Sunday, August 13, 2006

Reaching for the L-word

The following letter was submitted to the Highlands Ranch Herald on August 13.
It seems that yet another of your readers just cannot resist reaching for the L-word when they feel the impulse to attack someone. This time, Keith Wanklyn berated Debi Smith-Racanelli because he doesn't like her views about rodeos, claiming that "...her obvious liberal/foolish views are a problem we are all facing in today's world."

Well, Keith, I am a liberal who grew up on a farm in Iowa, and I am no stranger to the working end of a pitchfork. I enjoy a juicy steak and fried bacon as much as the next person. I don't have a problem with rodeos, and I have even been known to watch them in person and on TV. As long as the animals are treated humanely, I say "Ride 'em, cowboy!"

The next time one of your readers feels the need to disagree with someone, I suggest that they make use of the brainpower that God gave them to make a rational argument, and leave the name-calling to pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter. They are professionals, after all, and they sure don't need any help from amateurs.

Monday, August 07, 2006

House Judiciary Committe: Bush is a crook...

At the direction of Rep. John Conyers, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have produced a new report entitled, "Unlawful Domestic Surveillance and Related Civil Liberties Abuses under the Administration of George W. Bush." From the summary:
In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration; and approved domestic surveillance that is both illegal and unconstitutional. As further detailed in the Report, there is evidence that these actions violate a number of federal laws, including:

• Making False Statements to Congress, for example, saying you have learned Iraq is attempting to buy uranium from Niger, when you have been warned by the CIA that this is not the case.

• The War Powers Resolution and Misuse of Government Funds, for example, redeploying troops and initiating bombing raids before receiving congressional authorization.

• Federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, for example, ordering detainees to be ghosted and removed, and tolerating and laying the legal ground work for their torture and mistreatment.

• Federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals, for example, demoting Bunnatine Greenhouse, the chief contracting officer at the Army Corps of Engineers, because she exposed contracting abuses involving Halliburton.

• Federal requirements concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence, for example, failing to enforce the executive order requiring disciplining those who leak classified information, whether intentional or not.

• Federal regulations and ethical requirements governing conflicts of interest, for example, then Attorney General John Aschcroft’s being personally briefed on FBI interviews concerning possible misconduct by Karl Rove even though Mr. Rove had previously received nearly $750,000 in fees for political work on Mr. Ashcroft's campaigns.

• Violating FISA and the Fourth Amendment, for example intercepting thousands of communications "to or from any person within the United States," without obtaining a warrant.

• The Stored Communications Act of 1986 and the Communications Act of 1934, for example, obtaining millions of U.S. customer telephone records without obtaining a subpoena or warrant, without customer consent, and outside of any applicable "emergency exceptions."

• The National Security Act, for example, failing to keep all Members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees "fully and currently informed" of intelligence activities, such as the warrantless surveillance programs.
The full report can be downloaded here.

It's a very curious thing, but the so-called liberal media has completely failed to cover this story. A search on Google News turned up a single article at the National Review, which is hardly a bastion of Liberalism.

However, I'm sure Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh will be all over this very soon, just as soon as hell freezes over...