Sunday, December 30, 2007
There's a round of thinly veiled racist emails (there is and always will be a round of thinly veiled racist emails) bemoaning the help that the people of New Orleans receive as if somehow they don't deserve it. I draw your attention to the above link which relates how "... the U.S. gives Musharraf's government about $200 million annually and his military $100 million monthly in the form of direct cash transfers. Once that money leaves the U.S. Treasury, Musharraf can do with it whatever he wants. He needs only promise in a secret annual meeting that he'll use it to invest in the Pakistani people." And pray tell what is the ROI on this $$? Need I say more?
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Ahem... that's what I like about the NYT, they call it like they see it.
So much for the myth of the liberal media... why can't they call a lie an effing lie? The NYT Style Guide must make it mandatory to use words like misstatement, misspoke, untruth, exaggeration etc. instead of lie, cheat and steal which is what really goes on.
It was this kind of hairsplitting by the MSM and hyping of false Intel by the administration that let Bush & Co. get away with the greatest presidential crime in the history of the office (except for Nixon and Kissinger's secret & illegal war in Cambodia and Laos which led to the deaths of 3 million innocents but that's another post).
Are we American's really as stupid as Bill Maher thinks we are? Or have we just become so cowed by the incessant drumbeat of fear from the right wing smear machine and wannabe Republicans like the Clintons we’ll vote for anyone that says they’ll make us safe? Come on America let's rediscover our collective spine and stop cowering every time someone mentions the word terrorism or Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda. America is a strong and good country… if we want it. We can be strong and good for all the right reasons. Not strength to exploit innocents at home and abroad with dog-eat-dog laissez-faire vulture capitalism but to be a force for the betterment of humanity through example, friendship, fair trade, diplomacy and good works like the Peace Corps; not at the barrel of a gun. Not by turning our men and women in uniform into monsters to do the bidding of corporate elites and the American fundamentalists.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Mr. Giuliani said on Wednesday night at a forum in Davenport, Iowa, that he favored “aggressive questioning” of terrorism suspects."
He also bragged that he'd used "aggressive questioning" as a US Attorney for New York.
Fred Thompson seems to like the idea as well. Even though John "Bomb Bomb Iran" McCain is almost certifiable at least he knows torture is a dead end.
Don't these guys/gals get it? A suspect will say anything to stop the pain. The intel one gets from these techniques is no better than what you get from a Ouija Board.
But hey - Just show up looking like this and anyone will talk!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
"I don't want them on our soil," Romney said. "I want them on Guantanamo, where they don't get the access to lawyers that they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there. Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is we ought to double Guantanamo."
Cheesus K. Reist! Cancel my rumba lesson, we're on the road to out Bush , Bush
Recently Bishop Desmond Tutu gave a speech at the Old South Church in Boston. He said the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis in some instances is worse than the system of apartheid in South Africa. Having gone there himself and reporting what he saw with his own eyes instead of parroting the Zionist line, among other things he said "...there were things that even you didn’t find even in apartheid South Africa, ... such as collective punishment."
Furthermore he said "You [meaning Israel] will probably not succumb to an outside assault militarily. With the unquestioning support of the United States of America, you are probably impregnable. But you who are called are they who are called, asked to deal with the oppressed, the weak, the despised, compassionately, caringly, remembering what happened to you in Egypt and, much more recently, in Germany. Remember and act appropriately. If you reject your calling, you may survive for a long time, but you will find it is all corrosive inside, and one day, one day, you will implode."
These are words of wisdom meant for the oppressors of Palestine but should also be heeded by the people of America. But we support our troops! This is good to a point but for many it is meant to inoculate the critics of the war from charges of blaming the soldiers for the horror that is war. A noble sentiment indeed. But if we are to support the soldiers we must also examine the mission. Otherwise to do so is simple blind faith. What is their mission? Can we separate the soldier from his or her mission? If the mission is to prosecute an unjust war based on lies, how long can we support people who are "just following orders"? At what point do we say "enough!" At what point can we no longer support those who "uphold an unjust dispensation." When do the good people of America wake up to the fact that we are supporting "unjust dispensation(s)" in Israel, Iraq and many other parts of the globe?
Click on the link above for the entire speech.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
According to various sources the estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths range from about 80,000 by Iraq Body Count to 655,000 according to a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet to 1.2 million(!) according to another study published by ORB, a British polling firm. You decide. Suffice it to say the innocents pay the highest price.
