Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sunday March 18, 2007


Here's the idea, Sunday March 18, 2007 gets designated as "The World Prays and Meditates for Peace in Iraq."

An idea can travel around the world really fast now with the web and email, so by that time pretty much everybody could be aware of the event.

The date would coincide with the 4 year anniversary of the start of "Shock and Awe."

Sunday is a better day though because lots of people don't work on Sunday, many are in churches.

The event is non-partisan. This is not a protest or anything like that, its just a situation where the subtle energy of the people of the world tries to create a positive change.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lunacy


Newt Gingrich has not adjusted to his new role. Gingrich literally kicked out of politics doesn't want to go away and consequently pundits love him for his predictable over the top right wing to neoconservative political spectrum discourse.


This article was all over the place on the web:


Gingrich wants to "reexamine" freedom of speech

Let me state the obvious, Gingrich is a lunatic. There will not be a diminishing of freedom of speech in America. Americans will not allow that to happen. Gingrich does not have a point. He is a corporate to neocon shill and would do anything to remove any dissent of the policies that he represents, policies that destroy people and destroy democracy.

Ridicule, satire, stand up to this, fight against it, Gingrich is not America.

Photo is of a bed bug

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Alice Walker and book sources


There's a recent Alice Walker article that seems appropriate for the period we are now in.


All Praises to the Pause


The article appears in the magazine In These Times, however I found the article posted at Truthout.

Here are a few publishers that are doing the work of presenting fascinating lesser known books, many with essential political writing.

Verso Books

South End Press

City Lights Books

Monday, November 27, 2006

Obstacles



Interpreting our dreams is something we all like to do from time to time. We'll wake up with such intense images in mind and then later on in the day its forgotten.


Marie-Louise Von Franz is a great source for dream work activity. Her book The Way of the Dream is classic and a valuable starting point in learning to study a dream.

She would ordinarily steer you away from the sort of dream dictionary book that has a simple meaning for an image, a spider means this, or the ocean means this, etc.

Still I came across a passage in a Buddhist text about moving away from negative obstacles in our lives and how that is seen in the dream. I found the passage to be compelling.

"If in a dream we are vomiting bad food; drinking yogurt, milk and so forth; seeing the sun and the moon; walking in the sky; seeing blazing fires; able to subdue buffaloes and persons wearing black clothes .....climbing on a milk-producing tree, or an elephant, bull, mountain, lion throne, or mansion; .... it is a sign of separating from evil deeds."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Taunt

Petrified is the person
Today being led to torture chamber,
With dry mouth and dreadful sunken eyes.
His entire appearance is transfigured.
What need to mention the tremendous despair
When stricken with the disease of great panic,
Being clasped by the physical forms
Of the frightful messengers of death. (from a Buddhist text)

Read Amy Goodman's well researched article on torture: Rumsfeld and a Mountain of Misery

The you tube clip below is double edged. In it an American soldier sitting in the back of a moving transport truck, holds a bottle of water for an Iraqi boy. The boy chases furiously after the truck hoping to get the water. The soldier holds onto the the water, taunting and amazed to see the great length the boy will run to get the water. Its something we've all done or had done to us before, the taunting.

The double edge is that these same soldiers could be moments from an improvised explosive device revealing one of the tragic qualities of war where there are quick and sudden twists of fate.

Iraqi kids run for water

Friday, November 24, 2006

From Belarus with love

Sound bite tyranny


George Lakoff's recent book 'Thinking Points' is an excellent beginning handbook for progressives who want to find ways to make their message understood.

If you want to get a sense of the mindset of the new conservatives, understand how conservative 'values' are framed and repeated by the media, or to simply get a better understanding of some of the essential differences between conservatives and progressives, this book is a good starting point.

Here is a small excerpt.

"Conservatives see terrorism in simple terms: evil people whose conduct is inexcusable and therefore unworthy of analysis. The most that conservatives will concede is that terrorists "hate our freedoms.""

"Liberals tend to ask questions about the deeper, systemic causes of terrorism. Though liberals agree that the conduct is inexcusable, they consider what factors cause hatred of the United States: our military presence in Islamic countries, the absence of schools other than religious madrassas in those countries, our support of authoritarian monarchies in many Arab nations, and our active support of Israel." excerpts from chapter 4.

There is a tyranny to the media sound bite. It doesn't allow for a deeper look at issues that are incredibly complex. Take for example the sound bite "cut and run." Its catchy but its virtually meaningless other than to communicate perhaps a fleeting sense of abandonment and cowardly slinking. Essentially the phrase is so open ended that people will fill in its meaning with their own ideas. It also fails to allow people to take a look at the bigger picture. In the case of the Iraq occupation, the foreign policy of the Bush Administration is the basic context within which the occupation continues. "Cut and run" doesn't allow you to go into the background, the Bush Administration policy itself. If there is anything to "cut and run" from, it is the foreign policy of the Bush Administration which brought on this mess in the first place.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006


After we saw "Fast Food Nation", the idea of eating meat has evaporated at least for the time being. We will be enjoying a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Regardless, we hope your holiday will be outstanding.

There are more signs that support for the American occupation of Iraq is crumbling.

