Spend our money, call your senators.

While we wait to see whether congress will piss all over habeas corpus, the most important freedom in this wonderful experiment, the US of A, I want to ask any US resident reading this: please call your senators. I also want to repeat something that might have been lost at the bottom of the last, somewhat lengthy, post.
I know long-distance calls are spendy, and I know what it is to watch your budget to the last cent. That’s why the spousal unit and I have a phone card for your use — it won’t cost you a thing. If you’re concerned about using work facilities for political activity, the card might solve that problem too. Here’s how it works:
1. find your senators’ phone numbers: look here or here
2. call 1-800-323-6263 (for English) or 1-800-323-6269 (for Spanish)
3. the voice will ask for your PIN; dial 2785446232
4. the voice will ask you to dial the destination number; dial your
senator and let him/her know you’re watching, and you expect him/her to
do the decent thing and support the Bingaman amendment.
In fact, don’t just call your own senators. From the CCR, here’s a list of the key senators, complete with phone/fax numbers:

Collins (ME) T: (202) 224-2523 F: (202) 224-2693
Snowe (ME) T: (202) 224-5344 F: (202) 224-1946
Dewine (OH) T: (202) 224-2315 F: (202) 224-6519
Mccain (AZ) T: (202) 224-2235 F: (202) 228-2862
Warner (VA) T: (202) 224-2023 F: (202) 224-6295
Hagel (NEB) T: (202) 224-4224 F: (202) 224-5213
Nelson (NEB) T: (202) 224-6551 F: (202) 228-0012
Conrad (ND)T: (202) 224-2043 F: (202) 224-7776
Landrieu (LA) T: (202)224-5824 F: (202) 224-9735
Lieberman (CT) T: (202) 224-4041 F: (202) 224-9750
Wyden (OR) T: (202) 224-5244 F: (202) 228-2717

If you have the time, we have the money: call ’em all.
Fuck. The Bingaman amendment was rejected. When the roll call goes up you can see who the traitors were by clicking the vote number (324).
Looks like the bullshit compromise might have got up, vote 325 was on “Graham Amdt. No. 2524; In the nature of a substitute” and was agreed to.
From vote 324, the following so-called Democrats voted nay and are hereby advised (let them tremble!) that I will be working to see them out of office:
Bayh (D-IN)
Conrad (D-ND)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Nelson (D-NE)
I knew that venal ratfucker Nelson would turn. In this Congress, he’s voted more times with the Republican position than with his own party (I’ll have more on that later).

Please call your senators. We’ll pay, just call.

Attention conservation notice: if you already know that the Graham amendment is vile and just want to get to the part where we’ll pay, go here.
Further to this post, it appears that there’s a compromise amendment on the table aimed at undercutting the Bingaman amendment:

A bipartisan group of senators reached a compromise Monday that would allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay to appeal the rulings of military tribunals to the federal courts.
Under the agreement, detainees who receive a punishment of 10 years in prison to death would receive an automatic appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Lesser sentences would not receive automatic review, but detainees still could petition the court to hear their cases.
In addition, the 500 or so detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba would be allowed to challenge in federal court the procedure under which they were labeled “enemy combatants.”

This is bullshit. Quite apart from anything else, “only” ten years? Oy. But more to the point, habeas corpus is a Good Thing™ and there is no reason to suspend it for “enemy combatants” or anyone else. Digby’s right, it’s the “very foundation of our system of government and the single most important element of liberty”. We do not want to (continue to?) be a country where people disappear. More from that WaPo article:

Graham said he opposed Bingaman’s proposal because it did not correct “lawsuit abuse” by prisoners at Guantanamo, and, he said, it would continue to treat terrorism suspects as criminals by affording them the right to file habeas corpus petitions to fight their detentions in a U.S. court.
The Supreme Court gave that right to the 500 or so prisoners held at Guantanamo in 2004. Many of the prisoners were captured in Afghanistan and have been held at Guantanamo for several years without being charged.

Is this asshole trying to claim we can’t afford to have 500 petitions heard in three years? Tell it to Adel, motherfucker.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has a debunking of seventeen myths and distortions about the Graham amendment; read it all, but here’s a short version:

Myth: Everyone in Guant

I’m in.

Via Atrios: Target is allowing their pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B emergency contraception. Not acceptable. John at AmericaBlog has the skinny.
The contact form for their pharmacy dept is here. I sent ’em this:

Dear Target:
your pharmacists do not have the right to refuse to fill Plan B prescriptions, under the CRA or any other law. Do your Jewish or Muslim cafeteria workers have the right to refuse to serve pork? Can your fundamentalist Christian employees refuse service to the glbt?
I will not spend a penny at Target until and unless this reprehensible policy changes.

