Monday, April 24, 2006
This blog is history. I am history.
I suspected I wouldn't be able to survive a second Bush administration and I was, sadly, right. You will not be hearing from me again.
Thanks for all the attention, commentary, criticism, and feedback. It was nice knowing you all.
Don't give up. If you quit, they win.
Posted at 03:06 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Monday, March 20, 2006
The Rebellion is history. Gone. I didn't see any reason to maintain it when I can't post. Ethel will remain because it's free and I now belong to an internet cafe with no time limits, which means I'll be able to write a post from time to time. Maybe. Don't know when. Next week?
At least the novel is progressing nicely - 200 pgs since Christmas. Being disconnected is good for something, at least.
Stay tuned. Weekly missives are not impossible.
If you care....
PS I didn't put up that picture of the girl in the frog suit. I have no idea how it got there.
Posted at 01:28 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
PayPal and Financial News
I realize this has taken awhile to put together. I won't bore you with the whole story but what it boiled down to is that I couldn't get into my PayPal account when my email address (I used the Verizon address) wasn't operative, and I couldn't give them a new address wiithout getting into my account.
It offered me the chance to phone them (which I couldn't do because I don't have a phone line which is why the email address didn't work) or snail-mail them. If they had offered me the choice of giving them a new email address for contact purposes, this would have been over 2 weeks ago.
Anyway, for those who may wish to help get me back online, all you have to do is go to PayPal's main site, click "Send Money" and follow the instructions. They will ask what email address you want the money sent to. You reply,
That's all there is to it. Use that address and the money will be credited to my account.
There's less to raise than there was. After wrestling with them on the phone, I got them to reduce the ludicrous charge for the DSL router to $100, so the final tally I need to come up with to get the phone back is now under $400, about $200 of which I have.
Of course, by now you've probably either forgotten all about me or else realized how much better you get along without my constant interruptions. I understand. Frankly, tho I would like to get back online and contribute to the conversation occasionally, I've gotten a lot more of my own work done in the six weeks since I lost the phone line than I did in the last two years of blogging. I kind of like the feeling of accomplishment, not to mention the potential returns, plus I really like where the two novels are going and enjoy writing them - something I could never have said before. I used to hate writing, as much as I did it, because it was so much work. But the books are flowing like never before and I don't want to stop.
So, I'd like to come back. I'd like to activate LitBlogs, tho finding new ones is getting difficult. I'd like to finish what I started at The Rebellion, and I'd like to sound off here. But it isn't going to be like it was before. I'm getting jealous of my book-time, and the deeper into them I get, the more time they're going to take. I don't want you to contribute money to help me come back and then feel betrayed because I only show up once or twice a week.
Anyway, that's the skinny. Any and all help will be appreciated but I know how tough it is during the Bush Years for anybody not at least a millionaire, so take everything that may be relevant into consideration in making your decision.
And thanks for even wanting to help. That alone is worth more to me than I can say.
Posted at 01:56 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Monday, January 30, 2006
After a process that resembled nothing so much as breaking into Fort Knox with a teaspoon, I have finally managed to straighten out my PayPal account. For those of you who wish to donate to help me get back on line, the new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can, so I'm told, send money through that account by giving that address.
I'm running out of time, so a plea will have to wait.
Thanks in advance.
Posted at 07:02 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Thursday, December 15, 2005
My phone's been disconnected for lack of payment. A bit of a surprise since I only owed them a couple hundred $$ and they didn't give me but a few days' notice. I'm trying to work it out. At the moment I'm at the office using their computer while I'm on hold with the phone company.
I just talked to them. They claim I owe $500 (twice as much as the notice said I owed and as my records show I owed). They won't reconnect until the entire balance they're showing is paid. I'm history. It'll be months before I can get that kind of money together--if ever.
If you want to help, my PayPal acct is still active but I was going thru a button at a Verizon site which is locked and in any case will be taken down in a few days. I don't otherwise know how you could do it.
So I guess this is Good-bye. It was fun while it lasted. I'll miss you.
Posted at 03:38 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005
takes on the House Republicans' fondness for passing controversial bills at midnight.
Posted at 02:55 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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The US Joins an Exclusive Club
Throughout history, torturers have always had excuses for their torture. Torquemada was defending the Church from heretics. Vlad the Impaler was ridding his country of undesirable elements. Hitler was protecting whites from the scourge of non-Aryan mongrel races.
In the late 20th century, though, one excuse has stood out. South African police used it when they defended putting burning tires around the necks of black prisoners. Pinochet used it to defend the practice of his secret police when they attached wires to the testicals of prisoners and ran an electric charge through them (a little trick they learned from us in The School for the Americas). Papa Doc Duvalier used it when his Ton Ton Macoute skinned people alive. In our own day, Uzbekistan's President Karimov--one of the Emperor's 'allies' in the WOT--used it to excuse boiling people alive
. See if you recognize it.
