Archive for March, 2008

President Bush‘s refusal to outlaw torture may lie in the fact that we have been torturing hapless victims that we hold without even a chance for criminal proceedings to take place. This is a story of a German citizen – on a religious pilgrimage – who was picked up off a bus on his way to the airport in Pakistan trying to return home to Germany. He was pulled off the bus by a Pakistani police officer who turned him over to U.S. intelligence who was paying $3,000 a head for suspicious foreigners from there he was loaded onto an airplane bound for a U.S. base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There he was given the identity of “#53″. If they had listened to the FBI, U.S. and German intelligence then he would have been released from his outdoor pen in subfreezing weather and allowed to go home. Instead he was questioned everyday then when his answers did not satisfy them they turned to torture to try and extract the information they wanted from him. But he steadfastly stuck to the story of only traveling in Pakistan and not having any knowledge of al Qaeda or the Taliban. He claims to have had his head dunked into water and beat in the abdomen at the same time, shocked by electricity until numb then hung by his arms from chains for days on end with the only respite being when they would bring in a doctor to check to make sure he could take a little more. This is terrible how can our government allow something such as this to happen? I know they are going to deny that this man was ever tortured but they will have a hard time denying that he was held captive. He was first picked up in 2001 and did not gain release despite the fact that intelligence agencys said he was no threat to the U.S., sometime in 2002 at Guantanamo -where he endured more beatings and was chained to the floor – a memo was written saying “USA considers Murat Kurnaz?s innocence to be proven. He is to be released in approximately six to eight weeks.” Three and one half years later he was finally released after the Supreme Court had ordered in 2004 that inmates at Guantanamo were eligible for legal counsel despite what the Bush administration had claimed. That was when he was surprised by the visit of a lawyer who helped gain his release ,after debunking some of the ridiculous charges that had been laid onto him since his arrival.

If this is indeed true then we are harboring war criminals plain and simple. After WW II we charged and prosecuted war criminals who had used some of the same tactics on our soldiers. The question is how far up the chain of command does this go? Does anyone even think to realize how this makes us look to other nations? The world? How dangerous it becomes for our military now that it appears that we not only allow torture to go on but it is sanctioned by the highest leader in the military and President of the United States?

See 60 Minutes interview with Murat Kurnaz.

The two remaking Democratic hopefuls Hillary and Obama continue to fight on, doing nothing more than elevating McCains chances of being elected. The dream team of the two of them joining forces and running together would almost assure a Democratic victory in November. We all know that is a pipe dream now though a very good one if they would open up their eyes to the truth and not let their egos get in the way of good sense. I have said this all along since the time Hillary was the top contender and still feel that way today. The worst thing that could happen to this country right now would be four more years of Bush’s failed policies being continued by McCain if her were to win the White House in November. I am not a die hard Democrat but an independent minded voter who tries to vote with my head and not my heart. And right now my head tells me that we have went through too much with Bush from the lies that started a war we have little chance of winning to the loss of our freedoms and the increase in Presidential powers despite what the constitution says.

I thought by now that I would be up and running with all my links and sources readily available to me by now. But alas the parts to rebuild my computer finally came in on Tuesday at which time I discovered I would need a new power supply for 24 pin ATX style. Well after a trip to town and obtaining the new power supply the motherboard would not boot up much to my disappointment. So it means that I have to survive without my computer and the ability to span my desktop across two monitors for a minimum of a week or more. What really stinks about the deal is they held me up for an additional 20 bucks for prompt RMA service. Otherwise it could take up to 21 days according to the information they sent me. So you can imagine that I am not very pleased with and am not recommending them to anyone.

I have had problems with my fibro acting up at the same time as this but am not going to blame me not posting all these days on it. My routine has been broken and I was reluctant to do it any other way. What I would normally do was to write my posts in Nvu and then paste the results in here. That allowed me to more easily insert links and text changes to my posts. I am going to try and insure that I post more regularly even though my computer is not working still and not let you, my readers, down.

