1.31.2006

[Politics] Response to the SOTU 2006

Text of President Bush's State of the Union address on Tuesday, prepared for delivery, as released by the White House:

[I find speeches like this so angering that I usually just read the text. I'll comment should he choose to go off his prepared notes to any great extent.]

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps, distinguished guests and fellow citizens:

Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream. Tonight we are comforted by the hope of a glad reunion with the husband who was taken from her so long ago, and we are grateful for the good life of Coretta Scott King.

Each time I am invited to this rostrum, I am humbled by the privilege and mindful of the history we have seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history and it has been my honor to serve with you.

In a system of two parties

[So we've all but given up on any representation beyond the two corrupted wings of the bank party. Oh, I think Bernie Sanders might like to have a word with you.]

, two chambers and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger.

[I'll agree to this. I'm looking forward to a civil impeachment.]

To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another and I will do my part. Tonight the state of our Union is strong and together we will make it stronger.

[The State of our Union is a shambles. The legitimacy of our government has not been on such unstable ground in a long time. I don't really expect him to say any different.]

In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom

[May I suggest a little mirror time... I'm tempted to quote Pogo.]

or retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy

[Ahem, {cough} CHINA {cough}.]

or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting, yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people, the only way to secure the peace, the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership, so the United States of America will continue to lead.

[He chooses empire.]

Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal: We seek the end of tyranny in our world.

[Good luck with that.]

Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism.

[I think we'd have to have our own house in order before trying to push any such agenda on others is going to fly.]

In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September 11th, 2001,

[Well, that didn't take long...]

we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country.

[I don't think Saudi Arabia is that far away. Oh, wait you meant Afghanistan? You mean those 'freedom fighters' that Ronald Reagan supported in the war against the Soviets - the Mujahadeen? And their leader that we gave money, weapons and training to: Osama Bin Laden? Or did you mean most of the hijackers? SAUDIS.]

Dictatorships shelter terrorists,

[So does Congress every moment it allows you to keep your office.]

feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction.

[I have no doubt that at some point in the near future, radical Islamists will get their hands on a nuke and use it. May I suggest that maybe the arms race during the cold war was a dumb idea?]

Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror. Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer, and so we will act boldly in freedom's cause.

[Yeah, I'll buy that.]

Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies on Earth. Today, there are 122.

[Not one chose an American-style constitution, interestingly enough. And I hope you aren't counting Iraq in there yet. Including the people of Palestine who elected Hamas?]

And we are writing a new chapter in the story of self-government, with women lining up to vote in Afghanistan and millions of Iraqis marking their liberty with purple ink

[Purple ink as a metaphoric phrase is hereby banned for the rest of 2006.]

and men and women from Lebanon to Egypt debating the rights of individuals and the necessity of freedom. At the start of 2006, more than half the people of our world live in democratic nations. And we do not forget the other half in places like Syria, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran because the demands of justice, and the peace of this world, require their freedom as well.

[These are our future military targets, if you didn't read into it...]

No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it. And one of the main sources of reaction and opposition is radical Islam, the perversion by a few of a noble faith

[The atheist in me is wanting to challenge that adjective, but I'll admit that most of Islam is peaceable, even if the Quran is not such a peaceful book (nor is the Bible for that matter).]

into an ideology of terror and death. Terrorists like bin Laden are serious about mass murder and all of us must take their declared intentions seriously.

[Agreed.]

They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder. Their aim is to seize power in Iraq,

[Uh, they pretty much just want the US off Muslim holy land and an ending to the Israeli state. The only reason they are anywhere near Iraq is so they can attack the US.]

and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world. Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear.

[Asymmetric warfare has been used for a good portion of the history of warfare. Terrorism is just combat by other means. They are using what resources they have.]

When they murder children at a school in Beslan or blow up commuters in London or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth. But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.

[Nevermind the man behind the curtain tearing up the constitution and expanding the USA PATRIOT Act.]

In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone.

[Probably not, but the will for terrorist recruitment would probably dry up and blow away if we got off Muslim Holy Land and quit supporting Israel.]

They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores. There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat. By allowing radical Islam to work its will by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself, we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals, or even in our own courage.

[How was it courageous to attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11? I know Hussein is a thug, but if it was our job to depose every thug in the world, we'd have to conscipt everyone in the US over the age of 10 to fight in neverending wars. BTW, Iraq is this generation's Vietnam.]

But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed, and move this world toward peace.

[I call Godwin by proxy.]

We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders and for the others, their day will come.

We remain on the offensive in Afghanistan, where a fine president and national assembly are fighting terror while building the institutions of a new democracy.

