Thursday, September 30, 2004.
Bush kept saying you can't trust someone who changes their core convictions.
Bush is a born-again Christian.
Did Bush just say [Iraqi] "Prime Minister Chalowi"?
I'm guessing this is a cross between Chalabi and the current Prime Minister?
"I see on the TV screens how hard it is."--Bush, speaking of Iraq
Ah-ha! So this is where he gets his information! Wonder what channel he watches?!!
"I just know how the world works!"--Bush
Ayep, spoken like someone who, actually, knows nothing about how the world works. Can you imagine Einstein saying that? People who actually know how the world works wouldn't have to state, "I just know how the world works!"
What's a "transshipment"?
In a letter to the White House, a leading US Senate Democrat expressed "profound dismay" that the White House allegedly wrote a large portion of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress last week.
"I want to express my profound dismay about reports that officials from your administration and your reelection campaign were 'heavily involved' in writing parts of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's speech," California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote in a letter to President George W. Bush
A boy picks up the damaged bicycle of his dead brother from the site after two car bombs and a roadside bomb went off in succession in the al-Amel neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2004. At least 41 were killed, most of them children and over 200 were wounded in the attack. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Israel has been quietly lobbying for the launch of a U.S. project to provide advanced conventional submarines to Taiwan.
The reason: a Taiwan buy could launch a conventional submarine production line in the United States that would be used by Israel to procure additional subs.
"Israel really wants advanced conventional submarines but can't afford to buy them on the open market," a U.S. official said. "With a production line in the United States, Israel could purchase these vessels with U.S. military aid."
Ashcroft's Trojan Horse
Attorney General Ashcroft and the House Republican leadership, taking advantage of the nation's desire to avoid another 9/11 tragedy, are pushing legislation that provides the Federal government with abusive police powers and methods to invade our privacy. This measure is a cynical attempt to hijack the effort to fix our broken intelligence system and should be voted down.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004.
The Constitution vs. The Flag
One of the widest gulfs between the left and right is the chasm separating science and religion. People like Dubya because he has the faith to reject science. In the broader historical scheme there has been a battle between the Enlightenment and the counter-Enlightenment since the 17th century. While the Enlightenment is generally understood to support reason and liberalism, the counter-Enlightenment has been the standard-bearer of faith and conservatism.
This election reflects the conflict between Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment with an eerie perfection. Kerry is the advocate for science and evidence. Bush advocates faith and gut-feelings. Regardless of the debates and the debate spin, people are going to vote with their heads or their hearts. The liberals will point to the constitution and say we must obey the rule of law to stay civilized. The conservatives will point to the flag and say we must believe to be saved.
Philip Green addresses this better than I in a recent issue of Logos . The article is called "Neo-Cons and the Counter-Enlightenment."
So what I want to do to begin is describe this counter-Enlightenment, for that is what it is, with one pregnant addition. It certainly hasn’t replaced classical American liberalism, but it contends for power with it; and now it has welded together its own anti-modernism with a political strategy imported by ex-Trotskyite and ex-Leninist intellectual savants. Together they now look not just to struggle with liberalism but to wipe it out—along with, of course, all variants to the Left of liberalism. This is where my theme of counter-Enlightenment meets the more specific theme of "neo-conservative strategies."
t’s not enough that Rumsfeld and probably Bush not just tacitly condoned but actively encouraged studies of optimal torture regimes, creating a climate in which undeniable and disgusting torture was used against Iraqi civilians, including children. And at Guantanamo (more). Even they at least had the hypocrisy to attempt to do the Iraq torture planning under wraps. (Hypocrisy being “the tribute vice pays to virtue”.) Meanwhile, at home, being too delicate to torture domestically, the Administration quietly subcontracted the job to Syria. (See my post almost exactly a year ago, Maher Arar Affair: What is the Pluperfect of ‘Cynic’?.)
Comes now a group of Congressional Republicans who are pure vice, and are not even trying to hide it: they have proposed that US law be amended to remove protections against torture — ie to legitimate torture, to plan to torture — for people we label “terrorists” (modern unpersons). The full horrid details are at Obsidian Wings: Legalizing Torture. The key move would be to exclude “terrorists” from the protection of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The “terrorists” could be held in secret unless they could somehow overcome (without lawyers or witnesses?) a presumption of guilt. When they failed to overcome this impossible burden they could be subject to “extraordinary rendition” which is bureaucrat for “being ported or transferred to a country that may engage in torture”—a deportation that currently would be a serious violation of US law.
Anyone who votes for people capable of supporting these policies has blood on their hands. Not to mention what they are doing to the image of the US as the ‘City on the Hill’, the beacon to mankind. Once we descend into the torture pit, we’re just arguing about circles in Hell.
The Lone Star Iconoclast, the newspaper in George Bush's home town, shook the small settlement of Crawford, Texas, yesterday by turning against its most famous resident and endorsing John Kerry.
The decision has not made W Leon Smith, the Iconoclast's publisher and editor-in-chief, very popular among Crawford's 705-strong population, a mainly conservative crowd who hope a second Bush term will invigorate the sleepy local economy.
