Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pentagon declares terror war over in '08?

That's right, folks. The GOP plans to end The War On Terrorism - TWOT (*snicker-snicker*) for short - a month before the 2008 Presidential election.

Or so says a Pentagon memo authored by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England.

So, troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, no invasion or Iran AND no more terrorism, by October 2008? That's what it says ...

How convenient.


Tyler Durden strikes again?

This, I am sorry to say, made me choke on my coffee.

Tyler Durden, infamous creator of "Project Mayhem" and central character in vaunted fiction author Chuck Palahniuk's breakout novel "Fight Club", is alive and well in Hollywood.

According to Reuters news service, a group of super models and celebrities were "exposed" to Hepatitis A by an unnamed caterer at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit party on Valentine's Day.

The article claims "singer Beyonce Knowles, former Guns N'Roses bassist Duff McKagan, portly "Borat" co-star Ken Davitian, and a slew of models" were guests at the party. Celeb chef Wolfgang Puck's catering service was infiltrated by a Tyler Durden wannabe who exposed the group to the Hep bug.

Now, the funniest part of it all is how Reuters phrased how the "exposure" happened. Dig this ...

Health officials said the risk was "quite low" and that no Wolfgang Puck pre-packaged foods or restaurants were affected.

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus spread by ingesting something contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice.

It appears he's up to his old tricks again. Hilarious.

Don't ask what he put in the fettuccine alfredo.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Burglary at New Hampshire Dem headquarters

Hum ... I thought it was beginning to feel a little bit like 1972 in here.

Not Watergate ... Water-shire, maybe? New-Gate? Gate-Hamp? No, that one's just silly.

Ah, I know. We'll call this one Watergate '07.

But only if some intrepid reporter unveils that a shadowy Republican group was behind it. I mean, who knows? Maybe some crack-fiend felt like he should break into New Hampshire Democratic headquarters to steal, um, files and, er, phone lists ...

No, this one sounds a little too much like political espionage.


US money going to Al-Qaeda ... Again?

We all know that back in the 80's, Al-Qaeda was a CIA front in Afghanistan, trained and financed to fight the Soviets in a proxy-war. Osama bin-Laden was their selected leader, appointed by the Reagan Administration, back when they just loooooved America for giving them all their weapons.

But would you be shocked to learn that today, still, our money, our tax dollars, are landing in their pockets? Investigative Reporter Seymore Hersh with The New Yorker Magazine has a new story out claiming exactly that is happening, and much, much more.

Sadly, nothing shocks me anymore.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

A 9/11 tip

I'm on a 9/11 tip today. For your healthy dose of weekly skepticism, here are some videos for you to chew on ...

Bush lies about seeing the first plane hit

Rumsfeld claims Flight 93 was shot down

Rudy says he knew the towers were coming down

Larry Silverstein claims WTC7 was "pulled"

Makes you wonder ... That's all I'm saying.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Speaking of a surge ...

Jon Soltz of VoteVets might know a thing or two about surges.

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Get down with the Condi Rice Rap!

Sing it with me, everyone!


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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sen. Cornyn confronts protest

I adamantly disagree with Senator John Cornyn on pretty much everything. But after this morning, I can see why some people (the one's who don't care about policy) voted for him: he's a straight-up diplomat.

Now, one might try to say this sort of fellow vacillates and shapes himself into whatever form is most beneficial at the moment.

And in response to those individuals, many of whom I am friends with, I would offer a solemn, "But at least he's friendly!"

Which was exactly what I witnessed this morning in Denton, at a luncheon with the Senator. A couple of our very friendly local pro-peace activists had come to make their views known to the Senator, and they stood outside of the gate at the Wildwood Inn.

Then this happened ...

The afternoon's host, Congressman Michael Burgess, was not as cordial. When Senator Cornyn walked past me, mentioning that he wanted to "go outside and meet our friends", Dianne Edmondson, the chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party (wearing the sunglasses in the pic) said, "Wait. Wasn't Congressman Burgess coming with us?"

As we passed through the doorway and into the daylight, I prepped my camera and pulled out a recorder.

"Aw, I guess he had a change of heart," said Senator Cornyn.

After the Senator left, the hotel chef pulled up in a silver VW Beetle and ran over to the ladies.

"I don't know you, but would it be okay if I gave you both a hug?" he asked. "I ... It just means a lot to me to see people doing this. It is so important."

As he walked toward the hotel I asked him how he felt about the Senator coming to speak at the hotel. He smiled at me and said, "If Senator Cornyn tries to shake my hand, all I'll say is 'Impeach Bush!'"

After the brief exchange with the chef, I went back to the entry and asked the women what they thought of the Senator coming to speak with them. Both agreed that it was a kind gesture, but felt that Senator Cornyn had not listened to them.

"Our soldiers aren't defending our right to freedom of speech in Iraq," said Leslie Harris, a Flower Mound resident (wearing the large, straw hat). "Senator Cornyn likes to say they are, but it isn't true. They're fighting for reasons we have never actually been told. We are defending freedom of speech, which has been under assault since Bush took office."

You want more details? Pick up The News Connection on March 2, 2007.

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Iraq - The Hidden Story

WARNING: This war video contains graphic and possibly disturbing footage

For this video, and other UNSANITIZED video journalism from Iraq, click here.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Lawsuit

Sorry folks. I cannot talk about this.

All I can say is that this is the first time your humble muckraker has been named in a lawsuit.

Well, that and we haven't seen any papers yet.

There will be more to say when there is more to know.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Free Hugs for War Supporters!

Check this out ...

