26 January 2010

Michael Moore interview w/ Democracy Now!

Michael Moore's approach is often misguided, bullying, alarmist, and over the top, but sometimes he absolutely nails it, and I thought his interview with Amy Brown was in many ways right on the mark about our current state of affairs. Among the topics covered: Haiti, Afghanistan, this week's Supreme Court ruling on corporate funding in elections (as he rightly points out, a very depressing and debilitating decision indeed), the weakness and ineptitude of both Obama (grow a pair, sir) and the Democrats as a whole, and the fate of Bernanke and Geithner. It's fairly long, but it's well worth a gander in my humble opinion. Nice precursor to the State of the Union tomorrow night too.

Here's hoping everyone's doing well.

- vl

17 January 2010

And in so thinking to varying degrees (as I am hereby being stripped) on perhaps another tactic to be used in the war on terror

Why Haiti Matters:
What America Must Do
and How

Adapted from http://www.newsweek.com/id/231131/output/print


During the this past week we have been moved by the devastation in Haiti. Entire swaths of Port-au-Prince are in ruins. Families seek shelter in makeshift camps. Children search desperately for their mothers and fathers; mothers and fathers search desperately for their children. Both to no avail. Anarchy reigns in the darkened streets.

We have ordered

We have ordered a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives in Haiti. We have instructed the leaders of all agencies to make our response a top priority across the federal government. We are mobilizing every element of our national capacity: the resources of development agencies, the strength of our armed forces, and most important, the compassion of the American people. And we are working closely with the Haitian government, the United Nations, and the many international partners who are also aiding in this extraordinary effort. We act on behalf of all who have been affected. We act for the thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti and for their families back home. We act on behalf of the Haitian people. And we act for a very simple reason. In times of tragedy, we step forward and help. That is who we are. That is what we do. At no time is that more true than in moments of great peril and human suffering. When we show our compassion, the world looks to us. That advances our leadership. That shows the character of our country. And it is why every citizen can look at this relief effort with the pride of knowing that America is acting on behalf of our common humanity.

Tell me who,
and why it matters

Right now, our search-and-rescue teams are on the ground, pulling people from the rubble. Americans from Virginia and California and Florida have worked round the clock to save people whom they've never met. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen quickly deployed to the scene. Hand in hand with our civilians, they're laboring day and night to facilitate a massive logistical enterprise; to deliver and distribute food, water, and medicine to save lives; and to prevent an even larger humanitarian catastrophe.

Greater help is on the way. This will be a complex and difficult rescue and recovery operation, and it takes time to move all of the resources necessary into such a devastated environment. But more American rescue teams, doctors, nurses, and paramedics will arrive to care for the injured. More water, food, and supplies will be delivered. An aircraft carrier has arrived. A naval hospital ship has been deployed. And additional aircraft and heavy equipment will restore communications and clear roads and ports to speed relief and hasten recovery.

In the days, months, and years ahead, we will need to work closely with the government and people of Haiti to reclaim the momentum that they achieved before the earthquake. It is particularly devastating that this crisis has come at a time when—at long last, after decades of conflict and instability—Haiti was showing hopeful signs of political and economic progress. As the tremors fade and Haiti no longer tops the headlines or leads the evening news, our mission will be to help the people of Haiti to continue on their path to a brighter future. We will be there with the Haitian government and the United Nations every step of the way.

11 January 2010

Grime upon which to return


My how I have not missed you.

Nevertheless, a fascinating defense in the making for your perusal...

11 January 2010
Adapted from AP report

On a balmy Sunday morning in May, on the east side of Wichita, Kansas, a man by the name of Scott Roeder rose inconspicuously from his pew at Reformation Lutheran and walked discreetly to the foyer, where two ushers had been chatting around a table. Mr. Roeder carried with him a .22-caliber handgun, and as he moseyed on into the foyer he pressed the barrel to the forehead of one of the ushers, unsuspecting abortion doctor George Tiller, and blew his brains all to hell. Roeder's premeditated, first-degree murder trial begins Wednesday, and no one—not even Roeder himself—disputes the fact that he killed Tiller. But what had been expected to be an open-and-shut murder trial was upended Friday when a judge decided to let Roeder argue he should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter because he believed the May 31 slaying would save unborn children. Prosecutors on Monday challenged the ruling, arguing that such a defense is not appropriately considered with premeditated first-degree murder when there is no evidence of an imminent attack at the time of the killing. Jury selection was thus delayed. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to give the defense time to respond. "The State encourages this Court to not be the first to enable a defendant to justify premeditated murder because of an emotionally charged political belief," the prosecution wrote. "Such a ruling has far-reaching consequences...."

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/us/13roeder.html?ref=us