"We're getting a lot of emails about it. A lot of hate mail and some saying this was something that needed to be done," Smith told the Guardian yesterday.
He conceded that the hate mail outweighed the more encouraging messages, but said: "Sometimes you have to do things that aren't very popular but you know in your gut are the right thing to do."
link via the Guardian UK.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004.
The November 2nd surprise, only not a surprise anymore, and the GOP is responding with more illegal turn-off-the-likely-dem-voters shit. No question, folks, but always good to be reminded:
GOP = Anti-Democracy
GOP = The True Enemy of Freedom--the Freedom to Vote
GOP = Roman Empire 2, Because Vietnam 2 Wasn't Enough
(Here the spirit of PKD would silently interject, "But the Roman Empire never ended, yo," . . . )
"Comment: We have not yet confirmed the veracity of these photos."
Needless to say, let's hope that veracity won't pan out.
Is Now A Good Time to Talk About Framing?
George Lakoff is not a crypto-right-winger, as far as I can tell.
But is the sudden, blog-encompassing focus on a meta-narrative, so close to election time, a good thing?
For the record, Lakoff claims that Arnie won in Cali because of framing. That's a fraud. The record turnout (88.4%) reminds the savvy politics-watcher of nothing-so-much-as Jesse Ventura's success in Minnesota, with high turnout.
Political neophytes, with their thumb's on the pulse of the entertainment industry, elected both men. One was a reformer, the other an Enron stooge.
I believe the Lakoff-framing-meme is being pushed by the bad guys, to distract us from real issues. Either that, or the good guys, to distract us from real issues.
Let's talk "meta" _after_ we've won!
eye on amsam 28 sept. 04
HEY! BUT WE GOT THE OLD MAN HIDING IN THE SPIDER HOLE! DON'T YOU FEEL SAFE?! ISN'T THAT WORTH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS?! ISN'T THAT WORTH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES!?
How I wouldn't like to get that lying fucker Tucker in a dark alley . . .
Monday, September 27, 2004.
"The Federal Elections Commission is in the process of "Florida-izing" our national election system, which will subject our entire nation to the same flaws of the 2000 election. Are we planning to purge millions of eligible voters from the roles before November 2004 in a fashion similar to the illegal voter roll purges that denied tens of thousands of eligible voters their rights in Florida? I call for Jimmy Carter to monitor the American 2004 elections, for the sake of our democracy." -- What WMDs?, my letter to Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), August 13, 2003
"Over the years, Jimmy Carter has been one of the meanest- spirited politicians that I have seen." -- Robert Novack, CNN Crossfire, December 12, 2003
Get 'em Jimmy
Sunday, September 26, 2004.
to further economically terrorize non-rich Americans next term:
Question: Who is going to win on November 2?
Answer: It doesn't matter. We will control the House
of Representatives, and probably the Senate. If Kerry
wins, he will not be able to do anything that we do not
want him to do. We will not give him money to spend.
He will not be able to raise taxes. He will not steal
our firearms. Even though we lose the White House, it
will not be the end of the world.
Q: And if Bush wins?
A: The Democratic Party will be forever doomed. If we
take control of the legislature and the executive
branch, we will reenforce our control of the Judicial
Branch to direct it against the Democrats. We will
brng about a modest limit of the ability of the people
to initiate lawsuits against corporations, which will
damage the lawyers who specialize in these cases, which
is one of the props of the Democratic Party. We will
accelerate the decline of the unions. We will cut
funding to groups of public employees, like teachers,
who are one of the great sources of Democratic votes.
And we will begin the move the Welfare State toward a
private system, in pensions and healthcare.
What to do, what to do?
Part of an Alternet interview
with Arundhati Roy
What do you believe Americans of conscience can do? How do we make a difference in a democracy in which the media and the people themselves seem to conspire to lower the intelligence of the public? In which people feel good electing charming leaders who do not serve their interests?
Even though I know it isn't the majority position in America right now, coming from the outside, I do have a lot of respect for the quality of the dissent that I have seen in America. To see that march against the Republican Convention was absolutely spectacular.
On the run-up to the march, the papers were full of these stupid stories about aging anarchists who had penetrated the system and were going to be violent, and about how New Yorkers had all left town. This whole cloud of fear was constructed. The march itself happened, and day after day after day spontaneous protests took place across the city, and there wasn't any violence. The newspapers said this was only because of the extraordinary restraint of the police. It's almost as if you're goading people into being violent.
...I think the more absurd the corporate media gets, the more distorted Fox News gets, we have to find ways of making independent media a forum that is heard and listened to. There is good independent media here, though I suppose it's quite marginal because we're dealing with a very indoctrinated population.
Given the amount of propaganda people are subjected to, that a half a million people will turn out on the street tells me that something is happening. That's thanks to this kind of under-the-surface drumbeat of the independent media of newspapers and radio stations...
...and the internet.
Exactly. I'm completely flummoxed sometimes. Since I don't come to America often, I can't believe that people even know who I am. I'm not published in any mainstream American paper, but obviously there are listeners and readers and there's an audience that's getting bigger, and that is wonderful.
