Saturday, December 24, 2005

The real war on Christmas

It's Christmas Eve Day. A good time to reflect on the latest nonsense perpertrated by the ever-diminishing Bush base. I'm talking about the so-called "war on Christmas," packaged, sealed and delivered by the pundits that hope that you will forget about the real war in Iraq, the abandonment of New Orleans, and the general malfeasance of a corrupt one-party republic under the titular non-leadership of the Bushwacker. So, in the spirit of the season, I invite you to ruminate on the words of Jesus Christ himself as reported by Luke and Matthew. After reading these, consider then who are the true wagers of the war on Christmas.

"Blessed be ye poor; for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh."

"But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep."

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you: Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. Thus you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even publicans so?"

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

"No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you: Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?"

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

"Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets."

And to all a good night.

I am indebted to Chris Floyd's Empire Burlesque for sources.

Democrats and Jack Abramoff

The media has been quick to tie Democrats as well as Republicans to the festering, sleazy scandal(s) of Jack Abramoff's purchase of Congressional influence. Well, guess what? According to the Center for Responsive Politics (here and here), only Republicans received contributions directly from Abramoff.

Full story here at Media Matters for America.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The big chill

A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book." Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
-- Aaron Nicodemus, Standard-Times

Full article here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Imperious Rex


The detachment, the sangfroid, the sheer seeming indifference with which the Rogue President discussed Iraqi casualties last week revealed a man seriously devoid of a moral base. Listen to his stammering "interview" with that sycophant Brit Hume - it chills one to the bone.

And now, we find that Tiberius Bush has broken the law of the United States, authorizing the unlawful invasion of citizens' right to privacy. He thinks that's his "constitutional authority." Constitutional authority to ignore the ... uh, Constitution.

This man's political party impeached Bill Clinton for an act of illicit - albeit consensual - sex. Apparently, an assault on the republic's democratic traditions is a far less worrisome affront. At least a few Republicans seem to be concerned about the apparent disregard of this administration for the law of the land.

Now, I can't vouch for this next item, but according to Doug Thompson of Capital Hill Blue (he claims that this has been confirmed by three eyewitnesses), the following transpired at a recent White House meeting between Bush and Republican Congressional leaders about renewing the Patriot Act:

"GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“'I don’t give a goddamn,' Bush retorted. 'I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.'”

“'Mr. President,' one aide in the meeting said. 'There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.'

'Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. 'It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!'”

"Just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Oh, and isn't it a sin to take the Lord's name in vain?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

To hell with "Republican lite"

"Too many Democrats are tiptoeing around the major issues facing our nation, afraid to venture out of the mainstream. This is a big mistake at a time when the nation is begging for true leadership."

In her essay, veteran White House Press Corpswoman Helen Thomas plaintively calls for the minority party to start showing some cohones.

Hillary, are you listening? Stop trying to be Joe Lieberman in drag.

Last night I had the sweetest dream...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Letter from a soldier in Iraq

"Weapons of mass destruction? I’m still looking for them, and if you find any give me a call so we can justify our presence in Iraq. We started the war based on a lie, and we’ll finish it based on a lie. I say this because I am currently serving with a logistics headquarters in the Anbar province, between the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. I am not fooled by the constant fabrication of “democracy” and “freedom” touted by our leadership at home and overseas.

"This deception is furthered by our armed forces’ belief that we can just enter ancient Mesopotamia and tell the locals about the benefits of a legislative assembly. While our European ancestors were hanging from trees, these ancient people were writing algebra and solving quadratic equations. Now we feel compelled to strong-arm them into accepting the spoils of capitalism and “laissez-faire” society. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Britney Spears on MTV and driving to McDonald’s, but do you honestly believe that Sunnis, Shias and Kurds want our Western ideas of entertainment and freedom imposed on them? Think again.

"I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic. The reality in Iraq is that the United States created a nightmare situation where one didn’t exist. Yes, Saddam Hussein was an evil man who lied, cheated and pillaged his own nation. But how was he different from dictators in Africa who commit massive crimes again humanity with little repercussion and sometimes support from the West? The bottom line up front (BLUF to use a military acronym) is that Saddam was different because we used him as an excuse to go to war to make Americans “feel good” about the “War on Terrorism.” The BLUF is that our ultimate goal in 2003 was the security of Israel and the lucrative oil fields in northern and southern Iraq.

"Weapons of mass destruction? Call me when you find them. In the meantime, 'bring ’em on' so we can get our 'mission accomplished' and get out of this mess."

-- Capt. Jeff Pirozzi, Camp Taqaddum, Iraq in a letter to "Star and Stripes"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Who are they kidding?

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.


A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.


HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary Clinton's cattle trades, but George Bush's cocaine conviction is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, which means Attorney General Gonzalez can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Another view of the "war on terror"

I am not a conspiracy theory aficionado (though my wife thinks I'm a first-class paranoid). However, I do believe that we Americans have incredibly naive concepts of how global politics function. We just don't like to think too much.

Watch the video hyperlinked below, and perhaps you, like me, will find it invading your quiet moments unbidden, tugging at the small, impertinent cynic inside your head that knows, just KNOWS, that the official version of any story is just another canvas for someone's pointed brush. Hopefully, it will shake your tree at least just a little.

In it, two prominent European politicians, Michael Meacher and Andreas von Bulow, express their serious doubts about the official version of the 9/11 story. But before you reject it right out of hand, read the gospel of the reigning neocons, "Project for the New American Century," and their white paper entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century." On page 63 of the latter is the following: "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor."

Watch it online. Real video is required, and can be downloaded here.

Two by Toles


Courtesy of the The Santa Cruz Comic News

Monday, December 05, 2005

Victory over the American people?

