June 2007

You may have noticed that under the Cheney-Bush Administration, most federal agencies are almost out of a job, and exist only so that the industries they regulate can police themselves, hint hint, wink wink. We saw it with the group that was supposed to inspect coal mines, and with food safety and air safety and all safety. Well, check this out, especially they part they put in bold and the part I marked in red:

A new amendment, called Section 123, was quietly added to Title I of the 2007 Farm Bill a few weeks ago, and it is a huge step backwards on food safety. If passed, it would hamstring state and local food safety efforts by wiping out critical authority on meat, poultry and biotechnology.

The sweeping language of Section 123 would prevent states from prohibiting the sale of USDA-inspected products. This provision could prevent local health inspectors at a supermarket from condemning contaminated meat or spoiled poultry! Since 90% of food inspections are done at the state and local level, the impact could be severe.

Section 123 also prohibits states from passing laws that protect animal welfare, such as laws on horse slaughter and sale of horsemeat.

Finally, Section 123 prohibits state and local laws on biotechnology — such as laws to review whether or not to grow genetically-engineered rice in a state.

After recent problems with Melamine in pet and livestock feed, Listeria in chicken, and E. coli in spinach and ground beef, we should be strengthening our food safety system, not weakening it! Tell your Representative to stand up for food safety and oppose Section 123 in the Farm Bill.

There is a petition to sign and also a request to call Congress.

flag shame

Image from 9thwave

End the war so we can start to end our shame in the world.

Thanks to Shai Sachs for this great write-up:

Political Teen Tidbits, written by frecklescassie (aka Snarkcassandra on FireDogLake) is “a liberal blog written by a teen with input from teens”. The content spans from silly (a photoshopped graphic of Bush with a pentagram on his forehead, a list of anti-Bush bumper stickers) to serious (commentary on news of a new research project in wind power), with a decided emphasis on national issues (Guantanamo Bay, corporate crime, money in elections, etc.) Frecklescassie appears to be doing more than just commenting on news stories: she’s also empowering other teens, regularly posting about issues affecting teens, and encouraging other teens to interact with her site via Facebook. This kind of teen activism is what makes me optimistic for our future.

Shai and others, please also check out YOUTHinkLEFT, the blog where I collaborate with 9 other teens.

YOUTHinkLEFT banner

Aryeh wrote yesterday at YouThinkLeft about how Obama supported liquefied coal, which is one of the most inefficient uses of fossil fuel yet invented, and about how this will cost him among environmentally-conscious voters.

There’s better news this week out of Texas. Yes, Texas. A $20 million dollar wind power research center will be built in Corpus
Christi in order to test longer wind turbine blades and other innovations in the area of wind power.

An article from yesterday’s Dallas Star-Telegram explains that:

Texas strengthened its position as the nation’s No. 1 wind-energy state Monday when the U.S. Department of Energy selected a site near Corpus Christi for one of two $20 million research centers for next-generation wind-turbine blades.

The Lone Star Wind Alliance, which includes universities in Texas and other states as well as state agencies, has pledged $18 million to design, build and operate the research center on 22 acres in Ingleside donated by BP. The Energy Department will contribute $2 million in test equipment.

A site in Boston also was selected with a similar financial arrangement.

The centers will test blades as long as 100 meters, or about 330 feet, about 50 percent larger than the longest blades currently produced and about twice as long as the blades commonly used in new installations. The larger blades are outgrowing the research capabilities of the government’s facility in Colorado.

“These two testing facilities represent an important next step in the expansion of the competitiveness of the U.S. wind-energy industry,” Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said in a statement. The government’s contributions are subject to congressional appropriations.

The same article also notes that the United States is far behind Europe in developing this technology, but also points out that this recent decision by the U.S. Department of energy helps Texas to strengthen “its position as the nation’s No. 1 wind-energy state“.

More serious content to be posted tomorrow. Unless I spend the whole day playing. Ya never know.

Thanks to Lucas for the first two! 

Bush in Hell

Bush on icicles

!Bush and his crayons

piss on bush

Bush resigns

Some of these are funny! Some are old, but so what?