One of the tragedies for me is that all the hopes and efforts of those who've opposed the war, whether in protests or in support of Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich, finally depend for their expression on the idiosyncratic decisions of one man and his ten advisors.
But it cannot be idiosyncratic. That's what I find very frightening. Given that the Democratic party must have some kind of thermometer by which they judge the popular temperature, how is it that they are not being forced to take a position against the war? They seem so terrified of appearing weak or being mocked for not being strong enough on America's security.
It's the same thing in India. Even if it wanted to -- and I don't know if it wants to -- the Congress party seems terrified of taking a proper position on Kashmir, because it will always be outdone by the right. So everything just keeps drifting towards the right. That's the frightening thing about this so-called game of democracy.
And on that note, have I mentioned how much I got out of Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind? Perhaps not, since it seems like so long since I left Holland for Qatar.
Saturday, September 25, 2004.
Even Atheists Know - A Florida Vote For Bush is a Bad Idea
The Conservative Echo Chamber
Onegoodmove reader Jeremiah John responds to David Brooks and company.
Leaving aside the considerable self-incurred political problems Kerry has on the issue of Iraq, the conservative echo chamber with regard to his suggestions for Iraq has been amazingly well executed. When Kerry rejects Dean's facile proposals for withdraw, he is labeled a War Democrat, which means he agrees with Bush's policy on Iraq in almost every way (Bill Kristol). When Kerry expresses reservations about the way in which the war was launched and managed, reservations which many conservatives have themselves voices, Kerry then becomes a Flip-Flop Democrat (RNC talking points). Now, when, Kerry says that the war was in the final analysis a bad idea and should be ended as soon as possible, he becomes an Irresponsbile Democrat (David Brooks). No matter what Kerry says, he is either pro-Bush, indecisive, or beyond the pale.
More interesting is the fact that this completely manipulative and distorted frame seems to have been made easier to paste on Kerry not by Bush's successes in Iraq, but by his enornous failures. Kerry's goal of bringing troops home soon is called "irresponsible", mainly because the situation--military and political--is an absolute mess. Never mind that any choice we make at this point will be at best the lesser of grave evils, or that it wasn't Kerry, but Bush who has brought us to this range of choices. Bush and conservatives like yourself, who proposed invading and occupying a multi-national, Middle Eastern country with a history of despotism, not for the sake of immediate security interests but for a quixotic project of democratization-to-fight-terrorism are the authors of a policy which may be causing over 1000 soldiers to "die for nothing". Politically, Kerry may not be able to win an election talking about Iraq--somehow it is Kerry and not Bush we are now demanding answers from. But morally this war belongs to Bush and those like yourself who supported it for the worst reasons. Is Kerry irresponsible, simply because he is trying to map out a difficult change of course? I have no illusions that most American troops will be coming home next July. But I do know that if Kerry is elected, he will be considerably less eager to treat pessimistic CIA reports and mounting deaths in Iraq as fodder for spin, and that when he speaks at the U.N. he will be much less likely to lecture foreign leaders for domestic political gain while wasting another chance to secure their help. Lincoln couldn't have produced an easy or painless route out of this disaster. Heaven knows that you never have, nor likely ever will, ask George W. Bush to chart such a route.
Department of Political Science
University of Notre Dame
CAN I ASK WHO YOU'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR IN NOVEMBER? I'm really concerned about this Administration. Now, does that mean that they've completely lost any chance? Not really. Things could change drastically. But let me put it this way: they've put themselves in a giant hole, as far as I'm concerned. And as far as I'm concerned, their best argument for election is, Yes, I drove us into a brick wall. But I didn't blink! [more]
Friday, September 24, 2004.
Two Bowdoin students were ejected from President Bush's campaign appearance in Bangor yesterday on suspicion that they planned to protest inside the event. Another Bowdoin student, who worked at the event, was involved in the removal.
Now the Department of Precrime includes PreProtest!
This is one of many articles being floated around where the Bush admin starts to hint about pulling out of Iraq sooner rather then later. Is it a bluff? A tactic to shore up support among conservatives ill-at-ease with the NeoCon domination strategy? Only time will tell...
Rumsfeld: U.S. Troops Can Leave Before Iraq Peaceful
The United States does not have to wait until Iraq "is peaceful and perfect" before it begins to withdraw military troops from that troubled country, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday.
Responding to questions from reporters, Rumsfeld said Washington was determined to provide security for scheduled January elections in Iraq, where nearly 140,000 American troops are now fighting a growing insurgency.
But "any implication that that place has to be peaceful and perfect before we can reduce coalition and U.S. forces, I think, would obviously be unwise," he told a press conference after meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
Amid growing concern that Israel might launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's budding nuclear program, the United States is moving ahead with the transfer to Israel of 5,000 heavy, precision-guided bombs, including 500 "earth-penetrating" 2,000-pound bombs designed for use against underground facilities.
The transfer also includes 2,500 2,000-pound Mark-84 bombs, 500 1,000-pound Mark-83 bombs, 1,500 500-pound Mark-82 bombs and live fuses. All the bombs are being fitted with the Joint Direct Air Munitions (JDAM) kit which uses inertial guidance and beacons from U.S. military Global Positioning Satellites for deadly accuracy.
