August 31, 2010

My Thoughts on President Obama's Speech Tonight

by The Punk Patriot

President Obama gave a speech tonight, saying the war in Iraq is over. He also sent out an email:

Tonight marks the end of the American combat mission in Iraq.

As a candidate for this office, I pledged to end this war responsibly. And, as President, that is what I am doing.

Since I became Commander-in-Chief, we've brought home nearly 100,000 U.S. troops. We've closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of our bases.

As Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, our commitment to a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq continues. Under Operation New Dawn, a transitional force of U.S. troops will remain to advise and assist Iraqi forces, protect our civilians on the ground, and pursue targeted counterterrorism efforts.

By the end of next year, consistent with our agreement with the Iraqi government, these men and women, too, will come home.

Ending this war is not only in Iraq's interest -- it is in our own. Our nation has paid a huge price to put Iraq's future in the hands of its people. We have sent our men and women in uniform to make enormous sacrifices. We have spent vast resources abroad in the face of several years of recession at home.

We have met our responsibility through the courage and resolve of our women and men in uniform.

In seven years, they confronted a mission as challenging and as complex as any our military has ever been asked to face.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans put their lives on the line. Many returned for multiple tours of duty, far from their loved ones who bore a heroic burden of their own. And most painfully, more than 4,400 Americans have given their lives, fighting for people they never knew, for values that have defined our people for more than two centuries.

What their country asked of them was not small. And what they sacrificed was not easy.

For that, each and every American owes them our heartfelt thanks.

Our promise to them -- to each woman or man who has donned our colors -- is that our country will serve them as faithfully as they have served us. We have already made the largest increase in funding for veterans in decades. So long as I am President, I will do whatever it takes to fulfill that sacred trust.

Tonight, we mark a milestone in our nation's history. Even at a time of great uncertainty for so many Americans, this day and our brave troops remind us that our future is in our own hands and that our best days lie ahead.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

It's ironic that we're ending combat operations in Iraq, and leaving behind "advisory and training" troops. We did that twice already under George W Bush. I guess we all just forgot.

I don't feel I'm wrong to be any less skeptical this time. Besides, even if this time is for real, most of those servicemembers, sadly, will not be coming home, but will instead be redeployed (and with stop-loss like it is these days, likely redeployed for the third or fourth time) to Afghanistan.

This talk about "thanking our troops." What for? Many people I know personally, and many with whom I talked with at the Veterans For Peace National Convention do not want to be "thanked" for their time in the service; many would scoff at you if you did. My grandfather, were he still alive today instead of killed by brain cancer stemming from his repeated exposure to Agent Orange during his multiple tours of Vietnam, would scoff at you.

Even before I attended this conference, many people I know who have been in theater, even ones who are not active in the peace movement, don't feel that they did anything particularly good or honorable by being there. Those who are optimistic have a thin hope that this was the case.

They were in a shitty situation, saw their friends die, saw people they didn't know die, killed people they didn't know, all so that Halliburton and Bechtel could make millions of dollars. Would you want to be thanked-- for that? You risked your life in a shitty situation so that corporations can rob the taxpayers blind-- Thank you?

And don't think that people in the theater of war hold dear any of the bullshit notions we're told to believe in by the corporate media. The people with all the delusions about war making boys into men, about freedom and democracy-- those folks all live stateside, and have not served.

One fellow I talked with had served in Vietnam. He told me about how, "the Roman Legionnaires chose to fight for the emperor because they were paid with a share of the spoils of war. Somewhere along the line somebody figured out that people really liked medals. Now instead of giving you land and slaves, they give you a worthless medal, a false sense of patriotism, and the notion that we're all supposed to be thankful for the privilege of getting fucked over."

The one thing I can say with complete confidence, is that everybody who has seen war wants to be told "welcome home" and to be able to go to sleep without having nightmares, without reliving their moments of horror, carnage, or regret, every time they close their eyes.

And that is a sad truth of war: There are no winners. There are only losers. War might be a tsunami for the good it does.

While at the Veterans For Peace conference, the first day there, I heard the story of a girl my age who grew up in Bosnia, during the war. Her name is Maja. She didn't care about the war when it was happening. She just wanted to play soccer. One day in a time when the war had not reached her village yet, she went out to sit on a short wall in front of her house. There was a woman across the street carrying water in buckets. Six of Maja's friends and one of Maja's friend's daughter were in the courtyard in front of Maja's house. In an instant, Maja found herself on the ground unable to breathe.

