Sunday, October 01, 2006

Buggering our friends across the pond say

Good riddance - take a few with you. There may yet be others as it seems the House Republican leadership kept this under their hats. I'm for equal rights for all... gay, lesbian, straight, all races and religions but Representative Mark Foley's behavior was clearly out of line and resigning was the honorable thing to do. It would have been out of line if he was pestering underage girls or if the member was female pestering underage boys or girls. The issue is these kids are underage not the man's sexual orientation.

Using social issues like gay marriage and reproductive choice as wedges to get out the vote when obviously there are G&L Republicans like Mr. Foley and Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter illustrates the pervasive Republican hypocrisy on social issues. Moralizing to the rest of the country and world when they are just like everyone else makes them look ridiculous.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

This is just plain wrong -

Here we go folks - it's been brewing for some time but now it really looks as if the Bush/Cheney dream of the Fascist States of America is coming true. They say they want to protect us but I don't trust them. I think it's a power play to install an imperial presidency exceeding Dick Nixon and Henry Kissinger's wildest fantasies.

The "Military Commissions Bill" passed by, in the words of Senator Barbara Boxer D. CA "a rubber stamp senate" eviscerates our Constitution by codifying IN LAW that the judicial branch does not have the right to Constitutionaly mandated review of administration actions.

At this point one can only hope that the Supreme Court will indeed decide it has the right and declare all or parts of it un-Constitutional as it so clearly is. Unfortunately the same rubber stamp senate allowed Bush to put two right wingers on the court which almost guarantees the bill will withstand any judicial review it might be subject to.

We indeed have entered, as the NYT writes, a time not unlike the "dark chapters in [US] history, comparable to the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in the fragile years after the nation’s founding and the internment of Japanese-Americans in the midst of World War II." Some will say the republic has endured greater challenges and survived. We shall see.

Monday, September 25, 2006

truth is ignorance - war is peace - freedom is slavery

Its enough to make you want to cry.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee

Please fulfill your constitutional duty and hold this adminstration accountable for its actions and do not let them off the hook. We cannot allow them to trample the Constitution and Bill of Rights or the terrorists will have won. I support Sen. Feinstein's bill and deplore Sen. Spector's attempt to arrange a Congressional pardon for administration officials (including the president) in advance. If, as they say, they haven't broken the law then why do they need advance immunity for their actions?

Friday, September 15, 2006

"it's unacceptable to think..."

1984 - 1984 - 1984

it wasn't just a book it was a prophecy.

when do we wake up and listen to what these people are saying and doing??

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Top Ten Abuses of Power Since 9/11

From the ACLU website:

"Safe and Free: There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today, as illegal government spying, provisions of the Patriot Act and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security."

Liberal Media? Give me a break!

So much for the liberal media. The conventional wisdom that the media is biased is a myth. You want to see some liberal media? Go to, or for some real liberal media. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN are not liberal media outlets as the story referenced at makes very clear. The New York Times and The Washington Post while decent newspapers aren't liberal. And ever since the LA Times was taken over by the Tribune it has skewed ever further right. These media organizations are not liberal they are simply less conservative than Faux News, The Washington Times or The New York Post etc.

Friday, September 08, 2006

ABC turning into Faux?

The facts of 9/11 are compelling enough - no need to play foot loose and fancy free with them.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

"With Kazakh's Visit, Bush Priorities Clash" What do you mean? He'll fit right in!

No clash here - the man will fit right in. He'll probably make a deal or two with the Bushes while he's there. After all George is going to need a place to work after Jan 2009. What better way than to start coddling and networking with oil rich dictators - uh oh wait a minute. Didn't they do that with Saddam back in the '80s? Maybe this fellow better watch his back. This is a treacherous crowd he's wading into.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The State Department investigates misuse of American supplied munitions

Ya think?

Worse than Hezbollah launching rockets that can only be aimed in a general direction not unlike the V1 and V2s in WWII? Certainly in terms of destructive capacity. Terror rains down on innocents on all sides...that's why they call it war.

Say hoss - did you hear the one about that Harris gal shootin' off her mouth again? Wee hoo!

Nice gams though...

BUT seriously folks - you wanna talk "old Europe?" This is old Europe - the kind thinking Americans of all races and religions have tried to escape from for a few hundred years now. Trouble is the fundies always seem to rear their ugly way of thinking by interjecting their "my way or the highway" kill it if it moves philospophies.

We need a new paradigm...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tim Russert objective?

"A howler from Bush: “Nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.” OK, maybe not in those words, but how ’bout in these?"

