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derby378's Journal - Archives
Posted by derby378 in Latest Breaking News
Thu Jun 26th 2008, 09:14 AM
Source: SCOTUSblog

Details to follow. Scalia wrote the majority opinion.

The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm.

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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Apr 25th 2008, 08:23 PM
I can already hear the knives being sharpened, so I'm just going to lay the cards on the table:

Do you remember that feeling on November 7, 2006, when you realized for the first time that Democrats had regained control of the House for the first time since 1994? Did you cheer? Did you weep with joy? Did you shake hands, slap backs, hug necks? Did you shout until you were hoarse?

I was there at the Adam's Mark hotel in downtown Dallas, watching the results come in with my fellow Democrats in one of the meeting rooms. Then came the "Breaking News" banner on CNN as we all watched, announcing that the House had turned blue for the first time in 12 years. My wife was sobbing with joy, and I grabbed her and held her close. Then I ran around in circles like an idiot until I collapsed on the floor. Not everyone was as demonstrative as I was, but it was okay. We were victorious. We were one united party. The Democrats were back. The Bush administration was going to be held accountable for its actions. And the White House was ours for the taking in 2008.

So here we are in 2008, and - well, gee, guess what? Instead of taking the fight to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, we have succeeded only in taking the fight to each other. Instead of John McCain scrambling to hold his own against the Democratic nominee, he is settling into cruise control as Clinton and Obama continue to duke it out, with allegations of political shenanigans levelled at supporters of both candidates nationwide.

And all the while, the Democrats on Capitol Hill have been collectively too chickenshit to issue subpoenas for Bush's henchmen, let alone actively work for Bush's impeachment. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not only stated that impeachment is "off the table," but is also working behind the scenes to derail any calls on the House floor to put it back on the table.

In other words, while the whole world is watching, the Democrats have fallen victim to a bait-and-switch that rivals the sales pitch for the invasion of Iraq in magnitude. We have been talked into plunging ourselves into a civil war within our own party. And George W. Bush is leaning back in his Oval Office chair, confident and smug in the realization that Democrats are not pressing him on his legalization of torture, his revocation of habeas corpus, his illegal wiretaps, his abandonment of our military vets, his refusal to intervene in a growing crisis over rising gasoline and food prices, and so on. The Democratic Party, as a whole, has announced to the world that they're letting an incompetent frat boy get away with his crimes against America so that they can instead pass the time shouting slogans and insults at supporters of a primary candidate who isn't theirs.

While all this brouhaha has been going on, I kept myself busy by remembering the endgame. I introduced a resolution to our state Democratic apparatus that, if passed, would demand that the next Democratic President shall not in any way pardon Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld. That resolution passed the county level and is now headed for the Texas state convention in June. Will it pass at the state level? I sure hope so. Will it make it all the way to Denver for the national convention? That would be marvelous. Will the next Democratic President, be it Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, actually heed this advice and hold the Bush junta responsible for its crimes? O, joy immeasurable. But at least I have tried to keep my eye on the ball while too many people at the county convention were content to shout at each other and pull little political stunts to undercut each other.

Once upon a time, we used to be one party. We had a common vision and a shared goal. Now just look at what we have become. Take a good, hard look.

We've heard our candidates talking about finding their own voice. Now our party needs to find its own voice - a mighty roar that will drive neo-fascism out of Washington, DC once and for all.
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Nov 02nd 2007, 07:25 PM
Both of you had your chance to stick it to the Bush junta by denying Mukasey the AG position. You could have ended it today. And both of you blew it. You kissed Herr Decider's ass and gave your assent to the wholesale violations of the Fifth Amendment and the Eighth Amendment by giving legal clearance to the torture technique known as waterboarding.

We want no such people as you in the Senate if you're going to fold up like yesterday's newspaper.

As far as I'm concerned, you are no longer Democrats. You are traitors to the party you have called home for so many years, professing loyalty while poisoning it from within. God have mercy on you both.
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Aug 14th 2007, 09:59 AM
I know some of his henchmen probably lurk on DU once in a while, so here's a picture of my gift to Karl:

It's an oversized calculator. This way, Karl can use it to calculate the difference between "his" math and the math.

You'll notice that the display says 3,693. At the time this picture was taken, that's how many troops we've lost in Iraq.

But be of good cheer, Karl - when we're done with you, you can also use the calculator to compute how many days until you're released from prison...