And that doesn't count the displaced. 4 million have fled their homes; 2 million outside Iraq and anther 2 million internally. That's 16% of the population. Imagine 48 million Americans displaced and you get the idea. 24 million fleeing to Canada or Mexico and the other half going out to the countryside to get away from the violence in the cities.
Nearly 4,000 Americans are dead and another 30,000 are injured many so badly they will never have a normal life.
Is it worth it? Where is the ROI?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
He writes: "I was often surprised to find that people with whom I seemed to share a progressive, cosmopolitan worldview would suddenly morph into raging ultranationalists when the conversation turned to Israel."
I've experienced exactly the same thing...
Did we ever really think this was about "freedom and democracy?"
Having lived in Saudi Arabia much of my life and being familiar with the history of the oil industry in that country this rings very true. The first oil companies in Arabia were Standard of California (Chevron) and later Texaco, Mobil and Exxon. In the early 1930s Standard of California signed an agreement with the Saudi King Abdel Azziz granting it exclusive rights to explore, drill for and produce oil giving the consortium of the four American oil companies which came to be known as ARAMCO, ownership of the Saudi oil. In turn ARAMCO paid the Saudis a royalty for each barrel they sold. In the beginning it was something on the order of 25 cents a barrel. Remember, oil was $2.50 a barrel back then. This arrangement lasted until the early 70s when the Saudi Government began a transition to full ownership of the county's natural resources, where ARAMCO, the company my father worked for, for nearly 30 years, became a contractor to the Saudi government to produce the oil.
The difference between the Saudi/American agreement in the 1930s and what is now occurring in Iraq is that in the 1930s no one knew for sure if there was oil in Arabia, not to mention there weren't 160,000 American soldiers in Arabia. The Americans took a very big risk and didn't find oil until after many millions in investments and a couple of years of drilling with the 7th well in Dhahran. Much of the oil in Iraq has been found and with present day techniques the rest won't be that difficult to find. The so called oil "sharing" law is a giveaway/payback to the American oil industry. One could argue and some of the more honest supporters of the war do, that since we spent our national treasure and blood to "secure" these oilfields we have a right to the profit from our "investment." I disagree. It belongs to the Iraqi people and unless we want to continue to fuel more anger, resentment, insurgency and terrorism against us for many years we should withdraw and let the Iraqi's run their own show. If they want to hire Chevron et. al to help produce this oil that's fine but don't pressure them at the barrel of a gun to grant ownership to non-Iraqi companies.
Saying the only way to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and therefore the rest of the Arab world is a one-state solution with universal suffrage. He also compares Israel to South Africa saying that:
Click the link above for the entire piece -
Saturday, September 08, 2007
This article from Salon is another nail in the coffin of lies of the Bush administration. When will the American people wake up and hold this man and his henchman Dick Cheney accountable?
Do American Presidents get to drag the nation into war under completely false pretenses and get away with it?
My analysis is the Democrats don't want to because if they don't have the votes to end the war or cut off funding they probably don't think they have the votes for this. Maybe so but perhaps if the evidence were laid out in hearings people might change their minds. The other caveat is political calculation. They don't wish to "get any on them" or appear vindictive during impeachment hearings and diminish their chances of victory in 2008. Plus they want a really good issue to run on and it doesn't get any better than a failed war for that!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Please don't let this slide like all the other travesties this administration has perpetrated. Please be a Congress with a backbone and do something. This is a democracy and the people have a right to representation and their leaders to be held accountable and not be above the law.
Monday, July 02, 2007
I vehemently disagree with your decision to commute the sentence of a convicted criminal. It proves the accusations of egregious cronyism and wholesale disregard for the law in your administration. How dare you second-guess the court of the land in this callous manner? I know you have the power and I respect the office and its prerogatives but the way you use and abuse it is disgusting to me and millions of other honest Americans.
I know you don't care what I think but I feel the need to reach out and tell you how completely disappointed I am. This is part of a pattern of your disregard for the laws of these United States and I sincerely hope Congress has the moral fiber to not only condemn this callous act but hold you accountable under the same laws that you so flippantly disregard. Mr. Libby obstructed justice, lied to a grand jury, was indicted in accordance with the law then convicted by a jury of his peers and in further accordance with the law sentenced by a Federal judge to a mere 30 months in jail and you have the temerity to think you know better than 231 years of legal precedent and with a stroke of your pen make a mockery of the entire system of jurisprudence in this country?