Reading Russert’s words in the link found above, with what we know now, I'm struck by how much he was pushing for the invasion - it's almost like he's goading Cheney and Rice to say Iraq was responsible for 9/11. The symbiotic relationship Russert has with these people is, not unlike Tom Friedman in his column and books, that he uses his show to ask the right questions leading to the endorsement of whatever the previaling winds seem to be blowing his way. He doesn't really get in these people's faces very much. If he did they wouldn't come on the show. So how can you get to the truth if you aren't going to get in their faces once in a while?

He really nailed Howard Den during the 2004 primary season. He wouldn't let Dean off the hook for love nor money. Why doesn't he do that to Cheney, Rice et. al.?

Comments anyone?

Right wing debate tactics

This post is in response to a typical right-wing tactic of changing the subject while debating a specific point while commenting on an article about Ann Beeson of the ACLU winning the decision on the illegal NSA Spying program. Click the link above for the article in question.


Mr. White - don't change the subject - the subject is the court decision that declared GWB's actions illegal.

Bulletin to all liberals: This is a typical right wing debate tactic - when faced with facts and the inevitability of losing the argument because their position is bankrupt they change the subject and resort to name calling accusing anyone who doesn't agree with their narrow self-serving POV of being unpatriotic and wanting to tear down the administration. It’s no more than playground bully tactics – don’t let it scare you or divert you from the point being discussed.

Mr. White - As I said no amount of wishing, washing or prevarication and obfuscation by the right wing is going to change the fact that a distinguished jurist has declared the NSA spying program illegal.

So the question here is did GWB break the law? So far the answer is; absolutely, unequivocally … YES. What does the Constitution say about lawbreaking presidents? We all know the answer to that. Let's see if, after the case winds up in the Supreme Court and they rule the program illegal, Congress has the will to enforce the Constitution.

One point I will grant - you are correct in saying America proper has not been attacked since 9/11. Your grasp of the obvious is truly astounding. However, our new enemies (courtesy of the bungling boobs running this government) have managed thus far to kill, wound and maim 23,000 Americans not to mention 45,000 Iraqis and hundreds of thousands that we’ve helped to kill and maim.

This is an idea, a concept? We are better off? I'd say we are pretty well screwed and substantially worse off due to the incomprehensible policy of attacking Iraq because of 9/11. To quote a famous "liberal" (not!) Richard Clarke it was "like attacking Mexico for Pearl Harbor."

This is foreign policy dilettantism at its worst... shoving democracy down someone's throat at gunpoint is a very difficult thing to do. It takes magnitudes more intelligence and will than the present group of bungling neo-cons has. Expecting that such a wimpy effort as 130,000 soldiers would do the job is faith based foreign policy. If the Bushites and neo-cons really wanted to get the job done right they would have listened to Colin Powell and committed at least a half million soldiers to the effort. Then they may have had a chance. But the bungling neo-cons couldn't muster the will. Now you want to do the same in Iran? You are truly deluded.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

THE WALL - Essential Reading

Essential reading - more to the argument that the USA is a target because of unbalanced support of Israel.

BTW - THE WALL looks stronger than the levees in New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Peace keeping in the Middle East?

Beyond the oxymoronic implications of a peace keeping force in the Middle East it seems the Europeans in general and the French in particular ought to step up to the plate with plenty of soldiers for UNIFIL (200 soldiers is not a peacekeeping force it's an insult) especially as Lebanon is France’s old bailiwick and they are in large part responsible for the mess the Middle East has become. (See Sykes-Picot 1916)

But as usual it seems the French want someone else to do the heavy lifting being content to sit back and throw brickbats rather than contribute to a solution, however imperfect.

Fortunately the guilt free Italians (see Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea & Somalia in the 1930’s) have decided to take the mantle and move into the breach. Analogous to the Balkans in the 90's? Not really, but the Europeans twiddled and whistled while the Serbs massacred Muslims. It took Bill Clinton's and the USA’s leadership put a stop to that.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Emperor has no clothes - or hasn't anyone told him yet?

Alberto? Please tell Mr. B that spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal. A high school history student could have told him that. But apparently you couldn't as obviously it took someone with much more legal acuity, knowledge and gravitas in their pinky finger than your Dept. Of Justice has in a gaggle of neo-cons to do the job.

Why won't you all just wise up and realize that George can't be King - ok? There is that pesky thing we call a Constitution that George just doesn't care for because it gets in the way of his protecting "America."

