Monthly Archives: October, 2006

Neil Steinberg: Satan has nothing on monsters among us

In decades past, every Halloween brought a crescendo of suburban governments banning trick-or-treating and religious leaders fretting over the occult while safety experts raised the specter of everything from cavities to fire hazards.

The fuss seems muted this year. Part of that has to be our becoming accustomed to caution.

Covering your little ghoul’s black cloak in reflective tape and slapping a cell phone in his hand just doesn’t seem the extreme precaution it once did.

But I also believe that real fears mock our fake ones.

Between the bloodbath in Iraq, the genocide in Africa, and North Korea setting off the atomic bombs that Iran clutches at, we just can’t get ourselves excited over whether wearing red plastic horns will nudge a 6-year-old toward worshipping Satan. Not this year.

Brian Dickerson: Waging war on taxes, regulation and Satan

With the election more than a week away, Dick DeVos has spent more in his quest to become governor — $39 million, as of Oct. 20 — than both major party candidates spent four years ago.

But what’s really impressive (or appalling, or simply curious, depending on your perspective) is that $35 million of that total — seven out of every eight dollars the DeVos campaign has spent to pitch camp in our living rooms since last February — has come out of the candidate’s own pocket.

[...]

For more than a decade, DeVos and his wife and the tax-exempt foundation they control have funneled millions of dollars to conservative Christian groups that seek to promote school prayer, public assistance for religious education, the criminalization of abortion and the prohibition of embryonic stem cell research, among other causes.

DeVos says he is running for office to promote an economic agenda. But as governor he would be in a position to advance nearly every one of the social agenda items that have preoccupied his adult life — and there’s simply no reason to believe he has suddenly lost interest in doing so.

Happy Halloween

I have the good fortune to be a sign language interpreter in Portland Public Schools. Here’s part of what it looks like on this 31st of October, 2006.

The teacher is reading a book called The Best Halloween Ever, because it is Halloween time. Today there is a small party with sweets given among students and a presentation in the auditorium with monsters and mad scientists in it. Most of the staff is wearing black and orange clothes, jackolantern jewelry, etc. But the word has come down to the staff that this is “Harvest Party” day, and Halloween is forbidden. As in, the word Halloween is forbidden. Children who show up in costume may be sent home for a change of clothes.

I’d place the blame for this foolishness and political correctness squarely in the laps of the same busy-bodies who rail against role playing games, video games, rock music, Internet chat and other forms of pretend-time. It is frustrating and sad. But I know what the kids are really learning is ‘grown-ups tell lies, and call something one thing when they know it is the other.’ That can be a good lesson to learn, indeed. And I like the idea of a Halloween that is a little more threatening to people who can’t mind their own business, and a little more underground among those who want it bad enough to pretend to follow the rules. Me, I’ve got a big blind eye for that kind of rebellion.

Fortunately, we do not have and cannot achieve a cultural blank slate. I know that the word “goodbye” is a contraction of “God be with you,” but being an atheist is no excuse to not say bye. I can and do speak of ‘good fortune’ and ‘being lucky’ and other nonsense, because it conveys something meaningful as well as meaningless (and because I’d be an ass to say ‘the electro-chemical process that is summarized as myself would experience pleasure if the events experienced by the electro-chemical process that is summarized as you were in agreement with previously imagined goals’ when ‘hey, good luck!’ would do). There are no gods or devils, spirits or afterlife. But thank goodness there is a Halloween.

Banana Republic

Banana Republic is a weekly editorial cartoon series that explores the political and social culture of Amnesia, a mythical Third-World country that could not be more different from our own. Amnesia, ruled by Generalissimo Wally, grapples with the problems of a typical banana republic, namely corruption, mounting debt, a widening chasm between the underclass and the rich, one-party rule, a rubber-stamp parliament, crackdowns on dissent, state propaganda, domestic spying, torture, secret prisons, questionable elections, curtailed civil rights, imprisonment without trial, an endless guerilla insurgency, and on and on.

Virgin ends ad campaign with anarchic site over images of Branson

Excellent news from the Guardian:

Virgin has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after a new viral advertising campaign backfired spectacularly.

The company had asked readers of b3ta.com, an online community known for bad taste jokes, to create a new advert for the Virgin Money brand. Hundreds of entries were submitted, but last week the company pulled the competition from the internet after concerns over some of the submissions. (more)

Its high time one of these noxious viral campaigns blew up in the faces of the corporate world, and a more deserving candidate than the financial services “industry” — whose entire purpose, let’s not forget, is to get its victims into debt, and to keep them there — I cannot for the moment imagine… viva las B3tistas!

So glad to see you doing well…

Ode to Judy Judas Miller of the NYT’s

It was rumored that Maynard (the lead singer) of the band Tool whose side project entitled, A perfect Circle dedicated this song to Judas Judy Miller of the NYT’s. It wouldn’t surprize me as he is quite outspoken politically.

