I like it. I like it a lot.

Offense. Sometimes defined as “the best defense.” The democrats have spent way too much time “explaining” the “nuances” of their positions.

Well. Not so much this week. The Big Dog (who I like a LOT more as an ex-president than I did as a president, but that’s between you and me, ok?) got in there and threw some punches the other day. Now who’s explaining?

Oh, exactly the same folks who OWE us an explanation:

“What we did in the eight months [between Bush’s inauguration and 9/11] was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years,” Rice told the New York Post in comments published Tuesday.

“The notion that somehow for eight months the Bush administration sat there and didn’t do that is just flatly false.”

Rice’s remarks followed Clinton’s TV interview on “Fox News Sunday” in which the ex-president defended his efforts to track down and kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Clinton lashed out against “the right-wingers who are attacking me now,” saying the same people had accused him of being “obsessed” with bin Laden.

What was it JC Watts said?

Anti-Union Thugs Doing What Thugs Do

In 1979, a group of men hired to intimidate striking workers raped and killed a pretty 23 year old college student, and not one of them has spent a day in jail.

For more than a quarter century, the brutal sex slaying of Hope College student and hotel clerk Janet Chandler baffled law enforcement officials.

As the case grew colder with each passing year, it became less likely that whoever was responsible would be brought to justice.

And is it any wonder it took nearly 30 years to catch them?

Suspects’ bitter plot led Chandler to her death:

According to the affidavit, Chandler was “intimate” with some of the Wackenhut Security guards who were staying at the inn while working at the strike-bound Chemtron Corp. in nearby Holland Township.

Wackenhut, if you’re not familiar with them, are old school strikebreakers from WAY back:

Wackenhut also offers security for employers experiencing poor relations with labor unions, including strike actions. Wackenhut has a poor reputation with labor unions as a result.

That’s putting it mildly.

Wackenhut isn’t just a handy source of muscle and intimidation to use against strikers, they’re also one of those private firms who the Grover Norquists of the world want to use to supplant the role that government should perform for its citizens:

(more from Wikipedia)

Having expanding into providing food services for prisons in the 1960s, Wackenhut in 1984 launched a subsidiary to design and manage jails and detention centers for the burgeoning private prison market in the United States and abroad. Wackenhut became the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison operator. Although the corrections branch of Wackenhut was financially successful, critics claimed the company’s guards abused inmates in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana.
In 1999, Wackenhut was stripped of a $12-million-a-year contract in Texas and fined $625,000 for failing to live up to promises in the running of a state jail after several guards were indicted for having sex with female inmates. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, five guards at a Wackenhut work-release facility were fired or punished for having sex with inmates. In April 1999 the state of Louisiana took over the running of Wackenhut’s 15-month-old juvenile prison after the U.S. Justice Department accused Wackenhut of subjecting its young inmates to “excessive abuse and neglect.” In the same year a New Mexico legislative report called for a near-total revamp of prison operations, including two run by Wackenhut. U.S. journalist Gregory Palast commented on the case: “New Mexico’s privately operated prisons are filled with America’s impoverished, violent outcasts — and those are the guards.”

(Hey, it’s Greg Palast…. Hi, Greg!)

But let’s get back the murder of poor Janet Chandler- gang raped by anti-union thugs, beaten to death and her body then dumped in the snow. Where did Wackenhut find these monsters?

Cox identified those arrested this week as: James Cleophas “Bubba” Nelson, 59, of Rand, West Virginia; Arthur Carlton “Carl” Paiva, 54, of Muskegon; Freddie Bass Parker, 49, of Powellton, West Virginia; Laurie Ann Swank, 48, of Nescopeck, Pennsylvania; and Anthony Eugene Williams, 55, of Boscobel, Wisconsin.

Now, why on earth would a bunch of strike breakers be hired out of West Virginia? Labor activists are rolling their eyes at that, I am sure. We know exactly why. There are lots of coal mines in West Virginia, and the owners of those mines have been more than willing to hire out-of-work men and professional thugs to beat, shoot and intimidate striking workers.

Mine and factory owners, Wackenhut, Pinkerton and an army of shiftless and otherwise unemployable muscle have historically used whatever means they deemed necessary to intimidate workers out of standing up for a contract that guaranteed them a decent living.

And here in Michigan, we see the wages of this brutality: Men paid to stand around and intimidate workers while doing no real productive work were engaged in intimidation and extortion, philandering and fear mongering. These sorts of guys swagger around on the periphery of strikes, knowing that they’re working on behalf of the Powers That Be, such as they are, and they get drunk on their impunity. In Michigan, their freewheeling partying and immunity from the law seems to have gone to their heads. They turned on a local college girl who had been sucked into their influence, and they beat, raped and killed her.

