Friday, November 17, 2006

We Owe Rush Limbaugh Our Thanks

In the interest of fairness I think it's incumbent on us all to recognize the debt of gratitude we all owe Rush Limbaugh for his efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the recent Elections. Without the Missouri Senate seat we wouldn't have gotten a majority in that chamber, and as close as it was I don't think we would have gotten that seat without Limbaugh's mockery of Michael J. Fox.

With that debt weighing heavily upon me this morning I dedicated literally minutes to developing a fitting expression of our gratitude, and I invite one and all to join my efforts. First, we have a standard greeting card with an appropriately patriotic motif...



On the inside, again entirely appropriately (I think)...



This lovely item is available from Cafe Press. [In the interest of full disclosure let it be known I stand to make the magnificent sum of almost twenty (20) cents per card!]

Also available is a Postcard featuring the picture of Rush (which will be a lot more fun for Postal employees).

After purchasing a scad of either (or both), what, you might ask, should I do with them?? Send them to Rush, of course. His official mailing address seems to be:

Rush Limbaugh
EIB Network, 17th Floor
2 Penn Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10121

A bit of wandering around the internets (specifically The Smoking Gun) indicates that Rush gives his home address as:

Rush Limbaugh
1495 North Ocean Blvd.
Palm Beach, Fl 33480

When should you send them?? Regularly and often. It's possible that if he (and his staff) get enough of them, spread over a sufficient period, his head will explode.

Incidentally, Rush's birthday is January 12, and wouldn't a postcard glued inside a standard birthday card be lovely??

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney's Magical Shotgun

There is a huge amount of speculation and misunderstanding about Cheney's accidental shooting of this lawyer, some of which (the speculation) I have engaged in myself. There are baseline facts that are pretty much beyond dispute which many are unaware of. Let's clear some of them up.

"Shot", in shotgun terms, refers to the individual round lead (usually) balls loaded into shotgun shells. These range in size from the largest generally available, 000 Buck, at .36 diameter to #12 "dust" shot, at .05 diameter.Cheney was reportedly using #7 1/2 shot, a standard quail load, which are .090 diameter (nominal).

Shells loaded with large shot (buckshot) have few individual shot, logically enough, compared to smaller shot. 6 000 Buck weigh an ounce, or an individual 000 Buck weighs 1/6 ounce. It takes about 350 #7 1/2 shot to weigh an ounce, or 2,300 #12.

Cheney was using a 28 gauge shotgun, a relatively small-bore gun. Standard field loads for the 28 gauge contain 3/4 ounce of shot, or about 275 individual #7 1/2 shot.

Shotgun barrels have a constriction at the muzzle known as a "choke" that ranges from Full choke (the tightest) to Cylinder, essentially no choke. The effect of a choke is to control how quickly the shot charge spreads after it leaves the muzzle, and it's measured at a standard 30 yards from the gun. Cheney's gun has two barrels, most likely an Improved Cylinder and a Modified. By definition, an Improved Cylinder choke will place 50% of it's shot charge within a 30" circle at 30 yards, while a Modified will put 60% there, so Cheney's best barrel would place about 200 shot into the circle at that range. Compare a head and chest to a 30" circle...

Most field load shotgun shells, regardless of gauge, generate a muzzle velocity of about 1,200 fps (feet per second). The primary difference between gauges is the weight of the shot charge it launches. A field-load 12 gauge shell loaded with #7 1/2 shot will launch about 400 shot compared to the 28's 275, but the individual shot will be travelling about the same velocity and have the same energy. Small shot lose velocity (and energy) relatively quickly as they move downrange, and beyond about the 30-yard mark will have slowed sufficiently to be ineffective at killing a flying quail due to their inability to penetrate significantly.

To claim that a single shot with a 28 gauge shotgun from 30 yards away shooting field-load #7 1/2s could put around 200 shot into the head, neck and upper torso of a man with penetration into the chest cavity through clothes is nonsense. He couldn't possibly have been much more than 15 yards from the gun when it was fired.