"There could be no doubt about the theme of President Bush's Iraq war strategy speech on Wednesday at the Naval Academy. He used the word victory 15 times in the address; 'Plan for Victory' signs crowded the podium he spoke on; and the word heavily peppered the accompanying 35-page National Security Council document titled, 'Our National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.'

"Although White House officials said many federal departments had contributed to the document, its relentless focus on the theme of victory strongly reflected a new voice in the administration: Peter D. Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who joined the N.S.C. staff as a special adviser in June and has closely studied public opinion on the war.

Despite the president's oft-stated aversion to polls, Dr. Feaver was recruited after he and Duke colleagues presented the administration with an analysis of polls about the Iraq war in 2003 and 2004. They concluded that Americans would support a war with mounting casualties on one condition: that they believed it would ultimately succeed.

That finding, which is questioned by other political scientists, was clearly behind the victory theme in the speech and the plan, in which the word appears six times in the table of contents alone, including sections titled 'Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest' and 'Our Strategy for Victory is Clear.'"
--Scott Shane, NY Times 12-5-2005

Victory victory victory victory victory victory victory

Naval cadets at Annapolis show their enthusiastic anticipation of the President's victory speech at the Academy last week.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Top Ten New President Bush Strategies for Victory in Iraq

10. "Make an even larger 'Mission Accomplished' sign"
9. "Encourage Iraqis to settle their feud like Dave and Oprah"
8. "Put that go-getter Michael Brown in charge"
7. "Launch slogan, 'It's not Iraq, it's Weraq'"
6. "Just do whatever he did when he captured Osama"
5. "A little more vacation time at the ranch to clear his head"
4. "Pack on a quick 30 pounds and trade places with Jeb"
3. "Wait, you mean it ain't going well?"
2. "Boost morale by doing his hilarious 'Locked Door' gag"
1. "Place Saddam back in power and tell him, 'It's your problem now, dude'"

---Late Show with David Letterman

Presidential Speak

“I’m a war president.  I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind.”
-- George W. Bush, February 8, 2004

“It’s not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance.”
-- George W. Bush, January 15, 2004, regarding the executive order making federal funds available to faith-based organizations

“It’s hard to be successful if you don’t make something somebody doesn’t want to buy.”
-- George W. Bush, March 9, 2004

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Miami's finest in "Shock and Awe 2"


City of Miami Police are planning ''in-your-face" shows of force in public places, saying the random, high-profile security operations will keep terrorists guessing about where officers might be next.

As an example, uniformed and plainclothes officers might surround a bank building unannounced, contact the manager about ways to be vigilant against terrorists, and hand out leaflets in three languages to customers and people passing by, police spokesman Angel Calzadilla said.

''People are definitely going to notice it," Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said Monday. ''We want that shock. We want that awe. But at the same time, we don't want people to feel their rights are being threatened."

Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific or credible threat of a terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target. -- The Boston Globe

This, from the man (Timoney) who brought you the assault on free speech during the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting in downtown Miami, 2 years ago.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving -- from Venezuela


Of the nine major oil companies - currently rolling in windfall profits - that were asked by Congresss to donate some of their record-setting revenues to the poor of America who wil be beset this winter by as much as a 75% increase in heating oil costs, only one stepped up to the plate.

Citgo.

Yes, Citgo has announced that they will offer fuel at discounted rates in Boston as early as this week, said a statement posted Friday on the company's website. "The first phase of the program, in Boston, will offer up to 4.5 million litres of heating oil at accessible rates, representing $10 million U.S. in savings for those sectors," the statement read. Heating oil will be sold later in the Bronx, one of New York's poorest boroughs.

Now, who owns Citgo? Citgo is a subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, and they are following up on a promise by President Hugo Chavez to help poor Americans cut energy costs.


Now, I have no illusions that George W. Bush and his administration give a royal damn about the poor in America (when's the last time you heard ANYONE in Washington talk about the lost city of New Orleans?), but the irony of this hemisphere's most demonized elected president filling the shameful void of our own corrupt corporate culture is well, priceless.

Way to go, Hugo. Chingate, Pat Robertson.

P.S. Maybe that should be "this hemisphere's 2nd most demonized elected president..."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gee, I wonder why?

The Republican leadership (and I use the term loosely) in the Congress announced yesterday that they won't be so quick to start investigating the source of the leaks about those secret CIA prisons maintained overseas, afterall. One needn't be the brightest bulb to figure out that they have determined that the source of the information was one of their own. Especially as the information was revealed at a Republican only closed door meeting.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This is the unraveling

The off-year 2005 elections, insofar as they represent a mild bell weather of the nation’s temperment, are cause for restrained jubilation. In addition to Democratic victories in two highly heated gubernatorial races, there were many satisfying mayoral race results as well (though, sadly, not in San Diego, while in New York, there was little hope overcoming Mike Bloomberg’s money machine). Far more telling were the defeats of California Governator’s propositions (though electoral reform in Ohio didn’t fare as well – perhaps due to voter confusion). In Dover, Pennsylvania, the creationist agenda was soundly trounced as the school board proponents of the teaching of intelligent design were all voted out of office (not so in Kansas). And plucky Maine defeated a proposition that would have sanctioned discrimination by sexual orientation.

Of course, the right wing will declare the election results of no national significance, as will the right wing bloggers who more and more look like lone voices in the wilderness for the politics of delusion. The real news is that those centrist Americans who always were basically uncomfortable with the social engineering of the Republican majority, who allowed fear to overcome their better judgment, how have grown horrified with the craven ways and means of the Cheney-Rove cabal and their sideshow front man.

Still, we must contend with one party rule in the executive and legislative branches, and a Supreme Court rewritten by ideologues who call themselves strict Constitutionalists. This is no time for progressives to grow complacent. The horrendous $70 billion dollar tax cut for was quietly placed before the Senate yesterday (though further attempts at the assassination of Social Security have just as quietly been dropped).

