Obama Animatronic Prepared For Disney World Hall of Presidents


Election day often means that Wald Disney World must update the Hall of Presidents with an animatronic of the newly elected president. The animatronic of Barack Obama has been completed and will first be displayed on July 4. In recent years I have seen Abraham Lincoln speak along with Bill Clinton and later George Bush. The new exhibit will also include speaking by George Washington for the first time and includes a new film narrated by Morgan Freeman.

The previous show, where the George Bush animatronic spoke, shut down after election day. The animatronic turned out to be more intelligent than the original. In light of  recent gaffes by Vice President Joe Biden, along with the experience of a previous vice president who had turned to the dark side, perhaps we should amend the  Constitution to make the Disney animatronic next in line to succeed the president.

Somewhat Related Post on The Hall of Presidents: Bush/Nixon Secret Meeting Revealed

Chirac Verifies Reports That Bush Went To War Based Upon Biblical Prophesy

There have been previous reports that George Bush believed that God advised him to go to war in Iraq. In the past week there have been reports that Donald Rumsfeld used Biblical imagery to influence Bush. Counterpunch reports that a new book quotes Jacques Chirac confirming previous reports that Bush used Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq:

In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.

In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

The article goes on to say that this has been confirmed by Chirac:

The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”.

In the same year he spoke to Chirac, Bush had reportedly said to the Palestinian foreign minister that he was on “a mission from God” in launching the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and was receiving commands from the Lord.

There can be little doubt now that President Bush’s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him, fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam’s Iraq was the fulfilment of a Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord.

Debunking Cheney

Earlier in the week Dick Cheney gave a speech after Barack Obama on national security and the media went along with the hype that this was some sort of debate between the two. Dick Cheney is a war criminal who is wrong on most national security issues, and whose ideas were rejected in the past election. Even the Republican candidate rejected some of Cheney’s more extreme positions, such as support for torture (which is a war crime). Hearing Dick Cheney try to excuse his war crimes and attack Obama should not be taken as a debate between the two as if they are still on equal footing.

Joe Klein interpreted Cheney’s speech in the context of his overall philosophy:

I refer readers to Barton Gellman’s excellent Cheney biography, Angler, in which it is made plain that Cheney’s view of the presidency (provided by his thuggish counsel, David Addington) was eccentric at best; and, at worst, a temporary coup d’etat, abetted by the President’s lack of interest or mortal dimness. It’s true, as Brooks writes, that some of Cheney’s overreach was a result of understandable panic after the 9/11 attacks. But the real problem, as evidenced by the Vice President’s actions in other areas (like environmental policy), was Cheney’s twisted belief that the Constitution confers on the President near-dictatorial powers, especially in a time of war. Cheney’s profound authoritarian streak, and his moral ignorance, were demonstrated once again in his speech yesterday:

“In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground and half-measures leave you half-exposed.”

Which is utter nonsense, of course: the middle ground exists between doing nothing and doing far too much, too brutally–in a way that only creates more terrorists–a path that Cheney pursued to our great national detriment.

He also discussed the differences in Obama’s views:

In fact, the thrust of Obama’s national security policy is dramatically different from Bush’s. His emphasis on a comprehensive regional approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan is the opposite of Bush’s feckless abandonment of this far more crucial fight in the war against Al Qaeda. His decision to engage Iran, his decision to push forward in the Middle East (including the demand that Israel stop building illegal settlements), his decision to participate in global climate change talks, his decision not to indulge in the disdain–manifested by Cheney yet again in his speech–for our European allies. These are all dramatic turns for the better.

The difference between Obama and Cheney-Bush on national security and foreign policy issues is simply put: it’s the difference between a moderate and an extremist, the difference between a leader and a bully.

Even Tom Ridge disagreed with Cheney’s claims that the country is less safe under Obama.

McClatchy listed many factual errors made by Cheney:


Talk Radio Host Undergoes Waterboarding; Admits It Is Torture


Waterboarding is a form of torture in which the victim is given the sensation of drowning. Many conservatives have downplayed the technique, even claiming it is not torture. The average person can tolerate waterboarding for fourteen seconds. One might think that if someone actually knows they won’t be drowned, and if they have the ability to have it stopped whenever they want, they might be able to hold out for even longer. Conservative talk radio host WLS radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller underwent waterboarding, hoping to prove it is not torture (video above). He lasted lasted than seven seconds:

Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop.  He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

“It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,”Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child.  “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”

“I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said.  “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.’ “

Last year, Vanity Fair writer Christopher Hitchens endured the same experiment — and came to a similar conclusion. The conservative writer said he found the treatment terrifying, and was haunted by it for months afterward.

“Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture,” Hitchens concluded in the article.

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Liberty University Bans Democratic Club

The Republican Party might becoming a distant second to the Democratic Party in most of the country, but there are still islands where the authoritarian right continues to dominate. The right frequently engages in Orwellian use of words to give the illusion of supporting idea opposite to those they promote. They speak of freedom, liberty, capitalism, and limited government while acting to oppose these views. One example of this is  comes from Liberty University and its president, Jerry Falwell Jr.

The Liberty University has shown its disdain for liberty, along with perhaps showing the only way left for the disgraced Republican Party to survive, by banning the campus Democratic Party club:

Liberty University has revoked its recognition of the campus Democratic Party club, saying “we are unable to lend support to a club whose parent organization stands against the moral principles held by” the university.

“It kind of happened out of nowhere,” said Brian Diaz, president of LU’s student Democratic Party organization, which LU formally recognized in October.

Diaz said he was notified of the school’s decision May 15 in an e-mail from Mark Hine, vice president of student affairs.

According to the e-mail, the club must stop using the university’s name, holding meetings on campus, or advertising events. Violators could incur one or more reprimands under the school’s Liberty Way conduct code, and anyone who accumulates 30 reprimands is subject to expulsion.

Hine said late Thursday that the university could not sanction an official club that supported Democratic candidates.

“We are in no way attempting to stifle free speech.”

Yes, in their mind they can be supporting free speech while banning organizations which say things they do not agree with. Freedom means supporting the right of free speech, even from those you disagree with. P.Z Myers responds:

Well, I’m at a secular university, where our traditional values are built on the Enlightenment, open-mindedness, free inquiry, reason, and secular humanism. I guess I need to go down to the administration building on Tuesday and point out that we have a few organizations — the Young Republicans, Campus Crusade for Christ, etc. — that do not support our mission, and have them shut down.

Oh, dang, I forgot! We’re also committed to free speech (FOR REALZ), so we have to allow our students to express even weird ideas that are the antithesis of rational thought. Rats. I guess I just need to encourage all of our students to speak out on their own personal views in public and private argument.