I had a brain fart this morning and accidently deleted the sql database that has all the contents of this blog. Unfortunately the last backup I did was three weeks ago. Fortunately Scott W at my hosting provider websitesource.com was able to find the last backup from last week and get the database restored for me within about an hour. I was missing the last 5 posts but fortunately my bloglines subscription still had those cached, so I just did some cutting and pasting and I’m back. I’ll definitely be doing more regular backups from now on especially before I start messing with anything on my site.
Don Rumsfeld needs to be fired immediately. Yesterday during a Pentagon briefing he decreed that the press should no longer be referring to the insurgents in Iraq as insurgents. Ever since the end of the invasion in April 2003, the Iraqiâ€™s that have been fighting back against the US occupation have been referred to as insurgents. Now Rumsfeld says:
This is a group of people who donâ€™t merit the word `insurgency,â€™ I think
According to Dictionary.com an insurgent is defined as:
I suppose that if you consider that neither the current Iraqi government nor the American occupation force might be considered an established authority, then the forces fighting against the American military might not qualify for the term insurgent. Of course by this argument the â€œIraqi governmentâ€ doesnâ€™t qualify for the term either. It seems that the shrub administration thinks it can finally defeat the insurgency by simply redefining them out of existence.
During the same briefing the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. Peter Pace got into a disagreement with Rumsfeld about the mistreatment of prisoners.
A reporter asked Pace what U.S. commanders in Iraq are supposed to do if they find Iraqi forces abusing prisoners. Pace replied that if inhumane treatment is observed it is a service memberâ€™s duty to stop it.
â€œI donâ€™t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it _ itâ€™s to report it,â€ Rumsfeld said, turning to Pace.
Replied the general: â€œIf they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.â€
Don Rumsfeld is a total embarassment and disgrace. The attitude of this asshole permeates down through the ranks and has lead to the abuses that have occured at Gauntanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. It is good to see Gen. Pace standing up to Rumsfeld and saying what is right. He is setting the right example for the troops. Hopefully the troops will hear these words and know it alright to do the right thing and not follow illegal orders. It is never right to torture and abuse prisoners. It is also counter productive. When your enemies hear about these practises it just hardens them against you. Just look at the situation in Israel and Palestine. The Israeliâ€™s have been torturing Palestinian prisoners for decades and it has not stopped the violence there. US and Iraqi troops have been torturing prisoners for the last three years and the insurgency has only gotten worse over time. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all their cronies need to be removed from office and put on trial for war crimes. America needs to cleansed of this plague.
One of my favorite elements fo podcasting is the story telling. There are some amazing story tellers on podcasts. This has become something of a lost art in recent years but clearly they arenâ€™t all gone. Two of the best are Matt from Digital Detroit Radio and P.W. Fenton from Digital Flotsam. Mattâ€™s show is a mix of music and stories. He plays various podsafe music and tells funny stories about the silly and ridiculous thing that he encounters in everyday life. The kind of silly and ridiculous things that happen to all of us. A prime example was on his show 58 when he told a tale of going to supermarket and having to pick up some teen magazines that his wife needed for a presentation. Matt has a great delivery and his stories are almost always very funny. P-Dub has a wonderful way with words and his stories are always really heartfelt and make me smile.
P-Dub is different. Each show has a different theme and he tells a longer form story. The most recent show #28 has a couple of wonderful thanksgiving stories. The shows typically run about 25-30 minutes. He interperses segments of the story with some music. This part unfortunately has caused P-Dub some grief recently. Not all of the music he used in the first 26 episodes was podsafe. Thanks to the incredible stupidity of the executives at the big record companies, he has taken those shows down off of his site. He explains why in episode # 27. I have most of the the older shows archived and if you are interested in hearing any of them, let me know and I will send them to you. Hopefully P-Dub wonâ€™t mind. I particularly recomend the brain-dead edition where he explains why all young boys are brain-dead and the follow-up where he tells of the not so young in the Florida legislature who are also brain-dead.
Go give both Matt and P-dub a listen. You wonâ€™t regret it.
Over on AmericaBlog they have an interesting post today on the possibility of removing shrub from office. The 25th amendment to the constitution deals with circumstances of removing or temporarily replacing the the president if the the president dies or becomes incapacitated. It reads as follows:
Twenty-Fifth Amendment – Presidential Vacancy, Disability, and Inability
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principle officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
In general, I would love to see shrub yanked for being mentally incompetent. However, at this point in time, the treatment may well be worse than the disease. If the president is removed, the vice-president takes over. And handing the reins to Tricky Dick II is not a thought I can stomach. Now if the big time dick is indicted and is forced to resign, that opens up a whole new ball game. If the democrats in congress can grow some balls and actually have some impact on the selection of a replacment vp, then the 25th amendment might actually be a palatable alternative.