RobbDogg's Rips

Serving the online community to bring awareness to political and social issues affecting Liberals and Progressives. Podcasts are posted every Monday morning and original commentaries are posted throughout the week.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Andy Stephenson Passed Away

It is with great sadness that I have to report the following:

Political activist Andy Stephenson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday. According to his web site, he passed away at 9:27 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I will write something for Monday, but in the meantime please take a look at the following links regarding Andy, his activism, and his battle with pancreatic cancer:

Andy Stephenson's Home Page:

Andy Stephenson Memorial Photo Album:

Seattle Weekly: Cancerous Campaign

Seattle Weekly: A Fight To The End

Friday's DSM Senate Targets

These targets were posted late Friday morning on, and I was unable to post them on my blog this evening. I had some personal business to take care of, and after hearing about the passing of political activist Andy Stephenson I wasn't online until a few hours ago. I'm sure you noticed I was still a little upset when I elected this week's Wingnuts Of The Week in my last post.

Anyway, the following were Friday's Senate targets for your correspondence. Do they look familiar? Yes. Should you contact them again? Definitely. And I encourage you to call them again on Monday.

Remember, we can't stop until we see results!


In the morning, please contact the following Senators (even if you have already in the past contacted them):

Senator Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
(Chief of staff Kerry Ates; Press Secretary Wendy Morigi)

Senator Harry Reid (Nevada)
phone: 202-224-3542
fax: (202) 224-7327
(Chief of staff Susan McCue)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland)
phone: 202-224-4654
fax: 202-224-8858
(Chief of staff Julia Frifield, Press Secretary Amy Hagovsky)

In the afternoon, please contact the following Senator:

Senator Evan Bayh (Indiana)
phone: 202-224-5623
fax: 202-228-1377
(Chief of staff Tom Sugar)

And as always, if you wish, contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-KA, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
(Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff)

Friday, July 08, 2005

RobbDogg's Wingnuts Of The Week

July 7th, 2005 will go down in history as a day of infamy. On a day when terrorists exploded three bombs in the London Tube underground rail service, and a fourth inside of a double-decker bus, a splinter cell belonging to a heinous organization attempted to exploit the event for political and financial gain at the Brit's expense.

It doesn't matter if they were directed by their leader Roger Ailes or if they acted on their own. Those callous bastards committed their crimes on live television and radio, and in the eyes of liberals and progressive around the world, they will never live their acts down.

"But no one has officially claimed responsibility for the bombings!" you protest. Well, I'm not talking about claiming responsibility for the London bombings. Another group of shitheads will step forward and claim responsibility for that in the near future.

I'm talking about those four stupid, insensitive assholes at Fox News who call themselves journalists.

For their comments made during Thursday's broadcast, I've named Brian Kilmeade, Simon Marks, Brit Hume, and John Gibson as this week's Wingnuts Of The Week.

NOTE: In addition to his comments on Thursday, John Gibson also made inappropriate comments on Bill O'Reilly's radio show the day before the bombings. More on that in a minute.

So how did these assholes earn this weeks's honor? Consider the following evidence on whom I'll refer to for now on as The Farcical Four, courtesy of Media Matters for America:

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade stated that the attack near the G8 summit "works to ... the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together." From Fox News' July 7 breaking news coverage between 8 and 9 a.m. ET:

KILMEADE: And he [British Prime Minister Tony Blair] made the statement, clearly shaken, but clearly determined. This is his second address in the last hour. First to the people of London, and now at the G8 summit, where their topic Number 1 --believe it or not-- was global warming, the second was African aid. And that was the first time since 9-11 when they should know, and they do know now, that terrorism should be Number 1. But it's important for them all to be together. I think that works to our advantage, in the Western world's advantage, for people to experience something like this together, just 500 miles from where the attacks have happened.

