Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Alan Shore at SCOTUS

Now, I don’t usually watch this program, but I was taken with this scene. Now we all know that if anyone did this in oral argument before SCOTUS their client would be screwed, but a girl has to dream.

It is what we all wish for! You know, truth to power!

An Engineers Guide to Cats!

Thanks Jill.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Laura Berg and Sedition

It seems to me that our government is out of control. What is up with Americans? Have they lost their sense or were they always Stalinist?

April 27, 2008


Laura Berg’s Letter

The PEN American Center, the literary organization committed to free expression, is honoring an American most people in this country have never read or even heard of: Laura Berg. She is a psychiatric nurse at a Veterans Affairs hospital who was threatened with a sedition investigation after she wrote a letter to the editor denouncing the Bush administration’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war.

That’s right, sedition: inciting rebellion against the government. We suppose nothing should surprise us in these days of government zealotry. But the horror and the shame of that witch hunt should shock everyone.

Ms. Berg identified herself as a V.A. nurse when, soon after Katrina’s horrors, she sent her impassioned letter to The Alibi, a paper in Albuquerque. “I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government,” she wrote. “We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit.”

Her superiors at the hospital soon alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and impounded her office computer, where she keeps the case files of war-scarred veterans she treats. Then she received an official warning in which a Veterans Affairs investigator intoned that her letter “potentially represents sedition.”

It took civil rights litigators and Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico to “act forcefully” in reminding the government of the Constitution and her right to free speech. The Department of Veterans Affairs retreated then finally apologized to the shaken Ms. Berg.

Even then, she noted, one superior told her it was preferred that she not identify herself as a V.A. nurse in any future letter writing. “And so I am saying I am a V.A. nurse,” Ms. Berg soon boomed out in a radio broadcast. “And some of my fire in writing this about Katrina and Iraq is from my experience as a V.A. nurse.” Thus declared Ms. Berg, well chosen to receive the new PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award.

What she did was not sedition and is in fact protected by the 1st Amendment. Who are these people that are running our government? Clearly they hate America.

The McCain Way!

Free Labor! Because we all know that is what Prisoners are for.

Hannah Arendt on Douglas Feith?

M. J. has something to say:

The Banality of Evil: What Would Hannah Arendt Say About Doug Feith?

By M.J. Rosenberg - April 25, 2008, 7:24AM

Dana Milbank offers us a good take down on Douglas Feith, one of the two or three principal architects of the Iraq war.

typical of the ideologues and seekers after profit, feels no guilt whatsoever about the role he played manipulating intelligence to help lie us into the war. But he will give proceeds from his self-justifying memoir to help the troops his actions helped maim or kill. (Big deal. Feith comes from a very wealthy family).

People like me who, in addition to hating this war, are involved in helping Israel and the Palestinians achieve peace, have extra problems with Feith. Long before he decided that a US attack on Iraq would help Israel secure the West Bank, Feith had been a leading Likud activist in the United States. He is no more a Republican than Ariel Sharon was. Feith is all about "securing the realm" (his term for defending the Israeli occupation).

I do not believe that most of the architects of this war had Israel on their minds when they pushed the US into the war. Their goal was profits and the money keeps rolling in. But Feith is not a greedy man. He is a right-winger but in the Israeli context. For him, everything is about crushing the Palestinians. (He despised Rabin and did what he could to undermine him).

Of course, this angle rarely comes up in any of the MSM stories about Feith. But this man has done almost as much damage to Israel as to the United States.

I always wondered how he ever got a security clearance to serve at the Pentagon.

Anyway, it's lovely that Georgetown fired his disloyal ass. But that is not enough by any stretch of the imagination. 4000 American dead. Would they be alive if Feith had never been born? He should be sentenced to spend the rest of his life working with brain injured soldiers at Walter Reed. Many of them will never ever be released. He shouldn't be either.

Just a thought!

Learning Lessons, or Not!

In the early 70’s as a youngster I was the Head Bookkeeper of an S&L. Now, if anyone had asked me in the late 70’s and early 80’s about the proposed deregulating of the S&L’s I would have thought they were out of their mind. And it seems that I was right. But what did I know? I was merely someone who worked with the folks in charge and knew them to be mediocre, incompetent, and greedy at best.

Okay, so I was wrong, they were worse than mediocre, incompetent, and greedy. It turns out they were outright criminal.