Here is a top conservative Republican senator expressing his views on the suggested idea of increasing troop strength by 20,000: Republican Senator Hegel, no additional troops in Iraq

This is followed by a new poll of Iraqis, the people in the disastrous center of the blood storm created by the neo-conservatives and the Bush Administration: Iraqis want US troops out now

Comment: Support for the continuation of the Bush/neo-conservative Iraq occupation strategy continues to erode with each passing day. Some neo-cons have jumped ship, many Republicans have abandoned the policy, the election results were an expression of the complete rejection for the Iraq occupation by the vast majority of American people, and the Iraqis along with the world at large want the troops out. So who is continuing this insanity? The answer is Bush, especially Cheney, the neo-conservative think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute, the military industrial complex corporations that are making money on this war hand over fist, and a dwindling minority of the extreme right, the loyalists.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pull out


What happens if there is an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq?

First look at two divergent articles. The links to the original articles and a few salient quotes follow:





1. From the Washington Post on November 6, 2006.
Soldiers in Iraq Say Pullout Would Have Devastating Results.

Quotes from this article.

"It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war."

"Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated."

"If my unit left town, the insurgents would come back in and use it to stage attacks on Baghdad."

"It would be an extreme betrayal for us to leave."

2. From NPR on July 29, 2006.
Exiting Iraq: Shibley Telhami's View. Telhami is Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland.

Quotes from this interview.

"Right now... there are only bad choices."

"Its not a failure of tactics its a failure of... policy."

"A military shift isn't going to address the problem."

"One thing they(Sunnis and Shias) are united about is that they want to see the troops out."

"The Arab-Israeli conflict unites them.(Shias and Sunnis)"

"The answer for reducing the damage lays outside of Iraq...all these countries(Syria, Iran, Turkey) have a vital interest in Iraq,... they (Syria, Iran, Turkey) are going to meddle if they have a policy against them that is confrontational."

"It requires a change of paradigm."

"Its going to deteriorate if we pull out, its going to deteriorate if we stay."

Comment: It is important to understand some of the background of the present American policy in the Middle East. The neo-conservative policy is the dominating American Middle East policy at this time. The neo-cons want regime change in Iran and in Syria. The neo-cons are presently pushing for bombing Iran. I refer you to an article I posted yesterday: Neo-con Muravchik says we must bomb Iran. The article's titles sums it up.

In this context with the American policy favoring war over diplomacy, it is easy to understand how American soldiers express dismay over pulling out. You see "cut and run" at present only exists in the context of the neo-conservative agenda or paradigm. This is the catch 22. Shibley Telhami highly salient quote is: "It requires a change of paradigm."

What does this mean. It means that the neo-conservative policy of war first, diplomacy not even on the table, must change. What must it change to? It needs to change to diplomacy first, war on the back, out of sight burner.

This is where the problem lies. We can't "cut and run" with the present policy in place. It won't work and as the soldiers express, it would lead to more and more civil violence in Iraq because there is nothing uniting Iraqis and nothing uniting the surrounding countries to win peaceful stability. All the surrounding countries are experiencing at present is the threat of war.

The neo-con war first policy can only lead to another war. Its like calling the sky blue and waiting for someone to tell you it isn't, its a predetermined understanding. So when you hear that "cut and run" will only lead to further violence that is probably correct. What we need first is another policy, a policy that promotes diplomacy. In the context of a diplomatic policy, cut and run becomes time to leave.

If there is a major failing of the Bush Administration it has been the rise of the neo-conservatives and their policies. We see the results of what a war first policy can do. It creates monstrous quagmires like the Iraq occupation.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Impersonal objectification


Neo-conservative Joshua Muravchik is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. I read through his recent LA Times editorial essay.

Neo-con Muravchik says we must bomb Iran


Contrast it to the most recent New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh.

The Next Act - Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?

No surprise here, neo-con Murazchik believes that Iran is coming closer to the development of a nuclear weapon, "day by day." He argues for bombing Iran sooner rather than later. Hersh on the other hand produces reports from the CIA that say nothing doing they are not close to making a weapon. Hersh goes further and states that the neo-conservative office of Vice President Cheney rejects the CIA intelligence on Iran and consequently they also state that because there is no physical evidence then the Iranians must be hiding the nuclear weapon production facility, so all the more reason to bomb them!

If you are wondering where President Bush gets his information about Iraq which allows him to express optimistic words about the occupation effort, look to the American Enterprise Institute. It would be fair to call the Institute a hotbed of neo-conservative activity.

This excerpt is from an article titled Time for a Heavier Footprint written by American Enterprise Institute neo-conservatives Kristol and Kagan.

"...Falluja was cleared in late 2004 and has been held. Tal Afar, cleared unsuccessfully twice before, was finally cleared and effective government established in 2005. Mosul soon followed. The Iraqi military that failed in 2004 was disbanded and replaced by Iraqi units that have subsequently fought well in Tal Afar, Ramadi, Baghdad, and elsewhere. No major Iraqi cities are under the control of insurgents as Falluja and Tal Afar once were. The Iraqi government has supported a number of clear-and-hold efforts around the country, including in many neighborhoods in Baghdad. All these developments are important and even heartening judged against the calamitous situation we faced in 2004."

