Pro Life?

Updates below

This news is still breaking and speculation is running rampant right now but it appears that another abortion doctor has been killed because of his willingness to perform abortions. This time around controversial late-term abortion provider  Dr. George Tiller was gunned down while attending church in Wichita, Kansas.

I now will sit back and watch the circular logic sure to be used by anti-abortion groups to justify his murder especially if the killer’s motive revolves around Tiller’s abortion practice.

UPDATES: vjack has what I am sure is just the beginning of the responses I was expecting from what he calls the Christian terrorism that occurred in Kansas today.

(@Darkshore):

Karma is a beautiful thing. Cheers to the hero who sent George Tiller where he belongs…straight to hell.

And our local anti-choice zealot Paster Steve over at Voices Carry of course had to chime in with his “insider news” on the fate awaiting Dr Tiller in that imaginary place in the sky, or in his opinion, somewhere a little South of there.

It really doesn’t matter what we say about Tiller. It matters what God says. And the left can delude themselves into thinking Tiller is receiving heaven’s reward right now. We don’t know what that “reward” is but we do know the Bible says in this case it’d be better for Tiller to have had a millstone tied around his neck and thrown into the depth of the sea that to have done what he did in this life… keep children from LIFE.

And finally homophobe extraordinare Fred Phelps and his wingnut Westboro Baptist church congregation took time out from hating gays to celebrate the murder and announce that they will be picketing a Tiller vigil.

GOD HATES BABY KILLERS. SERIAL MURDERER GEORGE “TILLER THE KILLER” IS DEAD! GOD SENT THE SHOOTER! NOW TILLER GETS TO EXPLAIN HIMSELF TO HIS VICTIMS! WBC TO PICKET “VIGIL TO SUPPORT TILLER’S FAMILY AND FRIENDS”
(ENABLERS!).

Sun., May 31, 2009, 7:15-8:00 pm
Old Town Square, North Mosley & East
Douglas Ave., Wichita, Kansas

Bloody Beast Obama and his vampire-like cabinet member Kathleen Sebelius are to blame for the murder of Dr. George Tiller! They use their power and platform to enable him and others to kill millions of unborn or just-born babies. Tiller has killed some 65,000 babies, and thought he could do that with impunity. He could not have done this without the lying, slimy big mouths of these two evil little horns.

Can you feel the love?

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The Cheney Doctrine Debunked Again, This Time By A Cookie

With each passing day, Dick Cheney’s use of fear and deception to justify the old administration’s use of torture comes unraveled a bit further. I have already documented that just about everyone that has been on the receiving end of waterboarding deems that it is torture and now the old administration’s chief military mouthpiece, General David Petraeus, admits it as well.

In a recent interview Petraeus admits that he believes that not only did the US violate the Geneva Conventions with their torture program, the “doomsday” scenario they used to defend the harsh practices was BS as well because the standard Army interrogation techniques were generally enough.

The head of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, said Friday that the US had violated the Geneva Conventions in a stunning admission from President Bush’s onetime top general in Iraq that the US may have violated international law.

And

Asked about a “ticking time bomb” scenario — which is often employed by torture’s defenders — Petraeus said that interrogation methods approved for use in the Army Field Manual were generally sufficient.

“There might be an exception and that would require extraordinary but very rapid approval to deal with but for the vast majority of the cases our experience… is that the techniques that are in the Army Field Manual that lays out how we treat detainees, how we interrogate them, those techniques work, that’s our experience in this business,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the US prison at Guantanamo Bay has inflamed anti-US hostility.

Oh and about that cookie. It seems that one of the interrogation techniques employed by the US that worked involved the use of a sugar free cookie.

Abu Jandal had been in a Yemeni prison for nearly a year when Ali Soufan of the FBI and Robert McFadden of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service arrived to interrogate him in the week after 9/11. Although there was already evidence that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks, American authorities needed conclusive proof, not least to satisfy skeptics like Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose support was essential for any action against the terrorist organization. U.S. intelligence agencies also needed a better understanding of al-Qaeda’s structure and leadership. Abu Jandal was the perfect source: the Yemeni who grew up in Saudi Arabia had been bin Laden’s chief bodyguard, trusted not only to protect him but also to put a bullet in his head rather than let him be captured. (See pictures of do-it-yourself waterboarding attempts.)