"That's an arsenal for war," said Joseph Cirincione, senior associate for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. He said any attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, clustered in three major complexes and dozens of other sites, "wouldn't be a pinprick strike; it would have to be a large-scale military airstrike that would result in large-scale casualties."
The most monumental cover-up in media history may be the one I’m about to describe. In my entire experience with American journalism, I have never found anything as extreme, sustained, and omnipresent.
Three and a half years ago, when the current Palestinian uprising began, I started to look into Israel and Palestine. I had never paid much attention to this issue before and so – unlike many people – I knew I was completely uninformed about it. I had no idea that I was pulling a loose piece of thread that would steadily unravel, until nothing would ever be quite as it had been before.
The House passed legislation Thursday that would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on whether lamb can be prepared with the milk of it's mother. Supporters insisted that Congress has always had authority to limit federal court jurisdiction, and the legislation is needed to protect an affirmation of religion that is part of the national heritage. The bill, which was passed 247-173, would prohibit federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from hearing cases involving the Ten Commandments and would prevent federal courts from preparing, serving or consuming lamb prepared with the milk of it's mother.
Just kidding (get it? kid-ing!). Actually, the House has forbidden the Supreme Court from ruling on whether the worlds 'under God' should be removed from the Pledge of allegiance. Most religious people wouldn't mind having 'under God' left in, but some religious people object to 'taking oaths' very strongly. And so this legislation, for all its claims to be ecumenical, is actually highly selective in what flavor of what religion it is promoting. So why not go all the way with it and forbid the cooking of lambs prepared with the milk of it's mother, just like it says in the Ten Commandments? If the United States is to become a Christian theocracy then let's just get on with it and kill everyone who doesn't want to be a Christian as our Lord and Savior, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ commanded us to do.
What the Zell?
Don't tell me the Bush administration ignores history. They've studied it very, very carefully.
Credit to WhatReallyHappened for the Goebbels pointer, and to Google for the serendipitous discovery of Zell's plagarism.
Plucking Their Strings
The various sects of Progressivism -- which include New Deal Liberalism, Socialism, environmentalism, pacifism and anarchism -- tend to keep their goals self-centered, static, and uncompromising. This is a shame; if these sects could cooperate and support each other, they might be able to revolutionize our government.
Most of the ideas forged by the progressive mind are forever exiled to highbrow books, academia, and the local coffee shop debating society. Meanwhile, Conservatives find total unity in their never ending quest for the dollar.
Conservative philosopher Russell Kirk once wrote that Conservatism is "the negation of ideology". Indeed, what appears as conservative ideology to a progressive is actually the conservative's "populist" bait for the voters. The conservative is not concerned with abortion or gay marriage, rather the conservative is interested in using those issues to gain votes. Indeed, as a general rule, stupid people are the easiest to control and reward. Thus, the backward message of pro-Life, anti-gay, "pro-bombing the browns" gets Republicans elected. Like moths to a porchlight, it draws the troves of racist weak-minded dolts to vote polls. Meanwhile, the progressives are still debating the finer points of enviromental reform at Joe's Java.
Once the conservatives are elected, than they usually proceed with their planned orgy-like festivals of tax breaks and corporate handouts. Since they are good businessmen, they are also sure to throw some table scraps to their base in the form of a judicial nominations or proposed amendments. It keeps the dogs coming back.
It's a bleak reality for progressives. Our entire movement depends upon people being intelligent and good hearted -- and look where its gotten us: A Democratic canidate who is tanking, the prospect of the supreme court being controlled by rightwing ideologies, a Republican congress, and a "war president". So, I've dropped the dream of "waking people up". I've decided to cross over to the dark side.
Unless we Progressives can learn the "dark arts of Rove", we don't stand a chance. Its time that we learn to pluck the strings of greed, vanity, and stupidity in the electorate. But don't fret, we just have to change our message, not our ideals -- and god forbid one of us gets elected, we could exercise our power in the way we always knew we would have: to advance that which is true, just, and beautiful.
"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."-George Orwell
Thursday, September 23, 2004.
Monkey Hacks Black Box Machine
Fox news coverage (Fox?? Must be too sensational for them to pass up).
Black Box coverage, News clip: ***NEW*** Chimpanzee manipulating a Diebold election machine
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - Six Lancaster city men are headed to court next month, accused of dropping their pants this summer in protest during President George W. Bush's visit to Smoketown Elementary School.
[no registration required, just a few quick questions]
"There might be a real or staged terrorist attack in order to postpone the elections," McGovern said. "This might seem outlandish; I hope it is."
Public Announcement: I Am Going to Murder Christians On Sight
I've never seen a Christian in my life I wanted to marry. I'm going to be blunt and plain: if one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died. I've used that statement thousands of times about all sorts of people, and that I do not mean to harm anyone. That's a little cliche. It's a tongue and cheek statement that's meant to be humorous and funny.
Nobody ever really said the above. Here's what really got said, by Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, on television broadcast all over Canada and the United States: "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died." When people complained, he said "That's a little cliche. It's a tongue and cheek statement that's meant to be humorous and funny." Ha ha ha, don't stop now!