George - someone should tell you you took an oath (twice) to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic - not some neo-con "Leave it to Beaver" version of "America." An America where the rich get richer and the poor get $1 T-shirts at Wal-Mart and 99 cent burgers at McDonalds. As Pogo said "we have met the enemy and they is us..." It seems the the biggest enemy of the Constitution right now (of course there are others) is domestic and your administration and the Republican right wing fundies top the list.

Well, well, well, I had no idea - Tom Friedman a billionaire?

I always thought there was something not quite right about this fellow. Now I think I see why. Having money on that scale makes it very hard to gain anything but academic knowledge of a subject - especially when it relates to socioeconomic issues. Still that doesn't mean the man doesn't have a brain and cannot reason or use logic to deduce a solution to an issue. Never been a big fan of his though - I prefer Dowd - at least she doesn't hide that she's pretentious.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Meanwhile - back at the ranch

NYT: Six-year, $4.7b effort to slash Colombia's coca crop has left price, quality, availability of cocaine on US streets unchanged

Why do I have a strange feeling that the War on Terrorism is no different than the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty? None of them are winnable and all of them lead to oppression of one form or another. Fear and repression of the people is the only constant. Marx would say the ruling classes are just inventing new ways to control the little people. But what did he know - right?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Couldn't have said it better myself - this from an Israeli historian

"Killing children is wrong. Period. A "war on terror" cannot be won by a democratically elected government acting like a terrorist organization. War is too serious a business to be left to the generals."

Tell it George Bush...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Israel & the US - Creating tomorrow's terrorists today!

California Congressman Darrell Issa watches as a refugee woman screams "kill Bush" in arabic as she holds aloft her baby that she delivered three days ago at a Catholic Relief Services shelter in the Aschrafieh area of Beirut. - Photo by the LA Times

The latest chapter in the 50 years war will solve nothing. It's just making things worse. The main protagonist of this article, a Mr. Fadl Chalak says

"You see, watching TV every day, I get so angry, I just give up," he said. "Make no mistake. Every Arab now, every Muslim, has a little bit of Bin Laden in himself. We're not religious fanatics, we're a bunch of atheists, after all! But we just feel we have nowhere to go.

"We get together, and one of us will raise the glass, 'Here's to Bin Laden.' And everybody will raise the glass."

Who is this man? A dispossessed Shia Muslim from the no-mans land that southern Lebanon has become? No, this man is none other than the President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction of the government of Lebanon. An upper middle class highly educated technocrat. The kind of man the neo-cons hope will build their "new" Middle East. Imagine, Israel and the US has systematically alienated generations of Arabs both secular and fundamentalist by making war on them, killing innocent civilians, expropriating their land and we wonder why they attack us? We wonder why we have to surrender a bottle of shampoo before boarding an aircraft? We wonder why they hate us? It's no wonder in my opinion.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

• Israel must leave the West Bank, Gaza, Golan, Southern Lebanon
• Jerusalem must be an international city or with some form of shared sovereignty
• The Wall must come down and the settlements dismantled. Period, full stop, end of story.
• Israel and the US should pay reparations to Lebanon.

This is a small price - $2.5 billion according to the estimates of Mr. Chalak’s office – to pay. Iraq costs us more every month. Just put it on George Bushes tab. He’ll just add it to his $400 billion deficit.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mainstream British Muslims fault foreign policy for making UK a target for terror

I emphatically agree with the authors of this letter. Typically, when it comes to Israel, No. 10's reaction is the usual specious argument also made by the Bushites.

"No 10 is frustrated by the letter, which it did not know about until last night. A spokesman said: "Al-Qaida starting killing innocent civilians in the 90s. It killed Muslim civilians even before 9/11, and the attacks on New York and Washington killed over 3,000 people before Iraq. To imply al-Qaida is driven by an honest disagreement over foreign policy is a mistake."

This began long before 9/11. The Brits promised the Arabs independence for siding with the Allies against the Ottomans in WWI. Then the Balfour Declaration (1917) began the British tilt toward the Zionists. Coming on the heels of the stab in the back of the Sykes Picot Agreement (1916) where the Britain and France carved the Middle East into French and British zones. The whole mess was followed up by the Paris Peace Agreement in 1919 and the world has been paying the price ever since.

And whether the disagreement is honest or not is immaterial - the Islamic fundies are still trying to kill as many of us as they can. We need to address the #1 root cause of the problem - Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Golan, the so called security wall and the settlements. All of which have been declared illegal multiple times by the UN and other international bodies.

The Guns of August

Richard Holbrooke who, for a mainstream diplomat, I admire immensely, wrote a prescient piece in the WP this past Thursday. I agree with his point that events in the ME are spiraling out of control as they did in August of 1914. He makes other important points but a basic underlying premise of his point of view validates the thesis of many of my posts on this blog.