The battle for 2006 has begun, and the auguries are good. I predict that some sort of faux troop reduction in Iraq will be announced by Rumsfeld as we draw closer to next November, but also that it will be too little and too late.

Monday, November 07, 2005

U.S. used chemical weapons in Iraq

"In soldier slang they call it Willy Pete. The technical name is white phosphorus. In theory its purpose is to illumine enemy positions in the dark. In practice, it was used as a chemical weapon in the rebel stronghold of Fallujah. And it was used not only against enemy combatants and guerrillas, but again innocent civilians. The Americans are responsible for a massacre using unconventional weapons, the identical charge for which Saddam Hussein stands accused. An investigation by RAI News 24, the all-news Italian satellite television channel, has pulled the veil from one of the most carefully concealed mysteries from the front in the entire US military campaign in Iraq."
-- La Repubblica (Rome, in Italian). English translation here.

The shocking video Fallujah - "The Hidden Massacre" can be viewed here, via Tom Feeley's Information Clearing House.

And so it goes. Torture, other violations of the Geneva convention, chemical warfare. We have put on the face of the "enemy." Where is the outrage, America?

Palestinians donate son's kidney for Israeli boy

The family of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was killed by Israeli soldiers have donated one of his kidneys to an Israeli boy. "It doesn't matter whether the recipient was a Jew or an Arab," they said.

Ahmed Khatib was shot on Thursday in the West Bank city of Jenin. He was rushed to the emergency room at Rambam hospital in Haifa, but died without recovering consciousness. The army said he had a toy gun, which soldiers mistook for a rifle. The family said he was with a group of boys waving toy guns to celebrate a festival.

Jamil Khatib, his uncle, said the boy's father, Ismail, agreed to the donation after he saw the young Israeli kidney patient. "He had a brother, Shawkat, who died several years ago from kidney failure. He understood what it was like. Shawkat needed a kidney, but he never got one."

The extended Khatib family was divided over the donation. Palestinian prisoners phoned and said they should not give the kidney to the enemy.
-- Eric Silver, The Independent, 7 November 2005


In times of darkness, sometimes there is a ray of light.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Judy in Disguise

"The most intriguing revelation of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's news conference last week was his assertion that he would have presented his indictment of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby a year ago if not for the intransigence of reporters who refused to testify before the grand jury. He said that without that delay, 'we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005.'"
-- Robert Scheer, LA Times. Full article here.

And I wonder who would have been elected president?

Collateral damage

Attention, all right-wing Christians who support the Iraqi war. Watch this video and tell me about your "culture of life."

Monday, October 31, 2005

You have been warned

"We have been warned. Prepare for a broader war in the Middle East, as plans are being laid for the next U.S.-led regime change – in Syria. A UN report on the death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafig Hariri elicited this comment from a senior U.S. policy maker: 'Out of tragedy comes an extraordinary strategic opportunity.' This statement reflects the continued neo-conservative, Machiavellian influence on our foreign policy. The 'opportunity' refers to the long-held neo-conservative plan for regime change in Syria, similar to what was carried out in Iraq."
-- U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), delivered Before the US House of Representatives, October 26, 2005

Full text of Ron Paul's speech here.

Watch the video here. (And ask why there were so many empty seats in the House).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"Next!"


But if I can't have the devil...

I'll settle for the other weasel.


Being conservative is just criminal

"The poor babies. They want to cut taxes and we want to put them in jail. They want to keep the pork on the pan and we want to stick them on a Plamegate skewer. They want to break the laws of the land behind closed doors and we want string them up for a modified hangout in the light of day."
-- Michael Conniff, New West. Full article here.

The Myth of The Pro-War, Pro-Bush Military Shattered in New Poll

"More than half of North Carolina military members surveyed in the latest Elon University poll disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and his overall job performance. Nearly 53 percent of military members said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush's handling of his job. And just more than 56 percent of that same group strongly disapproved or disapproved of how he has dealt with the Iraq war."
-- Tim Whitmare, Associated Press. Full article here at Veteran's for Common Sense

2,000 US troops dead in Iraq; one soldier's story


"I went to fight in Iraq to get revenge for 9/11... I found out Bush had led us into a war that was immoral and totally wrong."

Tomas Young's full story
here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This note's for you, Christo fascist zombie brigadiers

Sorry - busy dealing with the aftermath of Wilma in my neck of the woods. But just to irritate the right wing zombies who swallow the bull of the Bush administration criminal cabal but drop in here on occasion to try and offend me, some food for thought (insofar as they are capable of that process):
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or any controlling private power. " --President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sunday, October 23, 2005

They just love us in Iraq ... to death

"Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed. The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country. It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation."
-- Sunday Telegraph, London. Full article
here.

Old Bush vs. new

"The Bush administration is bracing for a powerful new attack by Brent Scowcroft, the respected national security adviser to the first President George Bush. A Republican and a former Air Force general, Scowcroft is a leading member of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment, and his critique of both of the style and the substance of the Bush White House, is slated to appear in Monday's editions of the New Yorker magazine. The article also contains some critical comments on the handling of U.S. foreign policy by the current President Bush from his father, whose 1989-1993 presidency is hailed for deft management of the end of the Cold War, German unification, the first Gulf war and the collapse of the Soviet Union. "
-- UPI, Oct. 21, 2005. Full article here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cheney ' Cabal' hijacked foreign policy says former Powell chief-of-staff

This is too good to pass up for something as mundane as sleep....

Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday. In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. “Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”
-- Financial Times Full article here.

"Go f**k yourself, Mr. Cheney."

