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Ten thousand years ago, or there about, a finger of the Canadian ice shield that dammed the Clark Fork River near modern-day Missoula, Montana failed catastrophically, and in the space of 48 hours or so, 500 cubic miles of water spilled out from Glacial Lake Missoula over Eastern Washington and created a landscape unique on the planet.

The Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington are a region rife with geological and historical significance.  After spending a week in this beautiful, but lightly-traveled part of the country, I was inspired to jot some reflections down.  Please feel free to join me in a ramble through the coulees and fields of this corner of our nation.

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Health care is a human right.  This is not just a plank in the Democratic party platform, it is an affirmed statement by the United States of America in their ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Article 25

  1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

End of story, right?  

Well, no.  It depends on how you define 'rights'.

And that's where conservatives have made a pre-emptive strike.

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You probably remember it from Psych 101 or some similar course--that description of the relative urgency of human needs with "self actualization" at the top.

We here at DKos seem to spend a lot of time in the top triangle, discussing issues of morality and acceptance.

But there is a growing body of work that suggests we soon may be fighting battles lower on the rungs.

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IM transcript intercepted by an anti-voting machine hacking routine I was running in a freelance attempt to protect the vote.  I submit this here because I think you should know:

   He's bled us white, the bastard. He's taken everything we had every spare dime of contribution and every last ounce of effort--and not just from us, from our friends, and from our friends' friends.
   And from our friends' freinds' friends.
   And from our friends' friends' friends' friends.
   Yeah. All right, Barb. Don't labour the point. And what has he ever given us in return?!

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Lord, there goes Martin Luther King
Notice how the door closes when the chimes of freedom ring
I hear what you're saying, I hear what he's saying
Is what was true now no longer so?
--Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Johnny Appleseed

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John McCain has based his political future on tying Barack Obama to William Ayers and to ACORN, a group he says "maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."

In light of these attacks, it is very troubling to find that Mr. McCain is not merely 'linked', but indeed has been a longtime member of an organization that has engaged in actions that have systematically worked to unravel the same 'fabric of democracy' he claims to be so concerned about.

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Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 07:59 PM PDT

My Shortest Diary

by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean

Fuck Yeah.

(Any further words are superfluous.  They merely serve to fill out the required character length.  But I only wish I could convey my excitement and, truly, joy at seeing my mail-in ballot in the mailbox.  I ripped it open and marked the oval before I put my briefcase down)

Let's get it done!


Forget Sarah Palin, forget bridges to nowhere.  Is John McCain going soft on Conservatism?

One of the central tenets of the neo-liberal economic theory is the belief that privatization is a positive move, and that economic stagnation inevitably results from the nationalization of industries.  And despite the use of the term "liberal" in neo-liberalism, it is the touchstone of conservative economic theory.

Of course a liberal liberal thinker would often realize that the market does not always work for the general welfare of the nation, that the powers of Government are sometimes needed to influence or correct the market.

The recent Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae takeover by the feds seems to illustrate this point.  But how should a conservative view this?

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Three boxes of documents sit in a warehouse in Seattle.  These boxes contain the documents that chronicle a Federal wrongful termination suit lodged against Palin by her chief of police of Wassila, AK.  The Seattle times has dug into these boxes and produced perhaps the most detailed look into Palin's experience as mayor of a small Alaskan town.

These records, from a federal wrongful-termination lawsuit, include the minutiae of municipal governance, with memos to administrators and personnel records stamped "confidential." The documents, combined with accounts from her hometown newspaper, show how Palin's first year as mayor could easily have been her last.

As always, I recommend that you read the entire article.  But highlights over the jump.

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This kind of came as a surprise--From the LA Times

A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.


Is this the end of the anthrax attacks story?

11%5 votes
88%37 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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What would you ask Scott McClellan?

Never mind those pundits and anchors who never seem to get it.  Don't settle for the lousy filter of the MSM. Ask him yourself.

And you have that opportunity, today, at 1:00 PST.

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Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 05:28 AM PDT

AIDS and Dr. Wright

by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean

I don't have time to wright this diary--I've got to prepare for a conference and I am running late, but haremoor's diary My Dad and Dr. Wright moved me to do so.

Because one of the things that has been bugging me about the whole Reverend Wright firestorm is that it appears it isn't just Obama getting swiftboated here.  It seems that a good man is being painted as the worst kind of racist.

There have been some great diaries that have deconstructed different parts of this attack on the reverend, with laderrick's Lies of Omission taking on the "Chickens" and "God Damn America!"

But one point of received wisdom that I hear people constantly stating is that Reverend Wright thinks whites invented AIDS to kill black people. Even people on this site.

This, desipite the fact that I have never seen a quote that supports this statement.  So I decided to go looking.

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