"Intelligence gathered from these interrogations has stopped terrorist attacks and saved innocent lives...."
Who said that? Was it:
a) Augustus Pinochet
b) General Franco
c) Mao Tse-Tung
d) Condi Rice
e) Josef Stalin
f) General Somoza
g) Ian Smith
h) All of the above
If you picked 'h', you were right. They all
said it at one time or another. Sec of State Condi 'I can rationalize anything for George' Rice put us in very select company today
in a speech that could more or less be condensed to:TORTURERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!
Berlin -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chastised European leaders Monday, saying that before they complain about secret jails for terror suspects in European nations, they should realize that interrogations of these suspects had produced information that helped "save European lives."
Her remarks were the Bush administration's official response to the reports of a network of secret detention centers in at least eight European nations, said to house dozens of terror suspects.
At the same time, she denied that the United Stated has moved suspects to these prisons to allow interrogators to use torture. "The United States," she said, "does not permit, tolerate or condone torture under any circumstances." At another point, she said, "The United States does not transport and has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture."
Intelligence gathered from these interrogations, she said, "has stopped terrorist attacks and saved innocent lives in Europe as well as the United States." But she declined to offer examples or provide any specific information to support her assertions. She said any information related to the prisons was classified.
I bet. That's so we won't know that they're getting NOTHING.
The problem with her 'remarks' of course is that every one of them is a lie.
- ...interrogations of these suspects had produced information that helped "save European lives." : Clinton's counter-terrorism team stopped both the Millenium Bomb plot and the WTC plot without resorting to torture. So far as we know, NO plot against America OR Europe has been stopped as the result of information obtained under torture. NOT ONE.
- ...interrogations of these suspects ha[s] produced information...: Um, actually? No, it hasn't. Even the military admits that nothing of strategic value has come out of any of the hundreds of interrogations they've conducted in the past three years, not in Gitmo or anywhere else. One unnamed officer was even quoted saying that the interrogations weren't meant to elicit information but to intimidate a population that was, in the military's view, too friendly with the insurgents.
- "The United States," she said, "does not permit, tolerate or condone torture under any circumstances.": This is the 'When Other Govts Do It, It's Torture--When We Do It It Isn't' Defense (discussed here), wherein we simply get our malleable and obliging Atty Gen, Alberto Gonzales, to define any torture in which we indulge as 'legal'. Torture is illegal, you see, so if it's legal, it isn't 'torture'. Got that?
- "The United States does not transport and has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture.": A blatant lie. For one, US agents kidnapped Mahar Arar in Canada and shipped him off to Saudi Arabia where he was beaten and tortured. He was later released because 'he knew nothing'. In other words, he was innocent.
Apparently, Ms Rice has decided to dump her old job description as 'Secretary of State' to become the Emperor's new 'Minister of Propaganda'. I guess Karl is too busy avoiding indictment and raking in bribes from contractors 're-constructing' New Orleans. He's in charge of that, you know.
I reckon this is a proud day for America, alright. Our Sec of State has sure enough put us in good company. Pinochet appreciates it, too--Condi just confirmed the basis of his legal defense in the upcoming trial.
Posted at 01:26 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Monday, December 05, 2005
I've been thinking about it. Blogdrive has grown tremendously in the past year and they seem to be having some trouble keeping up. I've been experiencing many of the same kinds of delays and glitches that drove me mad at Blogspot the summer before last. It's not quite as bad as that but almost. (Oddly enough, one of the places I'd consider moving to would be...back to Blogspot. I've beern playing with it for a couple of months and they seem to have gotten all the madness under control finally. It's still slow but it seems to be a lot more reliable than it was. Or is that an illusion?)
Frankly, after weeks of this, I'd move in a heartbeat if it weren't for what a pain-in-the-ass that is for people who link to me. Does anybody know the code for re-directing a browser from one page to another automatically?
Posted at 11:29 am by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Sunday, December 04, 2005
Gonzales: Worse Than John Mitchell
The Texas re-districting plan that was so high-handed it signaled a Republican determination to steal elections (signaled it to anyone who didn’t already know, that is) was actually considered by a majority of the lawyers at Justice to be a violation of the Voting Rights Act (which is what a few of us said at the time).
Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.
The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections.
"The State of Texas has not met its burden in showing that the proposed congressional redistricting plan does not have a discriminatory effect," the memo concluded.
The memo also found that Republican lawmakers and state officials who helped craft the proposal were aware it posed a high risk of being ruled discriminatory compared with other options.
But the Texas legislature proceeded with the new map anyway because it would maximize the number of Republican federal lawmakers in the state, the memo said. The redistricting was approved in 2003, and Texas Republicans gained five seats in the U.S. House in the 2004 elections, solidifying GOP control of Congress.