What else does Brother Swaggart have to say? "The Supreme Court of the United States of America is an institution damned by God almighty" ... "Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. [...] Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory" [...] "The minister of the Gospel is really the yardstick by which the nation measures its morals" [...] "Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest" ... "If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell." HA HA HA!
You slay me, Jimmy. I hope you don't mind my telling a funny little joke too, every now and then.
Americans Pay High Cost for War provides state-by-state data on the number of soldiers killed and wounded, the dollar cost, and the number of reservists and National Guard troops on active duty. This data is presented in the context of worsening conditions in Iraq as well as expert opinions on national security policy.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004.
O'REILLY: OK. You know what's really frightening?
Bruce Springsteen knows a historical crossroads when he sees it. And Republican retiree Alice Cooper thinks you’re a moron. Springsteen told an interviewer this summer that he and his band had spent the last 25 years socking away a nest egg of credibility in the minds of the millions who count themselves among his fans. “There comes a moment when you have to spend some of it,” he said. “This is that moment.” [more]
(with Quicktime example)
Millions Blocked From Voting
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Millions of U.S. citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the Nov. 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.
The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been released.
In total, 13 percent of all black men are barred from voting due to a felony conviction, according to the Commission on Civil Rights. Polls consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. "
Link - http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nm/campaign_vote_dc
Top Secret Debate Contract Addendum
As most people know by now, President Bush and Senator Kerry have signed on to a 32 page debate agreement. But few are aware that they also signed a secret addendum to that agreement. Fortunately, MadKane.com has an exclusive copy of that secret addendum, provided by a DC insider whom I will identify only as "Debate Throat."
TOP SECRET ADDENDUM TO ELECTION 2004 DEBATE AGREEMENT, entered into on September 20, 2004 by President George W. Bush (hereinafter referred to as "Bush") and Senator John F. Kerry (hereinafter referred to as "Kerry")
WHEREAS, The interesting thing about being the President is you don't have to explain things;
WHEREAS, If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier; and
WHEREAS, Bush and Kerry have entered into a Debate Agreement and wish to modify it and memorialize certain secret debate terms.
NOW, THEREFORE, Bush and Kerry hereby agree to the following top secret provisions:
1. Kerry shall be required to answer all debate questions in French.
2. Bush shall be required to answer all debate questions in English.
3. Throughout each debate, the backdrop behind Bush shall feature several U.S. flags, the precise number of which is subject to further negotiation.
4. Throughout each debate, the backdrop behind Kerry shall feature a map of Massachusetts and two life-size photos of Kerry with Jane Fonda.
The rest of the Top Secret Debate Contract Addendum is here.
The President of Switzerland (the next to be deposed by recall vote?), Joseph Deiss, has declared that
In hindsight, experience shows that actions taken without a mandate which has been clearly defined in a security council resolution are doomed to failure.For a more general roundup, try the Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science is a loony religion (aren't they all?), but their international news service has decades of good reputation under its belt.
The Women in Iran web site tries to open a window, however small, to the life of Iranian women -- this always hidden half of our society. This web site, with the slogan of "Women's Right Is Human Right", tries to tell the story of struggles, issues and successes of Iranian women, and in this way we would like to extend our hands to and welcome all those who believe in the social and intellectual equality of women and men.
> United Nations: Annan Reiterates His Misgivings About Legality of War in Iraq; NYT on Bush's UN bomb
Kofi Annan expresses concern over illegality of Iraq war and need to follow international law, slamming Bush hard: "Secretary General Kofi Annan opened the annual United Nations debate of world leaders on Tuesday with a plea for greater observance of international law and a reminder of his misgivings about the legality of the American-led war in Iraq.
"Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it," he told the audience of delegates in the General Assembly hall, which included President Bush and Ayad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister.
Mr. Annan, who last week told a BBC interviewer that he considered the war in Iraq "illegal" because it proceeded without Security Council approval, stuck to the point by citing the example of Iraq in his larger argument about the primacy of international law and how it applies to advanced powers as well as unprincipled individuals.
"In Iraq, we see civilians massacred in cold blood while relief workers, journalists and other noncombatants are taken hostage and put to death in the most barbarous fashion," he said.
He then drew a parallel to American actions. "At the same time," he said, "we have seen Iraqi prisoners disgracefully abused."
He also noted pointedly that "even the necessary fight against terrorism is allowed to encroach unnecessarily on civil liberties."
The New York Times > International > United Nations: Annan Reiterates His Misgivings About Legality of War in Iraq
In a stinging editorial, the NYT slams Bush for failing to engage UN diplomatically and offering stump speech bragging about his "accomplishments": "We did not expect President Bush to come before the United Nations in the middle of his re-election campaign and acknowledge the serious mistakes his administration has made on Iraq. But that still left plenty of room for him to take advantage of this one last chance to appeal to an increasingly antagonistic world to help the Iraqis secure and rebuild their shattered nation and prepare for elections in just four months. Instead, Mr. Bush delivered an inexplicably defiant campaign speech in which he glossed over the current dire situation in Iraq for an audience acutely aware of the true state of affairs, and scolded them for refusing to endorse the American invasion in the first place.