My best guess is that the hunters were on line at a usual spacing of about 50 feet, and cheney was walking with his safety off and tripped or stumbled, and shot the lawyer.

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Call To Insurgency

This is an expansion of an idea I first broached in this Diary.

The most important target on the radar for those who oppose the Neo-Con hijacking of our Government is, or should be, regaining Majority control of the House of Representatives in 2006.

The conventional approach, which incidentally got us in this position to begin with, is to concentrate resources and attention on "competitive" Seats where there's a realistic chance of winning the Seat.

There are 70+ Republican Representatives with no declared Challenger, most will have no Primary opposition, but they all keep their fundraising machine in high gear. They then spend a couple hundred grand on parties and dinners and contribute substantial amounts to Campaigns and Committees focussed on the "competitive" seats, which snows our hopefuls under an accumulation of dollars they can't overcome.

We can change that.

The requirements to file as a Candidate vary from State to State, but are usually not onerous, and in some places just 25 signatures on a petition and no filing fee will do it. The Federal Election Commission requires Candidates to file various Reports once they raise/spend $5,000, which is somewhere around .5% of what most Congressional campaigns spend. Before the Internets there was no substitute for money, but now there is. A website that costs $3/day to maintain can reach an entire Congressional District (or Country). Getting people to that website can be accomplished with a few hundred dollars worth of signs and banners scattered around a District. There is no legal reason a campaign cannot be entirely web-based, and merely not being able to win isn't a good reason not to.

Insurgencies always involve a smaller, scattered force tying up a larger, better-equipped force by scattered raids that force the big guy to defend everywhere, with the occasional larger strike against high-value targets. Politically, that's what I propose. Our high-value targets are the competitive seats that are winnable, but we need the raids to pin down Republicans in their home Districts so they can't gang up on our Challengers.

Like all good insurgencies a cellular structure that insulates all activities from the damage or distruction of any one is preferable, and in our case a "cell" can and should be from one to five people per District, on three avenues of attack.

Unopposed Republican Incumbents- These must become a thing of the past. Even if it's ONE person with a website opposing them, EVERY Congressional ballot should have a name on the Democratic line. These efforts should be run in a fairly dignified (if creative) manner to limit any later "blowback", and should lay out a clear alternative to "More of the same". It should be fairly simple to get at least minimal media coverage of an Incumbent's voting record closely mirroring Toxic Tom Delay's, or their ties to Abramoff. This will force the Incumbent to spend time, money and effort defending themselves instead of helping to attack our Competitive Candidates, and there's always the possibility they will choke on their own bile a week before the Election and you'll win.

Primary Challenges- By Registering as a Republican and entering the Primary, a "cellular" Candidate can seize the ground the Repub considers safe, forcing them to fight a rear-guard action (expending resources all the way) to hold what they think is "theirs". If the Rethug is tending towards the "Middle", take a position to the Right of Genghis Khan (research is readily available at freerepublic.com). If your Rethug is a Moonbat, use Pat Buchanon or another sane Conservative as your guiding light. Either way you make them play defense when they planned to party and schmooze, and they have to piss off some of their usual supporters. Since these are Republican "cells" more fun can be had in these Campaigns, and the occasional scurrilous attack on a Rethug's character, sexuality (or lack thereof) or drinking habits should be considered. Claiming your "campaign headquarters" has been bugged by your opponent is also good...

A Conservative Candidacy- This approach would be most fruitful in the Competitive Districts by "Naderizing" the Republicans. Where it's possible to file as a Conservative a "cell" has a real chance of actually affecting a single identifiable Race. Many people are Republicans because their Daddy and Grandaddy were Republicans, but they are the small-government Libertarian kind of Republican, not Neo-cons. The best way to get a Democratic win in a lot of Districts is to split the Republican vote, and with the number of 500-vote-squeaker elections we've seen lately just having a Candidate with "Conservative" by the name could make the difference. If that Candidate could semi-legitimately have a "Rev." by their name...