Unconditional support for Israel is not the way we are going to help solve the problems of the Middle East and make this country safer. We must bite the bullet, and despite what AIPAC and it’s ilk have managed to put over on the American taxpayer, start concentrating on what’s fair and what’s truly in the interest of this country and the region as a whole.

At a minimum Israel must withdraw from all occupied territories and Jerusalem must be an international city. The WALL must come down and the settlements dismantled. Anything less and our children will be talking about the 100 Years War in 2048.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pre 9/11 mindset? Loserman loss "good for Al-Qaeda types?"

Cheney talks about a pre 9/11 mindset. It's clear he and his ilk are looking to take the US back to a pre 1776 mindset complete with King George when there was no separation between church and state and the military ran everything.

Sore Loserman 2006

Sore Loserman - as much as I hated that sobriquet in 2000 it is apt now. If Joe would have fought as hard then as he is now perhaps we would not have had 8 years of Bushie boy to contend with.

One thing people don't talk about is his potential role in Gore's defeat. There are plenty of good 'ol fundie Christian white boys all over the country and especially in north Florida who will never vote for a Jew. As admirable as Gore's motives undoubtedly were I think he made a huge error putting Lieberman on the ticket to begin with. Even one of my best Jewish friends said "there goes the election!" when Gore announced Lieberman as his running mate. Running two campaigns - one for senate and the other for VP - was highly cynical and also a mistake that cost the ticket votes.

Having said that - let him run - it's still a free country - isn't it?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Where the heck has their maintenance department been all these years?

BP is shutting down the Prudhoe Bay field because 3/4 of the pipelines are corroded and need to be replaced.

Don't they check these lines regularly? All of a sudden 3/4 are no good!? What the f? Some one needs firing here. Taking 8% of America's oil off line will only give the Republicans another reason to drill in ANWR and jack the profits of the oil compaies. This is very fishy.

Cease-Fire in Lebanon - withdrawal from all occupied territories

There must be an immediate unconditional cease-fire in South Lebanon. Innocent civilians on both sides bear the overwhelming brunt of this tragic, senseless war while the militaries of both antagonists suffer miniscule casualties in comparison.

Lebanese civilian casualties exceed innocent Israeli civilians by a ratio of 10 to 1 and will soon exceed 1000 dead. We're not in the sandbox here with a bunch of 5 year olds, although it may seem like it. Regardless who started the latest round of the "50 Years War," we all know it’s Israel's occupation of the West Bank and (re) occupation of Gaza that fuels the fires of the Middle East.

Who is the mature nation-state here? The Israeli Army (courtesy of the American taxpayer) is exceedingly more powerful than Hezbollah and yet stoops to the level of the terrorists by ruthlessly attacking innocents every day. Israel has been responding to attacks and killing by attacking and killing for over 50 years. What has it achieved? It will never end until they withdraw. As Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”

The eyes of the world see Israel bombing aid convoys, attacking funeral processions and firing on refugees who are just following the instructions of the Israeli Army to leave the area. This is far beyond self-defense. If Israel did not occupy the West Bank and Gaza, Hezbollah, Hamas and Al-Qaeda, like the Red Brigades and Bader-Meinhof gang, would be mere footnotes of history. American made bombs bought with our tax dollars kill Lebanese babies. I don’t want that on my conscience.

Remember; Nixon’s illegal bombing of Cambodia in the 1970's popularized the Khmer Rouge and led to them taking over the country. Is our goal for Hezbollah to do the same in Lebanon? Every dead Lebanese mother or child hands Hezbollah 100 converts just as we hand the insurgents more converts every day we stay in Iraq and handed converts to the Khmer Rouge with every stick of napalm dropped from the B-52s. It’s not that far fetched. Hezbollah could establish an Iranian style theocracy in Lebanon before this is over. They gain power daily. If we really want to help the democratically elected government of Lebanon we need to stop this now before it’s too late. Handing Israel one-sided cease-fire resolutions from the UN will not do it either. Any plan must include an Israeli pullback first and then Hezbollah must stop their missile attacks. This is all that will work. The rest can be worked out after the terror and killing stops.

It may be too late though as I firmly believe, and know I am not alone, that the USA is losing if not already lost our status as an honest broker. Our unfair and unbalanced support for Israel is the cause of much of the hatred directed at us, hatred that reached a crescendo with 9/11 and continued in Bali, Madrid and London and possibly Mumbai. Add the ill advised and incompetently managed Iraq war and we have a recipe for utter disaster.

