Category Archives: Bushiness

Bush Says America Should Thank Telecoms

If you're not aware of this already, Bush authorized the NSA to spy on Americans without a warrant (which is illegal, duh). He's managed to keep Congress from impeaching him somehow and, emboldened by his victory, he's even pushing to protect giant telecommunications companies like AT&T from the lawsuits that have sprung up against them for participating in the spying.

[Bush] Now the question is, should these lawsuits be allowed to proceed, or should any company that may have helped save American lives be thanked for performing a patriotic service; should those who stepped forward to say we’re going to help defend America have to go to the courthouse to defend themselves, or should the Congress and the President say thank you for doing your patriotic duty? I believe we ought to say thank you.

Well… I guess he has a point. Let me try:

"Thank you Telcos for helping Bush to violate our rights violently and repeatedly for years".

Wait, I don't think I did that right. Let me try again:

"Thank you Telcos for scrambling to cover your butts as much as possible and helping to shield our corrupt leadership from direct responsibility".

Dang. Maybe this time:

"Thank you for treating our privacy and personal rights as so much cow dung to be buried and stepped upon as you see fit".

You know, I don't think I can get the hang of this.

(H/T to Digg.com for the link)

House Lets Surveillance Law Expire

Good for them! They have more guts than the senate at least. Let's hope they're smart enough to block any bills that have retro-active immunity as well.

Bush of course, did not take the news well and accused them of being terrorist supporters as usual:

“Our intelligence professionals are working day and night to keep us safe, ? Mr. Bush said, “and they’re waiting to see whether Congress will give them the tools they need to succeed or tie their hands by failing to act. ?

So says the #1 enemy of American freedom (or #2 if you count Congress). Thanks Bush.

(H/T to Privacy.org for the link)

Bush Sneakily Snakes his Way Around a New Law

The new law requiring better compliance with the Freedom of Information Act has been effectivly neutered by a sneaky move from Bush.

"Bush proposed shifting a newly created ombudsman's position from the National Archives and Records Administration to the Department of Justice. Because the ombudsman would be the chief monitor of compliance with the new law, that move is akin to killing the critical function, some members of Congress and watchdog groups say."

"Justice represents the agencies when they're sued over FOIA . . . It doesn't make a lot of sense for them to be the mediator,"

Yeah America.

(H/T to Digg.com for the link)

Our Once Great Nation – Author Unknown

I had this forwarded to me by a co-worker and I suspect it's making the rounds on the Internet. It's a small rant about how our problems today aren't with our leadership, it's with our attitudes and values as a people. There may be some truth in that, but this guy takes it way too far. See for yourself:

'You ain't gonna like losing.'
Author unknown.

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But
the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq .

Bush's mistake came in his belief that this country is the same one
his father fought for in WWII. It is not.

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression. The
country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still
believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had
elected their leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those
leaders.

Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied
behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them
or not or whether the war was going badly or not.

And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as
it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than
we have had in the entire Iraq war. But that did not matter. The
people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty.
Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to
win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in.
Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for
the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy
stamps for war bonds to help the effort.

Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or
condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their
work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from
gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little
complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the
President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat
actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators
of hostile countries and complain to them about our President.
Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the
troops' morale. And a bunch even enlisted.

And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off
with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our
troops!

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots
in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum
damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were
doing to catch spies.

A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had
complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by
being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation
by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected
to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity
in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crackheads, dope
pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of
terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the
courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still
the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.

It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and
Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11,
but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country
would require some sacrifices.

We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They
believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not
convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over
three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists
cause…Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many
potential recruits.

So…we either win it – or lose it – and you ain't gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall.

To which I say:

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq.
I agree that allowing a dictator to flaunt our demands only teaches him to ignore our demands. I do not agree that going to war against the wishes of most of our allies was a good idea.

Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.

Publicly, partiallly because of social norms, and partially because of lack of publishability I expect. Now, even the lowliest citizen can get on a blog and speak their mind and this is a good thing, not bad. It doesn't necessarily follow that because there wasn't much public complaint that it means that the people were supportive of our country and the war.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President.
Our president then was Roosevelt who worked hard to fix the ills of common people gonig so far as to have weekly radio "fireside chats" where he shared his opinions with the public, inviting scrutinty and feedback. His new deal programs lowered unemployment from 20% to 9% in just 4 years (preceeding WW2 since that created many new jobs not related to Roosevelt's work). He was a pioneer in civil rights and made several concrete advancements in society and the military for minorities. "Roosevelt has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest U.S. presidents in historical rankings" (Wikipedia).

On the other hand, we have Bush. His signing statements challenge more federal laws than than all other presidents in history combined. He has elevated our national debt more than all other presidents in history combined. He has been the champion of laws that remove our personal privacy and freedom in the name of national security such as the Patriot act and the Military Commissions Act. He has told us that we should allow violations of the law in the name of national security and to challenge him is to be a "traitor" or "unamerican". His office "loses" critical evidence, his appointees are awash with scandals, he uses torture, but won't call it torture, and he even commuted the sentence of his friend who had been convicted of a crime.

