KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf
Blog

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Mother Is in the Hospital

My ex-mother-in-law—mother of my first husband and paternal grandmother to my daughter, Becky—is in the hospital because of complications related to polycystic kidney disease and is not doing well. I'm so sad. I love her very much.

Becky just called me from her job to say that her dad had called her with the news. I know things aren't good because her dad isn't prone to exaggeration, and he told Becky that a couple of days ago, Kate, who is in her early seventies, was in a bad way physically and emotionally—enough to make him start thinking about her eulogy. Her mood is better today, but her body's still not cooperating. She's been on dialysis for years, and I have to wonder if her overloaded kidneys just have worn out.

She's the one who wrote me a hilarious e-mail back in November about her first great-grandchild-to-be, the baby that Becky is carrying and is due to give birth to on May 18. Becky's maternity leave starts tomorrow because her belly's huge enough to cause her leg pain (probably sciatica). Becky told me on the phone that she'd planned to head up to Upstate New York after the baby's birth to introduce Kate and Don (Becky's paternal grandfather) to the baby. Now she's worried that she'll be attending Kate's funeral instead.

When I married her son, Kate became the mother I'd always wanted. My biological mother was abusive and had some undiagnosed mental illness. Kate laughed with me and didn't hit me. She hugged me often. We talked about sex. She recommended a wine when I, forcibly raised as a Southern Baptist, wanted to try some for the first time. When her son and I divorced in the late '80s, she remained my friend. We've exchanged Christmas cards all these years. I married Ed in 1993, and when she later she met him, she hugged him and thanked him for loving Becky. Ed likes her too.

Kate, you're not allowed to die, you hear?


Update




NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer Introduces Marriage Equality Legislation

This woke me up on a gray, rainy Friday afternoon. Do I live in the most excellent progressive state or what? Spitzer, you rock!



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's About Damn Time!

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Represenatives, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, has subpoenaed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to justify why the U.S. started the war in Iraq.

Grill that woman well, reps, on my behalf. I'm hungry for justice!



Horrid Landlord

This video (language not work-friendly; beverage-spew alert) reminds me of some evil landlords I had back in my days as an apartment dweller.



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Impeachment: Taking Cheney Down First

Woohoo to the max! 301,689,255 cheers* for Rep. Dennis Kucinich! Today he introduced a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. The rationale of going after Cheney first is this: If Bush were to be impeached first and then removed from office, Cheney would become president. Here are the articles of impeachment:


MMMMMMMMMMMMRESOLUTION

Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Resolved, That Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.


MMMMMMMMMMMMMMArticle I
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit:

M(1) Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Vice President actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction:

MMM(A) "We know they have biological and chemical weapons." March 17, 2002, Press Conference by Vice President Dick Cheney and His Highness Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain at Shaikh Hamad Palace.

MMM(B) "... and we know they are pursuing nuclear weapons." March 19, 2002, Press Briefing by Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem.

MMM(C) "And he is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time ..." March 24, 2002, CNN Late Edition interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(D) "We know he’s got chemicals and biological and we know he’s working on nuclear." May 19, 2002, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(E) "But we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. ... Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." August 26, 2002, Speech of Vice President Cheney at VFW 103rd National Convention.

MMM(F) "Based on intelligence that’s becoming available, some of it has been made public, more of it hopefully will be, that he has indeed stepped up his capacity to produce and deliver biological weapons, that he has reconstituted his nuclear program to develop a nuclear weapon, that there are efforts under way inside Iraq to significantly expand his capability." September 8, 2002, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(G) "He is, in fact, actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons." September 8, 2002 NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(H) "And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." March 16, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

M(2) Preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq the Vice President was fully informed that no legitimate evidence existed of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Vice President pressured the intelligence community to change their findings to enable the deception of the citizens and Congress of the United States.

MMM(A) Vice President Cheney and his Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby, made multiple trips to the CIA in 2002 to question analysts studying Iraq’s weapons programs and alleged links to al-Qaeda, creating an environment in which analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration’s policy objectives accounts.