Even when he talked about issues of common agreement, like the global fight against AIDS and easing the crushing third-world debt, Mr. Bush seemed more interested in praising his own policies than in assuming the leadership of an international effort. The speech would have drawn cheers at an adoring Republican National Convention, but it seemed to fall flat in a room full of stony-faced world leaders.
Mr. Bush has never exhibited much respect for the United Nations at the best of times. But the United States now desperately needs the partnership of other nations on Iraq. Without substantial help from major nations, the prospects for stabilizing that country anytime soon are bleak. American soldiers and taxpayers are paying a heavy price for Washington's wrongheaded early insistence on controlling all important military, political and economic decision-making in post-invasion Iraq.
Other nations have generally responded by sitting sullenly on the sidelines. Even when they cast grudging votes for American-sponsored Security Council resolutions, they hold back on troops and financial support. With the war going so badly and voters hostile to it in most democracies, that situation is unlikely to change unless Washington signals a new attitude, and deals with other countries as real partners whose opinions and economic interests are entitled to respectful consideration.
Mr. Bush might have done better at wooing broader international support if he had spent less time on self-justification and scolding and more on praising the importance of international cooperation and a strengthened United Nations. Instead, his tone-deaf speechwriters achieved a perverse kind of alchemy, transforming a golden opportunity into a lead balloon."
Tuesday, September 21, 2004.
Don't you feel MORE comfortable knowing there are SECRET laws you must obey in addition to all the regular ones? Ignorance of the law is NO excuse, even when the law is SECRET.
John worked his way up the bureaucratic chain and was eventually told by United Airlines that there were security directives that mandated the showing of ID, but that he couldn't see them. These secret directives, issued by the Transportation Security Administration, are revised as often as weekly, and are transmitted orally rather than in writing. To make things even more confusing, these orally transmitted secret rules change depending on the airport.
As the US government releases a few of the innocent people it has held in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay internment camp for years, four convicted Cuban terrorists were recently pardoned by Panama's outgoing President Mireyas Moscoso. Upon being released from prison on August 26, three of the terrorists were flown on a private jet to Miami where they were met by their families. The four men, along with two others, were convicted on charges relating to a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro by blowing up a crowded auditorium in 2000.
"Despite the recent destructive series of hurricanes and tornadoes, global warming is off the radar screen of the U.S. presidential election campaign."
Other US troops expressed feelings of guilt over killing Iraqis in a war they believe is unjust.
'We shouldn't be here,' said one Marine infantryman bluntly. 'There was no reason for invading this country in the first place. We just came here and [angered people] and killed a lot of innocent people,' said the marine, who has seen regular combat in Ramadi. 'I don't enjoy killing women and children, it's not my thing.'
Purchasing a FOX Blocker and telling the advertisers at FOX News why you did it will encourage advertisers spending their money somewhere else.
Monday, September 20, 2004.
USD$6 Million for Lawyers, Goose Eggs for Rape Victims
As you read through the many reports on the Dioces of Tucson filing for bankruptcy after the specter of being held accountable for hosting child molesting priests for decades arose, see how many times it is reported that the official policy of the Roman Catholic Church has been to hide child molestors for decades. More details via past amsamery.
The great historical irony of the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is that the shock-therapy reforms that were supposed to create an economic boom that would rebuild the country have instead fueled a resistance that ultimately made reconstruction impossible. Bremer’s reforms unleashed forces that the neocons neither predicted nor could hope to control, from armed insurrections inside factories to tens of thousands of unemployed young men arming themselves. These forces have transformed Year Zero in Iraq into the mirror opposite of what the neocons envisioned: not a corporate utopia but a ghoulish dystopia, where going to a simple business meeting can get you lynched, burned alive, or beheaded. These dangers are so great that in Iraq global capitalism has retreated, at least for now. For the neocons, this must be a shocking development: their ideological belief in greed turns out to be stronger than greed itself. [more]
Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and naïve young soldier, I am an old and seasoned Non-Commissioned Officer with nearly 20 years under my belt. Additionally, I am not just a soldier with a muds-eye view of the war, I am in Civil Affairs and as such, it is my job to be aware of all the events occurring in this country and specifically in my region.
. . . via.
up in smoke
Eli Lilly is a pharmaceutical company. Eli Lilly & Company are big friends of the Bush family.
British Indian companies introduced cannabis into Europe (Queen Victoria loved it!). It caught on and was taken to the States in form of Ely Lilly's Dr Brown Sedative Tablets.
Unfortunately, now they no longer want us to consume marijuana because they want us to buy paxil.
If you have family members who have taken paxil and have had family members who have smoked marijuana, you know that between the two, that which should be illegal is the former.
Sunday, September 19, 2004.
GOP Mailing Warns Liberals Will Ban Bibles
WASHINGTON (AP) - Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.