The woman carrying water was still standing, but she was dead. She was dead, but standing upright, and her eyes were dead, her body filled with shards of metal. The woman, still holding onto the buckets collapsed into a heap on the road. Her friend and her friends daughter had their heads torn open. Their brains were on the outside of their skulls. Her friends, people, were instantly reduced to shredded meat. Maja tried to get up, but her legs would not work. She couldn't breathe properly, her neck was filled with shrapnel. A girl came down from the house to help, but upon seeing the carnage, she became scared and ran back to the house screaming and crying. When the girl would get back to the house, she would regain courage, turn and run back out to help.
Once again, she would become overwhelmed, and run back into the house crying. Back and forth. Back and forth. Eventually Maja was taken to a hospital. Prisoners of war were there from the other side, the enemies side, and their job was to bury the dead.

One prisoner of war shared Maja's blood type, type o negative, which is rare. Maja was enduring lots of blood loss, and many surgeries. This man was an enemy soldier. Who knows how many people he had killed, how many people in her village, how many neighbors were killed at the end of his gun, right?

But he was a person. He was saddened by seeing people in the hospital with limbs blown off, and he gave blood so that the people in the hospital might live.

Now-- if this was Hollywood, this would be the part of the story where a "bad person" redeems themselves through some selfless act.

It's not a story of redemption though, and this isn't Hollywood. He gave too much blood and he died. Many of the people he gave blood to died. Lots of people died. For no sane reason. And since this wasn't Hollywood, and this man wasn't a poorly written character, he also wasn't the "bad guy."

He was just a person- like you. He didn't have to redeem himself. He wasn't an enemy. What he was- was just another person. Another person stuck in a shitty situation, just like everybody else in that hospital. There's no moral to the story. There's no happy ending. It's just senselessness, and survival.

War is tragedy. There's no valor, no honor, nothing to be thankful for in war. There is only stupidity, tragedy, and brutality. There are no winners. Politicians may claim to win wars, but the civilians and soldiers caught in the middle always lose.

Kurt Vonnegut once said that "to talk of winning a war, you may as well talk of winning an earthquake."
I understood the sentiment when I was a child reading this, but having heard the stories I did this past week, I have developed a deeper appreciation and understanding of what he meant. There are no sides, in war. There is just violence, insanity, and people caught in the middle. War is not a sane thing. It is not something that can be won, like a soccer match. It's an event that can only be survived-- or not.

We live in an age of kaleidoscopic schizophrenia, of both miracle cures and biological weapons, cures for cancer and depleted uranium, chemical cleaners and chemical weapons, video games and predator drones, atomic clocks and nuclear warheads.

In this environment, where the leaders of nations could sneeze and accidentally wipe all life off the surface of the planet, a culture that glorifies war, that actively wages war with aggression and without provocation, is psychologically ill and morally rotten to the core. As Americans, we live amidst such a culture.

What can be done?
Iraq deserves reparations for our barbarism.
Our soldiers deserve the benefits they were promised, and more.

That would be a good start.

What haunts me today though, is that George W Bush and his administration were able to, as so many US presidents have before, bullshit us into a war with a country that did not attack us, and had no means to attack us.

George W Bush and his administration bullshit us into a war where perhaps over 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Every one of them is a son or daughter to somebody.

George W Bush and his administration bullshit us into a war in which 31,929 American soldiers have died. Every one of them is a son or daughter to somebody.

George W Bush and his administration bullshit us into a war in which uncounted thousands have returned with physical injuries, and thousands more with mental and psychological injuries.

And Obama is content, for political reasons, to allow this to go unpunished.
Were Obama a just or moral leader, were Obama the man all the starry-eyed leftists imagine him to be, he would call for the prosecution of George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of Bush's administration for war crimes.

How do we prevent another president from bullshitting us into war so that corporations can rob the taxpayer blind?
Try the war criminals in court, and throw them down a hole for the rest of eternity.

I wish the war in Iraq were really over. Even if it were-- for many, both American and Iraqi, the war in Iraq may never be over. :: Jeff Patterson :: VFP 25th Nat'l Convention

Jeff Patterson is the project director for Courage To Resist, the organization representing Bradley Manning, raising money for a civilian defense attourney.

If you would like to volunteer your help to war resisters, be it driving them to Canada, driving them back from Canada, donating money for attorney fees, or even just writing letters of support to war resistors, go to

IVAW's Geoff Millard - Veterans For Peace 25th annual Nat'l Convention

Geoff Millard is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War which you can find at

Please donate, buy the Winter Soldier book, educate yourself with the plethora of educational materials they have, and support their good work.

The Punk Patriot:


Doug Rawlings - Founding member of Veterans For Peace

Doug Rawlings is one of the 6 founding members of Veterans For Peace.


Matthis Chiroux - Veterans For Peace 25th Annual Nat'l Convention

Matthis Chiroux is a former Military Journalist, or as he calls it, "propaganda artist" and was in charge of polishing turds into gold.

He refused to re-deploy citing the illegality of the war in Iraq under the UN Charter, and his sworn duty to uphold the constitution as his reasons. The military offered to allow him to quietly disappear and get his full benefits, but he decided to challenge the military and the war, in court.