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Today five years ago we as a nation invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq. At the time we were led to believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction pointed at us and our allies. Our military, the finest in the world, went through the Iraq's like a dose of salts through a widow woman. In a matter of a few weeks we had captured anything and everything worth capturing, but still - after five years - have not found those weapons of mass destruction that were supposed to have been pointed at us. We have seen that there was absolutely no plan in place for what to do after winning the ground war. Five years after invading them and having Bush stand on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln with a huge banner in the background stating mission accomplished. This is the same image that once graced the White House page but has since been removed as the mission has not been accomplished. What has happened is that nearly four thousand of our brave soldiers have been killed and countless many more injured for life. We have seen cronyism at its worst, as corporations like Halliburton - who the vice president is in bed with being a former vice president of the corporation and still a stock holder - were given no bid contracts. A free reign to grab up all the cash they could milk out of us the tax payers. And the abuses were terrible and have yet to have any repercussions. The wool was pulled over our collective eyes and we were deceived by President Bush and his administration. We investigate or our congress will investigate so many things that though they do matter seem trivial to this, will not investigate who did the lying to bring us to this point. Being the referee in a civil war. Being in the position as an invader - something no one would like in his or her country. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Leaving without security in place leaves a mess for the poor people in Iraq who have suffered mightily over the past five years. Staying only encourages more extremists to attack us as invaders and infidels. Any way we go we can't win. It is a lose lose situation. If only we had listened to voices of reason objecting to the invasion we might be ahead of the game still. Instead we are stuck in Iraq for now with no real solution in sight.

I know many of you may have missed me not posting anything since Saturday but we had torrential rain and severe lightning. Lightning hit our place here in South Carolina. I was away but according to my brother we got a direct hit. What I do know is that even with a surge protector power strip it still fried my mother board to my computer. At the same time it also got my sister in laws laptop. Double whammy here on the hill. Not sure if or when she will be able to get hers fixed but the good Lord willing I will have mine back up and running with a newer faster board and processor. I ordered a combo off of Ebay. I have ordered a Athlon X2 4200+ CPU. With motherboard and 2 gigabytes of DDR2 PC 4200 ram. That should have me moving again. It has onboard video but still has pci express slot so I can use my radeon video card and maintain my twin monitor set up. It is killing me to go back to a single monitor like I am doing right now. Hopefully I can keep this old junker running long enough to post tomorrow and the next days. I should be up and running for real again by the end of the week or first of next week depending upon the speed of the U.S Mail.

???? Today I was astonished by President Bush at his speech at the New York Economics Club. I listened intently to his speech and actually agreed with one statement about how terrible it is for someone to lose their home to repossession. I used to work for a bank and did exactly that except the homes were mobile homes and not stick built. 90% of the time the ones that lost the homes were long gone so I did not have to see them at all. And during some of the times there was someone still at the home I was able to help them out and allow them to catch up their payments so they could keep their home. I felt best about those times and hated it when we had to pick up homes that people had to move out of as we got there.

??? But I didn’t intend to tell you stories of me repossessing mobile homes. What I was so amazed about was the fact that I agreed with Bush at least once and then at the end of his speech I caught him telling the truth twice in a row. Man that must be some kind of a record. First he stated that we have done a terrible job as far as our energy efforts have been and then after that truth hood he followed that by telling the questioner that he was going to duck the rest of the question. Wow! It was amazing to me that he could tell the truth twice in a row like that. Wouldn’t it be nice if this started some kind of trend and all politicians would start telling the truth instead of telling us what we want to hear then doing just the opposite.