We must use our influence with Israel and induce them to cease-fire in Lebanon and withdraw unconditionally from all occupied territories. Israel, dependent on our aid, professing to be our friend will surely listen to us, comply with international law and many UN resolutions, and withdraw. This after all is the stated policy of the Israeli Government, is it not? The settlements must be dismantled and the wall must come down. They are illegal under all international laws and just contribute to more hate and as defensive measures are utter failures.

I believe with all my heart and mind that if this happens 90% of the wind will fall off from the sails of Hezbollah, Hamas and Al-Qaeda. The extremists will have nothing to build their so-called movements on. Then we may return to a modicum of national security and the USA will no longer be the target of the terrorists as we are today. This is how we drain the swamp, George. We can’t bomb our way to security, not in today’s world. Killing just makes it worse.

It's very simple really - to paraphrase Bill Clinton "It's the Occupation Stupid."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

AIPAC's Hold [on American Foreign Policy]

more from the Nation Magazine...

"It's the Occupation Stupid!" This is just another round of the same war that's been going on since 1948 - to say Hezbollah started it is like saying the US started WWII when it invaded Europe in 1944. It begins and ends with the occupation. If Israel withdraws and leaves Gaza and the West Bank alone and dismantles all settlements and leaves the border where international law recognizes it should be (per several UN Resolutions) on the 1967 Green Line; 90% of the reasons for Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and Hamas existence goes away. Neither Israel nor the USA can kill our way to security. Sooner or later we must start addressing the root causes of terror not just the symptoms.

Is Israel Good for the Jews?

Seems the word is getting around... further examples of opinion coming around to the notion that unbalanced support of Israel and its policies are not in the interest of the USA or even American Jews.

Friday, July 21, 2006

this is truly sick

Your taxpayer dollars at work -- killing innocent Lebanese babies, women, children, old men and many hundreds of others who don't have anything to do with this conflict.

They just want war, war, war, ...

and they want us in more war. They wanted us in Iraq. Now they want us in Iran. Now they want us to get into the Middle East.

The subject line of this email is a paraphrase of Juan Williams speaking with Bill Kristol on Faux News Sunday.

"You just want war, war, war, and you want us in more war. You wanted us in Iraq. Now you want us in Iran. Now you want us to get into the Middle East. … You’re saying, why doesn’t the United States take this hard, unforgiving line? Well, the hard and unforgiving line has been, we don’t talk to anybody. We don’t talk to Hamas. We don’t talk to Hezbollah. We’re not going to talk to Iran. Where has it gotten us, Bill? Kristol threw up his hands and didn’t answer."

Mr. Wlliams here's a news flash - we're already there. As I write these words American tax dollars subsidize the killing of innocent Lebanese civilians and GWB is giving the Israeli government more time to kill more. The truth is ever since 1967 we've given the Israeli government carte blanche to kill as many innocents as they want. Who is the grownup in this equation? The Israeli government just stoops to the level of the terrorists with this behavior. Except their/our weapons are more lethal. For every dead Israeli there are at least 10 or more dead Arabs.

The line is that the Syrians and Iranians are supplying Hezbollah with arms. No doubt they are - they have to get them from somewhere - I don't think there are too many rocket factories in South Lebanon. Arms are freely available on the black market all over the world. Who is the worlds primary arms dealer? The USA! We Americans can't make a decent car anymore but we sure can build bombs and missiles. The USA is followed distantly by Britain, France, Russia and China - all of whom happen to be the permanent members of the UN "Security" Council.

Who do we think makes the bombs and missiles killing Lebanese children right now? Lockheed, Raytheon and Northrup Grumman: all US companies that contribute mightily to both the Republicans AND the Democrats.

Does Israel have the right to defend it self? Of course, but there is defending and there is naked aggression. Its clear what we have at the moment is the latter. Of course if Israel would end its illegal occupation of the West Bank and (recoccupation) of Gaza most of the reasons for radical Islam to attack them and America would evaporate... simple. To paraphrase another liberal "It's the occupation stupid."

Another news flash: both Hamas and Hebollah were supported by the Israelis in the early years of their existence because they were a counter weight to the PLO. It's true - look it up. Just as the USA supported Osama Bin Laden against the Russians in Afghanistan. This is just a cynical war that the powers that be play with innocents just as they have from the beggining of time. It's no different. The little people always pay the price for the ruling classes megalomania. Throw the religious fundamentalists (Christian, Islamic & Jewish) into the mix and you get what we have today.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Secy. of State Rice expresses concern over Chinese military build up

Item: The United States is concerned about China's military build-up and Beijing should make its intentions clear, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said.

