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Rain In A Rusty Bucket

It's what makes the bucket Rusty... and by the way, if you see Rusty tell her to write.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Brave New World

Phyllis Schlafley writes a conservative editorial against Bush Administration recommendations that all children be subject to psychological evaluations in public school, parents don't get a say.

Big Brother is on the march. A plan to subject all children to mental health screening is underway, and the pharmaceuticals are gearing up for bigger sales of psychotropic drugs.

Like most liberal big-spending ideas, this one was slipped into the law under cover of soft semantics. Its genesis was the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFCMH) created by President George W. Bush in 2002.

Proof conservative like... wait, what do they like again? Schools evaluating your children? Um... I don't BELIEVE you if you say the Republican Party wants smaller government, wants government out of your life, doesn't like unfunded mandates.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Rumsfeld, Others, Charged with War Crimes in Germany

at Reuters.com and a lot of German only places like Der Speigel.

Probably won't go far... we're America!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Inspiring Photo, if ominous -- quietly strong

from the fantastic and diverse Daily Dose Of Imagery.

The image is scaled down, if you view it you will get a larger image.

What is a robust liberal attitude toward America's warriors?

As A Simple Issue

To me the logic is simple... supporting troops can mean and somtimes must mean wanting to stop fighting a war.  It's like wanting to support someone by pulling them from a fire.  Like "supporting" the justice system by making sure it doesn't convict the wrong guy.

I think this is pretty evident... but it is entirely beside the point.

The Real Issue

The real issue is that by not supporting the war, you tell them that their sacrifice, a really costly sacrifice, is worthless.  WAIT!  Many balance this by measuring the soldier by his duty and ethics to country.  But only a very perceptive warrior is likely to perceive the sincerity of your respect when the translation is "you did the wrong thing with honor".  It is sincere, I know speaking for myself, but it's worth making an extra effort to visualize the meaning of support in a way the warrior can appreciate.  This can be done without violating one's progressive principles because their public service, horrible as it is FOR THEM, is part of a democratic society.

Other Positions

Another issue is people that think the warrior should protest, refuse, so the world can have a war and nobody comes.  I find this pretty naïve although I know where people thinking this are coming from.  That day can come.  But right now my opinion is that if there were no military at all, then we would be invaded.  Military security is still necessary, right now.

Some suggested, in response to the last revision of my point, that a Nuclear-Only armed force, or a well regulated defensive national militia would be sufficient to repel invasion.  Those are both types of military.  And this is my point, we should be debating what sort of military progressives want to have, instead of persisting in the idea that the military isn't really needed.  It IS needed, we can debate what sort best serves our interest, but since it IS needed, we support the warrior right now.

The debate is only what kind of defense force is appropriate and which conflicts are worthy.  Thus, the issue of if we need a military is solved, and one must conclude that we need soldiers that are duty bound to do things for their country.  For their country, that means, not directly for themselves.  The military is a device that embraces a hierarchy of commands which is necessary to its operation.

Progressive Solutions

The military is necessary although there are many reforms imaginable within a progressive context.  I could imagine, for example, war requiring a 2/3-majority national authorization vote being an interesting position.  I could imagine all sorts of approaches.  But in all cases the progressive position must be to support the warrior, not by ignoring their service, but based closely on their service, their ethics and heroism with respect to their mission and to the human standards of mankind.  A military where the soldier is the arbiter of a just conflict is a world in which a military coup is acceptable, for this is one case where militaries decide what they think is best for their nation.  The military must have a principle of service, duty, and fidelity for their obedience to nation is all that protects uf from a forced obedience to them.

Explaining It

How to explain this to the warrior is the real problem.  If you have ideas speak up.  I'll bet most of us don't.  Talking to warriors and their relatives is the path to an answer, but the warriors and their representatives can't be expected to have the answer either.


  • Listening to the Warriors

  • Figuring out "Progressive Appropriate" items to send to deployed soldiers

  • Healthcare for returned vets, mind and body

  • Support GI benefits and issues

  • Emphasize the positive as well, don't wait for the Republicans to come up with stories of courageous soldiers.

  • Emphasize the positive, the mission in Afghanistan was necessary

  • Emphasize the positive, soldiers serve world wide and are serving under many difficult conditions from South Korea to Germany

  • Other things...

Even Afghanistan could have been done differently but that's always the case.  Progressives are, and -certainly- Democrats are, pro civil service and the sacrifice of the soldier is sacrosanct to the protection of our Constitution.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Freedom Bullets Kill Civilian Protesters

These broadcasts are from Swiss TV on November 14th. They show what happened in Ivory Coast when French troops fired on unarmed protesters:

First Video

Second Video

Monday, November 22, 2004

Mandate Watch

The Washington Monthly:

Hmmm.... the yacht was news to me. But let me say, I don't fully endorse any idea that all these items are misguided... I'm fine with the US buying back the Sequoia for 2 million dollars... the owners think it's worth nearly $10M (10 million), but then, unless they have cannons mounted on that thing they may have to relent.