Europe Wins Ryder Cup
U.S. Team Blames Bush Leadership for Loss
All is not well in the Green Zone. The United States suffered its second straight loss at this years Ryder Cup. The choice of George W. Bush to be the captain of the team turned good winning chances into a humiliating defeat. Tiger Woods was perhaps the most outspoken. "When I checked my bag I was missing several clubs I needed," he said. "You should never send a team into competition without providing them with the proper equipment." I asked my Dad to send me a putter from home, but I lost two holes before it arrived. Phil Mickelson was more upset that the team had to use carts. It's tradition, it's in the rules that the players walk the course. It put our caddies out of a job, but even worse was George's choice of Hummers. They caused us a lot of problems. We were constantly on the lookout of IEDs (Improvised European Derision) It's hard to concentrate when you're being ridiculed. The President refused to apologize. The equipment was the best available, and as to some rule about no carts, we don't need a permission slip from Europeeeans to use Hummers. One unanswered question was how George was picked as captain. A majority of the team had voted for someone else. In spite of a dismal showing there were a few bright spots. On the last day of competition Davis Love won his match even after finding his ball in a Cheney Bunker on the eighteenth hole. Stewart Cink said "most players would give up upon finding their ball in a Cheney bunker it's to Love's credit that he didn't, but in the final analysis it wasn't enough and now we'll have to wait two more years to redeem ourselves. George when asked to comment on our teams performance said "I'm satisfied we're making progress."
Would you like to work for a company that, when facing millions of dollars in lawsuits, buys you a multimillion-dollar house? How about an employer who adds a second story to your already-massive abode even while the government forces it to pay $5.2 million to settle a lawsuit?
Think it can only happen at Halliburton? Well, think again: you can enjoy all of this if you're a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Orange!
Yes, when Bishop Tod D. Brown became the spiritual head of Orange County's 1.2 million Catholics in 1998, he abandoned the Church's millennia-old practice of housing priests in humble rectories on parish grounds and began shacking up clergy in fancy digs few of the faithful could afford: quaint Balboa Island bungalows, beachside manses and other high-class abodes featuring three-car garages, walk-in closets and in-ground spas. In a confidential Sept. 3 memo written by Father Michael Heher to diocesan priests, Heher defended this practice by citing Brown's policy of allowing priests "to live off-site, affording them more privacy and a place away from their work environment." And just last month, Brown admitted to purchasing a gated-community lot on which he plans to have built a multimillion-dollar mansion for himself near the proposed site of the $100 million Christ Our Savior Cathedral in Santa Ana.
This is the same diocese currently pleading poverty in explaining why it can't reach a settlement with sex-abuse victims and why it laid off 11 diocesan workers in the spring. Brown has repeatedly said he will not sell church property - parishes, convents, church halls, etc. - to free up more money for his operation. But what about the $2 million house whose sole tenant is retired Monsignor Lawrence Baird? Or the San Clemente complex mere minutes from the ocean? Considering there appears to be more than enough room at the inn for priests in the diocese's 56 parish rectories, why doesn't Brown consider a fire sale of its secular properties? In fact, if Brown begins with the following 10 [see URL], then the diocese could reap something like $8,837,323 - very conservatively estimated - and get back to its main focus: paying out big-money settlements to victims of priestly rape.
The article goes on to provide photographs and cost estimates of the mansions owned by the parish as well as cost estimates for providing food and shelter to the needy. If it wasn't clear enough from that where the parish's priorities lie, how about this: Last year, the Diocese of Orange contributed $398,500 to its charitable arm, Catholic Charities of Orange County. This amount is one-third of what Brown's Santa Ana house costs and constitutes 8 percent of the organization's total assets (other revenue came from government grants and fund-raising).
Now is as good a time as any to do a cost/benefit analysis of providing tax exemption to religious organizations. I think you will find that we aren't getting our money's worth. Please refrain from donating to the religious organization of your choice this holiday season.
Saturday, September 18, 2004.
For the last year and a half, the pain in my gut screamed at my head write about this war, speak out against the war! But my aching heart said, "You can't undermine your son's confidence in what he is doing." Memories of people scorning and smearing Vietnam vets ran rampant through my mind. You see, my son, 1st Lt. Neil Anthony Santoriello Jr., was living his dream. He had fulfilled his dream of becoming a military officer. I thought he was fulfilling his destiny of being a man of purpose, compassion and justice working to make the world a better place.
The link goes to Rense.com but purportedly the "govt insider" is a former senior advisor to Bob Dole, Stanley Hilton.
Just for argument's sake, Randi Rhodes said she thought they never told Bush so that he would have "plausible deniability."
What do you think?
In the interests of social control during difficult times it's important to infix a conditioned reflex in the average Murkan civilian to respond to color-coded terror alerts the way you can get chickens to play basketball.
Hence a new Terror Alert System has been developed to get people to jump as high as you tell them.
Since terrorist attacks can be predicted with the same degree of accuracy as tornadoes and earthquakes you might as well get people used to the idea of living with a vague sense of universal, impending doom. Doing so will help make
Now you can do your part to get people to take seriously every pronouncement of the Department That Cries Wolf [DTCW] — add the Panic Induction Stress State of National Unity Alert Logo (PISSONUAL) to your website.