The big lie about Valerie Plame

The dittohead legions and their cronies have begun a pernicious effort to deny that Valerie Plame was indeed an undercover agent of the Central Intelligence Agency. A former colleague of Ms. Plame reveals the factual poverty of these claims:

"The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie."

Larry C. Johnson worked with the Central Intelligence Agency (1985-1989) and the Department of State's Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism (1989-1993). Valerie Plame was a classmate of his from the day she started with the CIA.

Full article here.

Some more petard hoisting

When they are not indulging in outright lies, the right wing loves to post quotes from Democrats that purport to prove that they once supported various Bush administration policies, whether it be the belief that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction, or just the (sad) fact that most of the Dem delegation voted to begin this war in the first place. Some of these comments they take out of context, but others are inescapably true.

As we all wait the word from Paul Fitzgerald on which White House insiders will be indicted for blowing Valerie Plame's cover, it seems appropriate to quote the current president's father on just such kind of behavior.

In 1999, George H.W. Bush said "... I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Money for Nothing

"When the final page is written on America’s catastrophic imperial venture, one word will dominate the explanation of U.S. failure—corruption. Large-scale and pervasive corruption meant that available resources could not be used to stabilize and secure Iraq in the early days of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), when it was still possible to do so. Continuing corruption meant that the reconstruction of infrastructure never got underway, giving the Iraqi people little incentive to co-operate with the occupation. Ongoing corruption in arms procurement and defense spending means that Baghdad will never control a viable army while the Shi’ite and Kurdish militias will grow stronger and produce a divided Iraq in which constitutional guarantees will be irrelevant."
-- Philip Giraldi, former CIA Officer, currently an international security consultant, writing in the American Conservative. Full article.

Don't you love it when Bush & Co. get a "left" hook from their fellow travellers? Never thought I'd be plugging Pat Buchanan's magazine in my blog.

Moonbat and proud


We call them "wingnuts," and they call us "moonbats." I doubt many of them know where their pejorative for us originated.

George Monbiot, scion of conservative Tories, born January 27, 1963, is a journalist, author, academic and activist in the UK who writes a weekly column for The Guardian newspaper.

Wear the appellation proudly.

No room in the taxpayer supported Armed Forces Radio Network

Progressive talk radio host Ed Schultz says his program, slated to debut on a Pentagon radio station Monday, was pulled to punish him for airing audio embarrassing President Bush. Ed Shultz played an audio tape of Pentagon communications official Allison Barber helping troops in Iraq rehearse for their broadcast video teleconference with the president last week. Barber walked them through questions and their answers and warned them the president might ask questions not from the script. The incident was widely considered an embarrassment to the White House, which appeared to be coaching soldiers for its own political purposes. According to People for the American Way, Barber personally called Schultz -- regarded as a liberal in the world of talk radio -- on Monday to tell him his show would not be airing Oct. 17 after all.
-- UPI

James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh? No problem.
Find out where Ed is playing on your radio dial.

SondraK


The intrepid team of web archeologists at Muttering Jam have uncovered a rare photo of right wingnut blog commander-in-chaff Supreme SondraK.

Muttering Jam medical consultant Dr. Harriet Miersky (no relation) says that this medical condition has been linked to frequent exposure to FoxNews.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's Bush-Cheney, not Rove-Libby

"There hasn't been anything like it since Martha Stewart fended off questions about her stock-trading scandal by manically chopping cabbage on "The Early Show" on CBS. Last week the setting was "Today" on NBC, where the image of President Bush manically hammering nails at a Habitat for Humanity construction site on the Gulf Coast was juggled with the sight of him trying to duck Matt Lauer's questions about Karl Rove. "
-- Frank Rich, NY Times Full article

Friday, October 14, 2005

Alex Ross


Alex Ross takes the sometimes mundane art of comics books to a level undreamed of since, well... since forever. His paintings render super heroes with a raiment that is at once both godly and supremely human. In his relatively short career, he has risen to a pantheon of craftmanship in comics usually reserved for names like Kirby, Eisner, Steranko and Adams. Check out "Marvels" or "Kingdom Come" and prepare to be awed. And from this same brush has come the most wicked political statement about our current president that I have yet seen.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

George W. Bush's suicidal statecraft

"Flaying away with a stick at a hornets' nest while loudly proclaiming 'I will stay the course' is an exercise in catastrophic leadership.

"Sixty years ago, Arnold Toynbee concluded, in his monumental 'A Study of History,' that the ultimate cause of imperial collapse was 'suicidal statecraft.' Sadly for President George W. Bush's place in history but - much more important - ominously for America's future, it has lately seemed as if that adroit phrase might be applicable to the policies pursued by the United States since the cataclysm of 9/11."

Zbigniew Brzezinski was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter. This Global Viewpoint article was distributed by Tribune Media Services International.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dems Chant 'Shame! Shame!' as GOP Bullies House Vote

Courtesy of the Brad Blog, another epiphanic legislative moment in our Congress. Did you see this on the 11 o'clock news? This is YOUR country they are tearing down, people!
Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

"So you see, Virginia, once upon a time we had what were called 'checks and balances' ..."

Defeat Richard Pombo





Here's the man to replace Richard Pombo in California's 11th district. Californians - you MUST elect McNerney to start the ball rolling to run the Neocon nightmare out of town!

Remedial math



Thursday Oct. 6 2005: An Iraqi man picks through piles of copies of the new constitution left rotting in the Baghdad garbage dump.