Fox News contributing correspondent Simon Marks distinguished between Arabs and "regular" Londoners, in reporting on the scope of the attacks, as the weblog Daily Kos noted. From Fox News' July 7 breaking news coverage between 9 and 10 a.m. ET:

MARKS: It [Edgeware Road] is an area that has a very large Arab population. Surrounding that station, a large number of Middle Eastern restaurants. So, it's a further indication, if in fact these attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda-affiliated cells, that these people are, if necessary, prepared to spill Arab blood in addition to the blood of regular -- of non-Arab people living in London.

Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume said that his "first thought," when he "heard there had been this attack" and saw the low futures market was "Hmmm, time to buy." From Fox News' July 7 breaking news coverage between 1 and 2 p.m. ET:

HUME: You know, the market was down. It was down yesterday, and you know, you may have had some bargain-hunting going on. I mean, my first thought when I heard -- just on a personal basis, when I heard there had been this attack and I saw the futures this morning, which were really in the tank, I thought, "Hmmm, time to buy." Others may have thought that as well. But you never know about the markets. But obviously, if the markets had behaved badly, that would obviously add to people's sense of alarm about it. But there has been a lot of reassurance coming, particularly in the way that -- partly in the way the Brits handled all this, but also in the way that officials here handled it. There seems to be no great fear that something like that is going to happen here, although there's no indication that we here had any advance warning.

Fox News host John Gibson stated one day before the attacks that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) "missed a golden opportunity" when it awarded the 2012 Olympic Games to London because if France had been selected to host the games, terrorists would "blow up Paris, and who cares?" Following the London attacks, Gibson reiterated that the IOC should have selected Paris instead of London because the British should "let somebody else be worried about guys with backpack bombs for a while."

From the July 6 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, guest-hosted by Gibson:

GIBSON: By the way, just wanted to tell you people, we missed -- the International Olympic Committee missed a golden opportunity today. If they had picked France, if they had picked France instead of London, to hold the Olympics, it would have been the one time we could look forward to where we didn't worry about terrorism. They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?

From the "My Word" segment of the July 7 edition of Fox News' The Big Story With John Gibson:

GIBSON: The bombings in London: This is why I thought the Brits should let the French have the Olympics -- let somebody else be worried about guys with backpack bombs for a while.

Feel free to
email your complaints to Fox News, but I have a gut feeling Roger Ailes might use the paper it's printed on for toilet paper or facial tissue.

Do I have fantasies of getting in these scumbag's faces to defend the honor of those who perished in those bombings? How about shoving those
small, portable bombs up their asses and detonating them? Fuck yeah!

I think a lot of us outraged at The Farcical Four share those feelings. However, those feelings I have are just evil fantasies I'll never act out. Besides, I have one very good reason I shouldn't get more upset than I already am.

When my head hits the pillow at the end of my day, I can sleep at night knowing the following fact: Robbie Michaels, armed only with the truth, a set of big brass balls, a personal computer, and a $17 Labtec desktop microphone, will always be one step closer to winning a Peabody Award than those assclowns and their millions of dollars of resources will ever be.

Thursday's DSM Senate Targets

Okay, so it's Friday. With what happened in London yesterday, these Senate targets were posted later in the day. But we still need to contact them. Friday's targets will be up later this evening when I get home from work...

(revised email addresses!)

In the morning, please contact the following Senators (even if you havealready in the past contacted them):

Senator Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia)
phone: 202-224-6472
fax: 202-224-7665
(Chief of staff Kerry Ates; Press Secretary Wendy Morigi)

Senator Harry Reid (Nevada)
phone: 202-224-3542
fax: (202) 224-7327
(Chief of staff Susan McCue)

Senator Carl Levin (Michigan)
phone: 202-224-6221
fax: 202-224-1388
(Chief of staff David Lyles; Press Secretary Tara Andringa)

In the afternoon, please contact the following Senator:

Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland)
phone: 202-224-4654
fax: 202-224-8858
(Chief of staff Jenny Luray; Press Secretary Amy Hagovsky)

And as always, if you wish, contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-KA, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
(Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

To Those Of You Across The Pond...

...whether you lost a loved one or not in today's cowardly terrorist attack, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Do not let whoever is behind these attacks get the satisfaction of knowing they achieved their goal - to make you live your lives in fear.