I was struck by the language used to describe a battle which undoubtedly killed and maimed people. The term is "clear and hold." It is a characteristic of all neo-conservative writing that I have seen to this point, to objectify the result of war in its most violent aspect. The deaths of many civilian and military people on both sides through battle is summed up as "clear and hold" when there is an American victory over an insurgent stronghold. Contrast the coldness of this term to the actual bloodletting, suffering, destruction, displacement, shock, and deep grieving that is the result of war.

Addendum: Its important to remember that many of those "cleared" were Iraqis. Does it make sense for America to use terms like "clear and hold" in a country that we are trying to liberate? This is incredibly bad judgement on the part of Kristol and the neo-conservatvies. This only inflames the Iraqis. It makes me shake my head in disbelief.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Trifecta


Iraq

Population: 26,783,383

Ethnic groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian or other 5%

Religions: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Languages: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Sunday's news was characterized with politicos expressing opposing points of view on the Iraq occupation. You would expect to see that in ordinary political discourse, but this was different. The three opposing views I'm talking about come from Republicans.

John McCain says more troops are needed in Iraq. By more he means many many more. He appears to be coming from the fear based side of the Republican strategy. We are all too familiar with that. He is expressing what one might argue is the equivalent of the domino effect in the Middle East. If we don't win in Iraq, then world survival is threatened, more countries will fall to Islamo-fascism etc etc. The domino effect in Vietnam stated that if Vietnam falls then soon all countries on the Eastern Asian Pacific rim and beyond would fall to communism.
There is another less visible effect of McCain's views on Iraq. His view adds weight to the notion that George Bush was correct in invading Iraq. In so doing he is among those who are trying to keep the Bush legacy afloat.

From the Washington Post: Embittered Insiders Turn Against Bush. Here we have a recap of many of the neocons, Bush insiders, Colin Powell insiders, generals, and such who have turned sour on Iraq. The point of view expressed here is that the neo-conservative ideology which states that America must bring democracy to the world through the use of its superior military force, is not working as once imagined. The implications of this realization by the neo-cons is far reaching. The damage done, wealth squandered, lives lost, lies expressed, intelligence ignored, fear instilled, world status destroyed, negative fascist paradigm imprinted, etc etc will have lasting deleterious effects on our lives. We on the progressive side saw this coming, and yes we did tell you so, and yes keep your coprophagic paradigms to yourself thank you.

Old war horse and world class scoundrel and criminal Henry Kissinger now states that: An Iraq Military Win Is Impossible. Kissinger is in a Republican league by himself for many reasons. We must remember that Kissinger through all of his serious faults and horrendous war crimes resume was a proponent of Détente. From Wikipedia:"Détente is a French term, meaning a relaxing or easing; the term has been used in international politics since the early 1970s. Generally, it may be applied to any international situation where previously hostile nations not involved in an open war "warm up" to each other and threats de-escalate."
Détente is connected with diplomacy, something which is not a characteristic of either the neo-cons or the Bush Administration.

Summation: Republicans are all over the field on Iraq. Many express the sentiment that the war was necessary but handled poorly and now needs to be improved ie McCain and such, others regret the whole mess from the start and with 20-20 hindsight realize the errors of their strategy.
Three and a half years ago all was swell, all mentioned parties were quite onboard. Now the failed Iraq policy and a serious refutation of Republican and neo-conservative ideology by the general public causes a crazed stampede. My personal hope is that investigations by the new Congress will reveal the rush to war in its ugly details. The involved parties need to be held fully accountable, the truth has to come out.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Keroack for Secretary of Defense!


Did you get the memo? Sex is bad again. It used to be good, but now its bad.

Bush has appointed Dr. Eric Keroack to be the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, overseeing the Office of Family Planning.


Its a very curious appointment because Dr. Keroack is opposed to premarital sex and is part of the push towards abstinence only. Let's say he's not on the short list of people to speak out on behalf of women's reproductive rights. This is someone who has major issues with birth control. Abortion? Do not mention the word ever, don't go there, don't, no. One shudders to imagine what tic goes off in his mind over gay sex.

Abstinence Clearinghouse

This appointment has shocked me for this reason only; right man, wrong job. Think about it. Instead of Gates as the replacement for Rumsefeld it should be Dr. Eric Keroack.

Keroack would make an excellent secretary of defense. Its as clear as a bell. Peace would prevail.

He would not want to pull the trigger or load his gun. He would not put his finger on the hot button of Armageddon. He'd be opposed to a preemptive thrust. He wouldn't shoot his missile. He'd oppose exploding the bomb. He'd never penetrate the enemy or cause an orgy of death. How could he sexually torture the prisoner? His troops wouldn't rape. He'd want to maintain the pure innocence of the soldier. He would never go down the deep chasm of nuclear war.

Final unconscious thought: A deep operative and dear friend of mine would tell me that he was thankful to the Catholics for making sex so bad and guilt ridden. He said that a result of making sex bad, is that it made sex so much better and more fun.

Here's an excerpt from Jack Kerouac, writer, beat generation poet, dharma bum.