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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Aug 05th 2007, 11:36 AM
Moderators, pay careful attention - in no wise am I encouraging independent or third-party candidates to run against these Democratic incumbents. This is strictly Democrat vs. Democrat, and I say let the battle for the party begin!

Disclaimer: This is not a complete list. Updates and additions are welcome.

(AL-5) Robert "Bud" Cramer
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(AR-2) Victor Snyder
Voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(AR-4) Mike Ross
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(CO-3) John Salazar
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(FL-2) Allen Boyd
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(IL-3) Daniel Lipinski
Voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: MARK PERA

(IL-8) Melissa Bean
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: RANDI SCHEURER

(KY-6) Ben Chandler
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(LA-3) Charles Melancon
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(MN-7) Collin Peterson
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(MS-4) Gene Taylor
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(ND-0) Earl Pomeroy
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(SD-0) Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(TX-28) Henry Cuellar
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT

(UT-2) Jim Matheson
Voted for Military Commissions Act (8/27/06), voted against McGovern Amendment (5/10/07), voted for Bush's demands for warrantless wiretapping (8/4/07)
Primary Challengers: NONE AT PRESENT


As you can see from the list presented above, out of 15 turncoat Dems, only two of these turncoats have Democratic primary challengers. Clearly, our party still has a world of work to do - and not much time left to do it.

So, if your Congressperson is one of the individuals listed above, and there isn't anyone challenging that individual for that seat in Congress, it's a sign that you should find an honest Democrat who is willing to run against them - or possibly run against them yourself.
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Posted by derby378 in The DU Lounge
Fri Jul 20th 2007, 07:09 PM
This is especially for all the DUers in line to get their copies of the final Harry Potter book, along with those who can't make it to the bookstore tonight at midnight. Enjoy! - derby

Chapter 13 - HARSH BUD

Voldecontin looked away from Larry and began examining his own body. His hands were long and bony, his fingers like used hypodermic syringes; his black robe draped around his body like the velvet bag that hid his most precious Afghani stash. He bent over and looked at his reflection in the bottom of the bonglike cauldron that spawned his new body. Perfect. Voldecontin's eyes had the same dilated pupils as always, and his face had the same gaunt look as that of an Oklahoma meth dealer. He took not the slightest notice of Wormfood, who lay twitching and hallucinating on the ground, because a familiar sensation was creeping through the Dark Lord's body - Voldecontin, for the first time in 13 years, had the munchies.

The Dark Lord turned to face Larry, still too stoned to get out of the Bean Bag Chair of Ereisawelba, who could only stare at his mortal enemy in a mellow stupor.

"Yes, Larry Potash," Voldecontin hissed, "you recline upon the remains of my late father, foolish Nelson that he was. But look! My real family arrives..."

The air was suddenly full of the swishing of cloaks and the smell of sandalwood incense. Between graves, in every nook and cranny, wizards in day-glo tie-dyed cloaks were Happenating. One by one, they moved forward - slowly and cautiously, as thought they could hardly believe their eyes. Then, one of the Toad Lickers knelt at the feet of Voldecontin and kissed the hem of his robe.

"Dude, I'm not holding right now," snapped Voldecontin, "I just returned from the Dead, man!"

"Sorry, Master," muttered the Toad Eater. "How was Garcia? I hope they played Truckin'..."

"Later, Lucious. Got any Doritos? Gimme some Smokin' Cheddar BBQ and you're forgiven, man..."

"I gave him my entire stash of Wild White Nacho," Wormfood told Lucious.

"Out of the mistaken belief that I had X on my person," Voldecontin snapped at Wormfood, "not out of personal loyalty. I mean, dude, that was harsh bud. Still, I forgive you, man, because you did hit me up with some khat to take the edge off, and Lord Voldecontin always rewards his servants..."

"Uh, hey guys?" Larry shouted. "Can we, like, get back to me for a second? This novel isn't named after you, you know..."

Voldecontin turned and pointed his wand at Larry, shouting, "Bushio!"

Larry instantly started convulsing in mental anguish and torment as the curse took effect. As the Toad Lickers laughed, Larry's head was involuntarily filled with the thoughts and memories of George W. Bush, announcing the deployment of troops into Iraq, shredding the documents proving that he approved of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity to Bob Novak, hunched over the naked body of Condoleezza Rice as he...

Instantly, Larry came to, screaming in horror. In addition, he mentally registered that his penis had sucked into his pelvic cavity in an act of self-defense.