Abu Jandal’s guards were so intimidated by him, they wore masks to hide their identities and begged visitors not to refer to them by name in his presence. He had no intention of cooperating with the Americans; at their first meetings, he refused even to look at them and ranted about the evils of the West. Far from confirming al-Qaeda’s involvement in 9/11, he insisted the attacks had been orchestrated by Israel’s Mossad. While Abu Jandal was venting his spleen, Soufan noticed that he didn’t touch any of the cookies that had been served with tea: “He was a diabetic and couldn’t eat anything with sugar in it.” At their next meeting, the Americans brought him some sugar-free cookies, a gesture that took the edge off Abu Jandal’s angry demeanor. “We had showed him respect, and we had done this nice thing for him,” Soufan recalls. “So he started talking to us instead of giving us lectures.”

I don’t think we’ll be seeing this on Cheney’s list of approved techniques anytime soon, no pain involved.

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Why Do I Continue To Blog?

From time to time I ask myself this question and for a time I really couldn’t come up with a good answer so I took a break and refocused.

While I am back with this all new endeavor, I still ask myself that question almost daily. I certainly don’t make any money and in fact since I am self hosted, it costs me money. It doesn’t bring me any fame as I choose to blog somewhat anonymously (though my secret is out) and even chose to give up my spot on KELO’s local blogging project. So why do I go through the hassles of doing this on a somewhat regular basis?

I do it because of the well known extremists in our local blogosphere that say things I just can’t let go.

I do it because our local blogosphere isn’t well represented when it comes to atheists and agnostics.

I do it because I still enjoy politics and political discussion.

And finally I do it because we have idiots like Ray Comfort and his buddy Kirk Cameron (yes that Kirk Cameron) who once tried to prove that god existed by using a banana. The same Ray Comfort who now tries to infer that evolution is false, not for any reason our local bible thumpers would use, but because Adolf Hitler believed in it (okay maybe they would use that reason as well).

That’s why I blog…at least for now.

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Rush Doesn't Listen To…Rush

Now I am sure that few will be surprised by this but considering Rush Limbaugh’s constant railing against Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, it is fitting.

As Right Wing Watch notes, Limbaugh has yet to have a kind word to say about Sonia Sotomayor calling her everything from a bigot to a racist to an anti-constitutionalist. But interestingly Limbaugh somehow forgot his comments back in 2005 when the Republican’s were the ones trying to get Supreme Court nominees confirmed.

I’m tired of these Democrats acting like they won the election. Somebody needs to stand up and say, “When you win the election, you pick the nominees. Until then, shut up! Just shut up! Just go away! Bury yourselves in your rat holes and don’t come out until you win an election. When you win an election, you can put all these socialist wackos, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, all over the court, but until then, SHUT UP! You are really irritating me.”

Ok Rush as you so aptly said just 4 short years ago, SHUT UP! You are really irritating me.

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Sign Of The Day

I am sure that if you have visited any of our fine(?) local bible thumping homophobic blogs since yesterday you have already discovered that much to their glee, the California Supreme Court has done a complete 180 and upheld the state’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage.

While this certainly isn’t the best news for those wanting equal rights for all, I honestly believe that this is only a temporary setback. With that said though, this protest sign certainly seems fitting right now.

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Again Thank You Mom And Dad

I pretty much thank my parents daily for providing me with a loving environment growing up along with the freedom to think for myself. After all I could have lost the parent lottery and grown up with the fanatics behind this letter to Ann Landers daughter, Margo Howard’s advice column.

Dear Margo: Our daughter started college a year ago, and we’ve noticed during her visits home that she’s not the sweet, innocent girl we sent away for higher learning. We raised her with strong Christian beliefs, but lately she’s saying that she’s joined an atheist club on campus and is questioning everything we taught her. Now my husband refuses to let her in the house and is threatening to turn her in to the FBI. I’ve tried to cure our daughter and reconcile with her, but nothing seems to work. I’ve prayed over her at night while she sleeps, enlisted friends in a phone prayer tree and even spoken to my priest about the possibility of an exorcism. I’m at my wits’ end. How can I recover my daughter and keep her from hell? — God-fearing

Appropriately Ms. Howard basically tells this fanatical mother to chill out and let her adult daughter think for herself for maybe the first time in her life but I am curious as to how long the FBI would have stayed on the phone talking to this girl’s father before they threatened to arrest him for wasting their time?

