Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ramblins of buddy don: catchin up

i aint been able to do nuthin much besides sleepin all day, but this mornin i woke feelin purty good n tried to catch up with sum stories. i caint do much more since i am distracted by the holler feelin i git the day after takin zomig, but heres sum stories i wooda writ about ...
  • furst up is a nuther report bout how them biased facks keep gittin in the way of our fantasy land gummint pallsies, witch tiz discussed in this articull name of Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him:
    The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.


    Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

    He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

    Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

    Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

    "Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."
  • then thays how sumbidy is verr upset by the idee of the presdint violatin the law hes dun been sworn to uphold, witch ye kin read bout the eggscuses the administrayshun has been a'givin in this lil editorial name of Spies, Lies and Wiretaps, whar they go thru each of the eggscuses given n takes em apart:
    A bit over a week ago, President Bush and his men promised to provide the legal, constitutional and moral justifications for the sort of warrantless spying on Americans that has been illegal for nearly 30 years. Instead, we got the familiar mix of political spin, clumsy historical misinformation, contemptuous dismissals of civil liberties concerns, cynical attempts to paint dissents as anti-American and pro-terrorist, and a couple of big, dangerous lies.

    The first was that the domestic spying program is carefully aimed only at people who are actively working with Al Qaeda, when actually it has violated the rights of countless innocent Americans. And the second was that the Bush team could have prevented the 9/11 attacks if only they had thought of eavesdropping without a warrant.
  • mr krugman takes up the theme of how fairly the news is reported in a articull name of A False Balance (ye orta read the hole thang ifn ye kin git in, witch thar charin fer it these days):
    "How does one report the facts," asked Rob Corddry on "The Daily Show," "when the facts themselves are biased?" He explained to Jon Stewart, who played straight man, that "facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda," and therefore can't be reported.

    Mr. Corddry's parody of journalists who believe they must be "balanced" even when the truth isn't balanced continues, alas, to ring true. The most recent example is the peculiar determination of some news organizations to cast the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff as "bipartisan."
  • james carroll of the boston globe takes up the questchun of whuther whut we are in is a real state of war in a articull name of Is America actually in a state of war?:
    Here is the embarrassing question: Is America actually at war? We have a war president, war hawks, war planes, war correspondents, war cries, even war crimes -- but do we have war? We have war dead, but the question remains. With young US soldiers being blown up almost daily, it can seem an absurd question, an offensive one. With thousands of Iraqis killed by American firepower, it can seem a heartless question, as if the dead care whether strict definitions of ''war" are fulfilled. There can be no question that Iraq is in a state of war, and that, whatever its elements of post-Saddam sectarian conflict, the warfare is being driven from the Pentagon.

    But, regarding the Iraq conflict as it involves the United States, something essential is lacking that would make it a war -- and that is an enemy.

    The so-called ''insurgents," who wreak such havoc, are not America's enemy. They are not our rivals for territory. They are not our ideological antagonists. Abstracting from the present confrontation, they have no reason to wish us ill.

    Americans who bother to imagine the situation from the Iraqi point of view -- a massive foreign invasion, launched on false pretenses; a brutal occupation, with control of local oil reserves surely part of the motivation; the heartbreaking deaths of brothers, cousins, children, parents -- naturally understand that an ''insurgency" is the appropriate response. Its goal is simply to force the invaders and occupiers to leave. Sunnis, Shi'ites, and Kurds have intrinsic reasons to regard each other as enemies, from competition over land and oil, to ethnic hatreds, to unsettled scores. No equivalent sources of inbuilt contempt exist among these people toward America. Taken as a whole, or in its parts, Iraq is not an enemy.
  • then thays the questchun of why the presdint dont half to obey the law, witch abner j mikva cuvers thisn in a articull name of Why Bush needs a new lawyer:
    OUR COUNTRY has always struggled to find the correct balance between liberty and security. What can the government do legitimately and constitutionally to protect us from dangers while preserving our freedoms? That tension is greatest in times of crisis, whether during hot wars, cold wars, or terrorist attacks.

    President Bush now argues that in the post-9/11 world there is no such tension. A president need not obey some laws because the president's ''inherent" powers trump the Congress. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the McCain Amendment to ban torture are only advisory because Congress cannot encroach on a president's inherent constitutional authority in matters of national security.