211th Chorus, from Mexico City Blues

The wheel of the quivering meat conception
Turns in the void expelling human beings,
Pigs, turtles, frogs, insects, nits,
Mice, lice, lizards, rats, roan
Racinghorses, poxy bubolic pigtics,
Horrible, unnameable lice of vultures,
Murderous attacking dog-armies
Of Africa, Rhinos roaming in the jungle,

Vast boars and huge gigantic bull
Elephants, rams, eagles, condors,
Pones and Porcupines and Pills-
All the endless conception of living beings
Gnashing everywhere in Consciousness
Throughout the ten directions of space
Occupying all the quarters in & out,
From super-microscopic no-bug
To huge Galaxy Lightyear Bowell
Illuminating the sky of one Mind-
Poor! I wish I was free
of that slaving meat wheel
and safe in heaven dead

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dotage and dolt


"If we don't fight them there, we will be fighting them here or in (fill in the blank with the name of your favorite American city or area)."

We hear this quote periodically. We heard it at the start of the Iraq war and we hear it now that the occupation of Iraq is under scrutiny with many wanting to pull the plug on it completely.

We heard this quote come from the neocons, who originated it, and now we hear it from right wing political pundits.

Examining the quote and placing it in a different context may help to shed some light on its implicit message.

The idea is to literally take the fight to the enemy, right to the lands where the enemy lives and exists. We know that the Iraqis are not the enemy of the American people. Also we know that Saddam Hussein had no connections with Al Qaeda in fact they were enemies. This is common knowledge. Turns out Al Qaeda was not present in Iraq at the beginning of the war but are there now as a result of the war.

Consequently, shouldn't the quote be appropriately amended to: "If we don't fight them there, we will be fighting them here, but if when we go to fight them there and they are not there, then we will fight them there when they arrive."

The oopsy daisy in the case of the Iraq war is that the enemy was not there. Can you imagine if doctors went about treating life threatening diseases with the same sense of impunity. "We went into your abdomen to remove a suspected pancreatic tumor. We didn't find one there but in the process of the surgery we damaged your kidney, so we decided to remove the damaged kidney. Fortunately for you if we didn't remove the kidney, you might now be dead. You are one lucky person!" You are to say, well thank you very much, as you are handed a bill for both the pancreatic non tumor and the kidney removal.

Bush is visiting Vietnam. He has commented on the Vietnam war with words to the effect that the USA left Vietnam too soon and that it takes time for things like the Vietnam war to produce desirable results.

When was the last time a Vietnamese person came up to you and said: "If you had only napalmed us for a few more years, we might now be the 51st state. We sure do miss that napalm."

Friday, November 17, 2006

Iraq vs Vietnam by the numbers


Size of Iraq is 437,072 square kilometers

Size of Vietnam is 325,360 square kilometers

If Iraq is the size of a nice round pie, then Vietnam is that same pie missing a big old hefty slice. Vietnam is smaller than Iraq by 111,712 square kilometers. Or doing some simple calculation by changing square kilometers to square miles, Iraq is larger than Vietnam by 43, 143 square miles. 43, 143 square miles is slightly less than the size of the State of New York. So if you take Vietnam and add on the State of New York, you get the approximate size of Iraq.

The peak number of American troops in Vietnam was 536,100 in the year 1968.

The number of American troops in Iraq is 140,000.

To recap: Vietnam is smaller than Iraq and yet with 536, 100, the US could not "win" the Vietnam War. Iraq is a country that is larger than Vietnam and yet we are engaged in an occupation with less than a third of the troops that were in Vietnam. As we know the occupation is not proceeding well.

Finally, this article appeared on Thursday November 16, 2006. Here is the gist of it. Bush wants to try a big push for a win in Iraq by sending in 20,000 more troops.

Compare this number 20,000 plus the 140,000 that are already in Iraq to the number of troops in Vietnam in 1968 that is 536,100. Now given these numbers, do you think this "strategy" is going to work?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Torture and inciting to riot


"Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt."

"CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in."Source

If you follow the link to the source of these excerpts you will also come across this sentence, "Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions."

The term "yielding a confession" is remarkable in its utter objectvity that harkens to the sense of obtaining a product. Farmers get crop yields for example. The Senator yields the floor to his rival. Its similar to the term harvest.

Another article on waterboarding from the Washigton Post

Here waterboarding is characterized as a "powerful tool." If you carry the direction of this rational a little further than an atomic bomb is a "powerful tool."

Our associations with tools are usually ones that are positive in nature. Tools are used to build, to produce constructive and creative products, like houses, sculptures, clothing and such. It goes against the grain of the creative imagination to hear torture referred to as a tool. In a sense not only is the victim of torture affected and in my estimation immorally abused, but we are abused as well when the associations that produce such harmony and value in our lives are then connected to such brutality. In this context you could refer to rape as a tool. Considering that some forms of torture involve sexual acts this has already occurred.

Recall the story about the man who sent white powder in envelopes to various democratic politicians and liberal leaning pundits. If you follow the story a bit further you find that the accused was also a devout follower of extreme conservatives Malkin and Coulter.

My question here is pretty simple, isn't there a law against inciting people to riot?

From NY courts on inciting to riot.

The Federal law defintion is tighter

Image: humiliation masks used in medieval torture

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Entitlement to torture


What is the link or the gap that occurs in the political movement to remove entitlement programs like social security and welfare and then continue on to allow for torture and removing the right of habeus corpus.

Think about entitlement programs as efforts to provide support for individuals in the country. You receive social security to help with retirement, medicaid and medicare were to provide you with health care. These are social programs that help the individual.


