,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Senator Larry Craig - Another Two-faced Republican Exposed

A report dated August 27, 2007, in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill Newspaper, stated: "Craig Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom but Says He Did Nothing Wrong." The incident took place on June 11, 2007.

That was about Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho. If it were not for their public positions about moral values one could feel sorry for people like Senator Craig. It must be difficult to repress your sexual feelings and present a sham facade in public. They froth at the mouth talking about evils of free sexuality. And the more strongly they denounce homosexuality, women's right to choose, and sex between unmarried couples, deeper the hole they dig for themselves. But they keep on doing it.

Against gay rights, against abortion (women's right to choose); against sex education (teaching of the use of condoms) in schools, against availability of the Morning After Pill (Plan B) without prescription to women over the age of 18, and a leading Republican gets caught soliciting sex in a public restroom! Bunch of hypocrites.

Monday, August 27, 2007


AG Gonzalez and President Bush Faced Reality

Bye bye Freddo

Earlier this morning Associated Press reported from Crawford,TX, about expected announcement of the resignation of AG Alberto Gonzalez. It took a while to sink in but President Bush realized that his attorney general's position had become untenable. The AG himself read a short statement a few minutes past 7:30 confirming the report. He didn't take any questions. Later, The President, in his statement, offered high praise for Gonzalez.

  • THE PRESIDENT: This morning, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced that he will leave the Department of Justice, after two and a half years of service to the department. Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. And I have reluctantly accepted his resignation, with great appreciation for the service that he has provided for our country.

Who Will be the Successor

The nominee for the position will face a quite different Congress than AG Gonzalez did. Much as the president would like to have an attorney general for whom loyalty to him would take first place, that might not happen. The Senate Judicial Committee will not, cannot, rubber-stamp the president's choice. DHS Chief Michael Chertoff's records are far from laudatory. He will be in turbulent waters during the confirmation hearings.

Among the names being mentioned as possible candidates is former Missouri senator John Danforth. Danforth had also briefly served as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. While Danforth might be well received by Democrats, for conservative Republicans that very fact would be a black mark against him.

The President's Vacation

Unlike previous years there was no announcement from the White House about books that the president took with him to read during his vacation at Crawford. One can understand that the president has enough on his plate to keep him occupied but the reading list, consisting mostly of weighty tomes, always caused surprise. Maybe the man has hidden depths. Too bad that this summer he is not enlightening his mind with books.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


"Morning After Pill" Back in the News


Despite opposition from White House against the action, the FDA could not withhold approval for sale of Plan B (known as the Morning After Pill) without prescription to women over the age of 18. It was made available as an over-the-counter drug on August 24, 2006.

David Crary of Associated Press reported on August 22,2007:

In the year since it was approved for over-the-counter sales, the morning-after pill has become a huge commercial success for its manufacturer, but its popularity and solid safety record haven't deterred critics from seeking to overturn the milestone ruling.

The pill, marketed by Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. as Plan B, was the focus of bitter debate for three years. After repeated delays, the Food and Drug Administration declared on Aug. 24, 2006 that customers 18 and older should be able to buy it in pharmacies without a prescription.

Barr began distributing the over-the-counter version last November, and all national pharmacy chains now stock it. The company projects that sales of Plan B will total about $80 million for 2007, almost double the total for 2006 and up eightfold from 2004, when Barr acquired the product as a prescription-only drug.

A clear indication that more and more women believe they should be able to enjoy sex without fear of unwanted pregnancy. The usual suspects, however, are up in arms about over-the-counter availability of Plan B. The Catholic Church and pro-life groups (among them Concerned Women For America) have joined together in attempts to overturn the FDA's ruling. The home page of CWA, based in Washington DC, contains this declaration:

  • "CWA is built on prayer and action.
  • We are the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 28-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy."

Well, one would think that women who follow CWA's Biblical principles could simply stay away from Plan B.

"(Before sex) "Dennis: Look, even if you did get pregnant, I'd marry you.Odette: Do you believe in centralized government or states' rights ?
Dennis: What? Odette: I just want to know the kind of guy I'm marrying.
Dennis: I'm starting to get the distinct impression you don't want to do this anymore."
---From Sarah Kernochan's 1998 film "Strike"(also released as "All I Wanna Do")


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


On the Road to 2008: The Dark Side

The presidential contenders on what I think of as the dark side are almost without exception a group of warmongering, bigoted champions of divisiveness, catering to their core supporters. Are their sons and daughters serving in Iraq? Don't ask. In the meantime, from the heartland to the coasts young men and women from ordinary American families are dying every day for the war that Bush-Cheney and the neocons gave us. Karl Rove is gone from the White House but continues to play the same old song.

From skewed tax cuts to the war in Iraq and women's right to choose, Republicans' positions are full of distortions and hypocrisy. They are adept in spreading fear. While their personal lives are far from exemplary, Republican politicians wrap themselves in the flag, wave the bible and talk about patriotism, morality and god. They want a victory in Iraq but cannot offer a clear definition of what "victory" means to them. They half-heartedly criticize the way the war has been managed but do not question the justification for it. They have decided to ignore the facts that are known about the lies used by the president to take the nation to war. And except for Giuliani they are falling over each other for support of the anti-choice voters.


How is the president's war going? Fourteen American soldiers died today in a helicopter crash in Northern Iraq, bringing the total to 3722, including 64 this month. Source: iCasualties.org

Jonathan Steele in The Guardian:

  • Like Bush, Maliki has become a lame duck. Bush of course can stay in office for another 17 months. Maliki can also stagger on in charge of a minority government, since no other Iraqi seems able or willing to put a different coalition together. And, for all his tough talk about seeing Maliki replaced, Bush is doomed to go on supporting him. A vacuum in Baghdad would look even worse in American voters' eyes.
  • In one sense, the crisis only confirms what has been clear for months. Whoever sits in the Green Zone in nominal charge of Iraq's government has little power or authority beyond its walls. Bush's political project for Iraq looks more fragile than ever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


On the Road to 2008

The Democrats

No mud slinging....yet. The contenders are doing their thing, jockeying for position, with Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) at the head of the pack followed by Senator Barack Obama (IL). Do they excite you ? Is there one who sounds different than other politicians who have gone through it before them ? To be fair one must face the fact that the process allows them little room for being outside the mainstream. The issues and the voters require the candidates to follow the beaten path.

Although she is low on my list I'll vote for Senator Clinton if she wins the nomination. Senator Obama, too, has failed to make much of an impression. Where I'm concerned, it is John Edwards of North Carolina whose voice rises above the din. Yesterday, the presidential contenders appeared at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, for a debate. International Herald Tribune reported:

Twittering Musafir

Explored twittering web sites. Full of chatter, most of it just that....chatter. There is need for some people to be able to say things off the top of their heads and twittering sites offer them the platform for doing so. The process is evolving and could be an important part of the world wide web.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Karl Rove - The Architect or Turd Blossom ?

Karl Rove * President Bush * Iraq Casualties

Karl Rove exits center stage. That, however, does not mean that he will quietly settle down somewhere. We are going to hear of him in a new role......perhaps as adviser to one of the Republican presidential contenders. The nefarious, Machiavellian Rove served the president well by capitalizing on divisive issues and orchestrating dirty tricks. Some one like Milt Romney, who seems to like every bad thing that President Bush has done, would be happy to add Rove to his team.

As to the president's pet names for Rove, "Turd Blossom" is more appropriate by far than "the architect".

  • Turd Blossom, according to partisans of Karl Rove and George Bush, is a Texan term for a flower which grows from a pile of cow dung. The term has gained notoriety in the United States as reportedly this is one of President George W. Bush's terms of endearment for his former chief political advisor, Karl Rove. Bush is also reported to call Rove by the nickname ”Boy Genius.“
  • Few, if any, native Texans would recognize this definition of 'turd blossom.' 'Turd blossom' was used in 1960s Texas high school slang to describe the spreading smell of a fart, or the spreading stain of a loose bowel movement. Neither Rove nor George W. Bush attended high school in Texas, and they may have been unfamiliar with the original use of the word. 'Fart blossom' was a common variant. (Source: Wikipedia)

How many more, Mr. President? Thirtysix (36) American soldiers died in the first 13 days of August. Names confirmed by DOD listed below. Cumulative total 3694. Source: iCasualties.org

Travis S. Bachman, 30, Army National Guard Sergeant 1st Class, Aug 01, 2007
Cristian Rojas-Gallego, 24, Army Specialist, Aug 02, 2007
Eric D. Salinas, 25, Army Specialist, Aug 02, 2007
Fernando Santos, 29, Army Staff Sergeant, Aug 02, 2007
Julian Ingles Rios, 52, Army National Guard Master Sergent, Aug 02, 2007
Cristian Vasquez, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Aug 02, 2007
Jaron D. Holliday, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Aug 04, 2007
Jason K. Lafleur, 28, Army Corporal, Aug 04, 2007
Braden J. Long, 19, Army Specialist, Aug 04, 2007
Matthew M. Murchison, 21, Army Private 1st Class, Aug 04, 2007
Dustin S. Wakeman, 25, Army Sergeant, Aug 04, 2007
Joey D. Link, 29, Air Force Technical Sergeant, Aug 05, 2007
Blackwell. Justin R., 27, Army Specialist, Aug 05, 2007
Jeremy S. Bohannon, 18, Army Private, Aug 05, 2007
Charles E. Leonard Jr., 29, Army Specialist, Aug 05, 2007
Juan M. Alcantara, 22, Army Corporal, Aug 06, 2007
Nicholas A. Gummersall, 23, Army Sergeant, Aug 06, 2007
Kareem R. Khan, 20, Army Specialist, Aug 06, 2007
Christopher T. Neiberger, 22, Army Specialist, Aug 06, 2007
Jacob M. Thompson, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Aug 06, 2007
Reynold Armand, 21, Marine Corporal, Aug 07, 2007
Jon E. Bonnell Jr., 22, Marine Sergeant, Aug 07, 2007
Donald M. Young, 0, Army Specialist, Aug 08, 2007
Joan J. Duran, 24, Army Staff Sergeant, Aug 10, 2007
William L. Edwards, 23, Army Private 1st Class, Aug 11, 2007
Justin Penrod, 24, Army Specialist, Aug 11, 2007



“I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so”
---Romain Rolland


Monday, August 13, 2007


Passages: August 2007

"August Is A Wicked Month", the novella by Edna O'Brien caught my eye the other day when I was looking at my collection of books. In the story, Ellen, a Londoner, went south to Provence in search of sun and sex. The blurb on the book jacket reads "....No writer in English is so good at putting the reader inside the skin of a woman." Very true. Some years back I carried the Country Girl Triology by Edna O'brien with me when I traveled to St. Albert (near Edmonton), Canada, to spend a week with friends. My friend, Sumana, and her husband wanted to show me the Canadian Rockies. We drove to Jasper, made our base in a rustic cottage at Maline and spent a few days driving around the area. Very enjoyable. I remembered that Sumana began reading the book and became completely engrossed in it. By the time we returned to St. Albert she had finished the book. I left it with her.

Here in the San Francisco Bay area, August is mostly a pleasant month. Sunny days, the daytime temperature usually hovers under 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° degrees C); the nights are cool. There are hints that we are halfway past summer....the days are getting shorter; the sun rising later in the morning.

The Beach House at Pajaro Dunes ©Musafir

August is when I join JHL and her family for the annual trip to the coast. We spend a week at Pajaro Dunes. The weather there is unpredictable. One cannot be sure of sun and warm weather but that does not prevent us from enjoying ourselves. The beach house where we stay is only about 50 yards from the Pacific. We walk on the beach, run, read, listen to music, bash Bush and the Republicans, have great meals and good wines. All too soon the week passes and we return to the valley with refreshed spirits, ready to face the end of summer.


Sunday, August 05, 2007


Hillary Clinton and Lobbyists

Politicians know more than others which side their bread is buttered. This became evident when Hillary Clinton vigorously defended taking contributions from lobbyists. She was like a virgin without memory. "Core principles", my foot.

Covering the Second Annual Kos Convention in Chicago, James Rainey of The Los Angeles Times reported:
Then there are lobbyists who are influenced by other special interest groups. The management of AARP, which wields considerable power as representative of elderly Americans, did not take much persuasion to support the president's Prescription Drug Plan which turned out to be a bonanza for the pharmaceutical and health care industries and does very little for Medicare recipients.

"The interests of business are diametrically opposed to those of the public."
---Dollars and Votes - How Business Campaign Contributions Subvert Democracy
by Dan Clawson, Alan Neustadtl, and Mark Weller
Temple University Press, 1998

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Good News for Bushies - Murdoch Acquires WSJ

Rupert Murdoch -- the Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox News Channel which is almost like an extension of the White House press office -- is going to be the new owner of the venerable Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ has a great stable of reporters who produce excellent articles about subjects not confined to the economy and financial sector. But the WSJ's editorials have been skewed for years to espouse the cause of the champions of free market. If Fox News Channel could be taken as an example, expect WSJ to tilt further right. The editors will be frothing at the mouth to oppose a national health care plan. Drug price regulation? Sacrilegious.

And, about Iraq they will be behind the president 100%. How can they not be? If it is good for the arms merchants and contractors like Kellog, Brown & Root (KBR) then it is good for America......and The Wall Street Journal.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Blogroll Me!