MMM(B) Vice President Cheney sought out unverified and ultimately inaccurate raw intelligence to prove his preconceived beliefs. This strategy of cherry-picking was employed to influence the interpretation of the intelligence.

M(3) The Vice President’s actions corrupted or attempted to corrupt the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, an intelligence document issued on October 1, 2002, and carefully considered by Congress prior to the October 10, 2002, vote to authorize the use of force. The Vice President’s actions prevented the necessary reconciliation of facts for the National Intelligence Estimate, which resulted in a high number of dissenting opinions from technical experts in two Federal agencies.

MMM(A) The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate stated, "Lacking persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program INR is unwilling to speculate that such an effort began soon after the departure of UN inspectors or to project a timeline for the completion of activities it does not now see happening. As a result INR is unable to predict that Iraq could acquire a nuclear device or weapon."

MMM(B) The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate also stated that "finally, the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR’s assessment, highly dubious."

MMM(C) The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research dissenting view in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate references a Department of Energy opinion by stating that "INR accepts the judgment of technical experts at the US Department of Energy (DOE) who have concluded that the tubes Iraq seeks to acquire are poorly suited for use in gas centrifuges to be used for uranium enrichment and finds unpersuasive the arguments advanced by others to make the case that they are intended for that purpose."

The Vice President subverted the national security interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss of more than 3300 United States service members; the loss of 650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States invasion; the loss of Approximately $500 billion in war costs which has increased our Federal debt; the loss of military readiness within the United States Armed Services due to overextension, lack of training and lack of equipment; the loss of United States credibility in world affairs; and the decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.

In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.


MMMMMMMMMMMMMMArticle II
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda in order to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests, to wit:

M(1) Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Vice President actively and systematically sought to deceive the citizens and the Congress of the United States about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda:

MMM(A) "His regime has had high-level contacts with Al Qaeda going back a decade and has provided training to Al Qaeda terrorists." December 2, 2002, Speech of Vice President Cheney at the Air National Guard Senior Leadership Conference.

MMM(B) "His regime aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda. He could decide secretly to provide weapons of mass destruction to terrorists for use against us." January 30, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney to 30th Political Action Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

MMM(C) "We know he’s out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda organization." March 16, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(D) "We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ’90s, that it involved training, for example, on biological weapons and chemical weapons ..." September 14, 2003, NBC Meet the Press interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(E) "Al-Qaeda had a base of operation there up in Northeastern Iraq where they ran a large poisons factory for attacks against Europeans and U.S. forces." October 3, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney at Bush–Cheney ’04 Fundraiser in Iowa.

MMM(F) "He also had an established relationship with al-Qaeda providing training to al-Qaeda members in areas of poisons, gases, and conventional bombs." October 10, 2003, Speech of Vice President Cheney to the Heritage Foundation.

MMM(G) "Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi intelligence services have worked together on a number of occasions." January 9, 2004, Rocky Mountain News interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(H) "I think there’s overwhelming evidence 9 that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government." January 22, 2004, NPR Morning Edition interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(I) "First of all, on the question of—of whether or not there was any kind of relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to; the evidence is overwhelming." June 17, 2004, CNBC Capital Report interview with Vice President Cheney.

M(2) Preceding the March 2003 invasion of Iraq the Vice President was fully informed that no credible evidence existed of a working relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda, a fact articulated in several official documents, including:

MMM(A) A classified Presidential Daily Briefing ten days after the September 11, 2001, attacks indicating that the United States intelligence community had no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11th attacks and that there was "scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with al-Qaeda."

MMM(B) Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary No. 044-02, issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, which challenged the credibility of information gleaned from captured al-Qaeda leader al-Libi. The DIA report also cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein–al-Qaeda conspiracy: "Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic evolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control."

MMM(C) A January 2003 British intelligence classified report on Iraq that concluded that "there are no current links between the Iraqi regime and the al-Qaeda network."