What 200 Billion Dollars, 4 Billion Bullets
and 153,000 Gallons of Blood Has Bought

-- A Liberal Dose

Exhibit A

After devoting a portion of the October 6 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show to discussing pending legislation that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" of detainees held by the U.S. government, Glenn Beck interviewed a caller who claimed to have worked as an "intelligence officer" and to have "extracted intelligence" from U.S.-held prisoners by torturing them. The caller said his preferred methods of torture included burning the retinas of prisoners' eyes with high-powered halogen lamps and blowing out prisoners' eardrums with high-pressure water and air. He also claimed to have known "a contractor that did drilling on live teeth." After hearing the caller describe these torture techniques, Beck responded, "I've got to tell you, I appreciate your service." During the interview, Beck asked the caller if he ever had trouble sleeping at night. When the caller answered, "No," Beck responded, "Good for you." He later added, "[W]hen all is said and done, I'm glad people like you are on our side."
-- from Media Matters

Friday, October 07, 2005

The banality of evil

Evil men or just evil intent?

" Doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on "normalization." This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable acts become routine and are accepted as "the way things are done." There is usually a division of labor in doing and rationalizing the unthinkable, with the direct brutalizing and killing done by one set of individuals; others keeping the machinery of death (sanitation, food supply) in order; still others producing the implements of killing, or working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of defense intellectuals and other experts, and the mainstream media, to normalize the unthinkable for the general public."
-- Edward S. Herman, The Triumph of the Market

Fear Factor, Part II

If you can't sweet talk 'em, scare 'em

As national poll results reflect an ever-increasing disillusionment among the citizenry with the war in Iraq and the President's whole crony-ridden administration, last night's speech was an Orwellian classic. When all else fails, trot out the fear machine, make the linkage with "communism" and the "cold war." Recite the 9/11 mantra. But of course, ignore the fact that this ill-advised unilateral invasion of a Middle-Eastern secular state run by a bestial, murderous but ultimately UNTHREATENING tyrant (who just happens to be sitting on the world's 2nd largest oil reserves) has had one over-arching consequence. It has INCREASED the threat of terrorism in the world, it has INCREASED the influence of bin Laden and his al Qaeda jihadists not only in the Middle East but in Asia and perhaps Europe as well, and has swelled the ranks of willing suicide bombers.

One line stands out in my mind: "They seek to end dissent in every form and to control every aspect of life and to rule the soul itself."

Yeah.

More on Miers

What appears to be shaping up is a split on Miers between the holy roller Republicans (nay) and the corporate fat cat Republicans (yea). Thomas Franks showed us with great wit in “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” how the latter have manipulated the former to get what they want. Miers will be great for big business, since the bulk of her legal experience in Texas had been defending them against consumer or other sorts of redress claims. This should be interesting.

What does God have to say about those poll numbers?

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and his Information Minister Nabil Shaath have revealed, that in June 2003 U.S. President George Bush had told them that God had directed him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, and that he then felt that the God was telling him to play the role of a peacemaker between Palestine and Israel, by helping the Palestinians in getting their state and Israelis their security.

The White House has, however, denied the claim as "absurd".

Full article
here

Previous post debunked?

O.K. I did find this at Snopes.com. And was pilloried at the dailyKos for not doing my fact-checking more carefully. What is interesting is how many people who left a comment at kos seem to think it still could be true (and also think that Snopes.com is part of the greater conspiracy). Anyway, I was convinced enough that I deleted the post on the dailyKos.

And this Hal Turner appears to be an ultra-paranoid wingnut afterall. Sorry, folks. We all make mistakes sometimes.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hard-wired key loggers installed in all new laptop computers?

I have not yet done any fact-checking on this, so I can't substantiate its veracity, but I'd rather err on the side of urban legend when it comes to liberty.

Check it out and decide for yourself. And send this around. If it's b.s., Snopes.com will pick it up sooner or later.

Mirsky on Miers


I don't get it. The Christo facist zombie brigades don't think she's righteous enough. At least some of them. The pachyderm congress is split. Harry Reid's lovestruck. And me, ever flirting with the frothy foam of paranoia's next wave, has to wonder - "whoa... what a great setup. If the righties appear split, the Dems will cave, and she's a shoo-in. If Reid supports her, the Republicans' radar will go off, and maybe she'll be sent packing." Maybe, just maybe, chaos rules after all.


(Still, you gotta wonder about someone who said that George W. Bush is the smartest man she's ever known.)

I was depressed even before I read Krugman today

Needed to take a rest from this stuff for a while - 3 days ain't much of a hiatus, I know - but I was starting to feel the overture of despair whittling at my soul. Take a walk down right wing blog avenue and see for yourself how many of these people genuinely believe that the state of the nation has never been better (or turn on the radio, except for NPR and AirAmerica, there's nothing but brownshirt talk radio fouling the ionosphere), that under the "leadership" of the greatest bunch of brigands in our 200+ year history, America will shine the light that illuminates the world. Bankrupt. Absolutely bankrupt, people. So I was in a tenuous state to begin with. Then I read Paul Krugman's recent column, "The Way It Is":

"Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He sold all his stock in HCA, which his father helped found, just days before the stock plunged. Two years ago, Mr. Frist claimed that he did not even know if he owned HCA stock.

"According to a new U.S. government index, the effect of greenhouse gases is up 20 percent since 1990.

"Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a 33-year-old Wall Street insider with little experience in regulation but close ties to drug firms, was made a deputy commissioner at the F.D.A. in July. (This story, picked up by Time magazine, was originally reported by Alicia Mundy of The Seattle Times).

"The Artic ice cap is shrinking at an alarming rate.

"Two of the three senior positions at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are vacant. The third is held by Jonathan Snare, a former lobbyist. Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog group, reports that he worked on efforts to keep ephedra, a dietary supplement that was banned by the F.D.A., legal.

"According to France's finance minister, Alan Greenspan told him that the United States had ''lost control''of its budget deficit.

"David Safavian is a former associate of Jack Abramoff, the recently indicted lobbyist. Mr. Safavian oversaw U.S. government procurement policy at the White House Office of Management and Budget until his recent arrest.