Of course there will be a difference in the radio coverege.

And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!

I think that supporting the troops and teaching the factual reasons why we should support our country and what makes it great is critical and a current hole in our education system. To imply that the pledge of allegiance and prayers accomplishes this is false.

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage.
Good point.

No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies. A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

Which is why terrible abuses of power and persecution of innocents occured and still occurs. These practices always need to be questioned especially in the cases where torture and imprisonment are used without proper cause (such as the case with the Japanese internment camps and recently with Guantanimo). No reasonable person cares what we do to actual terrorists to get information, but stop pretending it's not torture.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism.
I can't agree with this. I think he's made many, many mistakes.

It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.

This assumes a lot. There happens to be a vast amount of people in America and the vast majority are still honest, decent people. We united and are still united in that terrorism must be stopped and that there's no justification for the killing of innocent people. However, we are divided in what it takes to accomplish that. There are some who say "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" – Benjamin Franklin.

For real progress, for true advancement of our nation and a reversal of the slip-slide we've seen in the last generation, we need to make our country something to be proud of again. We need a leader who will hold government agencies to task for abuses, not encourage them. We need someone who has the guts to veto laws he doesn't agree with instead of just passing them and issuing signing statements. We need someone who knows what a good law is when he sees one.

We need leadership in congress that's not so stuck up their rears about getting reelected and worrying about their bank account to do the right thing. People who will impeach a President for his crimes rather than threaten and bluster, but never actually take any action. We need laws that protect the interest of normal people rather than big businesses. We need government agencies to be funded when they work, and dismantled when they don't.

We need schools to be based on learning, not on testing. We need kids to be taught more about the world and our own country so they can see for themselves what makes us great and where we are lacking. We need to teach them that we don't have to (and shouldn't) accept incompetent courts, congress, or exectutives that all of these things can and should be challenged.

We are a nation of the people, though our nation seems to have forgotten that for the most part. To attacking detractors and those those who speak out is the very definition of traitor in my book. There is no word more vile than "heritic" for it means it's wrong to think and to question.

The biggest problem I have here is that this author has a rosey view of the past when it really wasn't that way. Ok, it seems that we were more patriotic as a nation, but there was rampant segregation and prejudice and womens rights were non-existant. I'm sure there are other better examples, but I don't really want to research it right now.

Bush Countdown Clock

Ok, so there's a bunch out there already, but they don't give you the code, they want you to point your browser to their code. I don't want to do that. So here's my own counter that you can freely use and modify. Please keep the link back to this site though (or at least credit me somewhere nearby). Enjoy 😀

Since Congress is too gutless to Impeach the Bush, here's how much longer we have to suffer under his rule.


Target:
Now:

And here's the code to run it:

<script>
then = new Date();
then.setFullYear(2009)
then.setMonth(1);
then.setDate(20);
then.setHours(12);
then.setMinutes(0);
then.setSeconds(0);


function printDate(aDate)
{
	toReturn  = aDate.toLocaleString();
	return toReturn;
}

function countIt()
{
	now = new Date();
	
	document.getElementById("then").innerHTML = printDate(then);
	document.getElementById("now").innerHTML = printDate(now);
	document.getElementById("counter").innerHTML = Math.round(((then-now)/1000))+" seconds and counting...";
}

</script>


<div style='width:350px; border:2px solid black; background:white; padding:10px; font-align:justify;' >
Since Congress is too gutless to Impeach the Bush, here's how much longer we have to suffer under his rule.
<hr/>
<div style='font-family:arial; font-size:12pt'>

<table>
<tr><td>Target:</td><td id=then align=center></td></tr>
<tr><td>Now:</td><td id=now align=center></td></tr>

</table>
</div>
<hr/>
<div id=counter style="width:100%; text-align:center"></div>
<div style='font-size:8pt;width:100%; text-align:center'>

<a href="http://www.jeremyduffy.com/top-issues/president-george-w-bush/">About Bush</a> |
<a href="http://www.jeremyduffy.com/bush-countdown-clock/">Get this counter</a>
</div>

</div>

<script>
setInterval("countIt();",1000);
</script>

syntax highlighted by Code2HTML, v. 0.9.1

White House Illegally Deleted Over 10 Million E-mails

Over 10 Million e-mails were deleted during historically important time periods (also periods where corruption and incompetence have been alleged). How convenient that they're "missing".

Either way, count another law broken by the Bush administration.

(H/T to Digg.com for the link)

Greece Shows US How It’s Done

When the police in Greece used a surveillance camera network to monitor demonstrations, the head of their Data Protection Authority (along with the deputy head and two others) all resigned in protest.