Carry on, be vigilant, and be safe. God bless.

Latest Podcast Available

My latest podcast is now available for download. Today, I'll be covering the following topics...

  • Howard Zinn's July 3rd editorial, "Put Away The Flags".
  • Gente Unidas pro-immigration protest in San Ysidro, California
  • J. Matt Barber suing his former employer over his conservative columns published on the Internet.
  • Frederick Douglass' 1852 speech on Independence Day.
  • Randy "Duke" Cunningham cancelling his speaking engagement in Encinitas, California.
  • Ted Rall's commentary, "Karl Rove: Worse Than Osama Bin Laden".
  • "What Are They Fighting For?" -- my latest commentary for Radio News America.

Latest Commentary For Radio News America

Here's my latest commentary that will appear on Radio News America later today. I thought I could become a miracle worker by helping a hate group clean up it's act. I'm throwing down a challenge for the Ventura, California-based Save Our State organization to practice what they preach on their web site.

I also expose why they could be classified as a hate group rather than a peaceful, anti-illegal immigration organization...

What Are They Fighting For?

Original commentary by Robbie Michaels
July 7th, 2005

Some people just don't get it. You give them a valid reason in response to their question, yet they still press on because they’re ignorant or refuse to believe the truth. No, I'm not talking about John Conyers and his ongoing battle to get the Bush Administration to talk about the Downing Street Memos. I'm talking about an anti-illegal immigration organization that is still protesting artwork on display in Baldwin Park, California.

Save Our State, the Ventura-based anti-illegal immigration group, held their second protest in Baldwin Park on June 26th. If you remember my June 10th commentary “Spreading The Gospel of Xenophobia”, Joseph Turner led a group of 50 American flag-waving and sign-carrying protestors seeking to have the inscriptions, “It was better before they came,” and “This land was Mexican once, Indian always, and will be again,” removed from the 20-foot-high arch at the Metrolink station.
On the official Save Our State web site, they claim they are
committed to educating California’s citizens about the disastrous effects of illegal immigration and creating a positive change through aggressive activism and advocacy. If that’s a fact, then I have to question this organization’s motives two weekends ago. Are they really protesting the artwork in Baldwin Park, or do they have another, more sinister agenda?

Consider the following facts:

  • The artist commissioned to create the artwork 12 years ago, Judy Baca, mentioned the quote “it was better before they came”, was originally uttered by a “white man from Arkansas” who complained about the arrival of Mexican-Americans after World War II.
  • Baca also mentioned that the artwork is a “layered history piece” that honors American Indians, immigrants, and other groups that have lived in the area for centuries.
  • In a video interview performed by Santa Barbara right-wing talk show host Charles Kirkby during the June 26th protest, an American flag-bearing Turner disclosed that he used to be a resident of Baldwin Park.
  • Despite the fact he is a former Baldwin Park resident, Turner never publicly complained about the artwork at the Metrolink station until two months ago.
  • Save Our State was formed eight months ago, roughly the same time The Minutemen Project was launched.
  • On their web page explaining who they are, Save Our State uses fear and hatred to appeal to potential members by painting a mental picture of their neighborhood being “ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool.”
  • Another page on their site refers to the Golden State as “Mexifornia” and shows photos of alleged illegal aliens gathering on street corners and sidewalks.
  • Yet another page of their site has a Mexican Racialist Hall of Shame.
  • Their forum board administrator uses the illegal alien crossing highway sign as its avatar.
  • Photos taken at the last protest show a protestor holding a sign stating, “assimilate or vacate”, and identified one protestor as Jim Chase, the organizer of the Minute Man Project.
  • Another photo in the same thread identifies two protestors as members of the Minute Man Project.
  • Some members of their message board use avatars and screen names to poke fun of Mexican culture, speech, and in one case asks for “a day without a Mexican, please?”
  • One message board member has started a petition to stop the practice of using the Mexican ID card as valid identification for dispensing public services and benefits in Ventura County.