Very interesting - Condi says the US govt. is concerned that China; a nation with a population of 1.3 billion people is increasing its military spending by double digits each year to - horrors - $35 billion dollars! Oh my God! Let's see that's $35 billion divided by 1.3 billion or $26.92 a year per capita. That's twenty-six dollars and ninety-two cents (Source - CIA World Fact Book)

This from the highest diplomatic representative of a country with around 300 million people with a FY 2007 defense budget of $439.3 billion or $1,464.33 per capita. $173 million of that is for NEW nuclear weapons - bridge funding of $50 billion for 2 wars etc. The White House is actually bragging that the war budget has gone up by 48% since 2001 (Source White House OMB)

If we followed the Chinese formula of - let's call it $27 dollars per capita we'd have a military budget of $8.1 billion. WOW! We'd save $430 billion dollars (just think of what we could do with that) - but then we couldn't have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan (oh nooo) we would only be able to protect our own territory. Interesting thought that - then maybe we wouldn't be seen as such a threat to millions of people around the world? Then maybe we wouldn't be such a target and 9/11 might not have happened? Nah - impossible. Just the deranged ramblings of some old hippie liberal dude.

So anyway - who's worried about who? When's the last time the Chinese invaded a country under a false pretext? Yes, we suppose they could invade Taiwan. It is a possibility, one we've planned for over many years. And as my Dad says - "we'll blow that bridge up when we get to it." But the fact of the matter is it's not the Chinese who rampage all over the world abducting innocent civilians and putting them away for years without trial, torturing them in secret prisons, invading countries, threatening military action against Iran. Ok, OK, they do torture innocent civilians – whose copying who? Are they just like us or are we just like them?

But we're "concerned" about the Chinese? What does that mean Condi? Concerned enough to do what? Talk? "Concerned" has got to mean something. The Secretary of State doesn't just speak without meaning something. Doesn't have to be the truth - just look at Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq War. Does it mean we're going to face them down? Put in sanctions? Forget that; too many rich Americans make too much money exporting jobs to China. What does it mean? We've already invaded two counties, we're thinking about a third - how about paint ball?

I'm not saying that the Chinese aren't something to be concerned about but this remark of hers just made my blood boil especially when she brought up the size of their military budget. Criminy! $35 billion? Chicken feed. We spend that in one month in Iraq. Wake up America! Don't they think we are listening? This administration are not even real Republicans. They are just incompetent robber barons. And with all due respect to my family in Wyoming, among whom are some real Republicans, 'ol "Buckshot" Cheney is the worst of the bunch.

Message to the Democrats - PLEASE DONT IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH - IF WE DO WE'LL END UP WITH CHENEY!! And if we impeach Cheney we'll get Denny Hastert... fuggedaboudit. It's really not worth it. Actually we should impeach the whole lot and then not convict. Maybe that will teach them a lesson but I doubt it. Here's an interesting scenario - Bush is impeached and Cheney takes over. Who does he appoint as his VP? Bill Frist? Think about it. Then the appointed Veep runs for President in '08 as a semi-incumbent. Hmmm... or would Cheney run? Aaah - get me out of this nightmare!

One more thing and I'll shut up.

I know I'm not the only one who's noticed GWB hasn't vetoed a single piece of legislation in 5+ years. And the only vetoes he's even threatened were: a) against McCain's bill to prohibit torture which he eventually was shamed into signing but with a little "signing statement" on the side saying in effect he could ignore the law if he wanted to. Just like FISA - which he's not just ignoring but breaking the law and thumbing his nose at the American people, Congress and the Judiciary and all the while just daring someone to do something about it. As Gloria Steinem said the other day "he invaded the wrong country - what makes you think he's spying on the right people?" Woo hoo - good one G! And b) the other threatened veto was against the bill Congress was planning to introduce banning the Dubai Ports World deal. Not that I was against that. Tells a story doesn't it? Or does it, I dunno ask Bill O’Reilly. He’ll tell you a story or two.

Bush won't veto all the profligate deficit spending he shoves down our throats. He won't veto massive cuts to the most unfortunate in our society - oh yeah - those are his cuts why veto your own proposals?? But he would veto to protect his right to be like the Chinese and torture innocent civilians and for a bunch more of the super rich to make even more money? Something wrong with this picture?