He is one intense motherfucker, and I hope he doesn't burn himself out.

August 30, 2010

Ann Wright addresses the Veterans for Peace 25th Annual Convention Banquet

Col Ann Wright was a diplomat that resigned from the Bush administration in 2003 in protest of the Iraq war. Since then she has been active doing antiwar work, as well as involved in finding peace between Israel and Palestine. She is running a humanitarian aid mission to Gaza, which you can help out with here:


August 29, 2010

Col Ann Wright - Veterans For Peace 25th Annual Nat'l Conference

Col Ann Wright is a former diplomat, and a personal hero to me, who resigned from the Bush administration in protest of the Iraq War back when it first started. Since then she has been active in the anti-war movement, she was at Camp Casey with Cindy Sheehan, and she was on the recent humanitarian aid mission to Gaza.

She is currently working on sending a US-only humanitarian aid mission to Gaza, which you can help with here:

Dennis Lane, Executive Director of Veterans For Peace

Please support this organization, and the great work they do:

Ethan McCord at the 25th Annual Veterans For Peace Nat'l Convention

You can see a much more serious video of him recounting his experience here:

You can read a blog post he wrote about the experience over on Michael Moore's website: click here

And please support Iraq Veterans Against the War

IVAW's Geoff Millard on CNN

Geoff Millard of IVAW on CNN
Donate to IVAW click here

Veterans For Peace 25th Annual Convention - George Williams

George Williams of VFP Chapter 95 of North Hampton, MA

August 24, 2010

[video] New Ad Campaign: The Anti-Ad

The message of this video is great.

I'm confused by it though.

Dove makes beauty products. And they are lampooning the advertising for their own products.

Is the new ad the anti-ad? Did they just give up on trying to make us feel terrible about ourselves? Are they coopting the energy of anti-beauty-product sentiment in an act of marketing judo?

I don't know. You tell me.



Then they’ll be off the hook, and stick the US taxpayer with the bill! Right?

Besides they stopped the spill, everything is cool now.


In fact, quite the opposite! Currently, BP has an escrow fund of 20 billion dollars, but there's a catch. Just like after 9-11, if you make a claim to this fund, you have to sign away your right to sue for damages later on. And we all know how well that's worked out for the 9-11 Rescue workers. (Or do you? They're being fucked over and they're all dying of lung disease, that's how well it turned out)

We have no idea what the long-term health effects are going to be from this spill. From the oil, as well as the dispersants used to send the oil to the ocean floor, and is now allowing unnatural toxic compounds to work their way through the food web.

BP's clean-up responsibilities are capped at a mere $75 million-- which is absurd when compared with the actual cost of long term damages to the environment, to people’s health, to people’s livelihoods, etc. If BP spends more than this, they can call it quits at any point in time, no matter how much mess is left. And that's exactly what they're doing.

--And it seems even MORE absurd when you account for the fact that BP made more than 186 times as much as that in profits alone JUST LAST YEAR.

That’s PROFITS. That’s what they had laying around after they got done paying for all their expenses, after paying out all their wages, after paying for all their leasing rights, after paying pensions, after paying for equipment purchases.

Hey Taxpayers, Don’t want to get stuck with the bill for cleaning up all that oil that's on the ocean floor (thanks to Corexit)? Well you should know that right now, BP is claiming a nearly $10 BILLION dollar tax credit for the spill. Yeah that’s right: they want the US taxpayer to PAY THEM for doing what they should be doing anyways.

What about legal claims against them? Well, if this spill ends up being anything like the Exxon Valdez spill, legal claims could well be tied up in courts for the next 20 years, many of the plaintiffs will die as a result of toxins they’ve been exposed to, and then after the claim is finally won, it will be reduced to a mere pittance.

Another possible outcome if we fail to revoke BP’s corporate charter: They could pull a Union-Carbide. After an explosion at a Union-Carbide plant in Bhopal India released toxic gases that killed or injured thousands, Union Carbide simply folded, and sold everything to Dow Chemical. Dow Chemical has refused to pay out any of the claims held against Union Carbide, and the CEOs of Union Carbide jumped ship with millions of dollars.

If you REALLY don’t want the US taxpayer to get stuck with the bill, and you REALLY want to see things done right, then you REALLY should be in favor of revoking BP’s corporate charter.

If BP’s corporate charter is revoked, they won’t have the right to do business in the USA anymore. Their assets will be seized, and they will be put into receivership- which means that the Government then has control of their assets, AND the legal obligation to pay out all the bills, fines, and lawsuits that BP has racked up.

Rather than holding on to those $14 billion of annual profits to pay out to shareholders, those $14 billion dollars in profits could go to doing what’s right-- cleaning up the gulf, and paying for the damages to people’s health, people’s livelihoods, and our planet.