Sound familiar?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Look for it in the General Election, because it has already started. Kristol, Lieberman and now Buchanan have done it recently. So, I doubt that McCain didn’t get the memo.

I was recently called a Communist by a raging red faced Republican. I was shocked and I reminded him that I wasn’t a Communist and never had been, but was in fact a DFH, you know a Dirty Fucking Hippy. At the time I was hurt and sad that it had happened.

Now I am grateful that he inadvertently gave me a heads-up.

Red-baiting: it’s all they have left.

A Vote for McCain

I keep hearing that a large segment of Obama and Clinton voters will vote for the opposition if their candidate doesn’t get the nomination. If your “Candidate” doesn’t win the primary and you vote for McSame you are Stupid and Counter-productive. It is just that simple. And of course you obviously hate America!

That said, let us all get together and celebrate the future.

Kevin Phillips: Bad news

I have been a big Kevin Phillips fan for a very long time, because I too am a former Republican and the other obvious reasons. My thoughts on Theocracy are pretty much in line with his. Look at this and tell me what you think.

Bad times for Repubs:

One can only hope!

I have been saying for years that the recent incarnation of the "Modern" Republican Party isn’t Republican at all, but totally radical and something all together different.

He also has much to say in his new book.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Torture: A Fish Rots from the Head Down!

We all knew it. Finally it is getting a little exposure. Here is the NYT’s Editorial:

April 20, 2008


The Torture Sessions

Ever since Americans learned that American soldiers and intelligence agents were torturing prisoners, there has been a disturbing question: How high up did the decision go to ignore United States law, international treaties, the Geneva Conventions and basic morality?

The answer, we have learned recently, is that — with President Bush’s clear knowledge and support — some of the very highest officials in the land not only approved the abuse of prisoners, but participated in the detailed planning of harsh interrogations and helped to create a legal structure to shield from justice those who followed the orders.

We have long known that the Justice Department tortured the law to give its Orwellian blessing to torturing people, and that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a list of ways to abuse prisoners. But recent accounts by ABC News and The Associated Press said that all of the president’s top national security advisers at the time participated in creating the interrogation policy: Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Rumsfeld; Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser; Colin Powell, the secretary of state; John Ashcroft, the attorney general; and George Tenet, the director of central intelligence.

These officials did not have the time or the foresight to plan for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq or the tenacity to complete the hunt for Osama bin Laden. But they managed to squeeze in dozens of meetings in the White House Situation Room to organize and give legal cover to prisoner abuse, including brutal methods that civilized nations consider to be torture.

Mr. Bush told ABC News this month that he knew of these meetings and approved of the result.

Those who have followed the story of the administration’s policies on prisoners may not be shocked. We have read the memos from the Justice Department redefining torture, claiming that Mr. Bush did not have to follow the law, and offering a blueprint for avoiding criminal liability for abusing prisoners.

The amount of time and energy devoted to this furtive exercise at the very highest levels of the government reminded us how little Americans know, in fact, about the ways Mr. Bush and his team undermined, subverted and broke the law in the name of saving the American way of life.

We have questions to ask, in particular, about the involvement of Ms. Rice, who has managed to escape blame for the catastrophic decisions made while she was Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, and Mr. Powell, a career Army officer who should know that torture has little value as an interrogation method and puts captured Americans at much greater risk. Did they raise objections or warn of the disastrous effect on America’s standing in the world? Did anyone?

Mr. Bush has sidestepped or quashed every attempt to uncover the breadth and depth of his sordid actions. Congress is likely to endorse a cover-up of the extent of the illegal wiretapping he authorized after 9/11, and we are still waiting, with diminishing hopes, for a long-promised report on what the Bush team really knew before the Iraq invasion about those absent weapons of mass destruction — as opposed to what it proclaimed.

At this point it seems that getting answers will have to wait, at least, for a new Congress and a new president. Ideally, there would be both truth and accountability. At the very minimum the public needs the full truth.

Some will call this a backward-looking distraction, but only by fully understanding what Mr. Bush has done over eight years to distort the rule of law and violate civil liberties and human rights can Americans ever hope to repair the damage and ensure it does not happen again.

Why isn’t this story on the front page of every newspaper in the country, if not the world?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Via Bill Maher!

This is where we are going folks.

And then:

Very interesting, No?

Condi Must Go.

This is brought to you without comment!

Roubini: Pay Attention!

I have been a Roubini fan for quite some time. Not because of his “Dr. Doom” moniker but because of his ability to connect the dots and to see the obvious.