To be fair and impartial, I have to ask Joseph Turner and members of Save Our State the following questions:

What does this protest have to do with illegal immigration? From the pictures and video I saw, your protest did nothing to help solve the problem. The only thing you accomplished was

wasting the city’s resources for the use of policemen to keep more water bottles from being hurled at you.

What border were the Minutemen patrolling that afternoon? The last time I looked at a Thomas Brothers’ map, Baldwin Park was at least 100 miles away from the Mexican border. Were they there to protect the Irwindale city limit from Baldwin Park residents? I’m just curious.

Why are some members on the message board
actively trying to join with the black community to protest the offensive postage stamp in Mexico? This issue didn’t take place within our own borders, and has absolutely nothing to do with stopping illegal immigration. What purpose does it serve for you to prey on the black communities’ anger, other than the fact you are being opportunistic in trying to turn them against Mexicans?

Joseph Turner, you and your organization are not doing anything positive to end illegal immigration in this country. Your site’s message board is a haven for racist propaganda posted by fellow board members, and only serves to bait opposing views into committing racist remarks of their own.

Not only that, but the fact that you were a former Baldwin Park resident and only now are protesting what you view as seditious artwork makes your claim disingenuous. I find it hard to believe you never knew the artwork existed, and I’m sure there are others out there who feel this way.

Based on what I’ve read on the Save Our State web site and the message board, it is my opinion that guests could classify your organization as a hate group. Although you do not promote violence or call Mexicans racist names, you are no more effective at stopping illegal immigration than the
White Aryan Resistance.

Joseph, I do not agree with what you and your organization are doing, but I’m going to be fair and give you guys some constructive criticism to help your cause.

If you and your members are genuinely serious about making a difference in illegal immigration, then I suggest you stop worrying about artwork in a city you no longer reside in, or the use of the Mexican ID card as valid identification. All you’re doing is harassing Mexicans who are already here, and I’m certain some of them are here in the United States legally.

You should
recommit yourself and your organization to do what you say you’re going to do about illegal immigration: create positive change.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Do something to help the federal government enforce the current anti-immigration laws already in place. Did you know that there’s a loophole that allows illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico to blend into the general population because we cannot afford to detain and deport them back to their country of origin?
  • Remove the hateful images of Mexicans from your website.
  • Ban the use of avatars that could be offensive to Mexican-Americans.

Save Our State, this is your one chance to save yourselves and your reputation. If you choose not to practice what you preach, then the general public will never take you seriously in your future endeavors.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wednesday's DSM Senate Targets

I'm a very bad boy. I should be spanked, or at least be forced to kiss a wingnut babe like Katherine Harris or Monica Crowley as punishment.

I overslept Tuesday morning, so I didn't update the blog before work. When I got home, I immediately went to work on doing research for Thursday's commentary and I forgot to post Tuesday's DSM Senate targets!

I'm not dropping the ball this time. Here's Wednesday's targets...and let me grab my ChapStick before I pucker up...


Today we are asking you to fax, phone, or send brief emails to:

Senator Carl Levin (Michigan)
phone: 202-224-6221
fax: 202-224-1388
(Chief of staff David Lyles; Press Secretary Tara Andringa).

If you like, also contact the man who reneged on his promise to the American people for an investigation into how intelligence was used:

Senator Pat Roberts R-KA, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
phone: (202) 224-4774
fax: 202-224-3514
(Jackie Cottrell, Chief of Staff)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Opinion: Ted Rall

This is Ted Rall's piece on Karl Rove that appeared in Yahoo! News last night. You gotta read this one...

By Ted Rall
Mon Jul 4, 7:00 PM ET

NEW YORK--In war collaborators are more dangerous than enemy forces, for they betray with intimate knowledge in painful detail and demoralize by their cynical example. This explains why, at the end of occupations, the newly liberated exact vengeance upon their treasonous countrymen even they allow foreign troops to conduct an orderly withdrawal.

If, as state-controlled media insists, there is such a creature as a Global War on Terrorism, our enemies are underground Islamist organizations allied with or ideologically similar to those that attacked us on 9/11. But who are the collaborators?