And the most upsetting thing of all, is that this is just ONE SPILL, I'm talking about here!

BP has been playing it fast and loose with safety procedures for YEARS. How the hell are we supposed to trust that when they go up to Alaska to drill, they're going to do better?

Or when they come back to drill in the same spot as the Deepwater Horizon? They didn't smarten up after any of the OTHER times that they've fucked up, in Alaska, in Texas City, and so on, why should this now be any different? It's obvious that so long as they keep making profits, they couldn't give a rat's ass what the consequences are.

Please join me in the push to revoke BP’s corporate charter. As Tony Hayward once said: “We can get this done. We can make this right.”

August 22, 2010

[video mashup] David Curtis For Governor of Nevada

Little something I did for a friend in NV who is running for Governor.

On Please vote it up


David Curtis's Website

I didn't get paid to make this. If you like it, please throw a couple bucks my way.

August 20, 2010

What if capitalism wasn't evil? --The Entrepreneur Challenge!

What if Capitalism wasn't so evil? Let's play a little game and find out.

Today I'm launching my Entrepreneur Challange. I'm going to be attempting to prove that capitalism can be good for all parties involved. And dare I say it-- even fun?

Sounds crazy right? Well maybe it is.

What sparked all this? Well a long while ago, a certain progressive radio show asked its audience (half jokingly) to create a certain tshirt design, which they described rather abstractly. I said to myself, "self- you make t-shirts! You should be all over this!"

And I took that abstract jibber-jabber and turned it into reality. And because in my mind, I was thinking that I would help promote their radio show, I included a link to the web address for the show. Through certain means, I was able to make sure that the hosts of the show saw a photo of this shirt that I had created. --Which was displayed publicly, online. The hosts lauded my work. Soon, other fans of the show started commenting that they wanted to purchase a copy of this shirt. So I created a listing on to make that shirt available to sell.

Shortly after I'd created that listing, these supposedly progressive, supposedly anti-capitalist, supposedly DIY-punk, supposed activists, came down on me with fury; accusing me in a series of emails of violating their intellectual property rights. And they asked me to immediately take down my listing. At the time, I was still a huge fan, and I tried to salvage the situation, and so I complied.

Later, they communicated to me that they would be interested in splitting any profits that I made, selling a shirt that I designed, that I meticulously hand-cut stencils for [I didn't have silkscreening equipment yet], that I hand printed, that I purchased the materials for, and that I would end up paying the shipping for.

They wanted a cut of the money that I would earn from MY labor-- labor I spent trying to help THEIR fans to promote THEIR show to their friends-- in true DIY style.

I thought that their proposal was complete and utter bulls***, and I told them as much. Ironically, these supposedly progressive, DIY, pro-union folks now run their merchandise through zazzle or cafe press or something.

Ever since that event, I've been inspired to create an entrepreneur challenge, to you, my viewers.
But it's sat on the back burner until recently, when out of the blue, some jerk threatened me with a lawsuit for "ripping off" some drawing that I'd never seen before in my life.

What these two incidents have in common is people acting like a**holes over intellectual property rights.

Back in early 2003, I went to an anti-war protest in Washington DC. I took with me a banner that read, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"

It was a turn of phrase that I myself had coined, having recently moved from Texas [where WWJD bracelets and t-shirts were all the rage]. Me and my friends marched around the mall with this banner, and people loved it. A few months later, I saw WWJB bumper stickers and t-shirts for sale through various progressive outlets on the internet.

Now, I could have been a dick about it, complaining that they were making money with something that I came up with. I, however, see it as a victory. I was able to create something that affected the nations consciousness. And isn't that the point? Shouldn't that ultimately be our goal?

I don't do this show, [or this blog] to make money. I do this to make just enough money that I can afford to keep on doing this. By the way, the donations are extremely appreciated. Thank you. And a preemptive thank you to those who will be donating today. (hint hint)

Well, I'm going to start this challege off by making the Punk Patriot an open source brand. There are a few rules however:

Rule #1: It's got to promote the show. So link back somehow.
Rule #2: You are allowed to keep whatever money to make selling this item.
Rule #3: Don't rip people off. That's lame.
Rule #4: It's gotta be designed by you. I have a strong preference that it also be hand crafted by you.
Rule #5: No zazzle, and no cafe press.

I've already had people approach me about making punk patriot merchandise, about reprinting the scripts to my videos in self-published zines (I post the scripts to my videos over at my blog []), and reselling my shirts in store-fronts by people who order in bulk.

Well now you have my permission. Nay! Encouragement!

To life, liberty, and pursuit of a less f***ed up government.

August 17, 2010

Justin Bieber sounds amazing slowed down 800%

J. BIEBZ - U SMILE 800% SLOWER by Shamantis

This is the only song I've ever heard by him, and it's slowed down 800% and it's amazing. It sounds like the ocean. In heaven.