But he had no time to catch his breath. Voldecontin had pulled Larry out of the Bean Bag Chair of Ereisawelba and roughly thrust Larry's wand back into his hand.

"Surely you were told, Potash," Voldecontin hissed, "that the gold-colored Morroccan bush infused with chimera blood and Jim Morrison's ashes yielded only two sweet leaves before the DEA seized it in Phoenix, Arizona. One of those leaves wound up in your wand, and I've got the other leaf in mine." Voldecontin traced the tip of his wand across the joint-shaped scar on Larry's forehead. "And now, I'm going to waste you, Larry Potash, and my army of Toad Lickers will wreck havoc on all the Nelsons and Half-Nelsons of this world..."

And with that, Voldecontin raised his wand, but Larry was ready. Pointing his wand at the Dark Lord, he cried out, "Psilocybinus totalus!" as Voldecontin shouted "Draconis pursuto!"

A jet of neon green light issued forth from Voldecontin's wand just as a jet of red emanated from Larry's - they met in midair - and suddenly, Larry's wand was vibrating and yodeling and breaking the Ten Commandments in full technicolor glory. Larry looked up in pure astonishment and saw Voldecontin staring into Larry's eyes with the same look of disbelief on his face - their wands were connected to each other with a single stream that was neither green nor red, but pure Acapulco Gold. Suddenly, the Toad Lickers were all thrown back by the loudest sound they ever heard - a Neil Young "shoegazer" guitar solo that threatened to continue for as long as the two dueling wizards kept their wands locked together.

"Dude, Larry," cried Voldecontin, "I'm one with your navel, man! I can feel your belly button lint wrapping itself around me, and that's just groovy..."

"You know you're grossing me out, don't you?" shouted Larry.

And as the duel intensified, the sky dissolved into undulating shades of red, yellow, and sky blue that melted all over the dueling wizards as it soaked the skin off their bones and turned them into beings of pure light and understanding who suddenly realized what an electron looks like from the inside out...

"My God, man," Larry laughed through joyful tears, "It's fuckin' BEAUTIFUL, man...!"

"Larry!" Voldecontin cried out, "I LOVE YOU, MAN..."

Will the house-pixie Dooby arrive on the scene in order to supply Larry with his special "Pixie Stix?" Is Voldecontin gonna meet his connection, and can we tell by his blood-stained hands? Or should we just go ask Alice? Turn on, tune in, wands out, dudes...!
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Posted by derby378 in Latest Breaking News
Tue Jul 17th 2007, 05:02 PM
Source: Raw Story

Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers has again rejected calls from the House Judiciary Committee to comply with a subpoena for her testimony on the firing of 9 US Attorneys in 2006 and 2007. The Committee had set a deadline of 5 PM for Miers to explain how she would comply with the subpoena.

"In light of the continuing directives to Ms. Miers and as previously indicated to your Committee, I must respectfully inform you that, directed as she has been to honor the Executive privileges and immunities asserted in this matter, Ms. Miers will not appear before the Committee or otherwise produce documents or provide testimony as set forth in the Committee's subpoena," wrote Miers' attorney, George Manning, in a letter delivered Tuesday to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Read more:

Yeeee-HA!! Let the Miers Arrest Clock begin!
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jul 09th 2007, 12:08 AM
Dear Cindy:

First off, I just have to say how much of an inspiration you've been to me. I only wish half the Democratic activists and party officers had as much spine and gumption as you do. You stood up to George W. Bush and exposed the soft, cowardly jelly hiding behind that macho, faux-Texan exoskeleton. For that alone, you would have my thanks. But you also revitalized an increasingly impotent peace movement in America with your simple courage and with your desire to honor your son, Casey. And I love you all the more for it.

And I would be so happy, if Nancy Pelosi won't deliver on articles of impeachment, to see you run against Pelosi for her seat in the House of Representatives...

...but only, I repeat, only as a Democrat.

I know that a lot of Democrats on the Hill done you wrong. They done me wrong, too, as well as our troops who are pinned down in Iraq and forced to fight in a theater that their fellow Americans do not want them in.

But I'm also a Democratic precinct chair. And I'm trying to implement the lessons learned in Camp Casey in my role as a precinct chair, because it is my intention to help transform the Democratic Party from the ground up, not merely attack it from without and hope it begs for mercy.