Article: Cunningham Cancels Appearance

Here's the latest episode in the smash-hit Southern California soap opera, "As The Duke-Stir Floats."

Like I said Saturday morning in my latest Wake Up San Diego! commentary, Randy "Duke" Cunningham has a lot to worry about in the days ahead. As expected, he cancelled his scheduled appearance at the Annual Fourth of July Community Pancake Breakfast in Encinitas so the event wouldn't turn into a media circus.

Like that's not going to happen in the next couple of weeks...

Cunningham cancels appearance

ENCINITAS ---- Hundreds of Fourth of July celebrants were there. Television crews and reporters were too. But like a belle who decides to stay home from the ball, Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham was a no-show at the Annual Fourth of July Community Pancake Breakfast in Encinitas on Monday, an event at which organizers said he was to be the keynote speaker.

After three weeks of little more than silence and prepared statements issued by Cunningham, expectations were high that at last he would speak to his constituents and reporters about his ties to a Washington defense contractor ---- ties that are the focus of a federal investigation.

On Friday, his office sent out a news release, saying that he would be attending the celebration at Cottonwood Creek Park.

Apparently the Congressman had a change of heart, because on Sunday night Cunningham officials sent out a second press release saying the former Top Gun pilot would not be coming.

"Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham is not interested in becoming a distraction from family and community events celebrating the Fourth of July," the statement read. "It is clear from all the advanced publicity that any Fourth of July celebration he is scheduled to attend will become a media frenzy."

Article: Frederick Douglass on Independence Day

This is an article that was originally published in The Nation on July 19th, 2004. It contains the words of Frederick Douglass' speech on July 4th, 1852...

True Patriotism: Frederick Douglass on Independence Day
Eric Foner

This article was originally published in the July 19, 2004 issue of The Nation.

The Fourth of July is traditionally a time for reading the Declaration of Independence and listening to patriotic speeches. But the nation's birthday has also been the occasion for eloquent indictments of a country whose actual practices all too frequently contradict its professed ideals. At an Independence Day meeting sponsored by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in 1852, the former slave Frederick Douglass delivered one of the nineteenth century's greatest orations. His theme was the contradiction between American slavery and American freedom.

Douglass did not mince words. He spoke of a government that mouthed the language of liberty yet committed "crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages"; of patriotism reduced to "swelling vanity"; of hypocrisy destroying the country's "moral power abroad." Although slavery is gone, Douglass's critique remains as relevant as in 1852. But so too does his optimism that the days of empire are over, and that in the modern world abuses cannot permanently be hidden from the light of day. Douglass, not the leaders of a slaveholding republic, was the genuine patriot, who called on his listeners to reclaim the "great principles" of the Declaration from those who had defiled and betrayed them. That is a truly patriotic goal for our own Fourth of July.

Article: Man Claims Company Fired Him For Opposing Homosexuality

Since it was a slow news day, I did a little surfing for interesting articles and I dug up this one from the Agape Press. Yep, I'm posting a Christian news article for your enjoyment.

The lesson us Progressives can learn from the Christian Right? Be careful what you write on the Internet, or else your employer will take action if they don't agree with you...

Illinois Man Claims Company Fired Him for Opposing Homosexuality
By Allie MartinJuly 1, 2005

(AgapePress) - A former employee of Allstate has sued the insurance company, claiming he was fired because he wrote an article that was critical of homosexual "marriage."

Back in December, J. Matt Barber was working as a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division at the company's headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. At the same time, he wrote a regular column for several conservative Internet sites.

Barber was critical of homosexuality and same-sex marriage in his column, which he wrote at home on his own time and on his personal computer. "The insurance industry is a tight fraternity," he explains, "and I had planned to make my full career in the insurance industry."

However, now that he has "dared to speak out against so-called, same-sex marriage," Barber alleges, "Allstate has targeted me for professional, financial, and emotional destruction." And the reason, he insists, is "because I dared, on my own time, to defend traditional marriage -- because I dared to speak out against so-called same-sex 'marriage.'"