This was created with a free program called PaulStretch

Original post is here

How to Fix Trickle Down Economics & Make It Work

Advocates of trickle-down economics often say that the ones at the top of the structure generate all the wealth of society, and those at the bottom are nothing more than bottom feeding parasites. And they're not entirely wrong about this.
Something that might shock you--I actually don’t think that Trickle Down Economics is entirely wrong.

Trickle Down Economics, aka Supply Side Economics, aka Voodoo Economics! I think of it as being like a giant physics equation that just had a couple variables in the wrong places. Let me explain:

So traditionally, Trickle Down Economics has looked like this:

You’ve got this big pyramid, and the people with the most money are at the top. Let’s say the top 10%. If you cut taxes on the top of the pyramid, then the money is free to fall down and enrich the rest of society.

However, in reality, it doesn’t work that way. If you cut taxes on the wealthiest, the money just stays there at the top. It goes into savings accounts. It goes into wall street mathematical equations that only create virtual wealth. It actually doesn’t create any new wealth for society.

Now, this idea of adjusting one part of the economy in order to bring prosperity to the entire system isn’t totally unfounded. Here’s where trickle down economics has a fatal flaw in their understanding of how the world works.

The chart should actually look like this: [flip pyramid upsidedown]

See, how the economy works, is that wealth is first created by the labor working class. That wealth then proceeds to trickle down to the bottom of this funnel. It does so through various means: franchise contracts, paying the salaries of the management class, CEO Bonuses, sales, the stock market, poorly-written intellectual property rights laws, and most often, the consumption of material goods by the working class.

Through worker’s wages, there are small eddies in this constant downward flow of wealth, in which wealth temporarily floats upwards against the torrent of downward trickling. However, the overwhelming majority of wealth flows steadily to the bottom of this funnel.
If no method intervention is taken, eventually all the wealth collects at the bottom of this funnel and becomes stagnant.

Once the water becomes stagnant, the top stops being able to transfer their wealth downwards via consumption. Then they are laid off from their jobs and stop being able to introduce new wealth into the system.

When the constant downward trickling ceases, and the economy goes into recession, and the wealth begins to dry up and disappear.

So how do we prevent this? There are many ways. The monetary wealth that has settled here in the bottom can be brought back to the top through higher wages to the working class. This ensures that they have more purchasing power, and ensures that their consumption of goods will continue fueling the economy.

Wealth can also be brought back to the top through other means, such as taxation.
If we tax the wealth of the richest folks at the bottom of this funnel, and pump it back to the top of the funnel through public services like Single-Payer Healthcare, through building infrastructure that facilitates our economy, things like railroads, bridges, trains, highways, water purification, renewable energy sources, etc, we then can ensure that the economy has a steady flow of wealth from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

And that’s good for everybody at every level of this funnel, from the labor at the top, to the parasites at the bottom.

August 15, 2010

The Punk Patriot interviews Sam Smith, author of the Progressive Review

August 10th interview with Sam Smith, author of the Progressive Review, and several books, including, "Why Bother?" and "Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual."

We talk about the WTC mosque, Press Sec Gibbs nasty comments towards progressives, apathy, and why it's important to focus on local politics.

August 9, 2010

Citizen Journalist covers EPA 'fracking' hearing in PA

The Environmental Protection Agency held an open hearing in Pittsburgh's South Pointe Marriott, Over 1,200 citizens came to speak to EPA Investigators for two minutes a piece. Residents discussed their concerns and helped scientists locate inspection sites in the Marcellus Shale rock formation, where the new natural gas drilling practice has already started in some areas. Many legislators and homeowners see the economic benefits as very lucrative. Environmentalists voice ecological damage while citizens worry of health implications to local drinking waters.

August 7, 2010

When people say "Millions are without access to clean water" this is what they mean:

The water has human shit in it.
This disturbing documentary from's Vanguard: "The World's Toilet Crisis"

We are like Dust Mites


You’re like a tiny little dust mite
sitting on a tiny little dirt clod
spinning ‘round a tiny little star
outer space is always where you are

We’re hurtling through space on a dirt ball with an atmosphere
the only world you know of is the thin film of life that’s here
the atmosphere extends only seven miles vertically
the deepest plot of ocean is just seven miles under me

diameter of earth is eight thousand miles wide
the living that we do is only on the outside
our liquid core is spinning and makes a giant magnet
which we’ll lose when the planet cools and becomes stagnant

Then we’ll get blasted with space radiation
which will dry up all our water and kill all of creation
we got limited real estate in which we can around
only seven miles up and only seven miles down

1.8% of Earth’s diameter is air
it’s a tiny thing we’re fucking up as if it wasn’t there
this is rare- life on earth
occupies a tiny sliver
“Put your conscience in the cosmos.”
is the message I deliver


August 6, 2010


Tennesee's GOP Gubernatorial Primary Results:

Bill Haslam ---------- 48%
Zach Wamp ---------- 29%
Ron Ramsey ----------22%.
Basil MarceauxDotCom - 0.5% with 3,446 votes.