The Bush Administration over the last six years attempted to remove these types of entitlements. The Republican Congress worked to remove social programs since the mid 90s. Recall Newt Gingrich talking about the undeserving black single parent on welfare. Some of Michael Moore's movies from the last few years document some of these things.

Removing entitlements moves the government away from the role of social service provider for the individual. The next step that occurs is one that moves the government away from the rights of the individual and towards the rights of the state. Individual rights are usurped by the right of the state. I believe this occurs because within the conservative movement there is the notion of hierarchy and adhering to it. The rights of the state are above the right of the individual in a power hierarchy.

So why would conservatives say that there is too much freedom or that freedom of speech is not good? Its because this interferes with their belief that the right of the state is simply higher in the hierarchy. Freedom of speech can be filled with dissent, or it can be critical of the government. If you want to establish a hierarchical superiority you can't allow dissent. Remember that movie called "Jesus Camp." The children were praying to images of George Bush, after all he is at the top of the hierarchy.

When the right of the state is viewed as being superior to the right of the individual, it is only a tiny step into the arena where torture is considered good or accepted or even promoted. After all if your rights as an individual are second or third to the rights of your government, then torturing you is low down the list. Torturing you might provide the key to reasserting the government and it may intimidate anyone else from dissenting.

Torture goes to the last step in the sense of the rights of the individual. Torture takes it to the ultimate conclusion which is that the tortured individual has no rights whatsoever, not even second or third place in the hierarchy.

This is the direction that the Bush Administration has moved the country. Torture is now officially approved. What makes you think that your rights as an individual are protected?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Translations 1


Listening to Limbaugh and Hannity is confusing for progressives and liberals, and I suspect conservatives too but that's a different issue.

I will attempt to translate what it is that conservatives are saying on a few issues.

The conservatives say that now that the Democrats hold Congress, they will raise taxes. This is a not exactly correct.

The Democrats may repeal some of Bush's excessive tax cuts to the very wealthiest Americans, the top 1% of billionaires. However because conservatives like to work very hard at the framing game, that is finding the deeper emotional issues as expressed with simple slogans that catch people's ears, the removal of an incredibly unfair disproportionate tax cut is transformed into: they are going to raise taxes. The intentional dishonesty here is to raise fear among the listeners of the show. I suspect there are no show listeners that are in the affected tax bracket, excepting Limbaugh himself.

Bush tax cuts to the extremely wealthy are cited as being a part of the overwhelming deficit that we are facing. Curiously conservatives like Limbaugh make no mention of this direct relationship between tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and the deficit. Why is that? Instead the removal of these tax cuts is labeled as Democrats raising taxes again.

Then there is the issue of "smaller government." This was confusing to me at first because I interpreted it to mean, efficient, smart, and less bureaucratic government, something along the lines of a lean, efficient, precision directed organization. I was very wrong. Smaller government means removing all entitlements, period. That means removing all social programs. This would include all welfare, food stamps, social security, federally insured student loans, medicare, medicaid, and for some Republican conservatives even public schooling. That it what is meant by smaller government.

You see conservatives come from the strict dad side of politics. The strict dad wants you to assume all responsibility for yourself. You alone are to take on social security AKA your retirement, medicaid AKA your healthcare, etc etc. The sense of equitability is not important to the conservative. It gets easy to understand why poor minorities stay away from conservatives.

The notion of "corporate welfare" is not even on the radar for conservatives. You will never ever ever hear Limbaugh talk about the massive corporate bailouts that the federal government gives to ailing corporations, sums of money that exceed social programs costs by staggering amounts. So smaller government does not include corporate welfare, corporate welfare is just fine with the conservative.

Why would a working class person vote for conservatives when this would harm their own financial interests? To be continued......

Monday, November 13, 2006

FDD


If you do some simple investigation on the web, you know that one link takes you to another ad infinitum. This article is from an extremely good progressive website called TalkLeft the politics of crime

Can Chuck Shumer Be Trusted

Following the links in this story led me to the FDD

OK here's the problem. We now have a Democratic Senate or in presidential parlance, a Democrat Senate. That's great, I'm all for it etc. There's a rub. Take a look at the board of Directors of the FDD.

FDD website: here

FDD blog: here

About the FDD: here

The board includes Chuck Shumer and Lieberman. That's two Democratic (Democrat) Senators on the board of what? Another neocon think tank. Yeah that's what I'm talking about. Neocon-ness is not party particular. Its a virus/bacterial organism that goes anywhere. There's more neocon colonies out there then bacteria in a major city sewer.

This is just outright depressing. So Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats, big deal. He wants war, more war. bigger and better war, anywhere anytime. We already know that. But Schumer, Schumer, how could ya do it Chucky?

A little blurb from the FDD website will give you a hint of what its about. This article eulogizes Rumsfeld.

excerpt: "....Rumsfeld is a visionary with a great sense of history and a great devotion to this country. His tenure has been historic. He helped to end two terrible dictatorships and began a process of military transformation that will stay in motion long into the future. He served the president loyally, and in my opinion, he will be remembered for having served us well."