The Vice President subverted the national security interests of the United States by setting the stage for the loss of more than 3300 United States service members; the loss of 650,000 Iraqi citizens since the United States' invasion; the loss of approximately $500 billion in war costs which has increased our Federal debt; the loss of military readiness within the United States Armed Services due to overextension, lack of training and lack of equipment; the loss of United States credibility in world affairs; and the decades of likely blowback created by the invasion of Iraq.

In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.


MMMMMMMMMMMMMMArticle III
In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States, and done so with the United States proven capability to carry out such threats, thus undermining the national security of the United States, to wit:

M(1) Despite no evidence that Iran has the intention or the capability of attacking the United States and despite the turmoil created by United States invasion of Iraq, the Vice President has openly threatened aggression against Iran as evidenced by the following:

MMM(A) "For our part, the United States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible conduct of the regime. And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon." March 7, 2006, Speech of Vice President Cheney to American Israel Public Affairs Committee 2006 Policy Conference.

MMM(B) "But we’ve also made it clear that all options are on the table." January 24, 2007, CNN Situation Room interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(C) "When we—as the President did, for example, recently—deploy another aircraft carrier task force to the Gulf, that sends a very strong signal to everybody in the region that the United States is here to stay, that we clearly have significant capabilities, and that we are working with friends and allies as well as the international organizations to deal with the Iranian threat." January 29, 2007, Newsweek interview with Vice President Cheney.

MMM(D) "But I’ve also made the point and the President has made the point that all options are still on the table." February 24, 2007, Vice President Cheney at Press Briefing with Australian Prime Minister in Sydney, Australia.

M(2) The Vice President, who repeatedly and falsely claimed to have had specific, detailed knowledge of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction capabilities, is no doubt fully aware of evidence that demonstrates Iran poses no real threat to the United States, as evidenced by the following:

MMM(A) "I know that what we see in Iran right now is not the industrial capacity you can [use to develop a] bomb." Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, February 19, 2007.

MMM(B) Iran indicated its "full readiness and willingness to negotiate on the modality for the resolution of the outstanding issues with the IAEA, subject to the assurances for dealing with the issues in the framework of the Agency, without the interference of the United Nations Security Council.’’ IAEA Board Report, February 22, 2007.

MMM(C) "... so whatever they have, what we have seen today, is not the kind of capacity that would enable them to make bombs." Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, February 19, 2007.

M(3) The Vice President is fully aware of the actions taken by the United States towards Iran that are further destabilizing the world as evidenced by the following:

MMM(A) The United States has refused to engage in meaningful diplomatic relations with Iran since 2002, rebuffing both bilateral and multilateral offers to dialogue.

MMM(B) The United States is currently engaged in a military buildup in the Middle East that includes the increased presence of the United States Navy in the waters near Iran, significant United States Armed Forces in two nations neighboring to Iran, and the installation of anti-missile technology in the region.

MMM(C) News accounts have indicated that military planners have considered the B61-11, a tactical nuclear weapon, as one of the options to strike underground bunkers in Iran.

MMM(D) The United States has been linked to anti-Iranian organizations that are attempting to destabilize the Iranian government, in particular the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), even though the state department has branded it a terrorist organization.

MMM(E) News accounts indicate that United States troops have been ordered into Iran to collect data and establish contact with anti-government groups.

M(4) In the last three years the Vice President has repeatedly threatened Iran. However, the Vice President is legally bound by the U.S Constitution’s adherence to international law that prohibits threats of use of force.

MMM(A) Article VI of the United States Constitution states, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land." Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States.

MMM(B) The United States is a signatory to the United Nations Charter, a treaty among the nations of the world. Article II, Section 4 of the United Nations Charter states, "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." The threat of force is illegal.

MMM(C) Article 51 lays out the only exception: "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." Iran has not attacked the United States; therefore any threat against Iran by the United States is illegal.