And of course I am a total Calculated Risk fan.

Economically the future does not look good!

And notice it is on Canadian TV!

What “We don’t Torture” Really Means.

This is another episode of what Digby said.

Shame on all of us.

A Bitter Flap

Well the reviews are in on the pathetic ABC “Debate” between Barack and Hillary and it wasn’t a pretty picture. I think that Will Bunch from Philly put it best in his “Open Letter to Gibson and Stephanopoulos” and of course Shales was scathing.

So with that in mind read this post from Michael Winship on “Small Town” Bitterness.

Perspective is a good thing.

UPDATE: Isn’t this the Network that ran the $30 million dollar gift to the RNC before the 2006 election called “Path to 9/11?” Hmmm, Surprise, Surprise!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tax Day is Over, For This Year!

I don’t usually get a tax refund. I don’t mind paying taxes as I really like clean drinking water, a safe food supply, electrification, and the local gendarme’s, etc. But I do not believe in giving government a free loan. So, each year I write a check for a nominal amount to the U.S. Treasury. That said, here is Liberal Citizen’s take on taxes and more.

I love Andros and you should check him out more often.

Taxi to the Dark Side.

Torture: thy name is the United States. It is systemic folks, i.e. policy. Not just a few rogue folks. Start here and if you have a strong stomach go on.

We are all to blame if we don’t do something about it now.

But I guess you have to care.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not Looking Good!

The Economic Cassandras have been saying this for years and no one was listening or paying attention.

Joseph Stiglitz seems to think we are in big TROUBLE! It is hard to ignore the man’s take on this.

The current stimulus package is all about encouraging consumption. A lack of consumption is not our problem, over consumption is however. The President’s stimulus plan does nothing to deal with our real “crisis.” At best it will add to the already out of control deficit but it could also make our problems worse.

Tighten those belts?

Lessons From Back in the Day.

The campaign in 2000 was very informative as to what news about the candidates was relayed and the part comedy and the MSM played.

So, where do you get your news from?

Grover Norquist: Dick!

Deborah Solomon interviews him for the NYT’s Sunday Magazine. I had been hoping that the Abramoff Scandal would take him down.

A girl has to dream!


See it!

You won’t be sorry! It was so much better than I had thought it would be and it is very subversive in a way that I wasn’t even expecting.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

What He Said!

This post is long over due. Kevin Drum gives us a neat outlook on the current response to the economic situation. That said, Prof. Roubini has been giving us information and forward looking evidence on this situation for years and yet very few folks were paying attention.

There is no such thing as the Free Market and even if it did exist, it does not work. DUH!


If you aren’t reading him daily what is your excuse?


Dumbing Down!

It is surprising to me how so few Americans are totally interested in substance and facts. It maybe the rise of the 24/7 cable culture, but maybe not.

Think about what Pistoff Kristoff has to say!

Update: Susan Jacoby has a new book on this subject and she is right on.

I love Jim Kunstler!

Monday morning is one of my favorites. First of course is Krugman and then Jim does his weekly post on Clusterfuck Nation. How good does that get?

One of the most touching and wonderful pieces that I have ever read was his chapter in the Long Emergency on his father. Of course I loved him long before that. He is a sweetie and a crank and he lives in Saratoga Springs, one of my favorite towns. So he knows from whence he speaks. Saratoga is pretty much a walk-able town.

So, with that in mind here he is:

His critique on Saratoga Architecture is fabulous. And he is right when he says that consumers are different from citizens.

Now many see Jim as being a pessimist. I don’t think so.

Jim ends all his emails with “It’s all good.” These are not the words of a pessimist, but the words of an optimist. Jim has faith in our rationality.

Though, he could be just too much of an optimist when you consider Jesus of TYT’s opinion that the intelligence of the American public is far too over-rated. And of course you all listen to The Young Turks, right?

Who Knew?

Blogging can kill you? It must be true it is in the NYT’s. Well, as you all know it won’t kill me. Pressure, not so much. But then it never occurred to me to make any money at it.

MLK, R. I. P.

The Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Education as We Know It!

Does it kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson points out some of the flaws in our accepted educational pedagogy. This video is so much fun and so very obvious to anyone who is paying attention. Again I have to say, “Thank you Janis.” I obviously don’t go to TED often enough. Though, lately they have been having embedding issues. So if the embed doesn’t work go to the link and when queried about the script choose continue.

Update: I love this guy and what he has to say.