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law


In other words, the law facilitates the “transfer” of the newest in so-called “crowd control” technology and other weaponry designed to suppress dissent from the Pentagon to local militarized police units. The new law builds on and further codifies earlier “technology transfer” agreements, specifically the 1995 DOD-Justice Department memorandum of agreement achieved back during the Clinton-Reno regime.(4)

It has become clear in recent months that a critical mass of the American people have seen through the lies of the Bush administration; with the president’s polls at an historic low, growing resistance to the war Iraq, and the Democrats likely to take back the Congress in mid-term elections, the Bush administration is on the ropes. And so it is particularly worrying that President Bush has seen fit, at this juncture to, in effect, declare himself dictator.

TITLE 10–ARMED FORCES

Subtitle A–General Military Law

PART I–ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL MILITARY POWERS

CHAPTER 15–INSURRECTION

Sec. 333. Interference with State and Federal law

The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or
by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary
to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful
combination, or conspiracy, if it–
(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of
the United States within the State, that any part or class of its
people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection
named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted
authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect
that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United
States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to
have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the
Constitution.

(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 15.)

TITLE 10–ARMED FORCES

From the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007:

SEC. 1042. USE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.

(a) USE OF THE ARMED FORCES AUTHORIZED-

(1) IN GENERAL- Section 333 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law

`(a) USE OF ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES- (1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to–

`(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that–

`(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and

`(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or

`(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).

`(2) A condition described in this paragraph is a condition that–

`(A) so hinders the execution of the laws of a State or possession, as applicable, and of the United States within that State or possession, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State or possession are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or

`(B) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

`(3) In any situation covered by paragraph (1)(B), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.

`(b) NOTICE TO CONGRESS- The President shall notify Congress of the determination to exercise the authority in subsection (a)(1)(A) as soon as practicable after the determination and every 14 days thereafter during the duration of the exercise of the authority.’.

(2) PROCLAMATION TO DISPERSE- Section 334 of such title is amended by inserting `or those obstructing the enforcement of the laws’ after `insurgents’.

(3) HEADING AMENDMENT- The heading of such 15 of such title is amended to read as follows:

`CHAPTER 15–ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS TO RESTORE PUBLIC ORDER’.

(4) CLERICAL AMENDMENTS- (A) The table of chapters at the beginning of subtitle A of title 10, United States Code, and at the beginning of part I of such subtitle, are each amended by striking the item relating to chapter 15 and inserting the following new item:

331′.

(B) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 15 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to sections 333 and inserting the following new item:

`333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law.’.

(b) PROVISION OF SUPPLIES, SERVICES, AND EQUIPMENT-

(1) IN GENERAL- Chapter 152 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

`Sec. 2567. Provision of supplies, services, and equipment in major public emergencies

`(a) PROVISION AUTHORIZED- In any situation in which the President determines to exercise the authority in section 333(a)(1)(A) of this title, the President may direct the Secretary of Defense to provide supplies, services, and equipment to persons affected by the situation.

`(b) COVERED SUPPLIES, SERVICES, AND EQUIPMENT- The supplies, services, and equipment provided under this section may include food, water, utilities, bedding, transportation, tentage, search and rescue, medical care, minor repairs, the removal of debris, and other assistance necessary for the immediate preservation of life and property.

`(c) LIMITATIONS- (1) Supplies, services, and equipment may be provided under this section–

`(A) only to the extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession concerned are unable to provide such supplies, services, and equipment, as the case may be; and

`(B) only until such authorities, or other departments or agencies of the United States charged with the provision of such supplies, services, and equipment, are able to provide such supplies, services, and equipment.

`(2) The Secretary may provide supplies, services, and equipment under this section only to the extent that the Secretary determines that doing so will not interfere with military preparedness or ongoing military operations or functions.

`(d) INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN AUTHORITIES- The provision of supplies, services, or equipment under this section shall not be subject to the provisions of section 403(c) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b(c)).’.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

`2567. Provision of supplies, services, and equipment in major public emergencies.’.

(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- Section 12304(c) of such title is amended–

(1) by striking paragraph (1); and

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively.

H.R. 6166: Military Commissions Act of 2006
Military Commission Act Not Lawfully Passed

Addendum:

There’s a very interesting recommended story today at dkos since my last post…

NV-SEN: Why I’ve just quit Jack Carter’s campaign (it’s OK, he’ll still win)

by Greg at Carter for Nevada [Subscribe]
Sat Oct 28, 2006 at 12:59:11 PM PDT

I’ve just quit Jack Carter’s campaign. In fact, I will no longer be working to elect Democrats during this cycle.

Don’t worry – it’s not what it sounds like. I’ve neither lost my ideals nor my mind.

I’ve quit because something more important has come up. “More important than electing Democrats this year?” Well, yes, hard as that may be to believe. But it’s more fair to say that my individual efforts over the next ten days are needed elsewhere. I can do a little to help Jack Carter, or a lot to help protect our way of governing.It has to do with the President’s ability to declare martial law

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