??? A new color comes out today. It is the new U.S. 5 dollar bill. The Treasury Department has updated the look of our $5 bills. You should see the bills with their touches of color added within a few days or weeks. They are in banks today and the trickle down effect will have you getting one in your change sometime very soon. The Treasury Department continues with it’s ongoing fight against counterfeiters with this newly designed bill. The design and added effects will make it very difficult to counterfeit five dollar bills any more. Lincoln remains on the front and the Lincoln Memorial remains on the back. To the naked eye, the most notable difference is color – splashes of light purple at the center of the bill that blend into gray near the edges. Small yellow “05″ numerals are printed to the left of Lincoln on the front and to the right of the memorial on the back. The Great Seal of the United States, which features an eagle and shield, will appear in purple to the right of the president’s portrait. Arcs of purple stars border Lincoln and the seal. The note also will feature an enlarged “5″ printed in high-contrast purple ink in the lower right corner of the back of the bill that will make it easier to read for vision challenged individuals. It also will have two separate watermarks (A large number “5″ watermark is located to the right of the portrait, replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Lincoln found on older design $5 bills. Its location is highlighted by a blank window incorporated into the background design. A second watermark ? a column of three smaller “5″s ? has been added to the new $5 bill design and is positioned to the left of the portrait) and a number of other high-tech changes to make it harder for counterfeiters to knock off.

??? The old $5 bills will continue to be accepted and recirculated until they wear out. Any U.S. currency issued from 1861 to present is still good for the complete face value.

face of five


back of five

??? First off I am apologizing to my regular readers who have grown to expect new material by me daily. As you may know I have fibromyalgia? and it has really been digging its spurs into me these past few days. It is hard to deal with a disease that causes chronic fatigue and pain and there is no cure for it. These past few days have been especially rough on me. With me barely even feeling up to getting out of bed. Plus it is an invisible illness so people will look at you and say there is nothing wrong with you short of laziness.

??? It has now been 9 weeks without smoking for me. This week has been one of the worst since the first days though. With me feeling bad and so sore you barely can stand wearing clothes that you begin to feel sorry for yourself and start to reach for that cigarette. I have weathered the storm so far with the smoking. It was tough though especially with smokers all around me. I have had maintain my will power. I hope that those of you that are also quiting smoking with me are able to maintain and not start back to smoking. I know how hard it is not to fall back into that trap.

The shameful presidency of Bush has fallen to a new low – even for him. President Bush has vetoed legislation on Saturday that would have outlawed waterboarding – a technique that simulates drowning when interrogating terror suspects. Bush says it will harm the governments ability to prevent future terrorist attacks. The bills supporters assure us that the government can still gain information via interrogation while maintaining our high moral standing at home and abroad. Waterboarding is a known method of torture. We should be above that. We signed the original UN charter that prohibits torture amongst member nations. But that is too inconvenient as far as Bush is concerned. Even though it is a known fact that torture yields unreliable information as a rule. The tortured will tell their interrogator anything at all that they think they want to hear so as to stop the torture.

In a statement Friday, Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. said, “President Bush‘s veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency. Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world.” This will make us look bad to allies and enemies alike. Hopefully Congress will override his stupid veto.

I am a Charter Communications customer and very happy with them. They give me great service for my Internet with it constantly speeding along with my connections. I connect to web pages with my charter connection with blazing speed. Well right now they have great opportunity coming up with an auction with no reserve for Charter High-Speed Internet for Life. Imagine how cool that would be. You would have Charters great high-speed Internet for the rest of your life without another bill for it – ever. This will be a no reserve auction starting at just ten dollars. All you need to do is register and bid and you could be the winner of this fabulous package. I don’t know how much it will go for but I intend to attempt to win it for myself if possible. All you need to do is to register with Charter so you can become a bidder. All you need to do is fill out their online form. If you preregister now you even have a chance to win a Nintendo? Wii?. The winner will receive a Nintendo Wii Console, Wii Stand, 5 Sports games ( Boxing, Baseball, Tennis, Golf and bowling), 1 Remote Controller, 1 Nunchuk Controller, 1 Sensor Bar, 1 Wii AC Adapter, 1 Wii AV Cable. Click Here for a Chance to Win a Nintendo? Wii?! Visitors will have the chance to bid on Charter High-Speed? Internet for Life. To register you must be in a Charter serviceable area and qualify by zip code. Only visitors able to receive Charter High-Speed? Internet services at their residence will qualify to bid. Bids start at $10. For complete Auction and Sweepstakes Rules follow this link.