It's obvious you don't care what the people think or you wouldn't have done this. You sir, are not a king, you must care what the people think, this is a democracy not a monarchy, you are servant of the people and you are accountable to the people. You have at the stroke of a pen increased cynicism about life in America and insulted everything that millions of law-abiding citizens who make an honest living, pay their taxes, and play by the rules stand for.
We the people stand scorned and humiliated by our President's disregard for the rule of law. What are we to tell our children? That if you have friends in high places you don't need to worry about breaking the law? If taking this country to war under false pretenses weren't enough you make it obvious that in George Bush's America its not what you know but who you know that counts.
On the eve of the anniversary of our independence as a nation your action has sullied what American's have shed blood for over the last 231 years. You have brought extreme dishonor to the character of this nation and its Constitution. Simply because you have the power to commute this criminal's sentence does not make it right.
Monday, May 07, 2007
"As rancor in the nation rises over handling of the war in , at least 20 senior aides have either retired or resigned from important posts at the White House, and State Department in the past six months."
Nobody wants to be tarred with that brush. Bush may end up with Laura and Barney being the only ones left holding the bag after all.
I mean - how many crimes and misdemeanors does one president have to commit before he's voted off the island? Imus was canned for insulting some basketball players. McCain jokes about killing thousands of innocent Iranians and people take him seriously as a presidential contender.
Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Feith/Wolfowitz get to kill 600,000+ Iraqis and 3500 Americans for a lie. When does Congress get the cajones to do its constitutional duty? End the war? End this presidency is more like it. They will never have the votes to override his veto, but guess what? He can't veto an impeachment.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
We don't drive model T's anymore so I guess its time to change our bulbs. I really dislike fluorescent light but I guess it's time to get over it. The Australians are banning the bulb too.
Replacing just one frequently used conventional lightbulb in our home with a compact fluorescent bulb can save us money on our utility bill and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. If every household in the United States replaced one incandescent light bulb in their home with a compact fluorescent, it would save a total of 90 million pounds of global warming pollution over the lifetime of the bulbs. This would be equal to taking 6.3 million cars off the road. Though compact fluorescent light bulbs are more expensive than conventional light bulbs, they last 10 times longer. One bulb can lower your energy bill by $15 annually and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 150 lbs.
Take a step and switch out a lightbulb.
|•||Saves $308 over life of bulb... thats not chump change - use four or five and save $1500|
|•||Lasts 13 times longer than traditional incandescent bulb|
|•||Same appearance as incandescent bulb|
|•||Fits most fixtures an incandescent bulb will fit|
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Holy Moly Batman! When three of the Republican candidates for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES said evolution is a crock at this weeks "debate" at least the so-called front runners had enough sense to not join the loonie fundie crowd and kept their hands down. But now it seems that was a Pyhrric moment, at least where Mitt Romney is concerned.
But now we have the de facto front runner paying homage and obeisance to one of the the looniest right wing Christian fundies of them all. Yes boys and girls - it's the same Bat Time and same Bat Channel all over again that Ronald Reagan showed up on.
Mitt Romney goes to Fundieland! Check out the link where he says, and I quote “This university, its students, its alumni and the faculty serve as an example of Dr. Robertson’s dedication to strengthening and then nurturing the pillars of this community and our country: education, fellowship, and advancement.”
Cheesus K Riest! Education? Fellowship? Community? Read the piece linked above for quotes of the good "Dr." agreeing with another knuckle headed fundie Jerry Falwell when he said "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians, not to mention the A.C.L.U. and People for the American Way" were to blame for 9/11. Not to mention suggesting we put out a hit on the President of Venezuela, saying that towns struck by disaster have forsaken God (Sodom and Gomorrah anyone?), and the Federal Judiciary being a bigger threat to America than Al-Qaeda.
America - we can't take these guys seriously. They are absolutely freakin' looney tunes.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Obviously, this is not a new idea but no one is pushing it now and push it we should. With the price of gasoline at all time highs in LA County letting employees who can work from home would be like getting a small raise.
What about it Antonio? A little leadership from the Mayor's office on this would be great!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The Prairie Populist indeed. Would that we had a few more like you these days. Keep telling the truth George. Here are a few choice lines from Mr. McGovern's Op-Ed piece in today's Los Angeles Times.