Get the idea?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The rupture

YouTube is extremely influential. I found this quite by accident. The video is of a guy talking to right wing fundamentalists about their voting habits. He is telling them to not vote for Republicans. He's quite sincere in his approach and is talking a very downhome straight talk, one to one, I'm like you approach. I have no idea who this guy is. My suspicion is that it appeared on someone's blog somewhere. I want to know if this had any effect in terms of swaying voters. I do hold out the idea that someone simply placed this directly into YouTube and threw caution to the wind.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rumbaughditty


Relief Suffuses World Views of U.S. Vote

excerpt from this Washington Post article:"Rumsfeld never had many friends in Europe," Marcin Zaborowski, who monitors transatlantic relations for the Paris-based European Union Institute for Security Studies, said in an interview. "He exemplified anything that was bad about this administration. He personified the approaches Europeans had the most problems with -- going to war in Iraq on the false premises that it was closely linked to the war on terrorism and directly linked to the events of 9/11."

Today (Friday) I did something out of my ordinary. I listened to right wing radio. Last time I did this was about 4 years ago. Not much about it has changed over that period. I won't be listening in again anytime soon.

I listened to Rumsfeld's speech at Kansas State on November 9, the day after he resigned or rather was dismissed. He was well miked so you could hear him sniffling every minute or so. I suspect he had a cold but it came across as crying.

He said nothing about the neocons, nothing about the run up to the war, nothing about the occupation and the non-existent plan to do so. He spoke about the need to allow democracy to flourish, overcome tyrants, and to know history well. I got confused for a long stretch because I pressumed he was talking about America. But no, this was a projection of monumental proportion. I suspect that it must be hard to "get the bigger picture," when one thinks they are the bigger picture.

Limbaugh was in rare form. Changing the context of miniscule and remotely unimportant news flashes is his specialty. He makes a mountain out of a mole hill. However the mountain is always the demon of liberalism or the democrat and his "democrat" party. His call ins like to mimic him and the term "eye-rack" (Iraq) is prevalent.

Today Limbaugh went after senior citizens. He was blaming them for voting for the "democrat" party. He of course was misinformed. Results show that seniors trended towards Republicans, so I was not getting the gist of his tirade. Then he went after usual suspects Rangel and Kerry. blah blah. What we did not hear was any acknowledgment whatsoever of the degree of corruption and insidious treasonous behavior of the Republicans over the last 6 years.

Addendum 2: It occurs to me that one of Limbaughs specialties is to create a bitter violent hatred moment. The object here is to rev up a violent physical response from the ditto heads. Within 10 minutes of my turning on the program this occurred with a caller wanting to break Rangel's jaw and keep his mouth shut for a few weeks. Hey they don't call it hate radio for nothing. Limbaugh pushes this hate button, that's his job.

Addendum: Over the last 6 years, right wing pundits like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter tried their very best to limit dissent. These people continuously said that not agreeing with Bush was next to treason. This amounted to a deliberate attempt to suppress freedom of speech and thought in this country. The idea was to sow fear into the left, people like me. Guess what, it failed big time. Could we ever expect some sort of retribution for this foul and disgusting tactic? Let's hope so. Time to take out the garbage.

Hannity was brazen. He allowed "liberals" to call in and gloat. What it amounted to was some young rather inexperienced sound bite replicator fumbling to say something of meaning while Hannity called them "another dumb liberal." This is apparently informed radio conversation.

Hannity also forgot about Republican corruption of the Abramoff, Foley, Haggard, DeLay, Cunningham, Ney, etc etc etc degree. And we liberals have long memories and never let anything go, except of course its OK with Clinton who can still be blamed for everything bad about Bush by the wingnuts. He forgot about going to war based on a deliberate sequence of lies to the American people. This for some reason does not seem to matter to the extremists. Lying apparently is OK especially if you do it. And he forgot about illegal wiretapping which Hannity refers to as a terrorist surveillance program, conveniently omitting that it is illegal. The key word here is "illegal."

Don't bother with these guys. Its a waste of time. Its not even amusing, its nauseating. I suppose something can be said for someone who can run his mouth endlessly, kudos. On the other hand, the people that listen to this and see it as a learning session, yikes. Its like Fox News, you would be more informed if you listened to nothing than if you listened to these guys.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gates and Chavez


As we know Robert Gates will replace Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

A friend has pointed out a few noteworthy things about Gates



First this article from Black Box Voting (Black Box Voting is involved with protecting our elections.)

Gates was involved with the voting machine industry.

Turns out Gates was once on the board of directors of VoteHere

This quote is directly from the VoteHere website: "Independent audit solutions for validation and verification of election results You know you run good elections, and now you can prove it!"

Verification of Diebold voting machines, oh dear.

Also Gates was involved with Iran/Contra back in the days of Reagan. We find that President Bush seems to enjoy bringing out the old Reagan crew time after time. Just when we thought the death knell was clearly sounded on Reagan conservatism on Tuesday, it reappears.

There are a number of articles on Gates' Iran/Contra involvement. Pick one

What kind of payback or privilege has Gates earned with the Bush family?

Finally a very curious article on Bush through the eyes of Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez....said it is U.S. President George W. Bush who should be sentenced to death.

Personally I would settle for a war crimes trial. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and all neocons sitting in the defendants box, its a glorious image.

Image is of Hopi pottery

Thursday, November 09, 2006

About it


Whew and phew, felt with a strong sigh of relief. The world seemed better and more hopeful today. Can the wrongs be righted? Here are a few thoughts on the election.