Too bad our leaders don't have the same level of integrity. We can't even get our new attorney general to admit that waterboarding is torture.

(H/T to Privacy.org for the link)

Summary of White House E-mail Issue to Date

This covers it pretty well. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, watchdog groups sued the Whitehouse for records that they believe will prove that Bush and company lied and generally did bad things. The Whitehouse claims to have deleted all e-mail records from that time.

Imagine that.

Blackwater Offered Immunity

You may have noticed I don't talk about the War much, but this caught my attention. Blackwater, a private security firm (read: mercenaries) is in trouble for having shot some people (I apologize for the huge over-simplification).

Anyway, the State Department is offering them immunity. Here's the problem: immunity means that it doesn't matter if they're guilty or innoncent, there will be no consequences for their actions. Even if you were to assume that the Blackwater guards were put there with little actual training and couldn't be held to the same standards as our military, there should be consequences for the people who made the decision to send them there in the first place.

But judging on history, they'd get immunity too. No one will be held accountable while Bush is in office.

Update

CNN has responded to the hype that the "immunity" stories caused by releasing this article explaining that it was a limited immunity deal that would not have stopped prosecution. Read the full articles for details.

Bush Blackmails Congress

Bush is threatening to veto any wire-tapping bill that comes to him without language that retroactively provides immunity to the telecommunication companies (like AT&T) for their part in the illegal spying fiasco.

Has anyone else noticed or is refusing to sign a law because of a provision that technically has nothing to do with said law considered blackmail? If it's not, it's certainly a tantrum at the least.

(H/T to Privacy.org for the link)

Bush Administration Bungles Formerly Successful Anti-terror Program

No I'm not talking about the illegal spying, but the case of the Al-Queda video that was discovered before it was publicly released. The problem is that the disclosure of the video alerted Al-Queda that their networks had been compromised. While I read about this news yesterday, what I didn't know was that it was the Bush administration who is responsible for the leak.

Congress Finally Taking AT&T (etc.) to Task?

Now that Congress has officially started to investigate the role of major telcom companies in illegal spying, the question is, "will anything finally come of it?"

At this stage, they've only sent letters asking about their involvement and whether they knowingly broke the law under the promise of protection from litigation from the executive branch. If they actually answer truthfully, things should get interesting.

AT&T to Cancel Service of Anyone Who Criticizes Them

The new Terms of Service agreement from AT&T is really something. If you get caught bad-mouthing AT&T, you could find yourself with no service.

Translation: "conduct" that AT&T "believes" "tends to damage" its name, or the name of its partners, can get you booted off the service. Note the use of "tends to damage": the language of the contract does not require any proof of any actual damage.

First the spying issue, then the privacy issue, now this. I sure as hell won't be using any AT&T products or services any time soon and I recommend that you don't either.

Remembering 9/11 – And It’s After-affects

I remember the morning of 9/11. I was getting ready for my first day of work at Best Buy and we saw the buildings on TV as I grabbed my stuff and went out the door. I hardly cared at all.

It was years later when I visited the Oklahoma City bombing memorial that I finally understood the tragedy that took place that day. It took seeing the rubble, the mishapen building, and cluttered former workspaces of the building accross the street to really get it. I realized that people, even strangers accross the country, matter. Every one of them had a life and a family, both of which was taken by someone with no right to do so.

Remeber this: if you are ever asked, "what is evil", there is one unarguable answer: harming innocents.

Today, while there are moments of silence and observance accross the country and around the world, don't forget to say a prayer for the secondary victim of the crime. The United States of America, under rule of Bush, has taken a beating day after day for 6 years because of the administration using 9/11 as a justification to tear down the balance of government and the rights of citizens.

Collateral damage has left poor Miss USA battered, broken, and bruised and I can say with certaintly that given the two, Bin Laden or George Bush, it is the latter who has hurt us more.

After 6 Years and Tons of False Posittives, the TSA No-Fly List Caught One! (OK, Not Really)

Reading the wikipedia page, you can find that the No-fly list was implemented on 9/11 2001 and ballooned from 16 names to over 40,000. There have been many false positives including children and some famous people (fortunately some of whom are congress members).

According to this story, all the millions of dollars, the time wasted, and the frustration was worth it (I am, of course, being sarcastic). The man described in this article is actually Gerry Adams, a spokesman for the Irish Republican Movement.

It's because of suspected past ties to the IRA that he has been flagged eternally for extra security checks and constant harrassment. Read the story for a well written example of such which includes this awesome quote:

I hand the FBI young gun a copy of my travel schedule – a document that has been in the possession of the US state department for the past month or so.

"Huh," he says. "Why are you going to the White House, sir?"

"To see the president."

"Huh. Why?"

"He asked me," I say evenly.

Awesome irony. Bush's guest doesn't get to come to see him because of the worthless security system that is largely Bush's fault.