Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September 17th, 2007

We’re not the only ones worried about war with Iran

Posted by Charles II on September 17, 2007

Julian Borger, The Guardian:

The UN’s chief nuclear weapons inspector [Mohamed ElBaradei] yesterday warned against the use of force against Iran, in what UN officials said was an attempt to halt an “out of control” drift to war.

The UN site, unfortunately, appears to be running something like a week behind events, so I haven’t found a full statement.  

Posted in international, Iran | 1 Comment »

Re-stating the obvious re: Pakistan

Posted by Charles II on September 17, 2007

Lt. General Talat Masood, Dawn:

THE worsening situation in the tribal belt could be categorised as one of the foremost among the multiple challenges facing Pakistan. For all practical purposes, the state has lost its authority and is in full retreat especially in Waziristan and Bajaur. The Taliban and other militant groups having strong links with their counterparts in Afghanistan are in control.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in international, Pakistan, terrorism | Comments Off on Re-stating the obvious re: Pakistan

Blackwater Blacklisted

Posted by MEC on September 17, 2007

The BBC reports,

Iraq has cancelled the licence of the private security firm, Blackwater USA, after it was involved in a gunfight in which at least eight civilians died.

The Iraqi interior ministry said the contractor, based in North Carolina, was now banned from operating in Iraq.

I wonder what Bush will do to put his crony Erik Prince back on the Iraq money train.

Posted in Blackwater, Busheviks, corruption, Iraq war | Comments Off on Blackwater Blacklisted

Chipping Away at the U.S. Constitution

Posted by MEC on September 17, 2007

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Just in time for Constitution Week come a report that Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif) has cosponsored a bill to deny citizenship to some children born within the borders of the United States. Which children? You can probably guess: “brown” children, because, you know, there are hordes of pregnant women swarming the Mexican border just so their children can get Medicaid and a free education.

This mindboggling quotation from Lungren makes it clear that his target is Teh Brown People:

“If you have a chance to raise your child in the United States rather than Mexico for the foreseeable future, it seems to me I would rather raise them here in the United States,” Lungren said. “Some would say that is a natural instinct.”

There’s a “natural instinct” to migrate to the United States, is there? Could someone please explain to this man what an “instinct” is? On second thought, never mind. He probably thinks science is a librul conspiracy.

Lungren’s ignorance of biology is at least equalled by his ignorance of the Constitution. His bill contradicts the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

Got that? All persons. Nothing in the Amendment or in the entire Constitution defines citizenship as determined by the status of one’s parents.

Mr. Lungren claims there is a precedent for creating exclusions, i.e., the children of foreign diplomats and representatives born in the United States are excluded from citizenship.

That’s a bad example, because that exclusion is created not by legislation but by the wording of the Amendment itself. “Foreign diplomats and representatives” have varying degrees of diplomatic immunity, depending on their rank, which means by definition that they are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. Therefore, the Fourteenth Amendment inherently does not apply to them.

Ah, but the bill addresses that very issue: it would redefine who is and is not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States government. As Mr. Lungren says in his Congressional web site:

The Birthright Citizenship Act states that a person born in the United States shall be considered ‘subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States if born of parents, one of whom is a citizen or national of the U.S.; an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States whose residence is in the United States; or an alien performing active service in the armed forces. The children of those unlawfully present would not qualify for birthright citizenship.

What are the implications of saying that certain people are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? If the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause doesn’t apply to them, how about federal laws? Can we, logically or legally, say that a person is subject to jurisdiction if that person isn’t subject to jurisdiction?

I’m sure that Mr. Lungren and his cosponsors don’t intend to create a class of people against whom federal laws cannot be enforced. Quite the opposite, in fact; they’re intending to create a class of people to whom a Constitutional right does not apply.

Will the exemption from the jurisdiction of the United States apply solely to the Constitutional Amendment at which it’s aimed? Or can it be extended to other parts of the Constitution? Corporations and owners of large estates might find it very convenient to have a class of people defined by law as not protected by the Thirteenth Amendment.

What’s your real purpose here, Mr. Lungren? Protecting the country from illegal immigration — or making “involuntary servitude” legal again?

Posted in Constitution, Republicans, rights, wrong way to go about it | 13 Comments »

Just Because This Needs Pointing Out

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 17, 2007

This is a little late, but I wanted to do this to make sure this guy gets more Google hits:

An actual historian blows apart the lies built into the wingnut Frank Miller’s big fat self-hating homoerotic projectionist steaming piles of bull, the comic book and live-action cartoon movie of 300.

Posted in Just for fun | 13 Comments »

As If You Needed Another Reason To Vote Against Mitt Romney

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 17, 2007

He’s got ties to our favorite group of Christian jihadists, Blackwater:

Mitt Romney today tapped a former CIA official, who is now a top officer in a private security firm with widespread operations in Iraq, to head his counterterrorism policy advisory group.

Cofer Black, who also served as a top State Department counter-terrorism official, is now chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions and vice-chairman of Blackwater. That firm came to public attention in 2004, when four employees were ambushed, killed, and mutilated in Fallujah.

By the way, the Iraqi government isn’t too happy with Erik Prince’s God-Squadding Army right now:

BAGHDAD — The Interior ministry said Monday that it was revoking the license of an American security firm allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of civilians during an attack on a State Department motorcade in Baghdad .

[. . .]

“We have canceled the license of Blackwater and prevented them from working all over Iraqi territory. We will also refer those involved to Iraqi judicial authorities,” Mr. Khalaf said. He said witness reports pointed to Blackwater involvement but said the incident was still under investigation. It wasn’t immediately clear if the measure against Blackwater was intended to be temporary or permanent.

It would be nice if it were permanent, but I’m sure that Bush’s minions are even now trying to persuade Khalaf and the rest that they need Blackwater for their Praetorian Guard. (Unless, that is, Khalaf and Company have cut side deals with the insurgents that render Blackwater’s services redundant and in fact detrimental.)

Posted in Blackwater, Iraq war, Mitt Romney | Comments Off on As If You Needed Another Reason To Vote Against Mitt Romney

Operation Northwoods (Or Why Generals Aren’t Always That Trustworthy)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 17, 2007

Here’s a little fragment of history that Bush and his sock puppet Petraeus (not to mention the whole of the GOP/Media Complex) would like us to forget:

Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba

By David Ruppe

N E W Y O R K, May 1, 2001

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America’s top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: “We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” and, “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America’s largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

“These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing,” Bamford told

The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants.”

Sound familiar? It should.

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, evil | 3 Comments »

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