I know that, if you're elected as an independent, you'd sooner caucus with a day-old tuna sandwich than you would with the Republicans. But that's not the point. The Democratic Party is the oldest surviving party in the United States, and even with all of its shortcomings, it's still the best hope we have for rescuing America from the disgrace that Herr Decider has visited upon our nation.

For a long time, I've been telling my fellow Democrats to get off their asses and get on the front lines of the Democratic Party if they don't like where their party is headed. It's a lesson I learned from a heart-to-heart talk with my mentor when I expressed my frustration at some Democrats' apparent inability to get things done. So I got off my own ass, started working within the party instead of against it, and I'm actually beginning to see a little progress taking place. And all because I started standing up and speaking up in Democratic Party meetings.

Cindy Sheehan, I love you and support your work, and I want nothing but the best for you and your family. You continue to inspire me every day.

But I know where I'm needed the most. My beloved party is standing at a crossroads in our nation's most desperate hour. And that's why I'm supporting Democratic candidates in 2008 - and only Democratic candidates.

And if you ever decide to run as a Democrat in 2008, you've got my enthusiastic support.

God speed, Cindy. I know you'll do what you believe is right.
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun May 27th 2007, 01:11 AM
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, an apparent torture "manual" consisting of drawings has been found at what appears to be an al-Qaeda safe house and makeshift torture chamber hidden in Baghdad:

Point #1: This al-Qaeda torture chamber, from what we know about the situation in Iraq, did not even exist in Iraq until after the US-led coalition invaded in 2003 (although Saddam Hussein's regime had torture chambers located throughout Iraq).

Point #2: Torture of Iraqis by US interrogators and soldiers is now well-documented - but only up to a point. Seymour Hirsh's reports allude to much, much worse torture than that which has been documented at Abu Ghraib.

Point #3: After the capitulation of Democratic legislators to the White House over Iraq funding, it should come as no surprise that there has been no strong push in either the House or the Senate to repeal the Military Commissions Act or to bring US torturers to justice.

Point #4: Neo-fascists in America are still referring to the act of putting panties on prisoner's heads as though it was the worst thing US soldiers have done to prisoners to date. And we have already seen former CIA director George Tenet deny that water-boarding is itself a form of torture.

Remember Al Gore's "frog-boiling" argument from An Inconvenient Truth? I think we're seeing it being applied to the American public's acceptance of torture as a way of life. Who needs the Fifth and Eighth Amendments, anyway?

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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri May 25th 2007, 11:23 AM
I adapted this story from one I read a long time ago. Interpret this story however you wish!

One upon a time, there was a big, fat, lazy hound dog that lived all his days in a comfortable log cabin by the woods. Now this dog always got clean water twice a day in a big ceramic bowl, plenty of decent food, slept in an overstuffed dog bed, and had all the rawhide, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want.

But this dog secretly carried a grudge in his heart, which meant he never learned to be satisfied with the bounty he had. About a year ago, a little weasel wandered into the backyard of this log cabin. He found one of the lazy dog's older scraps of rawhide, which was so thoroughly chewed up the dog barely bothered with it anymore. But the weasel was interested in this little piece of rawhide for whatever reason, so he scooped it up in his mouth and headed off back into the woods.

And how the dog barked and snarled when he saw this weasel, running off with a piece of trash that the dog guarded so jealously, even though he no longer needed or truly wanted it! And the dog rushed to fight the weasel, but he couldn’t get through the door to the backyard. For his wise master kept the door shut so that the dog wouldn't get himself into any trouble with the weasel, and refused to let the dog out that day. The foolish dog snapped at his master, and found himself sleeping in the laundry room that night. But the next morning, the lazy dog still had his food, his water bowl, his comfy bed, and all his good toys. But he never forgave that little weasel.

Then, one spring day, when the master left the back door open to let the cool breezes into the cabin, the big, lazy dog saw a pack of wolves patrolling the backyard. And there was the alpha male wolf, at the head of the pack. And the rest of the wolf pack obeyed every command the alpha wolf gave.

And then the big, lazy dog developed an evil plan, one in which he would take control of this wolf pack and get revenge on the weasel who stole from him long ago. And he charged out of the log cabin and stood before the alpha wolf. "I challenge you," he barked, "because I'm taking over your clan!"

And the other wolves howled with laughter! Imagine, a lazy dog thinking he could give orders to a pack of wolves! But the alpha wolf was in no mood for laughter. "You have insulted me," he growled at the dog, "and you have insulted my brothers and sisters with your challenge. We shall fight, and you shall learn your lesson."