"When Senator James Inhofe, who has called scientific research on global warming 'a gigantic hoax,' called a hearing to attack that research, his star witness was Michael Crichton, the novelist.

"Mr. Safavian is charged with misrepresenting his connections with lobbyists -- specifically, Mr. Abramoff -- while working at the General Services Administration. A key event was a lavish golfing trip to Scotland in 2002, mostly paid for by a charity Mr.Abramoff controlled. Among those who went on the trip was Representative Bob Ney of Ohio.

"It's not possible to attribute any one weather event to global warming. But climate models show that global warming will lead to increased hurricane intensity,and some research indicates that this is already occurring.

"Tyco paid $2 million, most going to firms controlled by Mr. Abramoff, as part of its successful effort to preserve tax advantages it got from shifting its legal home to Bermuda. Timothy Flanigan, a general counsel at Tyco, has been nominated for the second-ranking Justice Department post.

"In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is awash in soldiers and police. Nonetheless, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has hired Blackwater USA, a private security firm with strong political connections, to provide armed guards.

"Mr. Abramoff was indicted last month on charges of fraud relating to his purchase of SunCruz, a casino boat operation. Mr. Ney inserted comments in the Congressional Record attacking SunCruz's original owner, Konstantinos 'Gus' Boulis, placing pressure on him to sell to Mr. Abramoff and his partner, Adam Kidan, and praised Mr. Kidan's character.

"James Schmitz, who resigned as the Pentagon's inspector general amid questions about his performance, has been hired as Blackwater's chief operating officer.

"Last week three men were arrested in connection withthe gangland-style murder of Mr. Boulis. SunCruz, after it was controlled by Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff, paid a company controlled by one of the men arrested, Anthony 'Big Tony' Moscatiello, and his daughter $145,000 for catering and other work. In court documents, questions are raised about whether food and drink were ever provided. SunCruz paid $95,000 to a company in which one of the other men arrested, Anthony 'Little Tony' Ferrari, is a principal.

"Iraq's oil production remains below prewar levels. The Los Angeles Times reports that mistakes by U.S. officials and a Halliburton subsidiary, which was given large no-bid reconstruction contracts, may have permanently damaged Iraq's oilfields.

"Tom DeLay, who stepped down as House majority leader after his indictment, once called Mr. Abramoff 'one of my closest and dearest friends.' Mr. Abramoff funneled funds from clients to conservative institutions and causes. The Washington Post reported that associates of Mr. DeLay claim that he severed the relationship after Mr. Boulis's murder.

"Public health experts warn that the U.S. would be dangerously unprepared for an avian flu pandemic.

As Walter Cronkite used to say, That's the way it is."

We have gleefully accepted a culture of greed in this country that has destroyed our sense of community. Americans by and large will tolerate anything as long their acquisitiveness and material avarice can continue to be fed by a consumption driven economy that is ever ready to provide newer, flashier toys and the credit to purchase them. This, coupled with a preternatural ability to delude ourselves (with the complicit cooperation of our corporate media) will sadly lead to the unravelling of the nation. I fear that it is already happening.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Meaningful coincidence?

"Biohazard sensors showed the presence of small amounts of potentially dangerous tularemia bacteria in the Mall area last weekend as huge crowds assembled there, but health officials said they believed the levels were too low to be a threat."

-- Martin Weil and Susan Levine, Washington Post

Full article here.

Like Rachel Maddow this morning on AirAmerica, I am not ready to start accusing Karl Rove of bioterrorism, but this little item creeped me out nonetheless.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Buying of news by Bush's aides is ruled illegal

Meant to post this yesterday, dammit!

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 - Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.


In a blistering report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, said the administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the U.S., in violation of a statutory ban.
-- Robert Pears, NY Times. Full article
here.

Oh, and if you have any lingering doubts who paid for it? Yup, you and me.


Now, do you think anything will be done about it?

Fame


Hey, lucky me. Daring to post a comment on "Knowledge is Power," a self-congratulatory right wing blog run by Amazon Wingnut Supreme SonkraK, I unleashed a shitstorm of indignation and got myself awarded a pictorial tribute by one of "Headmistress" Sondra's wingless drones. Whoo-hoo!
I really need to get out more.

Planetary enemy # 1

Congressman Richard Pombo, R-CA

This guy represents the total and complete unraveling of every environmental safeguard that been put in place in this country in the last 40 years. When House Republicans announced their decision to pass over moderate New Jersey rep James Saxton and make Pombo chair of the House Resources Committee, property rights groups were ecstatic. "He has been there for us time and time again," said the American Land Rights Association. "This is great news," said a leading off-road-vehicles advocate. Having succeeding in eviscerating the endangered Species Act in the House (let's hope the Senate comes to their senses) he is now trying to get offshore oil rigs everywhere in the Gulf coast that Big Oil wants to drill. Here's his web site: http://www.house.gov/pombo/. Send him and email and tell him what you think. We need to find the indictable skeletons in this bozo's closet and send him packing. What is it with you Californians?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fastest probe in the west

Army Probes Porno for Corpse Photos:
The Army is investigating complaints that soldiers posted photographs of Iraqi corpses on an Internet site in exchange for access to pornographic images on the site.
Associated Press 7:35 PM 27 September 2005

U.S. Army ends probe on porn site photos of Iraq corpses:
The U.S. Army after a brief inquiry has failed to determine whether U.S. soldiers provided grisly photos of people killed in the Iraq war to a porn Web site in exchange for free access to it, officials said on Wednesday.
Reuters
28 Sep 2005 19:59:07 GMT

The gory details.

YEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAA!

WASHINGTON -- A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post. DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee. "I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader pursuant to rules of the House Republican Conference and the actions of the Travis County district attorney today," DeLay said.

The pornography of war

"US soldiers trade grisly photos of dead and mutilated Iraqis for access to amateur porn. The press is strangely silent.