Happy to see go:
-John Sweeney Congressman from the 20th District of NY.
-Conrad Burns lunatic Senator from Montana.
-Rick Santorum makes Conrad Burns seem sane Senator from Pennsylvania.
-Katherine Harris Congresswoman from the 13th District of Florida and conspirator in getting Bush elected in 2000 through voter fraud.
-Ken Blackwell Ohio Secretary of State and conspirator in getting Bush elected in 2004 through voter fraud.
All are Republicans.

Hypocrites of the moment:
-Ken Mellman head of the Republican National Committee, who said words to the effect that the only way Democrats can win is through the courts. Ahem Psst George Allen and Conrad Burns, what do you call that Ken? Addendum: Talk is the dude is gay. So to recap, his party pushes antigay marriage legislation and homophobic slime to the fundies, all the while he is gay himself. What do you call that?
-President George Bush, in today's press conference he talked about the security of the American people as being his number one priority. Ahem so why did all of the safety aspects of Katrina fail completely? I guess hurricanes that destroy major cities are not part of security. Then there's that little problem with Iraq making America less safe from terrorism.

Thrilled beyond belief to see go:
-Rumsfeld, military implementer of the most vicious policy to ooze out of the bowel wasteland of American political failures, i.e. the neo-conservative agenda, torturer, and all around arrogant dangerous buffoon. Don't get me started. The crazies are scattering at the moment but they will surface again, and again.

Wish list:
-Congressional subpoenas galore to neo-cons, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, why did you start this miserable war? Explain it to the American people.
-Deportation of all neo-cons.
-Removal of all dictatorial powers from Bush.
-Realignment of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
-No more American sponsored torture. Ever.

Further reading:
How about diplomacy in Iraq?

da Vinci's Last Supper

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bush and martial law


Addendum: Sande is very pleased to see the end of one party rule in Washington DC. May the hearings begin!

My thanks to a good friend for pointing out this particular must read article.

Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

This article is about public law 109-364 "The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007." This was signed into law by George Bush on October 17, 2006. This is the same day that Bush signed into law "The Military Commissions Act of 2006." You will recall that T.M.C.A. of 2006 puts the right of habeus corpus or rather the right to remove habeus corpus into the hands of the president. This has been described as handing Bush the power to be dictator. It gets worse though, public law 109-364 goes further.

Some points about public law 109-364 and more:

-"the President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of ("refuse" or "fail" in) maintaining public order, "in order to suppress, in any State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy."

-He can do the above over the authority of any governor or local official.

-The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters.

-Kellog, Brown & Root was awarded a $385 million dollar contract essentially to build detention centers here in the United States.

Commentary from the article: "Unfortunately, this past week, the president dealt posse comitatus, along with American democracy, a near fatal blow. Consequently, it will take an aroused citizenry to undo the damage wrought by this horrendous act, part and parcel, as we have seen, of a long train of abuses and outrages perpetrated by this authoritarian administration." 

Painting by Picasso

Buddhist Peace Group

Nirvana "Lithium"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Time to vote (if you're lucky)


If you listened to Democracy Now on Monday morning, you heard about the types of subterfuge the Republicans are using to suppress the vote.

They are using robo-calls, automated calling, to annoy people. The calls begin by having you believe they are being sponsored by the Democrats. The idea is to annoy people into not voting, particularly Democrats. WTF, this is what our taxpayer money pays Karl Rove to do. He approves these scams to rip off the vote. The calls continue through the night. Where in the hell is justice? Is this America?

The list goes on however and includes flyers that state that the election is being held on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, scams involving calling people that owe on parking tickets and saying they will be arrested if they show up to vote. Welcome to Democracy in America.

The Republican record on the other hand is ripe with fraud, debauchery, pedophiles, the worst Congressional record in recent history, a bogus occupation that is draining the blood out of America, and legislation that hands the President dictatorial powers. I can't think of a more crooked, hypocritical bunch of thugs pretending to be uber-patriots. Remember Foley and his chasing down 17 year old male pages, turns out this was well known and it was again Karl Rove who forced Foley to run again, Rove being well aware of Foley's inclinations. What kind of crap is this?

The NY Times ran a terrific article on why the Republicans must be purged.

NY Times election endorsements and for the first time no Republicans appear on the list.

My predictions remain the same. I believe if there is a clear cut winner for example a Democrat who is leading by a wide margin in the polls, then he or she will win. However I believe that there will be voting fraud galore in the tight races, blame it on the computerized voting machines, blame it on the subterfuge. Lawsuits, recounts, and accusations of impropriety will appear in the news.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Drumming the spirits

American Casualties in Iraq

Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Will Ferrell plays George Bush "Promoting the Bush Agenda Means Don't Vote"



Unbelievable Drumming

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rejection and distancing

The neo-conservative agenda and ideology is the foreign policy framework of the Bush Administration. Especially relevant to this are the twenty some odd individuals that Dick Cheney placed into the most elite positions of power in Washington DC with the election of 2000.

George Bush is notoriously disinterested in policy. It was Cheney who selected the neo-cons and positioned them accordingly. In the time of the first George Bush administration 1988-1992, the neo-cons were referred to as the "crazies." This nickname was assigned by Republicans within the first Bush administration.