1. Bush: End of an Error

2. That’s OK, I Wasn’t Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

3. Let’s Fix Democracy in this Country First

4. If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran

5. Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

6. If You Can Read This, You’re Not Our President.

7. Of Course It Hurts: You’re Getting Screwed by an Elephant

8. Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

9. George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

10. Impeachment: It’s Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

11. America: One Nation, Under Surveillance

12. They Call Him “W”, So He Can Spell It

13 Whose God Do You Kill For?

14. Jail to the Chief!

15. No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?

16. Bush: God’s Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap.

17. Bad President! No Banana.

18. We Need a President Who’s Fluent In At Least One Language.

19. We’re Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them.

20 Is It Vietnam or Korea Yet?

21. Bush Doesn’t Care About White People, Either.

22. Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

23. You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

24. Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too.

25. When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46.

26. Pray For Impeachment.

27. The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

28. What Part of “Bush Lied” Don’t You Understand?

29. One Nation Under Clod

30. 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified 2007

31. Bush Never Exhaled

32. At Least Nixon Resigned

bong hits 4 jesus

bong hits for Jesusbong hits for Jesus

We high school and middle students in the United States lost a good chunk of our ability for free expression.

The case is described here, and is summarized like this:

A former high school student has lost his case in what is the US Supreme Court’s first major ruling on students’ free speech rights in almost 20 years.

What should we do? Should we all post banners like mine on our websites and myspace and facebook? Should we make t-shirts and all wear them to school the first day? What’s best?

Please leave a comment.

6/26, 5:45 pm

UPDATE: some suggestions from my Facebook Friends:





Is there a larger issue you can tie into? I get that this isn’t about Joseph Frederick’s silly sign but a much deeper issue – how do you get at that? Or do you need to tie it in to larger issues about speech, privacy, human rights, the bill of rights, etc.?

I think if you tie it together, you have a better shot of mobilizing, IMHO.






Freedom of speech cases have had some extraordinary rulings, although probably not in this SCOTUS.

I would encourage you to dig – ask the many legal minds at FDL or your librarian – for guidance on this and write to show how more perverse cases have been ruled on differently.

When you run for office, I’m coming down to America to help your campaign !!!





Cassie … keep an eye on anything the ACLU might plan – when my son was in high school and the Communications Decency Act was in play, the ACLU sued and won … and they needed a few under 18’s to represent the people affected and Kit was one http://www.aclu.org/privacy/speech/15499prs19960318.html

I’d contact them and see if they are doing anything similar – of course, it is difficult to do anything once SCOTUS has decided.






What is the larger issue? Perhaps reading Talk Left (link: http://www.talkleft.com/story/2007/6/25/132410/220) post on the issue will help ya find the way. The comments in the thread are interesting 🙂









Hey Cassie…I think you start small while you do research. Make black armbands with the number 1 stenciled in white but crossed out with international symbol for no in red over the top (mourning the death of the First Amendment for youth). Find folks who think like you do about this SCOTUS decision and ask them to wear armbands in solidarity.

I’d like to recommend a book, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell; it will help you understand how to get an idea to catch on like wildfire. For instance you’ll need to identify the “connectors” in your school who think like you, along with “mavens” or early adopters. Once they are on board, you need to have enough armbands or whatever else you decide on short notice.

Go for it. I know I’d help my kids if they decided to do this.






Bob S


Excellent project! First Amendment issues are always good to examine and dramatize. Are any of your friends into street theater? What’s jumping into my mind right now is *Mime* (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mime_artist). Maybe two teens talking to each other and the mime prancing around them providing “commentary”?

But also, maybe turn it into a class project. Ask your social science teacher (You have one, don’t you?) or maybe the Speech coach on your debate team (does your school have one?) about your interest in First Amendment issues. Emphasize this as an educational issue, and you can probably get a sympathetic hearing. You can get the focus on things that your friends care about, exploring the boundaries of what is acceptable, and what is not acceptable.

Keep us informed about whatever you come up with!


Mime artist – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A mime artist is someone who uses mime as a theatrical medium or as a performance art. In earlier times, in English, such a performer was referred to as a mummer. Miming is to be distinguished from silent comedy, in which the artist is a seamless character in a film or sketch.