His concession speech:

Let's look back over his political career:

On TV for the first time:

Basil Marceaux's official campaign ad:

On Gun Control:

On Campaign Finance:

On the Environment:

On Red State Update:

On Jimmy Kimmel Live:

August 5, 2010

The following people are assholes who should lose their next election:

This is audience supported media. Please help keep it going

So H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation act of 2010 would have paid for healthcare for first responders who are dying as a direct result of the fact that they were first responders on 9/11/2001.

"How would they pay for this entitlment?" you might ask. Well, they were going to pay for it by closing the tax loophole that allows billion dollar corporations to avoid paying taxes on income earned in the US by setting up PO boxes in other countries.

This bill was pretty fucking amazing. No fucked-up riders, no blatant gifts to private interests... So there's obviously no way this bill is going to get through congress alive.

First off, the Democrats used a proceedure that required a 2/3rds vote.
Second, our congress is populated with America-hating, heartless assholes who should be shoved in a dark closet, and locked inside without access to light, food, or water.

How many heartless assholes? 159 heartless assholes. That's how many.

These are their names, congressional districts, and party affiliation. Let's be sure that they lose their next election. Democrats who voted Nay are in bold:
Jo Bonner AL-1
Bobby Bright AL-2
Michael Rogers AL-3
Robert Aderholt AL-4
Spencer Bachus AL-6
Trent Franks AZ-2
Jeff Flake AZ-6
Robert Berry AR-1
John Boozman AR-3
Walter Herger CA-2
Daniel Lungren CA-3
Tom McClintock CA-4
Devin Nunes CA-21
Elton Gallegly CA-24
Howard McKeon CA-25
David Dreier CA-26
Edward Royce CA-40
Jerry Lewis CA-41
Gary Miller CA-42
Ken Calvert CA-44
Mary Bono-Mack CA-45
Dana Rohrabacher CA-46
John Campbell CA-48
Darrell Issa CA-49
Brian Bilbray CA-50
Duncan Hunter CA-52
Doug Lamborn CO-5
Mike Coffman CO-6
Michael Castle DE
Jeff Miller FL-1
Ander Crenshaw FL-4
Virginia Brown-Waite FL-5
Clifford Stearns FL-6
John Mica FL-7
Gus Bilirakis FL-9
Adam Putnam FL-12
Vern Buchanan FL-13
Connie Mack FL-14
Bill Posey FL-15
Thomas Rooney FL-16
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen FL-18
Lincoln Diaz-Balart FL-21
Mario Diaz-Balart FL-25
Jack Kingston GA-1
Lynn Westmoreland GA-3
Tom Price GA-6
Paul Broun GA-10
John Gingrey GA-11
Charles Djou HI-1
Michael Simpson ID-2
Peter Roskam IL-6
Melissa Bean IL-8
Judy Biggert IL-13
Timothy Johnson IL-15
Donald Manzullo IL-16
Aaron Schock IL-18
John Shimkus IL-19
Stephen Buyer IN-4
Dan Burton IN-5
Mike Pence IN-6
Thomas Latham IA-4
Steve King IA-5
Lynn Jenkins KS-2
Edward Whitfield KY-1
Geoff Davis KY-4
Harold Rogers KY-5
Steve Scalise LA-1
John Fleming LA-4
Rodney Alexander LA-5
Bill Cassidy LA-6
Charlse Boustany LA-7
Roscoe Bartlett MD-6
Vernon Ehlers MI-3
David Camp MI-4
Frederick Upton MI-6
Michael Rogers MI-8
Thaddeus McCotter MI-11
John Kline MN-2
Erik Paulsen MN-3
Michele Bachmann MN-6
Gregg Harper MS-3
Samuel Graves MO-6
Roy Blunt MO-7
Jo Ann Emmerson MO-8
Blaine Luetkemeyer MO-9
Dennis Rehberg MT
Jefferey Fortenberry NE-1
Lee Terry NE-2
Adrian Smith NE-3
Dean Heller NV-2
Scott Garrett NJ-5
Christopher Lee NY-26
Virginia Foxx NC-5
Howard Coble NC-6
Sue Myrick NC-9
Patrick McHenry NC-10
Jean Scmidt OH-2
Michael Turner OH-3
Jim Jordan OH-4
Robert Latta OH-5
Steve Austria OH-7
John Boehner OH-8
Patrick Tiberi OH-12
Steven LaTourette OH-14
John Sullivan OK-1
Frank Lucas OK-3
Tom Cole OK-4
Mary Fallin OK-5
Greg Walden OR-2
Glenn Thompson PA-5
Jim Gerlach PA-6
William Shuster PA-9
Joseph Pitts PA-16
Todd Platts PA-19
Henry Brown SC-1
Addison Wilson SC-2
James Barrett SC-3
Bob Inglis SC-4
Phil Roe TN-1
John Duncan TN-2
Jim Cooper TN-5
Marsha Blackburn TN-7
Louis Gohmert TX-1
Ted Poe TX-2
Samuel Johnson TX-3
Ralph Hall TX-4
Jeb Hensarling TX-5
Joe Barton TX-6
John Culberson TX-7
Kevin Brady TX-8
Michael McCaul TX-10
K. Conaway TX-11
Kay Granger TX-12
William Thornberry TX-13
Ron Paul TX-14
Randy Neugebauer TX-19
Lamar Smith TX-21
Pete Olson TX-22
Kenny Marchant TX-24
Michael Burgess TX-26
John Carter TX-31
Peter Sessions TX-32
Rob Bishop UT-1
Jason Chaffetz UT-3
Rob Wittman VA-1
J Forbes VA-4
Robert Goodlate VA-6
Eric Cantor VA-7
Frank Wolf VA-10
Doc Hastings WA-4
Cathy McMorris Rodgers WA-5
Dave Reichart WA-8
Shelley Capito WV-2
Ryan Paul WI-1
F. Sensenbrenner WI-5
Thomas Petri WI-6
Cynthia Lummis WY