J. Gerald "Gerry" Hebert, one of the lawyers representing Texas Democrats who are challenging the redistricting in court, said of the Justice Department's action: "We always felt that the process . . . wouldn't be corrupt, but it was. . . . The staff didn't see this as a close call or a mixed bag or anything like that. This should have been a very clear-cut case."
The case is still on appeal by the Texas Democratic party, but that didn’t stop Atty Gen Al ‘The Mole’ Gonzales from sticking his two cents worth in. As far as he’s concerned, over-ruling the JD’s legal staff when it said a clearly illegal move to disenfranchise black voters was afoot is perfectly OK. He called the near-unanimous recommendation a mere ‘disagreement’.
"The fact that there may be disagreement within the ranks does not necessarily make it a wrong decision," Gonzales said at a briefing with reporters in Washington.
Gonzales disputed allegations from Democratic lawmakers and lawyers that the Texas case provides additional evidence that the department's work has been politicized during the Bush administration.
Justice Department officials overruled another staff objection earlier this year in approving a voter identification plan approved by Georgia's Republican-controlled legislature. The plan was later halted in the courts as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
"We're not going to politicize decisions within the department," Gonzales said. "We're going to make decisions based on what the law requires."
So what we have here is one more unique, GOP Orwellian definition wherein a blatant politicizing of the law in the Pubs’ favor is NOT politicizing while pointing it out is.
One has one’s hopes that the American people are getting hip to this hypocrisy. After all, the Pubs have done this so often it has engendered its own acronym: It may be against the law but IOKIYAR–It’s OK If You’re A Republican.
Just think, this is the highest legal authority in the nation talking. He not only finds ways to unilaterally declare that torture is OK, he’s fully prepared to break any law that doesn’t serve partisan interests and then label his partisanship ‘unpartisan’. What a guy. Almost makes you long to have John Mitchell back….
Posted at 10:10 pm by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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Friday, December 02, 2005
Coming from the man who dismantled the Civil Rights Division at Justice and turned the Civil Rights Commission into a toothless joke
after it criticized his administration for doing nothing about civil rights
Washington -- President Bush on Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to relinquish her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., by signing legislation to place a statue of the late civil rights heroine in the Capitol.
Bush elevated a routine bill signing into a high-profile White House ceremony that brought together African American officials in the Bush administration led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, African American veterans of the civil rights movement and politicians from both political parties, including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the defeated Democratic presidential candidate last year and the sponsor of the measure in the Senate.
"What had begun as a simple act of civil disobedience ended up galvanizing the modern movement for civil rights," Bush told more than 100 invited guests. "On this day, we remember the great inspiration this movement drew from the quiet courage shown by an Alabama woman riding home on a Cleveland Avenue bus."
But that's the Bush Administration all over: they'll put up statues for them to pose in front of at the same time they're vigorously trying to bring back Jim Crow. From the Washington Post
a couple of weeks ago:
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current career employees.
Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws. Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas.
At the same time, prosecutions for the kinds of racial and gender discrimination crimes traditionally handled by the division have declined 40 percent over the past five years, according to department statistics. Dozens of lawyers find themselves handling appeals of deportation orders and other immigration matters instead of civil rights cases.
"Most everyone in the Civil Rights Division realized that with the change of administration, there would be some cutting back of some cases," said Richard Ugelow, who left the division in 2004 and now teaches law at American University. "But I don't think people anticipated that it would go this far, that enforcement would be cut back to the point that people felt like they were spinning their wheels." (emphasis added)
Dozens of lawyers have resigned from the CRD rather than defend a civil rights agenda that is profoundly antagonistic to civil rights. Go figure.
So the Emperor gets to make a speech honoring the memory of a woman who fought for everything he's trying to destroy. SOP for the Shrub, so common it's hardly worth mentioning.
(WaPo link via MoJo
, where you can read about the hundreds
of administration officials who have resigned or been fired for telling the truth over the last five years. Hundreds
: It's a two-fer!
After cutting his promised $15B in funds to fight AIDS down to $3B, dispensing only a third of that much, most of it to abstinence-only programs that don't work, and then backing the pharmaceutical industries' initial refusal to cut its outrageous prices for anti-AIDS drugs in Africa (they were later shamed into it by the rest of the world, not us), the Emperor took advantage of World AIDS Day to crow
about his 'contribution'.
President Bush said Thursday that his 2-year-old overseas AIDS initiative had brought antiviral drugs to 400,000 HIV-infected people in Africa and was on track to treat 2 million by early 2009.
That is, at worst, another of the Emperor's flat-out lies. At best it's a gross exaggeration. If there are that many people being reached, it's in spite of him, not because of him.
But don't let that stop you from taking all the credit, Your Imperial Majesticness. It never did before.
Posted at 09:55 am by Ethel, the Early-Warning Frog
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