And we are on the offensive in Iraq, with a clear plan for victory.

[Throw money and blood at the problem till it goes away?]

First, we are helping Iraqis build an inclusive government, so that old resentments will be eased and the insurgency marginalized. Second, we are continuing reconstruction efforts and helping the Iraqi government to fight corruption and build a modern economy, so all Iraqis can experience the benefits of freedom.

[Notice the linking of money to freedom.]

Third, we are striking terrorist targets while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly capable of defeating the enemy. Iraqis are showing their courage every day, and we are proud to be their allies in the cause of freedom.

Our work in Iraq is difficult, because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, that nation has gone from dictatorship, to liberation, to sovereignty

[If the Iraqi parmilment told us to pack up our shit and get the hell out right now, do you think we'd comply? Kind of facetious to talk about sovereignty when we're an occupying army.]

, to a constitution, to national elections. At the same time, our coalition has been relentless in shutting off terrorist infiltration, clearing out insurgent strongholds and turning over territory to Iraqi security forces. I am confident in our plan for victory. I am confident in the will of the Iraqi people. I am confident in the skill and spirit of our military. Fellow citizens, we are in this fight to win, and we are winning.

[You're confident in every decision you make. Thats part of the problem: you never admit mistakes. You never change direction when things aren't working. You throw the same solutions at a problem over and over hoping for a different outcome.]

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels, but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.


[Want to bet that if several high-ranking generals suggested we leave, you'd have them retired within the week?]

Our coalition

[Don't kid yourself. This was unilateral invasion with a little coalition window-dressing.]

has learned from experience in Iraq. We have adjusted our military tactics and changed our approach to reconstruction. Along the way, we have benefited from responsible criticism

[I have never heard a single instance of your administration taking any real criticism of any kind to heart. You have a history of attacking anyone who dares to disagree with you.]

and counsel offered by members of Congress of both parties. In the coming year, I will continue to reach out and seek your good advice.

Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure.

[Read: disagreeing with me in any way other than silently muttering under your breath is unamerican and you are helping the terrorists and you hate freedom.]

Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.

[Neither is throwing money and blood at a problem.]

With so much in the balance, those of us in public office have a duty to speak with candor. A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison,

[A civil war in Iraq is nearly inevitable. Few people are talking about a sudden withdrawl. Most want a phased one.]

put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country,

[Read: we want to control the whole Middle East and the last remaining scraps of cheap oil in the world.]

and show that a pledge from America means little. Members of Congress, however we feel about the decisions and debates of the past, our nation has only one option: We must keep our word, defeat our enemies and stand behind the American military in its vital mission.

[Shut up and do as I say. I'm the fucking command-in-chief and you need to fall in line.]

Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear.

[You keep backdoor-drafting them too...]

They know what it is like to fight house to house in a maze of streets, to wear heavy gear in the desert heat, to see a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. And those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting the enemy in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Staff Sergeant Dan Clay's wife, Lisa, and his mom and dad, Sara Jo and Bud, are with us this evening.

[cut to family in audience]

Our nation is grateful to the fallen, who live in the memory of our country. We are grateful to all who volunteer to wear our nation's uniform, and as we honor our brave troops, let us never forget the sacrifices of America's military families.

Our offensive against terror involves more than military action. Ultimately, the only way to defeat the terrorists is to defeat their dark vision of hatred and fear by offering the hopeful alternative of political freedom and peaceful change.

[So, eliminate global poverty, then.]

So the United States of America supports democratic reform across the broader Middle East. Elections are vital but they are only the beginning. Raising up a democracy requires the rule of law, protection of minorities and strong, accountable institutions that last longer than a single vote. The great people of Egypt have voted in a multiparty presidential election and now their government should open paths of peaceful opposition that will reduce the appeal of radicalism. The Palestinian people have voted in elections; now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism and work for lasting peace. Saudi Arabia has taken the first steps of reform; now it can offer its people a better future by pressing forward with those efforts. Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.

[Good luck with that. Next on the docket, the Christianization of China.]

The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people.

[Bomb the Vatican!]

The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon, and that must come to an end. The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons.

[A nuclear Iran is not very desirable, but this is going to be tough. My suggestin is that we play a supportive role in what the world at large decides to do instead of our cowboy unilateral approach. That goes for you too, Israel.]

America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats. And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

[But if I have to, by Jesus I'll bomb your nation back to the stone age.]