Cassie, In addition to Raynes “connectors” suggestion. May I ask if you know a few friends in your school who cross the lines of friendship… with jocks or preppies or drama /artist types etc…

Any of those folks who are interested in taking action would be who you could rally for support first and they will bring more into the fold quickly.. don’t be afraid to ask, remember its really not about you…but the ideas.. so don’t get stuck on new ideas you don’t like.. if they arent good they will most likely fall flat soon enough.. BTW I ran for office at the ripe old age of 19… so no more of that 2032 malarkey! 🙂

Also.. select one two or three causes at first and narrow it down for clearer focus as soon as your first few friends join your motivation…jmho I have watched groups spread thin quickly… marathon not a sprint etc etc

You go girl!






How about GNOB hits for Jesusa?





Bob S


Maybe I should elaborate on my suggestion of Mime and street theater. Here’s an idea for a 2-person show:
*One person wears a banner saying “First Amendment”
*Second person is a mime wearing a banner saying either Supreme Court or SCOTUS or maybe “School Official”.

The First Amendment person starts off talking (making a speech) normally, while the Mime stands nearby, looking relaxed and unconcerned. But then the First Amendment student starts to say things that are a bit edgy but not over the line. At each edgy comment, the Mime perks up, listens carefully (exaggerated poses leaning an ear towards the speaker, open hand near ear to hear better, face perked up in wide-eyed attention), and then as speaker starts crossing the line, the Mime gets increasingly agitated, wagging a”no, no, no!” finger silently at the speaker. This climaxes with the First Amendment student holding up a “Boxx Hits for Jesus” sign, at which the mime throws a conniption, racing around,jumping up and down, trying to cover up the sign or trying (silently, of course) to get the First Amendment student to put his sign away.

Of course this can be dramatised further at the climax (when the sign “Boxx hits for Jesus” is held up, 1-2 people with suits come charging in, take the sign away and throw it face down on the ground, or tear it up.

It can be a lot of fun to stage this kind of street theater, and the “plot” can be ad libbed, stretched, or cycled, depending on the audience. “Stretched” means you flirt with confrontation multiple times to engage people’s interest before springing the climax.

This provides the students with an opportunity to explore the idea of “what can I actually say, or what kinds of signs can I display, in public?”

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to NYTexan at Bluebloggin  for this award.  So so so cool!

Now I get to give it to 5 other blogs:


Thinking Blogger Award rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Here are my choices:

  1. Etcetera at disembedded.wordpress.com .
  2. Mercury Rising at phoenixwoman.wordpress.com
  3. Millard Filmore’s Bathtub at timpanogos.wordpress.com
  4. Our Descent into Madness at ourdescent.wordpress.com
  5. Peace takes Courage at peacetakescourage.com/page-home.htm

comic by Bill Day

prisoners at Gitmo

Well it seems that perhaps people in the White House are talking about the closing Guantánamo Bay Prison & Concentration Camp for enemy combatants and anyone else the administration wants to torture and keep away from US courts, the rights of prisoners of war, the rights of people arrested in the United States, or any rights at all. (Until the enemy combatants are cleared of all charges and then sent back to their country to think wonderful things about the United States.)  Many have been there since we invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

CBS Reports the story complete with the White House spin reaction:

The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and move terror suspects from there to military prisons on U.S. soil, The Associated Press has learned.

But White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement today that no decisions on Gitmo are imminent.

“The President has long expressed a desire to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to do so in a responsible way,” said Johndroe.

“A number of steps need to take place before that can happen such as setting up military commissions and the repatriation to their home countries of detainees who have been cleared for released.”

On his program tonight (Listen here!), Keith Olbermann’s take was that this would more than likely result in more detention centers — smaller and less public ones that might not have the rest of the world hating us. OK. That makes sense. So then why is it that “The President has long expressed a desire to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to do so in a responsible way”? You don’t think it’s possible that the White house spokesman was just saying that, do you? (more…)

When our country first started, only free white male citizens who owned land could vote or become elected. Now, outside of Washington DC, all adult citizens who are not felons can vote, and it’s supposed to be that they can all become elected officials. Right? Then why are there so many very rich people in Congress?