Article: Protest March Targets Groups Fighting Illegal Immigration

It looks like the people of San Diego are not taking the actions of anti-immigration groups sitting down. Take a look at what activists in San Ysidro did on Saturday afternoon...

Protest march targets groups fighting illegal immigration
By Terry Rodgers

July 3, 2005

SAN YSIDRO – More than 250 activists who favor a more open border between the United States and Mexico held a march yesterday to protest the activities of groups opposed to illegal immigration.

The marchers banged drums, chanted and burned sage as they walked a 2.1-mile route from San Ysidro Community Park to the San Ysidro Athletic Area, crossing Interstate 5 at the Camino de la Plaza overpass, which overlooks the San Ysidro border crossing.

The march, which was organized by Gente Unida, was peaceful and without conflict except for a few youths who briefly taunted the marchers, police said. Gente Unida is a coalition of pro-immigrant groups from Southern California, Arizona and Mexico.

Article: Put Away The Flags

It was quite a slow day for news, but this article made quite a controversy on the Randi Rhodes Message Board yesterday afternoon. This is Howard Zinn's article that appeared on two days ago...

Put away the flags
By Howard Zinn

Sunday, July 3, 2005

We would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols on Independence Day -- its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power and deadly for those out of power.

National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Latest Podcast Available

My latest podcast is now available for download. Today, I'll be covering the following topics...

  • An update on my Wingnut of the Week, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and his ongoing legal problems
  • Emails from Operation Truth,, and John Conyers
  • The latest Calls to Action from and
  • The latest news on Katherine Harris
  • "In Memoriam - My Patriotism (1987 - 2005)" -- my most recent commentary for Radio News America.

Latest Commentary for Radio News America

Here's my latest commentary that will appear on Radio News America later today. It's about my feelings on this Fourth of July, and the reasons behind them. Although it could be a controversial piece, it's spoken from the heart and I know you wouldn't expect anything less from me...

In Memoriam - My Patriotism (1987 - 2005)
Original commentary by Robbie Michaels
July 4, 2005

Today is Independence Day, and I'm sure all of you out there are going to be celebrating with your friends and family. I'm grateful for the day off from work, the opportunities this country has provided me, and what our country has accomplished in the past 229 years. However, I do not believe it's appropriate for me to celebrate this year.

I'm not flying the American flag outside my home for the first time ever. The American flag bandana I like to wear on my head like a 'do rag remains in my drawer next to my socks and underwear. The stars & stripes paint scheme I like to run every holiday on my race car in my friend's NASCAR Racing 2003 online racing league will not make an appearance this year.

Quite frankly, I don't feel patriotic or have a sense of pride in the American flag right now. As a matter of fact, if I hear Lee Greenwood's song God Bless The USA on the radio one more time, I'm going to pick it up, fling it outside my window, smash it with a 50-pound barbell plate, set the remains on fire, and then I'm going to piss on it to extinguish the flames.

Why do I have hostile feelings towards my country? Is there something wrong with me? Since you asked.... yeah, as a matter of fact there is. Something close to me finally died, and my anger can be attributed to me going through the different stages of the grieving process. However, it wasn't a family member, friend, or one of my pets that died.

It was my patriotism. My patriotism died this year because I no longer love, support, or am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for my country and its policies.

The Autopsy Report

I received a copy of the autopsy report and the death certificate this morning, and upon close examination I noticed the coroner listed the cause of death as acute starvation brought about by a lack of compassion. Not on my part, but the lack of compassion the Bush Administration has for this country, its citizens, its soldiers, the rest of the world, and especially for those who oppose their agenda.

My patriotism didn't suffer a sudden, tragic end in front of a nationally televised audience. Instead, its death was a slow, agonizing, private one that originated in my heart four years ago and slowly spread throughout my body as time passed by.

I first noticed symptoms during the Southern California heat wave in the summer of 2001. Our utility bills increased over 300% because of market manipulation by power companies doing business outside of the state. When California residents complained about it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), we were expecting a sympathetic ear and financial restitution from these crooks.