The alpha wolf and the lazy dog fought each other as the wolf pack watched. It was a hard fight full of biting and scratching. But the dog, being crafty, cheated. He scooped a clod of dirt with his paw and flung it in the alpha wolf's face, temporarily blinding him. Taking advantage of the alpha wolf's confusion, the dog leapt upon the wolf’s chest and clamped his teeth around the wolf's throat. "Submit to me," the dog growled, "or die!"

The other wolves advanced, ready to tear the dog apart for his treachery. But the alpha wolf, his life at the dog’s mercy, cried out, "Hold! You know the law of our tribe, he has won the battle. By the law, we must obey him."

So the wolf pack grudgingly accepted the big, lazy dog as their leader. And then the dog started telling the wolf pack of a new threat to their existence. He told the wolves, "There is a weasel in the woods who is planning to destroy this wolf pack! He has stolen from me in the past, but he is no longer content with stealing! If we do not fight this weasel, he will kill us all!"

But the wolves did not know where this weasel was, and neither did the dog. So the wolf pack journeyed on through the forest, led by the dog, who forsook his log cabin and all of its comforts in order to lead the wolves.

Then, half an hour later, a starving bear stumbled upon a young female wolf who straggled behind the rest of the pack. He sank his teeth into the body of the wolf, who died before she could utter a single sound. The bear lumbered away just as the rest of the wolf pack, including the big, lazy dog, discovered their loss. And the wolves howled in mourning for their sister.

"I told you!" said the dog. "The weasel is responsible for this!"

"No, my leader," said the former alpha male, "these teeth marks are the marks of a bear!"

"Then we shall kill the bear," growled the dog, "but not before he tells us where the weasel is!"

And the wolves bounded through the forest, but their noses were unable to pick up on the scent of the bear, who had taken refuge in a cave. Besides, the one scent trail that the wolves could have picked on was obliterated by the lazy dog, who casually urinated on the tree stump that contained the scent.

"If we cannot find the bear," the dog finally barked, "we can still find the weasel who sent him to kill us!"

"My leader," the former alpha wolf asked, "how are you so sure that the weasel DID order the bear to attack?"

"It's a secret," lied the dog, "and I cannot tell you the secret because it will enable the weasel to kill us for sure! But as your leader, I want to keep this wolf pack safe and secure, so I command you all to find the weasel and kill it!"

And thus the wolves obeyed their leader, for that was the law of their tribe. And after a couple of hours, they finally discovered the weasel who stole from the dog in the past, and the alpha wolf killed him, and brought his body to the lazy dog.

"You did well, brother wolf," growled the dog, "but where is his treasure that he hid from me?"

"I saw no treasure upon him, my leader," the wolf responded.

"Then," barked the dog, "we must find where he hid it, even if we have to kill every weasel in the woods! I shall stay and protect the females and cubs of the tribe while the brothers hunt!"

The wolves grumbled, and the former alpha male spoke, "We are pledged to obey our leader, for that is the law of our tribe. But our leader must accompany us on every hunt for our enemies, for this is also the law of our tribe. And our laws are fixed and unchangeable, for they preserve the integrity and safety of our tribe. And so, our leader, you must join us."

The dog let out a big sigh, but he joined the male wolves as they hunted through the woods. And the former alpha wolf whispered to his fellow wolves, "Brothers, now we shall see the true power inherent in our new leader as he searches for what I believe is nothing more than an old dog toy." So the wolves, accompanied by the lazy dog, bounded further and further from the rest of the pack - and from the log cabin that the dog called home.

And now the dog was getting hungry - but there were no kibbles or chewy treats to find in the forest - and the dog was getting thirsty - the wolves lapped from streams that contained leaves and twigs, and the dog was beginning to miss his little doggy dish - and the dog was getting tired and sore - oh, why did he have to leave his comfortable doggy bed so far behind? - but the wolves continued to run, and hunt, and bound over the streams and through the old paths, and they showed no sign of tiring or slowing down. For this was THEIR forest, and THEIR home, and the dog, who couldn’t remember the last time he did anything strenuous, faltered when he tried to jump streams or fallen tree trunks, complained that his joints and muscles were aching, and even tried to convince a couple of wolves to try to carry him for part of the journey.

Finally, in the middle of a clearing, the dog collapsed on the cold, wet ground, thoroughly exhausted and starving. And that's when the former alpha male bounced on top of the lazy dog, his teeth around the dog's neck.