Here's the code:
Summery: Universal National Service Act of 2003 - Declares that it is the obligation of every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a two-year period of national service, unless exempted, either as a member of an active or reserve component of the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that promotes national defense.
Amends the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the military registration of females.
Now, this is what it might look like if the Democrats adopted the style and methodology of Rush Limbaugh.
However, while I do believe that the Democrats need to shed their spineless side and get on the GOP's lying, shameless, evil ass, I also know that they can simultaneously take the high road because--unlike Sack O'Shit Rush--they don't need to lie to do it.
We have only to remember what's at stake to let loose the caboose: if elected (not fucking re-elected for the nth time) the Cheney/Bush admin will institute the draft (rumored to go up to age 35 for men and women), invade at least Iran and Syria, destroy remaining National Parks by giving them over to their archaic energy company buddies, enlarge significantly even more than the 1.2. million last year of new people entered into poverty the gap between rich and poor, and on and on but most importantly: they will stop current efforts to put receipt systems into the electronic voting machines ala Diebold and then, forget about it--democracy in America will be completely over.
Is this a time to mince words?
So Get Vicious. Laura Bush killed her boyfriend. George Bush was an AWOL, coke-snorting motherfuck who enjoys taking away children's school lunches and killing brown people by the thousands. He sends over a thousand Americans to their death and thousands more to get their limbs erased and permanently damaged in endless ways for a LIE, and then callously laughs about it to a room full of journalists, "The weapons have got to be here somewhere!" When teenagers show him the protest sign, George Bush shows them his middle finger--this from the man who believes that God talks to him--the Xtian Falwell-friendly God, y'understand, the kind that blame fags for 9-11. Dick Cheney, head puppeteer, has a sneer that could chill a crematorium operating at full house. No man has caused people to shower more after just a look. Still, you can't soap off his evil aura: this the man who voted against equal rights for women, against letting Nelson Mandela outta jail, and who after repeatedly being proven wrong, was the only Bush admin official to keep repeating the lie that Iraq was involved with 9-11. This man is so completely brazen, you really can't underestimate what he may do or what he has already done. If anybody in the current administration would have been capable of pulling 9-11, it would hands down be Dick Cheney. His mendacious gravitas is equaled only in size and strength by his cocky affront: "Don't fuck with me," his manner screams. "I am the most dangerous and powerful man on earth--in that order. You look at me askance, I will not only murder you and your family, I'll murder your fucking country, hell, your whole entire-ethnic-fucking tribe. You dare challenge me giving no bid contracts to Halliburton who can't account for billions of it? GO FUCK YOURSELF."
To all my critics: debate me. Don't send me pantywaist little emails that sound like I stopped wanting to be your friend in 7th grade and a week later you write an angry letter to get back at me--I'm talking to you "Jim V" (firstname.lastname@example.org)--who fails at arguing but excels at regurgitating wingnut talking points after they've been repeated to you often enough. Come over to American Samizdat and debate me. Now until the election I invite all my critics to come and have a shot at me: go amsam. Or debate Bartcop, or Mike Malloy . . . or hell, if you think you really got a pair, debate Randi Rhodes.
And everyone else, sharpen your swords and attempt to arouse anyone you know, because if that asshole is elected this time, this country and this planet are FUCKED. One and half more months and the tally will be in: Apocalyse or No. This is truly time to put fwd your best--and I know you're fatigued; I know you're burnt out and I know even a lot of you are depressed, but we have just one and a half more months of possibility open here: and if the anger on the ground is as hot as all of us feel, in all parts of the US (and farther, countless friends), then the polls will be damned and KERRY WILL WIN IN A LANDSLIDE.
At least, that's where my energy is going.
A belated thanks to new Harbingers (in order of acceptance):
And to all the progressive bloggers out there who would like to contribute (only double-posts of your best is required, frequency up to you) to the group progressive blog effort now going on with over a hundred active and inactive members for over two years known as American Samizdat, please write to me immediately.
One and a half more months: fast slide into dictatorship or slow shimmy out?
'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.
But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."
Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."
Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan." [more]
[FROM THE AWOKEN 'DUPING THE HIJACKERS' FILE]
"The author, ROHAN GUNARATNA, is the one who blew the whistle on that January 2000 MEETING THAT SPAWNED 9/11, in Malaysia, which "was monitored by the Malaysian secret police at the CIA's request." This Al Qaeda summit was "chaired" by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who told the others that "the targets would include the World Trade Center and the date of the attacks would be Sept. 11, 2001, Gunaratna said." Khalid Sheikh Mohammed "plunged into the anti-Soviet Afghan jihad soon after graduating from college" and "in 1992, KSM spent some time fighting alongside the mujahideen in Bosnia and supporting that effort with financial donations."
I cannot resist commenting on a 'blog' page of your creation... one titled :
D r. M e n l o presents:
My main comment is that unless a person is on drugs, your blog makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. As I scanned through the pages... and I stress 'scanned', I found no redeeming value to your rants and raves. To me your page bears testimony that you obviously are a communist, and a Godless anarchist... believe me it shows... You must be a sad pathetic person, unloved and misunderstood to feel that you need to express yourself like you do.... Take a piece of advice, grow up... I pity your parents