To overcome dangers in our world, we must also take the offensive by encouraging economic progress, fighting disease and spreading hope in hopeless lands. Isolationism

[Uh, few people are suggesting any kind of isolationsim. Just because we choose not to invade foreign countries with our armed forces doesn't mean we are isolationist. Foreign Policy usually works better with economics than with bombs.]

would not only tie our hands in fighting enemies, it would keep us from helping our friends in desperate need. We show compassion abroad because Americans believe in the God-given dignity and worth of a villager with HIV/AIDS, or an infant with malaria, or a refugee fleeing genocide, or a young girl sold into slavery. We also show compassion abroad because regions overwhelmed by poverty, corruption and despair are sources of terrorism, organized crime, human trafficking and the drug trade.

In recent years, you and I have taken unprecedented action to fight AIDS and malaria, expand the education of girls, and reward developing nations that are moving forward with economic and political reform. For people everywhere, the United States is a partner for a better life.

[We need you to take low-wage jobs to make our shit.]

Shortchanging these efforts would increase the suffering and chaos of our world, undercut our long-term security and dull the conscience of our country. I urge members of Congress to serve the interests of America by showing the compassion of America.

Our country must also remain on the offensive against terrorism here at home.

[He's back on terrorism. This whole speech is a big scare.]

The enemy has not lost the desire or capability to attack us. Fortunately, this nation has superb professionals in law enforcement, intelligence, the military and homeland security.

[It also has incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and an inability to do anything in-budget.]

These men and women are dedicating their lives to protecting us all, and they deserve our support and our thanks. They also deserve the same tools they already use to fight drug trafficking and organized crime, so I ask you to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

[Fuck you, America. I want near-totalitarian control over your lives and the ability to spy on you constantly. And I want your taxes to pay for it.]

It is said that prior to the attacks of September 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaida operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late.

[Actually, we had quite a bit of evidence. What we lacked was intellience analysts. The last thing we need is more SIGINT. We need people who know what they are doing to go over what information we already have.]

So to prevent another attack, based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute, I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al-Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America.

[In violation of the FISA court and Federal Law.]

Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have and federal courts have approved the use of that authority.

[Many wrongs do not make it legal. You're basically guilty of the same thing we were about to throw Nixon out for, except about 10,000 times more broad and overarching.]

Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed.

[One of them felt so strongly that you were comitting crimes that he filed a memo and sent it to Cheney. Just so he could pull it out and say 'I told you so asshole, and this is my get out of jail free card.']

This terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al-Qaida, we want to know about it because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.

In all these areas, from the disruption of terror networks, to victory in Iraq, to the spread of freedom and hope in troubled regions, we need the support of friends and allies. To draw that support, we must always be clear in our principles and willing to act. The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically more dangerous and anxious world. Yet we also choose to lead because it is a privilege to serve the values that gave us birth. American leaders from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan rejected isolation and retreat,

[All assholes, and again, who is advocating isolationism? I guess that is the new GOP 'talking point'.]

because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march.

[What a lame phrase. Freedom is being strangled slowly, how about that? It is more accurate.]

Our own generation is in a long war against a determined enemy,

[This isn't ending in your lifetime, chummers. We'll be drafting your grandkids.]

a war that will be fought by presidents of both parties, who will need steady bipartisan support from the Congress. And tonight I ask for yours. Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.

[We haven't been leading the world anywhere in a while.]

Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.

[We'll own your ass.]

Our economy is healthy, and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs, more than Japan and the European Union combined. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.

[We also have a savings rate of -0.5%. We're burning our wealth trying to keep this shit up. Oh, and that glimmer up ahead: that's a global depression.]

The American economy is pre-eminent

[No, its collapse is imminent.]

but we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors like China and India. This creates uncertainty, which makes it easier to feed people's fears. And so we are seeing some old temptations return. Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy.

[I have news: we can't maintain our high standard of living no matter what we do. The coming energy crisis will gut this nation and we will be a third world economy if we are not careful.]

Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.

[Mass immigration and tax cuts for the wealthy will continue.]

Tonight I will set out a better path, an agenda for a nation that competes with confidence, an agenda that will raise standards of living and generate new jobs. Americans should not fear our economic future, because we intend to shape it.

[Workers of America, my corporate backers are going to grind you into $20 bills.]

Keeping America competitive begins with keeping our economy growing. And our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save and invest.

[Cough... negative 0.5 percent ...cough. We're spending more money that we make already, what more do you expect? We're drowning in debt.]

In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left $880 billion in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses and families, and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth. Yet the tax relief is set to expire in the next few years. If we do nothing, American families will face a massive tax increase they do not expect and will not welcome.

[More tax cuts for my financial backers.]

Because America needs more than a temporary expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. I urge the Congress to act responsibly, and make the tax cuts permanent.

Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars. Every year of my presidency, we have reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending,

[Yeah, but you are pissing away hundreds of billions in defense and we aren't any safer!]

and last year you passed bills that cut this spending. This year my budget will cut it again, and reduce or eliminate more than 140 programs that are performing poorly or not fulfilling essential priorities.

[Lets kill the Department of Homeland Security then. What a disfunctional mess. And FEMA to boot. Start from scratch.]

By passing these reforms, we will save the American taxpayer another $14 billion next year and stay on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. I am pleased that members of Congress are working on earmark reform because the federal budget has too many special interest projects. And we can tackle this problem together, if you pass the line-item veto.

We must also confront the larger challenge of mandatory spending, or entitlements. This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turn 60, including two of my dad's favorite people: me and President Bill Clinton. This milestone is more than a personal crisis, it is a national challenge. The retirement of the baby boom generation will put unprecedented strains on the federal government. By 2030, spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone will be almost 60 percent of the entire federal budget. And that will present future Congresses with impossible choices: staggering tax increases, immense deficits or deep cuts in every category of spending.

[Raise the age at which you can get SS, raise taxes, cut benefits. To get that $4 trillion Ponzi scheme to work, we're going to have to do all three. Oh, and if you are the children of the Baby Boomers: you aren't getting shit. You'll still have to pay in of course, but don't expect a nickel.]

Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security,

[Privatizing SS so stock brokers can gut the fund and make billions is not a solution.]

yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away, and with every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse. So tonight, I ask you to join me in creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This commission should include members of Congress of both parties, and offer bipartisan answers. We need to put aside partisan politics, work together and get this problem solved.

Keeping America competitive requires us to open more markets for all that Americans make and grow. One out of every five factory jobs in America is related to global trade, and we want people everywhere to buy American.

[Americans have made it pretty clear they do not want to pay for American made.]

With open markets and a level playing field, no one can out-produce or out-compete the American worker.

[LOL! Virtually ANYONE can out-produce us and out-compete us on price.

Keeping America competitive requires an immigration system that upholds our laws, reflects our values and serves the interests of our economy. Our nation needs orderly and secure borders. To meet this goal, we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty, allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.

[I know that Hispanics are a huge part of my base, and I know that a lot of the states that voted for me are virtually run by immigrant labor, so this will be an exercise. Also, the baby boomers will never be able to maintain their lazy lifestyle without cheap imported labor.]

Keeping America competitive requires affordable health care. Our government has a responsibility to help provide health care for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility.

[How about providing it to everyone. Single payer.]

For all Americans, we must confront the rising cost of care, strengthen the doctor-patient relationship and help people afford the insurance coverage they need. We will make wider use of electronic records and other health information technology, to help control costs and reduce dangerous medical errors.

[Mindless platitude that sounds good.]

We will strengthen health savings accounts by making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big businesses now get. We will do more to make this coverage portable, so workers can switch jobs without having to worry about losing their health insurance. And because lawsuits are driving many good doctors out of practice, leaving women in nearly 1,500 American counties without a single OB-GYN, I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.

[Tort reform.]

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

[Yep.]

The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources,

[And HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS invading Iraq so we can force the Middle East to continue supplying us with oil. Oh, and making your posse rich. Really, if alternative energy were really a priority, we would be throwing billions and billions at it.]

and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

[When did George get a science degree?]

So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative, a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants,

[No such thing, and coal plants give off more radioactivity than nuclear plants do. Coal is stopgap at best, and it is still fossil fuel energy. We need to find alternatives to fossil fuels.]

revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy.

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars,

[And power them with what?]

and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen.

[And get the hydrogen from where?]

We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol,

[You realize we'll have to cover every square inch of farmland in America with corn and dump pesticide (from oil), and fertilizer (from natural gas) on it just to power the cars we have now... Where will the food come from?

not just from corn but from wood chips, stalks or switch grass.

[Okay, biofuels may be a nice stopgap idea, but one frought with problems. There is a reason why people are so concerned with Peak Oil. Because none of these solutions really works, and we'd still have to build the infrastructure. Also, cars take enormous amounts of energy just to build (like 90 barrels of oil to build one car).]

Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

[Holy shit, he's on crack. The price of oil will make all this moot much faster.]

By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.

And to keep America competitive, one commitment is necessary above all: We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hard-working, ambitious people, and we are going to keep that edge. Tonight I announce the American Competitiveness Initiative, to encourage innovation throughout our economy and to give our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science.

[Is our children reading?]

First: I propose to double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next ten years. This funding will support the work of America's most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing and alternative energy sources.

Second: I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit, to encourage bolder private-sector investment in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come.