Here's the Daily Show segment on the subject:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Full information on the voting roll here:

Anthony Wiener's speech in full:

[video] Big Bang, Big Boom by Blu

h/t to ze frank

Did this T-shirt strike down the ban on gay marriage in California?

No, it didn't. But it's still pretty cool...

On the same day that I completed this "Legalize Love" t-shirt, California struck down the ban on gay marriage.

Coincidence? Yes.

You can order one here:

August 3, 2010

Ralph Nader files suit against Maine Democratic Party in Machias Superior Court

Hearing on August 6, 2010 Will Determine Whether Lawsuit Alleging Unlawful Democratic Party Effort to Bankrupt Nader-Camejo Campaign and Suppress Voter Choice in 2004 Presidential Election Can Proceed.

MACHIAS, ME – On August 6, 2010 at 2 PM, Machias Superior Court Justice Kevin M. Cuddy will hear oral argument in Nader, et al. v. Maine Democratic Party, et al., No. 2009-cv-57, the lawsuit filed by consumer advocate and 2004 Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his Maine presidential electors, which alleges that the Maine Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") and others unlawfully attempted to bankrupt, sabotage and otherwise damage the Nader-Camejo Campaign, in an effort to deny voters the choice of voting for Nader and his running mate, the late Peter Miguel Camejo, during the 2004 presidential election.

The lawsuit charges the defendants with civil conspiracy, abuse of process and malicious prosecution. Abuse of process is an intentional tort that occurs when a party misuses legal processes, such as the subpoena process, for an improper purpose. Malicious prosecution arises when a party files a lawsuit without probable cause.

Democrats and their allies filed 29 complaints against the Nader-Camejo Campaign in 18 state courts and the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") during the 2004 presidential election. The state court complaints challenged the validity of Nader-Camejo nomination petitions, but the Democrats’ true purpose, Nader and his co-plaintiffs allege, was to tie up the Nader-Camejo Campaign in court, drain its resources, and smear the Independent candidates with false allegations of fraud.

"We had a role in the ballot challenges," defendant Toby Moffett told The Guardian UK in December 2004. "We distracted him and drained him of resources. I’d be less than honest if I said it was all about the law."

Moffett was president of a Section 527 political organization called The Ballot Project, which helped coordinate and finance the Democrats’ nationwide litigation against the Nader-Camejo Campaign. The goal of the litigation, Moffett said, was "to drain [Nader] of resources and force him to spend his time and money."

"The Democratic Party is going after anyone who presents a credible challenge to their monopoly over their perceived voters," Nader said. "This lawsuit was filed to advance a free and open electoral process for all candidates and voters. Candidates’ rights reinforce voters’ rights, by giving voters more voices and choices, for a more open and competitive democracy, in which the people, rather than private political parties, determine who our elected leaders will be."

Nader’s co-plaintiffs in the case are Christopher Droznick, Nancy Oden and Rosemary Whittaker, each of whom served as a Maine elector to the Nader-Camejo Campaign.

"The Democratic Party is afraid to allow citizens a genuine choice," Oden said. "Hence, their attempts to keep Nader off state ballots and out of the national presidential debates in 2004."