"[Bush and Cheney] ...foolishly sent U.S. forces into Iraq against the advice and experience of such knowledgeable men as former President George H.W. Bush, his secretary of State, James A. Baker III, and his national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft."
"[the Bush administration] ...mistakenly asserted Iraq's involvement in the 9/11 attacks, it also falsely contended that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."
"The war in Iraq has greatly increased the terrorist danger."
"... [Nixon] defeated me overwhelmingly. But lest Cheney has forgotten, a few months after the election, investigations by the Senate and an impeachment proceeding in the House forced Nixon to become the only president in American history to resign the presidency in disgrace."
"Who was the real loser of '72?"
"...Cheney and Bush have repeatedly lied to the American people."
"The Cheney-Bush team has committed offenses that are worse than those that drove Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Atty. Gen. John Mitchell from office after 1972. Indeed, as their repeated violations of the Constitution and federal statutes, as well as their repudiation of international law, come under increased consideration, I expect to see Cheney and Bush forced to resign their offices before 2008 is over. "
There you have it folks... a prediction in black and white in the pages of the Los Angeles Times that Cheney and Bush will resign their offices before 2008 is over.
In 1972 I raised countless toasts to the future imprisonment of Richard Nixon... it almost came to pass. Will this administration unravel to the point that George McGovern predicts? He knows more about it than I do.
Further evidence of "The Great Unraveling." Photo shows Rove's general attitude toward any efforts at holding the Bushites accountable.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
No friend of Don Imus I but one can't help but wonder how John McCain manages to get away with this "joke" with nary a scratch when Imus gets the wrath of a nation. As offensive as Imus' comment was at least it didn't involve joking about the death of untold thousands of innocent civilians. But then Mr. M. is a born again hawk is he not? Having been in Vietnam you'd think he'd have learned a bit of history.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The Abramoff scandal took new casualties this week. The Pentagon report on the WMD lies told by the administration to scare the shit out of Congress and the American people in order to support the war is a huge nail in the coffin of the neocon cabal that brought us this war of aggression and has even centrists talking "war crimes." Looks like Condie might be getting her very own subpoena soon from Waxman's committee. Even Wolfie has his ass in a crack. As the old Chinese proverb says... "may you live in interesting times."
Check it out folks - here's some buying advice from the people who brought you the weapon of choice used by the Virginia Tech shooter.
Here's just one of the salient features of the Glock 9: "...the more experienced shooters who do shoot a lot enjoy cheaper ammo prices." "mmm... cheaper ammo - I'll take 10 clips."
I wonder if he spent some time researching his weapon on this website before purchasing the Glock 9mm he used to kill 32 innocent kids.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
An interesting but ultimately flawed story describing a political & economic system that works as well as and probably better than most where, after extolling the virtues of the Danish system, accompanied by hard facts and figures and even charts for pâté’s sake, the writer then quotes one expat Dane in a thinly disguised journalistic sleight of hand masquerading as objectivity?
How can one person's opinion (right or wrong) stack up against the facts presented in this story and be called objective? Where are the facts and figures supporting that person's opinion? Without facts the point of view is not empirical but strictly subjective. Nothing wrong with that per se but in this case not enough. Presenting a POV without facts approaches mendacity.
Unfortunately journalism like this is all too common. The way the writer adds the section with the Dane from London plays on common American prejudices at worst and is naive but still negative at best. It's one thing to say there's a difference of opinion on the matter but to state so and not support that with any facts has the effect of sowing enough doubt on the premise of the story as to make it easily dismissible in the minds of an unsuspecting reader thereby obfuscating the meaning of the piece and reducing the impact of the article; which in this case is clearly about imparting the notion to millions of USA Today readers that perhaps, just perhaps, there might be another way besides the dog eat dog of laissez-faire globalism.
I hope most readers see through the journalistic device and get the best from the article.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Except for some cosmetic changes things will be business as usual in Washington come 2009. In this presidential campaign we will avoid discussing the real reasons behind Islamic fury, the causes and solutions to the "war on terror" and the attacks of 9/11; namely our unbalanced support for the Israeli government and their imposition of apartheid on and oppression of the Palestinians.
If we held the Israelis to the same standard we accused Saddam of flouting there would be peace in Palestine and Israel. 90% of the Islamic fury would evaporate and Osama bin Laden would be just another fundamentalist in the wilderness.
But since America cannot see past the propaganda and any discussion of this issue is immediately met with cries of anti-Semitism (i.e. the furor over Jimmy Carter's latest book) don't look for much of a change when it comes to our foreign policy.