Maybe peace demonstrators should start doing this. I'd like to see people out at the protests holding signs that read, "FREE HUGS FOR WAR SUPPORTERS!"

We could have an entire "free hugs outreach group" that would walk around near the protest site and find people who suffer from such a severe buildup of hate in their hearts that they could be in support of this war.

Who's willing to be part of the "free hugs for war supporters" ministry?

The Ministry of "FREE HUGS! (for war supporters)" now has a home on the Internet! Get your friends in on the action by surfing over to Hugs for Peace.

Tonight, before you go to bed, ask yourself: "Have I hugged a war supporter today?"

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Perry's smokestacks smacked down by judge

And everyone who likes to breathe said HOORAY!

The judge's order that Perry's fast-tracking of the coal-fired power plants was unconstitutional does not mean the coal plants are off the agenda. It just means that Perry overstepped his boundaries in forcing this on our state, and he'll have to go back to the drawing boards before mandating that Texas build these new plants and greatly exceed the EPA's emissions standards.

But it is the first environmental victory in Texas in a good, long while.

We can all breathe a little easier. For now.


Big GOP doner now an accused terrorist?


And what do you all make of this? A man named Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari gave $15,250 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2007.

As of last Friday, Mr. Alishtari stands accused of gifting over $125,000 for the purchase of night vision goggles by an international terrorist ring.

Among Mr. Alishtari's accomplishments was being listed by the NRCC as New York State Businessman of the Year in 2003 and 2004.

ABC's Brian Ross had a few things to say about the NRCC's Businessman of the Year program not so long ago. Apparently it is little more than a telemarketing scam.

Mr. Alishtari's wife insists he is innocent, and he very well may be.

But it is interesting that the NRCC refuses to acknowledge this man gave to them, or that he was ever given an accolade by the group.

But then again, he did donate over $15K to the GOP. Perhaps the accusation that he funded a terrorist campaign is not without merit.

But if he is not innocent, and really is in cahoots with a terrorist group, one must wonder what his motivation would be for propping up the Bush agenda with so many dollars.


The continuing parade of absurdity

Rush nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?

Yep. It is true.

Rush Limbaugh has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by the Landmark Foundation, a not-for-profit funded by Exxon, among others, to further "conservative" values.

(They push the war and oil agenda, basically.)

And in their own words, Rush is ...
"the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today. Everyday he gives voice to the values of democratic governance, individual opportunity, and the just, equal application of the rule of law - and it is fitting that the Nobel Committee recognize the power of these ideals to build a truly peaceful world for future generations."
What makes him deserving of such high accolades? Why, quotes such as these, shamelessly ripped from the pages of TruthOut ...
On Aids: "And one of the things that...that the...the AIDS activists said regularly back then was, oh, this is only a matter of time before it spreads to the heterosexual community. It's only a matter of time. And they used that as- as one of the weapons to try to get people like Reagan to start talking about it from their standpoint. And of course hasn't. It, it didn't, and it hasn't, other than in Africa, and in Africa it is - it is being spread not just's promiscuity that...that...that spreads this, if you want to know the truth. It's promiscuity. But hasn't made that jump to the heterosexual community."

On African Americans: "Why should Blacks be heard? They're 12% of the population. Who the hell cares?"

On Choice: "I think this reason why girls don't do well on multiple choice tests goes all the way back to the Bible, all the way back to Genesis, Adam and Eve. God said, 'All right, Eve, multiple choice or multiple orgasms, what's it going to be?' We all know what was chosen."

On Citizen Service: "Citizen Service is a repudiation of the principles upon which our country was based. We are all here for ourselves."

On Condoms: "Condoms only work during the school year."

On Drug Abuse: "And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."

On Earth: "The Earth's eco-system is not fragile."

On Feminism: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society."

On Homelessness: "One of the things I want to do before I die is conduct the Homeless Olympics...the 10-meter shopping cart relay, the dumpster dig, and the hop, skip, and trip."

On Prison Abuse in Iraq: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people; you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow some steam off?"

On Michael J. Fox's Support of Embryonic Stem Cell Research: "He is exaggerating the effects of his disease (Parkinson's). He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . .This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting. This is the only time I've ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has. He can barely control himself."

On the NAACP: "The NAACP should have a riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

On Nuclear Arms Reduction: "The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them."

On Sexual Harassment: "Sexual harassment at this work station will not be reported. However, it will be graded!"

On the Rich-Poor Gap: "Don't let the liberals deceive you into believing that a decade of sustained growth without inflation in America (in the '80s) resulted in a bigger gap between the haves and the have-nots. Figures compiled by the Congressional Budget Office dispel that myth."

Yeah. He deserves the Nobel Peace Prize about as much as our favorite old war criminal Henry Kissinger. I suppose that means he's pretty well got it locked down ...

Sam Johnson, during and after Clinton

Texas Republican Representative Sam Johnson is an unwaivering paragon of ideological fault.

Here's what he said the other day, regarding Rep. Jack Murtha's proposal to mandate combat troops are properly equipped ...

Debating non-binding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops…Just ask John Murtha about his “slow-bleed” plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

But in 1995, Johnson had a much different view of how Congress should respond to unwanted military action ...
I wholeheartedly support withholding funds… Although it is a drastic step and ties the President’s hands, I do not feel like we have any other choice. The President has tied our hands, gone against the wishes of the American people, and this is the last best way I know how to show my respect for our American servicemen and women. They are helpless, following orders. But we, we are in a position to stop this terrible mistake before it happens.
So was he for pulling funds from the President's war efforts before he was against it? Or does Rep. Sam Johnson think that playing partisanship with the lives of our soldiers is somehow acceptable?