"Now, by the law of our tribe, I challenge YOU!" the wolf growled.

"The tribe is yours! I submit!" the dog whimpered.

"Very well," the alpha wolf growled. "As leader of the tribe, I shall direct my brothers to hunt for food to nourish our tribe instead of chasing imaginary enemies. As for you - you who would dare to command a tribe of wolves with lies and greed - I banish you from our tribe forevermore! Run back to your master, and beg him to take you back!"

And so, the dog, finally returning to his senses, scampered away, whimpering with hunger and thirst and aches and pains, back to the security and comfort of his master's log cabin, hoping that his master hadn't forgotten him.

That night, the wolves did eat together, and even the cubs had enough to eat, and all were content and happy. And the alpha wolf said these words to his tribe:

"My brothers and sisters, I am sorry that you had to endure the incompetence and the lies of our former leader, but you and I also know that the way of the wolf isn't a dog's life."

The End
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Feb 20th 2007, 05:16 PM
No soldier ever gave me freedom of the press;
It was mine as soon as I knew there was more than one opinion.

No soldier ever gave me freedom of speech;
It was mine as soon as words came out of my mouth.

No soldier ever gave me the freedom to demonstrate;
It was mine as soon as my government failed me.

No soldier ever gave me the freedom to worship God;
It was mine as soon as I heard the voice from within and without.

And you stand there in your uniform,
And accuse me of ingratitude,
For you have stood on the front lines,
And I have not.

But the freedoms that I have
To read, to speak,
To protest, to worship,
Are forever beyond your ability to grant,
Though it is well within your power
To defend them or infringe upon them.

Proud soldier, I thank you
For standing so that I did not have to,
But a soldier's duty is to obey orders,
Even those of a tyrant.

And a patriot's duty is to keep the tyrant in check.

So choose this day whose side you're on.
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun Jan 21st 2007, 08:51 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here (as I often do) and make the prediction that the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election may come down to a showdown in Texas.

Here's what we know for sure:

Texas has the second largest amount of electoral votes - as of 2004, they had 34 votes in the Electoral College, winner take all. Only California, with 55 votes, commands more of a presence in the College than Texas does. The last time Texas cast its votes for a Democratic candidate was in 1976, when Jimmy Carter garnered 26 electoral votes from Texas.

Since the ascent of Ronald Reagan, Texas has largely been written off as a Republican stronghold - the Governor's mansion has been firmly in Republican hands since 1994, and a highly controversial redistricting ploy in 2003 (masterminded by ex-Congressman Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land) whittled away at the number of Democratic Representatives from Texas on Capitol Hill.

In 2005, however, Cindy Sheehan made the Texas town of Crawford (where George W. Bush maintains a tiny but heavily-guarded ranch) the focal point for reenergizing antiwar activists throughout the nation. Immediately afterwards, Hurricane Katrina drove hundreds of thousands of evacuees from the New Orleans area - a Democratic oasis in a predominantly Republican state - and many of those people put down roots in Texas. As of August 2006, an estimated 220,000 Katrina evacuees were still living in Texas, with 150,000 of them just in the Houston area, further complicating Republican efforts to keep the 22nd Congressional District (DeLay's former district) in Republican hands. Now the seat is held by Democrat Nick Lampson. And Ciro Rodriguez has taken the 23rd Congressional District from Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla.

Then there are the Texas county races in 2006. Dallas County voters filled almost every judge's bench in their jurisdiction with Democratic judges, and then followed it up with a new Democratic district attorney, Craig Watkins, who hit the ground tackling wrongful rape convictions and helping to free inmates with the aid of new DNA tests. And Hays County, which includes San Marcos, handed all of its contested seats on the Commissioners Court to Democrats.

The main difference this time around is that while 2000 and 2004 hinged upon the sanctity and security of the voting process in Florida and Ohio respectively, the Texas race in 2008 may not hinge so much on allegations of election fraud as much as it will on how much the political landscape in Texas has changed due to circumstances far beyond the control of Texas Republicans. This may not sit well with Democrats in California, New York, and Chicago, who may resent having to make more room at the table for their maverick comrades from the Lone Star State.

But there you have it. California and New York are generally considered safe Democratic states for 2008. But Texas as a safe Republican states? 34 electoral votes. Count 'em - especially if you're a Democratic candidate for the White House in 2008.