Sheesh - it's enough to make you want to turn on "Desperate Housewives" scarf down another beer and a burger and forget the whole mess. Unfortunately too many of us Americans do just that and trust this gang who can't shoot straight (literally... duck, here comes Buckshot Cheney!) with our precious democracy. 49% of the eligible voters in this country didn't even bother to vote in 2004. It's so sad that after all millions of people around the world risk their lives to vote (yes the Iraqis & Afghanis too and couldn't have unless we invaded) and we won't get off our fat asses and spend 20 minutes at our local polling place.

I propose that next time there is an election we do the real American thing: watch TV! No, I mean make sure we are registered - make sure all our friends and family are registered and then when election day rolls around drag the SOBs down to the polling place with us. If we could reduce the non-voters by half at least we'd have a large majority of eligible voters voting on the questions of the day and we Americans could look each other in the eye and say we had a real election. Not one where the winner was appointed/anointed or where the winner was elected by a minority of eligible voters. A real election for a real democracy; not some Faux News version of an ersatz democracy. Then would I shut up? Probably not - there is always some injustice, some outrage, it's the nature of the world. Doesn't mean we have to take it lying down. I mean come on... $26.92 and she's worried???

Further to "The Israeli Lobby"

This is a follow up post that addresses various issues raised by a commentator on the blog I posted my original piece on. I was advised to research my subject more thoroughly.


To Juanita - research is all I've been doing for 30 years and my head sometimes feels like exploding with facts. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.

I purposely mentioned the Israeli-Arabs in my previous comments. You missed that.

Why is Israel described as a “Jewish State” if that does not mean it is of the Jews, for the Jews and by the Jews? It is akin to the US officially describing itself, as a “Christian State.”

In another twist to this Twilight Zone of a country… “It would not occur to the average English peaking observer to object to translating [the Hebrew word] ezrahut as "nationality" because "citizenship" and "nationality" are interchangeable terms in the United States, as well as in most democratic societies. In Israel, however, they are two separate and very different statuses. Citizenship (ezrahut) may be held by Arabs as well as Jews while nationality (le'um), which bestows significantly greater rights than citizenship, may be claimed by Jews alone.”

“No [one version of] Israeli nationality applies to all citizens, as does a US nationality in the United States or French nationality in France, for example. In Israel, there is only a Jewish nationality. That non-Jews cannot qualify for nationality rights in the state of Israel was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1972 in a statement that there is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people.”


These are Israeli values - not American values. The American taxpayer subsidizes these un-American values (to the tune of $105 billion since 1948) and the Israel lobby is dedicated to making sure that Joe Six Pack US taxpayer doesn’t figure it out.

The Law of Return applies only to Jews, no other faith. If there is any other way to become an Israeli besides being Jewish and moving to Israel or being an indigenous person (and their descendents) caught up in the founding of the state that happened to stay in ’48 please let me know. Show me chapter and verse the language in Israeli law that unambiguously allows a Christian or a Hindu or any other faith to move to Israel and lawfully become a citizen without converting to Judaism or marrying a Jew and I will concede the point.

Regarding Israeli-Arab members of parliament; that cannot be forbidden because these MP’s were/are Israeli citizens. Israeli as described above but Israeli. That’s the surrealistic mélange of Israel.

As far as Mr. Hodges remark that England’s state religion is Anglicanism and Denmark’s Lutheran he is exactly correct but you don’t have to be a member of that religion to be a citizen of those countries. The two situations are not analogous except on the surface. They would be analogous to medieval Europe yes, but not the Europe of today. Why be medieval?

Regarding citizenship in Palestine the following clauses from the draft Constitution of Palestine. Illustrate my point. “Article (5) Arabic is the official language and Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Christianity and all other monotheistic religions are accorded sanctity and respect. The constitution guarantees equality in rights and duties to all citizens irrespective of their religious creed.” and “Article (19) All Palestinians are equal before the law. They enjoy civil and political rights and bear public duties without difference or discrimination, regardless of race, gender, color, religion, political opinion, or disability.”

Even though the draft says that Islam is the official religion it goes out of its way to state “equality in rights” are guaranteed to all irrespective of creed. This is far from the two-class system in Israel. As stated earlier Denmark, England, France, Norway and many other countries have a “state” religion. Granted Israel is no Saudi Arabia in denying religious freedom but nevertheless discriminates against the non-Jewish. As stated above this is not an American value.

Case closed?

The Israeli Lobby - AIPAC

This is a piece I wrote regarding a paper written by well known two academics regarding the Israeli Lobby. They are John J. Mearsheimer; Department of Political Science, University of Chicago & Stephen M. Walt; John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Not exactly a couple of unknowns. There has been a fair amount of controversy over the paper they wrote. Predictably, in my opinion, the very phenomenon that the paper describes is happening to the authors. This is a piece I put up as comments on a couple of blogs and I adapt for use here.