Who should we fear next?

Faux News' Sean Hannity says that American Teachers are more dangerous than terrorists.

Forget about al-kay-duh. We need to be afraid of teachers! Ahhh!

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Presidents' Day Protest lands on CBS

Congrats, Dallas peace people!

You landed the President's Day protest for peace right smack on the CBS 11 evening news. Gathering at the spot where Kennedy was assassinated was a great idea, and the exposure it gathered was much larger than expected.

Click the image above for video of their report.

Keep this sort of stuff up and you'll have an entire army of peace activists at your side before you even realize it.

The next demo is on the Fourth Anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. The day is Monday, March 19. We're talking about getting together around 4 p.m., and staying around until 7 or 8. Plans are not finalized yet, but for can always get more info from

Or, for automatically delivered updates, click here ...

Join DallasRally

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Friday, February 16, 2007

MySpace is just a series of tubes

This guy ...

... has put forward a bill to ban Wikipedia and MySpace, along with every other social networking website, in libraries and schools all over the U.S. This is supposedly a way of "protecting the children" from predators, much like the mandatory data retention bill put forward by other Congressional Republicans.

They're calling it the revival of the "law and order" agenda. I did not live through the 70's, but I know what the "law and order" agenda is code for: War on Freedom.

I see this as more of a police state tactic; a push to empower the all-seeing-eye of the Department of Total Information Awareness.

I truly hope both bills fail. But in the mean time, let's just bask in the absurdity of Senator Stevens' logical explanation of these here Internets ...

The actual "series of tubes" speech ...

The "series of tubes" speech, remix edition ...

So please, people, please. Remember, the Internets are not something that you can just dump something on. Its not a big truck. Its a series of tubes.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thank GOD, the Dems are good for something

If Congressman Murtha is successful in blocking a war with Iran, I will sing his praises until the end of time.

Thank you GOD, the Dems are actually good for something.

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Federal judge to US Gov: Grow more pot!

No, seriously.

An excerpt from a Detroit Free Press article by reporter Michael Doyle with McClatchy Newspapers ...
Medical researchers need more marijuana sources because government supplies aren't meeting the demand, a federal judge has ruled.

In an emphatic but nonbinding opinion, the Drug Enforcement Administration's own judge recommended Monday that a University of Massachusetts professor be allowed to grow a legal pot crop. The real winners could be those suffering from painful and wasting diseases, proponents say.

"The existing supply of marijuana is not adequate," Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled.

Researchers say the federal government's 12-acre marijuana plot at the University of Mississippi provides neither the quantity nor quality scientists need.

They testified that the government-grown pot is too harsh and filled with stems and seeds.

"The material was of such poor quality, we did not deem it to be representative of medical cannabis," researcher Dr. Ethan Russo said.

Bittner didn't embrace those criticisms, but she agreed that the system for producing and distributing research marijuana is flawed.

The "competition in the manufacture of marijuana for research purposes is inadequate," Bittner determined. Making additional supplies available, she said, "would be in the public interest."

The DEA isn't required to follow Bittner's opinion, and the White House's antidrug stance may make it unlikely that the grass-growing rules will loosen. Both sides now can file further information before DEA administrators make their ruling, meaning a final decision may be months away.
Here's the full opinion in PDF format.

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Limbaugh: Obama should renounce race

I think Rush was hitting the Oxy a little hard yesterday. This one hardly even requires an explanation.

Just listen to what this racist prick said.

Speaking about Senator Barack Obama's race, Rush said ...
"If it’s not something you want to be, if you didn't decide it, renounce it, become white!"
"If you don't like it, you can switch. Well, that's the way I see it. He's got 50-50 in there. Say, 'No, I'm white.'"
Wow. Just ... Wow.

They should fire Rush and give his job to whoever the Grand Pooh-Bah of the KKK is. Maybe the loyal followers wouldn't notice the change.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The *NEW* definition of 'Cut and Run'

The Webster Retort
To be published on February 23, 2007

By Stephen Webster

The *NEW* definition of ‘Cut and Run’

Good Golly! With men like Patrick Murphy – a newly-elected Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania and veteran of the Iraq war - speaking truth to power in Congress, it is no wonder the GOP is doing everything it can to avoid a substantive debate on Iraq.

“[H]ow many more street corner memorials are we going to have for this war?” asked Rep. Murphy. “This is what the president’s proposal does. It sends more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war. […] A few blocks away from this great chamber is a Vietnam memorial, where half the soldiers listed on that wall died after America’s leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then, and immoral now, to engage in the same delusion.”

I can only imagine the look on my Republican Congressman’s face as he watched this man, who knows the lay of the sand pit better than my “representative” knows the lay of his own district, rebuking his shallow, one-line philosophy with such somber requiescence.

Yet still, the new minority - cow-eyed, ‘yes-sir, anything you say, sir’ Republicans - just slink back into the shadows, mumbling about those dern Mousellums.

The stench of political desperation became so rank last week that a wisely anonymous staffer from the offices of either Rep. Shadegg (Arr-AZ) or Rep. Hoekstra (Arr-MI) leaked an insider memo to GOP friendlies, outlining how the party will attempt to avoid the debate. Their “strategy” - quoted verbatim - is …

“The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.”

The memo further states that they seek to shift the debate away from Iraq and onto “the global threat of the radical Islamic movement.”

See? Like I said: dern Mousellums.

To think, the minority of our Congressional representation does not wish to discuss what we are spending not just billions, but trillions of dollars on. Oh, and there’s the whole massive loss of life, generations of galvanized people, untold amounts of collateral damage and crispy-fried credibility thing, too … Yeah, better change the topic to that invasion of Iran we’ve been cooking up the last six years.