NYC Mayor Bloomberg left the Republican party yesterday, probably because he plans to run for President. I like the fact that he knows the Republican party is dying and can never win in 2008, but I dislike the idea that he can possibly win BECAUSE he is willing to use hundreds of millions, possibly a billion!!! of his OWN MONEY!

He should have no more right to bypass the primary system and get into the highest public office than anyone else. Already a candidate has to have enough money that they don’t need to work at a regular job while they campaign, but no one should be able to buy the presidency.

The solution? Public financing of elections, like Arizona and Vermont already do.

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

corporate crime, http://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/jbraithwaite/_images/Subject/Corporate_Crime.gifI don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the mainstream media, but between that and school, there’s a lot of “stuff” that I know. Turns out a lot of it is wrong. A friend pointed me towards this article from AlterNet and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t read much of it when she told me it was about corporate crime. Well, I DID read it and you should too! (No worries, when you click it will open in a new window and I’ll still be here.)

Here are some of the FACTS that the news and my teachers never told me, and I pay pretty good attention to most things involving crime and prison:

Corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

That includes frauds and swindles.

Corporate crime is often violent crime.

Recite this list of corporate frauds and people will immediately say to you: but you can’t compare street crime and corporate crime — corporate crime is not violent crime.

Not true.

Corporate crime is often violent crime.

The FBI estimates that, 16,000 Americans are murdered every year.

Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products, and hospital malpractice.

How about these two?

 There are very few career prosecutors of corporate crime.

Most corporate crime prosecutors see their jobs as a stepping stone to greater things.

Here is their conclusion:

1. And the number one thing you should know about corporate crime?

Everyone is deserving of justice. So, question, debate, strategize, yes.

But if God-forbid you too are victimized by a corporate criminal, you too will demand justice.

We need a more beefed up, more effective justice system to deal with the corporate criminals in our midst.

So how do we change it? How do we get real equality?

 This is completely 100% plagiarized from Dick Steele.  But it was WAY too funny not to.

This is not an easy essay to write. It’s never easy to admit I’m wrong, especially when I have been so horribly mistaken for such a long time.

However, it must be done. The evidence is clear, (LITERALLY, as you shall soon see…) and the analysis leads to a single, incontrovertible conclusion:
I have been completely mistaken about George W. Bush.

We all have.

We’ve believed him a bumbler, a stumbler; a glassy-eyed, mouth-breathing buffoon with all the fashion sense of a brain-damaged monkey on crystal meth dressing itself from a Nawlinz trash can two days after Mardi gras.

However, here at DickSteele Labs™, we’ve taken a more in-depth look at the man. We’ve spent literally HOURS analyzing all the relevant evidence with the best, most powerful computer systems available anywhere in the world
for $1200 back in 2002.

And the conclusion is unavoidable: all our opinions of the man have been mistaken.

Mistaken because we were unaware of a single, significant fact: George W. Bush can see invisible things.
This is his blessing….and his curse.

Come with me now, as I grant you insight into his world, via the high-tech magic of “captions”…

We lowly peons wouldn’t think him so clumsy if we were able to see all the…

Apparently, it’s EVERYWHERE. Who knew?

And it’s not easy to stay “on message” with all the constant, onrushing…

And few of us really grasp what a James Dean-style tough guy he is…

(Sometimes, the invisible toothpick falls into that narrow spot under the podium. Problem? NOT!)

At this point, many of you doubt that this is a serious thread.

You probably think I’m making all this up; you don’t believe he’s
an actual card-carrying member of the Society of Invisible-Stuff Seers.
Well, if he isn’t, then why does he have THIS:

Chew on that, you skeptics!

Fashion-wise, it turns out that he really isn’t being dressed by blind circus clowns who hate his guts. No, the problem is that you and I are often unable to SEE the single item or accessory that ties his entire outfit together into a masterful composition of sheer couture brilliance.

His invisible top hat just be SILLY without his…

And likewise, this outfit only makes sense if you know about his…

Nothing says “Real patriot” like a…

Suddenly, this makes SO much more sense, no?

And there’s really only one thing on Earth that can tie together a white shirt, Crocs™, and black Presidential-seal socks:

Our inability to see what he sees can cause no end of difficulties for Mr. Bush. A never-ending series of misunderstandings that make his job, and life, so much harder than that of any ordinary President.