Its high time Americans began a dialogue over the long nightmare of human rights violations and abuse committed in our name. It doesn’t take a genius to discern that unqualified US support of Israel is undoubtedly one of the leading causes of anti-American sentiment around the world and one of the main reasons why America is targeted by the Islamic Jihadists. 9/11, to paraphrase Malcom X, was “the proverbial chickens coming home to roost.” Notwithstanding the hundreds of billions of dollars in no-strings attached aid to the Israelis this is the “net” loss in the relationship that Mearsheimer & Walt so eloquently describe. One must be a fool, willfully ignorant, completely uneducated or just hopelessly biased about this issue not to at least question the premise and accept a free exchange of ideas on the subject. What’s wrong with that? Discussion is the key. We are sentient beings with the gift of communication. Surely to stifle discussion is counter to reasons for our existence.

The publication of the paper by the two very well respected academics John J. Mearsheimer & Stephen M. Walt resulted in a predictable backlash by the pro-Israeli lobby in the American and world press. Sure as the sunrise, charges of anti-Semitism are leveled when anyone deigns to criticize the Israeli government. American Jews, while usually quite progressive, are for the most part committed to social justice except when it comes to the repression perpetrated by the Israeli government on the Palestinian people. Although I know progressive Jews who don't agree with the Zionist line, those that espouse the Zionist case - purposefully or not - are definitly in the majority. Apologists for the Israeli lobby such as Max Boot, Alan Dershowitz, Jonah Goldberg and the lobby itself smugly refute facts in the paper by pointing to organizations like CAMERA who attempt to debunk the paper; as if CAMERA had no axe to grind and is an objective source of information.

My tax accountant is Jewish – and a wonderful and a committed progressive - but when it comes to the Palestinians he understands they are oppressed, but as he stated to my face while in discussion over the subject, “I don’t care.” His position is; that after what the Nazis did to the Jews anything is justified, including oppressing an entire people. So be it. "So it is written and so it shall be done."

Next time you are checked and groped before boarding a commercial airliner think about the line of causality that extends from being a target of terrorism to the repression of a people. No - I mean really think about it. Don't just dismiss it as "propaganda." Violence is not justified in any form (except in extreme self defense) but one can understand a people, systematically repressed over half a century and without hope, resorting to violence against their oppressors and those who support the oppressor. It’s human nature. The policies of the Israeli government and the USA’s support of them are *the* root cause of the suffering of the Palestinian people. To paraphrase again “It’s the occupation stupid!” The facts of the matter are not really in dispute. Any position to the contrary is just blaming the victim just as it would be blaming a woman for being raped, the slave for being enslaved or the death camp survivor for being incarcerated. The US has almost without exception supported Israeli-Zionist interests ever since we recognized the government of Israel in 1948. The list of atrocities and complete disrespect for human rights by the Israeli government is far too long to write about here.

We say we support Israel because it shares our values? Obviously we share some values but wake up America! Israel is not a democracy any more than the USA would be if we expelled all non-Christians and declared that (except for a tiny minority who refused to leave) no one could be a citizen with full rights unless they were Christian. Unbalanced support for this quasi-theocracy is leading us down a path where we will forever spend our national treasure and blood defending that which is indefensible and justifying behavior which is unjustifiable. Please look at the history and the facts. The myth of the noble kibbutzim greening an empty desert and bringing truth, justice and freedom to a bunch of backward Arabs is just that – a myth. The Israeli government and its predessessors; among whom were terrorist organizations like the Stern Gang and the Irgun, has systematically engaged in ethnic cleansing even before 1948 and the gullible American taxpayer has unthinkingly supported the policy with blood and treasure.

Witness the lopsided UN Security Council votes and the wholesale gifting of arms. I could go on and on but this is not the forum. There are plenty of sources for this information. If you think my views extreme look to the debate raging in Israeli society now. The Israelis are more open on this subject than we Americans. Few dispute the Arabs are also guilty of human rights abuses and atrocities (principally against their own) as are the Israelis but the American government has not been an honest broker. The closest we got was under Bill Clinton but the petty impeachment and the end of his term came about before he was able to finish what he'd started.

This conflict, waged by two sides who base their beliefs and philosophy largely on “an eye for an eye” will not end until this cycle of violence is broken by pushing the parties to “turn the other cheek” or we will forever doomed to war, oppression and it’s consequences. Idealistic? Yes – but we have to start somewhere and an honest dialogue about and acknowledgment of America's addiction to its unbalanced support for Israel is the first step to recovery… and peace.