Oden and other Nader-Camejo electors were subpoenaed in connection with the Democrats’ Maine challenge.
Democrats and their allies filed two complaints against the Nader-Camejo Campaign in Maine, including one complaint filed by Dorothy Melanson, who was then-Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. Melanson admitted under oath that the DNC had retained her law firm and was paying her attorneys’ fees. At the time, DNC officials denied that the DNC was funding the Democrats’ litigation against the Nader-Camejo Campaign. Campaign finance reports now on file with the FEC confirm that the DNC hired several more law firms that sued the Nader-Camejo Campaign in other states.

At least 95 lawyers from 53 law firms nationwide joined the Democrats’ litigation against the Nader-Camejo Campaign. The Nader-Camejo Campaign prevailed in the great majority of state court challenges and in all five complaints filed with the FEC, but at great cost in time, money and other campaign resources. Further, Democrats’ false charges of fraud against the Nader-Camejo Campaign were widely reported in the news media.

Maine elections officials, the Maine Superior Court and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court unanimously concluded that the Democrats failed to provide any evidence to support their allegations of fraud against the Nader-Camejo Campaign. Democrats made similarly groundless allegations in several other states, none of which were proved.

"During the 19th century when ballot access standards were far less onerous, many small parties and independent candidates were able to pioneer reforms opposed to slavery, for a woman’s right to vote, for regulatory restraints on the abuses of industry and commerce, and for improved conditions for workers and farmers," Nader said. "Today’s vastly more burdensome, intricate and discriminatory ballot access barriers in many state laws, enacted by the two party duopoly, have enabled the anti-democratic forces of the Democratic Party to flourish."

Nader and his co-plaintiffs seek compensatory damages and punitive damages. Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams is the plaintiffs’ local counsel.

"This case is part of a long struggle to protect voter rights by ensuring that all candidates have an equal right to access the ballot," Williams said. "The Democratic Party’s effort to suppress voter choice in the 2004 presidential election went far beyond the usual dirty tricks, and we are looking forward to proving our case to a jury."

In June 2009, the federal court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit concluded that a similar lawsuit filed by Nader and his voter-supporters raised "interesting legal issues of first impression," but held that the District of Columbia’s three-year statute of limitations barred D.C. Courts from hearing the case. The D.C. Circuit did not hear evidence or rule on the merits of the case.
"We have the evidence to prove our claims, but we have never had the chance to present it to a jury," Nader said. "We are still pursuing our basic right to do that in this case."
Maine’s statute of limitations is six years.

For Immediate Release: August 3, 2006
Contact: Oliver Hall - (617) 953-0161

The New Normal

The ACLU recently warned that the Obama Administration was in danger of establishing a "New Normal" by continuing with the WORST policies of the Bush administration.

This includes monitoring our internet use, the recent legalization of what was previously illegal wiretapping, and yet another extension of the police-state loving USAPATRIOT act. Guantanamo bay is still open in blatant violation of international law, 9 years after September 11th.

But now, Obama has exceeded Bush in terms of police-state douchebaggery.

The Bush administration never claimed to have the authority to assassinate US citizens.
The Obama administration, however, has.

And the left has largely been quiet about this. Well hopefully, the left will finally wipe the post-election confetti out of their eyes and wake up to what's really going on in their country. With their president.

The ACLU along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) recently filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration challenging this very claim to authority, on the behalf of the father of an assassination target- and U.S. Citizen.

Or they would have, that is, except for this legal manuver by the US government. From Glenn Greenwald:

...regulations promulgated several years ago by the Treasury Department prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with individuals labeled by the Government as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," and those regulations specifically bar lawyers from providing legal services to such individuals without a special "license" from the Treasury Department specifically allowing such representation."

So it turns out that the Treasury Dept stepped in two weeks after the suit was filed to label Anwar al-Awalaki a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" which one can only assume was specifically done by the Obama administration to block the suit against them, and retain the authority to assassinate US Citizens.

Well, in response to that, the ACLU has filed a suit agains the US Treasury and Timothy Geithner, saying, that the entire thing is insanely unconstitutional-- that the US Treasury has no constitutional authority to designate people as terrorists, that the US Government has no right to deny US Citizens access to a lawyer.

If the ACLU and CCR lose this case, we're going to be living in a nation where the government can legally pick out "problem citizens" and kill them on sight. Which is actually the country we're living in right now.

If this doesn't bother you, if this doesn't send up a red flag in the pit of your soul that says, "this is incredibly fucked" then maybe it's because you've already adjusted your psyche to accept the New Normal.

August 1, 2010

Ground Zero Workers hold a Press Conference about Congress's failure to pass the 9-11 healthcare bill

[videos] Theodore Treehouse in the Studio

Have a sneak peak at Theodore Treehouse in the Recording Studio, recording our upcoming album!

Unnamed Jam

Vocal warmups

Background vocals on "Springtime"

Taurus Pedal on "Boats and Betrayal"

Big Monsters with special guest Greg Hawkes laying down some vintage analogue synth