"If you want to see the true face of war, go to the amateur porn Web site NowThatsFuckedUp.com. For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for permission to post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography.

"At Wilson's Web site, you can see an Arab man's face sliced off and placed in a bowl filled with blood. Another man's head, his face crusted with dried blood and powder burns, lies on a bed of gravel. A man in a leather coat who apparently tried to run a military checkpoint lies slumped in the driver's seat of a car, his head obliterated by gunfire, the flaps of skin from his neck blooming open like rose petals. Six men in beige fatigues, identified as US Marines, laugh and smile for the camera while pointing at a burned, charcoal-black corpse lying at their feet.

"The captions that accompany these images, which were apparently written by soldiers who posted them, laugh and gloat over the bodies. The person who posted a picture of a corpse lying in a pool of his own brains and entrails wrote, 'What every Iraqi should look like.' The photograph of a corpse whose jaw has apparently rotted away, leaving a gaping set of upper teeth, bears the caption 'bad day for this dude.' One person posted three photographs of corpses lying in the street and titled his collection 'DIE HAJI DIE.' "
-- Chris Thompson, East Bay Express. Full article here.

Now, I don't believe that this sort of behavior represents the majority gestalt of our military. But it certainly represents the same coinage of the culture that allowed Abu Ghraib and other such atrocities to flourish.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An open letter to Families United for the Troops and other supporters of the Iraq war

On Saturday September 24, 2005, I and perhaps 199,999 or more other people passed by a small coterie of supporters of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq as we peacefully demonstrated in the streets of our nation’s capital. The hostility that you feel for us was palpable. You called us “traitors, cowards, communists, smelly hippies,” among other epithets. I looked around and saw among my fellow marchers people from the American mainstream, war veterans from several conflicts (some on crutches), retired senior citizens, mothers and fathers with children. I did not see hate. Only when I turned my eyes back to the sidelines, did I feel the emanations of that most blinding of emotions.

First, let me say that to any of you who have lost loved ones in the battlefield of Iraq, I share your loss. Though I may not be able to feel the depth of sorrow that only you can harbor, our common humanity grieves for the end of youth in its blossoming, as well as for the loss of men and women in their prime who likely never thought that their service in the National Guard Reserve would bring them to the killing fields of the Middle East. However, I also grieve for the lost lives of thousands of Iraqi innocents whose deaths go untabulated in the newspapers of America’s heartland, but whose loved ones mourn them as deeply as you do yours. But unlike you, I see a greater tragedy in both their loss and yours: the tragedy of ignoble cause, misguided objectives, and the unseemliness of lies. I see the usurpation of the ideals that you believe empower this conflict. I see the machinations of power, power corrupted by a grave ideology that bears little fealty to the teachings of Christ while painting itself in the colors of faith, power fueled by greed and delusion.

In the wake of 9/11, the United States was the recipient of an outpouring of empathy unparalleled in our recent history. Nations across the globe decried this base and barbaric act of murder. A candlelit vigil of support was held in Iran, of all places, one of the triumverate of George W. Bush's "axis of evil." We had the world community behind us as our forces toppled the Talaban and sought Osama bin Laden in Afganistan. For the first time in his short political career, the prodigal son of the Bush dynasty evinced a degree of leadership. Little did we know, this was a mere distraction. A myth began to be spun, even as our search for bin-Laden
unravelled, a myth about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, a myth, despite the revelation of its falseness, to which so many of you of still cling, even in the face of its repudiation by its fork-tongued architects. You will never hear your favorite spin jockeys on right wing radio and Fox News tell you the truth: Saddam Hussein was supported militarily by the US and Germany and the UK (among others) up until 1988. Donald Rumsfeld even met Saddam giving him US intelligence to help fight and kill Iranians (see photo on left).

The President of the United States and the
Neoconservative ideologues that surround him knew the truth. But they also knew that so many of you could be duped. Duped by the naive belief that our country's government is not capable of ignominy, or that anything that our country does can be excused purely because it is our country, that somehow, in some mysterious way, we are on always on a path of righteousness and can never stray.

"After 218 inspections of 141 sites over three months by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei charged that the U.S. had used faked and erroneous evidence to support the claims that Iraq was importing enriched uranium and other material for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. So why, considering all this good news, is the White House afraid to allow the inspections to continue? Is Bush worried that the weapons may not exist and that his real goal, stated blatantly in his last press conference, of taking over Iraq might be undermined? How else to explain the president's indifference to the fact that the evidence of weapons locations supplied by his own intelligence agencies has not checked out on the ground?

"To distract us from this essential truth, the president has shamefully frightened the American people, first with his baseless attempt to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and then with unproven claims that Iraq's government and weapons pose an immediate danger to Americans. The real story is that U.N. inspectors are reporting substantial progress in terms of Iraqi cooperation and the destruction of weapons in Iraq."

-- Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times, 11 March 2003

And by reciting the mantra of "9/11", with all the attendent outrage and fear that those numbers inspire, these architects of deception succeeded.

Until now. Revulsion for the policies of this administration brought over 100,000 souls to the nations capital last weekend, while your coterie of true believers could only marshall a few hundred. It is apparent to me why so many of you loathe Cindy Sheehan with such vitriole, why she is such a target for your attacks. She represents your worst fears, the nagging voice in the corner of your mind that whispers that you have spurned the truth in exchange for the empty assurances of a false dream unending, that asks you why
, among all the sons and daughters of America who pay the price of war in Fallujah, Basra and Baghdad, none are the children of this administration and its allies in Congress?