To myself and many people my age - whose duty it will be to fight and die in Iraq should we continue on our present course - this is utter nonsense. The mid-term elections this past November should have sent a clear message, not only to stalwart, business-interests-first Republicans, but also to the out-of-touch D-droves, that the American public has grown very impatient with this senseless killing.

Fifty veterans of the Iraq war ran for Congress in November. Only one ran as a Republican. Most of them – well, the Democrats anyway – won hands down.

One might think that with all these Iraq vets in the halls of power, nasty stabs at our brave men and women - like Bush slashing the Veterans’ health care budget in half by 2009 - would not be pushed through. Alas, in thinking this, one would be wrong. The cut is part of the new-and-improved Bush War Budget.

But at least the Army of Iraq vets in contention last year lead to some very interesting rhetoric during the campaigns. Take Tammy Duckworth, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in Illinois. Three years ago, her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down over ‘Dad. Both of her legs had to be amputated, and she came within a breath of dying. So what did her opponent, Republican Peter Roskam, accuse her of doing?

“Cutting and running from Iraq.”

Ouch, in more ways than one.

But now that Bush has retired the phrase, I have suddenly taken a shine to it. Cutting and running … Hmm. Maybe it does have a place in our lexicon after all. Is that not what the minority of our Congressional leadership has done on this debate? Cut and run?

Yep. Except this time, the context has changed. The cut was inflicted against our soldiers, increasingly abandoned upon returning home, just so Shrub Jr. could dump billions more into his war for fatherly approval. And the running, as we can all so plainly see, is in a bee-line, tail between their legs, right-the-hell-away from the truth.

As Shadegg and Hoekstra’s memo so clearly illustrates, they know this all too well. If the truth is spoken, they lose. New idea: Since Republicans admit they lost the Iraq debate before it even starts, let’s just skip it and end the war.

Sadly, this is within the new Congress’ power. They simply lack the will. That means it is up to you and I to keep on cranking up the volume. Not one more dollar; not one more death.

Troops. Home. Now.


A new anthem

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

(Click the link to download this song)

Richard Thompson, whom Rolling Stone Magazine called one of the most important guitarists and songwriters of the 20th century, has a new album coming out this May. The headline track is called "Dad's Gonna Kill Me", a new anti-war anthem for this generation.

(And if you're too dumb to realize it, 'Dad is the new 'Nam - I.E. Baghdad, Vietnam ... If you don't get it, I'm not explaining it to you.)

I wholeheartedly recommend downloading the track linked to above. It is masterfully produced and entirely thought provoking.

Some lyrics ...

I've got a wife and kid, another on the way
I might make it home, if I can live another day
Before I came out here, I never used-ta pray
Nobody loves me here; nobody loves me here

Dad's gonna kill me
Dad's gonna kill me
Dad's gonna kill me
Dad's gonna kill me

Dad's in a bad mood; Dad's got the blues
Its someone else's mess, that I didn't choose
At least we're winning here on the Fox evening news
Nobody loves me here; nobody loves me here

Check it out, even if you are a selfish, warmongering bastard. ;O)

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The two-twenty-two

According to C-Net, 222 people in the United States have now accepted the Mark of the Beast. (Otherwise known as implantable, Big Brother tracking chips, utilizing the RFID technology.)

And, just so you know, that toll tag that TxDOT keeps trying to push on us is RFID for our cars ...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Molly, get your pan

The Webster Retort
February 16, 2007

By Stephen Webster

Molly, get your pan

God, I miss Molly Ivins.

Yes, it was just last month when the most well-known “liberal” columnist this side of the Atlantic passed away. And yes, only two-thirds of you are stinging over this as much as I am. To steal the words of a greater man, we mourn for ourselves, because we will miss her so greatly.

The last paragraph of her last column, titled “Stand Up Against the Surge”, went a little like this …

“We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!’”

I do hope she will forgive me, posthumously of course, for this sort of brazen plagiarism. It is typically not in the interest of any journalist to simply recycle quotes from other writers. But Molly’s archive is different.

Molly is worth plagiarizing.

That thought in mind, let us recall some of her recent work.

November 3, 2006:
“Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our congressional elections in November. Astounding. How ineffable.”

June 16, 2006:
“We’re lurching into the ludicrous. So we’re thinking, who else belongs on this distinguished roster? ‘Heckuva job Brownie’ Brown, of course. The guy in charge of implementing the Medicare drug plan. Rumsfeld! By golly, there’s a man who never made a mistake.”

December 1, 2006:
“There’s been so much in print about how Daddy 41’s people are back in the saddle that I was terrified when I saw a photo of Dan Quayle among the pack. If they’ve called back Dan Quayle to lend intellectual heft, we’re all dead ducks.”

January 27, 2006:
“That’s always been one of my least favorite excuses, ‘Everybody does it.’ You can’t find a mother who will let her five year old get away with that, but politicians often whip it out as though it held moral water.”

June 2, 2006:
“As we all know, things can always get worse, and often do. I rather think it’s going to be up to the Democrats to hold the metaphoric hands of this crippled administration until it limps off stage. The Republican National Committee has a new scare tactic for the faithful: You must give to the party, or else the Democrats will spend the next two years investigating the administration (horror of horrors).”

The boss men are telling me I cannot fill up the entire newspaper with words we do not have rights to, so I make the cut here. If it were up to me, all of Molly’s immortal columns from the early 70’s through the start of 2007 would be put together in one mighty anthology.

It would not topple “The Empire”, but if nothing else, it would be one hell of a read.

