Friday, December 21, 2007

The Conservative Origins of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis

Everything you ever wanted to know about the mortgage meltdown but were afraid to ask.

By John Atlas and Peter Dreier
The American Prospect, 12-18-07

Millions of dollars in Wall Street bonuses fueled the subprime feeding frenzy and, as always, US taxpayers will be left with the tab. If you want to understand how this Billion dollar fraud was allowed to happen, read the article by John Atlas and Peter Dreier in the American Prospect.

Dickheads of the Year

My picks for the biggest assholes of 2007 by Bill Maher

College Republicans

The place where cutthroat, amoral putzes like Karl Rove cut their teeth. They're all staunchly for the Iraq War, although none have volunteered to go, even though they're the same age as the grunts doing the fighting they say is so important. Doughy losers who, at age twenty, care more about tax cuts than girls. And lately they've been holding these "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" parties around the country where they basically play hide-and-seek with one lucky player posing as the wetback. Usually you have to be older and married before you start hating life so much you try to blame the Mexicans for all your problems, don't you?

View Bill Maher's complete list of the 13 biggest assholes of 2007 at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Girls with Guns (house mix)

Rape is an act of violence born of hatred or fear, as is most male-on-male violence. Only a perverted mind could justify rape as overly aggressive foreplay. Those who will call for removing women from serving along with men are of the same mindset as those who believe gays and lesbians prey on the innocent. Our military women deserve to have the deviants removed from their ranks – and not have a rewarding career denied them.

Halliburton's Shame

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

"Don't plan on working back in Iraq. There won't be a position here, and there won't be a position in Houston," Jones says she was told. ABC News, December 10, 2007

In the all-male, testosterone-fueled, soldier of fortune world in which companies like Blackwater and KBR operate, women are merely vaginal support systems. For mercenaries schooled in the three F’s of aggressive behavior; Fighting, Fucking, and Forgetting, there's nothing that the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol and a good night’s sleep can't put right again. That our government shares in this criminal conspiracy by directing almost a billion dollars ($US) in security contracts to Blackwater should raise the righteous anger of all Americans.

Is Reactivating the Selective Service System the only way out of Iraq?

For families without a loved one fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, their only connection to the war is the “We support our Troops” sticker on the family car. With our all-volunteer army, we’ve removed the one remaining public duty through which America’s ruling class could be shamed into fulfilling their noblesse oblige – military service. “It is as true today,” wrote Larry Howe of Oak Park IL, “as it was in the 1960s when the president sought refuge in the ‘Champagne’ unit and Mr. Cheney benefited from five draft deferments: Sacrifice is for suckers.” Does our meddling in Iraq suggest that it’s in our best interest to reinstate the draft and eliminate all but financial and medical exemptions? Would those profiting from the war allow it to continue unchecked were it their children’s blood staining the streets of Baghdad?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

110th Congress Confirms 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

House Resolution 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.
Sponsor: Rep Steve King (R-IA)

This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. The vote was held under a suspension of the rules to cut debate short and pass the bill, needing a two-thirds majority. The totals were 372 Ayes, 9 Nays. More ...

Entropy: nature tends from order to maximum disorder in isolated systems like the 110th Congress.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let go of my ears - I know what I'm doing!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Famous Southern Senators: Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky

Grayson County News-Gazette
I won't tell you everything is great in Iraq; it is not. But we want to keep a steady flow of funds so that we don't disrupt the military,” said McConnell. “Unfortunately, most of our friends on the other isle are having a hard time admitting things are getting better; some days I almost think the critics of this war don't want us to win. Nobody is happy about losing lives but remember these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers.

“We ought to provide funding fully without restrictions and without Congress micromanaging the war, ” added Mcconnell. More ...

[T]he Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months.... a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months. (CBS/AP)
Senator McConnell's ignorance about the make-up of our all-volunteer military shows how little most Americans know, or care to know, about a war in which they have no obligation to participate. While it may surprise Senator McConnell to know that almost 25% of the US combat fatalities in Iraq consist of National Guard and Reserve troops, it's a tragic fact for the families of these citizen-soldiers. Using that 25% for Guard and Reserve fatalities, McConnell's home state of Kentucky has lost 16 citizen-soldiers out of a total of 63. Closer to home, Michigan has lost about 39 citizen-soldiers out of a total of 156 military deaths (both Iraq and Afghanistan). It never ceases to amaze me how Senator McConnell and his fellow hawks, most of whom avoided military service, are always the first to call for the use of military force.

"[War] is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes." General Smedley Butler, USMC

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Dark Side of Religion

Sudan protesters seek U.K. teacher's execution
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, protested Friday outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, demanding the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad." Full story ...

The level of medieval violence marshaled against this teacher for her innocent role in allowing children to name their class mascot questions our core belief in the existence of a shared reverence for human rights. As I find myself uncharacteristically at a loss for words, I'll defer to the eloquence of others to express my outrage at this display of primordial aggression.

The.... rumor-fueled tantrums that erupt all the time, especially in the Islamic world, show yet again that faith belongs to the spoiled and selfish childhood of our species.
Christopher Hitchens, The Case for Mocking Religion

Religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great

The moralities of the world religions, generally speaking, contributed more to the extension of violent cruelty than to its mitigation.
R. Collins .Three Faces of Cruelty

Human knowledge tends to increase but humans do not become any more civilized as a result. They remain prone to every kind of barbarism, and while the growth of knowledge allows them to improve their material conditions, it also increases the savagery of their conflicts.
John Gray, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia