More filtered news

“Why should I care about North Korea?”  In State of Denial, Bob Woodward recounts a conversation between then-Gov. George W. Bush and then-Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar, in which Bush wonders why he should care about North Korea. “I get these briefings on all parts of the world,” Bush said, “and everybody is talking to me about North Korea.” 
Was the test a dud? Arms Control Work says maybe so.   "Don't despair over North Korea's nuclear test. It's part of Our Leader's plan to build a case for bombing Iran. Why would Our Leader bomb Iran to punish North Korea? For the same reason he attacked Iraq to punish Al Qaeda. It's what emperors do."
What the GIs are saying  A Marine officer writes home to his family and friends about life in Iraq. Two excerpts:

Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."

Filtered news 10/9/06

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison Amazing how our Founding Fathers figured this out 200 years ago, and yet there are still 36% of Americans now that don't get it?
"If Karl Rove wants a piece of me he knows where he can find me."
... General Clark, our candidate in '08?
Now let's talk about love and courage Link Excerpt: As the Amish victims were laid to rest, tales of selfless heroism emerged of one victim who reportedly asked killer Charles Roberts to "shoot me first," to buy time for her classmates. ABC News reported that the oldest victim, Marian Fisher, reportedly stepped forward and told Roberts to gun her down in a bid to save her classmates. "Shoot me first," Fisher said, ABC quoted Rita Rhodes, a friend of the victims. Fisher's younger sister Barbie, who survived, then reportedly said : "Shoot me second."\

Filtered news 10/5/06

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. ~~Aristotle
"Everyone knows that Congress people are assigned to committees based on their great weakness. Why would Senator Ted Stevens---a man more comfortable in the horse and buggy era---be in charge of regulating the Internet, which he believes is a series of tubes? A series of tubes though which other congressmen can reach through and fondle 16-year-olds."
---John Oliver on The Daily Show

"I have the latest on the Mark Foley sex scandal. Apparently, new evidence that just came out shows that former Congressman Mark Foley once engaged in Internet sex with a former page while a vote was being taken in the House. Apparently, instead of voting 'Aye,' Foley voted 'Oh God yes!'" ---Conan O'Brien

More filtered news 10/4/06

Bush's current approval rating: 39% (Source: NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll)

Nope, can't see that we need the ACLU in this country... This deserves more attention. A man walking with his young son goes up to the Vice President at a public appearance and tells him his Iraq policy is "reprehensible." He's later arrested for "assaulting" VP Cheney. Now he's suing. The guy's name is Steve Howard.

Here's a snippet from the Rocky Mountain News ...

You Gotta Respect a Teacher that's Packing Heat

Okay - so it appears that at least one of our state legislators (Frank Lassee, R- Bellevue) thinks that the answer to the recent school violence is to give guns to the teachers . Why not the students, too? I'd like to see someone try to mess with a school full of kids with gats.

Why is it that to some people the only answer to the guns and violence issue is more guns? Will that really make us all feel safer about our kids in school?

Filtered news 10/4/06

Greedy corporate SOBs trash national treasure Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Just a tragedy.
"We have thrown away the most valuable
asset we had -- the right to oppose both
flag and country when he believed them
to be in the wrong."
-- Howard Zinn, Link
The Blood Trade For a whole lot of people in a whole lot of places, this really is a friggin horrible world. Hard to look at it any other way. Be glad you have a computer and electricity and wifi and food and clean water and laws and that sort of thing. Real glad.

Filtered news 10/3/06

A personal note:  A few years ago I did something I'm proud of.  I started promoting the idea of establishing an official Poet Laureate for Wisconsin (yes, yes -- I'm sure they'll dig it up some day -- I confess to being a poet).  It took years of pushing, but we got 'er done.  Requests pour in from around the state for the laureate to visit schools, give readings, appear at ceremonies, etc., so the state's leading writers group has set up an endowment fund to cover the $500 a year.  They need to bank $10K to earn the $500 a year in interest, and right now they're at $6,400.  If you can slip 'em $5, $10, maybe more, please do.  And tell them Russell sent you.  Make the check out to:  Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.  Mail it to:  Poet Laureate Fund c/o Jane Hamblen, 3515 Sunset Dr., Madsion, WI 53705.  And thank you.
Just askin'  Is it me or is all hell breaking loose in this country's politics? We're in the last month of an election cycle and there are maybe four or five stories, each of which could totally dominate the national political news on their own. And each is flaming out of control at once. You've got the Foley debacle. The revelations in the Woodward book. The NIE revelations that almost seem like old news now. A major part of the pre-9/11 story that somehow never saw the light of day and may bring down Condi Rice. And did I mention the election?

Things you can count on the Republican leadership to screw up:  The deficit. Body armor. Medicare reform. Social Security reform. The minimum wage. Port security. The National Guard. Diplomacy. The Geneva Conventions. Fair elections. Clean elections. Intelligence. Protecting the Constitution. Protecting the Bill of Rights. Government transparency. Oversight. Separation of church and state. The middle class. The poor. Tax reform. Tax cuts. Bankruptcy law. Global warming. Disaster management. Defeating terrorists. Saying no to lobbyists. Saying yes to public opinion. Pre-war planning. Post-war planning. Competence. Civil rights. Civil liberties. Civil debate. Veterans' benefits. Hiring based on ability. Legal surveillance. Morality. Energy policy. Energy independence. End-of-life decisions among spouses. Inclusion. Learning lessons from history. Learning, period. Drug policy. Fiscal responsibility. Trusting the generals. Trusting the spooks. Trusting the experts. Basic honesty. Basic health care. Education. Creating jobs. Keeping CIA operatives' identities secret. Catching Osama. Playing nice. Playing fair. Refilling ice cube trays. Making paper airplanes. Or coffee. Tying their shoelaces. Making friends. Blowing their noses. Counting to ten five three. Sharing their toys. Telling the truth. Uniting the country. Protecting underage kids from a predatory congressman.

More filtered news

As always, no claim to original work. Just cutting and pasting from the "nets."


Best of the week's editorial cartoons Bob Geiger
Dueling soundbites

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Inaugural Address
March 4, 1933

"The only thing we have is fear."

George W. Bush
Radio Address
September 30, 2006

Who would Jesus torture? Randall Balmer relates the results in a Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed:

Torture, Habeas Corpus, and The American Way

I've been trying lately to say more about Wisconsin and less about the country as a whole - but it's difficult. There's plenty wrong in Wisconsin, but it's just nothing compared to what the dolts we seem to have elected to Congress and The Presidency keep doing to us. So indulge me for a few minutes.

I used to think I actually understood what America stood for (at least in theory). I could quote the founding fathers and great US politicians and thinkers throughout the ages, but what's the point? The crux of the matter is that our government appears to have decided that chucking everything that we have believed in as a nation is justified because we got scared.


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