At that time, the crazies were not to be allowed to rise above middle management positions as their policy ideas and ideologies were so extreme in nature as to be deleterious to America. This was the conventional thinking. They were not dismissed from power either because this move would have alienated the extreme right of the Republican base. I learned this bit of it from Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and the person who would bring daily national intelligence briefs to Presidents Nixon and Reagan.

At present the occupation of Iraq is drowning. It is clear to all observers particularly Republicans who are in severe reelection trouble. These Republicans are distancing themselves from Bush. They are aware that following Bush's stay the course is an albatross.

The neo-cons are the people that forged the idea of war in Iraq. This comes directly from their think tanks and policy analysis. They are driven by the notion of American dominance through military might. This view of the world is without any sense of human concern or cultural concern whatsoever. I have read the PNAC document in detail many times and there is nothing about it that speaks of human dignity in any sustained way.

It is with profound disgust that I now read excerpts from an upcoming Vanity Fair article in which neo-con Richard Perle and other neo-cons are ridiculing Bush on Iraq. They claim he is not competent enough to run their war policy.

Neocons blame Bush and regret the Iraq war!

As the Bush administration dismantles and unwinds further over the next two years, more revelations will come forth about the outright fabrications and lying that has brought this disaster on America. Simultaneously there will be concerted efforts made to prevent this information from reaching the ears of the American public. You can safely bet on that.

The Beatles Strawberry Fields Forever

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Not for your ears

A few stories that Washington would prefer you to not see or hear. The first is about doubly convicted Republican Representative Ney. The story came out late on Friday afternoon meaning that Washington does not want you to pay attention. So folks don't read this article just pass on by, come on nothing to see here, just pass on by.

Ney will resign after trying to keep his Congressional seat.

With an upcoming election next week and with it the battle for which party will control Congress, this story is another in a long series of disasters for the Republicans.

What do you do when someone in your administration is pointing out that money is not being spent properly, and then shows you the clear evidence that this is true? The correct answer is fire them. Yes the Republican Congress will fire the person that brought to light some of the money scandals from Iraq and the office of accountability in Iraq that he worked in will also be closed. After all this is not politically expedient now is it. Better to have no accountability at all.

Iraq Accountability Office to be closed.

Earlier on Friday this article appeared:

GOP calls on Rumsfeld to resign.

How do you like that? There is pronounced conflict within the Republican Party. The day after Bush fully endorses the "misunderestimated" Secretary of Defense, Republicans creep out of nowhere and, BAM, hijack his agenda.

Marilyn Manson Angel with Scabbed Wings

Friday, November 03, 2006

Defiance and reflection


Seymour Hersh is an outstanding and excellent journalist and reporter. He is as defiant as it gets. He is not afraid to speak truth to power. Here he takes Bush to task.

Seymour Hersh on Bush



Here Robert Parry takes the neocons to task:

Robert Parry on the Neocons

I came across this blog while looking into reports on the ammo dump explosion in Iraq. She writes from the heart. Read it to get a strong perspective on the violence in Iraq.

Nibras-Iraqi Blog

The following story is the sort that makes you reflect in the deepest of ways about what is truly important in your life. We cannot let this type of tragedy occur.

Warning: In 50 years there will be no sea fish left.

Painting by Henry Darger

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Neo lonely


Each day presents several articles that are truly riveting in a flabbergasting way. Such is the quality of this particular time.

Richard Perle has the nickname "Prince of Darkness." Quite a name, would you agree, for someone who has held elite positions in Washington primarily under Republican Administrations.

When you are searching for the reasons why the United States went to war in Iraq, you will cross his path sooner rather than later. Perle is a neo-conservative. Perle was instrumental in bringing forth the PNAC document which is the how to guide for the Bush Administration. This document is a must read for all Americans.

I once spoke briefly with former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ridder about this document. He told me words to this effect. How many Americans would vote for George Bush if they actually knew about the PNAC document? The implication is, not very many.

It is with bizarre curiosity that Perle is now lambasting Bush and calling his administration dysfunctional. Who could ever imagine that I would find agreement with even one single word out of the Princess's mouth. But I do.

Richard Perle trashes Bush on security, calls his administration dysfunctional

Also if you are like me and you no longer pay one iota of attention to the main stream media, in fact I no longer own a TV, you will find this of interest. It is from CBS News: Iraq Prime Minister Maliki says the situation is almost out of control.




Painting by Nazi artist Ivo Saliger

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloweeny


What better way to kick off (out?) Halloween than to bring up sex. I stopped in my tracks while seeing the following article:

George Bush wants you to stop having sex if you are unmarried and under 29.

There is an old saying that a deep operative of mine likes to use: "Once the shit is out of the bull, you can't get it back in." You can ponder this quote in relation to George Bush's proprietary sexual notions at your leisure. The article states that over 90% of the people in the 20 to 29 age range have sexual relations. Its a poll, polls are weird, but its what we got. My question is who are those remaining 10%? I can understand illness, disfigurement, and the unspoken for reasons for being out of the saddle, so I personally need to modify the numbers. I say 97% are sh sh active between the ages of 18 and 29. One thing you can say about George Bush is that here is a person who likes it when the odds are unbelievably stacked against him.

excerpt: "The message is 'It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children........The only 100% effective way of getting there is abstinence."

Abstinence, imagine that. I guess the millions to be spent on this bright boy plan wouldn't be spent better on real sex education and birth control availabliltiy.

Painting by Lichtenstein