More from the Grand Rapids Press:

State police Lt. John Slenk, supervisor of the collaboration between the state police and Holland police, described the situation among guards at the inn and female staff as “a sordid affair, and it just went bad from top to bottom.”

“You have dozens of guards in and out of the hotel. There was a lot of alcohol and quite a bit of drugs,” he said. “You are going to get a band of renegades, and that’s what you got.”

The Chemtron strike ended two weeks after Chandler’s death. Threats against anyone who talked about the murder kept the slaying a mystery for decades as the guards scattered to other states, police say.

Wackenhut is the sort of company Grover Norquist would like to see handing the duties of the Federal Government. Are these “guards” the sort of men you want to be your police force? Do you want these men running your schools?

They should charge Bill Frist as an accessory

I love living in a healthcare-free society. When are people going to start treating the shit healthcare afforded most Americans as a CRISIS?

WAUKEGAN, Illinois (AP) — A coroner’s jury has declared the death of a heart attack victim who spent almost two hours in a hospital waiting room to be a homicide.

Beatrice Vance, 49, died of a heart attack, but the jury at a coroner’s inquest ruled Thursday that her death also was “a result of gross deviations from the standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in this situation.”

Maybe throwing people in jail will help, but it’s not the overburdened staff of the Emergency Room that need to “Take a Rumsfeld” to protect the healthcare profiteers and the higher-ups who run the hospitals.

There’s no excuse for this.

The Silly Brigade would like you to sign their petition

But I think you know better. Matt Yglesias has the lowdown on the latest Loyalty Oath Pledge Drive.

I am reminded of something I mentioned before….

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed.They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers.

To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twnety-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new strategem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squandron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ mean.”

–Joseph Heller
p. 122-123 of Catch-22

That’s the way to fight those Islamoterroristnazifascists…. make everyone sign a petition, then just LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHO DIDN’T SIGN IT! BAMMO! Instant positive ID!

It’s Genius, this plan! Why didn’t we think of this before???

Today I am reading the words of Arundhati Roy

You can read the full essay here.

To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be anti-American, is not just racist, it’s a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you don’t love us, you hate us. If you’re not good, you’re evil. If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.

Last year, like many others, I too made the mistake of scoffing at this post-September 11 rhetoric, dismissing it as foolish and arrogant. I’ve realised that it’s not. It’s actually a canny recruitment drive for a misconceived, dangerous war.

Hey, Fixer….

Oh, man. You have to check this out:

On June 15, 1957, a new gold and white 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe was buried in a time capsule in downtown Tulsa, OK. The time capsule was part of Golden Jubilee Week: Tulsa‘s celebration of Oklahoma‘s semi-centennial. The car is buried under the sidewalk in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse, approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Sixth Street and Denver Avenue.

The car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization. According to event chairman Lewis Roberts Jr., the Plymouth was chosen because it was “an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now.”

The contents of a women’s purse, including bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, cigarettes and an unpaid parking ticket, were added to the glove compartment of the car shortly before burial.

How handy are you with a jackhammer? Wonder if we can tunnel in there and snatch that thing before anyone notices…

Billmon with the not-so-funny

Billmon weighs in with a depressingly dystopian assessment

the United States is moving down the curve of imperial decay at an amazingly rapid clip. If anything, the speed of our descent appears to be accelerating.

The physical symptoms — a lost war, a derelict city, a Potemkin memorial hastily erected in a vacant lot — aren’t nearly as alarming as the moral and intellectual paralysis that seems to have taken hold of the system. The old feedback mechanisms are broken or in deep disrepair, leaving America with an opposition party that doesn’t know how (or what) to oppose, a military run by uniformed yes men, intelligence czars who couldn’t find their way through a garden gate with a GPS locator, TV networks that don’t even pretend to cover the news unless there’s a missing white woman or a suspected child rapist involved, and talk radio hosts who think nuking Mecca is the solution to all our problems in the Middle East. We’ve got think tanks that can’t think, security agencies that can’t secure and accounting firms that can’t count (except when their clients ask them to make 2+2=5). Our churches are either annexes to shopping malls, halfway homes for pederasts, or GOP precinct headquarters in disguise. Our economy is based on asset bubbles, defense contracts and an open-ended line of credit from the People’s Bank of China, and we still can’t push the poverty rate down or the median wage up.

I really would like to disagree with this…