Admittedly, I haven’t set foot in a Target since I moved to the US, nor is there much chance of me doing so — there simply aren’t any convenient to me and I tend to avoid large multinationals on general principle. Now, however, if I happen to be by a Target and in the market for something they sell, I will go elsewhere. It’s a teeny inconvenience, which makes my boycott letter a little disingenuous — but I can live with that.

note mainly to self

The categories are all screwed up, the blogroll needs fixing (many good blogs not included simply because I cannot add them to my Bloglines feeds or I’d never do anything but read online), the bio needs updating (I have a new job, in cancer biology) and I want to add my del.icio.us links as a sidebar feed.
Resolved: must get to all that. Some time in next decade or so.

live with this

jamadifamily.jpgHow do you live with this? You war-hawks, you keyboard commandos, you rightwing talkshow hosts, you wretched frightened little men with your senate amendments facilitating torture?
How do you live with this?
Because I haven’t reveled in it, as you have; I haven’t excused it, as you have; I haven’t pretended it isn’t happening or it isn’t my fault, like you have; I’ve done my feeble best to stop it; — and I don’t know how much longer I can live with it.
Christ ha’ mercy on us all. That’s the first thing that came into my mind when I saw that photo, even though I don’t believe.
Photograph of Manadel al-Jamadi’s wife and son holding a picture of US Specialist Sabrina Harman bending over his body, smiling and giving the thumbs-up, from here, via Julia. Al-Jamadi was tortured to death by US forces in Abu Ghraib (I noted the depraved treatment afforded his body here).
Now comes Senator Lindsey Graham (R-Antenora) with an amendment to the 2006 National Defense Authorization Act designed to strip rights afforded by habeas corpus from detainees of the Secretary of Defense (military detainees, a term whose compass Bushco seeks to broaden to “anyone the President pleases to imprison”). And the Senate passed it, 49-42/9.
Obsidian Wings has an ongoing series of posts covering this; I linked the ninth, scroll to read the others.
Then please call or write or visit your senators; ask them to vote for the Bingaman Amendment, S. AMDT 2517 to bill S. 1042. Bingaman’s amendment would delete the jurisdiction-stripping provision of Graham’s amendment.
If I have to explain to you why Graham’s amendment is vile or Bingaman’s is vital to the character, security and moral standing of the US, you’re probably a lost cause. If Bingaman’s amendment fails, the whole damn country may be a lost cause.
Update: Ron Wyden’s voicemail is full, but I’ll keep calling tomorrow — and you should, too.
Update update: I got through to a staffer who knew exactly what I wanted as soon as he heard “Bingaman”. I should’ve asked how many calls they’ve had, but I didn’t want to waste the guy’s time.
Also, you can read the Graham amendment here; I’ll add the Bingaman text when I find an online copy.
One more update: Lindsay has a roundup of informative links on the Graham and Bingaman amendments here.
Did you call? The vote’s today Tuesday morning.

Posted in woe

Veteran’s Day

Today I put aside my troubles and remember the many dead of both World Wars — indeed, of all wars — for their sacrifice.
Lest we forget.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
   Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
   Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
   Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
   The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
— Wilfred Owen
2004 entry.

Posted in woe

Forewarned is forearmed.

jimmy.jpgYou may never have heard of Jimmy Massey; I hadn’t, until today. He’s an Iraq War vet with severe PTSD who’s been telling anyone who’ll listen that civilians are being killed nineteen-to-the-dozen over there. He’s published a book you can’t buy in the US because, apparently, all of our publishers are chickenshit; it’s called Kill Kill Kill and — that popping sound is wingut heads exploding — it was published in France. (You can, however, buy a couple of DVDs of Jimmy talking about his experiences and the military here.)
How did I come to hear of Jimmy Massey? A few days ago, the St Louis Post-Dispatch published a hit piece by Ron Harris claiming that Jimmy was lying; Charles points out that you’ll be hearing “Jimmy Lied!” a lot in certain circles over the next little while, as though it invalidated the entire case against the war, and Nathan talks sense about why it doesn’t.
As it turns out, Jimmy isn’t lying: Ron Harris is a sleazy hack who never lets the facts get in the way of sensational copy. In the linked article, Stan Goff makes a detailed case that Harris has propagated a smear, false in all particulars, probably because Massey caught him out in a lie last September.
So consider this post a gift from me to that special rightwing nutjob in your life. When they start crowing about Jimmy’s lies, send ’em here (or rather, to Stan).

more stuff that should have been in The Onion

The idea that a woman should not be legally required to (that is, liable to criminal prosecution if she doesn’t) tell her husband if she has an abortion is being spun as “pro-wife extremism“. I shit you not.
Lemme tell ya, these pro-wife extremists are a danger to America. They’ve destroyed a husband’s right to beat ’em, don’t consider ’em a man’s property, and won’t let the law tell ’em what to do with their own bodies. What next, equality or some shit?
(For the sarcasm-impaired: I am a pro-wife extremist. My wife’s body is her own, and if I cannot establish a mature and trusting relationship with her, in which she feels safe involving me in medical decisions, that’s my problem and I shouldn’t go whining to Johnny Law to step in and solve it. Grow a pair, you foetus-worshipping feebs.)