But, since I do not own an international publishing house (one o’ these days …), I merely offer a prompt in passing.

Molly’s last printed wish was that the majority of Americans – I.E. those of us who can see the foolishness of standing on the sidelines in a civil war – stand up, raise hell, bang on pots and pans and assert our constitutionally dictated position as this nation’s deciders.

On Monday, February 19 – President’s Day, of all days - The Dallas Peace Center and the non-hippie hipsters at are going to throw an old-fashioned protest against the war.

It will be held at the spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, in DallasDealey Plaza, on the corner of Elm and Houston St. Festivities start at 4 p.m. And just in case you were wondering, there will be no pot-luck dinner afterward.

If you cannot make it, there are regular peace and justice events put on by these and other organizations in the Dallas area. Keep an eye on, and look up your local chapters of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Peace Action or Military Families Families Speak Out. Always remember: you are not alone.

I, and Molly, expect to see you in the streets, banging pots and pans, raising hell to end this damn war. It is time to turn up the volume and get our boys out of ‘Dad.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

BLAME IRAN ... Er, Ireland?

Bombs found in Iraq that the U.K. said came from Iran actually from Ireland?

Believe it.

British intelligence services reported that bombs using an infrared trigger were proof that Iran's Revolutionary Guard had become involved - via Hizbollah - in aiding Iraq's Shia militias in the manufacture of IED's.

But as it turns out, the bombs being used come from Ireland's Republican Army, also known as the IRA - a now defunct terrorist group.

Perhaps most interesting, the technology for these bombs comes from the British security services, which passed on the gear to the IRA in a botched sting over a decade ago.

Blame Iran?

Not so fast ...

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Peace Surge, Monday in Dallas

March to End

the War!

Dallas - Monday, February 19, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

This President's Day, Dallas' silent majority is coming out in droves to say "No More War!"

The demonstration will begin at Dealey Plaza ( Elm & Houston Sts. - MAP) , continuing down along Houston Street to Ferris Plaza (Young & Houston) - roughly four blocks.

Bring signs and banners.

The organizers of this demonstration,, emphasize that this is a peaceful protest, and messages on signs should not advocate violence in any form.

We will see you in the streets!

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This moment in Lewisville

Haz-Mat spill on I-35E and Main Street in Lewisville; 11:25 a.m., Feb. 12, 2007.

The scratch:
At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, an overturned tractor trailer hauling ethanol forced authorities to shut down Interstate 35E for several hours while HAZMAT crews cleaned up the spill.

Nearby businesses and residences were evacuated due to fire danger and concern over the toxic fumes. According to sources on the scene, there were no injuries, but authorities are still exercising caution.

Traffic was rerouted to service roads as far north as FM 407-Justin Road. Traffic backed up further than that, with cars sitting idle on the road as far away as the northern tip of Corinth.
When I got within a mile of the site, I could smell it. The odor was almost overpowering up close.

Here's the perimeter that I wasn't supposed to cross:

And here's as far as I made it before the firemen spotted, then subsequently, ran me off:

Please drive carefully everyone! And avoid I-35E for at least the next three hours.


Lies in black and white

The Wall Street Journal may have you believe we were not told the reason for our involvement in Iraq was the nation's ties to "al Qaida." But The Wall Street Journal would be wrong.

Remember the lie; it was written in black and white. Do not let them distort our so-recent history. In the joint resolution authorizing the President to make war on Iraq, the specific reason given is ...
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq
And with those words, the death shower began.

Do not let them tell you otherwise.

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Being green just became hip

Yep. Green is keen.

Now, officially, thanks to Toyota.

Look at this hot little, environmentally-friendly piece of awesome ...

They call it the FT-HS. It pops off 0-60 in less than four seconds. That's faster than Mercedes or Porsche. And it sells for a third the price: just over $30K.

Best of all, it is another electric-hybrid.

And to state the obvious, it is one baaaad motha.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Conversation on Freedom

Amnesty International is sending around a short video clip of average Americans talking about their feelings on how our President has canceled out the 5th Amendment to the Constitution. You can view it here.

I forwarded the link above to a person I know - not mentioning any names - and received this response ...
Such practices have already been used against American citizens - not on some faraway battlefield, but right here on our own soil. Yes, and FDR, a Democrat, had Japanese people rounded up and thrown into jail after Pearl Harbor. He was protecting the homeland.
Certainly this is an argument that may be made when discussing such a thing. To wit, I offered a reply ...
I really do not care what FDR's political affiliation was. He committed a grave sin against our nation.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan profusely apologized for FDR's sin. Reagan said that FRD's actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

Given your analogy, it should be fitting we assume Mr. Bush's sins in canceling of the majority of our bill of rights is based on the same - "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."

In addition to Reagan, George H. W. Bush apologized for the internment. So did Clinton.

Our government paid $20,000 to every single person related to those interned during FDR's lunacy. Over $400 million was eventually paid out.

Sadly, the one thing that was missing in those days was a lack of heroic journalists, willing to tell the truth about what was going on.

Or, so says this entry in the Newspaper Research Journal ...

Today we stand on the brink of committing the same atrocity, and our "crisis" is not even 1/100th of what "the greatest generation" faced.

The World War II analogy does not, and will never, work with Iraq. We won WWII, and our Marshall Plan secured the peace.

We technically won the battle of Iraq. But our leaders were too short-sighted and profit-driven to have a Marshall Plan.

So the violence will continue, because occupations are a form of 4th Generation warfare. Organized military, throughout all time, has never been able to fight and win in such
a situation.

Occupations are not won. They are endured until the invader can no longer carry on. It is a fact of life, and has been since before the French - and Germans - tried occupying Rome.