[Not bad goals, but the fine print is everything, and I smell subsidies.]

Third: We need to encourage children to take more math and science, and make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations. We have made a good start in the early grades with the No Child Left Behind Act, which is raising standards and lifting test scores across our country. Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science; bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms; and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs. If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world.

[Are we going to teach them about the theory of evolution and natural selection in those science courses? How about sound fiscal policies regarding money in math?]


Preparing our nation to compete in the world is a goal that all of us can share. I urge you to support the American Competitiveness Initiative and together we will show the world what the American people can achieve.

America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society.

In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row.

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment.

[Yeah, my generaton is sobering up to the fact that we're in deep shit and we are going to have to fix all your messes.]

Government has played a role. Wise policies such as welfare reform, drug education

[LOL! Every study has shown that it is a joke.]

and support for abstinence

[Condoms are for evil baby Jesus haters.]

and adoption

[Welcome Justice Alito. Cue Roe v. Wade Part II in 3...2...1...]

have made a difference in the character of our country. And everyone here tonight, Democrat and Republican, has a right to be proud of this record.

Yet many Americans, especially parents, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture, and the health of our most basic institutions. They are concerned about unethical conduct by public officials,

[Most of those scandals belong to the GOP.]

and discouraged by activist courts

[Almost ALL the 'activist court' stuff is coming from the right, not the left.]

that try to redefine marriage.

[The world may come to accept gays being together in the next coming decades, but America won't.]

And they worry about children in our society who need direction and love, and about fellow citizens still displaced by natural disaster,


[We're nearly at the end of the speech and he alludes to NOLA. Pages and pages of terrorism shit, and this is what we get regarding the terrible response to Katrina.]

and about suffering caused by treatable disease.

As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline,

[The evidence seems to argue otherwise.]

or that our culture is doomed to unravel.

[We are not immune. It CAN happen here.]

The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before and we will do it again.

[My mindless optimism will be untouched by reality.]

A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. And I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench. Today marks the official retirement of a very special American. For 24 years of faithful service to our nation, the United States is grateful to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms,

[Didn't we already illegalize that? Also, other countries will just pick up the slack if it leads to medical breakthroughs.]

creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids and buying, selling or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our creator

[Human life is a product of evolution and natural selection. And fucking.]

and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.

A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. Honorable people in both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington and I support your efforts. Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility, and that is a pledge we must never forget, never dismiss and never betray.

[You are the dirtiest, most corrupt president in my lifetime. You have some nerve talking about ethics when your own ethics have been nearly absent.]

As we renew the promise of our institutions, let us also show the character of America in our compassion and care for one another.

A hopeful society gives special attention to children who lack direction and love. Through the Helping America's Youth Initiative, we are encouraging caring adults to get involved in the life of a child, and this good work is led by our first lady, Laura Bush. This year we will add resources to encourage young people to stay in school so more of America's youth can raise their sights and achieve their dreams.

A hopeful society comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency and stays at it until they are back on their feet. So far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

[He finally mentions NOLA by name.]

We are removing debris, repairing highways and building stronger levees. We are providing business loans and housing assistance. Yet as we meet these immediate needs, we must also address deeper challenges that existed before the storm arrived. In New Orleans and in other places, many of our fellow citizens have felt excluded from the promise of our country. The answer is not only temporary relief, but schools that teach every child and job skills that bring upward mobility and more opportunities to own a home and start a business. As we recover from a disaster, let us also work for the day when all Americans are protected by justice, equal in hope and rich in opportunity.

[If you weren't so poor, I might care about you more.]

A hopeful society acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated.

[Well, I think we can prevent HIV infection by an eventual vaccine, and treat those with AIDS symptomatically, but we have never cured a virus even once in the history of medicine so far as I know.]

More than a million Americans live with HIV,

[Be careful out these boys and girls. Also, 1 in 6 Americans have herpes. Wear a raincoat on your jimmy.]

and half of all AIDS cases occur among African-Americans. I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicine in America. We will also lead a nationwide effort, working closely with African-American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.

Fellow citizens, we have been called to leadership in a period of consequence. We have entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite. We see great changes in science and commerce that will influence all our lives. And sometimes it can seem that history is turning in a wide arc, toward an unknown shore.

[Wow, odd prose.]

Yet the destination of history is determined by human action, and every great movement of history comes to a point of choosing. Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?

[Finishing well will likely require turning back on your dangerous and destructive agendas and trying something more productive and healthy.]

Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage.

[And edited by committee.]

Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom's advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of victories to come.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.