I must remember to give mom a call tonight and thank her again.

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Say What Leslie?

Our favorite abstinence nut is in the news again this time telling us that she never wanted to “suck on the government teet” and is happy to be rid of the restrictions that came with public funding. Obviously after hearing that most did a double take and Cory over at the Madville Times puts that “say what!?” moment into words.

I cannot conceive of telling lies as big as the ones Leslee Unruh is willing to put in the press. To lie that big, I would have to abandon any sense of a coherent, integral self.

Leslee Unruh has actively lobbied to win federal funding for her preferred social programs. She has praised such funding. And now she says she never liked that federal funding. Nothing describes this turn of phrase more aptly than one word: lie.

What’s next from Leslie? She is for womens rights? Abstinence education works? She doesn’t wear any makeup? Whatever it is I am sure it will be just as comical.

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How Stupid Are Democrats?

The Republicans in Congress including our own Republican Senate hypocrite John Thune, beat back President Obama’s latest attempt to fulfill a campaign pledge to close Guantanamo Bay by scaring Democrats and the American public into backing down.

How?

They simply played on the fears of many in regards to putting these Guantanamo Bay terror suspects on US soil.

The American people don’t want these men walking the streets of America’s neighborhoods,” Sen. John Thune, R-S. D., said Wednesday. “The American people don’t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either.

Of course they wouldn’t be walking around free in our neighborhoods as Thune suggests, in fact what is rarely mentioned is that they would be joining the numerous terror suspects that are already here and rotting in our prisons

But the apocalyptic rhetoric rarely addresses this: Thirty-three international terrorists, many with ties to al-Qaeda, reside in a single federal prison in Florence, Colo., with little public notice.

Detained in the supermax facility in Colorado are Ramzi Yousef, who headed the group that carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993; Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Ahmed Ressam, of the Dec. 31, 1999, Los Angeles airport millennium attack plots; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, conspirator in several plots, including one to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Wadih el-Hage, convicted of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

The GOP sure has the fear technique down don’t they? Warrantless wiretaps, torture, closing Gitmo…all they need to mention is “terrorist” in front of a patriotic picture and we are putty in their hands (and our Constitution becomes simply a piece of paper with fancy writing on it).

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Dick "Torture Is Good" Cheney Debunked

Human Rights First has released a fact sheet debunking many of former VP Dick Cheney’s assertions from his speech at the American Enterprise Institute that claimed “enhanced interrogation techniques” otherwise known as the US torture program used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay were successful.

FACT SHEET: Vice President Cheney Debunked

Today, former Vice President Cheney continues his pro-torture public relations tour with a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.  His listeners can expect to hear more arguments for the use of torture and abuse.  What they won’t hear from Vice President Cheney is that national security experts overwhelmingly disagree with his assessment about the value of resorting to abusive policies.  Those with experience conducting interrogations, leading forces in the military, and doing the work of keeping America safe overwhelming reject the use of torture.

Vice President Cheney says torture prevented attacks following 9/11. Repeatedly, Vice President Cheney has said that information gained by torturing detainees has been crucial in helping the government “defeat or disrupt all further attempts to strike the homeland” (ABC News, Dec. 16, 2008). He says without torture, “we would have been attacked again” (Politico.com, Feb. 4, 2009). Cheney even goes so far as to say that removing the ability to use torture is making the nation less safe. He said Obama is making choices that “raise the risk to the American people of another attack.” (CNN, March 15 2009.)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: FBI Director Robert Mueller says that isn’t the case. When Vanity Fair asked if torture prevented additional attacks, Mueller said “I don’t believe that has been the case.” (Vanity Fair, Dec. 16, 2008).
  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Interrogator says the use of torture has led to American deaths in Iraq. Military interrogator Matthew Alexander says that it is torture that is recruiting for the enemy: “I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq… It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.” He goes on to quantify the costs of torture: “The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me — unless you don’t count American soldiers as Americans.” (Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2008)
  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: “This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it. (Charles Krulak and Joseph Hoar, Washington Post Op-Ed, May 17, 2009)