If "Osama" - who our great leader seemingly does not care much about anymore - was really responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and the goal of such a thing was to bring down Western civilization, then he is succeeding in more ways than he could have ever imagined.

This undefined and perpetual state of war is merely a catalyst enabling further assaults on our freedoms and way of life. And that doesn't come from any terrorist hiding in a cave. It goes from the top, down. Mr. Bush is the most powerful president we have ever seen, and he acquired that crown by selling fear.

Fear of terror. Fear of brown people. Fear of Muslims. Fear of your brother, your neighbor, your countrymen.

There is no great threat to our society. Just a handful of criminals that deserve to be dealt with in a methodical, calculating, intelligent and precise manor.

But instead of this, we lose our freedoms?

Truly, we suffer the tyranny of so-called "good intentions."
A short response from my friend went something like this ...
If my choice is to lose some freedom or lose my life, I'll choose the former every time.
Thinking that our discussion was beginning to sound like a discussion that has been held over and over and over again since the inception of our nation, I brought it to a close.
As for me and mine, "Give me liberty or give me death."

Didn't a "traitor" once say that?
Given the value of this spontaneous dialog, I simply could not let it go to waste without other eyes seeking it out.

The back of my vehicle sports a bumper sticker that I take very seriously. It reads, "LIVE FREE OR DIE!"

This could also be expressed through a familiar insignia, which essentially means the same thing ...

I hope you feel the same.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Watada is FREE!


Ehren Watada, the first military officer to refuse deployment to Iraq, is a free man today after a judge declared a mistrial.

His court marshal is not moving forward at this time. However, he still faces a possible continued prosecution several months from now.

Why not Say Thanks to Lt. Watada for all he has done in drawing attention to the Peaceful American Revolution? I'm sure he would appreciate it.

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Army made video about DU danger in '95

For years the Army has denied dangers associated with depleted uranium munitions. We used them in the first Gulf War, and every military conflict since then.

Depleted Uranium is poison. Radioactive waste, permeating our soldiers' bodies, riddling them with cancers, cysts, and chronic health problems that will haunt them until the end of their days.

We have destroyed not only Iraq's stability as a nation, but also their future generations. As mutated DNA is passed on from mother to child, this deep wound will only morph into a lasting scar.

In 2005, House Democrats put forward the Depleted Uranium Screening and Testing Act - a bill that would initiate a program which could save many lives. It was defeated along partisan lines.

My Congressman, Michael C. Burgess, a DOCTOR of all things, voted against this, and against the interests of every single man and women in our armed forces.

Months later, in February of 2006, The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas cracked the DU story, and weighed in heavily on the debate with their special issue, Have DU, Will Travel.

Several months after that, one of my best friends from high school returned from the desert after completing his third tour in 'Dad.

He died shortly thereafter from a rapidly-developing brain tumor. He was a demolitions expert. Depleted Uranium was his bread and butter.

His name was Charles Brooke Wood. And don't you forget it.

And now, a video made by the Army in 1995 that describes in very muted terms the dangers of depleted uranium, has been leaked on the Internet.

Agent Orange was tame compared to this stuff.

And even the Army is being forced to admit it.

I pray this is the beginning of the end for this horrible, horrible weapon.

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O'Reilly is "scared of" black people

Wow. I never thought O'Reilly would actually do an entire show about how racist he is ... But he did!

I am so not kidding on this one.

What's next?

George Bush telling the truth? Dick Cheney engaging in diplomacy? Exxon admitting that global warming is real and caused by fossil fuels?

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34 states form coalition of the unwilling

Hope springs eternal, my friends.

34 states have banded together to fight the National ID Card, otherwise known as REAL ID.

And your humble muckraker wholeheartedly supports them.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Texas to reclassify marijuana?

It could happen.

And I could not offer you, gentile reader, a more emphatic note of support than this ...




What we have here is a bill, HB 758, proposed by Rep. Harold Dutton, of Harris County.

Should HB 758 pass the Texas House, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana would be moved from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor.

The difference between the two is pretty large. Class C requires no jail time, but still sticks the offender with a $500 fine. Class B carries the weight of up to 180 days in jail - enough to financially break most young people struggling to support themselves - and a fine of up to $1,000.

Given that the leading cause of jail sentences in our state are small marijuana possession charges, reclassifying possession under one ounce to Class C would save Texas taxpayers an enormous sum that would otherwise be footed to house these non-violent offenders.

Speaking personally, I have known and do presently know a good many people who are not unfamiliar with pot. They are good people. They are productive, responsible, tax paying, otherwise law abiding people. To think that we as a state would deprive them of liberty for 180 days for possessing a small amount of what many view as a relatively harmless herb when used responsibly ... Let's just say that it depresses me greatly.

These people lose their jobs and places of residence when they are arrested. It begins a tailspin that can and usually does lead to further abuse of marijuana, and other, more dangerous drugs upon their release. It is destructive in every way ... Much more so than the addiction its self.

By reclassifying small marijuana possession to a Class C misdemeanor, not only will we continue to send the message to our youth that using marijuana is wrong, but we will continue to hold the punishment aspect close at hand. It is not a sea change in public policy.

This will also allow us to increase penalties for the use and abuse of more dangerous and destructive drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. It will help protect the futures of our children, not to mention younger citizens in their 20's who are just getting their careers started, finally looking at getting out of the rent race, thinking about starting families ... Just because they made a stupid mistake and chose to only "harm" themselves doesn't mean we have to bust them out of home and work, which is exactly what happens.