"MANDATE WATCH....Congressional Republicans have now been back in town for five days following their big election victory on the 2nd. So what are they using their newfound mandate for? Let's take a peek:

* At the request of Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Oklahoma), passed a law giving Appropriations Committee chairmen the right to look at anyone's tax returns without regard to privacy rights. When caught by Democrats, they said it was all just a big mistake and promised they'd never actually use this authority.

* Overwhelmingly revoked a rule stating that Republican congressional leaders have to step down if indicted of a felony. This was done to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who appears to be on the verge of being indicted for a felony.

* Approved funding to buy President Bush a yacht.

* Killed long-awaited intelligence reform legislation that was widely supported by both Democrats and Republicans, the president, the 9/11 Commission, and 9/11 victims groups.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

US not allowing civilians to flee Fallujah

Is just everything OK? Anything we do, OK before even hearing it? This is terrible and stupid... why send men back into the city rather than let them leave? If they are considered terrorists or insurgents, put them in a camp! Why send them back? To fight us?

Evidently report are that men were tested for explosive residue, if the test was positive they were arrested (saved from death!) and if not... sent back into Fallujah! All men 11-64? And I'm supposedly a peacenik for not approving of this? I don't think so.

ABC News: AP Photographer Flees Fallujah
ABC News: AP Photographer Flees Fallujah

Monday, November 15, 2004

Oil Fire Photo

I'm astounded by these... fires that (can) take years to put out are sort of interesting...

Yeah that's a real care just driving by... makes the people that drive across flooded road seem like they're making perfectly safe decisions by comparison.

Timely Question

I think this would be a good time to ask how Republicans would like to be treated as opposition the next time they are not in control of all the wings of government. How would they like Democrats (or an as yet to be imagined party) to run, say, the CIA? How would they like their ideas treated should the voters they represent fall a few percent short?

The question is: What is the role of an opposition? What compromises are owed, if any, to a powerless super minority including tens of millions of American voters?

Mind you, I'm not personally asking for any concessions... conservatives won, I think the Republic will survive and hope it succeed and prospers, and I think that it will overall. But I'd rather ask this now than after it happens. As a bleeding heart, I might err and give too much play to the losing side, perhaps it's better to merely marginalize the losers? What do you think?

Don't Question My Outrage

On the left right now is an internal firestorm... not talking about the fight over Dean as potential DNC chair, which is a fight of some substance. But no, it's the argument that Kerry's loss was due to election fraud. No one of any authority, real or social, is pushing this. The win was too big (popular vote is important) and there just isn't the evidence, plus, it's being investigated on the ground and is not something to make a big rhetorical stink about.

So just because I don't believe it and I want the insane bleatings and loyalty-oath mantra to go away... whatever you do, don't question my outrage.

I'm just not outraged about Democracy.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Cute Zen Moment

Baby Hedgehog.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I can only wonder what a person might think my posting this means. But like most pictures I post (as opposed to charts or graphs... actually, even those), I just appreciate the aesthetics... in this case a sort of harsh and relevant aesthetic. This is in mosul where a police station was seen being looted of weapons and flak jackets prior to being set on fire.


Mom asked what "progressive" means. To be frank Mom... it's a better word than liberal, that's all. Who doesn't like progress!? Liberal? Sometimes a person should not be liberal. For example, when lost as sea, "liberal" portions of the remaining food and water are not advisable. But progress is always a good idea.

Progress is a pragmatic idea that brings in current conditions... progress in one case might be a hard cure for a hard illens, in another it may be spending a bounty on a social program.

But also, "progressivism" is a better antipode to "conservativism". It's right there in the language. Conservatives are trying to conserve what we have, possibly go back to what we had, when times were the way they ought to be.

Progressives admit we are not there, we have not been there, we are going there. We need progress. The current condition is not good enough, it's not acceptable enough.

I do believe in conservation, this sort of conservativism that wants to protect what we have. We have democracy begun in the world, we have protections like the Bill of Rights and ecological regulation. We have a world economy. I want to conserve. I don't want radical change, risky change, that risks losing those advances. "Progressive", as a term, incorporates that... progress is not from the frying pan into the fire (well, maybe it is... if going through the fire is the only path to survival). Progress is not to lose those gains we've made or those things we've had from time immemorial (like family). Progress is to gain atop those spiritual possessions.

That's what "progressive" means to me.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Republicans Vs. Reality

Well, the American electorate has spoken and for once one can't say it's because they are not paying attention to important issues. Iraq was important. The Bush Doctrince was important, and the electorate chose Republicans, Republicans and Republicans.

Now it's Republicans vs. Reality. Can't wait to see what funny names they make up for Reality to demoralize it.

Prepare for Defeat, Reality!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Democrats Propose Redistricting Plan

Purple States

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Congratulations President Bush.

I still hope Iraq will be a democracy...we all wish the best for America. Bush would like there to be jobs outpacing outsourcing. I agree outsourcing is a good thing if you are not losing net jobs. I think Bush wants that.

As far as I'm concerned Bush can have a fresh chance, measured from now to the degree that's really possible. I have every reason to theorize that Bush might have learned from the last four years, using a sociological gaming definition of "every reason" at least, and I think that this, this benefit of the doubt for Bush, is the way to go.

It has not been decided, but if it's Bush, then Bush is my President. And I will honestly be open to him commiting a series of good decisions.