George W. Bush and his Neoconservative administration continue to tell us that we are pursuing a "noble cause" to export American democracy and respect for human rights to Iraq. I would like to challenge you to reconcile this belief, which I assume that you share, with these facts:


  • There is the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and from being exiled, but since the Patriot Act, a person can be arbitrary held without charges.
  • The U.S. has failed miserably to ratify United Nations Declarations to guarantee human rights in more than half the cases.
  • It took 21 years to even ratify the Genocide Convention (the Soviets ratified the Convention in 1954) and then the U.S. did it with so many attachments to the original convention so as to make it worthless. We can accuse other of Genocide but can never be judged ourselves.
  • The United States and Somalia are the ONLY countries in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
  • The United States is the only industrialized nation that has REFUSED to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW.
  • The United States has NOT ratified the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
  • AND for those declarations the United States does ratify, it attaches conditions which undermine their effectiveness.
  • The U.S. has REFUSED to ratify the International Criminal Court.
  • George W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • The U.S. walked out of the World Conference Against Racism.
  • And the United States, by order of its commander-in-chief George W. Bush launched a virtually unilateral attack on Iraq for which it DID NOT HAVE APPROVAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

The UN and everyone else on this planet are afraid of the power of the world's only real super-power. Only Germany, France, and Russia made any real noise of objection and were punished by being denied lucrative contracts (read "booty") in occupied Iraq.

Would those of you who still parlay the terms "noble cause" to this conflict still stand as strong if they were substituted with the words "oil and money?"

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
--Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg trials

I am indebted to Hank Roth's web page Right Wing Ideologues for some of my information.

The invisible tsunami

More video links of the human tide in DC on 9/24 from Truthout.org:

A Massive Convergence For Peace in the Nation's Capitol
A Film by Chris Hume
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Anti-War March in Washington, DC
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Foggy Bottom II

More photos of true patriots in DC on Saturday. You know, the ones that want their country back.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

What the media says didn't happen

Courtesy of the Brad Blog, the voice of democracy is heard in DC. Watch the video that you won't "see at 11."

And photos of DC and other "non-events" around the world.

But I am sure glad we got hours and hours of Anderson Cooper in his waders on CNN.

Foggy Bottom

Don't believe the media spin about "around 100,000", there were 300,000 peaceful protestors marching through downtown DC yesterday in one of the most inspirational events of which I have ever proudly been a part. Over a quarter of a million strong, we marched demanding an end to the lies and crimes of the Bush administration. Young and old, black, white, brown, yellow and red, we overwhelmed even the most optimistic estimates of United for Peace and Justice. High points: the Lakota nation giving Cindy Sheehan a star quilt to honor her heroism, hearing Joan Baez and Steve Earle serenade us, and the greatest moment of all: turning around at one point on 15th Street and seeing a sea of bodies in the street that seemed to go on forever.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's somewhere between one and a trillion (we think)

"The Pentagon has no accurate knowledge of the cost of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or the fight against terrorism, limiting Congress's ability to oversee spending, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a report released yesterday."

-- Ann Scott Tyson,Washington Post Full article

GAO report here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The eloquence of experience

Video of antiwar statements from U.S. soldiers who have served in the Iraq.

If you can still support this war after viewing these, then you have surrendered completely to the state of delusion that the Bush administration inhabits 24/7.

Who's been blind?

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family's hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the price fell nearly 15 percent.

Full story here.

Might we conclude, then, that the definition of a blind trust has to do with the public's belief in the integrity of Republican billionaire senators? Don't hold your breath waiting for an independent counsel on this one.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Conservative blog taxonomy

When I stumble onto some of these right wing blogs, and I feel the temperature rising, I just head over here to put it all in perspective. Thanks, Mithras.

They knew

In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

Yes, yes, yes. Just more moonbat paranoia, right?


More walking the talk

Truthout.org's Chris Hume at the DOD sponsored 9/11 Freedom Walk. To me, the most chillling thing was watching people state with ironclad conviction that Iraq was directly linked to 9/11. And the most inspirational? One brave, dissenting mother of a Marine.

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Rats on the sinking ship?

"You run down the list of things we thought we could accomplish and you have to wonder what we thought we were thinking," says a Bush Administration member who joined on in 2001. "You get the impression that we're more than listless. We're sunk."

There's more at the door (from the American Spectator, well-known rightie rag).

The shadow knows...

Karl Rove, President Bush's top political advisor and deputy White House chief of staff, spoke at businessman Teddy Forstmann's annual off the record gathering in Aspen, Colorado this weekend. Here is what Rove had to say that the press wasn't allowed to report on.

On Katrina: "The only mistake we made with Katrina was not overriding the local government..."

On The Anti-War Movement: "Cindy Sheehan is a clown. There is no real anti-war movement. No serious politician, with anything to do with anything, would show his face at an anti-war rally..."

On Bush's Low Poll Numbers: "We have not been good at explaining the success in Iraq. Polls go up and down and don't mean anything..."

On Iraq: "There has been a big difference in the region. Iraq will transform the Middle East..."

-- from the Huffington Post

There's a story about this detestable, porcine, doughboy that illuminates the machinations of his febrile mind. Supposedly, when he was a little boy he was beaten up by a little girl who happened to be a Democrat. True? False? Apochryphal or not, it fits.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Evangelical Christian blues

According to evangelical Christian author Ronald J. Sider's book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience:

  • Conservative Protestants are more likely to divorce than the national average.
  • Conservative Christian men are as likely as non-Christians to view pornography.
  • Evangelical teens are "only a little less" sexually promiscuous than non-evangelicals.
  • Those who make abstinence pledges are, on average, as likely as non-pledgers to contract sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Wives in traditional marriages "where the husband was dominant" are three times more likely to be beaten than wives in egalitarian marriages.
This of course dovetails with the parcel of delusions we Americans maintain about ourselves and the status of our nation as "number one" in myriad ways, but especially those right wing rallying points about moral values.