(I say "harm" because most pot - the average quality stuff - is more benign than alcohol, and it can't kill you, unlike the drink. And man, do we EVER love our booze here in Texas.)

Given society's softening stance toward the herb, and the FACT that more than a third of our citizens have tried or do regularly use this particular substance, I think it is time we conduct ourselves in a manor more reflective of public opinion and conservative fiscal responsibility.

If you agree with me, contact your Representative in the Texas House NOW. Don't wait. Just do it. Right now. Send an email. Make a phone call. Whatever. So long as it is done before you get up from your computer.

This needs to happen.

No, your humble muckraker is not on a "free the stoners" tip. But if we are ever going to develop an intelligent drug policy that truly addresses the dire threat of addiction in society, we must take baby steps. So let's free up some prison space and make more funds available for battling LETHAL addictions. Its all about priorities ... We need to do this for the sake of our children.

Unless, of course, you LIKE seeing dead high school students and deviant 20-somethings running a-muck on the news. In which case, I'm not talking to you anyway.

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US training and supporting Iraqi millitia

Or so says a new PBS documentary.


US Government to launch DNA database


Its 1984 all over again.

I think I'm with the ACLU on this one ...

Better yet, Texas Neanderthal Senator John Cornyn "authorized" this "little" "amendment" to be attached to the "Violence Against Women Act".

What about the "Massive Infringement On People's Most Basic Rights To Privacy Act"?

I think we, as Texans, need to let Mr. Cornyn know how disgusted we are with his championing of the Police-Surveillance State.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Iraq: more expensive than Vietnam

Upon approval of President Bush's new foolish, wasteful, immoral budget proposal, the War in Iraq officially becomes the most costly foreign policy f**kup in this nation's history.

Even more costly than -- *gasp* -- Vietnam.

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The Tragedy of King George the Second

The Webster Retort

February 9, 2007
By Stephen Webster

The Tragedy of King George the Second

Act V, Scene IV …

Condi, Maiden of Hemmings: “Rescue, my Lord of NoFolk! Rescue! Rescue! The king enacts more wonders than a man, daring an opposite to every truth: his course is slain, and all on foot he fights,seeking for Richard in the throat of death. Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!”

Enter King George

King George: “A course! A course! My kingdom for a course!”

Condi, Maiden of Hemmings: “Dare not withdraw, my lord; I’ll help you to a course.”

King George: “Slave! I have set my life upon a cast, and I will stand the hazard of the die. I think there be six nations in the axis; none have I slain to-day, instead of all. - A course! A course! My kingdom for a course!”

Condi, Maiden of Hemmings, King George exeunt stage right

Enter Prince Richard and Squire Lewis, bearing the crown; accompanied by daily scribes, lesser Lords, and begrudging forces.

Prince Richard: “God and your arms be prais’d, victorious friends; Mission Accomplished, the bloody dictator is dead.”

Squire Lewis: “Courageous Richard, Sir Fitzgerald may yet acquit me! Lo! Here, this long-usurped royalty from the dead temples of this bloody Congress, have I pluck’d off, to grace thy brows withal: wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.”

Prince Richard: “Great God of Falwell, say amen to me! But, tell me, is young King George living?”

Squire Lewis: “He is my lord, and safe in Delusion; Whither, if you please, we may withdraw us.”

Prince Richard: “What men of name are slain on the side of righteousness?”

Squire Lewis: “Ashcroft of NoFolk, Donald Lord Rumsfeld, Sir Richard of Santorum, and Maid Judith of Miller, among the many.”

Prince Richard: “Inter their bodies as becomes their births: Proclaim as traitors, the soldiers fled, that in rebuke will raise voice to defame us; and then, as we have ta’en the sacrament, we will divide the country in hues of rose and ocean blue. Smile, courts, on this fair conjunction, that long hath frown’d upon the union!

“What traitor hears me, and says not amen? America hath long been mad, and scarr’d herself in peace; What fortune, that we should see the brother blindly shed the brother’s blood, the father rashly slaughter’d his own son, the son, compell’d, been butcher to the sire: All this divided heart and home, much to benefit of our King.

“Divided in their dire division, O! now, let the King and Lady Laura, the true succeeders and Decide’rs of our royal white house, by God’s fair ordinance conjoin together; and let their heirs, Princess Jenna, Lord Pierce, Lady Barbra, wise Jeb - God, we know they will be so - enrich the generations, and come to power with blood-soak’d peace, in death and smiling plenty, a fair, prosperous day!

“Hasten the sword to necks of our brotherly traitors, gracious Lord, those whom would subside and speak out, to reduce these bloody days again. Make poor America weep in streams of blood! Let them not live to taste this land’s increase that would with treason wound the fair desert’s freedom!

Now with great civil wounds are incurr’d, our wealth and dictate lives again: that she may long live here, God of Falwell, say amen!”

Prince Richard, Squire Lewis, daily scribes, lesser Lords, and begrudging forces - exeunt stage right

Stephen Webster is a reporter, columnist, and amateur William Shakespeare plagiarist from North Texas.

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How to End the War

Senator Russ Feingold hits the nail on the head. An excerpt ...

In the United States of America, the people are sovereign, not the president. It is Congress’ responsibility to challenge an administration that persists in a war that is misguided and that the nation opposes. We cannot simply wring our hands and complain about the administration’s policy. We cannot just pass resolutions saying “your policy is mistaken.” And we can’t stand idly by and tell ourselves that it’s the president’s job to fix the mess he made. It’s our job to fix the mess, too, and if we don’t do so we are abdicating our responsibilities.

Yesterday, I introduced legislation that will prohibit the use of funds to continue the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq six months after enactment. By prohibiting funds after a specific deadline, Congress can force the president to bring our forces out of Iraq and out of harm’s way.

