Monday, April 03, 2006

Every Facet

"If you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention" is a great bumper sticker seen a lot in the Bay Area. If you ARE paying attention then you should know that Bush and the Republican Party are collectively destroying what makes America great and what makes it tick. Below is a collection of articles that demonstrate this destruction.

Facet #1 - Terrorism

We "anti-war" traitors (note: I'm not anti-war. I'm anti this war and I've held this position from the get-go) have been saying all along that the debacle in Iraq would not make us safer and would assuredly create more terrorist. Kicking Iraq around is like beating up on Timmeh. Iran, however, is the real deal. They are a young, coked-up Mike Tyson. But since we've depleted our military in Iraq, spent all of our money, allowed REAL terrorist to train against us in Iraq we don't have the hand to deal with Iran. And if we want to lob a couple of bombs their way, look what's waiting for us:

Attacking Iran May Trigger Terrorism
"As tensions increase between the United States and Iran, U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide.

Iran would mount attacks against U.S. targets inside Iraq, where Iranian intelligence agents are already plentiful, predicted these experts. There is also a growing consensus that Iran's agents would target civilians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, they said."

Heckuva job, Bushie.

Facet #2 - Money

Middle class cash is being siphoned off by Corporations. Again, I am not one who believes that all corporations are evil. They are very necessary in a free market economy. I do not wish for the Feds to run our businesses and to disperse all the created wealth equally among the members of our society. People should be rewarded with wealth for innovation, for products, for employing people, for creating competitive markets, etc. BUT, what should be regulated is greed. If the titans of industry were benevolent by nature then regulations would not be necessary. But they aren't and they've proved it time and time again. They get greedy and want it all. The feds need to play a role in preventing this greed. The feds need to play a role in protecting the worker from this greed. The feds need to play a role in protecting the middle class because without it our country will collapse. Can't afford to pay for employee health care coverage my ass:

Corporate profits surge to 40-year high:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. corporate profits have increased 21.3% in the past year and now account for the largest share of national income in 40 years, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Strong productivity gains and subdued wage growth boosted before-tax profits to 11.6% of national income in the fourth quarter of 2005, the biggest share since the summer of 1966. See full story.

For all of 2005, before-tax profits totaled $1.35 trillion, up from $1.16 trillion in 2004 and just $767 billion in 2001."
Under Bush we've run out of room on the debt clock. WE'VE FREAKIN' RUN OUT OF ROOM... ON THE DEBT CLOCK. jeez.

US debt clock running out of time, space:
"So rapid is the rise of the US national debt, that the last four digits of a giant digital signboard counting the moving total near New York's Times Square move in seemingly random increments as they struggle to keep pace.

The national debt clock, as it is known, is a big clock. A spot-check last week showed a readout of 8.3 trillion -- or more precisely 8,310,200,545,702 -- dollars ... and counting.

But it's not big enough.

Sometime in the next two years, the total amount of US government borrowing is going to break through the 10-trillion-dollar mark and, lacking space for the extra digit such a figure would require, the clock is in danger of running itself into obsolescence."

Facet #3 - Education

“A country of morons”. Bush is leaving all of the chillens behind. Testing as the sole source of knowledge creates an brain-dead class who are unable to think big ideas. Big ideas are what made America. Big ideas will save America. Bush's education philosophy is to keep 'em dumb, so he can stay in charge.

Oh, and the lie the Right has been pushing about "liberal" professors discriminating against conservative student has been debunked:

Grading Edge for Conservative Students:
In debates over the Academic Bill of Rights, supporters of the controversial legislation have suggested that conservative students are the victims of classroom bias — and receive lower grades or even failing grades because of their political views.

"Much of the debate has involved trading anecdotes — with David Horowitz citing examples of oppressed conservative students and his critics debunking those examples or providing counter-examples of classrooms where political bias is nowhere to be found in grading or student interactions.

It turns out that there is actual research that has been done on the subject. And the research suggests that there is no widespread relationship between students’ political views and their grades. But there is one exception: In some disciplines favored by conservative students, liberal students seem to receive lower grades."
And the religious right's abstinence only programs are insipid and counterproductive. I don't care what you try to do you cannot stop teenagers from having sex. You better supply them with birth control. Propaganda will not stop teenage hormones.