[Where is Osama Bin Laden? Where was the exit strategy for Iraq? Where is the admission that we are at Peak Oil and Peak Natural Gas? Where is the billions and billions in research for fusion, and renewable energy that could actually be sustainable? Global warming? Admission that you violated federal law? Torture and secret prison scandals? Where is your letter of resignation? Where is the outrage? Where is there anything but lies and hokum in your speech? Fuck you George. Fuck your whole damned administration. If America had any courage or conviction at all, your impeachment would begin tomorrow.]

[Politics] Damn

Alito was confirmed, can't say I didn't see it coming, but it still sucks. The Supreme Court has now firmly and indeniably shifted to the right. Kiss Roe vs Wade good-bye. Kiss the 1st Amendment good-bye.

1.26.2006

[Musings] This week's City Pages Horoscope

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The New York Times' Deborah Solomon interviewed Peter Watson, author of Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud. "What is the single worst idea in history?" she asked him. "Without question, ethical monotheism," he replied. "The idea of one true god. The idea that our life and ethical conduct on earth determines how we will go in the next world. This has been responsible for most of the wars and bigotry in history." Personally, I disagree with his curious assessment. I think history's most terrible idea is the theory that some groups of people are smarter and better and deserve more rights than others. The coming week is a good time for you to meditate on these themes, Virgo. Which ideas do you consider bad ones, both those on a global scale and those that have at one time or another infected your belief system? (P.S. It's also a perfect moment to fight those bad ideas.)


I have been pondering this very thing this week. Strange. Just this morning in between picking up a coffee and checking my email I had thought about 'God', how I am not Christian and how my spirituality is very personal and my own. I disagree with the evangelical christian movment that is gaining even more momentum in this country and I don't mean the Baptists, I mean the non-denomination ultra-hyper-mega churches. I have read and pondered many parts of the bible. One conclusion I came to of my own is that, as my horoscope says, no one is better than anyone else. From what I have seen of these evangelical groups scare me. They are preaching teachings that do not appear in the bible. No where have I found the sentiments of 'Pray to God and he will reward you with material wealth.' 'Pray to God and everyone you don't like (read gays) will go away.' 'Vote republican because they are the only ones who are spiritual and understand you.' Seems all very self-centered to me, not selfless, like what much of the bible, especially new testament, talks about.

Religions are ideas, not bludgeons, they should not be used against others.

Those of us who are not christian and/or do not agree with them must also be careful not to fall into their trap by thinking all christians are bad. We must not use our ideas as bludgeons against other people. 'Eye for an eye and we all go blind.' Ignorance for ignorance and we all go stupid.

1.25.2006

[Politics] Your hunch is right! Bush is evil incarnate.

A story today in The New York Times details the disgusting stance the Bush White House is taking to 'aid' the inquiry into what went wrong during the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

'White House Declines to Provide Storm Papers'

As one can easily imagine they are refusing to release sensitive documents citing executive privilege. Bull shit. Or should I say Bush shit? What secrets of their success are they trying to hide from those who wish to do our nation harm? I know, I know, how to play the blame game whilst claiming to rise above such finger pointing. These are probably the key documents about disaster preparedness Bush colored a ducky on instead of reviewing like Uncle Dick said.

It's not as if people and the world didn't notice the lackluster response of the Bush administration to the hurricane. They can admit they did wrong - we already know! At the very least let the process be reviewed for what went wrong so the problems can begin to be addressed. If they care so much about the American people, then keep this from happening again.

1.20.2006

[Music] Ok I admit it...

I miss the music of the mid-90s, the post-grunge, pre-totally commercial alternative music from 1993-1996. Back when you heard bands like Heather Nova, Cracker, Whale, and 'The Indians' on the radio.

I know this is the first sign of many that your are getting old, when the music you like is now over a decade old and appears on shows like 'The 90s at Noon'. But I felt 1992-1998 were the golden years of music for me. I loved Pearl Jam, The Breeders, Belly, Poe, Heather Nova, Nirvana, Blind Melon, Morphine and the like.

I miss that era.

1.18.2006

[Politics] UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador calls Bush 'Greatest Tyrant'

And I agree. I know this is a few days too late, but I feel this story deserves a mention. Harry Belafonte recently called Bush the 'Greatest Tyrant in the World' in an appearance in Venezuela. Here is a link to the Yahoo! News story.

Bush is not a President. He is a dictator, a tyrant, a neo-Nixon (but at least Nixon was smarter). He and his Administration feel they are above the law. I only hope it is not too late for Americans to realize this.