We all saw what a hullabaloo THIS caused, just this week:

And that was NOTHING compared to the abuse he’s had to endure because of these:

And he has yet to get a SINGLE chuckle from his favorite press-conference gag:

But, it’s not all bad. Being the way he is, he has a wide variety of options that can help him through the ups and downs of his unique and misunderstood life.

Nothing makes a tough press conference easier than the close support of an…

And “tough crowds” aren’t all that tough,  for a man who can see…

There’s nothing like hitting the town with all of your best…

Hey, none of us will ever know the joy of being surrounded by a cheering mob of…

(slipping that invisible watch into the ‘ol pocket this time- smart move, George!)

And ALLLLLL those invisible Bush-fans have some much  more PRACTICAL benefits, every so often:

Sometimes, a fellow Society member surprises him with a very special gift:

Of course, that can have a downside:

Few of -US- could ever get away with smoking in church…

His “Invisible George Burns” impression? Flawless!

And if you’re trying to cut back on those, it’s often helpful to substitute…

And, as a lover of “the Great Outdoors”, he enjoys it on so many more
levels than you or I could ever possibly understand.

His invisible active lifestyle spans the seasons, from winter:

Well into the summer heat:

Make no mistake, however; “invisible nature”  has a few hazards of its own:

Or even WORSE:

Bad day to forget his invisible monocle!

And,as we all know, EVERY President faces certain NON-natural dangers simply by  assuming office. There are crazy, hateful people out there, and any leader of our great Nation ignores them at his own peril.

That’s why he WISELY never goes out without his…

Of course, that will only take care of the first SIX invisible assailants.

If there are MORE than that, then it’s time to bust open a can of whupass “up close and personal”, Bruce Lee style:

And, although it’s not actually a life-threatening problem, he must remain constantly vigilant against the comically painful surprise attacks of….

(“Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk” shall NEVER defeat “Heh Heh Heh”!)

But, in the end, even with his amazing gifts and unfair burdens,
he is still, basically, a human man. Basically.

Even for a man as SPECIAL as George W. Bush, there are moments
in life that every lowly, non-invisible-stuff-seer like you and I can understand, and empathize with:

Of course, he is “special”, and so he can deal with those moments in a way I only wish I could:

This concludes this photographic essay.
It has not been my intent to change minds, or votes, but simply to INFORM.

Whatever your personal opinion, I can only express my humblest desire that
you leave here today with a deeper, more educated understanding of the
unique & incredibly complex man whom we all call, simply, “that fucking shithead”.

On behalf of the entire DickSteele Labs™ staff,
I thank you for your time.

Richard Steele,
June 14, 2007

I think that Dick Cheney is evil, but look at what Citizen Jane from Firedoglake thinks.

Gimme a….
V for Valerie and a
P for Plame and a
D for diabolical and a
I for indictments and a
C for COVERT and a
K for kick ‘em out and a
C for covert again and a
H for her husband and a
E for exposed and an
N for NOC and an
E for ended career and a
Y for yellow-bellied-traitors and an
S for Scooter and a
U for upholding the law and a
C for covert again! and a
K for keeping secrets and a
S for see ya in prison


Now that the judge has said that Scooter Libby must go to jail and not be free while waiting for his appeals, so you think Bush will pardon him? What happens next?

Image from Bill Day.


United States court roomThere was a very important ruling today in a federal appeals court that is known for being conservative. According to the AP, the court delivered a harsh rebuke to the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism strategy Monday, ruling that U.S. residents cannot be locked up indefinitely as “enemy combatants” without being charged. In this case, the man was a legal resident and not like one of the Guantanamo detainees who was picked up in a foreign country without being a US resident, but it is still a good sign that the courts are starting to restore our rights.

Also from the same AP article,

“Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to orderthe military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them ‘enemy combatants,'” the court said.

Such detention “would have disastrous consequences for the Constitution — and the country,”

These are some previous YouthInkLeft posts about Habeas Corpus, which is defined as “ the right of a citizen to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as a protection against illegal imprisonment” (from Merriam Webster) :

“Detainees” in Gitmo May be Getting the Help they Need, by Aryeh


About Habeas Corpus” by Freckles Cassie


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