But California didn't nominate George Bush for president in the 2000 Election, so in a childish act of revenge he told us to go fuck ourselves and let companies like Enron keep their profits.

Since then, my patriotism died a little bit more with each passing day. Every scandal, every lie, and every rule broken by the GOP shook my faith in democracy: Recalling Gray Davis and the subsequent election of Arnold Schwarzenegger…the rejection of the Kyoto Treaty…The Patriot Act and the reduction in our civil liberties…the censorship of the mainstream media…violation of the Geneva Convention…The Carlyle Group…redistricting in Texas…the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1%…Haliburton's no-bid contracts, bribes, and misappropriation of federal money…the passing of environmental legislation that makes the ecosystem worse…and let's not forget about the wingnut's move to embrace theocracy.

During the past eighteen months, this disease my patriotism suffered from accelerated into its final stages and spread like a flame throughout all my internal organs as more scandals came to light: George Bush's unfulfilled National Guard duty…the Swift Boat Veterans attacks on John Kerry…Robert Novak’s outing of Valerie Plame in retaliation of Joe Wilson publicly questioning the Bush Administration…Jeb Bush's intervention into what was left of Terry Schiavo's life for political gain…the dismissal of Amnesty International’s report on prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay…the passing of CAFTA…Tom DeLay's breach of House ethics rules…James Sensenbrenner's abuse of power…Bill Frist’s threat to end filibusters in the Senate...The Downing Street Memos...The Minutemen Project and other like-minded anti-immigration groups that fan the flames of racism with their protests.

Final Analysis

With everything this administration has done to our country over the past four and a half years, I cannot feel proud to be an American on our country's birthday. Today, I feel shame. I feel ashamed of what the American flag symbolizes in the eyes of the world. I feel ashamed at what my president, his cabinet, and our elected officials do to their own constituents in the name of power and greed. And I feel ashamed of what our policies do to antagonize our neighbors to the north and south, as well as the rest of the world.

Despite my feelings, I still love this country enough to search for and disclose the truth about our wingnut leaders, to help bring justice for their actions, to restore our hope and faith in democracy, and to restore our reputation in the worldwide community.

Perhaps the next time I participate in my online racing league, you'll see my Pontiac GTO flying around the track in red, white, and blue. Maybe you'll see an American flag outside my front door, waving proudly in the afternoon breeze for all to see. You might even see my face crack a smile when I tell a passing stranger, "Hey, have a Happy Fourth of July."

I'd like to think my patriotism is taking a holiday, but right now it's lying naked on a cold, metal table in a dimly lit room in preparation for the trip to the mortuary.

Dear God, I hope I'm wrong.about that.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Article: 50 False Stories Planted

Whoa! This was posted on the website earlier this morning. It's quite lengthy, but I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read this. Damn, there's some juicy stuff in this article...


Submitted by davidswanson on Sun, 2005-07-03 01:03.

America's Ministry of Propaganda Exposed
By Gar Smith / The-Edge
Part One

A Strategy of Lies: How the White House Fed the Public a Steady Diet of Falsehoods

Colonel Sam Gardiner (USAF, Ret.) has identified 50 false news stories created and leaked by a secretive White House propaganda apparatus. Bush administration officials are probably having second thoughts about their decision to play hardball with former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Joe Wilson is a contender. When you play hardball with Joe, you better be prepared to deal with some serious rebound.

After Wilson wrote a critically timed New York Times essay exposing as false George W. Bush's claim that Iraq had purchased uranium from Niger, high officials in the White House contacted several Washington reporters and leaked the news that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent.
Wilson isn't waiting for George W. Bush to hand over the perp. Inmid-October, the former ambassador began passing copies of an embarrassinginternal report to reporters across the US. The-Edge has received copies ofthis document.

The 56-page investigation was assembled by USAF Colonel (Ret.) Sam Gardiner."Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence,Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and StrategicPsychological Operations in Gulf II" identifies more than 50 stories aboutthe Iraq war that were faked by government propaganda artists in a covertcampaign to "market" the military invasion of Iraq.