Sex-Ed Class Becomes Latest School Battleground
The expansion of abstinence programs has been propelled by a steady increase in government funding. The funding started ramping up under the Clinton administration. Since 1998, the federal government has spent about $890 million on abstinence programs, including sex-ed courses taught in schools (as well as pregnancy crisis centers and government agencies). But the bulk of it -- $779 million -- has been spent since President George W. Bush took office in 2001. The government is slated to spend $176 million on abstinence programs this year -- up from nearly $167 million last year and $82 million in 2001.
Facet #4 - Religion

I'll choose science over religious quakery any day of the week.

Study: Prayer doesn't affect heart patients
"NEW YORK (AP) -- In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.

Researchers emphasized their work does not address whether God exists or answers prayers made on another's behalf. The study can only look for an effect from prayers offered as part of the research, they said.

They also said they had no explanation for the higher complication rate in patients who knew they were being prayed for, in comparison to patients who only knew it was possible prayers were being said for them."
And stop villifying those of us who do not believe in your mythology. Bigots.

Who's Counting: Distrusting Atheists
"Given the increasing religiosity of American culture, it's perhaps not too surprising that a new study out this month finds that Americans are not fond of atheists and trust them less than they do other groups. The depth of this distrust is a bit astonishing nonetheless.
Asked whether they would disapprove of a child's wish to marry an atheist, 47.6 percent of those interviewed said yes. Asked the same question about Muslims and African-Americans, the yes responses fell to 33.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively. The yes responses for Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and conservative Christians were 18.5 percent, 18.5 percent, 11.8 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

When asked which groups did not share their vision of American society, 39.5 percent of those interviewed mentioned atheists. Asked the same question about Muslims and homosexuals, the figures dropped to a slightly less depressing 26.3 percent and 22.6 percent, respectively. For Hispanics, Jews, Asian-Americans and African-Americans, they fell further to 7.6 percent, 7.4 percent, 7.0 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

The study contains other results, but these are sufficient to underline its gist: Atheists are seen by many Americans (especially conservative Christians) as alien and are, in the words of sociologist Penny Edgell, the study's lead researcher, 'a glaring exception to the rule of increasing tolerance over the last 30 years.'
Of course, it should go without saying, but won't, that belief in God isn't at all necessary to have a keen ethical concern for others.

Facet #5 - Unquestioned loyalty and not allowing dissent.

For 5 years, this administration, and Rethugs in general, have squashed all dissent and have called those of us you have questioned this administration, traitors, terrorist, etc. Well the hypocrites are coming out in full force now. Once they realize that their political futures are in jeopardy, they are becoming the traitors, terrorist, etc: U.S.:
"March 31 (Bloomberg) -- William F. Buckley Jr., the longtime conservative writer and leader, said George W. Bush's presidency will be judged entirely by the outcome of a war in Iraq that is now a failure.

``Mr. Bush is in the hands of a fortune that will be unremitting on the point of Iraq,'' Buckley said in an interview that will air on Bloomberg Television this weekend. ``If he'd invented the Bill of Rights it wouldn't get him out of his jam.''"
They created this Frankenstein that they are now running from:

Insulating Bush:
"Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might not be true, according to government records and interviews."
All of this creates a bizarro world. Can we reclaim America? Yes. Yes we can:

Daily Kos: A Tiny Revolution:
"We are in an era, currently, where control of the truth is the battle. We are indeed in an era in which ideas -- little or big 'i', makes no difference -- are politically irrelevant, and the direction of democracy is being steered by fouler winds. Story after story reminds us that reporting the truth is considered a central act of unpatriotic sabotage, these days. In the government, scientists operate under governmentally censored conclusions. In the war, we are told that the news is much, much better than is being reported -- while the reporters are telling us they would report the good news, if it was only safe enough to leave their hotels. In the Congress, we are told what criticisms we may level, and which ones we may not."
File this under "We knew it, already" or "D'uh":
ABC News: Former Sen. Jesse Helms Has Dementia

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