Vice President Cheney says that crucial information has been revealed through torture. “Well, I would say that the key to what we did was to collect intelligence against the enemy. That’s what the terrorist surveillance program was all about, that’s what the enhanced interrogation program was all about.”(CNN, March 15 2009)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Experienced interrogators says torture doesn’t “work”. Fifteen former interrogators from both the CIA and FBI stated in a statement that “the use of torture and other inhumane and abusive treatment results in false and misleading information, loss of critical intelligence, and has caused serious damage to the reputation and standing of the United States.” (“Top Interrogators Declare Torture Ineffective in Intelligence Gathering,”  June 24, 2008)
  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Even Jesse Venture knows that the information revealed through torture cannot be relied upon. As Jesse Ventura, former Governor of Minnesota, puts it, “You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” Jesse Ventura has in fact been water boarded in preparation for his service in Vietnam. He says, from personal experience, that it constitutes torture. (CNN, May 12, 2009)
  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: Abu Zabaydah said he gave up false information simply to stop being tortured. In his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, the tribunal president asked him: “So I understand that during this treatment, you said things to make them stop and then those statements were actually untrue, is that correct?” Abu Zubaydah replied: “Yes.” (Combatant Status-Review Tribunal” at Guantánamo, March 27, 2007)

Vice President Cheney claims that a “wartime situation” justifies torture. Cheney says that after 9/11, methods of law enforcement were no longer applicable. After 9/11, he said it was a “wartime situation.” Such a situation, according to Cheney, justifies using all your “intelligence resources, your military resources, your financial resources, everything you can in order to shut down that terrorist threat against you.” According to Cheney, the wartime situation justifies the use of torture. (CNN, March 15, 2009)

  • Vice President Cheney Debunked: General David Petraeus rejects torture. In a letter to his troops in Iraq, General Petraeus clearly states that torture is not only illegal, but also not useful and not necessary: “Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly extreme physical action can makes someone “talk;” however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manuel (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.” (Letter to the Troops, May 10, 2007).

Former Vice President Cheney’s daughter, Liz Cheney, justifies torture in the context of a ticking time bomb situation. She says “We are talking about a situation when there are imminent threats against the united states so if you to me, this guys has got information that is going to save your kid’s life and my kids’ lives, that is going to keep this country safe, but we gotta water board him to get it, I got no problem with that.” (MSNBC, May 12, 2009)

  • Liz Cheney Debunked Ticking time bomb situations are fictional, according to a former CIA officer. A retired senior CIA officer said in an interview with David Rose that “Nobody in intelligence believes in the ticking bomb. It’s just a way of framing the debate for public consumption. That is not an intelligence reality.” In his article, Rose reported that the officer said that inside the CIA, “there was hardly any argument about the value of coercive methods” (Vanity Fair, Dec. 16, 2008)

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Human Rights First is a non-profit, nonpartisan international human rights organization based in New York and Washington D.C. Human Rights First believes that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will stem tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.

Thanks to vjack for the link

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Verizon claims to have the best coverage in America and you would think that excellent coverage would come in handy when trying to find a missing Verizon customer. It probably would be useful unless of course the missing Verizon customer in question just so happens to be behind on his bill that is.

Williams said he attempted to use the man’s cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff’s department agreed to pay the overdue bill. After some disagreement, Williams agreed to pay $20 on the phone bill in order to find the man. But deputies discovered the man just as Williams was preparing to make arrangements for the payment.

Luckily the man was found and ended up being ok but I am guessing this would be one exception to the rule about all publicity being good publicity. Do you think the following quote from the local Sheriff Dale Williams will be appearing on Verizon marketing literature anytime soon?

“I was more concerned for the person’s life,” Williams said. “It would have been nice if Verizon would have turned on his phone for five or 10 minutes, just long enough to try and find the guy. But they would only turn it on if we agreed to pay $20 of the unpaid bill. Ridiculous.”

Somehow I doubt it.

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