For Democrats, the stars at night have never been brighter - deep in the heart of Texas.
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu Jan 18th 2007, 10:51 PM
Okay, here's what we know for sure Nancy Pelosi said to Diane Sawyer:

Democrats will never cut off funding for our troops when they are in harm's way.

It is, I think, very difficult for the President to sustain a war of this magnitude without the support of the American people and without the support of the Congress of the United States. That's why Congress will vote to oppose the President's escalation, from the standpoint of policy. We will have our disagreement.

Here's my real concern, and it's apparently shared by many here on DU. If you say you oppose the escalation, yet you approve the funds to enable the "surge" to take place anyway, then what good have you really done? If you're not saying "No" to the surge, you're saying "Yes."

So who does Nancy Pelosi need to keep near and dear to her heart right now?

It's not her fellow Democrats. It's not the troops in Iraq. It's not even the troops who are being sent to Iraq as part of the surge.

No, I think the ones that Pelosi needs to meditate on and watch out for are the children who stood at the Speaker's podium with her when she was sworn as the first female Speaker of the House.

Children grow up so fast. Within a few years, some of those kids are going to have military recruiters breathing down their necks. And if immediate action isn't taken here and now, it's very likely that some of the kids who stood at the podium with Pelosi may find themselves being shipped off to the never-ending conflict in Iraq. Or Iran. Whichever.

The Iroquois Confederacy had a great idea for how to consider the impact of its own laws and customs: "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions upon the next seven generations." We have just been through six years of dealing with a Chief Executive who has repeatedly proven himself incapable - or perhaps uninterested - in considering the impact of his own policies upon even this generation, let alone seven.

And this is where Nancy Pelosi really needs to watch her step. In 2006, Democratic voters across America voted for a fundamental change in how we deal with the occupation of Iraq. Many of those voters are parents, themselves. And some of those parents, including Cindy Sheehan, have already lost children in Iraq. And for what? Nonexistent weapons of mass destruction? A "nuclear program" that existed only on paper? Or for the ability of Halliburton to bleed Iraq dry without giving anything back to either the Iraqis or the Americans?

Of course, there is no draft as there was in the Vietnam era. But that won't stop those children who stood with Pelosi at the podium from being targeted by slick ad campaigns by a military that is starving for more troops to be sacrificed in Iraq in order to fulfill Bush's selfish desires. And the Vietnam conflict dragged on for so, so many years...

Methinks it's time for Nancy Pelosi to stop playing politics and decide, once and for all, for better or for worse, what side her bread is buttered on. The time for obfuscation is over. And the American people are becoming impatient. Iraq was one war we were never supposed to fight in the first place. How many more troops have to die before our elected representatives in Congress finally get serious about putting an end to this, regardless of what George W. Bush wants?
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Posted by derby378 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Jan 09th 2007, 06:16 PM
Before we get carried away with ourselves and start cheering every piece of legislation proposed by the 110th Congress, has it occurred to anyone that the Department of Homeland Security, including the TSA, would be given greater control over our lives and freedoms?

The Department of Homeland Security, properly supported by the Congress, should complete, as quickly as possible, a biometric entry-exit screening system, including a single system for speeding qualified travelers. It should be integrated with the system that provides benefits to foreigners seeking to stay in the United States. Linking biometric passports to good data systems and decisionmaking is a fundamental goal. No one can hide his or her debt by acquiring a credit card with a slightly different name. Yet today, a terrorist can defeat the link to electronic records by tossing away an old passport and slightly altering the name in the new one.

Secure identification should begin in the United States. The federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as drivers licenses. Fraud in identification documents is no longer just a problem of theft. At many entry points to vulnerable facilities, including gates for boarding aircraft, sources of identification are the last opportunity to ensure that people are who they say they are and to check whether they are terrorists.

Improved use of "no-fly" and "automatic selectee" lists should not be delayed while the argument about a successor to CAPPS continues. This screening function should be performed by the TSA, and it should utilize the larger set of watchlists maintained by the federal government. Air carriers should be required to supply the information needed to test and implement this new system.

No, no, and HELL, no.

First off, I still remember how the DHS's incompetence doomed post-Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans. Why should I trust these goons to microchip my passport and then deny me access back into my own nation because of a computer glitch? Same goes for these ridiculous "no-fly" lists, too.

The Department of Homeland Security needs to be disbanded and dismantled. Period. Nothing less will do.

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