1.17.2006

[Security] Bad Windows Vulnerability, Very Bad

The latest Windows Metafile vulnerability is bad, very bad. Lots of things can go on without you knowing it. The Security Now podcast covered it quite well and Ilfak Guilfanov coded a patch that closes this vulnerability (Microsoft has not issued a patch yet). Read about the issue and get the patch from Ilfak here or from Ilfak's own page here.

From Security Now show notes here is a quick overview/background:


Quick Background:

The active exploitation of a very serious vulnerability in all versions of Windows was discovered in late December.

Word of this spread rapidly through the hacker community — many of whom where presumably on holiday vacation from school, bored, and looking for something to do.

So several days later nearly one hundred different instances of exploitation of this newly discovered vulnerability had been found.

Note that this is not a "new vulnerability" — it (and perhaps other similar bugs) have been lying unknown in Windows since 1991. What's "new" is the discovery of this long-present vulnerability in Windows' metafile processing.

Almost immediately there were reports of an MSN Messenger worm, and now F-Secure is reporting that "Happy New Year" SPAM eMail is carrying an exploit.

Anti-Virus vendors quickly updated and began pushing out their A-V signature files. These have been effective, but a new very flexible exploit generation tool has appeared that's able to create so many different variations of the exploit that A-V signatures are having trouble keeping up.

Microsoft responded with an acknowledgement of the problem which included a very weak workaround (the shimgvw.dll unregistration) that provides very little protection. Theirs is not a cure, and it is not known how long the Windows user community will now be waiting for a true patch from Microsoft.

Ilfak Guilfanov (see GREEN box below) produced a highly-effective true patch which successfully suppresses all known exploitable vulnerabilities for anyone using Windows 2000, XP, server 2003, or 64-bit XP. No patch is available for Windows 95, 98, ME or NT, and none is expected to be forthcoming. But anyone using Windows 2000, XP, server 2003, or 64-bit XP should IMMEDIATELY install Ilfak's exploit suppressor into all of their systems.

[Advice] Ask a Ninja

Found this looking for podcasts the other day. Brilliant.

Ask a Ninja (askaninja@gmail.com).

If you are interested in Ninjas, I recommend reading this book, Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book by Robert Hamburger. It has a surprise ending!

1.16.2006

[Privacy] Bug Me Not

New version of bugmenot, a firefox extension that allows anonymous login to those 'must register to view the news' sites like the NY Times, Star Tribune, etc. Its pretty nice, the new version fixes a lot of older issues and is more compatible with more sites.

Here is my cocktail for anonymous, safe (as in no spyware) browsing of the internet:

privoxy+TOR+bugmenot+firefox = safer browsing

1.15.2006

[Science] We are all made of stars.

Congrats to NASA for successfully landing 'Stardust' and bringing back to Earth the primitive pieces of our star system, from which we are all made.

1.12.2006

[Politics] The Impaler for Governor of MN?

Saw this story on startribune.com.

Would be better than Pawlenty.

Come on someone get their act together to put forth a winnable candidate against Tim 'Taxes and the standard of living be damned because its all the immigrants fault its not a tax if I call it a fee' Pawlenty.

[Multimedia] Samorest 2

Ok, I just lost 30 minutes I shouldn't have at work because I stumbled across 'Samorest 2'. It is a beautiful game. Simple and engrossing. Check it out.

[Humor] Kung-Fu F-You!

Found this in the Video Dog section of salon.com. I laughed so hard I cried.

"Not even a herd of dancing leprechauns and stop my dancing finger style ha-ha!"

1.06.2006

[Humor] "Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny"

My childhood played out before me...

http://uploads.ungrounded.net/285000/285267_ultimateshowdown.swf

[Paranormal] More quizes from NorthernMisfit's link

Psi Test:

take the psi-q psychic test yourself

"Zenner" Test:

Final Score=1/25

Statistically, the average score is 5/25 (you have a one in five chance of getting each card right by random selection).

The only true test of ability is to take this (or similar) tests over hundreds of trials. We plan in future to enable visitors to register and log-in to record test results over time, as well as conduct tests on-line with live partners. If you would like to be notified when such facilities are available, register for notification via email by filling in the form on the left.


I.E. I scored one on dumb luck.

1.02.2006

[Poetry] Collected Works of GeistX 1993-present

I used to use the handle 'Xen' back in my old MUSH/MUD/MOO days at the U of MN in the early-mid 90s. I also had a philosphy called 'Xenism' which was my take on religion, spirituality, politics, and life...I was in college...I was young (and ignorant of oh so many things). I created many 'Xenisms' in email that I sent to my friends. I had so many, that one friend printed them all off and created a collage that hung in the dorms on the girl's floor at Hamline for one semester. I gave nerdwife a book of poems that I wrote (I believe she stills has them). I called it 'Xenistic Poetry'. Here are my poems that I put on the web and the years they were written. Sadly this is but a fraction of what I wrote between 1993-2000. I wrote very little between 2001-2004 (hmmm...strange that...)