This legislation will allow the president adequate time to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq, and it will make specific exceptions for a limited number of U.S. troops who must remain in Iraq to conduct targeted counter-terrorism and training missions and protect U.S. personnel. It will not hurt our troops in any way—they will continue receiving their equipment, training, salaries, etc. It will simply prevent the president from continuing to deploy them to Iraq. By passing this bill, we can finally focus on repairing our military and countering the full range of threats that we face around the world.

As the hearing I chaired in the Senate Judiciary Committee made clear, this legislation is fully consistent with the Constitution of the United States. Since the president is adamant about pursuing his failed policies in Iraq, Congress has the duty to stand up and use its constitutional power to stop him. If Congress doesn’t stop this war, it’s not because it doesn’t have the power. It’s because it doesn’t have the will.
Yep. That's pretty much it.

In the words of everybody's favorite man-child, "Let's Roll!"

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An invitation to ‘An Artclectic Evening’

(Apologies to Laura Stromberg and Kinky Friedman for not getting this story in the pages of my most frequented publications – space was limited and notice was short. What’s a reporter to do?)

On February 10, you need to find yourself at Dallas’ Nokia Theatre.

The AetheriA group, in association with the Communities Foundation of Texas, is putting on a special fundraising at the Nokia Theatre. Featuring Willie Nelson, the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, Jessica Simpson, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and a special performance by Cirque du Soleil, ‘An Artclectic Evening’ looks to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The night’s master of ceremonies is none other than Kinky Friedman.

“And the cause couldn’t be better,” he said during an interview on Thursday, February 1.

I am inclined to agree with him.

Proceeds from the concert and companion silent auctions – which will include Jessica Simpson’s boots, several autographed guitars, one of Morgan Fairchild’s dresses, and a Jackass DVD collection signed by Johnny Knoxville – will be donated to the Communities Foundation of Texas. The foundation will then distribute the money by way of art scholarships, given to children of underprivileged families.

Most of the tickets are $50-$100. Tables and dinner seats, most of which are spoken for already, run about $1,000 apiece.

“But I guarantee, you will never see anything like it,” said Kinky. “Willie Nelson with the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra is going to be just fantastic. This is going to be one hell of a show.”

You heard the man. Get thee to Ticketmaster!

(Or, you could always visit AetheriA's website.)

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Friday, February 02, 2007

New Pentagon math cuts casualties number

Are they serious?

The Pentagon just found a way to reduce the number of casualties in Iraq. In their brilliant scheming, they figured out that by changing their terminology from "casualties" to "nonmortal casualties", the Iraq civil war won't seem so bad to Americans.

The process works a little like this ...

So with this handy-dandy "Pentagon Math", we can see that Iraq's toll on America, by number of casualties, isn't really 47,657 people.

It is 31,493, silly!

Nevermind those "other" 16,164 troops that were listed as "casualties" ...

Now that we've reclassified and excluded them from our casualties count, maybe it is time to review the medical benefits they're getting. That way we can completely forget they exist, which most certainly works politically for the Warparty.

Yes, we can forget they exist ... Unless, of course, one of your friends was Jonathan Schulze. Or you know another person like him.

In which case, excluding casualties might not be such a good thing.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kinky Friedman on Molly Ivins

I just got off the phone with none other than Kinky Friedman. You remember him.

Here's a picture I took of Kinky looking happy just a few days before last year's election ...

So, I was interviewing him regarding a concert featuring the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra and Willie Nelson, coming up on February 10. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to an arts scholarship fund for underprivileged kids. Good cause, and worthy of some promotion.

But that's not what this post is about.

Part of the interview was me speaking with Kinky - whom I have interviewed five times now - about life in general now that the campaign is over. He had a variety of things to say, but I'll save his pearls of wisdom for next week's Lone Star Iconoclast.

However, when I asked how he felt about Molly Ivins, whose passing I opined on in this recent post, Friedman hesitated for a moment. Ivins, a fellow writer and, as many may say, Iconoclast, was well-known to Kinky. After a brief pause for inflection, he uttered these very poignant words ...
"Any time a maverick, you know, a dreamer like that dies, it ... It diminishes the whole world, 'cause there are not many of them. She was a great voice of truth. And she was funny. So, we mourn, but we mourn for ourselves, because we'll truly miss Molly."
Amen and Mahalo to that, Kinkster.

Much love to Rod Davis at D Magazine's FrontBurner for the plug. Hat tip to The Texas Observer as well.

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Texas loses a hero

As I write this, I am honestly choked up. I have been reading Molly's columns for several years now. Every week she gave me inspiration. Every paragraph was another reason to continue doing what I do.

And now she's gone.

Among the journalists who inspired me most, she is number three on the list.

God, Molly. I am really going to miss you.

If you have not read her final column, please do. It is titled "Stand Up Against the Surge". It can be found on The Creators' Syndicate.

It should be noted that at this very moment, The Texas Observer's web site is not accessible. Over 20 years ago, Molly left The Texas Observer to write for The New York Times. And the day after her death, Observer cannot even keep their page up.

That is truly remarkable.

I thank the Observer for dedicating their entire front page to her. You should check it out. Read her work. Study her message.

She was one of my heroes, and she died a proud, dignified death. We will not forget her; indeed, she lives on forever. And we will honor her by carrying forward her wishes: RAISE HELL TO END THIS WAR!

If only every writer could go out like that ...

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The Weird, Turned Pro.

Created by The Gonzo Muckraker
Based in Dallas, Texas
More about the author.

Stories I'm Digging today ...