    This has never been the law. A president who defies acts of Congress for professed reasons of national security is ''breaking the law repeatedly and persistently," as former Vice President Al Gore recently charged.

    President Bush now campaigns that Congress cannot impede his inherent powers to protect Americans. Bush asserts an unrestricted right to conduct warrantless domestic spying, even though the surveillance act forbids this. Likewise, the administration brazenly asserts that the president possesses the authority to mistreat detainees, even after signing a law banning torture.

    As criticism of this scofflaw behavior has mounted, Bush's lawyers have come up with fatuous defenses. First they argue Congress authorized the president's use of the National Security Agency for domestic spying through the 9/11 Resolution, which was passed after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Then the president argues that he wasn't defying Congress because he told a few of them what he was doing. The administration needs some new lawyers. The claim that Congress authorized spying on Americans when it voted for the use of force after 9/11 is preposterous. Constitutional scholars from both the left and right agree that it cannot remotely be so interpreted.
  • then ye gut to wunder why thar settin folks lack abdallah tabarak free, witch ye kin read n wunder bout it in a articull name of Al Qaeda Detainee's Mysterious Release; Moroccan Spoke Of Aiding Bin Laden During 2001 Escape:
    RABAT, Morocco -- For more than a decade, Osama bin Laden had few soldiers more devoted than Abdallah Tabarak. A former Moroccan transit worker, Tabarak served as a bodyguard for the al Qaeda leader, worked on his farm in Sudan and helped run a gemstone smuggling racket in Afghanistan, court records here show.

    During the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, when al Qaeda leaders were pinned down by U.S. forces, Tabarak sacrificed himself to engineer their escape. He headed toward the Pakistani border while making calls on Osama bin Laden's satellite phone as bin Laden and the others fled in the other direction.

    Tabarak was captured and taken to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was classified as such a high-value prisoner that the Pentagon repeatedly denied requests by the International Committee of the Red Cross to see him. Then, after spending almost three years at the base, he was suddenly released.

    Today, the al Qaeda loyalist known locally as the "emir" of Guantanamo walks the streets of his old neighborhood near Casablanca, more or less a free man. In a decision that neither the Pentagon nor Moroccan officials will explain publicly, Tabarak was transferred to Morocco in August 2004 and released from police custody four months later.
  • finely, ye kin read bout the trutch stretchin in last nites state of the union speech in a articull by peter wallsten and maura reynolds name of Bush Stretches to Defend Surveillance; The president's justification for his spy program has disputable roots, as do some of the facts and figures he put forth in his speech:
    WASHINGTON — President Bush received a roaring ovation Tuesday for his prime-time defense of wiretapping phone calls without warrants. But Bush's explanation relied on assumptions that have been widely questioned by experts who say the president offers a debatable interpretation of history.

    Defending the surveillance program as crucial in a time of war, Bush said that "previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority" that he did. "And," he added, "federal courts have approved the use of that authority."
    Bush did not name names, but was apparently reiterating the argument offered earlier this month by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, who invoked Presidents Lincoln, Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt for their use of executive authority.

    However, warrantless surveillance within the United States for national security purposes was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 — long after Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt stopped issuing orders. That led to the 1978 passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that Bush essentially bypassed in authorizing the program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Since the surveillance law was enacted, establishing secret courts to approve surveillance, "the Supreme Court has not touched this issue in the area of national security," said William Banks, a national security expert at Syracuse Law School.

    "He might be speaking in the broadest possible sense about the president exercising his authority as commander-in-chief to conduct a war, which of course federal courts have upheld since the beginning of the nation," Banks said. "If he was talking more particularly about the use of warrantless surveillance, then he is wrong."

    Bush's historical reference on domestic spying marked one of several points in his speech in which he backed up assertions with selective uses of fact, or seemed to place a positive spin on his own interpretation.
heres hopin i feel better tomorrow, witch ifn i do i will try to putt up a nuther chaptur to life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly.

thankee fer droppin by. ifn ye wonta make a comment, ye half to click on the wurd 'link' below sos ye kin see the comment lank.

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