. We then traveled to Kuwait and spent a couple of days at Camp Wolverine, before heading north to Camp Virginia. We spent almost 45 days there being trained on convoy procedures and went out to a live fire range at a place called Camp Udari. We were in field conditions for 6 days, the only thing close

to home were the 8 Porto potties that were there. No showers or hot food. Only all the MREs that you could eat. Some retired special forces put us through the paces, and tried to teach us as much as we could remember for those six days…

If you find yourself on a tough deployment, you haven’t seen anything like what we are faced with. Well, some of you may have. We have been all over Iraq. Driven by Fullujah and by the prison.

The NHANG team was stationed at Camp Anaconda in the Sunni triangle of Iraq. They ran over 100 missions in their short time in Iraq. A quick google search on Camp Anaconda turns up many hits – many of them relating stories of mortar attacks, insurgent activities, convoys being attacked (the NHANG team appears to have been largely involved in convoy escort), and the generally crappy conditions in the camp.

It’s impossible and completely unnecessary to speculate what Dave Guindon and his mates may have seen while in Iraq. But it’s clear that none of the team members had the opportunity to “decompress” after leaving the battlefield. Major General John Blair, the commander of the NH Air National Guard, lamented:

…”There is a process in place by the National Guard for helping returning guardsmen as they readjust to civilian life, but it is usually scheduled after guardsmen are settled in at home.

“We thought it was something we could do after they had some private time with families. I guess we realize — or I realize now — it needs to be sooner rather than later,†said Blair.

Kate Storm previously brought you the stories of Ken Dennis and Kevin Lucey. There’s a disturbing trend developing here. So disturbing that the Army is now calling in part time counselors from elementary schools to address the issue of suicide prevention with Army personnel returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres:

[snark]

For Ropp, who spends two days a week counseling Meadow’s Edge Elementary students in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp., this will be her first work with the military. She has taught ASIST to people working in the mental health and education fields, and does not plan to do anything differently at Fort Bragg.

[/snark]

It’s no secret to anyone who reads this or any other forum in Left Blogistan that the war in Iraq has been mismanaged from the first day George Bush took office, and the neocons started whipping up the war plans. People like Dave Guindon are so much cannon fodder to the policy wonks and neocon think tanks like American Enterprise Institute within the comfy confines of the I-495 Beltway in Washington.

Guindon was old enough to be a grandfather. He had no business being on the front lines in combat operations. His mature eyes saw things in Iraq that perhaps, as a younger man, he could have walled off in his mind. By all accounts, he was a very stable individual, with a good civilian career and a loving family.

And now, in the halls of Pentagon, in some dusty file cabinet, TSgt. Dave Guindon becomes just another statistic.

Friday, October 29th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

More From the Campaign Trail Last Night

Last night, Doc posted a picture of yesterday’s Madison, Wi. Kerry rally (scroll down…) This morning, Jo Fish at Dem Vet posted some pictures taken at a Kerry rally yesterday evening (I believe in Columbus). Jo was the lucky duckie and had a front row seat. Great pics and commentary from Jo. Go visit this morning.

Friday, October 29th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized
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