Think about it – you know its true. The UN didn’t equate Zionism with Racism without reason.
"Same as it ever was..."
Saturday, March 03, 2007
If Bush and/or Cheney had any honor whatsoever they would resign and let the Speaker of the House govern for the next two years. What a pipedream that is.
In the words of the senior Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel, this administration has made "the worst foreign policy blunder of our lifetime" but in the twisted Twilight Zone reality of Bush’s looking glass world anyone engaged in efforts to extricate America from this blunder are defeatist, unpatriotic, terrorist sympathizers. "We f***ed it up but don't you dare try to fix it and while we're at we'll just make it worse by throwing away good money after bad and guarantee that more Americans are killed and maimed so the other dead and maimed Americans that came before them will not have died in vain.”
The immorality and intellectual dishonesty of this position is truly staggering. Thank God (or the deity or non-deity of your choice) Bush & Co. was not running the show during WWII because if they were we’d either be speaking Japanese and/or German.
Friday, February 23, 2007
"Shortly after the first Gulf War, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney was a little sensitive to charges that he failed to “finish the job” against Iraq. More than a few hawks thought that Cheney and the other Bush administration dropped the ball when it had the opportunity to take out Saddam but chose not to.
In a 1991 speech, Cheney delivered a rather defensive speech on the subject, noting the intense sectarian rivalries that dominate Iraqi society and the likely inability to maintain stability in Baghdad. As for replacing Saddam with a democracy, Cheney asked his audience, “How much credibility is that government going to have if it’s set up by the United States military when it’s there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?”
One of the comments is particularly appropos...
"In Cheney's Batshit Crazy World there are only two rules:
1) No matter what the facts say, Dick Cheney is always right.
2) If Dick Cheney is wrong, see rule number one. "
Matter of fact that seems to be the entire Republican modis operandi...never admit a mistake, tell the big lie enough times until people think it's the truth - exactly what Reichsfuhrer Goebbels did in WWII.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
What's wrong with helping people? It is barbaric to kill with WMD and invade other countries under false pretenses but to help the poor and see that our seniors aren't left destitute by crippling medical bills is simply the mark of an advanced society. Where is the discussion of massive transfers of tax money to large corporations, whose profits are at all time highs, in the form of subsidies, tax breaks and no-bid defense contracts? If indeed “two thirds of all taxes come from the richest fifth” I say bravo… encore! It’s not enough. The so-called conservatives love to point back to the days when Ike was president, when society behaved, we didn’t have social ills as we do today and our infrastructure wasn’t crumbling. One thing they forget to mention when pining for the good old days is that the top tax rate was up to 90%; under a Republican President. One could also raise a family with one income.
Despite the so-called conservative revolution of the past 20+ years it seems the American people, via their elected representatives, decided that welfare for the people is not such a bad thing after all in this crazy unpredictable world; doesn’t the Constitution call on the Union to “promote the general welfare…” of the people? I don’t see where it calls on the Union to promote the welfare of corporations and Wall Street. I’m all for making a profit and believe in free enterprise but we are too laissez-faire and tilted toward business and not enough toward the people. 10 Amtraks would be great! We need much more publicly subsidized transportation in this country to wean us off the lethal oil economy.
Our allies in Europe obviously have had this discussion and decided the state exists mostly for the welfare of its people and less for its corporations and defense contractors. We in the USA have only a fraction of what the Europeans have gained. I posit that if we had not spent so much of our national treasure on weapons of mass destruction life in the USA would be much less harsh and we wouldn't have over 500,000 homeless people living in the streets of this country and new parents would have more than 12 weeks of leave to care for newborn children. Where are our priorities? Trillions for the military industrial complex while our cities, roads and society crumble and the rich retreat to gated communities with private security.
Of course the politicians are craven and in denial about our country’s priorities. That doesn’t mean we should stop helping ourselves – to paraphrase GWB... "it’s our money." Why shouldn’t we give it back to ourselves in the form of national health, educational grants and subsidies, pensions for the elderly and programs to help the poor extricate themselves from poverty? This is simply what a mature society focuses on. So the next time you see an article such as this questioning the premise of Social Security, Medicare and the other government programs that promote the general welfare remember that’s what government is for and the people we’re helping are us. The defense budget is for the common defense not for aggressive war and enriching the military industrial complex.