Archive for October 12th, 2006

Love the (unintentional?) comedy found in Ron Crocker’s recent letter to the Billings Gazette supporting Conrad Burns: “Burns is a true patriot, great defender of the U.S.” Check it out:

To quote Clarence Darrow, “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”

That’s Sen. Conrad Burns! He is a patriot, a Marine Corps veteran and defender of our nation! He supports our president, and the Patriot Act. He wants to rid us of those who ploy terrorism as a means to destroy the United States and its way of life.

I believe Jon Tester is a patriot in his own way, but a true patriot will do everything they can to defend and protect their country. What does Tester want to do? He wants to repeal the Patriot Act!

The Patriot Act has proven successful and has aided in preventing any repeat of 9/11. Why Tester and so many liberals want the Patriot Act repealed literally worries me. Tester says, “The Patriot Act will take away our freedoms.” The only people who have cause to worry about their loss of freedoms are those who deserve to have their freedoms lost. The Patriot Act is aimed at individuals who have caused the United States great concern, not the everyday citizens of our great nation!

I served 36 years in the service of the United States Navy, doing my part to support and defend the people of the United States and in keeping our borders free from enemy attack. And I pray there will be no more 9/11s. That’s why I support and urge you to support Burns for U.S. Senate. He is a patriot!

Hilarious. I don’t know if Crocker just Googled quotes to use to defend Burns’ position, or he’s fully aware of who Clarence Darrow is, but using Darrow’s quote to defend the Patriot Act is like, well, using a John Brown quote to defend slavery…or a MLK quote to defend segregation…or…well you get the idea.

Clarence Darrow was an activist and progressive lawyer and prominent member of the early 20th-centure ACLU, a staunch defender of labor unions, and most famous for defending the teaching of evolution in the “Scopes Monkey Trial.” (Basically everything that is an anathema to Conrad Burns.) Darrow’s idea of “injustice” is exactly the kind that the Patriot perpetuates, not shadowy and nonexistent domestic terror cells. That’s why Darrow’s organization, the ACLU (along with the NRA) is one of the most outspoken opponents of the Patriot Act.

That Crocker can claim “The only people who have cause to worry about their loss of freedoms are those who deserve to have their freedoms lost,” is the height of folly. Just ask the railroaded suspects in the Lodi case, or the Canadian man kidnapped by the CIA and sent to Syria to be tortured – and who happened to be innocent. The disturbing element of these two cases is that federal agents appear to have been politically motivated and resorted to extreme measures because they didn’t have enough evidence for a solid case.

That is, the more shaky the suspicion against you, the more severe the police tactics are that will be used against you. Or, the less likely you are a terrorist, the more likely you’ll be tortured.

Let’s hope Crocker doesn’t go buying a disposable cell phone anytime soon.

Finally, the “United States and its way of life” is inherently tied to the rule of law, our basic liberties, and the Constitution of the United States. Amending, curtailing, or simply eliminating any or all of these rights does not aid in preserving our country – it will destroy it.

Honestly, I’d oppose the Patriot Act and the torture bill and like-minded policies from the Bush administration even if they were effective. But they’re not.

Had enough?


Is Burns resorting to petty theft? Pathetic. Had enough?

The Western Democrat has a good post up about the importance of controlling state government in helping protect our democratic institutions.

Loads o’ important posts from Jaime. Let’s see…there was post 1 about the Supreme Court brief about the terrible trio of initiatives…and post 2…some thoughts about conservative retribution for challenging the trio…and thoughts on the Bozeman debate.

Montana Jones, idle at home, rips apart a Christian critique of television violence.

Court finds that WR Grace must indeed pay a federal bill for cleaning up its asbestos mess in Libby. Hm. You think they’ll try to wiggle out of their responsibilities? Let’s hope some of their executives see some jail time, too.

Robert Novak, of all people, hammers Republicans for sneaking earmarks into a Defense bill. On Montana’s junior Senator: “Clueless Republicans are personified by Sen. Conrad Burns, trailing for re-election in Montana. Burns said opposition to all earmarks by his Democratic opponent, State Sen. Jon Tester, ‘showed us how reckless and out of touch he is.’ Burns then issued a press release listing over $775 million of his earmarks, including more than $60 million for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery.” You know you’re in trouble with Republican leadership when errand boy Novak puts a hit job on you. (Hat tip to Matt.)

Olbermann: “The Bush White House is playing millions of Americans Christians for suckers.” Commentary based on the new book, “Tempting Faith” by David Kuo.

“Frontline” on the Lodi, California, “terrorists.” Based on bad intelligence, coerced confessions, and likely motivated by politics, the case shows what’s wrong with Bush’s terror legislation and the suspension of habeas corpus.

North Korea: First it’s Clinton’s fault. Now they blame the intelligence community. Wake me when they approach a mirror.

James Baker rules out victory for Iraq.

CATO: libertarians are making the switch.

The “dumbest Democrat” responds to Kos.

AIPAC to get some competition? Good news…

Warner bows out of the ’08 Presidential campaign. A nod to John Edwards?

Google and Yahoo take note: Wikipedia stands up to China. Hm, is that because Wikipedia isn’t a for-profit venture?

Business editor Douglas Cunningham of Pennsylvania’s Times Herald-Record is going to abandon the Republican party this election in the wake of the Foley scandal:

I’ve had it. The Republican leadership in the House, beginning with Speaker Dennis Hastert, has got to go. As in now. I’m thinking we need to plow through four or five people right below Hastert, too. If the Republican members of the House had any guts, they’d have ousted these people last week. If the Republican leadership had any shame, they would have quit last week.Apparently, not very many people these days have either, at least in Washington. Anyone who knew anything about the scandal, I want them gone. If the Republicans come to be known as the party that protects gay sexual predators, we’re finished. I am not ready to abandon the party of Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater to the likes of Mark Foley.

Zing! But that’s not the only reason why Cunningham’s abandoning the GOP:

The reason Republicans are bent out of shape is that this Foley scandal is the proverbial last straw. We’ve had it. The out-of-control spending. The earmarks. The graft with the lobbyists. The arrogance. The abrogation of principles that Goldwater, Reagan and others worked decades to spread.The Republicans will lose the House in November. Absent big changes, I have to say they deserve to.

In the upcoming election, Cunningham announces his intention to vote for Pennsylvania Democrat Chris Carney who’s running in PA 10 against Republican Don Sherwood. Why?

As the campaign literature for Carney slyly notes, he’s been married for 18 years to his college sweetheart.Why might he note that? Because his opponent, and the incumbent, Republican Don Sherwood, engaged in a five-year affair in Washington with a mistress some three decades his junior.

My father had choices. The Republicans offer me candidates who can’t even keep their pants on. I’ve had it.

The lesson here? Character matters. Values matter.

I’ve seen a lot of moaning and complaining that all politicians are the same, that Washington DC will corrupt everyone. Pah. That’s defeatist talk. The people who say this are the same who say we need to unite as a country to win the war in Iraq. I say this: we need to unite as a country to win the war against democracy here in the United States, waged by opportunistic lawmakers who use their position to personally enrich themselves and their family and friends against all of us struggling to get by working honestly.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to believe in honesty and integrity. You can make a difference this November. Vote for someone who’s competent, who’ll listen to the electorate and work in our interest. Vote for someone who doesn’t ignore the Constitution, who’ll put security ahead of profiteering. Take a risk. I think we Montanans have the chance to strike gold.

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