The Vice President’s deception upon the citizens and Congress of the United States that enabled the United States invasion of Iraq forcibly altered the rules of diplomacy such that the Vice President’s recent belligerent actions towards Iran are destabilizing and counterproductive to the national security of the United States.

In all of this, Vice President Richard B. Cheney has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as Vice President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore Richard B. Cheney, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

______________
*The number of people in the United States, according to this site, as of the time I uploaded this post.



Saving Jessica Lynch with Lies

Private Jessica Lynch
Even Private Jessica Lynch knows that the U.S. government lies about everything. Listen to her refute the government's aggrandizement of her story.









Breaking Through the Editorial Wall

Generally, freelance copyeditors whose clients are mostly massive publishing houses don't get to speak directly with book authors; the in-house production editors, acquisitions editors, and other staff members get to do that. I'm lucky in that about half of my clients are authors and half are publishers, allowing me the chance to develop working relationships with talented authors.

The rationale for the wall between authors and freelancers who are handling projects for publishers is that being independent contractors, freelancers don't represent the publisher and so shouldn't speak for them or appear to do so. Freelancers haven't sat in on face-to-face and phone conferences between editorial staff members and the author; they don't know how many revisions a manuscript has gone through before it reaches their desk, and they don't know what the acquisitions editor has asked the author to do in revisions. They don't know about any politics associated with the manuscript, so it's possible that in speaking directly with the author, they might promise something that the publisher isn't willing to provide.

With all that in mind, I was surprised recently to get an e-mail from Therese Fowler, the author of Souvenir, a love story that's due out from Ballantine in the U.S. in 2008. She'd noted that I was the freelance copyeditor who worked on her manuscript, so she'd written to ask how best to conduct her review of my editing. Though I followed protocol and directed her to the production editor for her book at Ballantine, we did have a pleasant e-mail conversation. I was so pleased to communicate with an author who hasn't been traumatized by an overzealous Miss Thistlebottom of a copyeditor and so respects my work. She even gave her okay for me to post some of her lovely comments on my web site: Hers are near the top right of this page.

Charmed by Therese's openness and respect, I searched to see whether she has a web site or blog. Her web site's still under construction, but bingo on the blog. I commented on this post, mainly to be able to compliment her writing publicly. Then, two days later, I was touched by this gift of a post. How many authors are kind enough to praise their copyeditor's work in public, much less explain for other authors what it's like working with a copyeditor?

It takes a special kind of courage and grace submit one's own work to others' critiques and polishing and not reject it all out of hand. I hope all copyeditors are given the humbling gift at least a few times in their career of working with such an author.

Updated 10:30 a.m., 4/27/07: Therese tells how she survived reviewing my edits. ;-)



publishing

Monday, April 23, 2007

Down to the Wire

It's 5 weeks till my daughter, Becky, is due to give birth. She told me today me that she can tell that the baby has dropped. And while at work yesterday, she was having some uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions. Which will come first—graduation from the social work master's degree program at SUNY–SB or giving birth?

She feels well; she doesn't have preeclampsia, as I did during my first pregnancy—the one that produced her. I'm so excited that she plans to breastfeed; I breastfed her and her two younger brothers. And she's come up with a solution to the cosleeping issue. Li, her husband, would be happy to have the baby sleep in the bed with them, as would Becky, but he's very afraid that he would roll over the baby and smother it. Becky found a bassinet that's the height of their bed and is like a little sidecar; it will open into their bed. Smart young woman, Becky is. :-)

I can't wait to see just how adorable my first grandchild will be!



Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Do the Feds Know What Meds You Take?

A political blog that I respect—AMERICAblog—has come to a disturbing conclusion after reading a report from ABC News about alleged Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui: The U.S. government may have a database showing every prescription drug that you, as an American, have bought.

I don't mind telling people—say, those who are discussing depression—that I take an antidepressant. My husband doesn't mind telling people—say, those who think only children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) or those who think there's no such thing as AD/HD—that he takes a controlled substance to manage his AD/HD. But that's our choice. It would never be our choice to voluntarily tell the federal government what meds we take.

Here is the paragraph in question, from the third page of the ABC News story:
Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government's files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.
Does this possibility bother you as much as it bothers me? I want to know how to find out whether there is a federal database. I want to know where it is and who has access to it.


Updated 5:58 p.m.: A little searching on USASearch.gov helped me answer my own wondering, to some extent. From this page, I learned that the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Justice Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-77). The legislation set up the PDMP to help individual states set up their own monitoring programs and encourages state programs to share data with one another. The drugs monitored are supposedly just controlled substances, such as the AD/HD meds taken by my husband and one of our sons. The PDMP's goals are (1) to cut down on "inappropriate" (who determines this?) use of controlled substances; (2) to decrease instances of doctor-shopping (going from one physician to the next and using fraud to get the desired meds); and (3) to increase cooperation among federal and state health, regulatory, and law-enforcement agencies.

This chart lists states with drug-monitoring programs. Here is more info, including what drugs are monitored and contact details for states with drug-monitoring programs. Here is what some states do with the info they obtain through their monitoring programs.

What's really important to know is that "disclosure of information [about what prescription drugs you take] under [s]tate [drug-monitoring] laws by providers or dispensers may place those parties in violation of HIPAA," the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, so you may have some grounds to contest your physician's reporting of your medications to your state's drug-monitoring program. Read this for more information on your privacy rights under HIPAA.

And the ACLU's rundown of what the government is allowed to know about your medications is essential reading.


Updated 5/22/07.



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oops! Bushco Did It Again

Nearly every day now comes new information that could be used to impeach Bush and Cheney. The latest White House ploy to be uncovered is worthy of "Tricky Dick" Nixon: about two dozen presidential aides have long been using Republican Party e-mail accounts so that they can get around a law that requires preservation of presidential records.

What this means is that oops, some crucial White House e-mails about the ouster of several U.S. attorneys have been lost.

Time for Congress to get moving on this perfect reason to oust a dangerously incompetent and dishonest president and a seriously deranged and dishonest vice president. There is so much at stake, in the U.S. and worldwide, that we can't just watch the clock wind down on the Bush presidency.

That it's taken everyone so long to see all the nefarious things that Bushco has been up to has driven me batty since GWB first stole into office. That closed-door meeting with Big Oil, pretty much right after the swearing-in ceremony, had me worried. As a former Texan, though not one who lived in that state during Bush's governorship, I knew he was a good ol' boy up to no good. I've been sure all along that that meeting was when the groundwork was laid for the Iraq war and the theft of Americans' civil rights. I'm sure I'll be proved right someday, though I won't be happy about that. It just saddens me that so many Americans want to remain ignorant of the truth. So many people can't all be stupid. They just don't want to have to think. But I can't imagine living on mental autopilot like that.




Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Isn't Congress Stopping This Tragedy?

Damn it! The U.S. now has a back-door draft, extending army tours of duty in Iraq to 15 months.

And reality-based bloggers like me have been screaming for years about the litany of evil things Bushco has done to our country and the world, but it seems as if no one's doing anything to stop it. Even conservative Republican Leo Iacocca (hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report) sees what a mess our idiot of a president has made of things, as he writes in his new book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I’ll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don’t need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?

I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. ... Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I’ll tell you what we didn’t do. We didn’t agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn’t agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that’s a dictatorship, not a democracy.
If Iacocca can figure this out, why can't Congress? All the polls show that Americans want the Iraq war stopped, yet Congress passes legislation that keeps funding it.

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm with Iacocca.



Monday, April 09, 2007

April Birthdays

My workload has been heavy lately, but I took some time out yesterday to celebrate my daughter's twenty-fourth birthday and my mother-in-law's seventy-second birthday.

Time for birthday cake

Becky and Dorie blow out the candles
on their cakes while Li, my son-in-law,
looks on.

Counting down till her due dateOnly about 6 weeks until Becky's
first child is due to show up!

Template created by Make My Blog Pretty