AML,M4,inv16,w/EOS
(2002, after I went into remission from AML)

I have journeyed to the end of the universe

one no bigger than the limits of my mind

I have seen infinity folded in on itself

and I still don't know why

I have walked with the specter of death

and seen God sit in a corner, no farther than an arm's breadth

I have been alone while surrounded by people

many sitting with their fingers clutched or steepled

I felt parts of my body die

I felt parts of it, like a phoenix, rise

I dreamed nightmares more vivid than thought possible

I have faced my worst fear and made it docile

I have witnessed a part of life

I have come to understand some of the strife

things as large as mountains high

seem now so petty, so benign


ffffffe0
(2000, yes I am a nerd, this is a poem about netmasks)

I can see you

you can't see me

I can hear you

you can't hear me

hello?

nothing

hello?

nothing

I change my mask

and now you are aware


Ecclectic Dreams of an unyet named Underworld
(1997, I was working nightshift)

I sit at night (or is it day?)

I sit and sometimes I pray

I pray to God or to whoever will listen

I was once, but am since no longer christened

I sit and the mind wanders and the dreams flow

sometimes they come but mostly they go

Through purple latex mirrored window panes twirling like smoke from a flame

Silver edged thoughts of unnamed places

Hemorraging filaments of foresaken graces

Lipid clouds of ivory white,

the mind sits and thinks thinks like a blight

Through the synopsis of what is what was what will be

the mind wanders and twists screaming in pain

moaning in ecstacy

warping in confusion

exposing the naked truth of thy innerself


Some more Words on a 2-D Screen
(1997, yes, I took lyrics from Primitive Radio Gods and Verve Pipe)
(a qausi-compilation)

Does summer come for everyone?

Can humans do what prophets say?

We go like lions through the crest and bathe ourselves in zebra flesh....

Does the mind see what the eye beholds?

Does the wind come...or go?

Where the sun ends and the moss begins,

is this the place that dreams lurk in?

Can we achieve more than we know?

When did childhood end and adulthood begin?

Why does life get harder the longer you live?

I never knew that we'd die for these sins...

we were merely freshmen...


Lamentations of the Cyber-age
(1997)

I sink in and let the electrons flow

the baud screams like a dying hawk

the monitor glows like an angel from heaven

I close my eyes and let the virtual engulf me

The hard drive blinks in a hypnotic pattern

and I forget who I am

I try hard to suppress all that is around me

I concentrate on the code nothing matters but the code

an orgasmic rush passes in waves as the bits fall into place

the door is unlocked and the information rushes in

I cannot stop it it sears through my mind like white hot flame

fueled as always by caffine

information overload the world crashes down

My mind goes blank I forget who I am I forget what I thought I ...

Memories flood in

childhood memories

memories of long ago

memories that hours of TV and lack of imagination have suppressed

simpler times better times

times before the machine

I sit and weep

innocence is lost

[Music] I finally found it!

After years of mental torment and about an hour and a half of wily googling, I finally found the song for the VW New Beetle commercial for their 'Vapor' color scheme. It was around 2000 and the song is 'Renaissance Affair' (1998) on the album 'Blue Wonder Power Milk' by Hooverphonic.

Why you may ask have I spent any amount of mental energy over the last 5 or so years looking for this song? Well, because I am that type of person. Songs I hear and like, get in my head and bounce around until I can figure out who sings them and the name of the song.

I remember this song was cool. I am into music like Hooverphonic, Cocteau Twins, Delays, Aphex Twin, Orb, Land of the Loops, and many many more, that kind of light and metaphysical ambient music, trip-hop, and trancendental rock. I remember thinking that was a very cool song, but never caught the small print to see who did the music. This song was damn elusive to find. You would think in this day and age almost all TV ads would be searchable? VW has an extensive list of their commericals and their songs, you can buy the music on a CD they put out. But everything seems to focus on the lame commericals. The only reference I found...in all of the Internet...was in a review by someone named Voltron1984...on Amazon.com. Yes, I search the length and breadth, exhausting hundred of google search permutations until I found this reference on Amazon.com. I confirmed the song was what I thought it was with a quick trip to iTunes.

Ahhhhh...I now freed that 0.0001% of my brain for other processing.

1.01.2006

[Beginnings] 2006

New Year and I felt it was time for a new look to the blog. I kinda like it, a lot.