Be clear, in using the term "insurgency" I am not calling for violence in any way. I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that coordination between cells in anything beyond a general way is not desireable, regardless of legality, and no "serious" Democratic Candidate should be contacted or involved in any way. Here's a ball, take it and run with it if you want to.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Deja Vu, All Over Again

The mob grew more frenzied as the gunmen dragged the two surviving Americans from the cab of their bullet-ridden lorry and forced them to kneel on the street.

Killing one of the men with a rifle round fired into the back of his head, they doused the other with petrol and set him alight. Barefoot children, yelping in delight, piled straw on to the screaming man's body to stoke the flames.

Within minutes, four American contractors, all employees of the Halliburton subsidiary Kellog, Brown & Root, were dead. The jubilant crowd dragged their corpses through the street, chanting anti-US slogans. An investigation has been launched into why the contractors were not better protected.

Yeah, I know. You've seen this movie before.

This is the Sequel.

Perhaps fearful of public reaction in America, where support for the war is falling, US officials suppressed details of the Sept 20 attack, which bore a striking resemblance to the murder of four other contractors in Fallujah last year.

I guess dead burnt bodies on TV didn't serve Cheneyburton's interests this time around...

The Rest of the Story

One immediately wonders how many times we'll now have to invade and destroy Duluiya. At least it's lots smaller than Fallujah...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Al Gore, Right Man, Right Time

For anybody except the very wealthiest among us, the Bush Administration, coupled with the Republican control of Congress, has been an unmitigated and ongoing disaster. Repairing the damage will be a daunting task.

Just reversing the damage done so far to the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental regulation throughout the Federal gov't would be a BIG job for any Administration. Much of this damage has passed below the radar of the People and the media, but it extends to every activity the gov't is involved in, and will, if not reversed, continue to damage the environment for decades at the precise time we need, desperately, to be reversing previous damage.

Our military is near tatters, we have been eating the seed corn for over a year. We have actually deployed the OpFor tankers, world-class specialists in portraying the tactics used by ANY potential adversary and largely responsible for our having the finest Armor force on the planet, pre-BushWar. We have lost NCOs in Iraq in disproportionate numbers, and more who won't re-up when they KNOW it means two more tours in Iraq. The attempt to shove through the corrupt tanker lease deal, which involved a LOT more people than a procurement officer who wanted a cushy job with Boeing, has delayed by several years the effort to update our in-flight refueling capability. (Somebody should really look close at who all supported that travesty, and why) This same shit goes on throughout Defense.

The Federal budget deficit alone would be a HUGE headache for ANY Administration to deal with.

You can look at literally any aspect of our Federal gov't, from the National Park Service to FEMA, and each individual activity is nearing or experiencing a Bush-induced crisis. Fixing two or three of these would be a daunting task for any competent Administration. Effectively addressing anything approaching ALL of them at the same time will require a focussed leader who will compromise when he can and put his foot down when he has to, and is smart enough to know which is which.

That's Al Gore.

The ideal would be a Gore/Clark Administration, with Clark assigned primarily to the recovery of our Army, which we might just need sometime.

Edwards as Attorney General, RFK Jr. at Interior, Bill Clinton at State, Jon Stewart as Press Secretary, John Kerry at SecDef...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dear Lord, Please Smite These Motherfuckers

Our Heavenly Father...
I know that the Universe is a big place, makes it hard to keep track of every detail everywhere, but I need to bring to Your attention some evil-doers who are mucking up your Creation down here.

There's a bunch down here on Earth called "Republicans", I'm sure some of the recent arrivals at the Pearly Gates have mentioned them in passing, who have been lying and stealing and killing, in Your name, and we could use a hand in dealing with them.

Remember Your Commandments, the ones You gave that Moses fellow?? They are being shredded...

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.


These Republicans have TWO Gods they esteem higher than You, Power and Money. They will do literally anything to acquire the former, and will let a chosen few hundred do anything to make the latter. I won't bore You with endless details, but remember those excellent mountains You made some 220 million years ago, the ones humans call The Appalachians?? Republicans decided that, to save a few dollars during the rape of Your good Earth, their friends could tear off the tops of any of those Mountains they want to to take the coal from inside them, and since mountaintops are real unhandy to store, they decided it would be okay to dump the mountaintops into the valleys, where You put creeks and Rivers. Only those who worship Money above all else could do that.


Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.


You'll love this one. Not only does this bunch pose as being on Your side, they actually started an aggressive war down here and claimed You told them to!! I'm not up on the latest legal definition of "blasphemy" but if that doesn't qualify the word has no meaning.


Thou shalt not kill.


That war I mentioned they claim You told them to start?? Well, they don't bother to keep track of the number of women and children their war has killed, but I'm sure your Reception area has noticed the influx, best estimates down here are well over 100,000...


Thou shalt not steal.


Just look at their books, they are so blatant that an Arthur Andersen accountant could spot the fraud. They steal from old folks, from Indians, from veterans, hell this bunch is so sleazy they even steal from their own War effort...


Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

If telling a lie to two people is worse than telling it to one, this bunch must hold the World's Record for Bearing False Witness. They called the Representatives of all the world's Nations together for the sole purpose of lying about why they needed to start their War, literally lying to every living soul on the Planet. Never in human history have so many been lied to at the same time. For what, You might ask??


Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour's.


This brings us full circle; the two things they worship above all else, Money and Power, are currently embodied here on Earth by oil. The Country they brought War to has the second-largest reserves of the stuff on the Planet, so basically they lied and killed in order to steal this oil that belongs to somebody else. Almost a hat trick, but I have no reliable information to indicate they have committed adultery with their Fathers, but that's about all they've missed.

Dear Lord, please smite these motherfuckers. Smite them hip and thigh, and about the head and shoulders. Exactly what form the smiting should take I leave to Your Infinite Wisdom. Boils, frogs, pestilence, plague (a personal favorite of mine), whatever you have handy. No Pharoah or Gomorrahean ever deserved smiting any more than this bunch, and personally I don't think fire, brimstone and lightning would be excessive.

Smite them Lord, this we pray.

Amen

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

We Are at War With the Wrong Bunch

CAIRO -- The suicide bomber who killed 22 people when he blew himself up in a US mess hall in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul was a Saudi medical student, an Arab newspaper reported yesterday.


Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat identified him as 20-year-old Ahmed Said Ahmed al-Ghamdi, citing unnamed friends of the man's father. The friends said members of an Iraqi resistance group contacted Ghamdi's father to tell him his son was the suicide bomber who carried out the Dec. 21 attack, the deadliest on a US installation in Iraq.

The father told the newspaper his son had gone to Iraq to fight the Americans and had died there. The family held a mourning ceremony, the paper said. US officials have said their preliminary investigation indicates the bomber was dressed in an Iraqi military uniform -- but was not an Iraqi soldier -- when he slipped into a mess tent packed with soldiers.

The paper did not name the Iraqi resistance group. But Ansar al-Sunnah, a radical Islamic Iraqi group that has been active in northern Iraq, claimed responsibility for the mess hall attack. In a videotape on the Internet, Ansar al-Sunnah identified the suicide bomber as Abu Omar al-Musali -- an apparent nom de guerre meaning Abu Omar of Mosul.

The man identified as Abu Omar al-Musali appeared in the Web video wearing an explosives-laden vest, but did not speak. Another man, speaking in an Iraqi accent, described how the operation had been planned. A subsequent segment showed what appeared to have been the attack.

Ansar al-Sunnah shares the anti-Western rhetoric of Islamic extremist groups like Al Qaeda, but has confined its fight to Iraq and has not actively recruited foreign fighters. The group, though, has declared that it worked with an Al Qaeda-linked group in Iraq in at least one operation in November.

Asharq al-Awsat said Ghamdi started studying medicine in Sudan when his father worked and lived there. Ghamdi stayed to complete his studies when his family returned to Saudi Arabia, the paper reported, without saying when the family left.

It said the father said that he learned Dec. 16 that his son had withdrawn all the money left in a Sudanese bank account for him and that he later received a call from his son telling him he was in Iraq to fight the Americans.

The Ghamdis are a large Saudi clan, three members of whom were among the Sept. 11 hijackers.


But Bush* only missed by one Country...